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The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

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The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Advertising has always been considered a valuable marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

While advertising methods and mediums have evolved over the years, the goal is always the same: to reach your audience and make them aware of your product or service. 

While most marketers agree that advertising is essential, many have differing views on structuring ad campaigns.

So today, we’re here to discuss lifecycle advertising — delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

What Is Lifecycle Advertising?

Before we move forward, let’s take a quick look at the difference and relationship between a “customer journey” and a “customer lifecycle.”

  • The “customer journey” is a series of actions (stages) your customers go through from the moment they start interacting with your business.
  • The ”customer lifecycle” is a series of categories (segments) you apply to your customers for multiple purposes, including sales, marketing, and customer service.

Although different, it’s important to know that the segments within the customer lifecycle should correspond with the customer journey stages.

Once you have the full picture, you can begin to advertise accordingly (also known as “lifestyle advertising”).

Ultimately, the goal is to create thoughtful, intentional interactions that lead potential customers further along their journey to not only purchase a product or service from you but turn them into lifetime loyal customers.

The best way to accomplish this goal is to identify your customer’s needs at each stage, then deliver messaging that responds to their needs at the right time.

The Customer Journey Stages

While every business has its own unique lifecycle – some can be days long, others can be years – they all are characterized by the same stages:

  • Awareness: When a potential customer first learns about your company.
  • Engagement: When a potential customer begins interacting with your brand.
  • Consideration: When a potential customer decides whether to buy from your business.
  • Purchase: Well done! Anyone who makes it to this stage is now a customer.
  • Retention: Now a customer, the post-purchase support can be the difference between a one-time purchase and a repeat buyer.
  • Loyalty: If a customer is happy with your product, they reach this stage where they are likely to become a repeat buyer. They’re also likely to tell their friends and family about your product or service.

Lifecycle Advertising Strategy

Here is how to create an ad strategy based on the lifecycle stages mentioned above:

Awareness Ad Campaign

At this point, you want as many potential customers to learn about your business as possible.

This stage is about getting your ads in front of anyone looking at them.

While it’s essential to consider where your potential customers are hanging out and putting your ads there, it’s also important to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.

In other words, while you’ll likely find that your potential customers are viewing ads in one specific place more than another, never ignore those second, third, and fourth places (Instagram vs. Facebook vs. print ads, for example) where your ads could be seen!

These advertisements should help potential customers get to know your brand. Include your logo, brand colors, and appearance, but also communicate your values and what sets you apart from the competition.

Here is what a call-to-action (CTA) in this stage might look like:

  • Learn more.
  • Read more.
  • Visit our website.

When a consumer sees your awareness ad, they are now aware of your company.

However, the “rule of seven” states that a consumer needs to see an ad at least seven times before they take action, which is why we continue to advertise past the awareness stage.

YouTube is a great platform for awareness because it’s quick, it allows you to have a button if someone wants to learn more, and you have to watch at least five seconds of the video ad – see the ad below from Cozy Earth:

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

To learn more about YouTube advertising in general, visit here.

Engagement Ad Campaign

Beyond making your customers aware of your product, the next stage of the journey is encouraging them to interact with your brand.

While these ads should also represent your brand well, the main goal of the ads in this phase is to get the customer to engage.

Engagement can mean:

  • Visiting your website.
  • Signing up for your newsletter or email list.
  • Reaching out to a sales representative.
  • Following your social media.
  • Reading a blog post.

However, you want your potential customers to engage, decide on that goal, and create a CTA that reflects your goal.

Below are some calls to action for this stage:

  • Sign up.
  • Read more.
  • Download.

Instagram is a great platform for the engagement stage because you can actually ask readers questions – the ultimate engagement.

This gets someone excited about what you have to offer while hopefully keeping your brand top of mind.

Below is a great example from Dapper Renaissance:

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from Instagram, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Consideration Ad Campaign

When a potential customer hits this stage, they’ve already engaged with your company.

A great way to target customers who have reached this stage is by investing in retargeting advertisements. By segmenting your audience, your ad will only be shown to people who have visited your website or interacted with you in some way.

At this stage, your customer has already shown initial intrigue and engaged with your brand. The goal of the ads at this stage is to help them decide whether or not to buy from you.

Some ways to help your consumers at this stage:

  • Be clear about your pricing.
  • Clearly explain your features and benefits.
  • Share customer testimonials.
  • Offer a demo.
  • Answer any questions your consumers might have about your product.

Think about what your potential customers need to see at this stage that would help them choose your brand over your competitors.

In this stage, it’s also extremely important to make converting as easy as possible so that when they do decide to buy from you, it’s not a challenge. The end goal of this stage is a conversion.

A CTA at this stage could be:

  • Sign up.
  • Download.
  • Shop now.

Retargeting ads can be shown on any platform, but usually, desktop ads have your consumer in a position to dive deeper and buy.

Running banner ads on popular publications in your industry, such as the example below, is a great option for this stage:

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from buzzfeed.com, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Purchase

This stage is the primary milestone for most businesses because it turns a prospect into a customer.

It’s important to tag these individuals as customers since they will receive different messages.

This stage isn’t about ads so much (because the last three stages should get you to your “shop now” button), but it’s about actually having an optimized check-out page.

You can learn more about optimizing your checkout page here.

Retention Ad Campaign

Once a customer decides to buy from you, they don’t end their journey.

Retaining your clients is important because repeat buyers can bring in a lot of revenue.

When you’re creating ads for this stage, some great strategies include:

  • Offer exclusive discounts or other perks with future purchases.
  • Announce exclusive access to a new product.
  • Advertise offerings that complement their previous purchases.
  • Share a new product.

To successfully engage consumers at this stage, ask yourself, “How can I support existing customers?”

Below is what a CTA could look like at this stage:

  • Purchase now (with a discount).
  • Download.
  • Shop member-exclusive products.

As an avid traveler myself, Abercrombie & Kent is a product I have purchased in the past. They know I’m a solo traveler, so they often retarget me with deals specifically for solo travelers, such as in the example below.

With such a big ticket item, the “exclusive” deal is crucial to retaining me as a future traveler.

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from Facebook, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Loyalty Ad Campaign

The final stage of the lifecycle is about creating loyalty.

This stage creates repeat buyers but also people willing to advocate on behalf of your brand, recommending your products to their families and friends.

At this stage, similarly to the retention stage, we recommend focusing on exclusivity. For example, you can create exclusivity by offering a membership.

This is the route Psycho Bunny has taken—they offer a VIP membership, which creates loyalty. In turn, their VIP members get access to exclusive deals.

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from psychobunny.com, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Another route you can take at this stage is offering incentives to share testimonials.

This shows your loyal customers that you value their feedback. The testimonials will help you land more future customers while also giving your loyal consumer a nice perk. It’s a win-win.

Here are some other options:

  • Create referral programs.
  • Invite consumers to webinars.
  • Offer other exclusive perks for repeat buyers.

The end goal of this stage is to keep customers interacting with your brand and show them that their opinions matter. They’re not just another number – they’re a customer that you greatly value.

At this stage, a CTA could look like this:

  • Shop now.
  • Leave a testimonial.

Creating Lifecycle Advertisements

To create an effective ad strategy, ensure you’re communicating with your consumers at each point throughout the lifecycle.

Your ad should be direct at each point, with one goal in mind.

Finally, ensure it’s effortless for consumers to take the action you want them to take.

You got this!

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Featured Image: wee dezign/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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What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO

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What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO

User experience is the foundation of a site’s usability, and it’s an aspect of on-page SEO that many people overlook.

If your site lacks the positive user experience and ease of use that end users require to navigate your site, you’ll push visitors to your competitors.

In this guide, you’ll learn what user experience (UX) entails, the types of experiences, the difference between UI and UX, and why it matters to SEO.

What Is User Experience (UX)?

UX is how people interact with your website.

You’ll also find this term used for products, but we’re focusing strictly on websites at the moment.

If you have a, intuitive user interface design, users will have an easier time navigating your site and finding the information they want.

If you do have a digital product, such as a SaaS solution, this interaction will also occur on your digital product.

User experience elicits a couple of things:

In short, user experience can provide a positive experience with your website – or it can lead to frustration among users.

Note: Usability is not UX design. It’s a component of UX that works with design to create the experience your users desire.

What Are The Types Of User Experience?

User experience evaluation must look at the three types of UX design to best understand the needs of the end user.

The three types of UX include:

  • Information: One aspect of a content strategy that goes overlooked is information architecture. Time must be spent on how information on a site is organized and presented. User flows and navigation must be considered for all forms of information you present.
  • Interaction: Your site has an interaction design pattern – or a certain way that users interact with the site. Components of a site that fall under the interaction UX type include buttons, interfaces, and menus.
  • Visual design: Look and feel matter for the end user. You want your website to have cohesion between its color, typography, and images. User interface (UI) will fall under this type of UX, but it’s important to note that UI is not interchangeable with UX.

What Is The Difference Between UI & UX?

Speaking of UX and UI, it’s important to have a firm understanding of the difference between the two to better understand user experience.

User Interface

UI design is your site’s visual elements, including:

Visual elements on your site are part of the user interface.

UI definitely overlaps with UX to an extent, but they’re not the same.

Steve Krug also has a great book on usability, titled “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.” It was first published in 2000, and the book is a #1 bestseller today.

Steve’s insight from over 20 years ago (although we’re now on the 3rd edition of the book) provides guidelines on usability that include:

  • Desktop.
  • Mobile.
  • Ease of use.
  • Layouts.
  • Everything UX.

If there’s one thing this book will teach you about usability, it’s to focus on intuitive navigation. Frustrating website users is the exact opposite of a good user experience.

User Experience

UX works on UI and how the user will:

  • Interact with your site.
  • Feel during the interaction.

Think of Google for a moment.

A simple landing page that is visually appealing, but Spartan in nature, is the face of the Internet. In terms of UX, Google is one of the best sites in the world, although it lacks a spectacular UI.

In fact, the UI needs to be functional and appealing, but the UX is what will stand out the most.

Imagine if you tried performing a search on Google and it displayed the wrong results or took one minute for a query to run. In this case, even the nicest UI would not compensate for the poor UX.

Peter Morville’s user experience honeycomb is one of the prime examples of how to move beyond simple usability and focus on UX in new, exciting ways.

The honeycomb includes multiple points that are all combined to maximize the user experience. These facets are:

  • Accessible.
  • Credible.
  • Desirable.
  • Findable.
  • Usable.
  • Useful.
  • Valuable.

When you focus on all of these elements, you’ll improve the user experience dramatically.

Why User Experience Matters To SEO

By this point, you understand that UX is very important to your site’s visitors and audience.

A lot of time, analysis, and refinement must go into UX design. However, there’s another reason to redirect your attention to user experience: SEO.

Google Page Experience Update

When Google’s Page Experience Update was fully rolled out, it had an impact on websites that offered a poor user experience.

The page experience update is now slowly rolling out for desktop. It will be complete by the end of March 2022. Learn more about the update: https://t.co/FQvMx3Ymaf

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) February 22, 2022

Multiple aspects of UX are part of the ranking factors of the update, including:

  • Intrusive adverts.
  • Core Web Vitals.
  • HTTPS Security.

You can run a Core Web Vitals report here and make corrections to meet these requirements. Additionally, you should know whether your site has intrusive ads that irritate users, and if your site lacks HTTPS.

Page performance works to improve your SEO. Google’s research shows that focusing on UX can:

  • Reduce site abandonment by as much as 24%.
  • Improve web conversions.
  • Increase the average page views per session by as much as 15%.
  • Boost advertising revenue by 18% or more.

When you spend time improving your site’s UX, you benefit from higher rankings, lower page abandonment, improved conversions, and even more revenue.

Plus, many of the practices to improve UX are also crucial components of a site’s on-page SEO, such as:

  • Proper header usage.
  • Adding lists to your content.
  • Making use of images.
  • Optimizing images for faster loading times.
  • Filling content gaps with useful information.
  • Reducing “content fluff.”
  • Using graphs.
  • Testing usability across devices.

When you improve UX, you create a positive experience for users, while also improving many of the on-page SEO foundations of your website.

Final Comments

Customer experience must go beyond simple responsive web design.

Hick’s law dictates that when you present more choices to users, it takes longer to reach a decision. You’ve likely seen this yourself when shopping online and finding hundreds of options.

When people land on your site, they’re looking for answers or knowledge – not confusion.

User research, usability testing, and revisiting user experience design often will help you inch closer to satisfying the SEO requirements of design while keeping your visitors (or customers) happier.

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Featured Image: NicoElNino/Shutterstock



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