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How To Get More Leads In 2022 Using Webinars

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How To Get More Leads In 2022 Using Webinars

This post was sponsored by BigMarker. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Looking for a marketing strategy that can truly:

  • Generate higher-quality leads?
  • Expand your brand to a global audience?
  • Drive engagement while conducting audience research?
  • Create customer loyalty?

Turn your attention to webinars.

53% of marketers say webinars are the top-of-the-funnel format that generates the most high-quality leads.

When done right, webinars are the powerful secret weapon that you should add to your marketing strategy in 2022.

You’re about to get a crash course into one of the most successful avenues to high-quality lead generation.

But first, let’s learn exactly what makes these online seminars so successful.

Why You Should Use Webinars

What do you gain from adding webinars to your marketing strategy?

  • You can establish immediate trust and credibility with your audience. Through webinars, you can give your audience the information they need to decide whether to consider purchasing your product or service. You can position yourself as a trusted resource before your audience even needs to make a purchase — and do it at the scale you need to grow your business.
  • You’ll be able to generate higher-quality leads. High-quality leads are individuals who are very interested in making a purchase. They are more likely to perform a long action, such as watching a webinar, before making a purchase, and you want that purchase to be with you. When they RSVP, you’ll have the ability to convert them into a sale quickly, increasing your marketing ROI.
  • You get to increase conversions in real-time. Because webinars are interactive, audiences can easily communicate with you via chat, polls, and Q&A, and you can easily identify where each prospect lies in their buying journey.
  • You can expand your brand to a global audience. Especially if you also publish them on-demand, webinars are more broadly accessible for people with time and/or geographic constraints, which widens your audience of potential leads.
  • You get a scalable way to generate more content. Each successful webinar you finish can make at least 3 pieces of new content for your site. Simply convert its content into multiple blog posts, shareable content pieces, and videos.

By displaying your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in a successful webinar, you’ll be able to capture hundreds of high-quality leads who will likely make a purchase from your business.

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) isn’t just limited to Google SERPs.

How To Generate More Leads With Webinars

The key to a successful webinar that can attract high-quality leads and increase ROI is a thoughtful vision, a solid marketing plan, and an air-tight follow-up strategy.

1. Identify The Audience You Want To Reach

As you start planning your webinar, use surveys, online research, past buying behavior, and your registration list to gain a clearer understanding of your ideal buyers’ needs and concerns.

This will help you understand the buyer persona you are targeting with your content.

The more you understand your audience’s needs, content preferences, and buying behavior, the more you can tailor your webinar and your offer for their needs.

2. Clearly State Your Webinar’s Unique Solution

Ask yourself:

  • What takeaways will your viewers get from this session?
  • What answers or solutions will the viewer leave your webinar with?
  • Will they learn how to do a specific process?
  • Will your speaker give your audience insights they can’t find on their own?
  • Will you give them any helpful handouts or templates?

Then, make sure they can’t get that information anywhere else.

Your webinar will be more valuable and attractive to potential registrants.

Whenever possible, back up your claims with social proof, testimonials, and speaker biographies.

3. Design A Compelling Landing Page

Your webinar’s landing page is the “front door” for your registration form.

If the front door looks outdated or doesn’t work well, no one will want to enter.

Your landing page’s functionality can make or break the success of your event.

If its design is unclear or chaotic, or its copy doesn’t “sell” the value proposition of your event, potential registrants might lose interest in your webinar before registering.

As you create your landing page, ensure that:

  • Its copy matches the messaging on your social media ads and email invitations. Having different copy can reduce RSVPs.
  • Its design is as simple as possible with all relevant information appearing before the user has to scroll.
  • It’s mobile-optimized and loads quickly on all types of devices.
  • It includes biographies for each of your presenters.

4. Maximize Your Reach — Host With A Partner

Imagine that you could multiply your audience overnight with just one move.

Hosting partnerships make this possible.

By hosting your webinar with another brand, you can double or triple your potential audience with minimal extra labor.

From a cost-benefit perspective, this is the single best way to gain additional leads.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Find a partner with a similar but not identical audience to your own. This way, you can speak to new people that are highly likely to be interested in your product. For example, if your core product is project management software, you might consider partnering with a workplace communication software company.
  2. Create a promotional kit for your event partners to keep everyone on the same page. When pitching prospective partners, provide them with suggested copy, graphics, and social media posts promoting the webinar. This allows them to help market your event in a way that’s consistent with your brand — and also saves them time and effort.
  3. Conduct a dry run of your webinar platform. Leading up to the webinar, schedule a practice session with your partner so that they know how to access and use the platform. We recommend having your partner use their camera and microphone, answer submitted questions via the platform’s chat function, and use any technical features they’ll use during the live session.

Learn how to host joint-venture webinars with our best practices.

5. Include Engagement Features In Your Webinar

What separates webinars from Ted Talks? Strong audience participation and interaction.

However, as we’ve all experienced in the past two years, it’s much harder to connect with people virtually than in “real life.”

But you can spark interactions that feel more natural and “real” with the following engagement features, all of which you can find on your webinar platform:

  1. Public chat: Make the session feel more like a conversation by encouraging attendees to provide questions and thoughts in the chatbox. (Pst: If activity starts to stall, have a moderator plant a question in the chatbox every 10-15 minutes.)
  2. Q&A: Attendees can submit questions directly to presenters. Better yet, other guests can upvote questions they’d like answered, so presenters can address their audience’s most pressing questions first. (For an extra personalized touch, you can even have attendees pre-submit videos of themselves asking these questions.)
  3. Polls: Use polls to gauge the audience’s prior experience with the topic, then tailor the presentation around those needs.

6. Incorporate In-Webinar Pop-Up Offers To Drive Traffic & Sales

During the RSVP process, you’ve collected your leads’ data to market to them later.

What if a lead is ready to be marketed to during your webinar?

Capture those impulse leads that want to buy or book a demo during the session by adding a popup offer inside of your webinar:

  1. At 40 minutes into the session, add a brightly colored, centered pop-up offer inside your webinar room.
  2. Create an offer around the most relevant next step, such as a demo or a specific product to purchase.
  3. Set the pop-up to open in a new tab, so your lead can convert without leaving the webinar room.

Compared to other webinar features, pop-up offers are highly effective at generating business because they encourage your viewers to act on their interest immediately.

7. Make Sure Your Webinar Is Available On-Demand

Nearly half of all webinar attendees watch at a later date, so make sure you appeal to the convenience of watching content on-demand.

This feature not only makes your leads happy but also helps you create future content that helps interested registrants continue finding you weeks or months after the event ends.

You can create a constantly refreshing pipeline of new leads while giving yourself time to create the next webinar.

Want to host engaging webinars, virtual events, and hybrid events?

BigMarker is here to help: Schedule a demo to get started.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by BigMarker. Used with permission.




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Everything You Need To Know

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Of all the many, many functions available in Google Ads, I have a few that are my favorites. And sitelink assets – previously known as sitelink extensions – are at the top of my list.

Why? Because they’re so versatile. You can do almost anything with them if you think through your strategy carefully.

For example, you can use the mighty sitelink in your advertising to:

  • Promote low search volume themes.
  • Push lagging products out the door.
  • Maximize hot sellers.
  • Highlight certain product categories.
  • Answer common questions.
  • Handle PR problems.

And that’s just a start! Sitelink assets can almost do it all.

Best Practices For Using Sitelink Assets Extensions

If you truly want to get the most out of your sitelinks, you need to think about your intention.

To help you with that, I’m going to lay out a few sitelink guidelines.

1. Get clear on your objectives. Before you start, you need to think about your goals. What are you trying to achieve with these assets? Are you advertising products or services? Will the asset work well with both branded and non-branded keywords? Your answers to these questions will help determine if your sitelinks are versatile and useful to the searcher.

2. Use sitelinks as part of your larger strategy. Don’t think of your sitelinks in isolation. You should also consider the accompanying ad, landing page, and other assets. Make sure they all work together in service to your overarching strategy.

3. Use a mix of sitelinks. Sitelinks can serve multiple purposes, so make sure you’re using a variety. For example, you don’t want to use every sitelink on an ad to promote on-sale products. Instead, use a mix. One could promote an on-sale product, one could generate leads, one could highlight a new product category, and one could direct prospective clients to useful information.

4. Create landing pages for your sitelinks. Ideally, you want to send users to landing pages that tightly correlate with your sitelink instead of just a regular page on your website.

5. Track sitelink performance and adjust. It’s not enough to set up sitelinks. You should also track them to see which links are getting traction and which ones are not. This doesn’t mean that all sitelinks should perform equally (more on this below), but it does mean they should perform well given their type and objectives.

Why it’s Better To Use A Mix Of Sitelink Assets

Let’s dive deeper into this idea of using a mix of sitelinks by looking at an example.

In a new client account, we created four different types of sitelinks:

  • Two sitelinks are product-focused (as requested by the client).
  • One sitelink connects users with an engineer to learn more about the product (“Speak to an Engineer”). It has more of a sales focus.
  • One sitelink allows users to learn more about the products without speaking to an engineer (“What is?”).

The “What is?” sitelink is outperforming the “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink when we measure by CTR. While we need more data before making any changes, I predict we’ll eventually swap out the sales-y “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink for something else.

The fact that the educational link (“What is?”) is performing better than the sales-y link (“Speak to an Engineer”) isn’t too surprising in this case. The product is a new, cutting-edge robot that not many people are aware of, yet. They want more info before talking to someone.

Screenshot by author, January 2023

By using a mix of sitelinks, and assessing the performance of each, we gained a lot of valuable information that is helping to guide our strategy for this account. So going with a mix of sitelinks is always a good idea. You never know what you’ll discover!

Sitelink Assets Examples

Now, let’s look at some specific examples of sitelink assets in Google Ads.

Example 1: Chromatography

Sitelinks extension - Chromatography exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

Application Search: This ad is for a highly technical product that can be used in a wide variety of applications. (Chromatography is a laboratory technique for separating mixtures.) So putting “application search” in a sitelink here might make sense. It helps prospective clients find what they’re looking for.

Sign up and Save Big: A good sitelink for lead generation and potential revenue.

Technical Support: I’m not a big fan of putting technical support in sitelinks. Tech support seems more targeted to current users rather than prospective users. But who knows, maybe they really do want to help current users get tech support via their advertising.

Guides and Posters: Again, this sitelink is a bit unusual, but it might be appropriate for this product. Perhaps people are downloading branded posters and posting them in their workplaces. If so, it’s a great way to build brand awareness.

Example 2: Neuroscience Courses

Sitelink Extensions - Nueroscience courses exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

I love everything about these sitelinks! The advertising is using them to reach people in all phases of the buyer journey.

For people not ready to commit:

  • Study Neuroscience: This sitelink is broad and informational. It’s helpful to people who have just started to explore their options for studying neuroscience.
  • Get Course Brochure: This sitelink is also great for people in the research phase. And while we mostly live in an online world, some people still prefer to consume hard-copy books, brochures, etc. With this sitelink, the school is covering its bases.

For people getting close to committing:

  • Online Short Course: This is the course the school offers. It’s a great sitelink for those almost ready to sign up.

For people ready to sign up:

  • Register Online Now: This is the strongest call to action for those ready to commit. It takes people directly to the signup page.

Example 3: Neuroscience Degrees

Let’s look at another example from the world of neuroscience education: this time for a neuroscience degree program.

Sitelink extensions - neuroscience degree exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

In contrast to the previous two examples, the sitelinks in this ad aren’t as strong.

Academics Overview: This sitelink seems more appropriate for a broad term search, such as a search on the school’s name. If the searcher is looking for a specific degree program (which seems like the intention based on the term and the ad), the sitelinks should be something specific to that particular degree program.

Scholarships: Just as with the above sitelink, “Scholarships” doesn’t seem very helpful either. The topic of scholarships is important—but probably doesn’t need to be addressed until the person determines that this school is a good fit.

Example 4: Code Security

Next, let’s look at two Google search ads for code security products.

Sitelink extensions - code security exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

 

The sitelinks in these two ads look like typical assets you’d find for SaaS, cloud-based, or tech companies. They click through to a lot of helpful information, such as product plans and success stories.

I particularly like the Most Common Risks sitelink in the second ad. It leads to a helpful article that would be great for engaging top-of-funnel leads.

On the flip side, I’m not a big fan of the Blog sitelink in the first ad. “Blog” simply isn’t very descriptive or helpful.

Still, there are no right or wrong sitelinks here. And it would be interesting to test my theory that blog content is not a top-performing asset!

Sitelink Assets Are More Than An Afterthought

I hope I’ve convinced you of the usefulness and versatility of sitelinks when created with specific objectives that align with your broader strategy.

So don’t create your sitelink assets as an afterthought.

Because if you give them the careful consideration they deserve, they’ll serve you well.

Note: Google sitelink assets were previously known as sitelink extensions and renamed in September 2022.

More resources:


Featured Image: Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock



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AI Content In Search Results

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AI Content In Search Results

Google has released a statement regarding its approach to AI-generated content in search results.

The company has a long-standing policy of rewarding high-quality content, regardless of whether humans or machines produce it.

Above all, Google’s ranking systems aim to identify content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

Google advises creators looking to succeed in search results to produce original, high-quality, people-first content that demonstrates E-E-A-T.

The company has updated its “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page with guidance on evaluating content in terms of “Who, How, and Why.”

Here’s how AI-generated content fits into Google’s approach to ranking high-quality content in search results.

Quality Over Production Method

Focusing on the quality of content rather than the production method has been a cornerstone of Google’s approach to ranking search results for many years.

A decade ago, there were concerns about the rise in mass-produced human-generated content.

Rather than banning all human-generated content, Google improved its systems to reward quality content.

Google’s focus on rewarding quality content, regardless of production method, continues to this day through its ranking systems and helpful content system introduced last year.

Automation & AI-Generated Content

Using automation, including AI, to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results violates Google’s spam policies.

Google’s spam-fighting efforts, including its SpamBrain system, will continue to combat such practices.

However, Google realizes not all use of automation and AI-generated content is spam.

For example, publishers automate helpful content such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts.

Google says it will continue to take a responsible approach toward AI-generated content while maintaining a high bar for information quality and helpfulness in search results.

Google’s Advice For Publishers

For creators considering AI-generated content, here’s what Google advises.

Google’s concept of E-E-A-T is outlined in the “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page, which has been updated with additional guidance.

The updated help page asks publishers to think about “Who, How, and Why” concerning how content is produced.

“Who” refers to the person who created the content, and it’s important to make this clear by providing a byline or background information about the author.

“How” relates to the method used to create the content, and it’s helpful to readers to know if automation or AI was involved. If AI was involved in the content production process, Google wants you to be transparent and explain why it was used.

“Why” refers to the purpose of creating content, which should be to help people rather than to manipulate search rankings.

Evaluating your content in this way, regardless of whether AI-generated or not, will help you stay in line with what Google’s systems reward.


Featured Image: Alejandro Corral Mena/Shutterstock



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Seven tips to optimize page speed in 2023

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Tips-to-optimize-page-speed-in-2023

30-second summary:

  • There has been a gradual increase in Google’s impact of page load time on website rankings
  • Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics as ranking factors to measure user experience
  • The following steps can help you get a better idea of the performance of your website through multiple tests

A fast website not only delivers a better experience but can also increase conversion rates and improve your search engine rankings. Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics to measure user experience and is using them as a ranking factor.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to test and optimize the performance of your website.

Start in Google Search Console

Want to know if optimizing Core Web Vitals is something you should be thinking about? Use the page experience report in Google Search Console to check if any of the pages on your website are loading too slowly.

Search Console shows data that Google collects from real users in Chrome, and this is also the data that’s used as a ranking signal. You can see exactly what page URLs need to be optimized.

Optimize-to-Start-in-Google-Search-Console

Run a website speed test

Google’s real user data will tell you how fast your website is, but it won’t provide an analysis that explains why your website is slow.

Run a free website speed test to find out. Simply enter the URL of the page you want to test. You’ll get a detailed performance report for your website, including recommendations on how to optimize it.

Run-a-website-speed-test-for-optimization

Use priority hints to optimize the Largest Contentful Paint

Priority Hints are a new browser feature that came out in 2022. It allows website owners to indicate how important an image or other resource is on the page.

This is especially important when optimizing the Largest Contentful Paint, one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics. It measures how long it takes for the main page content to appear after opening the page.

By default, browsers assume that all images are low priority until the page starts rendering and the browser knows which images are visible to the user. That way bandwidth isn’t wasted on low-priority images near the bottom of the page or in the footer. But it also slows down important images at the top of the page.

Adding a fetchpriority=”high” attribute to the img element that’s responsible for the Largest Contentful Paint ensures that it’s downloaded quickly.

Use native image lazy loading for optimization

Image lazy loading means only loading images when they become visible to the user. It’s a great way to help the browser focus on the most important content first.

However, image lazy loading can also slow cause images to take longer to load, especially when using a JavaScript lazy loading library. In that case, the browser first needs to load the JavaScript library before starting to load images. This long request chain means that it takes a while for the browser to load the image.

Use-native-image-lazy-loading-for-optimization

Today browsers support native lazy loading with the loading=”lazy” attribute for images. That way you can get the benefits of lazy loading without incurring the cost of having to download a JavaScript library first.

Remove and optimize render-blocking resources

Render-blocking resources are network requests that the browser needs to make before it can show any page content to the user. They include the HTML document, CSS stylesheets, as well as some JavaScript files.

Since these resources have such a big impact on page load time you should check each one to see if it’s truly necessary. The async keyword on the HTML script tag lets you load JavaScript code without blocking rendering.

If a resource has to block rendering check if you can optimize the request to load the resource more quickly, for example by improving compression or loading the file from your main web server instead of from a third party.

Remove-and-optimize-render-blocking-resources

Optimize with the new interaction to Next Paint metric

Google has announced a new metric called Interaction to Next Paint. This metric measures how quickly your site responds to user input and is likely to become one of the Core Web Vitals in the future.

You can already see how your website is doing on this metric using tools like PageSpeed Insights.

Optimize-with-new-Interaction-to-Next-Paint-metric

Continuously monitor your site performance

One-off site speed tests can identify performance issues on your website, but they don’t make it easy to keep track of your test results and confirm that your optimizations are working.

DebugBear continuously monitors your website to check and alerts you when there’s a problem. The tool also makes it easy to show off the impact of your work to clients and share test results with your team.

Try DebugBear with a free 14-day trial.

Continuously-monitor-your-site-performance

 

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