Envato https://envato.com Design & creative inspiration Mon, 23 Apr 2018 05:54:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 https://assets.wordpress.envato-static.com/uploads/2016/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Envato https://envato.com 32 32 What You Need to Know about Modern SaaS Customers https://envato.com/blog/need-know-modern-saas-customers/ https://envato.com/blog/need-know-modern-saas-customers/#respond Wed, 26 Oct 2016 02:54:00 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=49528 Software as a service (SaaS) software distribution models are extremely popular. There are several reasons: they’re more cost-effective than purchasing copies of software for employees; they allow companies to access software on-demand without taking up system resources; they update with greater speed and ease than traditional software, and their software distributions can occur immediately and […]

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Software as a service (SaaS) software distribution models are extremely popular. There are several reasons: they’re more cost-effective than purchasing copies of software for employees; they allow companies to access software on-demand without taking up system resources; they update with greater speed and ease than traditional software, and their software distributions can occur immediately and simultaneously.

Nearly all leading enterprises incorporate SaaS into their operating strategies. The popularity of this solution goes hand-in-hand with that of cloud computing, as SaaS can be considered one facet of that larger movement. As businesses rely more on software that exists in the cloud, and that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, cloud computing and SaaS will become integral to the way modern companies operate.

Understanding Why Companies Choose SaaS

A few of the main benefits were mentioned above, but let’s discuss the advantages of SaaS in more detail. Understanding why so many companies use this solution is essential. Why do they pick SaaS over traditional on-premises software? One of the main reasons is the considerably lower cost of SaaS over traditional offerings.

SaaS saves companies money in several ways. Traditional software requires up-front costs in the form of hardware to run the program, licensing fees and support staff. SaaS programs get their processing needs from the cloud and need only basic hardware to function. There are no licensing fees. SaaS vendors supply support staff for their programs, so companies using their software don’t need to train and employ their own teams.

SaaS also poses fewer risks than traditional software. Unlike on-premise software, companies pay little to nothing upfront. Instead, they pay to use SaaS on a yearly, quarterly, or monthly basis. Thus, when they no longer need a service, they can stop paying for it without any further costs. SaaS vendors often give businesses free trials so they can decide whether to pay for these services without any risk.

In addition to financial benefits, businesses are often drawn to the flexibility of SaaS. Whereas traditional hardware upgrades are expensive and include lengthy processes, SaaS services are easily scalable. If a company needs greater processing power, more storage, or additional services, it can quickly and easily acquire these upgrades from a SaaS vendor.

Furthermore, the vendor handles all software patches and updates. Companies using the software need not worry about installation, and with universal updates, they won’t struggle to get everyone on the same page and operating the right software.

Additional Benefits

With so many perks, it should come as no surprise that SaaS programs have extremely high adoption rates. Services can be accessed on multiple devices and across varying platforms and operating systems. Any device with an internet connection should be able to access SaaS programs. Because so many people are intimately familiar with using the internet now, and SaaS services are based on that-SaaS programs, usually have lower learning curves than traditional software.

SaaS programs also allow for more flexible work schedules. Employees can work from their home offices or while traveling more easily with SaaS than on-premise software.

Speed is another critical factor in the business world. Companies must be able to quickly seize any opportunity that arises. Traditional software takes a long time to integrate into business operations, but SaaS can be deployed with astonishing rapidity.

Many companies still have reservations about the security of SaaS and other cloud computing services. Yet, there have been fewer incidents of service disruptions or security breaches in SaaS than on-premise software programs. SaaS promises even better data security and reliability as time goes on and cloud technology advances.

What SaaS Customers Are Looking For

As mentioned, many top enterprises use SaaS. Human resources, customer relationship management, collaboration software, and procurement departments have seen the highest adoption of SaaS. The exact ways in which these companies use this solution, however, depends on their needs. Across the board, SaaS customers typically look for:

  • Reviews: Companies are becoming smarter in researching SaaS vendors. The rise in popularity and competition in the SaaS industry has created a wealth of information for enterprises to consider. Businesses pay special attention to SaaS vendor and service reviews, for example. Vendors can take advantage of this trend by posting testimonials and success stories where companies can easily find them.
  • Exceptional Service: SaaS vendors are expected to deliver higher-quality work as well; increased competition between vendors raises expectations. Businesses expect a service with extremely little downtime, few errors, quick and frequent updates, and fair pricing. Failure to meet these increased customer demands can mean losing them to other SaaS vendors.
  • Service: Quick customer service from SaaS vendors is essential to businesses. This concept isn’t new. Companies already understood that answering customer questions or complaints quickly is the best way to keep them happy. Enterprises are expecting speedy responses from their vendors, or they may go elsewhere.
  • Consistency and Branding: These are important factors for current enterprises. These virtues help build trust between customers and businesses. SaaS vendors need to facilitate branding across all aspects of a business to ensure consistency and eliminate confusion.
  • Originality: Businesses are novelty seekers too. A SaaS vendor that can provide something a business has never before experienced will have a distinct edge over competitors. Vendors can consider building surprises into their loyalty programs or going the extra mile for their customers in other ways.

SaaS is becoming a better-known aspect of business. Companies are more discriminating in choosing vendors as a result. Enterprises understand that they have more options, so it’s important for those vendors to understand how companies choose their partners.

Measuring Customer Success with SaaS Metrics

SaaS vendors have a more difficult job than most sales personnel. Because their services use a subscription model instead of a one-time close, vendors need to win customers over repeatedly. Hence, measuring the health of their businesses is extremely important to SaaS companies. There are a number of metrics commonly used to track SaaS performance:

  • Churn Rate: Churn rate is the term SaaS vendors use for how many customers they lose every year. This simple statistic is often overlooked in favor of more complicated metrics, but it is actually an effective barometer for the vendor’s health.
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): Another simple and often overlooked metric, MRR is the monthly revenue that a SaaS vendor can reliably anticipate.
  • Committed Monthly Recurring Revenue (CMRR): This metric is a modified version of MRR that describes the monthly revenue a SaaS vendor can expect if relying only on current customers.
  • Cash Flow: SaaS services take immense capital and initial resources to create, which makes cash flow an important metric to track.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Though not exclusive to SaaS, CAC is an important metric for these companies to measure. CAC defines the cost companies can expect to pay before acquiring a new customer and how long it would take to recover that money.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): This metric measures how much money a SaaS vendor can expect to make from a customer. If CLTV is lower than CAC, the vendor is essentially selling its services below production costs.

SaaS customers are becoming more knowledgeable about the benefits they can expect from their vendors. To succeed in this industry, SaaS companies must be aware of what their clients want and how to measure their own health.

Featured Image: kentoh.

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Content Marketing Tips to Increase Traffic Organically https://envato.com/blog/content-marketing-tips-increase-traffic-organically/ https://envato.com/blog/content-marketing-tips-increase-traffic-organically/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2016 06:00:49 +0000 http://envato.com/?p=48846 If you are happy with your content and still not getting the traffic that you would like, then the following are some methods you can employ to boost viewership.

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Increasing traffic to your website doesn’t have to be as elusive as the Holy Grail. Though once you master how to do it organically, it may feel like you’ve found your business’s own Holy Grail. Changes in search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms increasingly promote good content over sheer keyword-stuffed sites. This opens a great door of opportunity for site owners.

You now have the chance to educate, have a dialog with, and further impress would-be consumers. If you are happy with your content and still not getting the traffic that you would like, read on. The following are some methods you can employ to boost viewership.

Create Balanced Content

Because of the way algorithms rank pages, crafting content that draws a crowd is the place to start. Build a solid foundation from there, and once the traffic finds you, they’ll keep coming. Doing this involves several factors:

  • Consider a combination of evergreen and of-the-moment posts. Your evergreen posts – posts that should be constantly relevant and so stay “evergreen” – should be well founded and pertinent to your readers for years to come. This helps ensure a steady stream of readers stumbling upon your page. Posts about brand new information are great for quick bursts of interest and spikes in rankings. Finding your post while searching for a breaking story could lead to ongoing readership. The balance of these two methods is important for ongoing growth.
  • Keywords, though no longer the only factor, do still play into SEO ranking. Although you shouldn’t rely on them completely, you should consider them when crafting content. Bear in mind that titles and subheadings carry more weight in the search process than primary text. Seek out commonly searched terms relating to your subject, and then incorporate them into your titles and subheadings. This goes a long way toward getting your site to the top of the page. Be careful not to overuse keywords, however. SEO algorithms are increasingly set up to penalize “overly optimized” sizes.
  • Choose your keywords wisely. Explore what words and phrases people use to search for subject matter you are covering. Make sure to incorporate these into titles and subheadings. If you title your post, “How I Became a 5-Star General Manager,” but people are searching for “Upper Management in Restaurants,” your page will not pop. If you have a local business, make sure you include city and state names in subheads.
  • Do appropriate research. If you begin to research and realize there is no reliable information to back your stance, it may be worth reconsidering. Alternatively, if you find that the topic has been exhausted, try a new angle. The goal is to find a popular topic to which you can add. Remember that originality is paramount.

Craft Shareable Pages

A significant factor in boosting traffic is getting readers to share your page or site.

To make this happen, first and foremost, provide useful information. Impractical and unfounded articles inundate the internet. When you create something that people are interested in and can use to better their lives, they will share it. Include references to solid information; you will come across as well informed, and you will be adding weight to your perspective. Explain how the article applies to your audience. Providing guidance is a great way to get attention. This means more traffic for your site.

average shares by content length
The average shares by content length (source)

Throughout a website design, it’s crucial to know your audience. This information is crucial when you are crafting articles and blog posts. Consider them in determining length and types of content. Depending on your target audience, 2,000 words may put off some people. However, shorter posts may feel uninformed. Know who your audience is and what they are likely to read. If your reader does not get through a piece, they are less likely to share it.

The last thing anyone wants is to be forgettable. Worse still is when people remember your point but forget your name. Make sure that you are including words, terms, or names specific to you. If a reader remembers a term you coined, they are more likely to find your page again. The more easily they can find it, the more likely they are to send it to a friend.

Switch Perspectives

Always remember to put yourself in your reader’s position. When you are asking, “What will grab their attention?” Consider what would grab your attention. People respond to stories that draw them in. Inspiring emotion in your reader is a good way to engage them. If you move people to laugh or to cry, they are more likely to share the content.

This is important when you are creating industry specific content. You don’t want to alienate your reader base with concepts or words they do not understand, but you do want to come across as an expert. Find a balance with your audience in mind.

If you are expressly targeting a small subsection of society, do not expect high traffic. If not, explain things in such a way that people will understand. One way to do that is by breaking things up with visuals. Large blocks of text can be intimidating to readers. Pulling together appropriate images or videos can offset this, and keep people further engaged.

Links and Connections to Grow By

Tapping into the broader community is very important to building a following. The more pages you can appear on, and the more links connecting your site with others, the more likely you are to see more traffic. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Guest posting is a solid method by which to increase your site’s traffic. It is a great way to get your name out to a new crowd and link back to your own page. It also develops relationships between you and other writers. You can help one another by linking to each other’s pages.
  • Often, people undervalue commenting as a tool to reach new readers. When a topic comes up on social media that you have addressed, do not be shy about throwing in your two cents. You can generate great results by giving a brief overview of your opinion, with a link to your article. Since there is an open thread, you know the subject is on people’s minds.
  • Be a part of the conversation. Find sites and/or blogs that cover subject matter in your arena. Participating in open threads can position you as an expert. Once people in the community begin to see you have good information to share, they will check out your site. Do not employ over-the-top advertising to try and poach people from sites. Simply share what you have and allow people to do the same on your site. This joint effort can result in many more links for all parties involved. If you have a product or service to sell, being active in the community can help convince bloggers to write about you.

Conclusion

Increasing traffic to your site is no longer just about keywords. Nor is it strictly tied to your level of expertise in your subject. Organic traffic is a complex web of cause, effect, and interconnections. Remember to stay balanced in your approach. A combination of SEO-conscious visibility and customer-directed content is key. Ignoring either of these will result in reduced flow through your site.

Once you know your audience, you can build content specifically for them – that alone will increase your traffic and drive your shares. Be sure to tailor length, reading level, and overall subject for them. Maintaining connections in the broader community can be valuable as well. Some competition can be useful, but in this case, the team player angle is better. By linking to and from other people’s sites, everyone gets exposure and benefits. Keep these concepts in mind as you build or overhaul your site, and you are destined for increasing traffic.

Featured Image: koctia

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Everything You Need to Know About Evergreen Content https://envato.com/blog/everything-need-know-evergreen-content/ https://envato.com/blog/everything-need-know-evergreen-content/#respond Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:59:46 +0000 http://envato.com/?p=48874 Once you master the techniques of creating and optimizing evergreen content, you'll enjoy SEO and marketing perks that will last a lifetime.

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The cyber world is fixated on buzzwords like “trending” and “hype.” We’re obsessed with the now and eager for the newest tidbits of information. A phrase heard less often is “evergreen content” – the concept of content that never loses relevancy. Evergreen content is the golden standard for marketers, as its value doesn’t depreciate with age.

Every good marketer will argue for evergreen content on a site to boost search engine optimization (SEO) and increase site traffic. Creating evergreen content – and knowing how to use it effectively – is an unsung skill. Once you master the techniques of creating and optimizing evergreen content, you’ll enjoy SEO perks that will last a lifetime.

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content stays relevant over time, without the need for major updates. An example of evergreen content is a page with the title, “What is SEO?” The definition of SEO won’t change, so the website owner can leave this content up without making any significant changes. A page with the title, “SEO Best Practices,” is not evergreen, as the author has to update it after each Google algorithm update.

Content that needs minor changes can still be evergreen. For example, if you write a blog post about how to download data into the cloud, the content would most likely remain the same. However, if a new cloud development came out, you may want to update one section to include the update. You can date stamp your change or introduce it as an editor’s update. It’s fast and easy to refresh evergreen content, and it stays relevant to readers.

Evergreen content is sustainable and long lasting, giving website owners returns on investment for the foreseeable future. Content such as news articles, statistics, seasonal or holiday blogs, current fashion trend articles, or other information that will become obsolete in the near future has its uses, but it doesn’t have the sustainable power that evergreen content enjoys.

The Benefits of Sustainable Content

While updating your content to meet new standards is important to stay relevant in your field, it’s also wise to incorporate solid pieces of content that will never get old. Evergreen posts should be more detailed and comprehensive than newer posts, giving readers greater value. This content presents experts with a resource to keep in their toolboxes while giving amateurs a chance to get a better grasp of topics that interest them. Evergreen content drives all types of consumers to your site – loyal customers and cold leads.

Evergreen content is more effective and efficient than standard content. Writers and content managers have to write the piece once, yet many users will read and enjoy it over time. It lightens the workload for site managers by giving value to users without having to create new content. At the same time, readers benefit from accessing information that is important and will stay relevant to them in the future.

What Does Evergreen Content Look Like?

It’s important to understand that there is more to good evergreen content than simply providing content that won’t become dated. Evergreen content should typically be longer than other types of content and more detailed. With longer content, you can elaborate on your subject and use more keywords, boosting SEO. You can link to more sources, which are helpful for outreach campaigns in the future. With longer posts, your content can go from a helpful blurb to the ultimate resource on the topic – one users will reference again and again.

The best evergreen content will be on a topic highly relevant to your site’s niche. It should address the interests of your target audience and work as a guide on a particular subject for readers. Blog managers write evergreen content from places of authority, as experts on their subjects. It’s typically better to write evergreen content for an audience of beginners instead of experts, as most people reading older content will do so to gain basic, essential information about a topic.

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to mention that evergreen content is well written. It’s not sloppy, grammatically incorrect, or hard to understand. It’s shareable content and has the potential for users to promote it on social channels and link back to it in other articles. Evergreen content picks a subject, asks a question about it, and answers the question in detail. A few common examples of evergreen pieces include:

  • “How to” tutorials.
  • Industry resource collections/lists.
  • FAQs.
  • Industry definitions.

A great example of evergreen content is Content Marketing Institute’s “What Is Content Marketing?” post. It comes up at the top of the list when you Google search the same phrase, even though the post itself is old – relatively speaking. Though the information is old, the content isn’t dated; it maintains credibility due to its succinct definition of content marketing, as well as the definitive insights it gives into the topic. This post will never go out of style or become irrelevant because the definition and basic elements of content marketing will not change.

Creating Content with Consistent Value

You can write a piece of killer content, but that still doesn’t mean it will give readers long-lasting value. The secret to evergreen content is writing a message that will stay relevant for the long haul. You can also turn videos or infographics into evergreen content – there’s nothing in the rulebook stating that evergreen content has to be a blog post or article.

The first step toward creating evergreen content is to brainstorm a topic. Your content should address a need within your industry. If you have a question and you can’t find a detailed answer to it, address it in your post. If information about a topic in your niche leaves out important details, rewrite the piece with your own additions. There is always room for improvement – make your piece the new go-to for beginners in your field.

Next, develop a compelling headline. Use a resource such as Copyblogger’s article on how to write magnetic headlines (an example of evergreen content!) if you need a refresher course. Your headline should explain the content within while being descriptive and catchy. If this seems like a tall order, it’s because headlines are one of the most important aspects of your content. Starting with the headline instead of ending with it can help shape the rest of your article.

Write your content with SEO in mind. Make a list of topic goals and relevant keywords, using keyword research best practices to ensure you’re using the best terms and phrases for your industry. Support your evergreen content with internal links embedded with keyword phrases to other pages on your site to send a signal to Google. For example, if your topic is social media marketing, optimize your headline accordingly and internal link it to anchor text to gain a position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Evergreen content may seem out of reach, but a blog manager can make writing evergreen content easy by keeping a few key objectives in mind. Remember, evergreen content should:

  • Be comprehensive. It should elaborate on a subject and use keywords.
  • Be useful. Readers can take action immediately after reading.
  • Make itself clear. You should outline your key points clearly.
  • Have a friendly but professional tone, as an expert.
  • Be shareable. Users can easily bookmark it for future reference or share with friends.
  • Contain only information that will not change over time.

Keeping Evergreen Content Fresh

Since the definition of evergreen content is content that stays relevant, you should periodically reread and update these posts. If you have a resource list, for example, check your links to ensure the resources are still active. If you learn of a significant change about a topic on which you’ve written, make a simple update to keep information on the cutting edge without having to write a brand new piece.

Content with consistent value helps site managers because it delivers leads and traffic for years after publication. It establishes a site as an authority on its subject and can deliver returns without much of an investment. While evergreen content may be difficult to create, it’s well worth the time and research.

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