By Spencer Bradshaw 20 Nov, 2017

When is the last time you bought a car? Was it a year ago? Five? Ten? Unfortunately for me, I’ve purchased three cars in the last six months. Not because I wasn’t satisfied with the car I had. I was actually quite fond of car number one. However, shortly after I bought it, my wife and I got into a bad accident, and the car was a goner.

We got another one, same make and model, a couple weeks after the accident. Not even two months later, my wife was hit on the interstate, leaving that car totaled, as well. Finally, we realized that particular make and model wasn’t right for us, and two weeks later we picked up car number three.

Personally, I’m a car junkie. I love cars. I love the buying process, the selling process, the research, the test-driving, the whole deal.  But in the midst of all my shopping, I was amazed at how simple the process seems to have gotten thanks to technology. In fact, by the end of it all, I ended up purchasing a car without ever changing out of my pajamas. Has it always been this easy for everyone, or had my misfortune turned me into a pro? Well, it turns out that studies have shown you don’t have to go on a car buying frenzy to do it efficiently and quickly.

By Spencer Bradshaw 11 Aug, 2017
Many small business owners and senior decision-makers worry that online marketing takes too much time and money — without a tangible return on investment. Do you think the founders of Amazon, eBay, Etsy and many other internet success stories felt that way during their early formative years?

These days, if businesses aren’t getting and retaining a large percentage of new prospects through online methods (aka digital marketing), they are likely to miss out on  potential customers or lose current ones to competitors swooping in at the right moment.

Here are 5 "R's to Remember" about Online Marketing for Small Business.  

 A huge percentage of your potential prospects are not using conventional media sources, and spending much more time in the digital world. Especially within the younger demographic groups and prime spending ages of 21-35  , people are now getting their information from other sources beyond TV, radio and newspaper. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Amazon and many other online venues are becoming increasingly more utilized as primary sources of information for people who are ready to buy.

Takeaway :   If a business doesn’t consistently place its marketing messages where people are regularly and actively searching online for information, it’s a logical conclusion those people will NOT buy from that business.

RELEVANCE.   The landscape for marketing messages is much more blurred and intertwined now, which unfortunately also raises the overall level of marketing noise. A 2014 study by Media Dynamics found that adults are exposed to an average of 360 advertising messages every day in five conventional media sources (TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines). Of those messages, adults only note about 150-155 on average, and even less of those ads convey an impact strong enough to be recalled and to make a sale. With all that excess advertising noise, people quickly tune out information they feel doesn’t directly relate to their specific needs.

Takeaway :   In a 2016 report, Wordstream found that 72% of consumers who did a local Internet search then visited a store within five miles. That means a local business needs to show up in a buyer’s search results — or social media stream — by connecting with key terms and messaging images that are relevant to those buyers who are searching online. If not, then that local business often never becomes an option to that prospect.  

By Spencer Bradshaw 08 Jun, 2017

In January, I got the grand idea that I’d travel to Ireland after spending my evening binge watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown . I spent most of my night hurling comments across the room to a friend about how nice life must be for the ex-chef turned travel guide who has created a cult following from being undeniably relatable and brash.  I am normally not quite so impulsive, but within 30 minutes I had booked my flights, found an Airbnb in Dublin, and secured a rental car for my impromptu adventure.

While this wouldn’t be my first trip overseas, it would be the first time I handled all of the details and logistics of the trip. So once done, I started to think about a little travel agency that has sat at the corner of McCallie and Georgia avenue since I first came to Chattanooga as a student.  Even then, the pictures of cruise ships, smiling families in front of the Hoover Dam, and palm trees that wallpapered their store front were peeling, faded, and acted as artifacts from a period of time I knew almost nothing about. I actually spent many years believing it was abandoned before running into the owners via their other business years later.

The reality that I was experiencing was that life has quickly changed for us all in relatively short order. We are far more autonomous, educated (just ask Siri), and accessible year after year.

How we interact with social media, brands, and each other seems to evolve year after year. It’s possible that some of us speak to Alexa or Google Home before a human in the morning. We can experience new places and cultures through virtual reality. And pretty soon, we will have the option to give up our driver’s licenses to self-driving cars.

By Spencer Bradshaw 19 May, 2017
In 2010, Google announced page speed as a rank factor for websites. It may not have had a direct impact on SEO at the time, but consumers and Google alike want the web to be faster and more efficient - especially for mobile users. With smartphones sitting in our pockets that are millions of times more powerful than all of NASA's computing power in the 60s, we expect any and all information whenever we want it. Whether we are ordering a pizza, shopping for shoes, or looking  to buy a home  the need for speed is real. 

So if you are thinking about paying closer attention to your SEO, continue to address your keywords, title tags, etc. However, there might be a silent killer lurking in the shadows. Here are 10 big facts you need to know about page speed:

1) Users spend 70% more time, and have 60% more page views, on websites that load quickly.

2) 77% of websites take more than 10 seconds to load on mobile.

3) 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

4) As page time goes from 1s-5s probability of bounce increases by 90%. [ Source ]

5) 52% of online shoppers claim that quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site. [ Source ]

6) When faced with a negative mobile shopping experience, 43% of consumers will go to a competitor’s site next. [ Source ]

7) Publishers whose mobile sites load in 5 seconds earn up to 2x more mobile ad revenue than those whose sites load in 19 seconds. 7 [ Source ]

8) Sites that loaded in less that five seconds on mobile saw 70% longer sessions and 25% higher viewability than those that loaded at the current common average of 19 seconds. [ Source ]

9) PageSpeed can have a direct impact on your Adwords campaigns and Quality Score.

“If it takes too long for your website to load when someone clicks on your ad, they’re more likely to give up and leave your website. This unwelcome behavior can signal to Google that your landing page experience is poor, which could negatively impact your Ad Rank. That’s why you want to make sure your landing page load time is up to speed.” [ Source ]

10) According to Google, “speed equals revenue.” [ Source ]

Flypaper can help you identify if your website meets Google's requirements for page speed, and give it the tune up it needs. Reach out to your local Flypaper team for more information. 


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