The Art Of Internet Marketing

Last week, I had a rather nice discussion with a top SEO in Liverpool. It was regarding the tricky subject of SEO outsourcing. Like others, we receive lots of unsolicited emails from companies who wish to partner with us. It’s very tough, as our reputation is the key component of our business strategy. To make sure we find the right candidate, we try to have a discussion around current marketing issues and this brought up some interesting points…

The way advertising used to work, is by interrupting you, by intruding on your TV or radio show, or with full page ads in print. Then the smart companies – all of whom produce very average products like soap and toothpaste – would take everything they earned and reinvest it back into more ads. Eventually, having heard or seen the message enough times, you might try the blue box instead of the yellow box, next time you’re in need for what’s in the box.

These days… the best advertising comes from your friends. From social networks. From the conversations of people with like minds and tastes.

What you need to do is to create something remarkable. Special enough that it evokes emotion and compels people to leave comments on your blog and discuss the idea. To be successful in today’s market, you need a product worth talking about.

Then you need to create a story. It’s the story that people will relate to, claim as their own, and repeat to anyone who would listen. If you tell a better story, you can ask a lot higher price for your product. Then having a remarkable product, and an exceptional story, people will find you, and buy your product for the story. They’ll want to tell their friends, family, coworkers and anyone else who will listen.

Suddenly everyone is running around telling your story. They start doing the interrupting, that the advertising used to do. That’s what it means to be remarkable. In the near future… who knows? Maybe you’ll create something remarkable, package it in a marvellous story, and have everyone talking… doing the interrupting, that advertising used to do.

Did you like this? Share it:

Analytics, Testing and General Landing Page Tips

Here at SEO Liverpool we often hear ‘so how does this testing lark work’?

Well.. It’s really simple. Now that you have these reports, what should you do? I am a big fan of Google Analytics – because it’s free – and you get great stuff from it, and maybe you decide to pay for a product later on. Anyway, the basic concept is, let’s take all the traffic coming in to your page and split it among the different sections of the page. Take a script at the top of the page, track at the bottom of the page, and track your goal page.

Every single hyperlink out there is a contract between you and your visitor. Listen to this, it’s very important and the top seo companies should constantly reinforce this point “Different people might type in the same keyword but have a different intent”. Web Analytics measures these things. Some people will get rid of the keyword, say the keyword didn’t convert. But it’s not the keyword – you need to understand the intent behind that keyword.

Example
Take a look at big retailers and how they are selling digital cameras – by brand, megapixels, features. They have been selling cameras the same way for many years. What about by shuttle refresh rate? What people are actually frustrated about with the camera? No one mentions that a specific model is the fastest, takes 5 pictures in 5 seconds!

Tip
There is a great plugin for Firefox that pulls the reviews – but nowhere in the ad copy does it talk about the topics that people are mentioning in their reviews! If this is what matters, why aren’t retailers putting it up front… Do it!!!

How people gather information and how they make decisions: this is what it’s important to an online marketing company. For example an advert for automated strapping banding machine, which is more logical/methodical and which is more emotional. People act differently with your content! Some look straight at the image and leave. Others look at the content. You don’t need to be an expert in personality types to understand this. Jakob Nielsen says there are 4 types of eye tracking when people come to your site. Spontaneous, humanistic, methodological, competitive (people coming in quickly and leaving quickly if they don’t see what they want). So, now that you know that different people act differently, how can use it to optimise your page?

Start simple. The analytics may say that 90% of people who came to a page bounced. Let’s look at the personality types and think about what they would want to see on the page. You need to appeal to them. Every day that hole is not fixed in your site cost you money. Go through every page and make sure the pages appeal to all personality types.

Also look at reviews and see what people saying about the product: the way it looks and feels (emotional) vs. the functionality and practicality (methodological) and you can adjust the product copy accordingly. Use their voice to give back to them. Use the voice of customers and integrate into product descriptions.

Using product images – also applies to videos, not everyone will respond to videos – 24% of photos in a study did not allow the customer to enlarge a product image, and 65% did not offer multiple views of a product! That will have an impact on the consumer.

Some sites focus on the glamour, that they miss the basics.

Let’s talk about credibility issues: some examples – who are you? People care about the “About Us” page, it will establish some of the confidence. Contact information – have it! Put the contact info in various places, it will inspire more confidence and legitimise the site. Does your site look professional? Even if you are not a design person, you can tell. Other examples of breaking confidence: small font type in gray! Be conscious of these things.

What can you add in to build confidence? Point of action assurances: We value your privacy. How long it will take for a customer service rep to contact someone who fills out a form. Return policies, guarantees. Make sure it’s all there for the consumer.

Other points: 59% of sites according to a recent Nielsen study did not provide shipping costs early in the check out process, and 35% have a checkout process with more than 4 steps! 41% do not provide assurance points in the checkout process. Many sites do not offer in stock availability. Make sure you offer estimated delivery date, etc.

Others credibility points to add to your site: certifications, awards, other review sites that look your site.

Testimonials can also be very effective, but also can have no impact on you. Look at different styles and see what works best for you.

What kind of financial impact can this have on you? You can double your sales just by adding policies.

Did you like this? Share it:

Igniting your Viral Campaigns

Online marketing strategy will usually involve Viral marketing.

What is viral marketing and social media? Which methods work, and what typically goes viral?

Viral marketing: A top SEO will tell you it’s to spread information quickly. At it’s essence, word of mouth marketing online. Supercharged. The web allows things to move quickly.

What is social media? In short – a giant conversation online. So many different avenues, networks – places for people to talk online.

Who has a company blog, who has a personal blog?

Blogs and microblogs: Check out Technorati directory. Blogs are highly consumable. Easy for people to read and they get it. People are used to it. Good place to put message. Allows comments, discussion, linking. On the other side, you want bloggers to link to you and talk about your stuff. You have to look at it from both ways.

Social networking: Ask most people – they will say Facebook and Twitter, once upon a time it was Myspace. Just one component. These are the big ones. There are more niche ones – like myartspace.com which is for artists that share a common interests. Look and see beyond the big ones – look at the ones in your niche – the ones you should build a presence on.

Online video: More than uploading and telling friends. A place where people can comment and respond. A quick way to spread message. A good video like ‘will it blend’ spreads easily. Youtube makes it easy for people to link directly.

Forums and groups: Often most overlooked. Forums are most powerful for expert advice and groups. Strong and passionate communities. One key take away regarding forums is a site called Bigboards.com which ranks forum sizes. The biggest ones are niche – Paintball, Volkswagens, Bodybuilding. Look at the forums in your niche and build a presence. Get involved. Talk to people. Look at logs of a viral campaign to see the forum activity.

Social news and bookmarking: The big guys are Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious (although some on this list may close soon). They’re more than just bookmarking. It’s about allowing people to see what your interested in. With Digg there is a large barrier to entry because its competitive. In any niche, there’s a social news site for you.

Our SEO training If your content gets to the top of Mount Digg, it will result in millions of viewers. The traffic is good. But most important is how it influences other sites. Bloggers need Digg and social network to find content and information. Gets popular and people bookmark it, IM, email it. Reporters also use these sites to find content. It’s a way to get people who know nothing about you to find out about your company. Lots of eyeballs and info spread.

What is good content that goes viral?

* Lists – Lists work. Shows 10 commandments which started the trend.
* How To’s – People love how to’s. “how to tip like a gentlemen”, etc.
* Surveys – “top 25 best nights out “. Don’t have to interview thousands of people to get this content.
* Comprehensive – Something that’s comprehensive, that will be a strong resource – that a .gov will want to link to.
* Strong opinions – It can backfire – if it’s controversial it can go viral bot not in the best way.
* Best of lists – People love best ofs. Best of the Beatles. They love it.
* Calculators, tools, anything that helps people do something better. Great ways to get people excited about your stuff.
* Video: Must be interesting and makes people go “wow”. Will it blend is the classic example of a boring product made interesting in a video.
* Widgets – great for people to put things on their site and builds links.
* Quizzes, badges – makes people put them on their site or pages, and spreads.

Ending tips:

Have clear goals and objectives. Lots of people come to Summit Online Marketing asking to do something on Facebook – but why? What’s the goal? Promote great content. Don’t do something half-baked. Do something great – take extra time. Contribute to communities. Find the right communities that make sense to you. Build relationships on these sites. Give back. Make the sites work better.

Did you like this? Share it:

SEO Basics: What Is Link Popularity?

A recent SEO Manchester discussion on what is link popularity?

Link popularity measures the quality and quantity of links pointing to a web page. All the major engines use it, it’s considered an off-page factor and is also called “link juice” (most popular), “link pop”, “link reputation” or “link love”. Link Popularity Components

There are four main components that agencies involved offering web marketing services will openly discuss:

Link quantity: The number of links pointing to a web page.

Link quality: Quality is determined by the authority of the host sites and the sites linking to them. Quality flows from one site to the next through links. The most well known quality factor is PageRank. Page Rank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google to determine the quality factor of a page based on its inbound links.

Anchor Text: Query ranking indicator, it’s an endorsement of what’s to come. Anchor text is the clickable part of the link you see; hyperlinked keyword phrases provide additional “weight” and carry semantic value.

In a rare moment of algorithm clarity, Google states: anchor text influences the queries your site ranks for in the search results. And from Bing, an equally clear comment about anchor text: …”anchor text helps define the theme of a linked page…”. Anchor text continues to be one of, if not the strongest component of link popularity.

And last but not least the most important as stated by the top seo agencies…

Relevance: This establishes your topical/geographic neighborhood within the link graph. It is commonly accepted that links to and from topically related sites convey more authority.

For maximum algorithm influence, your linking goals should be to secure large numbers of links (quantity) from quality (PageRank) pages using keyword rich anchors (anchor text) on thematically related (relevance) authority sites/pages. I know, easier said than done right?

Yes, but definitely not impossible if you focus on using tactics that hit on each component. Right now, the best linking strategy to implement revolves around the use and promotion of content because the content influences each component of link popularity.

To rank well, build brand and drive targeted traffic, it all starts with understanding how link popularity works.

Did you like this? Share it:

5 Tips for Driving Qualified Traffic With Online Marketing

Online marketing consulting firms often need to be creative when it comes to solving client web site traffic and sales problems. Inspiration from friends and family, movies, or even the smooth sounds of the local radio station can be useful.

Take this longstanding frustration: The efforts of a top SEO can sometimes produce an increase in website traffic that is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in conversions. While more traffic is almost always positive, it does little good if the majority of site visitors aren’t seriously interested in the products or services being promoted.

So how does one make sure the right traffic finds the right web site content? I recommend taking the advice of 80′s pop icon Lionel Richie by asking your site visitors the classic question, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

While Mr. Richie may be directing his sentiments at a visually-impaired student (see the video if you don’t know what I’m talking about), this is a question whose answer is critical to every online marketer as well. In order to get conversions, you need to make sure the business you are promoting is being found by legitimate prospects. Ensure your site provides what visitors are looking for by following these five musically-themed guidelines:

* Know your audience – Should you be targeting a product’s end-users or distributors? What stage of the buying cycle are you targeting? A good online marketing team conducts the proper background research in order to fully understand who they are trying to reach, where they are in the buying cycle and plans content creation, optimisation and promotion accordingly.

* Book your prospect’s favorite venue – Once you feel you have actionable knowledge of your target audience, you can select appropriate places for reaching them. Research communities, influencers and behaviours of the target audience to establish a useful presence and content, be it on social networks, forums, blogs or the company web site.

* Give fans what they want – Make sure the offer and conversion opportunity are a good match for what the target audience is looking for. In some cases they will be looking to buy your product, but in others they may want more information like a white paper or a case study, or the opportunity to be contacted.

* Choose the right ‚”lyrics” – When selecting keywords to optimise your site content or pay-per-click campaign, keyword popularity is only a starting point. Choosing the most appropriate keywords to describe product or service offerings considering relevancy, context and intent are important. Research, consideration, evaluation and purchasing are different phases of the buyer’s search experience. Optimising the right content with the right keywords for each of these phases will help prospects find your site in a more relevant way.

* Sing it loud – The copy, images and overall design of your website and landing pages should be obvious cues to the type of product or service offered and consistent with search query that brought them there. Structure your site design and calls to action so that prospects immediately know that they’ve found what they are looking for. For example, sending PPC traffic from a specific product keyword to the company home page will alienate and confuse the searcher. Send specific traffic queries to specific landing pages. For SEO, optimise specific content for specific phrases to help searchers pull themselves to the right content for conversion.

Implementing these tactics can increase web site traffic specifically for people who are more likely to convert. When you pose Lionel Richie’s question to your visitors, more will respond with a resounding “Yes it is you I’m looking for!” And while you may not receive thanks in the form of a clay sculpture, the increase in your conversions should more than make up for it.

Please contact SEO Liverpool for more information about our SEO packages.

Did you like this? Share it:

Tips for finding Niche Keywords Part 3

The final part in our post from Summit online marketing looking… the top seo guide to finding niche keywords

4. Did you know that there are differences between the written word and spoken dialogue? Try exploring natural sounding “dialogue” and words based on dialogue. Your friends and customers often will say things, that give you a starting place to explore new data.

5. Open up your research and explore the world of colour. For example, what happens if you enter a single term representing a colour like “red,” or “aqua” or “green” or any other colour?

6. Explore any type of data at all in terms of a root word. Don’t forget to explore everything and anything that comes to mind. From a topic you notice on the news, to something that may not even be a word at all. What happens if you try to explore a number, or a price like £9.95 instead of a word?

7. Instead of just thinking of your research as “keywords” try thinking in terms of your audience’s “topics of interest.”

Wordtracker will give you absolutely AMAZING detail if you take time to think about it laterally, and outside of the context of just a “keyword hunt.” Don’t let the natural tendency to “guess at keywords” stop you from uncovering all the hidden evidence, that just needs a little digging to find.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, if you want more ideas you can visit Wordtracker and have a go for free!

Michael Campbell Notes: Anybody involved with online marketing consulting would think about your audience’s trade lingo, industry jargon, and words that are specific to a certain holiday, sport, hobby or service. For example, RIP, stripper, loupe, masking, pantone, dot gain and super black are all related to the printing industry. Spend some time in the industry association sites or read industry specific magazines to learn their lingo, for more potential niches.

Another tip is to use verbs and action words like “stop” or “improve” as your root word. Then let the keyword service (my favourite is NicheBot) tell you what people want “stopped” or “improved” in their lives.

Did you like this? Share it: