Monthly Archives: September 2017

Everything as a Service, or the Case Against Headless

Everything as a Service, or the Case Against Headless

It’s easy to get tumbled in a hype wave. It’s a little harder to develop immunity to hype, and separate grains from husk.  So let’s set the hype surrounding headless versus head optional content management systems (CMS) aside and look at reasonable use cases and applications for both.

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Kitewheel’s Mark Smith: Customer Journey Orchestration Is Just Warming Up

Kitewheel's Mark Smith: Customer Journey Orchestration Is Just Warming Up

When B2C brands were asked in which way they would differentiate themselves from competitors, 47 percent chose customer experience. That’s according to an Econsultancy report  that also found 21 percent of both B2C and B2B brands were excited about the prospect of improving their customer experience — a percentage only

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Why Retailers Need To Move Beyond Cross Channel Marketing

The retail marketing power has shifted for the marketer to the customer in recent years as digital has disrupted what we used to think of as tried and true retail practices. With the proliferation of channels beyond the store and the Web site, the way customers engage with your brand is on their terms.

With this shift comes the expectation that you make it easy for them to engage with your brand, when they want to, and how they want to, no matter where they are.

What should matter to retail marketers looking to survive in today’s tough, digitally transformed, retail landscape?

Stay Focused On the Right Thing  

The best-performing retailers, whether it is ModCloth, Amazon, or The North Face are not focusing on the marketing channels, but are focused on enabling seamless, low-friction customer experiences with their brands. The customer does not think about your brand in the terms of marketing channels.

They want to view your retail store as a window into the brand, but can access inventory and quickly and easily buy through their mobile device, or the website or even the store if they so choose.

They also want the product or service delivered to them quickly, no matter where they are, be it at home, work, a hotel on the road, etc. Retail marketers need to break down their siloed thinking and embrace that modern retail marketing success is driven by a seamless customer experience.

The Numbers Do Not Lie

This past December, Steve Olenski, Forbes contributor, influencer and Director of CMO Content & Strategy for Oracle Marketing Cloud shared the 4 Cross Channel Marketing Stats Marketers Need To Know Going Into 2017.

Read Steve’s post for sure but I’ll summarize the 4 stats here for you:

  1. Two-thirds of all shoppers regularly use more than one channel to make purchases. 
  2. The average shopper makes on average 9.5 visits to a retailer’s site before deciding to buy.
  3. Customers who shop on more than one channel have a 30% higher Lifetime Value than those who shop on only one.
  4. Only 5% of marketers say they are “very much set up to effectively orchestrate cross-channel marketing activities.”

It’s All About the CX

As I mentioned earlier the best brands in the world are not focused on marketing channels per se but the experience they provide across those channels.

Most marketers rate Customer Experience as a top priority for their organization year after year, but very few companies are actually able to deliver on their vision. How often do we hear stories of customers with open service tickets receiving an email promotion targeted towards “happy customers”? Or display ads shown promoting a product to a customer who just recently purchased that very same item?

When investigating where these customer experience initiatives fall flat - or even fail to get off the ground – it is very often see data issues at the root of the problem.

Marketers struggle with data silos within their own organization as they try to integrate customer data across multiple systems - email, web, commerce, service, loyalty, social, etc.

Even if they are able to successfully unite data across these systems, once customer start to move across devices and channels, most marketing systems lose track of who’s who. Add in the final component of anonymous audiences who move throughout the digital world, and the average marketer is facing an impossible task.

If you can’t be sure who you’re speaking to at the end of your marketing campaign, there’s no way you can provide a positive Customer Experience.

Keep It Simple

Retailers today need an all-in-one solution that helps retail marketers develop direct relationships with customers through seamlessly orchestrated cross-channel digital experiences—online and offline—that facilitate and strengthen customer interactions across a constantly growing list of digital touchpoints.

Watch this brief case study to see how one leading retailer uses Oracle Marketing Cloud technology and expertise to deliver a perfect customer experience that speaks to the mood and the moment of the consumer using cross-channel orchestration at this women's vintage fashion and lifestyle brand.

Image source: Pexels

HubSpot INBOUND Attendees Share Marketing Challenges and Strategies

HubSpot INBOUND Attendees Share Marketing Challenges and Strategies

BOSTON — Twenty-one thousand people descended upon the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center this week for HubSpot’s annual INBOUND marketing conference. What draws so many people to this event? The mini pigs-in-a-blanket appetizers, former First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearance, co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah’s always-entertaining keynote and vendors

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9 Tips for Recovering Your Google Rankings After a Site Hack

website-hacker.jpgThis is a post by ProBlogger SEO expert Jim Stewart

While WordPress is a relatively secure platform, it can still be hacked. In fact, out of the 11,000 hacked websites Securi analyzed in 2016, 75 percent of them were running WordPress.

If your WordPress site has been hacked, fear not. By following these tips you can fortify your site and kick wannabe hackers to the kerb.

And provided you act quickly, your WordPress site’s SEO traffic—and even its reputation—can recover within 24 hours.

Here’s what you need to do.

Tip #1: Kick Out the Malware

The first step towards getting your site back into Google’s top SERPs is to make sure it isn’t harbouring hidden malware – malicious code the hacker has inserted into your site. If you don’t, all your repair efforts will be wasted. Worse still, you could end up infecting the computer of anyone who visits your website.

And while you’re at it, get rid of any spam, installed content or other suspect material you find.

Tip #2: Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

Next, make sure you’ve entered your website into the Google Search Console (GSC). It will reveal your site’s overall status, and help you understand which URLs on your site are being affected by the hack. You can even use it to take down your site’s blacklisting.

Of course, you should already have GSC set up for your site as it can help enormously. But it can be especially useful when your site has been hacked. For example, it can send you a warning email when the message “This site may harm your computer” appears in Google’s search results — a sure sign your site has been hacked. Just make sure the email address it gets send to is one you monitor regularly.

You’ll need to go through a submission process to assure Google your site has been fixed and you’ve removed all malicious code. They will then remove the message from their search results.

Tip #3: Request a Malware Review

Google can review your WordPress site for malware and unwanted software. It’s a simple process, and it’s definitely effective. Navigate to the Google Search Console “Security Issues” report and request a review.

Tip #4: Download These Plugins

Once you’ve started recovering your website’s rankings, you should download a couple of plugins that are conducive to long-term security. Check out:

These plugins can secure your website from all angles, and give you complete control over unwanted visitors, admin permissions and keyword tampering.

However, try to minimize the number of plugins on your site. The fewer you have, the less chance there is of your site’s security being compromised.

Another option is to use a combination of Cloudflare (which hides your site’s actual IP address, making it harder for hackers to find) and a secure host such as WP Engine.

The post-hacking pick-up process is a long one. But it’s not impossible to overcome.

Tip #5: Find Out How You Were Hacked

If you’re dealing with a WordPress website hack, you need to understand how you’re being hacked. Narrow down the options, and look for inconsistencies. Ask yourself:

  • Is my WordPress site being directed to another website?
  • Does my WordPress site have any illegitimate links?
  • Has Google marked my website as Insecure?

These factors all play a major role. Once you’ve answered each questions, contact your hosting company. If your weak point was a plugin, remove it and protect your site from that vulnerability.

Tip #6: Clean up your Index

If your site has been infected with irrelevant pages, they can dilute your content and affect your rankings. Google may not recognise the hack, and take them into account when ranking your content. And if that content weakens your original content authority, your rankings will suffer.

These pages usually contain links that divert traffic away from your site. And it can be difficult to understand why why your rankings are dropping if they’re still being indexed.

To fix the problem, you need to isolate and manually remove the URLs from your index. Fortunately, it’s easy to do. Just go to Search Console, and under the Google Index section select ‘Remove URLs’.

And once they’re gone, you’ll need to monitor any crawl errors and re-submit your site maps.

qld-justice-hacked.jpg

Example of a Government site that has been hacked and cached by Google.

Tip #7: Move to a Secure Host

Your blog’s first line of defence begins with strong security from a robust hosting provider. That’s why we recommend WP Engine. It has exceptional security, and won’t let you install plugins that could compromise the security of your site.

Tip #8: Protect Other Avenues of Entry

If you’re using shared hosting, your other websites may have also been affected. So talk to your provider, and see if they can  identify any backdoors that may have led to your website being hacked. They may even be able to set up an additional login step that hides the real login page.

And don’t forget to change your passwords.

Tip #9: Consider Restoring your WordPress Site

Always keep backups of your WordPress site so you have the option of restoring it if necessary. If your WordPress blog is updated daily, you may have lost a lot of blog posts, comments and other content. If that’s the case, you may need to consider restoring it from a recent backup.

Even if you haven’t lost much content, it may still be worth restoring an earlier version to ensure your site isn’t harbouring unwanted content, visitors or other material.

You may also want to invest in an online security scanner, which can identify any WordPress files that have been compromised.

If you’d rather do it yourself check these files on your WordPress site:

  • Header.php
  • Index.php
  • Footer.php
  • Function.php
  • wp-config.php
  • .htaccess

You should also check your uploads and wp-includes directories.

Replace any compromised files, and if necessary reinstall the WordPress core files. But be careful. And stay up to date with WordPress’ new features, updates, bug fixes and news.

Chances are you’ve put a lot of work into both the design and the content of your website. So make sure you protect it by following these tips.

But always remember that if the worst comes to worst and your site is hacked, it’s not the end of the world. And with a bit of hard work you can recover your site and your Google rankings.

The post 9 Tips for Recovering Your Google Rankings After a Site Hack appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Take a Deep Dive into Comprehensive Content Marketing Strategy

This week was all about the bigger picture of content marketing strategy. “Great content” is a wonderful start, but you need the strategic context that pulls it all together. Whether you’re a pro or just getting started, the posts and podcasts below will give you a framework to make your project really strong. On Monday,
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