Mobile App Marketing Musts

Mobile apps have become an incredibly important piece of the digital landscape, in fact, custom app development platform, Buildfire, found that 57% of all digital media usage comes from mobile apps. This huge, viable market for apps does present certain challenges; the Apple App Store has 2.2 million apps, and the Google Play Store has a staggering 2.8 million. With this much competition, it’s no wonder less than 0.01% of apps become financially successful. 

Though the stats look bleak, a well-designed app that solves real-world problems can still see extraordinary success. Mobile apps were projected to generate $189 billion in revenue by 2020, and app usage is only going up from here. Of course, to be one of the few apps that climbs the ranks in the app store, it’s important to do some mobile app marketing along the way.



Before diving into mobile app marketing, it’s paramount that you build a timeline with a wide enough period to face any roadblocks that are unfortunately just part of doing business. Creating a financially successful app can require months, if not years, of prep work; the more in-depth research about your target market, your competitors and your users you can compile the better. 

One place to start research is with the competition. Find out everything you possibly can in this department:

  • Look at their timeline (does yours seem plausible in comparison?)
  • How do they make money (and are they actually doing so?)
  • Look at different iterations of your competition’s apps (looking at their mistakes and improvements can help lead you in the right direction)

While combing through data about competing businesses can definitely provide some useful information, the best sources you can find are the competitions’ users themselves. Looking at the comments, ratings and reviews those customers post about your competition is often far more constructive than any statistic. Talk to their users – they can reveal information you may not think to look for:

  • What made them download the competition’s app? (what is the problem they wanted to solve)
  • What are the best and worst features? (how you can improve)
    • What makes it user-friendly/unfriendly?
    • What features do they actually use?
    • Are the in-app advertisements overkill?
  • If they stopped using the app, why?
  • Where did they discover the app and what drove them to download it?

While learning about the competition is important in and of itself, this information could also be quite useful in defining the problem your app can solve. Of course, you probably had a solid idea of what that problem was when you thought of the app, but don’t let that be a limiting factor. The best way to drive a business into the ground is by refusing to adapt. 

User Personas

Knowing what problem your app solves is vital; that’s one reason why user personas, fictional characters that represent your ideal customers based on market research and demographic data, are so valuable. Your user persona will help paint a more clear picture of the people you are marketing to:

  • Who is your ideal customer: Occupation, demographics, personality, hobbies, beliefs, etc.
  • The problems and needs of your customers: What annoys them, what wastes their time, what are they settling with that you can make better
  • Behavior: Where and why do they shop, when and what do they use their phones for, are they frugal or do they like to treat themselves, etc. 

While user personas can be wonderfully valuable, be careful not to stick to them too rigidly. If you find that your real users don’t match up well with the personas you have created – re-evaluate the personas, don’t try and force your real clients into inaccurate categorizations just for the sake of it. The beauty of research is that you can always do more, and we very highly recommend continuing this research throughout the app’s lifetime. 

Pre-Launch Marketing 

Now that you have conducted some solid preliminary research, the next step is mobile app marketing. If your app is part of a pre-existing business, that business could be a marvelous asset. If you already have a base of dedicated clients, why not start with marketing to them? You can advertise your soon-to-exist app through your:

  • Social media: Make an introduction post or a demo video to wet your subscribers’ tongues.
  • Website: A simple banner ad at the top of your website could draw in potential customers without hindering their experience at all. Your site is also a great place to link off to the app store or your apps specific social media pages once they are available. 
  • Emails: Do you have a laundry list of email addresses? Send them an enticing email highlighting the problems your app solves.
  • Blog: If you have a blog, this is a wonderful place to tell your clients anything and everything they may need to know about your new app. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, reach out to other blogs/journalists/influencers and see if they would feature your app in a publication.

Though it certainly helps, you in no way need to have an existing business to launch a mobile app; there are a multitude of other ways to get your name out in the zeitgeist. In most cases, you are going to want to start building your apps online presence before it’s ready to launch. The best course of action will ultimately depend on who and what your app is for – but in general, it’s a good idea to make a website and social media accounts for your app if you don’t already have them. 

Online will provide you with the largest reach, but in-person events can help add a personal touch to your mobile app marketing. If you have the capacity, a launch party or similar event could draw in interested customers, attract media attention, and showcase what your app has to offer. 


The pre-launch phase of your mobile app marketing will hopefully reveal what pieces of your advertising strategy work, and what pieces don’t. Much of the marketing post-launch will be similar to pre-launch, but once the app is available for download, your options expand even more:

Paid Advertising

Like advertising for any product, paid is always an option. If you choose pay-per-click advertising, make sure your ads are compatible with both iOS and Android on mobile devices. You can also market offline using traditional advertising such as billboards, flyers, free merchandise and QR codes.

If your app is not very well known, paid advertisements within the Apple App Store could be of great use to you. The App Store allows you to buy search ads, which lets you bid for keywords related to your app. If a searcher looks up that keyword, your app will appear at the top of the results. This is a great way to increase app downloads, considering the average conversion rate for Apple Search Ads is 50% (1-2% is the average app conversion rate).

App Store Optimization

Apple’s App Store functions are similar to a search engine, meaning you can strategically improve your app’s ranking through basic SEO techniques. This is appropriately called App Store Optimization, or ASO. Just like in SEO, keywords play a vital role in ASO; in fact, keywords are the leading factor the Apple App Store algorithm uses to determine an app’s ranking for a search query. Keywords hold the most weight in the app’s title; MobileDevHQ, a provider of ASO solutions, found that a keyword in the title increases its ranking an average of 10.3%. Of course, keywords can be used elsewhere as well. You can include keywords in the subtitle of the app and in the keywords field, which is unseen by users. 

The next piece the App Store algorithm considers in its ranking is downloads, ratings and reviews. When it comes to ratings and reviews, quantity is important, but quality is imperative. This piece is trickier to navigate as it falls more on the user, but there are many things you can do to begin accruing positive ratings/reviews. The first, and most important, is to listen to the bad ones; a negative review can provide insight into what improvements need to be made. You can also incentivize users to provide honest feedback with in-app rewards such as a free drink, extra gaming lives, no ads, etc.. 

Perhaps the best way to skyrocket your app’s downloads is to get featured in the App Store – but this is very challenging to do. Apple’s editorial team receives thousands of pitches a day, so if you want a shot at a feature, you’ve got to stand out. Luckily, Apple is pretty transparent about what they look for:

  • Beautifully designed UX: Basically, does your app work well and look good doing so? Native apps tend to do much better in this arena, as Apple prefers to feature apps made for iOS. 
  • Regular updates: This shows Apple that you are constantly working to improve your app.
  • Global: The more countries your app is available in, the better. Apple tends to only feature apps that can be used in multiple countries.
  • Accessibility: Apple will not feature an inaccessible app.
  • App Store Product Page: Your product page should be engaging, optimized for keywords, and informative. 

Final Thoughts

There is a pervasive sentiment in the modern world that good products tend to succeed – but even the best products usually demand time and effort to get to that point. With millions of apps available for download, a powerful mobile app marketing strategy is of the utmost importance. For most, this will require a combination of in-depth market research, a strong online presence, and (tactful) App Store Optimization. If you have an awesome app that isn’t getting the attention it deserves, give us a call at Brandcave, we’d love to help!

Digital Marketing Solutions for Accessibility

The internet is an absolute necessity in the day-to-day lives of most Americans; it’s the go-to source for virtually everything we do. Unfortunately, with great power comes great inequality. For people with disabilities, inaccessible websites are more than just an inconvenience, they are a form of exclusion. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in four U.S. adults, 61 million people, live with a disability that impacts their major life activities. The number grows for older Americans, of whom two out of five experience a disability. 

For those who market online, it is our duty to make accessibility a priority in our digital marketing solutions. This isn’t just a moral duty – it’s required by law… well, kind of. 

Legal Requirements

Since its passing in July of 1990, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has functioned to the best of its ability to create a more equitable nation for all people, regardless of ability. The passing of the ADA was a huge step for the disability rights movement, as it “prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.” Unfortunately, the ADA was created without the ~modern~ internet in mind. To this day, there are almost no legal specifications for internet accessibility, only that sites must be ‘accessible’. That’s where The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) come into play. 


While WCAG guides are not the law for private companies, they are considered the ‘gold standard’ for website accessibility. Failure to meet the WCAG guides means a website is not accessible to everyone who may want to interact with it, which could result in bad press, lost clients or even a lawsuit. WCAG presents four basic principles that must be met for your digital marketing solutions to be considered accessible:


“Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.”

In short, this means that the information being given needs to be consumable for people of all abilities. 

The WCAG provides four guidelines for ensuring that a site is perceivable:

  1. Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
  2. Provide alternatives for time-based media.
  3. Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
  4. Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.


“User interface components and navigation must be operable.”

Website interfaces cannot require interactions that not all users can perform – they need to be navigable and responsive for all.

The WCAG provides four guidelines for ensuring that a site is operable:

  1. Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  2. Provide users enough time to read and use the content.
  3. Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
  4. Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.


“Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.”

The information presented and how to navigate the website must be apparent and easy to comprehend for people of all abilities. 

The WCAG provides three guidelines for ensuring that a site is understandable:

  1. Make text content readable and understandable.
  2. Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
  3. Help users avoid and correct mistakes.


“Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.”

This is a common accessibility concern for people with sight impairments who may use screen readers or other alternative methods to read information. A robust website is paramount to your digital marketing solutions, and it must work for adaptive technology now and as that technology evolves.

The WCAG provides one guideline for ensuring that a site is robust:

  1.  Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

Accessibility Makes a Better User Experience for Everyone

Accessibility features are crucial for those who need them, and they can make your site more enjoyable for people without disabilities as well. In fact, many tech features that have become a part of the zeitgeist are founded on assistive technologies. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these features the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) points out: 

Video Captions

Video captions are crucial for people with hearing impairments to watch videos. There are also many other circumstances where closed captions let viewers understand a video they otherwise could not. Video captions are helpful if you have different learning styles, are in a loud place, if you forgot your headphones, etc.. 

High Contrast Colors 

Using high contrast colors makes your design easier to spot and read for everyone, especially for those who have difficulty seeing low contrast colors, which is common for older people. Using high contrast colors also makes viewing your work easier for people who are in bright light (and makes for better-looking design in general).

Voice Recognition 

Voice recognition is an absolutely necessary tool for many people who are unable to type. It is also very useful for slow typers, people who think out loud, and people with temporary disabilities such as a broken arm. If you can’t think of a time when you’ve used voice recognition technology, just ask Siri or Alexa.

Text to Speech 

This technology is very useful for sight-impaired folk, people with dyslexia, and anyone who prefers listening to reading (maybe listening while on a walk or doing chores).

Good Layouts 

Inconsistent layouts can make a page impossibly confusing to navigate and read for people with sight impairments – and in general, no one likes bad design.

Large Buttons and Links 

For older folk or people with decreased dexterity, having buttons and links that are large enough to actually click is important. We’ve seen this adaption come into mainstream with the birth of mobile apps, which need larger buttons due to the fact that most people are clicking them with their fingers instead of a keypad. 

Customizable Text 

This feature is crucial for many people. It allows the user to change the text to other fonts, sizes, and colors that are more legible to the user. This is important for anyone who has preferences on the format of what they are reading.

Netflix: What Not to Do

In 2011, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) sued Netflix for violation of the ADA. Until this point, Netflix had failed to include closed captioning on its streaming services, claiming that as a business, they were not a “place of public accommodation,” and therefore not required to adhere to ADA guidelines. While technically the ADA does not detail how internet services should be accounted for, Netflix is such an influential piece of the modern world that it needs to be equally accessible to everyone. Since nearly 60% of Americans use Netflix, lack of accessibility to the hard of hearing is ultimately discrimination. The courts agreed:

“In a society in which business is increasingly conducted online, excluding businesses that sell services through the internet from the ADA would run afoul of the purpose of the ADA. It would severely frustrate Congress’s intent that individuals with disabilities fully enjoy the goods, services, privileges, and advantages available indiscriminately to other members of the general public.” – Judge Ponsor 

Netflix was ordered to caption its entire collection of videos by 2014, and to caption all videos published in the following years. Netflix also paid the NAD $755,000 to cover legal fees and damages. This is a testament to the importance of including accessibility in your digital marketing solutions; if a company as strong as Netflix can’t slither around the rules, it’s doubtful anyone else can either. 

Closing Statements

Making websites, or any online media, accessible to all people is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the best thing to do for your business. Excluding people with disabilities from being able to use your site means excluding potential paying customers. An extraordinarily designed site, I’m talking about accessibility features far beyond those legally required, can not only create a more inclusive space but set you apart as a company with exceptional user experience. 

Many accessibility features are easy to implement yourself, but often, it requires advanced coding abilities to go above and beyond. If you want to prioritize accessibility in your digital marketing solutions, don’t feel daunted – give us a call at Brandcave, we can handle it for you. 

Social Media and it’s Hidden Inbound Marketing Tools

There are three main points B2B clients look for in their partnerships. The first is a company with a strong brand, one that knows their story and how to tell it. A strong brand identity lends trust to potential clients – it gives them confidence in the company. The second is a personal connection. Companies are made up of people, so connect with the people behind the companies you wish to work with. A personal connection is extremely important for B2B’s because often, the stakes of doing business are much higher. The third point they make is to innovate. Think of it like this: Would you rather use a good software company or a trailblazer for the entire software industry?

A great place to start building a strong brand, gaining personal connections, and proving yourself as a thought leader is on social media. Social media isn’t just for entertainment – it is one of the best inbound marketing tools available. 

Social Media Insights

Gone are the days of depending on surveys and focus groups; social media offers real-time insights at a larger scale and with greater depth than traditional research methods. Utilizing the abundance of data social media collects on its users can help your company better understand and target it’s audiences.


Reviews are a great entry point for your research; they are easy to access and easy to use. Looking at what people are saying about your company lets you fix problems, predict client needs, and keep an eye on the competition. Toolbox Marketing found that 71% of B2B buyers examine reviews during the researching stage, and half continue using reviews throughout the buying process.

The process of collecting reviews can be a little different for a B2B. Unlike a B2C, B2B companies often have to find and make their own profiles on referral sites relevant to their industry. Some sites such as Capterra even have a PPC system in which you pay every time someone is referred to your site from their site.

For a B2B, reviews can tell potential clients not only how your product or service functions, but what it’s like to work with your company. It doesn’t matter how great what you’re selling is if the reviews say the customer service is a nightmare. On the contrary, a glowing review from a client on sites such as Capterra or Product Hunt is one of the best inbound marketing tools you can find. Reviews show potential clients what they can expect from you –  and they’ll be more inclined to trust a review because it came from a peer (aka another client). 


LinkedIn is built for businesses, and it is arguably the best social media platform for a B2B. In fact, marketers have ranked LinkedIn as the number one platform for B2B lead generation. LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to building connections with like-minded people in your industry, and it’s a great place to post the content you want them to see. 

Linkedin allows you to target your audience by job title, company name, industry, and professional or personal interests. The platform also allows businesses to send content to users when they are active on the site. This means that your content is going to the right people at the right time. 


Facebook is a great tool for a business to stay connected with existing and potential clients. With over 2.6 billion active monthly users, you can market to the masses AND target specific audiences. Facebook provides three audience types you can target: 

  • Core Audiences: criteria based on age, interests, geography, etc.
  • Custom Audiences: people who have engaged with your business, online or off.
  • Lookalike Audiences: new people whose interests are similar to those of your best customers.

Brandcave looked at how one of our larger clients performed on Facebook and this is what we discovered for their company:

  • Video receives the most engagement of all content (contributed 5 of the top 10 most-clicked posts)
  • Company announcements are the most liked posts (contributed 7 of the top 10 most-liked posts)

Facebook’s marketing potential is endless, so how do you decide where to start? Our three-year analysis of our client on Facebook revealed some interesting data on the types of content that drive prospects to their website:

  • Videos account for 27% of total clicks
  • Customer application photos account for 21% of total clicks
  • Testimonials account for 19% of total clicks
  • Announcements account for 12% of total clicks
  • Events account for 12% of total clicks
  • New item posts account for 4% of total clicks
  • Blogs account for 3% of total clicks
  • Infographics account for 2% of total clicks

You also may have noticed that we tend to base our clients’ performances not on likes, but on clicks; likes are nice, but clicks lead users back into your marketing funnel. From our own experience, we’ve seen the most engagement with visual content such as photos and videos – those types of posts encourage more interaction with the brand and drive more traffic to the site. Visual content is great for showing the value of a business, but if you want to dig even deeper, try sharing case studies and success stories. Just like 9th-grade math class, you can’t just claim to have the solution – you’ve got to show your work. 


Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, but it’s not for everyone. It’s most useful for brands that have a young following, are visual in nature, and have a more casual brand voice. Of course, these are not hard and fast rules –  many businesses that don’t fit this bill are wildly successful using Instagram as a marketing platform.  

Instagram also offers free insights to their business accounts. Once you access Instagram insights, you can select one of the three tabs in order to gather information about your page:

  • Activity: tracks weekly Interactions, reach and impressions 
  • Content: how your posts, stories, and promotions are performing 
  • Audience: demographic data on your followers including age range, location and gender


Twitter is the go-to place for people to discover new information, current events, and see what’s trending – making it an ideal platform for industry leaders and shakers. 

One of the lesser-known inbound marketing tools Twitter offers is keyword targeting, which allows companies to target people who have used a specific word in their posts or hashtags. Twitter also lets you send content specifically to users who have recently engaged with your posts, meaning that the people receiving your content have already expressed some interest in your company. 

Perhaps the best part of using Twitter – you only pay when it works. And speaking of not paying, Twitter provides users with some great free tools, such as Twitter analytics. For each post your company makes, Twitter analytics will show:

  • Impressions: Times a user views a Tweet in their timeline or search results.
  • Engagements: Total number of times a user interacted with a Tweet. Interactions are clicks anywhere on the Tweet, including Retweets, replies, follows, likes, links, cards, hashtags, embedded media, username, profile photo, or Tweet expansion.
  • Detail expands: Clicks on the Tweet to view more details.
  • Likes: Times a user liked the Tweet.

This may not seem like much, but it is powerful data when used well. Twitter analytics is a great way to measure how well a specific piece of content is doing and how viewers engage with your company. 

Final thoughts

Social media platforms are hidden inbound marketing tools that can provide your company with bounties of useful information and targeted audiences. If your company is active on social media, the insights available can help build a better understanding of who your audience is as individuals, not just as pieces of data. Social networks also drive traffic to your website; if you’re targeting the right audiences, your conversion rates will soar as a result.

Consumer insights from social media are crucial to marketing; they can tell you who you are selling to, what they want from you, and ways to improve. However, social media is just one piece of a very large marketing puzzle. If your company’s marketing strategy needs a little love, give us a call at Brandcave – we like puzzles.

SEO: An Advanced Marketing Technique, Simplified

When marketing online, you have two main options: paid or organic. Many companies use search engine advertising as a form of paid online marketing. This tactic allows marketers to buy visits to their website (pay-per-click). On the flip side, search engine optimization (SEO), is the practice of getting organic website traffic through search engine results. SEO practices have been around since the ’90s, and they’re not going away. In fact, Moz found that SEO leads to 20 times more traffic than pay-per-click on both mobile phones and desktop. 

Getting into SEO can present a steep learning curve, but despite its complexity, SEO is an advanced marketing skill anyone can use. 

How does SEO work?

In order to understand how SEO works online, you need to also understand how search engines work. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have three primary functions: crawl, index and rank web pages. 

  • Crawling: Search engines dispatch crawlers to explore the internet in order to discover new or updated content. 
  • Indexing: The information is then organized into an index, a massive database containing all of the content the crawlers have found. The index can then be used by the search engine to find URLs that fit with a searcher’s query. Google’s web indexing system is called Caffeine.
  • Ranking: This is how a search engine determines which websites to show a searcher, ordering them from most relevant to least relevant. 

When a search engine crawls a website, it gathers information from the URL, headers, images and body copy of a page, pulling out important words and phrases to determine what the page is all about. SEO allows you to guide the search engine in the right direction.

Using Your SEO Skills to Drive Organic Traffic

Getting started with SEO is an intimidating feat, but it doesn’t have to be. Many advanced marketing practices such as SEO are easier than they seem; in fact, you may already be doing some of them. 


Keywords, the words and phrases people type into search engines in order to answer their query, are foundational to SEO. Properly optimizing your webpages for the keywords you identify is a great long-term strategy for generating additional web traffic.

The first step of SEO is finding the right keywords. Unless your website has a high domain authority (more on that later), you may need to be selective on the keywords you intend to target. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is much more challenging to make it to the search engine results page (SERP) with a broad term such as ‘cookies’ than with a more specific term such as ‘organic oatmeal cookie recipe’. 

Vague or overgeneralized keywords also pose another issue: the people coming to your site may not be interested in what you’re offering. If someone searches ‘cookie,’ the question they are trying to answer could be almost anything: how to clear cookies from their browser, the nutritional value of a cookie, where to buy cookies, and so on. They are not likely to engage much with your website if it has nothing to do with what they were searching for in the first place. On the flip side, you also don’t want to optimize for keywords that are so specific or obscure that no one ends up searching for them. 

This is the process of keyword research. The key to keyword research is finding terms that have a high search volume, yet are not too competitive. Finding that sweet spot can be a real challenge. Luckily, there are some great advanced marketing tools online that can lead you in the right direction.

How to Optimize Your Webpage for an Identified  Keyword

Shoving tons of keywords where they don’t belong leads to content that is clunky at best and unreadable spam at worst. In general, it is best practice to target one keyword phrase per page. After all, keywords work best when they fit the content well; they need to flow so naturally that your readers don’t know you’re using keywords at all.

Once you have identified the keyword phrase you want to use on a webpage, you might find that it is a bit challenging to incorporate it in a way that adds value to visitors. This is one reason why blogs are such a useful asset to many businesses. They allow you to write in-depth on topics in your industry, so they’re great if you have a keyword that is relevant to what you do but doesn’t make sense on the pages of your website. If your company already has a blog, adding keywords to your future posts is an advanced marketing technique that you can start immediately. 


Internal links are links on your site that lead to other pages on your site, while backlinks are links from other websites leading to yours. PageRank, part of Google’s core algorithm, determines the importance of a webpage by looking at the quantity and quality of the links associated with it. Having many backlinks from trustworthy sites indicates to Google that your site is important, and can lead to better search result rankings. Blogging is a great way for your site to increase internal links between pages. Achieving external backlinks, however, will take a little more strategy.

How to Get Backlinks

There are a plethora of ways to get links to your website, here are a few popular ones:

  • Create high-quality infographics
  • Guest blogging 
  • Reach out: bloggers, journalists, partnerships 
  • The skyscraper method: find a popular topic and write about it better than your competition

Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO

No matter what advanced marketing techniques you are using, the general protocol is to create content for people, not machines. When it comes to SEO, this also means using techniques that abide by search engine guidelines, often called ‘white hat SEO’. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, these are the basic principles your B2B company should be observing: 

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

Black Hat SEO

The opposite of white hat SEO is, of course, black hat SEO. This approach is meant to trick search engines, and it should be avoided at all costs. While these spammy tactics may work occasionally, they signal to the search engine that your website is not to be trusted. Worse, black hat SEO can make your site annoying and user-unfriendly. Google Webmaster Guidelines points out some key mistakes to avoid:

  • Automatically generated content
  • Participating in link schemes
  • Creating pages with little or no original content (i.e. copied from somewhere else)
  • Cloaking: the practice of showing the search engine crawlers different content than visitors.
  • Hidden text and links
  • Doorway pages: pages created to rank well for specific searches to funnel traffic to your website.

In summation: unless you are a tree or a queen, don’t be shady.

What Google Considers

Google looks at three major pillars when determining the quality of a website: the beneficial purpose, the stakes at hand, and E-A-T. Whether you are utilizing the most basic, or the most advanced marketing and SEO tactics, these three things are of the utmost importance when it comes to Google ranking. 

Beneficial Purpose

In general, websites and pages should be created with the intention of helping users. Pages that are obviously a ploy to make money will be viewed by Google as low quality and will rank poorly in response. 

Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages include information that, when given improperly, can have serious implications on the visitor’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability. Because of the heightened stakes for YMYL pages, Google makes the accuracy of this content a top priority. YMYL includes topics such as:

  • news and current events
  • Civics, government and law
  • Finances
  • Shopping
  • Health and safety
  • Groups of people

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)

Evaluating the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) of a page is how Google determines that page’s quality. 

  • Expertise: This looks at the qualifications of the creator of the page’s content. For non-YMYL pages, Google also allows for ‘everyday experience,’ meaning that people with relevant life experience on a given topic can be considered experts on that topic. 
  • Authoritativeness: This looks at both the content and the website itself. A site with high authority is well known and respected in its industry. Authority can be earned through backlinks from other high-quality sites, mentions in articles, and being shared across social media.
  • Trustworthiness: This refers to how accurate and honest the information is that your company is publishing. Bad reviews and misinformation can seriously hurt you here. Luckily, Moz offers some ideas for how to improve your site trustworthiness:
    • Having a clear way to make contact with the website owners.
    • Associating the website with a physical location, i.e. your office or store address.
    • Having a term of business or T&Cs page, which is easily accessible to users (usually from the footer).
    • Making sure your website’s domain is secure. Correctly implementing HTTPS is very important to Google and helps to ensure any data your users’ input won’t be intercepted by a nefarious 3rd party entity.
    • Having a privacy policy which is clearly accessible (usually from the footer).
    • If you’re accepting transactions, you should have clear refunds and returns policies.
    • If you’re selling products, try to include comprehensive specifications of the product and include any safety advice that might be relevant.
    • If you’re sharing knowledge, in general, it’s a good idea to have an author biography included and to cite external sources where relevant. Linking out to authority sites is a good thing.

Brandcave is Here to Help

The ever-changing, ever-growing nature of SEO is difficult to keep up with, and this blog post just skims the surface. If you are ready to dive in, there are tons of online resources that can help. You might find that there is a lot to absorb when it comes to SEO, especially for companies who are just getting into it. If your B2B is in need of some SEO assistance, give us a call at BrandCave, it’s what we do. 

B2B Marketing Objectives: Building Successful Email Campaigns

In the constantly changing world of business, should email campaigns still be one of your B2B marketing objectives? In short, yes. According to Hubspot, over the past year, email engagement has increased by 78%. This is music to a marketer’s ears, considering Oberlo found that the average ROI is $42 for every $1 a company spends on email marketing. For a B2B company, communicating with clients through email is crucial.

It should be noted that not all emails are created equally. Hubspot found that 16% of emails get flagged as spam and never even make it to an inbox, and of the ones that do, the average open rate according to Oberlo is only 21%. The key to making it into the small number of emails your clients will actually open is sending them emails they want to open. 

Types of Emails

Now that we’ve established the importance of email marketing, it’s time to determine what email campaigns are right for your business. Most likely, your organization will use a combination of these email campaigns to create consistent communication with your clients.

Recurring Emails are emails that you send your recipients on a regular basis, and they should be one of your top B2B marketing objectives. Recurring emails include things such as:

  • Personalized updates 
  • Digital newsletters
  • Weekly updates 

Keeping constant communication with clients helps keep your company at the forefront of their minds, but hounding people with emails might result in clients unsubscribing – probably not what you want. Between 4 and 8 emails a month is typically the sweet spot with the highest open rate; it’s frequent enough to keep your company in people’s minds, but not so frequent that they feel bombarded.

Ad Hoc Emails are one-time emails separate from your company’s regular email schedule. They are not automatic, and they don’t need action on your client’s end to trigger them. You can use one standardized template for all of your recipients, or you can create different versions to send to different groups. This type of email is primarily used to send large numbers of people things such as:

  • An invitation to an upcoming event
  • Special offers
  • New product releases
  • Information about recent changes

On Event Emails are triggered by a recipient action, with the goal of furthering the buyer’s journey. These types of emails are often what bring a potential buyer to actually buy. They also function to keep current clients engaged with your brand. These emails include things such as:

  • Birthday wishes and special deals
  • Submission forms
  • Welcome emails 
  • Thank you emails
  • Confirmation emails
  • Re-engagement emails

Co-marketing Emails are a partnership between at least two companies. If one of your B2B marketing objectives is to increase your reach, this is a great tactic to utilize. Co-marketing emails can draw in a larger audience, as they go out to your subscribers and the subscribers of the companies you partner with. When done properly, co-marketing emails allow you to introduce your brand to a whole new set of potential clients who are already interested in a related industry. You can send co-marketing emails for things such as:

  • Special offers for clients of the partner company
  • Joint Webinars
  • Co-hosted Events

What Goes Into an Email

Creating a good email campaign is hard work on its own, but the real challenge comes with getting people to actually open and read your emails. The best way to encourage your subscribers to engage with your email marketing is to give them engaging material every step of the way. 

Subject Line

Oftentimes, the subject line of an email can be a bit of an afterthought, but for an email marketing campaign, this should not be the case. The subject line of your email is the first thing your subscribers will see. Considering the percentage of emails that are actually opened, if the subject line is weak, it might be the only thing they see. A strong subject line is concise, engaging, and leads the reader to want to learn more. It also needs to be truthful; a misleading subject line is one surefire way to get sent straight to spam.

Call to Action 

The call to action is arguably the most important part of your email campaign; it’s where you get to tell readers exactly what it is you want them to do. Without a call to action, the buyer’s journey ends at the email, but a good call to action will engage your readers and prompt the desired response. Your call to action can be anything that furthers your B2B marketing objectives, here are a few examples to get started:

  • Read more
  • Start my trial
  • Sign up now
  • Shop 25% off 
  • View my results

Calls to action often take the form of a button or link encouraging readers to click. If you find that your links aren’t getting the clicks you hoped for, try a well-designed button instead. Leighton Interactive found that the average click-through rate (CTR) for a button is 5.31%, that’s over double the 2.06% CTR for a link.


You want your email marketing campaign to have a strong brand voice that’s consistent across the entire campaign. In most cases, readers should know an email is from your company immediately based on the tone, format, fonts and color scheme. However, a consistent email campaign doesn’t mean an impersonal one. Simply personalizing the subject line increases open rates by 50%. 

Once the subscriber has opened your email, how do you get them to keep reading? One great way to do this is including multimedia content, which can dramatically increase the reader’s interest and keep them engaged. In fact, just adding a video to your email can increase the CTR threefold. 

Using MailChimp to Create Email Campaigns

Starting an email campaign can be intimidating, but there are some great tools available to make it easier for your company. If you decide to add email campaigns to your B2B marketing objectives, resources like MailChimp can help streamline the process. 

Creating/importing email lists

Since MailChimp rates are determined by the size of your subscriber list, you want to make sure your list contains only active emails and no duplicates. Once you have a solid list, you can import it to MailChimp. This can be done in many ways, but the easiest is by uploading a CSV file.

Creating templates

A good template can help create engaging, visually appealing emails to send out to your subscribers, and MailChimp offers an array of template options for you to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty. The easiest route is to choose one of their pre-designed templates from the layouts page and use the drag-and-drop tools to insert your company’s content. Mailchimp also allows you to “code your own” template, but this can be an unnecessarily time-consuming task without the proper coding skills.

Preview and testing

Previewing and testing your email campaign on both desktop and mobile is absolutely crucial. According to Hubspot, 46% of all emails are opened on mobile phones. This is not just true for emails directed towards consumers; 35% of business-people check their email on mobile devices as well, so if email campaigns are one of your B2B marketing objectives, your emails need to work on mobile. 

MailChimp also allows users with paid plans to test subject lines using the A/B split campaign feature. This allows you to try multiple different subject lines on a small portion of your email subscriber list. You can determine a “winner” based on open rate, click rate, total revenue or manually. MailChimp will then use the winning subject line for the rest of your subscribers.

Send times and automations

Determining the best time to send out your emails can take a lot of research, but MailChimp’s Send Time Optimization feature can do all of that for you. MailChimp does so by looking at your subscriber click activity to find the times when they are the most engaged. 

MailChimp offers many other automations as well. You can create your own automation, or use one of the automations they already offer such as: 

  • Welcome emails
  • Birthday emails
  • Order notifications 

Analyze reports

To find out how your email campaign is doing, check the overview report. This lets you see click-through rate, open rates, bounces, and other measures of that nature. This is a fantastic tool to use when you want to see how the campaign is going as a whole. Markitors recommends keeping a spreadsheet with the data you collect so you can compare campaigns and keep track of how they are doing month to month. 

Meet your Objectives with Brandcave

A successful email marketing campaign is hard to keep up with, especially when you have a business to run. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give Brandcave a call – we’d love to make it easier for you.