Norway´s 50 most important e-commerce stores

A jury consisting of five profiled Norwegian e-commerce experts have picked out what they believe are the 50 most important e-commerce stores in Norway.

The jury:
jury

The Jury: Karl Philip Lund (t.v), Eric Sandtrø, Anne Murstad, Kenneth Dreyer and Ole Martin N. Evensmo

  • Karl Philip Lund: Leading online marketing and e-commerce expert. He´s an experienced speaker and he has worked with several successful companies (Enklere Liv, Netthandelen.no, Blivakker.no og Hurtigruten).
  • Eric Sandtrø: Managing director of Fjellsport.no and co-owner of Jollyroom. Founded and managed Komplett.no, one of Norway´s largest e-commerce stores.
  • Anne Murstad: interaction designer that has worked with e-commerce and digital channels for nearly 10 years. Prior to this she worked in sales and customer service for companies such as British Airways, Eurocard and SEB. In 2005 she started the online store fess.no, which won the “Newcomer of the Year 2006“.  She works at the Norwegian Postal service and Bring as business developer and partner responsible for e-commerce.
  • Kenneth Dreyer Passionate about technology, marketing and design. Organizer of E-Commerce Day, partner at digital agency Inevo and part owner of a small shop.
  • Ole Martin N. Evensmo: Editor of Netthandel.no. Has experience with online shopping at several large and medium-sized eCommerce and multichannel companies.

Selection criteria

Defining Norway’s most important online stores is no easy affair and there is also no definitive answer. The criteria to get on the list has been an overall assessment where the jury looked at:

  • Revenue
  • Reputation
  • Ability to innovate
  • Ownership
  • Awards / honors
  • International focus
  • General impression

International online stores like Amazon.com are not on the list. The focus is  exclusively on stores that sell physical goods. Travel sites such as SAS.no, Norwegian.no, Restplass.no and Solfaktor.no are important sites, but they are not part of the list. Marketplaces like Finn.no and QXL.no have also been omitted. The focus is on the consumer market(B2C)

Here is the list of Norway’s 50 most important online shops

  • Apotek1.no: Apotek 1 is the first and largest pharmacy chain with a market share of about 45 percent , and todays pharmacies throughout the country . Opened Shop in 2011.
  • Ark.no: The bookstore chain ARK consists of more than 100 stores, the online shop ARK.no and a  reading app . Owned 100 % of the listed company Gyldendal ASA. If you shop ARK.no and choose their ” Click & Get ! ” Solution, so book you book and can then retrieve the selected store for an hour.
  • Blivakker.no: the largest pure online store in Norway in beauty and wellness. With effective marketing , good purchasing and selling prices , free shipping and great customer focus challenges the traditional physical cosmetics stores. Owned by Netthandelen Holding AS which owns Netthandelen.no and DrLykke.no .
  • Blush.no: Founded in 2009 and quickly became a contender for the big sister Blivakker.no . Owned by Komplett Group and investing heavily in Norway . Growing rapidly .
  • bokklubben.no Bokklubben.no 1961 was Norway’s first book club started . Today the book club book clubs of 8 , 3 series , online shops and bokkilden.no . It is the publishers Gyldendal , Aschehoug and Pax who own book club .
  • Brandos.no : Established in 2006 in Sweden , and established in Norway in 2008. Also present in Finland and Denmark. Brandos was autumn 2013 sold to powerful footway after struggling with bankruptcy ghost for a long time .
  • CDON.no : Scandinavia’s largest online store for music , movies and books. Seller also many other things such as kjøkkenuststyr and toys. Owned by the Swedish listed company CDON Group.
  • ClasOhlson.no : Launched in 2012 a new store in Norway and Sweden. Selling everything from copy paper to tools online.
  • Coolstuff.no: CoolStuff.no has existed online since 1999. They aim to offer their customers the ” coolest, prettiest and most innovative gadgets in the market .
  • Coverbrands.no : Cosmetics shop Cover Brands not match perfectly turnover Blivakker.no and Blush.no , but is a strong contender.
  • Dustin.no / DustinHome.no Dustin was founded in 1984. Started originally with mail order sales of colored disks. Have eventually evolved to become one of the largest online companies in electronics . Aim to be a complete supplier of IT products and services and has approximately 1,000 employees in Sweden , Denmark, Norway and Finland.
  • Elkjop.no: Elkjøp is one of the locomotives in the Norwegian retail and their online store is growing fast thanks to good interaction with the chain’s physical stores . Offering including customers to order online and pay and pick up in any store for two hours . One of the largest online stores. Owned by Elkjøp Nordic which is owned by British Dixons.
  • Ellos.no: Good old Ellos was founded in Sweden in 1947 , and existed in Norway since 1983. Most famous for its mail order sales, but selling now increasingly online. The range can be found primarily clothing and textiles , but also some in electronics , wellness , film and games.
  • Enklereliv.no : Easier Life is a Norwegian-owned chain with more than 30 shops and shop in Norway . Bet now in Sweden with online store Enklareliv.se and 7 shops . Is also present in Denmark online store Enklereliv.dk and one physical store .
  • Expert.no: Expert ‘ve had some difficult years , but now seems to have gotten a little bend on both their physical stores and its online store in the increasingly tough competition .
  • Flust.no: Flust.no is a continuation of online store loyalty program Trumf and has over 10 years experience in online shopping. Selling everything from kitchenware to children’s clothing. Flust.no owned by Norway’s largest trading house, Norway Group.
  • Footway.no : Swedish footway Group is very big in Scandinavia shoes. Bought in April 2013 Heppo of CDON Group, incorporated in the footway and strengthened its position in the Nordic market. In addition, the owner footway Group Brandos.no having bought the popular online store in autumn 2013. Shoes Sale online is the tremendous growth and is expected to increase from the current 6% to perhaps up to 30 % within a few years , predicts the owners of the footway .
  • Gmax.no : Gmax must endure to live in the shadow of XXL. On the web they’ll encounter tough competition from several strong players . The jury nevertheless believes that Gmax with their physical stores will eventually become a major player on the network.
  • Godtlevert.no: Finished dinner dishes where the ingredients and recipes supplied as a package , is becoming more popular amongst us busy Norwegians. Budgeting nearly 200 million in revenue in 2014 .
  • Gymgrossisten.no: Gymgrossisten is the largest supplier of nutritional supplements ,health products , fitness apparel and training gear. Owned by the listed Swedish company CDON Group. Among the contenders we find Proteinfabrikken.no .
  • HaugenBok.no: Turnover amounted to about 130 million in 2013. Started physical store as early as 1929. In 1997 they opened for sale of book content online, the following year opened the online bookstore with full search and product range . In 2009 they chose to focus solely on net and was Norway’s first pure online bookstore. In 2013 Haugenbok.no was voted best online store in Norwegian Kundebarometer examination and the total ended in fourth place in the survey that measures customer satisfaction and loyalty among 186 Norwegian companies . The shop is located in Lviv in Møre og Romsdal and proves that it is possible to conduct commerce at smaller places in Norway .
  • HM.com : Norwegians love Hennes & Mauritz ! Named Shop of the Year Bring in 2009 but a lot has happened since then . Carnegie Bank calculates that the company sells online for approximately 7.5 billion Norwegian kroner worldwide , equivalent to 5.6 percent of their total sales.
  • Ikea.no : The Swedish giant launched online store in Norway in 2012. It will be exciting to see what Ikea can get online soon.
  • inkClub.com: InkClub , including their mini – stores jerk club and battery club , is a leader in inkjet cartridges , toners , vacuum cleaner bags , batteries and similar supplies . Launched in the year 2000. Owned 100 % of the Swedish listed company Ica Group.
  • Interflora.no : In Norway consists Interflora of about 375 fagblomsterhandlere . They are members of Interflora Inc. , the world’s largest flower vendors.
  • Jollyroom.no : The shop Jolly Room sells children’s clothing and children’s equipment in Scandinavia. The company is based in Sweden , but with the complete- founders Eric Sandtrø , Jan Tore Kopperud and Ole Sauar owners. The latter is also the CEO of the company based in Gothenburg. Aiming for about 200 million in total revenues in 2014 and one billion revenue in the long term.
  • Kolonial.no: Started as late as fall 2013 , but the record created an enormous amount of attention paid to selling food online and their online store.
  • Komplett.no : Started selling online in 1995 and has since done very well . The largest online store with nearly 2 billion in revenue . Named Shop of the Year Bring in 2006 and 2007 . Owned by Complete Group.
  • Kondomeriet.no : Since 1989 Kondomeriet been a leader in the sale of erotic articles in Norway . In addition to the online store, 10 physical stores in Norway . 2nd place award in the ” People’s online friends ” by Bring and Post in 2013 , where nearly 13,000 voted for their favorite store.
  • Lefdal.com : Lefdal.com owned by Elkjøp Nordic. Living in the shadow of big brother Elkjøp, but still manages well in a tough electronics market .
  • Lekmer.no : Lekmer aims to become the market leader in Scandinavia selling toys online. Lekmer is headquartered in Stockholm and warehouse in Falkenberg , Sweden. Lekmer was founded in January 2006 and is currently owned by the Swedish listed company CDON Group.
  • Lensit.no: Claims at least saying that they are the market leader in Norway in sales of contact lenses online, but the market is bewildering and includes a sea of ​​competitors who Lensway.no , Extraoptical.com , Lensstore.no and Lenson.no .
  • Miinto.no : When you shop from Miinto.no order goes directly to your favorite store , which sends you the item directly. Miinto.no is rapidly growing with over 400 stores online and collect leading fashion environment in one place. Also available in Sweden , Denmark , the Netherlands and Spain.
  • MoodsofNorway.com : Clothing of the strangest shapes and colors . One of the few Norwegian companies with an international scope . Have both commerce and physical stores . Among other things named ” Company of the Year ” organized by Innovation Norway in 2013 .
  • Mpx.no : Owned by Complete Group and hence bad brother Komplett.no, but still one of the biggest online stores. Seller TVs , computers , photography , and much more in electronics .
  • Nelly.com : Nelly.com is currently one of the leading online stores for clothes for both women and men.
  • Nespresso.no: No advanced network solution , but has a simple and great mobile / tablet order which account for a large proportion of turnover. They opened the store first, then physical store . Also one of the few online stores that offer customers the ability to add multiple addresses to get the goods delivered either at work, cabin or home.
  • NetOnNet.no: Voted Norway’s cheapest online store of Hardware.no summer of 2011 and the second cheapest in the spring of 2012. Named ” year net favorite” under the direction of Posten and Bring in 2013 . Supplier mostly electronics.
  • Netthandelen.no : Netthandelen.no started with its first auction in 2002. Prior to that time Netthandelen.no was a regular store. The company started in 1997 , but in 1999 became the domain http://www.netthandelen.no registered. Owned by Netthandelen Holding AS which owns Blivakker.no and DrLykke.no .
  • Retthjem.no : Retthjem.no was originally started by ICA , but was eventually sold due to lack of profitability. Meetings increasingly tough competition from players such as Matnet.no Matbox.no , Supermarket.no , Matenhjem.no , 123levert.no and Kolonial.no
  • Siba.no : SIBA is one of Sweden ‘s leading household electronics. In a test of online shops conducted by the Times in 2012 was Siba.no voted best in test of 15 Norwegian online stores. Of the three companies that got dice 6 had SIBA best price, fastest delivery and the quickest return . Also voted ” Best Shop ” by Prisjakt.no its readers in 2013
  • Sportmann.no : The old mail order company has managed the transition to the digital world in a good way . They still have their catalog , but increasingly opt for online shopping.
  • Stormberg.com : StormBerg was named the year’s online store in 2010 and 2013 by Bring. Seller sports and Reducing use both online and through physical stores . Bet now also internationally.Stylepit.no : Stylepit.no owned by the Danish listed company Smart Guy. Among many foreign online shops selling clothes in Norway .Tretti.no : Tretti.no selling appliances and home appliances online. Big player in Sweden , but currently relatively anonymous in Norway . Owned by the Swedish listed company CDON Group.
  • Vinmonopolet.no : Vinmonopolet has evolved to become a specialist chain that many believe is among the very best. Substantial resources have been put into the opening of new shops, and eventually a popular online store.
  • XXL.no : the leading sports brand with both a popular online store and physical stores . Launched in 2012 also shop in Sweden. Challenged on the network of archenemy Gmax.no , but also a hundred other competitors , including Sportamore.no , Fjellsport.no and Oslosportslager.no .
  • Zalando.no: Zalando was established by Robert Gentz ​​and David Schneider in 2008, and its headquarters are located in Berlin , Germany. Started in Norway in 2012 and has quickly established itself as the leading players in the category ” Clothing and footwear “.
  • Zara.no : Zara is one of the largest international fashion companies. Owned by Inditex Group, one of the largest distribution groups worldwide. Opened its first store in Norway in 2006. The Norwegian online store was opened in 2011.
  • X – Life.no : Challenging the sports and fitness market . High turnover , creative marketing and skilled people.

Besides these 50 online shops , there are of course many others that are very important . Among online shops that did not reach all the way up , we find Adlibris ,Bildeler.no , Boozt.no , BR.no , Bubbleroom.no , Byttdekk.com , Cubus.no, Deal.no , Epla.no , Fjellsport.no , FotoVideo.no, Getinspired.no , Gina Tricot , Handysize.no , HifiKlubben.no ,Houseof.no , Illusion.no , iPet.no , Jernia.no , Kitchn.no , KomplettFritid.no , Ludostore.no , Onepiece.no ,Oslosportslager.no , Pixmania.no , Platekompaniet.no , Room21.no , Skittfiske.no , VNP.no , Magasinet.no , Rørkjøp.no , Lensway.no , Vita.no , Putfeetfirst.com , Royaldesign.no , Tilbords . com and Toysrus.no to name a few.If you disagree with the 50 online stores jury selected ? Feel free to use the comments below and tell who you miss and preferably who should give way . Preferably with a brief explanation .

See the list of Norway´s 50 most important stores here

How I hacked my future

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As long as I can remember, people kept asking me: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Deciding what you want to spend your time doing for the rest of your life is not something you do when you’re 16. Here in Norway, you have to make certain choices already in that age. I had no idea what I wanted to be. Perhaps a racedriver. Or a teacher, like my father? I flunked my senior year. So I had to retake a few subjects and take an entire year over again in high school.

I needed this time to think about what I wanted to be – or as I rather came to understand: what I wanted todo. As the nerd I am, I took a stroll down the aisles the last day in high school. “Marketing 101” by Philip Kotler caught my eye. I borrowed it and read it out in 3 days. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up – but I certainly knew what I wanted to do with my life.

I applied for several colleges, and got into Oslo School of Management. I started my first year with joy – August 2011. I loved it. The subjects, the teachers, and the students – this was it! But still, I felt I didn’t to enough. I got great grades, but still – something was missing.

I decided to take this into my own hands. I created a Twitter profile, registered a blog, and started building my competence within social-media marketing. I read dozens upon dozens of book ordered from Amazon, as well as several scholar articles on the internet. Now, I had always been fascinated by computers – my dad got me my first one back in 1997, when I was 6. Computers and technology was my life, so studying social media marketing was absolutely the right path for me.

I basically understood one principle. When you are going to enter the labour-market, you have two choices:

  1. You can get a high degree and get straight A’s.
  2. You can prove your competence through references and earlier work.

That’s what I wanted to do. I was doing great in school, but I was still missing that references-and-earlier-work-part. Damn. I have to get a job. I studied the art of job applications, and I think I cracked the code. I sent out 20 applications, and got accepted for a interview 20 times. But I had no earlier references or competence to show to – remember, I was still a student. I didn’t get any of the jobs. Hell – I have to do something. I haven’t got the time to sit back and wait for school to end.

I started blogging. I would spend hours reading up and researching several subjects I would blog about. I started a blog where I stated my opinions. And soon enough – I’d even dare saying I got noticed in the marketing-businesses in Norway/Oslo. I attended allt he conferences I could, to be able to build a network. I followed these on twitter, and started interacting in conversations on all the digital networking sites.

Now, at the age of 22, I work as a Marketing Designer for Fanbooster, one of Europe’s most emerging SaaS businesses with focus on Facebook. I absolutely love what I do. The catch? There are no catches. I am still a student – studying at Oslo School of Management, finishing my last semester. I have been working at Fanbooster for over a year now.

Heres my tips for future “go-getters”:

- Dare to challenge teachers and the industry.
- Be social. Go to events and lunches with interesting people.
- Don’t be afraid to brag. Stop being humble.
- Remember to give more in value than you take in payment.

The Small Business Owners SEO Bible

Small business SEO bible

During the last 18 months, I’ve completed more than 20 SEO audits for small businesses and global brands. I enjoy analyzing the data in Google Analytics and identifying areas for improvement to help businesses grow their organic search traffic. We’ve helped a lot of businesses grow during this period. It’s been fun.

Whether you sell products online or you want to generate leads via your website, our research has found that by not optimizing your site for search engines, e-commerce stores are losing up to $100,000 per year. That’s a lot of money, isn’t it?

So you have now launched your website and you want to increase organic traffic. Where do you start?

This post has been created to act as a bookmark for people like you who have just launched a new website and want to immediately fix your SEO issues. You can revisit this post time and time again, and the issues outlined can be fixed by yourself, without the need to invest in hiring agencies/ consultants.

The 10 points outlined below affect 90% of all websites I’ve audited. By fixing them you will not only have the SEO basics in place but, you will also start to see an increase in organic traffic and sales.

1. Avoid duplicate content by having one website

Type the full URL into your browser and hit search. In this example, we’ll use www.mywebsite.com. If the page loads (as it should), now do the same but do not include www. For example, mywebsite.com.

Most people think it’s the same webpage. It is, but not to Google. If the page loads, then you have site wide duplicate content and Google is indexing two versions of your website.  You will need to ask your IT team or web developer to redirect one version of the website to another using a 301 permanent redirect.

If you notice that when the browser loads mywebsite.com it automatically redirects to www.mywebsite.com (or vice verca, www.mywebsite.com redirects to mywebsite.com), then you do not need to implement the redirect. It doesn’t matter which URL you choose, just as long as you have only one.

Tip: It’s important to use a 301 redirect and not a 302 redirect. Check with your IT team to make sure you are using a 301.

2. Register with Google and Bing webmaster tools

In order to increase the process of being indexed by Google and other major search engines, you should register the new website with Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. You won’t be able to prepare for everything before you launch, but by registering the website you can find and track crawl errors and optimization issues quickly.

Webmaster tools is a great resource to identify problems and is offered by both Google and Bing for free. Both offer reports on errors and issues that are hurting your search engine performance and with Google recently hiding keyword information, webmaster tools remains the only place for where you can see what keywords people use that shows your website in the search results page.

Tip: You can verify your webmaster tools account by implementing the code into the <head> section of your website.

3. Write unique title tags and meta descriptions

For each page on your website you will have the opportunity to write unique text for title tags, meta descriptions and page headings (h1). Matt Cutts recently went on record by saying that missing information for all of these is not such as problem as Google will automatically pull text to show the user but, he did make it clear that the information should not be duplicate and the same for each page.

  • Title tag: Between 30-60 characters, and be a short sentence on what the page is about
  • Meta description: Between 70-150 characters, and a brief summary of what the page is about
  • H1/ heading: Between 20-40 characters, and is the topic of the page

Tip: If you have a website with more than 1,000 pages, it might be easier to let Google pull in the information automatically for 90% of your website but take the time to write unique text for your top 20-30 most visited pages.

4. Fix broken links and deleted pages

Enter your URL into the following website and fix any broken links that are reported: www.brokenlinkcheck.com

Prioritize fixes based on 404 and 500 errors. A 404 error means the page is no longer found, and you will need to redirect the old page to the new page (again, use a 301 redirect) and a 500 error means there is a server error.

Tip: You can also monitor your webmaster tools accounts on a bi-weekly or monthly basis and continue to fix any new issues that are reported.

5. Create a sitemap for search engines

A sitemap is a page that lists and links to all the other major pages on your site.

An XML sitemap is a sitemap that is created specifically for search engines. It helps tell Google and Bing which pages you want to appear in the search results pages. You can create an XML sitemap using the XML sitemap generator. Once created, the sitemap should be uploaded to your website. Most sitemap URLs look like this: www.mywebsite.com/sitemap.xml.

Tip: Once the sitemap has been added to your website, you can add the sitemap to both Google and Bing webmaster tools accounts.

6. Create a sitemap for humans

Whereas XML sitemaps are specifically created for search engines, HTML sitemaps are specifically created for humans. However, there is an added benefit in that you can link to important pages on your website, which can boost the overall authority of your website.

A HTML sitemap can be automatically created within your content management system (CMS). If not, create a manual version and include a link on your home page (either in the header menu or the footer menu).

Tip: For examples on HTML sitemaps, click here and here.

7. Use search engine friendly URLs

It’s easy to remember simple URLs that include keywords. Which URL are you more likely to remember?

The first URL is known as a dynamic URL. The second is known as a keyword friendly URL. Having a keyword friendly URL makes it easy for search engines to navigate and crawl your website. It also helps your customer’s access pages quickly, instead of having to remember long URLs.

Tip: Use a 301 redirect to redirect dynamic URLs to keyword friendly URLs.

8. Write fresh and unique content

Each page on your website should be unique. Research has shown that content that is longer than 1,500 words ranks better than content that has fewer than 1,000 words. Longer content is usually well researched, and delivers more value, which in turn leads to more social shares and visits.

Focus on writing great content that website visitors love to read. If you are struggling to think of content to write about, start off by answering questions that customers ask you (you can use your customer service team).

Tip: Stuck for ideas? Use these 20 content marketing tips to help you get started.

9. Block pages that don’t add value

A robots.txt file specifically tells a search engine which pages you do not want shown in the search results. Similar to a sitemap, the robots.txt file should be uploaded to your website. The URL to view the robots.txt file is usually www.mywebsite.com/robots.txt.

If you see the line Disallow: / in your robots.txt file, remove it immediately as this means that your entire website has been blocked from search engines.

Tip: Pages to be included in the robots.txt file are login pages, checkout pages, and any pages that you feel will not add value to search engines.

10. Optimize your images

Images are important for your website. Search engines can only search text and not text in your images. Images should be no larger than 100kb, so each time you add a new image, make sure it’s not too big or it will slow down your website.

When it comes to naming your images, both the file name and ALT tag should be descriptive of what the image is. For example, most websites that have a picture of an old man wearing a pair of blue socks will have the file name and alt text as follows:

  • File name: 000023.jpg
  • ALT tag: socks

The best way to upload an image is would be:

  • File name: old-man-wearing-blue-socks.jpg
  • ALT tag: Old man wearing a pair of blue socks

Tip: To compress images and make them smaller, use tools like Compress Now or Image Optimizer.

Conclusion

Use these 10 tips to improve your organic search traffic and once you start to see an increase, focus on getting more business by optimizing for conversion, which you can do by signing up to our free conversion rate crash course.

Feel free to share this post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+, or leave your comments below.

2014 Online Marketing Tips From The Experts

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s helpful for online marketers to start to look ahead as to what 2014 will offer.

At the end of 2012, we asked 7 online marketing experts to share their best advice for 2013. In this post, we’ve gone one step further and gathered 12  experts to share their best tip for 2014 when it comes to online marketing.

In 2012, the expert tips were to focus on mobile, conversion optimization and content creation. And they were right, as these trends exploded. What’s interesting is that similar tips are shared for 2014.

If you missed out on last years tips, you won’t want to miss out on this years advice. We have authors, keynote speakers, founders and CEO’s and all of them are instantly recognizable.

12 online experts share best marketing tip for 2014

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Rand Fishkin | Moz | @randfish

Surveys, interviews, usability tests, phone calls, and emails can all help, but there is no substitute for experiencing your audience’s pain yourself. If at all possible, I love to make myself and my team into real users of our product, trying to solve actual issues with our tools (or find information targeted by our content). That builds a personal experience from which you can project yourself into many other audience mindsets. The only caveat – be careful about over-extrapolating a single experience out to a wide market.

Bryan-Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg | Best Selling Author | @thegrok

The single biggest reason why people fail to convert on a website is that they could not get their buying questions answered. Most often this happens because they land in the wrong place and navigation (or internal search) makes it difficult or impossible for them to push their confidence levels high enough to purchase (or become a lead) and not feel any buyers remorse. This year it would be great if you started thinking about your business the way Jeff Bezos thinks about Amazon.com; they are not in the business of selling books but in the business of helping customers buy books. This is true customer centricity. A Bain survey recently shared that 80 percent of company executives believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. But when Bain asked the executive’s same customers about their own perceptions, only 8 percent of customers felt those companies were really delivering. Which camp will you fall into in 2014?

Neil-Patel

Neil Patel | Quicksprout | @neilpatel

My best marketing tip for 2014 is to create really detailed content. I do so on Quick Sprout through advanced guides that are 30,000 to 40,000 words and it is causing me to get hundreds of thousands of visitors.

It takes a lot of time and energy to create these guides, but the traffic is worth it.

Ben-Jesson-Karl-Blanks

Ben Jesson & Dr Karl Blanks | Conversion Rate Experts

Again and again, we observe that our most successful clients have great products (or services). A great product trumps everything.

  • So our tip for this year is: Do whatever you can to create a great product.
  • Once you have a great product, you’ll find it easy to create a great conversion funnel.
  • And once you have a great conversion funnel, you’ll find it easy to afford traffic.
  • A great product is like a firework. The marketer just needs to light the touchpaper.
  • A poor product is like a wet firework. It takes a lot of skill to light it, and you might wish that you hadn’t.
 Chris Goward

Chris Goward | Wider Funnel@chrisgoward

Stop worrying about your bounce rate!

If you’re improving the wrong goals for your web marketing, you could be moving very fast—in the wrong direction. If you’re not sure, start with how to improve the right website optimization goals. Once you’re focused on the right goals, the other decisions become easier.

Then, make a commitment to continuous A/B split testing and optimization in 2014.

 Brian Massey

Brian Massey | Customer Creation Equation | @bmassey

Look at your analytics as a fluffy snugly toy, the kind you take to bed with you every night when you kick off your bunny slippers. Marketers and business owners who can’t grasp some simple graphs and reports are sleeping alone in the cold night of the internet. You don’t have to be “mathy.” But you do have to be friends with data and understand some simple rules about it.

 Peep Laja

Peep Laja | Conversion XL | @peeplaja

Data-driven approach is the future, and if you’re not a master of analytics and testing, you will be left behind. In 2014, invest heavily in becoming really, really good at gathering and interpreting data into actionable steps, and validating your hypotheses through testing. You need to know *exactly* what’s happening on every page of your website. Learn to go from “I don’t know” to “I’ll find out”.

Linda Bustos

Linda Bustos | Get Elastic | @Roxyyo

My best marketing tip for 2014 is to experiment with Twitter Promoted Tweets. It can be tough to build your own audience on Twitter, but this new ad option enables you to reach followers of other users’ accounts and pin your promoted tweet to the top of their feeds for more exposure. It’s inexpensive to run a $100 test campaign to see how it performs, and you can promote individual tweets. So for example, if you are an ecommerce site that sells vintage style clothing, you could target followers of @asos, @nastygal and @modcloth (among others in the niche), and be sure to include images or Vines in your tweet to show off your wares for highest response. It’s a very targeted way to get your message out to new people for customer acquisition.

Stephen-Pavlovich

Stephen Pavlovich | Conversion Factory | @conversionfac

The opportunity in mobile conversion optimization is huge. Having a responsive site is a good start, but testing now will give you a huge advantage over the competition. (And if you don’t have a responsive or mobile site, pick one crucial page on your website and split-test it against a mobile version of just that single page – it’ll quickly show you the opportunity.)

Brad-Geddes-1

Brad Geddes | Certified Knowledge | @bgtheory

In 2012 search marketing started to shift from keywords to audiences and this trend accelerated in 2013. Today, you must understand your target market beyond the keyword. What are your audiences, their demographics, their similarities, their differences, and their online behavior? While we won’t abandon keywords in 2014, if you want to stay on the cutting edge of marketing techniques, you must begin to switch your promotions away from just relying on keyword groupings and towards audience segmented offers.

 Chris Hexton

Chris Hexton | Vero | @chexton

2014 looks like it’s going to be about mobile, at least when it comes to email. There’s a lot of great data out there at the moment about increasing open rates on mobile devices so marketers need to make sure they’re optimizing for this!

Gerry McGovern

Gerry McGovern | Customer Carewords | @gerrymcgovern

Treat your existing customers as if they were prospects. Get to know them better by observing what they are doing online, not what they say they are doing. Recognize the shift in power and influence towards the customer. Always keep in mind that a current customer is a potential not-a-customer-anymore.

There you have it. 12 great tips from some of the best online marketers in the world, which covers mobile, content creation and data driven marketing. If you want to add to the list of marketing tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

What is your best marketing tip for 2014? Do you agree with the experts?

* Update: Gerry McGovern added to the list of experts on 19.12.2013

Speaker prep notes

According to world renowned speaker Guy Kawasaki, 99% of presentations suck. To help fight the epidemic of bad presentations, we´ve put together a set of speaker prep notes. Feel free to share.

  1. Read PresentationZen. Get the basics right: Show up on time, know your stuff, be yourself and more.
  2. Tell a story. If you want your presentation to be remembered – tell a story!
  3. Learn from the best. The 5 best presentations in the world – what makes them so special?
  4. Nail the first 60 seconds. If you want to captivate the audience – nail the first 60 seconds!
  5. Avoid the obvious mistakes. Watch this 2 minute video and NEVER make these mistakes again.
  6. Really BAD powerpoints. Avoid  powerpoint mistakes.

If you don´t have time to review the above sources, please at least make sure you avoid the basic mistakes in the world´s worst presentation! Feel free to add your best advice and share with conference organizers around the world.

How An Idea Turned Into An Explosive Viral Post!

The literal meaning of “going viral”, is that your content has stirred up the audience so enormously, that it’s spreading like fire. It ends up being the very latest big thing on the Internet. It happens when your content is getting liked, retweeted, commented on, shared, blogged on, and is being talked about by everyone in the industry – something that earns you more views than you would ever have imagined.

The things mentioned above are nothing but a powerful result for your content and the brand’s reputation. However, it is rather unrealistic to make content viral just like that. What one should concentrate on is to make the content the most informative, fascinating and the most interesting online experience for their audience. Going viral is not at all about good fortune or luck. Instead a number of things go into it. This post is about how we turned an idea into one of the most comprehensive post for the SEO fraternity, which will be looked forward to as a very valuable and helpful source of study by experts and amateurs alike.

How it all started?

Our team was having a discussion on what is it that the SEO’s all around the world would be looking forward to know. Something that could prove to be a valuable resource and at the same time, budding SEO’s could actually come to know what are those things that their SEO idols do. The first thing one would like to know is their way of working. This includes a number of things, but what really drives our curiosity is the tools/plugins that they work with.

SEO Plugins are one the most compelling things in this industry, and to know which ones are being used by the prominent names in the industry would prove to be a boon for everyone. This gave us an idea of getting in touch with all the SEO experts around the globe and ask them what is it, in terms of plugins that they can’t live without while SEOing. We asked just one simple question:

“Which are those 3 SEO Browser Plugins/Extensions you simply can’t work without?”

Identifying the Participants

We knew that the answers to these questions would be looked upon as a valuable source to all experts and budding SEO’s alike. The question was simple, yet curiosity driving. The answers to these questions were all set to become valuable assets not only for us, but also for those who would be accessing them. This drove us to get the answers straight from the horses’ mouth. The people who are considered to be the assets of the SEO industry, contributing their valued information for the well-being of other co-SEO’s. Sounds like a great idea? Read on…

We made a list of all stalwarts in the online marketing industry who are considered to be the trend-setters. Those people who were regularly coming up with new posts, blogs and videos to educate people on SEO were the first choice, as many are looking forward to their advice on various aspects of the industry. This made the team prepare a whopping list of 280 experts for this post. We acquired their e-mails from their websites and social media and started sending them personalized mails.

Unfortunately, almost 38% of those on the list were unable to contribute, maybe because of a very tight schedule. However, we were overwhelmed to see the responses appearing on our inbox from the rest.

The Response

What we got in response, made us go dumbstruck! We had never imagined that 105 SEO experts would actually be gracious enough to share their favorite SEO plugins, and let the world know their desktop secrets. It was this massive response that made our endeavor a successful one. We received their contributions in absolutely no time after asking them the question. The contributors have actually helped in making this post viral.

The Contributors

All those in the SEO industry, would be able to identify the names of the contributors at once. Saying anything about these prominent names, would be an understatement.

The Contributors

The Contributors

The Making of the Post

As soon as we got the response, we started organizing all the data that had been received from all the contributors. We also filtered out the top 5 plugins, those which appeared commonly in all the contributions. This serves the purpose for all those who are looking for the top plugins used by SEO experts around the globe. The next thing was to make a compilation of all the feedback and present it along with the post. The idea behind the whole process is to come up with a post that could prove to be a valuable resource for eternity.

The team did exactly the same, and the post was created that carried pictures and messages of all the successful SEO experts. The idea behind the whole post was simple:

Know the Flow: One of the most important things to get the desired response for a post is that it should touch the audience in some way. The content has to inspire awe and trigger curiosity. The motive was to set an awakening, broadening of knowledge which could be cherished for a long time.

Value: The post should be used as an informative source that helps others in improvising on their SEO tasks, understand things better and make valued decisions with the help of the information available.

Eventually, the team came up with a compelling post which was all set to create a buzz in the SEO industry.

Promoting the Post

It wasn’t very tough as the post itself is a guide for all those who want to know the best tools in the market to perform various SEO activities.

The reason why I am writing this particular post is because I wanted to share an idea. An idea, that if you have a valuable, an informative, and an engaging resource on hand there isn’t much marketing required, as it has all the capabilities of going viral. The post was an initiative to educate people, and the purpose was received very well by all the contributors. Half the job was done by them as they started sharing this post throughout their network. This made the post spread faster than lightning, and the count of visits was ticking up with each passing day.

We did not resort to any paid advertising. Instead we decided to promote it through our social profiles and it started spreading like wildfire. Read on to know the social networking figures.

The Virality

The team had never imagined that what started out as a mere idea to create a post to help out, would prove to be a massive hit among its readers. The post proved to be so successful, that it started receiving a stream of appreciating comments from all over. The count of likes, tweets and shares started going up with each passing day, and we are still counting.

All those who have read this, find it to be the most comprehensive and a very useful guide for those who would like to try out new plugins for their SEO projects. People are actually asking us for more of such posts which could give industry insights. We could now say that this post has actually turned out to be a linkable asset for us, for the number of times it is being shared on social networks.

Success Factors

I know very well, what you are looking out from the SEO’s perspective. Here are some of the most popular counts. Before mentioning them I would like to mention that this count is at the time of writing this segment of the post.

  • Links:   50+ including one from Search Engine Land
  • Google+ 1s:   437
  • Linkedin Shares:   149
  • Tweets:   375
  • Facebook:   238

And, if you want to have a look at the number of visits here is the graph. On the very next day of putting the post live we were overwhelmed to see the number of visits.

This was meant to be just that – another post. We had never thought that we would come up with a post that would manage to create a buzz.

Conclusion

Creating survey posts like this could take a lot of time, and the responses could be long-time pending from those whom you requested.

However, once you have created one, you’ll get tons of comments, shares and likes if found useful by your readers. By conducting surveys like this one, you and your readers could find out how your idols work, and also this shows what the audience is looking for. This response could serve as a platform to come up with more compelling posts and surveys.

Guest Author: Sanket Patel is the Founder of Blurbpoint.com, a leading Internet Marketing Company specializing in content marketing and SEO Services. He has extensively researched on the ultimate recovery process of Panda/Penguin which is working successfully these days.

How website speeds directly impacts your online sales

When was the last time you abandoned a website because it took too long to load?

In 2006, 40% of online shoppers were abandoning a website if it took more than four seconds to load. In today’s fast paced world, people expect a website to load in two seconds or less. That’s right. 2 seconds.

According to Amazon.com, for every one second delay, conversions will drop by 7%. That’s a $2.5 million loss per year if you sell $100,000 per day.

Conversion rate by page load speed

A study by Akamai in 2009 surveyed more than 1,000 online shoppers and found that more than 47% of people expect a web page in load in two seconds or less. The research also found that speed impacts customer loyalty with:

  • 52% claim that a quick page load is important to the loyalty of the website
  • 64% who are not happy with the site will shop at a competitor
  • 79% are less likely to return to the website

A slow website not only affects your online sales, but 27% are also less likely to shop at the sites physical store.

In 2010, Gomez interviewed more than 1,500 online shoppers in their “Why Web Performance Matters” report.  One of the biggest findings from the Gomez report was that more than two-thirds told others about a disappointing web experience.

A slow website will lead to you losing business online and offline and customers will shop elsewhere

Site speed improves SEO

Another important aspect to site speed is SEO (search engine optimization). A slow website not only provides a poor user experience, but will also get your website penalized in the search results.

Site speed became a focus to search engine ranking factors in 2009, which came from a usability test that both Google and Bing conducted to determine the impact of a slower search results page.

In their study, Google found that by slowing page speed down from 100 to 400 milliseconds. the number of searches per user decreased over a four to six weeks period.

Bing’s study had a measureable impact on clicks and revenue by delaying the search results by two seconds. Bing found that the two delay decreased revenue by 4.3% per visitor. With more than 48 million monthly visitors, that’s a huge loss.

Websites are getting slower

Eight years ago, Amazon announced that for every 100ms of website speed improvement, they saw a 1% increase in revenue. Yet for the leading eCommerce sites, websites are getting slower.

Top 500 Retailers Average Page Speed

In just over eighteen months, studies* have revealed that of the top 500 retailers:

  • Only 8% use image compression
  • The average page load time is 7.72 seconds
  • Sites are 13.7% slower compared to 2012

* Studies using Google Chrome browser

In order to fix your site speed issues, there are a number of tools you can use. Here are three of the best tools you can use to test your site speed:

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool provides recommendations on what you can do in order to make your site faster. The most common problems experienced are browser caching, un-optimized images and minifying JavaScript/ CSS.

Impact of making your site faster

Prioritizing site speed improvements is challenging.But there are ways to increase site speed, or perceived site speed. One way to get internal buy-in is to run your competitor websites through the WebPageTest tool and using the ‘create video’ function.

SuperOffice compared their site speed with SalesForce, Zoho and Sugar CRM. The test discovered that SuperOffice’s competitor sites were loading in just over two seconds, whereas SuperOffice took 12.8 seconds to load.

By watching the video comparison, SuperOffice could see that the flash was taking a long time to load. As a result, the flash banner was removed from the home page and a new video test was created, comparing SuperOffice websites – One website without flash and three websites with flash.

The second video test found that:

  • Page load speed WITH flash = 11 seconds
  • Page load speed WITHOUT flash – 2.7 seconds

This means that by removing the flash banner, the website speed improved by 10 seconds.

Their website now loads faster, which delivers a greater user experience. But how does this impact conversion rates?

SuperOffice compared the changes five days after the change with the five days prior to the change.

The result was that conversion rate increased by 88%, from 0.36% to 0.67% and goal completions increased by 78%, from 19 to 34.

Impact of Page Speed to Conversion Rates

During the comparison period, overall web traffic decreased by 4% and no other marketing activities were launched. The only change documented was the improvement to site speed.

Make site speed a priority

A slow website will negatively impact your business, and website users expect your site load within two seconds. A fast website is no longer a luxury or a nice-to-have. It’s expected.  And by keeping a slow website, your customers will turn to the competition.

Here are five steps you can take to make sure your website loads faster:

  1. Use the conversion loss calculator to estimate how much revenue you are losing
  2. Use the WebPageTest tool to compare your site speed against your competitors
  3. Send these results to the senior management or CEO to make site speed a priority

Once you have been given the go ahead to improve site speed performance, you can:

  1. Run your most visited 10/25/50 pages through a site speed tool to identify load time issues
  2. Have your IT team fix the problems immediately

Once your page speed issues have been fixed, you can then monitor the improve to your conversion rates.

Have you seen an increase in conversion rates since fixing your site speed issues? Feel free to share your experience in the comment section below.