Ignite sales by rekindling the meta description flame

In simplistic terms, meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. Meta description tags, while not important to search engine rankings, are extremely vital in gaining user click-through from search engine result pages (SERPs). We’ve all seen them before, they look like this:





As SEO best practices constantly evolve and change, it is easy to take our focus off our meta descriptions, after all they don’t immediately affect our rankings, so why exhaust our energies here?

Well, it’s high time we rekindled the relationship with our forgotten friend. As mentioned before, meta descriptions directly effects traffic volume. It serves as your ad copy, and therefore needs to be compelling, relevant and include a call to action.So while the lowly meta description may not get your page ranking at the number one spot, it will drive sales.

Getting back on good terms with your meta description

1. Solve a problem

Web users are generally searching for an answer to a problem. This is applicable to online retail as well. Say a user is looking to put in an above-ground swimming pool for the summer. They’re looking for one that is the best quality, price, warranty, installation service, etc. and the meta description needs to address this.

2. Stand Out

Google Adwords does not allow you to use capitalisation for emphasis in paid advertisements, however nothing is stopping you in the meta description. Used sparingly it can really capture the attention and draw the eye of the reader. Similarly, numbers can attract attention where words may fail (e.g 50% off or Fortune 500 Company).

3. Key Facts

Include the most important facts that are relevant to your audience. Whether it is size, model or same day delivery, list it clearly and concisely in your description. Keep this up-to-date. Nothing will scare off a sale faster than archaic, obsolete products.

4. Talk Up Yourself/ Use Superlatives

You’ve only got a few sentences to draw a user in — so show off. If you can name drop or boast any accolade you’ve received, do it now. Furthermore, superlatives will help sell yourself and your page content, e.g. “Check out our stunning, top-of-the line [product and/or service]!”

5. CTAs

Calls to action are used in every other form of advertisements so why would you leave them out of your meta description? Encourage the user to take the next step of clicking-through to your site.

A few last words on the subject: meta descriptions should employ your keywords intelligently, but also sell your company and product offer. Make sure your description is compelling with direct relevance to the page. Each page’s meta description should be unique and ideally be between 150-160 characters.

It’s high time to welcome the meta description back into our SEO friendship circle. The more we put into our descriptions, they more we get back. Putting the love back into the metadescriptionrelationship canonly benefit us — the better the description is, the higher the click-through rate will be, ultimately bringing more traffic to your site.

If you want help producing dynamite meta descriptions and amp your click-through rates, or if you are looking to revamp your entire SEO campaign, talk to us.Our Digital Manager Veronica Nobbs will get you on the road to optimisation in no time!

e: veronica@b2bpartners.nz



Death to CAPTCHAs or risk killing your conversion rate

While CAPTCHAs have their admirable qualities in principle, the vast majority of the internet-using populous sees them as detestable, unreadable road-blocks that almost no one can decipher. Theoretically, a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) protects virginal, doe-eyed users from the villainous clutches of bots hell-bent on spamming civilisation into oblivion; however, most of us would quietly take our chances if it meant we could finally rid the web-world of obscured, distorted letters and words challenging us to prove our human authenticity.

Courtesy of 9Gag

CAPTCHAs are widespread and often used to prevent comment spam and the automated submission of web forms, contact details, online polls or registrations. It seems like these barriers may be a necessary precaution for webmasters, but the hard truth is that the use of CAPTCHAs could be killing your conversion rate.

By including CAPTCHA in your website, you’re setting obstacles between you and your customers. It creates friction at the climax of the user’s site experience which, in turn, results in a percentage of users prematurely abandoning their task.

In 2009, Casey Henry, a web developer out of Seattle, conducted an independent case study over the 50 pages he either managed or had access to. He concluded that the sites with CAPTCHA turned off saw up to a 3.2% increase of their conversion rates, which is a fairly big potential gain for a lot of companies.

So why do conversion rates dwindle in the presence of anti-bots? Well for one, they are incredibly difficult to read. Illegible letter and number combinations (is that a zero or the letter ‘O’?) often take several attempts to pass. And what about those with limited vision or dyslexia? An audio CAPTCHA is sometimes provided but, according to a Stanford University large-scale evaluation, audio CAPTCHA on average takes 28.4 seconds to hear and solve and have a 50% give-up rate. And with software becoming increasingly more sophisticated, it becomes just a matter of time before a CAPTCHA can be cracked. The result? Tests that become even more difficult.

So what can be done? CAPTCHA may be unavoidable for some sites, but there are some really simple solutions that can help reduce the amount of spam you are plagued with, without interfering with user experience.


Askimet provides an effective defense without having any effect on users. It comes as a variety of plug-ins and is generally fairly easy to implement on your site. Askimet monitors millions of sites, regularly learning new methods to combat comment spam.

The Honeypot Technique

Essentially, this technique hides a designated field on a form from the human user. Machines will still detect the hidden field and will mark it. If a rogue form is submitted with the invisible field marked, it will be discarded.

Confirmation Page

As the user enters his information on one page and submits it, he will be taken to the next page and prompted to confirm the previously entered information. This prevents robots from successfully entering information as they typically focus only on the page containing blank fields.

Interested in discussing other ways your website can boost your conversion rate, give us a bell on +64 9 950 2140 and find out why we’re so confident that we can boost your bottom line!


How to create landing pages that convert

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, optimising your website for conversion should be a key component of your digital strategy. Here’s a simple blueprint to generate landing pages that convert will ultimately boost your bottom line.

Step One: How are you tracking?

Before throwing any additional funds at digital marketing you need to assess how well you are measuring your efforts, and simply having a Google tracking code in your HTML is not going to cut it.

1. Have conversions funnels been set up within Google Analytics (for email sign ups, purchases etc)?

2. Are your Google Webmaster/Adwords accounts linked to your Google Analytics account?

3. Are you tracking phone leads from your website?

4. Have you surveyed your web browsers /or collected feedback?

5. Are you measuring how many additional leads you are generating from your email marketing?

6. Are you analysing how users interact with your website, through the likes of heat maps in Google In-Page Analytics?

7. How do you track success? Too many companies rely solely on total website visitors.


Step Two: How intuitive is it?

If someone in your target market lands on your website how quickly can they grasp the concept and take an action that is both appropriate to what you want them to do and what will benefit them. Squarespace a great example of an intuitive landing page.

They have kept their homepage very simple, allowing people to use slick templates to build websites. Through the imagery and text they are creating the look of someone who has ‘created their own space,’ then the primary call to action directly in the centre is a “Get Started” button.


Step Three: What makes you different?

At the end of the day your website is there to sell you, so you have five seconds to convince visitors why they should use you over competitors. This is done by making your unique value proposition immediate, simple, clear and engaging.

Visual Website Optimizer is a great example of this. Traditionally A/B testing has required coding expertise, however Visual Website Optimizer stands out through a visual interface that allows anyone to be able to A/B test.


Step Four: How trusted are you?

If you are a new brand to the market you can build trust quickly by utilising either customer/client testimonials, industry accreditations or well-known other brands that have ties to your product or service.

If there is room, we recommend putting these trust building elements above the fold. This will help to improve conversion rates.


Conclusion: Whatever elements you choose to include in your website, as long as your tracking is set up correctly and changes are being A/B tested, you should never go too awry.

5 keys to successful web design for start-ups

Typically, new business start-ups are renowned for flying by the seat of their pants and getting bogged down with generating lots of great ideas that they don’t have the time and resources to execute well. The result being that the web design is an area that is often undercooked.

From a marketing perspective however, the most important area they need to focus on is their website. As their website is going to be the foundation for all of their marketing activity, it’s essential that they invest time in creating a dynamic website that’s easy to navigate and inspires browsers to take action. After all, their website is really the “online face” of their business.


If you’re a start-up, here’s 5 principles you need to follow when building your website:

    1. Keep your messaging simple and clear. As a start-up you don’t generally have any brand recognition or reputation so you literally have as little as 5-10 seconds to create the right impression and communicate your company’s point of difference in a compelling way.
    2. Use strong, purposeful calls to action. You need to make sure that when a visitor lands on your website you encourage them to take action — whether it’s leaving their contact details, downloading an eBook, etc.
    3. Clear product / service offering. Clarity is king! It’s really important that you clearly communicate what your product or service does. A good way to do this is to think about what the customer’s problem is and how your product or service solves it for them.
    4. Trust factor. You only have 5-10 seconds to build trust with browsers on your website, so you need to create visual clues that do this — logos of clients you have worked with, publications you have been featured in, and security certificates or certifications.
    5. Show don’t tell. Where possible, tell your story using videos, diagrams, and appropriate images. Not only are visuals more emotionally engaging, they are also more immediate and help browsers understand your company’s unique story quickly.


Conclusion: Creating a great web design and user experience can very quickly fall to the bottom of a start-ups priorities list, but don’t underestimate the value that it can bring to your fledgling business.


The sales process has been hacked by the internet

Sales effectiveness and productivity are critical in today’s business world, but there’s not a competitive business today that isn’t trying to grapple with the way the internet has redefined the classic 5-step sales process — engage a customer, qualify the customer, make a proposal, close the sale and follow up.

In the past, customers who needed a product would call in directly, or via an agent or broker. That call then set the sales process in motion. Or, a sales person would pick up on a lead and make a cold call to activate the first step. However, the harsh reality is that the internet has all but gutted that process.

Definitive evidence comes from new research from CEB and Google http://www.executiveboard.com/exbd-resources/content/digital-evolution/index.html that shows that customers are 57% of the way through the sales process before they ever contact a sales rep. That’s because they are looking at your business information online, sifting through a smorgasbord of information and are veritable experts before they even call in.

Customersresearch your company, your products, and pricing. They look at your competitors, and analyse your perceived strengths and weaknesses. They check online testimonials and reviews (good and bad), post questions on forums and ask their friend’s friends about you. They may even go to your social media pages and finally make a decision based on what their ‘gut’ tells them about the way you ‘feel’ on Facebook and Twitter.

This is the reality that businesses face today. With this change in sales process, a company has to adjust its marketing and sales strategy. You have to be available and accessible to customers where they are online. Your online presence must engage with customers and communicate the value you can add to their businesses. As a result, relevant content will continue to rule and escalate in value, especially content related to consideration and purchase drivers.

You need a strong, and ideally, all pervasive digital and internet presence to make it easy for customers to get information on your product or service. You have to consider and examine the full range of content that your organization is producing. Weigh up video, testimonials, blog posts, articles and white papers against their relevance, newsworthiness, insightfulness, clarity, and professionalism. This is a continuous process, and your businesses must analyse and improve online communications, content and accessibility with fastidious regularity.

And if that sounds complicated, that’s only one side of the equation. Increasingly, there is an equally important online aspect that goes hand-in-hand with everything else — online monitoring. Companies today must employ effective tracking and analytics to keep abreast of their Internet ‘buzz’ and avoid potential disasters. A single negative post on Facebook, Twitter or a blog can reach millions of potential customers in an instant.

In fact, some organisations consider this critically important to the way they manage their business. It’s a small wonder that a multinational like Nestlé now has a dedicated Digital Acceleration Team http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/26/us-nestle-online-water-idUSBRE89P07S20121026 , continually monitoring conversations about its products on social media.

Ultimately it may seem like confusing rocket science, but it’s really simple. Your website content should be well written, insightful, informative and up to date. Your blog should have regular updates, as should Facebook and Twitter. But perhaps most important of all, you have to ensure that your online reputation is what it should be. If someone did nothing but check you out online, would they decide to choose your business?