Your Cheat Sheet to Web Success in 2015
This year has been an exciting one for Web professionals.
We've seen big acquisitions, drastic changes to buyer habits and new businesses disrupting entire industries. Website Magazine has captured the news, emerging best practices and solutions that matter to our readers thanks to our in-house editors, expert contributors and savvy sources.
While many more knowledgeable professionals helped us develop this year's issues, we've highlighted a couple dozen below whose quotes epitomized digital best practices and what businesses should aspire to in 2016. And, be sure to check your inboxes and mailboxes in the coming days for the December edition of Website Magazine - jam packed with tips and tools to accelerate your Web success.
Matt Swan, Client Strategist at Affiliate Window
Tips to Maximize the Reach & Effectiveness of "Exclusive" Discount Codes
"When releasing an exclusive code, generating some excitement before the code ges live can ensure it gets off to a great start."
Jason Squardo, Executive Vice President of Search at ZOG Digital
A Practical SEO Roadmap for 2015
"Remember to consistently review results, site performance and industry trends."
Michel Ni, CMO and SVP of Products at Avangate
How to Reinvent Your Digital Business
"To effectively reinvent your digital business and take advantage of the vast online population, you need to be able to get to market quickly, adjust your business model on the fly and offer customers options to experiment and test, both locally and internationally."
Jordan Kasteler, Sr. SEO Manager at Red Door Interactive
Everyday Content Development
"While achieving a high number of page views, social shares and links are all leading indicators of success, it's important to determine if content is contributing to brand lift, conversions, audience engagement, longevity, reader return and visitor loyalty."
@AmberlyDressler, Managing Editor
Digital Influence & Advertising
"Advertisers with sophisticated acquisition strategies understand the significant shift occurring today - that advertising for awareness (and clicks) is only a means to an end, but advertising for influence has the potential to create greater profits and lasting relationships."
Seth Norris, Director of Paid Search and Affiliate Marketing, ZOG Digital
Creating Effective Campaigns through Search and Social Retargeting
"Leverage data and behavioral trends to create specific audience segments and utilize personalized content and delivery to increase engagement and drive more sales."
Brian Lewis, Director of Optimization at SiteTuners
They Said What?! Conversion-Killing Copy Habits to Avoid
"The fact remains: Words have power. Putting the right words to work can have a significant impact on a website's ability to attract, engage, persuade and convert visitors."
Yosha Ulrich-Sturmat, VP Product Marketing at Neustar
4 Ways Social Can Unlock Advertising Efficiency
"The real value of social is in its ability to go beyond the upper funnel and tie more extensive profiles to CRM data."
Marcus Howling, SEO Specialist
SEO Troubleshooting for Google Newbs
"To recover from Panda, site owners should focus their attention on enhancing content throughout the website."
Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners
A CRO Plan for Startups
"Having an organizational commitment to conversion means that the departmental structure, budgets and decision making all allow for a culture of testing and course correction."
Kelly Meeneghan Peters, PR Manager at Deacom, Inc.
Local Listings: Stop Overthinking It
"With the majority of mobile searches having local intent, it's more important than ever to ensure the information that is delivered to potential buyers is accurate and consistent."
Amir Glatt, Co-Founder & CTO of Duda
What's Important in Website Analytics
"In the business world, companies that base decisions on data are more successful than those that do not."
Geoff Smith, SVP of CrowdTwist
6 Ways to Maximize Customer Loyalty Programs
"...loyalty has expanded from a 'spend-and-get' mentality to one centered on nurturing relationships between purchases."
Kevin Dunne, Director of Product Strategy at QASymphony
Check Your Ego: How to Avoid Killing Customer Feedback
"Right, wrong or indifferent, fresh opinions (especially unsolicited ones) are important opportunities to step back and re-evaluate the assumptions that went into design a product."
Je Matthews, Co-Founder and CEO of Tagkast
How Brands Can Still Reach Consumers on Facebook
"By using branded photos and encouraging tagging and peer-to-peer sharing, brands can continue to leverage Facebook to reach both current and new customers and to positive effect."
Mark Sullivan, Director of Analytics for CallRail
Mobile Search is Converting. Do You Know Why?
"Since mobile search results contain less ad space than desktop results, it is necessary to compete aggressively for this limited space to increase mobile traffic and in-store visits."
@AllisonHowen, Associate Editor
Edgy & Essential E-Commerce
"Even with such a fragmented conversion path, consumers still demand consistent brand experiences across channels as well as experiences tailored to them as individuals."
Neil Harmer, Lead Designer at LightCMS
How to Keep Your Code Clean, Readable and Accessible
"When working with a team of developers, it is necessary to have an agreed-upon coding style so it's easy to work on someone else's code."
Brendan O'Brien, Chief Evangelist at Aria Systems
3 Ways IoT Can Grow Customer Lifetime Value
"The Internet of Things is poised to usher in disruptive change on a scale unmatched in the digital experience, but some things will never change. In order to expand customer lifetime value (CLV) and increase profits in the age of IoT, companies still need to win their customers' hearts and minds at every turn."
Ryan Hofmann, Chief Brand Strategist at Listrak
Levels of Relevance and Revenue
"Promotional targeting and segmentation are the building blocks to relevant, revenue-driving email campaigns."
Iwo Kadziela, Product Manager at SiteSpect
How APIs Stretch the Boundaries of Digital Optimization
"Anything you can do manually, you should be able to do programmatically, and only APIs empower companies to stretch the boundaries of what can be done with speed, agility and accuracy."
David Trice, Co-Founder and CEO of Engage.CX
"By delivering a timely, positive experience to their customers, retailers can turn noncommittal window shoppers into a profitable customer relationship that extends far beyond store walls or Web pages."
Farokh Karani, Director of North American Sales and Channels for Quick Heal Technologies
Dont' Fall Victim to a Hack Attack
"Although major retail brands are more lucrative targets for cybercriminals, most large retailers have extensive security policies and multilayered IT security solutions in place, leaving cybercriminals to turn their sights on smaller online retailers, which they know may not have the time, resources and IT personnel to successfully thwart attacks."
EJ McGowan, General Manager of Campaigner
The Tricks & Treats of Transactional Email
"Don't be duped by the mundane nature of the standard email communications brands send to acknowledge customers' actions. A purchase confirmation, shipping notification, password reset or even an unsubscribe email response is actually a marketing opportunity in disguise."
The Web is Alive: Predictions for the 'Net's Future
"Create content that users want, create a great deal of it to satisfy every possible need and interest related to their product and service and share that content with those who are able to provide a link/citation on the Web. That's the secret of SEO - always has been, and always will be."
Jeremy Hogan, Senior Manager of PR and Digital Content at Celtic Chicago
Making the Most out of Email Today
"The primary goal of an email blast is to drive traffic and spur a specific action once a recipient is on a brand's website (the same as any digital marketing effort one might employ) - not only requiring marketers to convey the value of clicking through to a site, but also participate in some website upkeep."
Carin van Vuuren, CMO of Usablenet
Advice from the Pros: Designing for Web Accessibility
"For those users who have low vision or are blind, ordering products online or even booking a holiday using a device can become impossible if the business in question hasn't considered their needs when designing the experience."
December (Coming Soon)
TJ VanToll, Developer Advocate at Telerik
The Web's Cruft Problem
"Between modals, app-install prompts, mobile Web fails, ads, mobile redirects and European Union (EU) cookie prompts, Web developers (just like average users) increasingly hate using the Web."
Eric Wheeler, CEO of 33Across
Average is Never Good - A Call to Embrace New Viewability Best Practices
"As an industry, online ad buys should use the viewability of individual units, not the historical average of all ads on websites."
Dr. Liraz Margalit, Web Psychologist at ClickTaleUsing Psychology to Improve Website Conversions
"While there is no magic formula for button colors that convert, killer copywriting or winning layouts, it is possible to get inside the mind of a target audience and understand which elements prompt action."
Stefan Kenig, CEO and Co-Founder of Hull
3 Pillars of Social Login
"By creating a simple social login that not only remembers returning users, but also connects the dots between a site visitor and a social media profile can create meaningful information that helps retailers better understand their customers."