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Category Archives: Social Media

web behavior

Consumer Driven Web Trends, Predictions for 2013

In a previous post on “Online Research Methods” I demonstrated some of the research techniques available to SEOs, writers, marketing experts and big data analysts. During my own research on web trends I have made some interesting discoveries that can help you learn about upcoming web search behavior related to your own niche.

I’d initially like to expand on use of the research methods I use from the original research method infographic. I have a personal interest in finding out what our own audience would love for me to write about, either through feedback, or understanding our audience demographic better. Taking a refreshing new look at where your audience comes from once in a while is a great exercise once in a while from a marketing standpoint.

First off I’d like to show you the “Google Trends” tool. There is a similar tool in Adwords that shows you a volume of search against certain keywords. The Adwords Keywords tool is insufficient for projecting trends for as there is no historical data. To ascertain what trends are breaking out, what is current, and relevancy to other behaviors that are following the same rate of change and seasonal behaviors, you’ll need the Google Trends tool.

Adwords Keywords tool is a great tool for scraping together a bucket list and finding which keywords present current opportunity for optimizing your site or advertising campaign. If you want to get down to the real nitty-gritty and find out why the opportunity exists, you need to find which opportunities are growing, plateauing, or falling.

Below is a graph I screenshot from the Google Trends tool. It has it’s own forecasting tool in it, and a bunch of related terms suggested for you to plug in and test out. I simply used search terms relevant to our audience taken from our popular posts and after a few permutations of related keywords. I found something that stood out as a rising trend that warranted further investigation. I’ve overlaid the trend graph with a the rough projection so you can see what caught my attention:

Out of all the interest in online web applications and and developer tools, the term “web apps” seems to show a distinct seasonal activity on top of a steadily increasing trend.

Clicking on the “web apps” tab gives us further segmented information on this activity. Google shows us not only is the term rapidly increasing in frequency of search but alongside it are many new breakout terms related to mobile devices. Note the mention of “android web apps”, and “web apps iphone“.

Where Is This Online Trend Behavior Coming From

Head on over to Google Correlate, which finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends. Here we can see what consumer driving forces are behind online trends by matching search volume patterns. Search terms may not be related, but by comparing seasonal behaviors you can tie-in the effect of the real world events.

In the case of the search term of “web apps”, Google suggests that the behavior for “iphone web” closely matches all the smaller seasonal peaks and possibly sale periods. Google has in it’s algorithms a correlation coefficient called “r”. The closer the correlation coefficient is to 1, the less variance there is between two trending behaviors.

I will certainly be paying closer attention to iPhone developments and releases now, with a view to how they impact our mobile app behavior.

how much spend advertising

How Much to Spend Online Marketing [Infographic]

Earlier in the year, we conducted a survey of website owners and managers to understand their online business. We wanted to learn something about the real issues that online business owners face when making decisions about their online advertising budget. Is social media marketing really free? Is it an important investment? The feedback may surprise you! As much as 35% of website owners are not spending on any marketing or advertising at all.

I have made a few assumptions in deriving this research, and for those academics who want to qualify the number crunching, please write a comment for me, and I’ll see if I can follow up personally. Following is an infographic showing some key results. The survey is still open, so we can take another look later on to compare differences in people’s spending budgets in 2013.

Click to Zoom, Right click to download –>

small business spend online advertising
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Demographics

We had 147 responders in June 2012. Our responders were prompted by our newsletters, and some social media feeds. The majority of the responders are therefore from our own customer base. Responders were divided into the amount they invested on their website hosting. Based on what they spend on web hosting, we have grouped the respondents by the type of hosting technology they use.

The ratios of groups sizes to one another seem to match patterns we see in our existing customer base. For example, more than half of the respondents are on a shared hosting plan. A smaller proportion of the respondents use Virtual Private Servers. Finally the smallest group spend on the dedicated servers.

147 respondents is too small a sample to give an accurate assessment of spending on online advertising. However, it is a significant pool to start to see spending habits and determine the focus for the next set of research. Let’s get started!

Website owner community: What portion of website owners are currently marketing?

Out of all the respondents that showed an interest in marketing costs, only 65% of them reported they actually put their hands in their pocket and spent money on promoting themselves. The average spend amongst those that did budget for online promotion was a surprisingly meager $202 per month.

We segregated spending into three different categories.

  • Spending on online advertising This includes all forms of paid advertising including Facebook paid ads, Google Adwords and Display Networks.
  • Spending on SEO – or Search Engine Optimization. This includes text-brokering, paying for press releases, link building, CRM subscriptions and analysis tools.
  • Spending on Social Media. This includes monthly subscriptions to CRMs for social media management, automation and scheduled posts tools, multiple account management tools.

 

How much do website owners spend on online advertising?

# respondents Web Hosting Totals Facebook ads SERPs Ads Display Network
147 All WebHosting Plans $12,730 $1,370 $7,070 $4,290
82 Shared Hosting $3,920 $650 $1,810 $1,460
50 VPS Hosting $6,550 $660 $3,600 $2,290
15 Dedicated Hosting $2,260 $60 $60 $540
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Across 147 respondents,  $12,730 a month is being poured into advertising. More than half of this money is going directly into Google Adwords Search Advertising. Of course dividing these numbers up into average spending across each web hosting group reveals a general trend that can be seen in the infographic. The more hosting horsepower individuals are investing in, the more advertising dollars they are spending.

What is not shown on the graph though is something harder to explain: That out of our sample of respondents the biggest pool of spending are those in VPS hosting, attempting to draw in their traffic mainly through Search advertising.
One insight the survey results seem to offer, is that as websites progress up in resource requirements, advertising focus moves away from paid search listings, to banner advertising on display networks.

How much do website owners spend on SEO?

# respondents Web Hosting Totals SEO Tools PR SPIN CRM
147 All WebHosting Plans $5,390 $2,940 $1,110 $1,340
82 Shared Hosting $2,300 $1,290 $460 $550
50 VPS Hosting $1,960 $1,120 $450 $390
15 Dedicated Hosting $1,130 $530 $200 $400
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Survey Results How Much Spending on SEO by @JulianaPayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

SEO spending is hard for people to quantify, so the questions were designed to prompt users into thinking about their spending habits.

Classic SEO spending comprises of subscriptions to SEOmoz analysis tools, and a lot of time backlinking and site restructuring. This represents the “SEO Tools” column. Next I have “PR Spin”, prompting individuals to admit to budgeting for text-brokering, press releases, or maybe even paid link-building services. Finally, and I think this is the most important for modern SEO, is the investment in CRM suites like Buzzstream for tracking those new webmaster to webmaster relationships and general business development.

The spending reports are not surprising. The biggest pool of spending is represented by those using Shared Hosting. These individuals are competing with other thousands of similar more established businesses. As the business becomes more steadfast and require more resources due to high traffic, they focus on more on embedding themselves into the web ecosystem using CRMs.

 

How much do website owners spend on Social Media?

# respondents Web Hosting Totals SMM Suites automation web 2.0 plugins
147 All WebHosting Plans $1,290 $430 $500 $360
82 Shared Hosting $440 $180 $150 $110
50 VPS Hosting $840 $240 $350 $250
15 Dedicated Hosting $10 $10 0 0
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Overall, Social Media tools receive less monetary commitment than any other form of online promotion. Even if you add in spending on Facebook promotions at an additional $1,370 across the board for all website groups, this total of $2,660 per month across our entire respondent pool represents a small amount of commitment.

This result was surprising. The importance of social media engagement for businesses is constantly over-hyped, yet here we have results that show it is the smallest portion of spending across the board by all online business.

Perhaps the general public opinion is that social media is free, and therefore should not be invested in. Our survey attempted to draw out any hours used and not accounted for by asking respondents what hours they spent doing online activities. There was simply not enough hours tallied up to draw any meaningful conclusion. There were not enough hours in any one category of activity to determine if site owners focus more on one job than another in marketing their websites.

One consistent fact across all responses, was that there is an even distribution of spending among all website owners. An average spend of less than $10 per person per month and no significant big spenders makes the social media marketing scene a steady outflow, but not an investment spend.

Red Miso Beef Short Rib

Foodie Friday Continues! Time For Some Lemonade…

Welcome back to another edition of InMotion Hosting’s Foodie Fridays!  It’s finally feeling like winter time here in Los Angeles with today’s rainy and cooler weather.  With that in mind, everyone agreed to have some type of home-style comfort food, but still keep it somewhat healthy. And a perfect place for that kind of food here in LA is Lemonade, “Southern California Comfort Food.”

Don’t let the name throw you off, they actually do serve lemonade…and, in different flavors!  Check out their menu. But they also specialize in excellent marketplace salads, braises, sandwiches, AND delicious desserts!

Check out these pics:

Needless to say, the office gave Lemonade a 4.2 star rating.  We highly recommend the Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Red Miso Beef Short Rib Braises, and definitely try the Jalapeno Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese.  It’s to die for!

And if you’re a vegetarian or just want a large variety of freshly tossed salads, this is the place to go.  Oh, and don’t forget to try their desserts and lemonades!  My fave is their Red Velvet Cupcake, yum!

what is research

#IMHhangout | How to Research [Infographic]

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time. November 14 2012

Live #IMHhangout recording can be watched at the end of this post!

Right Click to view full size
How To Research

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Copy HTML Code To Share the Research Methods Infographic On Your Website

Our discussion channel for webmasters, is a live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream via #IMHhangout.

Is it a national and social problem that people don’t know how to research?. Social networks have allowed the majority of us to believe information is readily available. Take a look at Yahoo! Answers; these questions are easily searchable via Google, Bing, or any search engine. Type a question in on Yahoo’s homepage search bar and find a solution. Google’s interactive searchbar even does math and conversions for you. The skill itself of “Research” has become diluted in it’s meaning.

Today I’m exposing a range of web 2.0 research tools you’ve probably never heard of. This world of online data is important for small business, website owners, college students, interviewees, and analysts. The format is going to be a fairly open forum for debate, opinions, and shared experience, here are the guide questions to stimulate your thoughts.

Questions to follow a round of introductions: I’ve prepared a couple of handouts for you to keep track of in this huge subject!

  1. Introduce yourself!  #students #writers #smallbusiness #webpro
  2. What are your favorite Web 2.0 research tools: #analytics #trends #adwords
  3. What in the past helped you learn the importance of research? #college #competition
  4. Are there any research methods missing from our flow chart?


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Click to open the supporting notes document here! This is provided as a Google Document to allow printing and sharing. Feel free to do so!

How to Research Notes by WordPress Hosting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

How to Find the #IMHhangout

  • Look for our Custum URL [or click here]: google.com / +inmotionhosting
  • Type ‘InMotion Hosting‘ into google plus search to find our brand profile page. On your mobile device you have to do this through ‘people‘ [not circles] profile search to view our page profile.
  • Do a hard refresh [hold down shift + refresh] near broadcast time to make sure our google plus page refreshes and shows you the invitation to ‘join hangout

Our Hangouts are LIVE and recorded. As such you will be prompted to give permission to be recorded upon joining the hangout. Since the hangout is recorded, it is not an open public forum. Attendance is by invitation only, which you will receive once adding us on Google plus. We cannot issue invitations to those not already in our circles.

We are aware some of you get messages like this when accessing from your mobile device:

“This hangout is not currently supported on this device” In the mean time the only suggestion I have is to leave the G+ app, and restart it if you see this message come up. Even so, please don’t let this hold you back! We value your input through the TweetChat hashtag, make sure you tag your conversation with #IMHhangout so that everyone in the community can see your voice!

Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! We are looking forward to giving you all a spot here in the live broadcast – so make sure you jump in

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – Our in-house Graphic Designer, will be scanning our Tweetchat

@IMH_Affiliate – Our Affiliate Manager, will be keeping a deft eye on G+ and hopefully making sure you can jump in.

@Maria_InMotion – Our SEO and Partner Specialist will be watching out for people on Facebook to make sure you get a mention.

A previous hashtracking report shows that we had over 127,000 impressions on #IMHhangout!

InMotion Pumpkins

InMotion Hosting Pumpkin Carving Contest

Today was quite a festive day at the Los Angeles InMotion Hosting office!  To celebrate Halloween time, we held our first pumpkin carving contest.

It was a nice way to get everyone together and do a little team building activity to change up our daily routines.  Everyone got pretty creative and had a great time doing some arts and crafts. For a couple InMotion team members, this was actually their first time ever to carve a pumpkin!

But since this was a contest, the winner was…

The creepy pumpkin face by Juliana!

Happy Halloween!

Mia Enjoying Her 1st InMotion Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: InMotion’s LA Marketing Team Welcomes A New Member

This week at InMotion Hosting Los Angeles, we welcomed Mia, SEM Manager, into our Marketing Department. She had the honors of choosing this week’s Foodie Friday destination, in which she opted for Greek food.  This was a great choice because we’ve all been meaning to try out Big Fat Pita, which has been highly recommended by Jeff in our Marketing Department.

Mia Enjoying Her 1st InMotion Foodie Friday

Needless to say, with an average rating of 4.4 stars, everyone was quite satisfied with today’s lunch choice.  One of the highest ratings we’ve given so far!  Who would’ve thought that a Greek “fast food” place at the mall would be this good!

To keep it short and simple, here are the highest rated items from this place:

Mousaka and side of Big Fat Pita Fries

Mousaka & Big Fat Pita Fries

Big Fat Pita w/ Gyro

Big Fat Gyro Pita

The Olympian Plate with Grilled Tofu Kabob

The Olympian w/ Grilled Tofu

Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Soup

Greek Salad with Salmon

Salmon Greek Salad

And last, but not least…

Chocolate Baklava!

Chocolate Baklava

As you can see, we were all happy foodies today!

Juliana Enjoying Her Mousaka

makemoneyonline

#IMHhangout | Make Money Online [infographic]

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time. October 17 2012

See #IMHhangout recording at end of blog post!

Click to Zoom

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Our weekly webmasters live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

Everybody wants to make money online! If you are on the internet, there is a part of you aware of the massive online income potential that everyone else seems to partake in. Whether you are looking to gain freelance gigs, earn through advertising, sell services, do information marketing, or simply learn what affiliate marketing is all about, this hangout could be your starting point! This subject has the broad scope to enable a talk for a long time, so as the host I’ll simply aim to eek out of those that join us what has worked for them in the hope you might glean something useful for yourselves. The format this week is going to be a fairly open forum for debate, opinions, and shared experience, here are the guide questions to stimulate your thoughts.

Questions to follow a round of introductions: I’ve prepared a couple of handouts for you to  keep track of in this huge subject!

  1. List methods of online income: #affiliate #adsense #freelance
  2. What is your niche (if you make money online) #elance, #clickbank #seo
  3. What websites helped you learn about making money online?
  4. Do you agree or disagree with our top online money making resources?

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How to Find the #IMHhangout

  • Look for our Custum URL [or click here]: google.com / +inmotionhosting
  • Type ‘InMotion Hosting‘ into google plus search to find our brand profile page. On your mobile device you have to do this through ‘people‘ [not circles] profile search to view our page profile.
  • Do a hard refresh [hold down shift + refresh] near broadcast time to make sure our google plus page refreshes and shows you the invitation to ‘join hangout

We received a comment on one of our hangouts that one viewer couldn’t jump in. Google hangouts do work through iPhones and mobile devices. Unfortunately we cannot explain why some of you get messages like this:

“This hangout is not currently supported on this device” – So we are aware difficulties like this do happen, as this is what I saw on my iPhone. I’m looking forward to suggestions from other mobile people on how they overcome this. In the mean time the only suggestion I have is to leave the G+ app, and restart it if you see this message come up. Even so, please don’t let this hold you back! We value your input through the TweetChat hashtag, make sure you tag your conversation with #IMHhangout so that everyone in the community can see your voice!

Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! We are looking forward to giving you all a spot here in the live broadcast – so make sure you jump in

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – Our in-house Graphic Designer, will be scanning our Tweetchat

@IMH_Affiliate – Our Affiliate Manager, will be keeping a deft eye on G+ and hopefully making sure you can jump in.

@Maria_InMotion – Our SEO and Partner Specialist will be watching out for people on Facebook to make sure you get a mention.

Our last hashtracking report shows that we had over 127,000 impressions on #IMHhangout!

Space shuttle endeavor

#SpotTheShuttle InMotion Hosting’s Marketing Field Trip

We’re honored to have space shuttle Endeavour making it’s final stay here in Los Angeles. Here at our west coast office situated overlooking the airport, it’s just a walk to see the shuttle situated at one of it’s stops on it’s 12 mile trip to the LA museum. Our building is situated fairly close to the shuttle’s route, which means the commute into our office, as experienced by a number of us here, was spotty with road closure preparations. A small price to pay to feel the awesome presence in person – and “awesome” is a much overused word, but the only one that really suits seeing the shuttle up close.

To recap with the whole journey, the shuttle carrier aircraft took off just over two weeks ago on September 17th, piggy-backing Endeavour on it’s last flight across the United States. Since 1981, space shuttles have been landing at Edwards Air Force Base and have been transported across America to their takeoff site at Kennedy Space Center. Very few people have had the privilege to come close to a shuttle, nor has there been any effort to make an extra show of low flying pass-overs. The focus is merely to get the job done.

Endeavour’s final journey however, was a real mission to say goodbye. It was to spend two days traveling across America with low-flying tours at below 1500ft from the space coast, New Orleans, a stop-over in Houston, and then Edward’s Air Force Base before coming to Los Angeles and beginning two weeks of detaching from the aircraft carrier and processing.

The project is huge, but only to match the majesty of this feat of combined human efforts in engineering. If you follow the hashtag #SpotTheShuttle on Twitter and on Google Plus, you’ll see the incredible montage of people’s snapshots documenting Endeavour’s journey. Endeavour will be assembled in an upright launch position and rebuilt with her rocket boosters in position as testament to her memory.

Compari's Pizza

Foodie Friday: Pizza Party!

Welcome to another edition of InMotion Hosting LA’s Foodie Fridays!  So it’s looking like we’ve been falling off the wagon a bit on trying to stick to healthier options.  But today was an exception because we gave the lunch choice to one of our team members who just celebrated her birthday yesterday.  Her option was for Compari’s Trattoria/Pizzeria, located just one exit south of us on the 405 freeway.

It’s hard to sticking to healthy options at an Italian restaurant.  Unless you just eat a salad, every other option is pretty carb-heavy or smothered with cheese.  So your best bet to be somewhat health-conscious is PORTION CONTROL! Lol, at least that’s what I say to myself.

This place got an above average rating from our team being given 3.9 stars.  This is a pretty decent Italian place to try out.  We highly recommend the Eggplant Parmigiana, whether it’s the sandwich or the plate.  The breaded eggplant itself was very well seasoned!  As far as the pizza goes, it’s pretty much slightly above average.

you

But you gotta remember, we’re getting delivery, so the majority of the hot foods we get delivered would most likely be much better fresh from the kitchen.  Regardless, I’d definitely give this place another shot and try out one of their specialty dishes, such as the Lobster Ravioli, yum!

Dinah's Fried Chicken

Foodie Friday: Chicken ‘n Shuttles…

Today was quite an eventful and adventurous day for us here at the Los Angeles InMotion office.  First off, we were able to witness history in the making as the Space Shuttle Endeavour made its rounds all over Los Angeles for it’s final journey before retirement, which has been all over the news today.

Though the picture below does not do any justice (everyone in the office only had camera phones on hand), we actually had a great view of the shuttle piggy-backing a jumbo jet, and being escorted by a couple smaller jets.  Quite an amazing sight to see!

But here’s a better pic…

In other news, we decided to be adventurous with our lunch option today and tried out Dinah’s Family Restaurant down the street from our office.  A few people were a bit hesitant to try it out because of a couple people’s opinions, but I say you gotta judge for yourself.

This is place is known for their fried chicken, so fried chicken’s what I got.

Dinah's Fried Chicken

As far as their chicken goes, I can honestly say I’ve had better.  It was a little dry, and the batter was slightly above average.  However, their side dished were pretty good.  I really liked their mashed potatoes and gravy, and their mac and cheese was nice and creamy, though it needed a little salt.

But the star of my meal today was their Banana Cream Pie.  It was amazing!  I’d definitely go back to try out all their other homemade pies!

Dinah's Banana Cream Pie

Other high rated items from Dinah’s was their BBQ Chicken, Fried Fish Fillets, and the Special Club Sandwich.

Dinah's BBQ Chicken

Overall, the office gave Dinah’s Family Restaurant a 3.75 star rating.  One IMH team member quoted “all pretty standard stuff here, nothing amazing, but solid.”  I’d have to agree, with the exception of their amazing pies!

Dinah's Box of Fish