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Penguin 4.0 – What You Need to Know

After the usual nervous wait, Google announced that the latest update to the Penguin algorithm was released on September 23, 2016.

If your business or organisation has a website, then Penguin 4.0 is relevant to you.

In this blog post, I’ll look at some of the key aspects you need to know.

Read more

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Common Internet Marketing Mistakes

Digital marketing or internet marketing has revolutionised marketing over the last few years.

A whole new world of possibilities has been opened up, with new options being continuously developed, but the sad fact is that very few businesses are successfully harnessing the power of the internet and getting the return that they should.

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So where do they go wrong and what are the common internet marketing mistakes that you should be avoiding like the plague.

The following points will give you some pointers:

They don’t understand the importance of building an opted in list

Something like 99% of visitors will leave websites without making contact in any way.

This is a massive waste.

These people have searched out your website because they have a problem which they hope you can solve.

For whatever reason they decide not to purchase or contact you so they disappear. But if you offer them something of value (a white paper, a special report) in exchange for their contact details you can start building a list and then begin marketing to them.

You should start with an auto responder sequence so that very quickly after they’ve signed up they start receiving emails from you.

If the auto responder sequence doesn’t convert them they drop into your email marketing system  and maybe at a later date, when their need is greater or they feel confident in you, they might make a purchase.

They don’t communicate regularly with their list

Once you have names on your database, you need to communicate regularly with the list.

This will enable you to demonstrate your expertise, your personality, your willingness to help and add value and give you the opportunity to make special offers and sell stuff.

Within your emails you should have links either to your website or to dedicated landing pages – either way you want to move people down the funnel towards buying something from you.

How often you communicate with your list will depend on how often you can add value. As long as you’re adding value you can communicate as often as you like.

They have a poor quality website

You have around 8 seconds when people land on your website before they click away. In that time your website has got to persuade them they’re in the right place.

There are two elements that will make them decide:

  1. Content – your website has got to have high quality content that will give answers to whatever questions your visitors have.
  2. Design – how your website looks will have a large influence on the way people respond. While the design mustn’t get in the way of function, a visually appealing website will be more effective than an ugly one.

They don’t have a traffic strategy

So even if they do have an excellent website, if nobody visits it, it’s still not going to help the business.

So you must have a strategy to drive traffic to your website.

There are a number of ways of doing this but the two primary ones are:

  1. Pay per click – Google Adwords is the primary ppc player but all the other search engines and social media platforms have their own versions. Google Adwords are the small advertisements which appear at the top and right hand side of the results page.

The great thing with Adwords is that you can be on the front page of Google within minutes of setting up your campaign and it only costs you money when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website.

  1. SEO – search engine optimisation takes longer to achieve good rankings than Adwords and Google is continuously moving the goal posts as to the criteria it ranks websites on.

The plus side is that if you appear on the first page of the organic listings, you’ll get a regular stream of customers looking for what you sell.

If you avoid committing these common internet marketing mistakes, you will find your digital marketing will start delivering a regular stream of prospects.

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You Can Do It Fast Or You Can Do It Slow

So you want more customers.

In that case you’ll need more leads and more prospects.

OK so how are you going to get them?

Well there’s two ways – a quick way and a slow way.

Or I could phrase that another way – there’s the way that involves spending some money and there’s the way without spending money.

So it really depends on how quickly you want to do it.

The slow way

If you’re not in a hurry you can rely on your website appearing high on the organic listings on Google, so that when your prospects are searching for a solution to their problem, up you pop.

So we’re talking about SEO or search engine optimisation.

The problem with SEO is that not only does it take a considerable length of time to achieve those rankings, but Google also regularly changes its search algorithms which means that one day you can be ranking well and the next you’ve disappeared into the back of cyber space. I know I’m talking from painful personal experience.

But now the question is how do you get onto the first page of Google and it does have to be the first page because anything else will not deliver you any meaningful volume.  Not only do you want to be on the first page, but the top half of the first page.

The answer is simply to have the best website in your area of business.

That’s it – just have lots of high quality content, delivering masses of value to your visitors. On top of that you also want lots of high quality people linking to the site.

These characteristics will tell Google that yours is an authoritative site which is worthy of a high ranking because you offer the best solution to their searchers queries.

But that’s a long term strategy.

You probably want traffic and customers right now.

So what’s the other option?

The fast way

The fast way to generate traffic is to buy it.

That’s right you have a marketing budget and you go out and advertise in a range of ways.

The thing now is to ensure you spend your money wisely.

Designing the ad is just one part of the process. There are plenty of other aspects you must pay attention to if you’re going to get a return on your investment.

Remember the way your sales funnel works online is to drive people to a landing page where they give you their contact details in return for a report or white paper.

Below is a list of things you’re going to have to think about.

  1. What are you going to promote? You must have some offer or report of sufficient value to motivate people to give you their contact details. That’s the first thing you have to think about.
  2. Your landing page is the next thing on your list. Sending people to some generic, badly designed page will just lead you to wasting your money. Take great care writing and designing a killer landing page and you’ll get boat loads of sign ups.
  3. Once you’ve got the sign ups, what are you going to do now. You need a system in place which builds trust and credibility, making you the number one choice when they’re ready to buy.
  4. Where are you going to run your ads. With the proliferation of pay per click media, there are all sorts of options these days. Not all of them are necessarily on line. Don’t forget our old friend off line.
  5. Once all this is in place, you need to write and design your ads and get the campaign live.

Blimey there’s lots to do, so you’d better get busy.

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7 Tips On How You Can Improve Your Internet Presence

These days your internet presence is vital aspect of your  small business marketing. Here are seven tips which will help you improve your online presence and so increase the number of enquiries you generate.

Write your copy exclusively for your target customer
If you have an accurate profile for your prospective customers, you know what they want and need and what will motivate them. Armed with this information you can tailor your copy to press their hot buttons. Make sure your copy is full of the words “you” and “yours” as opposed to “we” and “our”.

Use your website to generate contact details
Realistically the chances of everyone who comes to your website getting in contact with you are zero. But the fact that they’ve come to your website indicates that they are prospects so if you can get their contact details, you can market to them in the future. You therefore need “lead bait” – to offer them something of enough value that they will give you their contact details. This can be a special report or white paper, maybe a discount voucher or you could offer them some physical product as an incentive.

Update your site regularly
Whether you have a News section on your website or a blog or both it’s really important to keep them both updated. What kind of message does it send out if the newest news you’ve got is months out of date or if you only update your blog every few months. Not only does it make a bad impression on your readers, but it doesn’t impress Google either.

Blogging isn’t for everyone
Blogging has great benefits if you do it well but not everyone likes writing or is very good at it. If your blog posts are badly written or just dull they’re not going to do anything for your business. If this is the case, you’re better off forgetting about blogging and concentrating on other things.

Use video on your website
Video introduces personality to your site. In 60 or 90 seconds you can say a lot about your business and about yourself in an engaging and appealing way. Remember plenty of people prefer to receive information in audio visual form than in written form.

Think before you link
We all want inbound links but they have to be from the right kind of source. Before you set up reciprocal links, consider the linking site carefully. What does it say about you if you’re linked to unprofessional sites.

Reply to blog comments
If readers comment on your blog, you owe it to them to reply. In this way you can strengthen budding relationships and turn casual readers into raving fans.

Following these seven simple points will enhance your online

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Give Customers What They Want

When you are looking to buy something on line, you normally know pretty much what you want.

Say for example say you’re looking for a Honda lawn mower.

What you want in the first instance is a web page selling Honda lawn mowers.

What do you get?

As often as not you get a generic page, maybe the home page of a garden products supplier where you’re presented with an array of chain saws, wheel barrows, strimmers and maybe a lawn mower or two.

So why don’t they take you straight to the relevant page.

Difficult to say really but it must come down to one of the following:

  1. Lack of awareness of how people shop and a belief that people will work hard for what they’re looking for. Unfortunately for lots of people that is entirely wrong. If customers don’t find what they’re looking for immediately, they’ll click away and the chance of making a sale is lost.
  2. The hope that by directing customers to a generic page with lots of different products, that instead of buying just the product they were looking for, they will end up buying a number of products. Again I think this is entirely misguided. If I’m looking for a Honda lawn mower, am I likely to settle for a chain saw instead?

So the question is are you making it easy for your customers to buy from you, are you giving them exactly what they ask for or are you making them work hard to find what they’re looking for? If so you’re probably losing a high percentage of the sales you should be making and need to look at your landing pages as a matter of urgency.