Display Advertising in 2021: Size Matters (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of our article about display ad sizes in 2021. In Part 1 we discussed the basics of display advertising and the most popular desktop display ad sizes for this year. If you still haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out on some useful tips and tricks, just saying.

Although there are still some people that use desktop devices more than mobile, mobile web traffic accounts for 52.6 percent of the global web traffic, as oberlo.com shares. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be focusing on the best sizes for mobile display ads in 2021. We’ll be also looking at some key display ads types, so grab a notepad, and let’s get started.

Mobile Ad Size Cheat Sheet

As you probably know, marketers and business owners alike are prioritizing mobile over desktop and always optimize their ads for mobile users first. For the past year, the world gained 93 million new mobile phone users and now we’re looking at an audience of 5.22 billion unique mobile users. As DataReportal shares, that's an increase of 1.8% in comparison to the same period in 2020. When it comes to mobile display ads, one great feature is that they can be shown not only while the user is browsing the web, but also in apps. And although some sizes work great both on desktop and mobile devices (such as the Medium Rectangle), there are specific sizes only for mobile users:

Mobile Leaderboard

This is the most effective and popular size for mobile display ads. Similar to the desktop version, it’s a horizontal stripe, however, on mobile it covers the full width of the screen, being 320x50px. It accounts for 12% of all impressions globally and can be used in apps as well as in the browser. This format is often placed at the bottom of the screen, but it can also be a good top-of-the-screen option. Keep in mind that when using this format you need to make sure that your texts and CTAs are big enough to be readable.

If you want to have more room for creativity, you can opt-in for the Large Mobile Banner instead. Its size is 320x100px, which allows for more visuals or text to be included. It’s not as popular as the Mobile Leaderboard, but it’s still one of the top five most deployed mobile ad sizes. An important note, which we must mention is the fact that currently the Large Mobile Banner can be used only within the Google Display Network, so if you’re using another advertising platform, then you should avoid this format.

Mobile Full Page Flex

The Mobile Full Page Flex format refers to a responsive ad format, which can dynamically adapt to the entire available advertising space while maintaining the same aspect ratio. Therefore, in this case, the size does not matter (yes, yes, we know we said it matters but this format is an exception). That being said, advertisers must make sure that the ratio of their creative is 1:1 (for example 300x300px; 320x320px, 500x500px, etc.) This is an official ad format, defined by IAB as a creative “full-screen ad experience with sight, sound, motion, and interaction capabilities”. This format can be used in two ways: The ad can either run at a specific time set (for example in-app ads while the application is loading), or it can be triggered by users when they click on a CTA of another ad. For example, you can create a mobile leaderboard ad with the following CTAs: “click here for more information” or “swipe up for details”. When the user clicks or swipes, this action will trigger the full page flex ad and it will be displayed on the device’s screen.

Square

This format is a good alternative to rectangular formats. That being said, the square format is not as popular as the others on our list and can prove to be hard to master as it is quite small - 250x250px. That is why you should carefully consider your visuals and text if you decide to use this format.

The Small Square is even a smaller version of the Square with dimensions 200x200px. Keep in mind that if you use this format your ad performance may be restricted due to the limited supply of display ad space for this specific ad size.

Aside from the size of your display ads, you should also consider the creatives with which you’re going to promote your product. What images will you use and what text should you include? Should you use a static picture or a video? Those are important questions that you must answer in order to create a successful ad that is tailored to your campaign goals. To help you out, we’ve decided to list some of the popular display ad types, so you can decide which of them might work best for you.

Display Ads Types

Did you know that the average person is now estimated to encounter between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day? This shocking data is shared by ppcprotect.com. They also inform us that back in the 70’s people saw between 500 and 1,600 ads daily. Given this data, it’s not hard to assume that today marketers need to put much more effort into grabbing user’s attention than 50 years ago. And while a lot of factors play a role when it comes to the creation of enticing ads, the ad type is arguably an essential point that you need to think about. Some of the most popular display ad types in 2021 are:

  • Static

Static ads are simple banner ads that consist of an image and text. They do not work with additional media such as audio or video. As you already know, static ads come in different sizes and shapes and continue to be used by hundreds of thousands of brands worldwide. They are the easiest to make but don’t come without drawbacks. One limitation of static ads is the fact that they are often ignored by the reader because a static image needs to be really creative to capture users’ attention. Additionally, static ads are more or less one-way communication, as they are less interactive than other ad types.

  • Animated 

As the name suggests, animated ads usually consist of image/s that move. So for example, an animated display ad could have a static background image with only one or two elements blinking or moving. Additionally, you could create an animated ad, in which all parts of the image perform some kind of movement. Animated ads are much more successful in grabbing user’s attention than static ads because people tend to notice movement with their peripheral vision. So even if a given person is not looking directly at the ad, he/she is going to be constantly reminded of the creative because of its movement, and sooner or later the user’s curiosity will push them into investigating your offer.

  • Video 

Video ads are another great type of display ads. They are quite similar to animated ads because both types involve moving pictures or objects. In that sense, video ads are great for attracting the attention of your target audience. Not to mention that video is the king when it comes to marketing in 2021, as more and more consumers prefer watching instead of reading. Furthermore, as WordStream shares, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. (We might come up with a quiz to prove that’s not the case for Marception Blog’s readers, so pay attention guys! Just kidding... or are we???)

  • Interactive 

If you want to create a truly memorable ad, interactive ads are your best choice! Those ads require the user to take a certain action, for example, play a short game (this approach is often seen in mobile app application ads). Additionally, interactive ads could include quizzes, polls, and other lead forms. As HubSpot shares, 73% of businesses agree that combining traditional content marketing tactics with interactive content enhances the retention of their organization’s message.

  • Lightbox

Last but not least, lightbox ads can enable you to offer immersive experiences to your target audience. This type of display ad looks just like a regular static ad, however, when the user hovers their mouse over it, the ad expands and takes up a much bigger space of the display. Once the ad has expanded it transforms from a practically static ad to a comprehensive sensory experience for the user. You can add audio, video, animation, or even interactive elements to your lightbox ads. To avoid accidental engagement with the ad, the expansion functionality only works when the user hovers their mouse for two seconds over the banner, as TechCrunch explains. The source also states that lightbox ads grant an engagement that is 6 to 8 times higher than the one of standard click-to-expand ads.

Though we have listed some of the most popular display ad types, we couldn't include all the options available to marketers and advertisers. Furthermore, innovative sizes, formats, and creatives are being introduced to us daily. Therefore, you need to keep up with the advertising trends and perform comprehensive research before you settle on the right ad type and format for your campaign. If you need help with the planning, implementation, and analyses of your display ad campaigns, Markception is always ready to help you. As a digital marketing agency, we are passionate about creating content, running advertising campaigns, and optimizing our clients’ digital performance. Contact us for a free consultation now.


What is Influencer Marketing and How to Choose the Right Influencer Type for Your Campaign?

Given the accelerated digital growth that we all went through in the last couple of years, we can safely say that anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection could become an influencer. Although not every influencer can be appropriate for your marketing campaigns, partnering up with the right ones will set you on the path for growth and success.

Influencer marketing happens when popular (and not only) communication platform users with recognizable accounts promote brands and businesses in exchange for free products and services, or financial gain. This form of marketing has been around for years now and businesses continue to rely heavily on it in 2021. In fact, according to Big Commerce, 9 out of 10 brands use influencer marketing. Furthermore, The State of Influencer Marketing 2021 report finds that the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $13.8 Billion in 2021. Because this form of marketing is quite popular and effective, we’ve decided to dive into the topic and give answers to what exactly does it mean to use influencer marketing and how to choose the right influencers for your campaigns.

What is an influencer?

Although you can find thousands of influencers on all sorts of media platforms: blogs, social media, YouTube, podcasting platforms, and others, according to backlinko.com, over 90% of influencer marketing campaigns take place on Instagram. But what exactly does it mean to be an influencer? Well, as influencermarketinghub.com puts it, you can consider someone an influencer if they have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their followers. In that sense, celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato can be perceived as influencers just as much as ordinary Internet users who have grown their follower base and popularity organically through consistent posting and engagement with their followers. Additionally, influencers are often experienced in one or two main topics, which allows them to grow a following in a specific niche.

Influencer Marketing Tip: Your goal should be to collaborate with influencers that are competent on topics related to your business. For example, if you are selling shoes, you need to be on the look for fashion influencers. If you are offering short-term accommodation services, it’s best to partner up with travel influencers.

Based on the number of their followers, influencers can be divided into five main groups:

  • Nano-Influencers have the least amount of followers. Their audience is usually composed of 1 000 to 10 000 users, which means that working with them won’t grant you the widest reach possible. That being said, because of their authenticity and ability to produce highly targeted content, users can relate to nano-influencers’ posts and creatives easily. Nano-influencers have the highest engagement rate out of the five influencer groups. As marketingdive.com shares, Influencers with 5 000 to 10 000 followers have an engagement rate of 6.3%, and those with a following of 1 000 to 5 000 have a rate of 8.8%. Another benefit of working with nano-influencers is the fact that they don’t require expensive fees. Collaborating with them on Instagram will cost you between $10 and $100 per post (or simply a free gift could be enough, for example, one of your products or services) as noted by Andrew Macarthy.
  • Micro-Influencers are creators who have between 10 000 and 50 000 followers. Although their reach is wider than nano-influencers’ they still have a significantly smaller audience than mid-tier, macro, and mega influencers. That being said, 92% of customers trust a micro-influencer more than a traditional ad or an endorsement from celebrities and 82% of consumers are likely to buy products recommended by micro-influencers, according to ana.net. If you decide to collaborate with a micro-influencer on Instagram, then you should be prepared to pay anywhere between $100 and $500 per post.
  • Mid-tier influencers usually have a follower base consisting of between 50 000 and 500 000 users. As the name suggests, when it comes to popularity mid-tier influencers stand right in between the widely popular influencers and the more niche-oriented less known creators. Therefore by choosing to work with them you get the best of both worlds - a relatively high engagement rate, as well as a decent reach. When it comes to pricing, a single post in collaboration with a mid-tier influencer can cost you anywhere between $500 and $5,000 per post.
  • Macro-Influencers have an impressive amount of followers - usually between 500 000 and 1 million users. Those influencers are well-known not only on the web but often also in real life. They could be a reality TV star, an established expert, or a top-performing sports player. Despite the high reach macro-influencers' follower base provides, engagement rates associated with campaigns in collaboration with them tend to be low. According to mmi-analytics.com, it is 6.2% on average. If you decide to work with a micro-influencer, it will cost you $5,000–$10,000 per Instagram post.
  • Mega-Influencers are the “big fish” of influencers. Think Beyonce, Shane Dawson, Christiano Ronaldo, and other celebrities. They are followed by more than one million users which grants them incredible visibility on social media. Collaborating with mega-influencers ensures great reach, which makes them the perfect choice for awareness campaigns. However, more often than not, mega-influencers have a low engagement rate of 4.96%. Because of their vast popularity, the price for collaborations with mega-influencers is very high - usually more than $10,000 per post.

Influencer Marketing Tip: If you want your influencer marketing efforts to be successful, you need to carefully analyze the specifics of your target audience and choose influencers who can grab the attention of your customers. You need to decide what type of influencers to work with based on your audience’s demographics and interests. For example, if your ideal client is a talkative, young woman, who cherishes the importance of personal connection, it might be best for you to partner up with micro- or nano-influencers because they often spend more time engaging with their followers and usually create consistent, highly targeted content.

Influencer Marketing’s Impressive Numbers

Marketers and business owners alike continue to use influencer marketing in their campaigns as we see daily. In fact, nearly 68% of US marketers from companies with 100 or more employees will use influencer marketing in 2021, and influencer and other paid content will represent 20% of US agency and marketing professionals' digital ad budgets in 2021, as reported by Business Insider.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this data, however, because influencer marketing can help you achieve your business goals and see great results pretty quickly. Since influencers are already established authorities in their field, they are liked, followed, and trusted by many users. We could argue that some followers even perceive their favorite influencer as an idol and a role model. Therefore, when you collaborate with a respected influencer you get the chance to communicate with a very dedicated and responsive audience. Furthermore, through influencer marketing, you are able to reach an audience that is already interested in what you offer (just don’t forget to collaborate with relevant to your business influencers).

How to choose the right influencers for your campaigns?

Whether you plan to organize a giveaway, broadcast a live video stream, grant access to your social media account for a one-day takeover, or simply publish a single post that promotes your business, choosing the most suitable influencer/s for your campaign should be your highest priority when it comes to influencer marketing. There are several key points you need to consider when making this decision:

  1. The platform on which the influencer is active: If most of your customers are active Facebook users, choosing an influencer that only uses TikTok is not going to be the wisest decision you could make. That is why it’s important to research your customers’ social media behavior and settle on a platform (and influencer who’s active on it) that is often used by your target audience.
  2. The type of influencer based on his/her following: If you have a huge budget on your hands and your campaign’s goal is to spread awareness, then mega- and macro-influencers might be the best option for you. However, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money and your campaign targets hyper-niched audiences then nano- and micro-influences will do. It all depends on the goal of your campaign, your target audience, and your budget.
  3. The expertise of the influencer: Your campaign’s message should correspond to the original content the influencer usually creates. So, for example, if your campaign promotes real leather clothing, it might not be wise to contact influencers who are outspoken animal rights defenders.
  4. The demographics of the influencer’s audience: Think about whether this influencer’s followers resemble your target audience or your buyer persona. You have to be sure that the people who will hear your message are also interested in your products. Therefore it’s crucial to choose an influencer who is directing his/her messages towards a similar audience to yours.
  5. The influencer’s authenticity: You need to be sure that the follower base of your chosen influencer is authentic. As you may know, there are all sorts of platforms that offer paid followers or paid engagement and some influencers take advantage of those deals. This means that even if a given influencer has a lot of followers, their audience is composed of people who aren’t interested in the influencer’s content. And you definitely don’t want to spend money on collaborating with someone who is communicating with an uninterested audience. You can easily check if there are any drastic changes in a given influencer’s follower base by visiting socialblade.com. In case there are, it’s almost certain that the particular influencer went on a follower shopping spree recently. Additionally, through Social Blade, you can also see the engagement rate of your chosen influencer. It’s not a good idea to collaborate with influencers who have an engagement rate of less than 5%. (NB! Don’t be tempted to buy some fake followers yourself! It can actually harm your social media presence more than it could boost it, trusts us!)
  6. The reputation of the influencer: Don’t collaborate with influencers who are not well-liked amongst social media users, who have participated in public scandals, or who spread rumors about other recognizable people on the internet. After all, your brand name will be associated with this person. That is why you want to choose someone who is competent, polite, and avoids drama.

Influencer Marketing Tip: A very important aspect that you must consider is whether you want to create a B2B (business-to-business) or a B2C (business-to-consumer) campaign. While your B2C campaigns could be light, fun, and entertaining, you must take a slightly different approach when it comes to B2B influencer marketing campaigns. You should still aim to have creative content, but it’s important to choose an influencer who can target audiences with deep industry knowledge and who can communicate freely with corporate buyers. Additionally, when it comes to B2B influencer marketing, you need to carefully consider your campaign platform. For example, it will be easier for you to find and collaborate with thought industry leaders on LinkedIn than on Instagram or TikTok.

If you are still not sure what influencer marketing is, or how to choose the right influencer to collaborate with, you are more than welcome to contact us for a free consultation. As a digital marketing agency, Markception empowers businesses to grow in the digital. We’ll be glad to assist you with any marketing struggle you may have - from planning, through implementation, to analyzing.


Top 5 Copywriting Formulas: Your Cheat Sheet For Great Content Structure

If you’re something like me then you probably bear a grudge against math and everything related to it. Unfortunately, those of us who tried to run away from the nasty fractions and the terrifying square roots and sought shelter in the art of copywriting, are now met with yet another set of formulas. Worry not, however, as copywriting formulas have nothing to do with math. Instead, they focus on making a copywriter’s life easier and more productive as well. To see how copywriting formulas can help you, you need to first understand one of the main, essential “rules” of writing and content creation as a whole: Structuring your message so that it’s specifically tailored to answer your target audience’s problems and concerns is the key to a great copy.

The fact that different audiences and occasions require different copywriting approaches and messages shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s easy to understand how the same message cannot be used to sell a pen both to a schoolchild and to a businessman. When talking to diverse audiences composed of people with different interests and demographics you need to always target your writing accordingly, even if you’re selling the same product or discussing the same topic with everyone. This means that you will need to write as many messages as the number of audiences you target. When you need to present a given product in a couple of different ways, it’s easy to run out of creative ideas. And here’s where copywriting formulas come in handy. They help you have a structured approach and to use them means to never start your texts from scratch again. We don’t all have to invent the wheel, do we? The easiest way to visually imagine the function of copywriting formulas is to see them as frames that hold your text and order it in a way that boosts the power and influence of your words making your copies more compelling.

Most Successful Copywriting Formulas

In essence, copywriting formulas heavily rely on psychological triggers and human perceptions. They are carefully thought-out patterns, which have proved their success over the years. You can use copywriting formulas in your titles, blog posts, ad copies, web copies, email subject lines and body, and anywhere else you find fit. It would be hard to go wrong with them, especially because they were designed to be simple, easy to memorize, and comprehensible.

An important aspect that you need to take into account, however, is the fact that you must have an extremely good understanding of your audience’s needs, interests, demographics, and other details to use the copywriting formulas successfully. Therefore it’s best if you create a buyer persona for your business ahead of time. As Stephen Zoeller shares, 90% of companies that use buyer personas have been able to create a clearer understanding of their buyers, 82% of companies using personas have created an improved value proposition and 65% of companies that updated their personas within the last 6 months exceeded their lead and revenue goals. So obviously, buyer personas are key, but that’s a topic for another post. Now let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most successful copywriting formulas that have become a must-have powerful conversion tool for marketers and content creators alike.

AIDA

Of course, we couldn’t write this article without mentioning the AIDA model! It is probably one of the most popular formulas, which is used by thousands of copywriters and marketers daily. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. If you decide to use this formula, you would have to structure your text around those four key points and help readers feel the respective emotions gradually as they progress through your message. You will need to grab your audience’s attention in the first lines or paragraphs of your text (depending on the intended volume), then you have to sparkle readers’ interest in your product (or the focus of your text), next you should continue persuading your audience until it desires the product you offer, and last you have to encourage the reader to take action (usually through a CTA). Simple as that. Professionals use this model not only for writing captivating copies but also for creating hassle-free sales funnels. Additionally, there are many copywriting formulas, which also follow principles similar to those of the AIDA model, such as ACCA (Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action), IDCA (Interest, Desire, Conviction, Action), AAPPA (Attention, Advantage, Proof, Persuasion, Action), and other.

 

PAS

PAS is another widely popular copywriting formula, but unlike AIDA which aims to persuade the readers into doing something beneficial for themselves, PAS focuses more on the ongoing problems faced by the reader and introduces solutions that can elevate them. The founder of Magnetic Marketing, Dan Kennedy puts it best:

“When you understand that people are more likely to act to avoid pain than to get gain, you’ll understand how powerful this first formula is. It may be the most reliable sales formula ever invented.”

PAS stands for Problem, Agitation, Solution. So if you decide to use it, you should first write a few sentences about your audience’s pain points and problems in connection to your product or business, then you have to agitate your audience by further poking at the problems they might be experiencing and finally, you need to introduce the solution. PADS (Problem, Agitation, Discredit, Solution) is another very similar copywriting model, which adds one more step to the “equation” - Discredit. The goal here is to discredit all other available solutions to the problem, before introducing the ultimate one (your product, of course).

FAB

The FAB copywriting formula is all about presenting the benefits of your product to your audience. The acronym stands for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. To use this formula you need to understand the difference between the features, advantages, and benefits of your product. In the feature section of this formula, you need to talk about the function of your product - what does it do, what does it offer? Then you have to present your product’s advantages - why it is helpful and what problems does it solve? Finally, you have to outline the benefits for your clients - why is your product relevant for the readers, what does it mean to them? If you master the FAB formula, you’ll be able to create short, straight-to-the-point sales pitches, which will boost your conversion rate.

 

The 4 C’s

The 4 C’s is yet another incredibly useful formula and if we have to be honest, you should always strive to incorporate its elements in your content creation. The 4 C’s stands for Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible. Your text should be direct and easy to understand. It should only contain relevant information, so if you can remove something without changing the overall message, by all means, go for it. The goal is to say what you need in the fewest words possible. A mistake that you should avoid, however, is shortening your text too much and missing important points about your product in an attempt to be concise. Additionally, you should strive to create vibrant texts which capture readers’ interest, in other words, your messages should be as compelling as possible. Last, but not least, you must support your claims with evidence. To make your text credible, you can mention how well-known brands or celebrities have trusted your company, or you can include customer testimonials. Other formulas have similar acronyms to the 4 C’s formula, such as 4 P’s (Picture, Promise, Prove, Push) and the 4 U’s (Useful, Urgency, Unique, Ultra-Specific), however, their approach slightly differs.

BAB

Before - After - Bridge (BAB) is another copywriting formula, which focuses on the positive rather than on the negative. It is slightly similar to PAS, however, once you introduce the problem (before) you immediately prompt the reader to imagine a utopian outcome of the given situation (after) and then show them the easy way to accomplish this desired solution (bridge). So instead of agitating the audience, you are showing them that you understand their pain points and that although their situation may seem unfavorable, there is an easy solution for their problems.

Remember: Stories are also a powerful copywriting tool

Once you get used to incorporating copywriting formulas in your everyday content creation, you should try to blend them within unique stories. Although we can’t call it a copywriting formula, storytelling also has its structure and can be just as powerful and influential when it comes to converting. The typical structure of any story usually goes like this: there’s a main character who’s facing a conflict of some sort and then something happens (for example, the character buys one of your products) and the resolution of the problem/conflict is found. Wordstream cited SEO Blogger Rob Powell of the Rob Powell Biz Blog who also supports storytelling as a powerful copywriting tool:

“We’ve been telling each other stories for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s part of our evolution. And that’s why storytelling is so effective as a copywriting technique. In the copy that you use on a landing page, the character could be your customer. The conflict would be the problem that she faces. And the resolution would be your product."

Last but not least, it’s crucial to remember that copywriting formulas are not compulsory nor are they set in stone. If they help you come up with an amazing copy and make your life easier at the same time, by all means, use them all you like. However, they can also kill your creative vibe, especially if you become overly concerned with playing by the “rules” of the particular formula. In that case, your copies will start to sound rather gray and robotic.
If this happens, it will be best for you to find ways to boost your creativity or simply contact us for a free consultation. Markception is a digital marketing agency that fosters business growth and builds strong human relations in the digital world between companies and consumers. We can help you achieve your goals by crafting amazing content for your business. Furthermore, we are here for you if you need assistance with any marketing activity - from social media management to SEO optimization and website creation.


Display Advertising in 2021: Size Мatters (Part 1)

Display advertising has been around for quite some time - 27 years to be exact! That’s right, the story of display ads begins in 1994 when the first banner advertisement was published on the commercial online magazine HotWired (1994–1999). It was a part of the future-predicting “You Will” campaign and it looked like this:

The American telecommunication company AT&T was promoted by a series of ads, which carried the message “You will” and painted a world in which people’s day-to-day life was strongly influenced by the internet and the benefits it offers. Interestingly enough, most of the creatives described our actual reality today. Of course, there were a few inaccuracies, such as the suggestion that payphones will continue to be widely popular and that people could use them for video calls.

While back then banner ads may have been a bit straightforward (and probably should’ve included a photosensitive epilepsy disclaimer warning), now they are not only prettier but also much more popular than before. According to webfx.com the Display Network features more than 2 million websites, targets over 100 countries, and reaches 90% of online consumers.

Basics of Display Ads

As the name suggests display ads are visual advertisements, which usually contain pictures, videos, GIFs, logos, and some text in the form of a slogan, a key campaign message, and/or a CTA. If you want to run display ads to promote your business, then you need to sign up on a platform, which serves as a distributor of your creatives. You probably know many online platforms offer the possibility of display advertising including Google (the most popular one yet), Facebook, Yahoo, mMedia, and others. If you’re wondering which one to choose, check out our article, which compares the two most popular of them - Facebook and Google.

Once you create your ads (according to your chosen platform’s requirements), they will be placed on relevant third-party websites. According to Search Engine Watch, there are three main categories of display ads in terms of their placement.

  • Site Placement Advertising: an approach in which the advertiser chooses the websites on which their ad is going to be displayed
  • Contextual Advertising: when the platform you work with (Google, for example) places your ads on websites with similar content thus increasing their relevancy. For example, if you advertise kitchen utilities, your ads will be displayed on a website about cooking.
  • Remarketing Advertising: in this case, your ads will be displayed to users who have already visited your website. Once they visit other web pages, your ads will be shown to them. This is one reason why marketers love to use cookies because it allows us to segment and target users based on their actions on the web.

So now that we made that clear, it’s time to look at some of the most popular sizes for display ads today.

Popular Display Ads Sizes in 2021

No matter which platform you decide to advertise on, you should first and foremost map out your ad ideas and create great pieces of content to show to the world. Many elements need your attention when designing a good display ad banner. You have to think about the size, the background color (or image), the main product visualization, the headline, the subtext, the CTA, and last but not least, the landing page (where your ads are going to lead to). In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the most popular size options for your banner ads. We will examine the essential practices connected to them, which will improve your campaigns in 2021.

There are quite a few options for the size of your banner ads. Additionally, the size also determines the possible positions of your ad on a given page. This goes both for desktop and mobile display ads. There is a simple reason for that. Website owners have the right to choose where on their pages they want to display ads. For example, if you have a blog and you want to monetize it, you can sign up for Google AdSense and select the exact spots on your pages where you think it’ll be most appropriate for ads to show. Let’s say you want ads to be displayed only on the right side of your content, or maybe you think people will be more likely to click on them if they were near the footer section of your blog. It’s important to note that even if you create an amazing banner ad, it's going to be displayed only on the websites with relevant content and on those who have the specific size option available.

Desktop Ad Size Cheat Sheet

According to a survey executed by Match2One, which examines data from 4.8 billion ad impressions on millions of sites, marketers are mostly using 4 main banner sizes for all of their campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ad sizes for desktop devices:

Medium Rectangle

The size for medium rectangle banners is 300x250px. Match2One’s survey shows that 40% of the impressions used this size. It is widely used and can be placed both in the top or bottom sections of the screen and inside the article itself. The visibility of this banner is great because it’s big enough to be able to showcase your creatives, but also discrete enough to not be annoying for the users. The medium rectangle is so popular that Google even created a specific set of requirements for this format. Additionally, it works great on mobile devices as well, so you really cannot go wrong with this one.

Leaderboard

The second most common banner used in the display network is the Leaderboard format. According to spiralytics.com, its ad impression share on the GDN (Google Display Network) is 32%. Although it can be displayed at the bottom of a page, the Leaderboard is usually placed in the header section of a webpage and looks like a horizontal stripe, which is 728 px in length and 90 px in height. Keep in mind that banners, which are located in the top part of a website are generally more successful than those shown near the footer section, simply because not everyone will scroll down. As well as with the medium rectangle, you can use both visuals and text with this format. The leaderboard is a part of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB), standardized guidelines on banner sizes, which work on all advertising networks, including but not limited to GDN.

The Large Leaderboard (970x90) and the Billboard (970x250) are very similar to the Leaderboard ad format because they are also horizontal banner ads. However, you can see that they are bigger, which accounts for better visibility and more options for ad creative (larger images, CTA’s, and copies). That being said, they are not as popular amongst advertisers. As Match2One’s survey shows, the Large Leaderboard and the Billboard account for respectively 5% and 1% of the impressions.

Wide Skyscraper

The third most popular size for a display ad in 2021 is the Wide Skyscraper standing at 160x600px. It is usually positioned somewhere in the sidebar of a page and looks like a vertical strip. About 12% of all impressions looked at during Match2One’s survey belonged to this format. Therefore, if you are still unsure of what sizes your display ads should be, consider using this format.

The Half Page is a similar vertical ad size, however, it is much wider than the Wide Skyscraper. It takes up 300x600px of the page and is also used in the sidebar section of websites. The Half page is spacious enough, so you can get creative with your ad design.

Bottom Line

If there is one thing you should remember from this article it is that there are some display ad formats that work better than others. The reason for that lies in the available supply of display ad space for certain sizes - some websites simply do not want to enable certain ad placements and sizes. Therefore, if ever in doubt, you should always create your ads in the most popular ad sizes. For 2021, they are:

  • Medium Rectangle - 300×250px
  • Mobile Leaderboard - 320×50px (note: we’ll explain more about mobile display ad formats in our next article on the topic, pinky promise)
  • Leaderboard Banner - 728×90px
  • Wide Skyscraper - 160×600px

The display advertising world is huge. We understand that our list may seem overwhelming for some of you, but we have only talked about less than a third of all available ad formats out there. Additionally, this article only covers the desktop options, so stay tuned for Display Advertising in 2021: Size Matters (Part 2) where we’ll talk about mobile ad sizes and best practices.

In the meantime don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us if you need help with your advertising campaigns. Markception can take care of every aspect of your marketing strategy. Let us be a part of your digital journey, get in touch now.


How to Create a Marketing Funnel? (part 1)

Imagine that you are going to the store and the cashier says: “Hey, we have discounted gums, would you like to buy some?” - you’ve never heard of the brand, so of course not. Even if you are not a marketer, you will probably agree that most people will not be willing to purchase a given product (or service) if they have limited information about it or are not familiar with the company which offers it. And this is completely normal. The same applies to the online world as well. 

Capturing users’ interest and taking them through every step of the way until they are ready to purchase from you, should be your primary focus. This process is known as marketing funnels (a.k.a sales funnels) and they could often combine both online and offline advertising methods.

What are marketing funnels?

In a nutshell, a marketing funnel is the process, through which marketers (or business owners) convert prospects (potential customers) by persuading them into doing a particular action. This approach allows you to break down the customer’s journey and provide relevant information to your target audience at each stage of the decision-making process. Talking about stages, marketing funnels usually consist of multiple layers, each of them bringing the customer closer to the end of the funnel. Or in other words - to completing the main goal.

As the name suggests, you could imagine all of those layers arranged in the form of a funnel or an inverted pyramid. Your audience enters the funnel at its widest (top) part, goes through the middle of the funnel, and exits at its bottom part. So in this sense, the three main stages of a marketing funnel are awareness, consideration, and conversion (decision):

You need to keep in mind that not all of the users who enter it will actually follow through the whole journey and exit the funnel (by completing the action you want them to). However, good campaigns, attention-grabbing visuals, and enticing copies at each stage of the funnel can help you retain the bigger part of your initial audience.

TOFU, MOFU, BOFU

These abbreviations might sound weird to you and you may even think they are referring to vegan cheese but they actually stand for “top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel” if you’ve paid attention to the image above. They are the foundation that every salesman should consider when offering a product or service.

TOFU

Nowadays, people have access to lots of information - both online and offline. This makes selling much harder than it used to be 2 decades ago, as users often want to make informed decisions. 

TOFU is the awareness stage where you have the widest audience. Here you don’t know anything about it, but you are trying to attract people who have a specific problem (or might have but don’t know about it yet). Because of this, the stage should rely on content that is purely educational without necessarily mentioning your business. You want to help your target audience so that they see in you an information source. Address the pain points they potentially have but don’t pitch any sales ideas, as they are simply not ready.

Some content tips at this stage :

  • Infographics are a really easy way of a visual representation of numbers, graphics, charts, etc. with little to no text that give a general overview of the pain point you are addressing.
  • Videos - keep them short and straight to the point. Talk about the problem, not the solution. Let your audience see itself in it.
  • Blog posts - if you have a website, consider setting up a blog. Share your knowledge and expertise. Start with a general topic covering a specific problem that simply aims to educate. If you are not sure what this means, check out our: 6 free tools for managing your marketing channels. The problem we wanted to solve was that there are numerous tools in the online world. However, often people need only a handful of them to conduct their everyday activities.

MOFU

MOFU is the consideration stage where people have already found out they had a problem. Now they are searching for a solution and are actively investigating different options. By far, this is probably the most critical point of the funnel because you need to convince your potential customers why you are the right choice. At this stage you have excluded the people who don’t share the same problems, so you can start mentioning your products or services as a solution to the needs of those who continue the journey. However, be careful what content you decide to choose. Continue keeping it educational and slightly promotional.

Some content tips at this stage:

  • Comparisons - clearly presenting the pros and cons of different solutions could turn out to be a great weapon. Be sure not to talk about other competitors and their products or services, but rather what are the unique features of your own and what makes it better than others. For example, we have a great blog post that compares hiring an in-house marketer or a digital agency for conducting marketing activities. And our goal was not to ultimately “sell ourselves” but to describe what you get if you choose one of the options or the other. Sometimes people could be missing important aspects when making a decision, so we wanted to help with that. 
  • Guides (how-to content) - well, what you are reading right now is actually a guide on how to create a marketing funnel. Does it work so far? 
  • Templates and checklists - give something (for free) in order to get something in return, especially if your content is good, you can be sure people will come back to you.

BOFU

Right. So we finally got to the bottom. This is the decision stage where people are ready to buy. After they’ve done their research at the second stage and compared several other options, some decided that your offer is the best on the market, others not (but they can still consider you if by any chance they are disappointed by their first choice). Here you have a highly targeted, narrow audience that is willing to give you a chance. 

The content you choose should now focus on the product benefits and features, how it works and what it does in order to solve your clients’ problems.

Some content tips at this stage:

  • Videos - unlike the videos we mentioned during the first stage, now we can create longer ones, explaining all about the product’s characteristics and demonstrating how it works. Just like those “unboxing” videos on YouTube. If it’s a service that you offer, various tutorials, tips and tricks will work.
  • Free trials and demos - and still the clients will not be fully convinced and ready for a commitment if they haven’t tried the product or service. To make it even more exclusive, you can give them 30 days to try out, instead of the regular 14 listed on your website. After all, they’ve made the effort to go through the whole journey.

The after purchase experience 

It’s better if you have 100 customers paying every month than 1000 who only come to you once.

Acquiring new clients is great, but as you see the process is long and time-consuming, and there is a really big chance that you’ll end up with very few leads. Instead, do not forget about the people who you managed to convert. If you try to sell them something else, it will be much faster and easier to do so. Because of that, make them feel appreciated. Give them a discount on their next purchase with you, or a small gift that will make them smile. If by any chance your business requires knowing their date of birth, then send them a happy birthday SMS or an email. Ask them what is their opinion on your products or services, what could possibly improve. You might be surprised by their feedback - you could hear things you have never ever thought about.

Retention is the key to the success of any business.

If your returning customers are happy, they are likely to recommend you to others. And we all know how word-of-mouth works. 

Depending on the size of your audience, your industry, budget, and resources, your marketing funnel can also be very long and extensive. It could combine different channels for every step of the way such as Blog, Facebook, Google, Email, SMS, printed materials. If you require a multi-channel approach, then your target audience will be highly segmented and the funnel will probably turn into a huge customer journey map.

But because we want to keep things simple for now, our next article will focus on How to create a marketing funnel using Facebook as that is still the biggest social media network and pretty much every brand should have a page there. What are the types of ads you can use on Facebook and how to incorporate them into a funnel, stay tuned to find out. Until then, do not hesitate to contact us if you need some help or a free consultation because here at Markception we just love talking to people.


10 Easy Ways To Grow Your Email Marketing List In No Time

When it comes to marketing, we can safely say that delivering the right messages to the right audiences is the key to success. As you might know, there are dozens of online platforms and tools through which you can achieve that. One of the most influential content distribution channels, which encompasses a potential audience of more than 4 billion users, is email. The secret to a successful email marketing strategy, however, lies in your ability to target the people, who will be most interested in the products or services you offer and to persuade them to subscribe to your newsletter so you can continue to conduct business with them.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, email marketing is the most effective way of nurturing leads and 31% of businesses cite newsletters as their highest-performing tactic in this area. So if you want to achieve your business goals, we strongly advise you to include essential email marketing practices in your strategy. If you don’t know how you can achieve that, don’t worry, Markception as a digital marketing agency has your back. After we’ve introduced the basics of high-quality newsletters, now we’ll be focusing on the most effective practices through which you can grow your email list and easily attract the right audience in no time.

Why do you need to grow your email marketing list?

First of all, let us explain what an email marketing list is. This is simply a database or a collection of email addresses, which businesses acquire through lead-generation campaigns. The main goal of such campaigns is to engage with potential customers by introducing relevant content in exchange for their email addresses (or any other personal information about the particular user). Once the potential customer (or the lead) has given you their email address, you should ask for their consent to receive regular emails from you, or in other words to subscribe to your newsletter.

Image source: https://lindsayletters.co/

No matter if you’re just starting, or if you’ve been sending newsletters to your customers for years, one of the essential email marketing practices, which you should be implementing is to constantly acquire new subscribers. As HubSpot shares, your email marketing database is degrading by 22.5% each year. This is because subscribers change their jobs, thus also changing their email addresses. Additionally, there are always people who use the unsubscribe link in your emails and willingly cut off your communication with them. Either way, if you simply let those events unfold and do nothing about it, your email marketing efforts will be in vain. You might be creating amazing content, however, if you’re directing it towards an uninterested and tired audience, the results won’t be satisfying at the very least.

Therefore, the importance of fresh newsletter subscribers becomes apparent. You need to be working towards acquiring more contacts in your email marketing list constantly. Keep reading to find out how!

Growing Your Email Marketing List

There are many platforms and communication channels, which can help you grow your email marketing list. These include email, social media, your website, the websites or social accounts of your partners, and more. Additionally, you can also use traditional marketing and prompt the visitors of your physical shop to sign up for your newsletters. So let’s start exploring how you can utilize those and see the numbers grow.

1. Create a sign-up form on your company’s website

A great trick that can help grow your email marketing list is to enable users to register on your website. Include a registration form, which requires information such as email address, name, age, and other relevant data from which your business can benefit. Furthermore, you can create specific pages, which cannot be accessed by non-registered users, such as checkout pages, exclusive blog content, pages that provide tailored experiences to users, etc. That way, users who are truly interested in your products and services and who want to access all of the information on your website will willingly sign-up and subscribe to your newsletter. Therefore, you will be creating a list of people, who are very likely to purchase your products.

Image source: https://klymit.com/

2. Create popups on your website

Yes, we totally agree that by doing this you risk annoying users. All of us have been in a situation when we want to get something done or simply learn something new, but we’re constantly distracted by nerve-wracking pop-ups. However, we have to honestly admit that some of those bright-colored banners are actually relevant and sometimes useful. No wonder why marketers use pop-up banners constantly - it’s because this proven method works! We are not suggesting that you need to create 20 pop-ups and spam users with them constantly (you will only scare them away by doing this), but one well-designed, thought-out pop-up might do wonders. Don’t forget to think about the most appropriate moment to display the banner, for example, it could pop up only when the user has read (or scrolled through) at least 50% of your content on a given page.

3. Enable a commenting section on your blog

Another smart method through which you can grow your email marketing list is to enable a commenting or feedback section under each of your blog posts. Users like to give feedback and to be able to express their opinion, especially if they are interested in the topic of conversation. Therefore, by empowering them to do so, you will not only increase their satisfaction from engaging with your brand, but also gain valuable information about them (their email addresses).

 

Image source: https://www.cardpaymentoptions.com/

4. Add subscription links to your employees’ email signatures

In that way, each email communication may result in a new subscriber to your newsletter. This method is especially useful for companies with a lot of employees. It is very simple as well. All you need to do is create a landing page, containing a subscription form, and include a CTA with a link to it in your staff’s email signatures. So if your team consists of 5 people, with each of them communicating (via email) with at least 5 other businesses or clients in a given working day, you have the chance of gaining 25 new subscribers per day. How amazing is that!

5. Add CTAs on your company’s social media pages

Social media is a great tool for driving traffic to your website, building awareness about your brand, and engaging with your audience. While there are some rules, which you need to follow and some mistakes, which you should try to avoid, for the most part, social platforms are not too hard to master. Therefore, one of the easiest ways, in which you could persuade users to subscribe to your newsletter, is to include CTAs on social media. Many of the popular platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, allow you to have one main CTA button on your company’s page. It’s a good idea to create a landing page with your email subscription form and link it to the CTA button on your social media. Furthermore, you can plan a post or two about this landing page, when you are creating your social media posting schedule, and share the link to it in your newsfeed. Just keep in mind that you also want to provide relevant quality content to your followers and not just over-spam them with action requests (such as asking them to be included in your email marketing list).

6. Offer freebies

Probably one of the most common, yet effective ways, in which you can grow your marketing list is by offering free products (such as eBooks, whitepapers, guides, and more) to your audience. This approach is known as a “gated offer”. The name comes from the fact that users will have the opportunity to access those materials, but to do so, they will need to enter their email addresses first. You can create a landing page and upload the freebie there. Then share the link to it on your company’s social media accounts, run ads, or post a CTA leading to it on your website. Keep in mind that the free content you provide needs to be somewhat connected to your niche or the industry your business operates in. This is crucial because otherwise, you might attract subscribers, who are not interested in your products. If they are not interested in your products chances are they are not going to buy them. Your freebies could include survey data, industry reports, insights, which may be of interest to your target audience, infographics, and other valuable data.

Image source: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

7. Organize a giveaway

You probably know how the cliche goes: to receive, you must also give. This is very true when it comes to growing your email marketing list. If you want to see more people subscribing to your newsletter fast, you could organize a giveaway and request that participants provide you with their email addresses to enter the game. Again, it’s important to choose a prize, which is connected to your business or the goods and services you offer (it could even be one of your products or a voucher for a free service). For example, if your company sells toys, you may want to create a giveaway, in which the participants win a trip to Disneyland for the whole family. Don’t forget that your copy and visuals should correspond to your target audience’s interests. In the case of our example, you could include images of the most iconic Disney characters - Mickey Mouse, Donald the Duck, and others. It’s a good idea to build anticipation and excitement in your audience and to create a sense of urgency by including phrases like “enter today, the giveaway ends in 24 hours”. Keep in mind that this approach may not be appropriate for companies, which conduct business with other companies (or in other words for B2B marketing). However, if you sell products to consumers directly (B2C - business-to-consumer) a well-thought-out giveaway can do wonders and help you grow your email marketing list in no time.

8. Host an online webinar

You can build your email list by hosting an online webinar (or any other online event of your choice). Use your company’s social media channels, your website, and a dedicated landing page as means for popularising your event. Create ads, posts, as well as blog articles, which talk about your online event, build excitement in your target audience, and invite interested consumers to save the date. Don’t forget to request users’ email addresses, so that they can register for participation in the event and receive additional working sheets and documents connected to it. Once more, make sure that the topic of the webinar corresponds to your products or services. So if you are selling flower seeds, for example, create a webinar, which talks about gardening. This approach is amazing because it can do wonders both for B2B and B2C businesses.

9. Have amazing newsletters

Imagine this: While going through the boredom that is your inbox, you suddenly come across an email from the cleaning company, which takes care of the tidiness of your home. You are amazed by how nicely this email is done. It has creative visuals, funny copy, and (most importantly) relevant information on how you can easily clean your oven and get rid of grease stains on your carpet. You’ve liked this email so much and found it useful, that you decide to click the “share” button and send it to your friends and family. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, chances are it will. Well-done newsletters are a powerful tool for growing your email marketing list, especially if you include CTAs, which prompt your current subscribers to share it with others. Therefore, even if you are not putting any other efforts towards expanding your email list, your hard work may bring you more leads naturally. Spend some time thinking about your design and your copy. Make sure that they correspond to your target audience and that they offer useful information, which can contribute to solving your audience’s problems. The goal here is to pay attention to the details and create enticing newsletters so that your current subscribers would want to share them with other people. Keep in mind that this approach alone may not bring the desired results. That is why it’s best if you combine it with other methods.

10. Partner up with influencers

Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for achieving your marketing goals. The reason for that lies in the fact that mouth-to-mouth marketing (when someone you trust recommends something to you) always works and is considered the ultimate conversion tool. This approach works best for B2C businesses, which offer products directly to consumers, rather than for B2B (business-to-business model). Since influencers (especially micro-influencers) usually engage with their audiences and show authenticity, we could argue that their followers perceive them as friends and trust their judgment. Therefore, partnering up with an appropriate influencer and promoting your email newsletter both through your company’s and through the influencers’ communication channels could turn out to be very beneficial.

Need more email marketing tips?

As with any other marketing activity, it’s best if you have a comprehensive understanding of the features and peculiarities of this communication channel before you jump straight to creating your strategy. This is especially true for email marketing because you and your business can get into serious legal trouble if you accidentally (or not) violate GDPR. Our advice is to stay away from websites, promising you hundreds of new subscribers within minutes, because this often means “purchased subscriber lists”. Buying emails, rather than gaining them, can result in a damaged reputation, penalties, and audience, which has no idea who you are and what you are offering (therefore is not willing to spend money on a product offered by a completely unfamiliar brand).

That is why we believe it’s best if you outsource your marketing strategy to experienced professionals. Markception, as a digital marketing agency, is result-driven. This means that you will know exactly what you get out of your agreement with us. At the end of the day, we will analyze the performance of your campaigns. Then we will create a report and will often visualize the results, explaining to you what worked well and what not so much. Furthermore, we will calculate your ROI (return on investment) and give suggestions on what could be changed in order to obtain higher rates during the following campaigns. We are not simply marketing experts, we are your partners! Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.


LinkedIn for Business - A Beginner’s Guide (part 1)

LinkedIn for business allows you to reach other brands, entrepreneurs, professionals and soon freelancers with whom you can build a meaningful network and credibility as well as gain valuable insights about your industry. Read more


What is UX and why is it important to your sales?

Chances are, you’re probably familiar with the term UX or User Experience, however, how well you know what it means for your business’s success, is another question. Maybe you are aware that a well-designed UX for your online store can significantly improve your conversion rates, sales volumes, and profit. Not to mention that it will also boost your customer retention and brand awareness. Since users tend to share their good experiences with others, your clients will probably recommend your website to their friends and family if they had an enjoyable experience with it. Furthermore, according to intechnic.com, on average, every $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return. This means that the return on investment adds up to the incredible 9,900%. So if you’ve never thought about improving your UX design, we suggest you do now.

What is UX?

The term itself was invented by Donald Norman in 1995, who became the first person to work under the title “UX Architect”. The cognitive scientist, who joined Apple in the early 90s says:

“I invented the term because I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with a system, including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.”

Therefore, UX has to do not only with a given product’s usability, effectiveness, and visual appearance but also with other aspects of user experience, such as pleasure, efficiency, and satisfaction. It’s not easy to define what a good UX design means, however, it is generally one, which meets particular users’ needs and expectations in the context of your business, its products, and its goals.

When thinking about your website’s UX design, you need to determine why your clients want to acquire your products, what can they do with the items you offer, as well as how can you design your products (and your business’s website) so that they are optimized in terms of functionality, accessibility, and aesthetics. It’s important to differentiate UI from UX.

  • UI stands for user interface and refers to the appearance of your product’s interface and its physical characteristics. So, when talking about your online store, the UI will stand for the number of pages on it, as well as their background color, images, design, the readability of your content, and the convenience of your navigational menu.

  • UX, on the other hand, is about the way your clients interact with your user interface and the quality of their experience while doing so. For example, are they able to find the product they were looking for on your website, and how difficult it was for them, were they happy or irritated after they left your online store?

In other words, UX design should be a part of each step of the user’s journey, and most importantly it has to be user-centered. Therefore, all of your design and development efforts need to be done with the user’s needs in mind.

Main elements of UX design

As we already mentioned, there isn’t a set and stone formula for creating an enticing UX design. That being said, there are some elements, which are of most importance for creating a better experience for your clients. Read on to find out which are they.

Information architecture

Information architecture, or IA in short, is connected to the processes of organizing, structuring, and labeling content so that it is easily understandable and/or navigable. Said plainly, it is simply a practice through which you can help the users find the information they need and do certain tasks on your website. Therefore, to construct a good IA, you need to have an understanding of how all of the small pieces of content paint the big picture that is your website and how you can make them work together as one big engine.

There are four main components of IA:

  • Organization Structures: The way your content and information is categorized
  • Labeling System: The way you name and represent the categories
  • Navigation Systems: The way your audience browses or moves through information
  • Search Systems: How users look for information

When creating an information architecture, you need to first and foremost think about your target audience, your content, and the context in which you are communicating your message. Try to pinpoint your target audience’s needs and intents connected to your business. Make sure to provide clear and relevant texts, images, and designs, which should blend and work in unison to engage your clients in every step of their journey.

Interaction design

The most important aspect that you need to think about when it comes to interaction design is how users and technology communicate with each other. If you have that knowledge, then you can easily create engaging interfaces, which are based on your audience’s behavior and aim to elevate any hardships or problems there might be. For example, if you know that your audience needs to copy a certain text and paste it into another box, to proceed with placing an order, you may add a ‘copy’ button, instead of forcing the user to either enter the information twice or use the shortcuts “C+Ctrl” “V+Ctrl”.

Interaction design should make it easy, intuitive, and simple for your audience to engage with your webpage. Pay attention to your wording and try to include CTA’s, which are big enough, so that the user can click on them. They need to contain easy-to-understand text, which provokes action. Additionally, you can Implement the usage of images, icons, and symbols, which are communicating your message in an obvious way, so that the user knows exactly what they can expect to happen. It’s important to follow the same guidelines and be consistent with your interaction design on all communication platforms that your business uses. Think mobile-first when you create your interaction design! Mobile rules the world in 2021, so you should always test and see how your designs perform on different brands of smartphones and tablets Furthermore, it’s a good idea to also perform tests on diverse browsers, because your designs may look differently when accessed through them. Last, but not least, make sure to optimize the speed of your website. As usability.gov shares, responsiveness can be characterized at four levels: immediate (less than 0.1 seconds), stammer (0.1-1 second), interruption (1-10 seconds), and disruption (more than 10 seconds).

Usability enabling design

When it comes to UX, one of the most important tasks is to make your webpage easily usable. Therefore, you need to think about effectiveness, satisfaction, and efficiency when creating your design. This means that you have to enable your audience to complete their desired action (order a product, read a blog post, etc.) without creating any confusion along the way. As the cliche goes:

“A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good”

Therefore, you might find the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!) design principle useful. Its main motive is to make a design so simple, that even a child can understand it. Try to avoid the overuse of overly complicated images or unclear CTA buttons.

Visually appealing design

Of course, visual design is one of the most important aspects of UX, because it is what creates users’ first impressions of your website and we all acknowledge the great importance of that. This is where you create a true emotion in your target audience and it’s also the factor, which draws the line between good UX and great UX. You can unleash your creativity and play with different layouts, images, graphics, and colors. You just need to follow your brand’s style and be consistent with your designs. Keep in mind that when it comes to UX, less is often more. As Joe Sparano said:

“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent”

User Research

Тo provide a seamless experience to your users, you need to have a complete understanding of the most common problems which your target audience faces when using your website. Therefore, you need to regularly research and examine users’ behavior. You can do that by listening/reading what your target audience thinks or does (attitudinal approach), or you can monitor the users and see how they interact with your webpage (behavioral approach). Generally speaking, there are two main types of research:

  • Qualitative – Use this method when you need to understand why users do what they do when interacting with your website. Why do they click on a given button, why do they spend more time on some pages of your website and ignore others, etc. You can use diverse research methods to gather qualitative data such as interviews, ethnographic field studies, focus groups, and others. Keep in mind that this type of research will mostly result in gathering non-numerical data, such as personal opinions. Therefore, you need to acknowledge the possibility of your own opinion getting in the way, which may lead to biased reports.

  • Quantitative – Use this when you need to understand what users do when interacting with your website. In that way, you can understand the behavioral patterns of your target audience. Quantitative research methods such as surveys, polls, questionnaires, are structured and provide measurable data. The bigger your research segment is, the more reliable the data is going to be. And since this approach results in numerical data, it is less likely that the outcome will be influenced by your own opinion.

If you use all of the above-mentioned research methods (attitudinal, behavioral, qualitative, quantitative), you will get a complete understanding of your UX problems (and strong sides). Therefore, you will have the power to implement changes and improvements.

Need some help with your UX?

This is nearly the end of our article, thank you for making it so far! We hope you now have a better understanding of UX. However, keep in mind that there is so much more to UX than we were able to share in this article, but the points covered here are truly the essentials. Therefore, if you want to have a successful online store, with a good UX design, then you need to think about implementing them.

Although creating a good UX design for your business’s website doesn’t sound too easy, it’s still harder than you might think. Furthermore, any experiments and poorly done UX optimizations can hinder your business and you may lose valuable leads. Consequently, we advise you not to DIY your UX design, especially if you have no experience in that field. Give us a call, instead! Markception is always ready to help. We believe in creativity and personalized customer experiences. Contact us for a free consultation now.


6 FREE Tools for Managing Your Marketing Channels

It’s been a long time since just sharing an update to your status on Facebook was enough. With the development of the different social media channels and the increasing competition between businesses, the need for doing things differently has also changed. Read more


More Than 10 Reasons Why You Need SEO for Your Business

If you’re a business owner, there’s a big chance you’ve heard the term SEO. Do you really know what it means, however is a completely different question. The truth is that SEO can immensely improve your business’s performance in the digital world. Therefore, it’s definitely something, which you should be including in your marketing strategy. If you feel confused as to what exactly does that mean and how you can use it to grow your business digitally, worry not because we’re here to let you in on the most important details about SEO. Keep reading to find out how your business can benefit from search engine optimization.

What is SEO?

We already gave you a clue but SEO actually stands for Search Engine Optimization. We know that things may not be completely clear, so let us explain. Through good SEO practices you can significantly increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. Furthermore, SEO improves the exposure of your brand, when it comes to organic (non-paid) search engine results. This means that your website’s overall searchability and visibility are strongly influenced by SEO. Thus it is a crucial tool when it comes to online businesses in 2021, which according to the latest trends are most of the businesses out there. So if you haven’t thought about optimizing your website for the search engines on the web, you should definitely keep reading to find out what are some of the benefits you’ve been missing out on.

How Does It Work?

In order to understand how SEO works, you need to first comprehend what search engines are. One of the biggest search engines (SE), which you probably already use on a daily basis, is Google. However, there are other similar platforms on the web, such as: Yahoo, Bing and even YouTube (for visual content). The main function of SE is to answer users queries. Google doesn’t share official data about it, however according to kenshoo.com, the web giant processes more than 5.6 billion inquiries per day.

In order to find the right answers for users’ questions, search engines go through a massive load of data, such as web pages, videos, pictures, documents, PDFs and more and order them in their database. This process is called crawling and indexing. After the platform has looked at all of those sources, it determines which of the files contain useful information for answering your question. Then the files, webpages, videos and other data are displayed in the results page. The tricky part here is the fact that the order in which those results are displayed depends on how well a particular source answers your query. Therefore, sources, which Google (for example) thinks answer your question best, will be displayed first in the results pages. This is referred to as ranking.

So, here’s how this is connected to improving your business presence in the digital: If you understand what questions your customers are asking about your business (the intent of your audiences queries) and which words they use when searching online for it, you can create content and optimize your website so, that Google detects your efforts and adequately connects your audience to the appropriate solution (and if you’ve succeeded with your SEO optimization, that solution would be your website). As moz.com says: “If knowing your audience’s intent is one side of the SEO coin, delivering it in a way search engine crawlers can find and understand it is the other”.

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How can your business benefit from SEO?

There are a number of SEO tools, as well as tricks and tips, through which you could optimize your website for the search engines. With their help, you could not only gain more traffic to your website, but also make it appear on the first search engine results page (often referred to as SERP). This can help you increase your visibility and ultimately broaden your clients list, because as searchenginejournal.com reminds us, organic search is most often the primary source of website traffic. Furthermore, Google accounts for over 75% of all global desktop search traffic and 15% of the daily questions directed at the platform come from new users. This means that your potential audience is rapidly growing and there’s a bigger opportunity for your business to be discovered by the people who need your products or services.

Even though SEO is a truly crucial aspect for business owners, and especially to those with local businesses, mastering your efforts can take time. Moreover, you shouldn’t put your hopes high and expect to see results right away. Keep in mind that sometimes it takes somewhere between 4 to 6 months before you start seeing results. As Forbes says, however, the results that you’ll see in 6 months and those in 12 months after your initial effort will significantly differ. The good news is that the results are long lasting and your SEO efforts will continue to benefit your business for a long time. On the other hand, if you’ve neglected SEO or your optimization isn’t very useful, this can hinder the performance of your website. You should try to avoid such outcomes, because as we already mentioned, it takes time and serious efforts to improve your ranking.

Additionally, there are a number of factors, which determine how good your SEO is. Although high-quality content and link building are the two most important points acknowledged by Google to rank your website for a particular search, the search algorithm uses more than 200 factors when ranking websites. Some of them are connected to the purpose of the page, which you are trying to rank, the amount and quality of the content on it, the overall information about the website and the content creator, the reputation of the website and the content creator, user’s interactions with the page, as well as the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of the source.

Crucial SEO elements for your website

As we already hinted, there are a lot of factors, which Google (and the other search engines) is taking into consideration before it decides where to rank a particular page. Fortunately, there is plenty of information available on the internet when it comes to SEO and although, we don’t know for certain what exactly each of those factors is, we can gain an idea of what some generally good SEO practices are. Furthermore, Google has extensive tutorials and guidelines on how to construct your website and what elements to include, in order to have a better ranking. Therefore, we’ve decided to lay out some of the major and most important SEO steps that you need to implement to your website if you still haven’t.

  • Research keywords and customers’ search intents

As with most marketing strategies and tools, before you start planning and implementing, you need to conduct a research. With SEO you have to understand which keywords are mostly typed in the search engines by your clients when they need information about your brand. You can do this with the help of Google Keyword Planner or through any of the many third party tools available online. Furthermore, you need to understand what is the search intent of your customers when using those words. Generally speaking there are three main types of search intents:

  1. Informational: when a user needs more information on a given matter. For example, “How tall is the tallest animal in the world?”
  2. Navigational: searching for a specific webpage (in this case the user has a website in mind and wants to use the SE for easier access) For example, “NY times”
  3. Transactional: searching with an intent of buying something. For example, “Orchid seeds stores London”

Keep in mind that if you want to rank on the first SERP you need to provide content, which contains the keywords that your clients use when searching for you and is in accordance with your clients’ search intent.

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  • Have good content with clear titles and describe your page contents accurately

Although SEO ranking is important and you should be striving for success, don’t build your webpages primarily for search engines. After all, you want to be helpful to your customers and not deceive them. In order to be able to do that, you need to focus on interesting and well-written content, which corresponds to their search intents and grabs their attention. By doing so, you’ll build credibility and trust in your audience. Regularly take peaks at what your competitors are doing and what content pops up when you type some of the keywords you’re trying to rank for in Google. See what customers’ questions they left unanswered and get to creating the appropriate content.

When deciding what to include on your pages keep in mind that clear and smart titles are always a good choice. Many SEO specialists advise that your chances to rank higher can be increased if you use keywords in your titles. Furthermore, it’s preferable to have extensive meta descriptions with keywords in them on all of your pages. That being said, don’t jam in all of the keywords you can think of. That’s not going to help you not only because you’ll confuse Google’s crawlers (the algorithms that visit pages and index them accordingly), but also because in that way you are going to trick the users into visiting a given topic-related page, which doesn’t actually talk about what they thought it would. Furthermore, according to ahref.com, their study, including 2 million keywords, showed that most of the pages ranking high on Google, don’t have an exact matching keyword. Thus, your overall goal is to have really good content, which is answering your customers’ questions and to have good meta descriptions of your pages. If you can and if it fits go ahead and include appropriate keywords in your titles and descriptions, however, try not to overdo it.

Additionally, you should always include alt text, describing the visuals on your webpage. The goal here is to write little texts describing what can be seen on the pictures and other visual elements on your page. This will not only be useful for people who use a screen reader, but also it can significantly improve your ranking in Google Images (and overall SERP ranking as well). Furthermore, even if your images are slow to load (which is really bad in terms of SEO and UX) your website visitors will have the opportunity to read what they are about to see. Therefore you’re keeping their mind occupied while waiting and you’re providing information as to what you’re going to show them in a minute (let’s hope it’s less than a minute, though). As webmaster trends analyst in Google, John Mueller, tweeted: “Alt text is extremely helpful for Google Images — if you want your images to rank there. Even if you use lazy-loading, you know which image will be loaded, so get that information in there as early as possible & test what it renders as.

  • Use internal and external linking

It’s a very good idea to link high-quality, relevant sources to your content and to internally link your pages to one another. By doing so, you’re increasing your chances of ranking higher. Let us explain: years ago Google’s ranking algorithm favored webpages which had many links on them. Those popped up in the first SERPs because Google thought the more links a given page had, the better its content. Furthermore, as contentharmony.com says: Essentially, links to your websites are popularity votes, and the more votes you get, the more popular you are with Google. However, you need to know that there are better links than others. You should try to link not only to relevant, but also to trustworthy pages, which have authority when it comes to search engines. For example, if you’re writing an article about global warming, try to link NASA’s webpage, rather than some 5 year old article, written on a blog with 4 articles overall. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include diverse links on your webpage. This will increase your trustability and show that your content isn’t biased. Furthermore, pages without good diversity of links can be red flagged by the search engines.

  • Optimize your website for mobile devices and make sure your pages load fast

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that page speed and mobile compatibility play a huge role when it comes to higher ranking and bounce rates. According to statista.com, there’s a promising future for mobile internet usage, as global mobile data traffic is projected to increase nearly sevenfold between 2017 and 2022. Furthermore, the source states that as of April 2019, the global mobile population amounted to 4 billion unique users and in February 2019, mobile devices accounted for 48 percent of web page views worldwide. Since most searches happen on mobile devices (even more so with popular functionalities available for mobile devices such as voice search) we needn’t have to say that you must optimize your website for smartphones and tablets. You can see if your website needs improvements when it comes to mobile compatibility, with the help of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing tool. Once you make sure your clients can effortlessly access your website, no matter the type of their device, you need to optimize the speed of your pages. If you want to stay on top of your competitors you need to have pages, which load in less than a second. Otherwise you’re risking to have a very high bounce rate (which is never good for ranking) and to have lower traffic than your competitors.

  • Analyze and improve your SEO performance

You should always base your actions on data, when it comes to SEO (well this is actually true for most of your marketing tools). You want to constantly keep track of the trends and the new SEO tools so you can include them in your strategy. As we already mentioned, it will take some time before you start seeing results. However, you should regularly keep track of your performance along the way and evaluate what works for you and what doesn’t. Of course in order to know that, you need to have a clear goal in mind. So whether you want to increase traffic to your website, boost your authority, rank higher (could be a combination of the above) or you have any other goal in mind, you need to outline your most important KPIs (key performance indicators) and record them on a weekly or a monthly basis. For this purpose you will greatly benefit from platforms such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Both of them allow you to track the performance of your website and provide a huge array of diverse reports and analytics functions. So don’t forget to use them and improve your performance with their help.

So those are the essentials of SEO and you should definitely implement them if you want to rank high on Google and increase your visibility. Keep in mind, however, that those are just a tiny part of all the possibilities SEO proposes. It’s always a good idea to have a well optimized website with strong UX, because if the users are happy with it, then the search engines are also going to like it. Furthermore, if you create a Google Business profile for your brand, your SEO will significantly benefit from it. This is crucial for small business owners, as it increases engagement and boosts local traffic to your page. Ultimately, it can influence your conversion rates in a very positive manner. Just make sure to follow the best practices when creating your Google Business profile and include high-quality content and visuals in it. Additionally, keep in mind that your SERP ranking depends on your overall website performance and set up, so even if you put all of your efforts in finding the right keywords and topics to write about, you can still end up disappointed because you didn’t complete your goal if your website or online store is not optimized correctly.

Why do you need SEO for your website?

Although you can increase the traffic to your website with marketing tools such as social media, email or other communication platforms, SEO is the best way to achieve this objective, as the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. Furthermore, organic search results appear more trustworthy to internet users around the globe, and therefore receive more attention than the paid search results (achieved through Google AdWords). As HubSpot shares, 36.2% of consumers recognize links that are paid advertisements, but don’t click on them.

Additionally, if you decide to use paid advertising rather than SEO, you need to constantly set a budget and keep paying, so you can see the desired results. With search engines things look a bit different. If you have a great piece of content, which ranks for the right keywords, your traffic may snowball over time and you will see a constant flow of people visiting your website, even if you don’t edit or change anything in regards to this particular content.

Therefore, you want to be on Google’s “nice” list, you want to have authority, to be visible, trustworthy and easily discoverable. If you want to achieve that you need to execute the so-called “White hat SEO”, as opposed to the “Black hat SEO”. The latter is related to specific techniques and tools, which have the goal of fooling, spamming and confusing search engines, in order to provide a better ranking. You should definitely avoid that because it puts websites at a huge risk of being penalized and/or removed from search results (de-indexed). Plus, it has ethical implications. On the other hand, “White hat SEO” means the use of good practices and tools in accordance with search engines requirements and with a goal of providing a quality experience to internet users. In our opinion you should always act in accordance with white hat SEO.

So, if we’ve succeeded in convincing you that your website definitely needs SEO, it’s time to go through your options for optimizing your brand’s performance in the search engines. You can either try to implement some of the abovementioned practices and optimize your website for the search engines yourself, or you could seek help from the professionals. We would strongly advise you to refrain from any experiments you may want to perform, and outsource this task, because as moz.com shares, wrong SEO practices and techniques can actually harm your website more than they will help. Furthermore, good search engine optimization takes time and effort to be achieved. You will need to keep track of the constantly changing trends and try to figure out how the algorithm works, so you can stay on top of your competitors. Additionally, you’ll also have to monitor your competitors’ activity as well, because SEO can involve dynamic processes which require very good knowledge of what others are implementing at the moment. Moreover, because SEO requires a lot of effort, you may find it hard to keep up with all of the tasks, especially if you’ve never done search engine optimization before.

Therefore, we advise you to turn to the professionals. There are growing numbers of digital marketing agencies, which offer SEO services. The trick here is to be careful which one you choose, because as we already mentioned, if the SEO specialist prefers to use black hat SEO or is not particularly good at the job, they can hinder your business more than they will help. Thus, it’s a good idea to research multiple agencies and their services before you settle on the right one for you.

Of course, Markception is always ready to help, should you need our services. Our team consists of skilled professionals with many years of experience working both with international corporations, as well as small businesses. We can work together with you on outlining your business’s goals and coming up with the best solution for your brand. Markception’s team can help you not only with the creation, implementation and analysis of your SEO strategy, but also with all other aspects of your business’s marketing plan. We take pride in guiding businesses on the path towards their digital journey. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Get in touch with us now.