Social Media, Crowdfunding, and $56M Nail Polish


I’ve always been fascinated with crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Hunting the subjects online, I came across Carol Tice’s Forbes article about a Seattle-based company called Julep that cranks out skin care products, makeup, and funky suede-look and 3-D holographic glitter nail polish. Julep has made quite a name for itself through social media marketing and crowdfunding since its 2007 debut as a single nail salon.

Why should we care? Julep applied rapid iteration—something foreign to the beauty industry—and their ecommerce sales have skyrocketed. Forbes estimates Julep’s 2013 revenue topped $20 million.That’s why.

And get this—Monday Julep announced it acquired $30 million in financing from venture-capital firms, including Starbucks founder Howard Schultz’s Maveron.… Continue Reading

7 Simple Ways to Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rates

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It’s a new year. Boosting your company web store’s conversion rate is surely on your list of resolutions. The smallest rate increase can make a big difference in sales and profitability. Jordan Lindberg at Practical Ecommerce has written a great article about easy and inexpensive ways to make conversion rate improvement with little effort.

Jordan describes a hypothetical web store that gets 10,000 visitors per month, with an average $100 sale, and a 3 percent conversion rate. In this equation, 10,000 visits net 300 orders and $30,000 in sales.

By improving the conversion rate to 3.5 percent, an additional 50 orders on the same number of visits and an extra $5,000 in sales per month would result, he says.… Continue Reading

Dissecting Google’s Penguin 2.1: Make Your Links 100% More Powerful

Google logo with penguin 4Google’s recent Penguin algorithm update has many online marketers frustrated. How does the update affect website traffic? What does it mean for a site’s SEO?

I’ve combed the Internet to learn what I can about Penguin 2.1. One of my most interesting discoveries is how U.K.-based MathSight used reverse engineering to analyze websites impacted by the algorithmic update to determine what factors resulted in the site being hit.

MathSight’s data reveals a secret… websites that gained and lost traffic from Penguin 2.1 had links from web pages with the following:

  • Body text with a higher (good) or lower (bad) number of words per sentence
  • Body text with a higher (good) or lower (bad) proportion of rare words
  • Body text with a higher (good) or lower (bad) number of syllables per word

MathSight’s data supports the belief that linking to poor quality sites is bad, and that the “quality” factor is determined by content.… Continue Reading

6 Best Practices to Get Your Videos Indexed on Search Engines

Optimizing for YouTubeOnline videos have become a very important tool for sharing information. When you consider that YouTube is the second-largest search engine (Google being the first), you realize the incredible reach your brand can have through social networking sites by using video.

Videos are also an effective marketing tool. Videos can help your blog or business be discovered and drive consumer engagement. You want your how-to, testimonial and other videos to be indexed on search engines to take advantage of the potential exposure of your video to millions of Web users.

If you’re looking to introduce video content to your marketing campaigns, Google’s “Introduction to Video Markup” video is a great resource.… Continue Reading

Boost Web Traffic in 15 Minutes in 7 Easy Steps

Life gets busy. If you’re maintaining a Web site, you know it takes time and constant tweaks to keep it ranking at the top of search results. We’ve got 7 easy tips that can be done in 15 minutes to ensure your site’s rankings.

1. Review Your Sites’ Index Status. Google’s Webmaster Tools service gives you the ability to review historically how many of your pages are indexed over the last year. Go to the Health menu list and choose “Index Status.” You can view a report to gauge your overall site health. Detect and solve problems before they become big issues.… Continue Reading