Top Ten Tips for Web Marketing Success in 2009
1. Hidden Dollars in Email
Given that it is far cheaper to sell to an existing customer than find a new one, and marketers suggest 12 “touches” per annum for each customer, doesn’t email present itself and a cheap and fast means of keeping in touch?
Go low tech, just start with Outlook. Set up groups and email different offers or information to them.
If your list(s) get large, move to a third party newsletter manager like MailChimp
Think about segmenting your lists from the outset. Not all customers are interested in the same things or have the same budget.
Tip: Before you consider emailing any one new, review the Spam Act on the ACMA website. Did you know one email can be considered spam and you must be able to prove an existing relationship or that the receiver consented?
Tip Two: Some ISPs like Bigpond, use their outbound mail server to restrict how many recipients you can send to or the amount of data you can send. You may have to keep your lists to a few hundred names each.
2. What is all the fuss about links?
Why do we hear so much about links? A link into your web site is considered by search engines to be a vote of confidence in your web site.The more votes you have, the higher the likelihood your site has of moving up the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Tip: Aim for 50 or 60 website links, not 5 or 6.
But you can’t get links from just anywhere: they have to be “theme” or related to your site by topic. For example, a BnB will link to a local restaurant and local attractions, but not to some extraneous site. And your site should link out to as many resources as you can find that you consider will add value to your users experience of your web site.
Can I be penalised for linking to the wrong site? Oddly, yes. If a resource you link to has a Google page ranking of 0 or 1, this link may drag you backwards in the SERPs.
Your linking strategy must put you at the centre of your chosen topic. Search engines have to see a “web” of links entering your site and that your site is “authoritative” on your subject.
How can I tell who is linking to me? Go to www.yahoo.com and enter link:www.yourdomain.com.au and click the search button. I similar search can be done at Google, but the results are not as comprehensive.
3. Don’t Forget the Real World
Add your web address or “URL” to all your off line marketing activities. Here is a list (be no means exhaustive): business cards and letterheads, shirts and caps, company car, shop windows, swing tags, signs, press releases, classified adverts…. and your email signature file. More ideas…
4. Who’s Looking Anyway?
Know thy visitor! Who is looking at your web site? Where are they in the world? When is your web site busiest? What is the most looked at page? What is the page that most people leave your site from? Did that classified advertising you did last month culminate in more visitors to your site?
It is likely that the company that hosts your site is keeping statistics on your site’s performance. These “web stats” are general hidden behind a log in to stop your competitors looking at them (but hell you are doing better than them anyway so let ’em look!).
Web stats are vital to track trends. For example, are your visitor numbers tracking up over time and are they staying longer. If not, you have to reverse that. Web stats will also show you what keywords people are using and on what search engine.
Tip: remember close to 60% of visitors to your web site may be the “bots” of search engines. Accommodated them with lots of keyword rich text.
5. Convert Lookers to Buyers
There are web based tools that allow you to engage you site’s visitors:
- Whoson.com – invite visitors to chat with you. Select chat candidates on the basis of the pages they are looking at and how long they have been looking. Only good for PC based workers.
- “Tell a friend” email links – a simple friend get friend device.
6. Don’t Forget a Call to Action
What do you want people to do? Call this number, click this email link, complete this form, etc. It may be obvious to you or your feel it is implicit, but make it explicit.
What are they going to get if they respond e.g. “talk to the business owner right now”, “and download a free report on xyz”.
7. Pay Per Click Advertising
Tip: Only do this as a last resort. Exhaust all avenues to come up in the “natural results” first.
Pay per click advertising is essentially bidding in an auction for position on the SERPs screen. You set a monthly budget, say $50, set the maximum you are prepared to pay for a click say $1 and the search engine will serve your ads (top and right) beside the natural results UNTIL your budget is exhausted. At that time your ad falls out of rotation.
At the time of writing, according to Melbourne IT, about $1 per click is required to get top position on most chosen keywords.
Tip: PPC experts suggest you aim for second position. You will pay less and stay on the screen longer and the click through rate is similar.
Tip Two: even though you only have a tiny amount of text for your ad, what you say in that ad can have a massive impact on the click through rate. Amazingly, people are employed just to write adwords ads. Test several versions.
Warning 1: even if you get number 1 position it may not equate to sales. Traffic is no indicator or willingness to purchase.
Warning 2: your competitors can click you adverts and exhaust your budget. Amazing but true.
Tip: ignore the <meta> tag keyword. It is abused and no longer works. Simple as that.
In terms of keywords focus on adding your critical keywords to:
- the <title> tag
- the link label of the first link on the page
- the first para… keep all these close to the A1 coordinate on the page
Tip Two: using the above 3 areas, optimise each page for different keywords.
Remember, humans tire fast from reading on screen (so headings and bulleted lists are good for humans) but machines do not tire. So in terms of search engines, more text is good.
- Aim for a keyword density of 5%. Test at www.seocentro.com/tools/seo/keyword-density.html.
- Test for popular keywords at www.keyworddiscovery.com. Find out more about keyword efficiency index here.
- See your web site as a search engine does, that is, text only at www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.html
8. Start a Blog
“Blog” is short for “web log”. Blogs usually offer commentary on a topic, like this one on web marketing. Blogs are the equivalent of an opinion piece in the analogue world of newspapers. If you have specialist knowledge or a unique perspective on a topic, you may be a perfect blogger. Use your blog to build a community around your site. e.g computer shop blog on gaming news and patches.
Your blog will allow you to build authority around your web site. It will present more text to search engines while adding value for your users.
9. Search Engine Submission
Search engine submission is the process of saying to search engines “hey, there is a new (or changed) site over here. Come and look at it“. There is much discussion about the value of search engine submission versus a concept called “natural find”. But it is detailed and outside the scope of this post, suffice to say, in my experience, there is good reason to let search engines know you are live. Submission URLs follow:
10. Read this blog…
…and this tutorial on search engines written specifically for web site owners.
This article was written by Peter Mitchell of Dynamic Web Solutions Pty Ltd