There is a saying that for anything to remain successful, one must show the same enthusiasm as in the beginning. That’s never truer in business. Setting up an online business is pretty easy nowadays. But to make it successful and maintain it as such, requires specialised knowledge and hard work.
Has your business’ e-marketing campaign been put on hold for too long?
Have you recently noticed lower sales, interaction, conversions, and referrals?
Do you want to take your business to the next level?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, then an e-marketing make-over may just be what you need. First, we need to figure out your strategy; what is it that you’re trying to achieve, your goals.
Ranking for the right keywords is the key to a successful online business. You don’t want just any one to come and visit. The whole point of marketing is to invite “targeted” customers, the ones that will come to buy your products. So, instead of broad keyword phrases like “university courses in Sydney”, your potential could significantly be increased when you focus on the keywords, “Applied Media Arts Bachelor Program in Northern Sydney”. And when the keywords are narrowed down, competition is lower and rankings can be achieved easier as there are certainly less universities in Northern Sydney having Bachelors in Applied Media Arts than there are universities in Sydney. Remember – the more targeted the keyword, the further down into the buying process your prospect is.
If your content is under optimised, search engines might have a difficult time assessing what is it you are selling; and even not bother too much with your site. They might not easily notice it and if they don’t, you’ll never get in those rankings. On the other hand, if you’re over optimising they could penalise you, pulling you to the bottom. If your website is an important piece of your marketing strategy, then this is scarier as more time and work will need to be done to put it back up. The correct level of optimisation is achieved when your content is original, inbound links are genuine and relevant, there are more matter than advertisements and your content is precise and helpful for the visitors.
Nowadays, fresh and topical content is paramount to your online success. The key is to regularly offer insights on the industry you are in, not just publishing content about your own offer. There are lots of events and product releases in your area of expertise, so speak up and establish yourselves as leaders! Well-written and sincere content will help you engage your customers and establish a relationship with your clients. Remember this golden rule, no matter how good your products and services; people, being emotional creatures, buy from whom they like. So, keep writing, engaging and evolving to the customer’s needs.
Are there authoritative websites in your niche linking back to your site? Or is it just friends commenting about your products from their blog? They are both backlinks but Google values each of them in completely different lights. Quality backlinks are considered votes: those from sites that have made a reputation in your niche are given more weight than those from ordinary sites. So, brush up those content writing skills and write some awesome guest posts that will attract links back to your website as magnets. Google will reward you for that.
Clean Up Broken Links
Broken links are links to non-existent pages, on your website or someone else’s. They’re simply like misplaced doors where there are no rooms. When visitors, i.e. potential clients, visit your website and come down a dead-end, they’ll figure your business unprofessional and might leave for other competitors with whom they can safely place their trust. Search Engines too consider broken links negatively and this can lead to a lower trust in your website’s reputation. So to improve user experience and increase your rankings, fix your 404 errors using Google Webmaster Tools through “crawl errors” option.
Once you get on the wagon of an online business, you will come across technical issues that are going to need expertise to resolve. Now, even if you have the time and inclination to study the issues and solve them on your own, which admittedly has its advantages, it would be wiser to hand over the work to professionals. They’re likely to finish the job ten times faster and better; while even offering suggestions and potential improvements. Your time could be much better utilised for the rest of your marketing efforts.
If you’re facing a stagnant online venture that isn’t going places with low conversions and falling sales, then you need to work on your e-marketing campaign to make those prospective clients come, click and buy. Start by following the steps given above and make your business more competitive in your industry. And if you’re unsure about any of this, your best bet is seeking the services of a professional SEO consultant.
Marketing.com.au would like to thank Bernard for sharing these great eMarketing tips with us.
Aside from developing a league of veteran snowboarders, Bernard is SEO Works’ Director of SEO Services, helping businesses in Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA succeed online through the implementation of best practice Inbound Marketing.
Hi everyone, my name is Mike van der Heijden and I work as a Senior Business Analyst at SEO Works, an Australian based SEO services provider with offices throughout Australia.
I have been invited to be a regular contributor to Marketing.com.au on everything and anything in the wonderful world of online marketing.
Today’s article discusses the various reports/information you should be requesting from your SEO professional or potential SEO company to ensure that you’re making the right investment with the right company. As I like to say, search engine optimisation professionals shouldn’t work for you, they should work with you.
Even in this day and age there are still people (and companies) who are unsure about Search Engine Optimisation, and rightly so! SEO companies and professionals have been wrongly educating the general public on how to measure the success of a campaign. For years clients have been told that the success of a search engine optimisation campaign can be measured by traffic and rankings!
Enter The Rankings & Traffic Metrics
If you have ever engaged a Search Engine Optimisation company/professional, you undoubtedly have seen a “ranking report” and a “traffic report”. I won’t go into the details of each as the level of detail of these reports vary from company to company, but generally are an overview of traffic of your website (perhaps broken up by source e.g. PPC, Organic, Direct etc.) and the rankings of a list of keywords.
Let me ask you a question, after your investment in SEO and seeing a ranking report and/or general traffic report have you gotten the feeling that what you (or the SEO Company) were doing was increasing your bottom line? Did those rankings directly relate to your increase in traffic and more importantly, increase in revenue?
Didn’t think so! If you are serious about your business, you need to be serious about the KPIs you set for your SEO firm, you need to know what to look at and in some cases request from your search firm.
Overall Campaign Metrics
I will explain 4 overall metrics to measure your websites performance by. By no means are they simple factors to influence and in some cases SEO companies might not be solely responsible for influencing these factors, however, each of these lends elements to be improved by a solid SEO campaign.
Are you tracking the amount of revenue that is created by your website? If you’re running an e-commerce website have you set up e-commerce tracking properly? If you’re a service provider are you tracking the amount of people contacting you? And have you attached a value to these conversions?
This is the number one mistake businesses make. If you are not tracking any type of conversion, talk to your SEO Company on getting this set up as soon as possible, because only then can you start measuring the money your website makes you, and in term, your SEO Company delivers you.
Ask your SEO Company what they are doing overall to drive an increase in revenue, this should align properly with your business goals and needs.
2. Conversion Rate
Simply put, your conversion rate is the total number of goal achievements divided by the number of visits to your website.
E.g. if at the end of the month you received 1,000 visits to your website, and 100 conversions/sales were made, that would mean a conversion rate of 10%.
Because a website can have multiple “goal achievements” set up you should be measuring the conversion rates for all your goals.
Ask your SEO Company for monthly updates on your conversion rates and what they are doing to improve the conversion rates on your website.
3. Leads / Sales
As discussed in the Conversion Rate section, you want to have an overall report of total leads/sales/conversions that were made on your website.
Generally these reports will show the overall statistics for conversions on your website, broken down by the source of the visits (be it direct, referral, paid or organic).
4. Cost per Acquisition
Possibly the most important metric, after having figured out all of the above, is the cost per acquisition. How much are you paying in order to attract sales/leads/conversions?
Typically, this should be as easy as taking the amount you are investing in your Search Engine Optimisation campaign and dividing that by the amount of sales/leads/conversions driven through organic search.
When you first start with your SEO Company, this should be set as a benchmark, and the company should strive to improve (read, lower the Cost per Acquisition) over time.
Measuring ROI on Keyword Clusters
Firstly, let me introduce the term “Keyword Clusters”. Keyword Clusters are, in a nutshell, keywords that relate and incorporate a main keyword within.
For example: The keyword “Sydney Hotels” would have a cluster of keywords that contain either the phrase “Sydney Hotels” or contain “Sydney” and “Hotels”.
Sydney Hotels, Sydney Luxury Hotels, Best Sydney Hotels, Hotels in Sydney etc.
The reason for measuring activity on a “cluster” is to take away focus of one particular keyword, because ranking for 1 keyword could mean ranking for endless variations of that keyword.
Clusters aren’t evident in normal keyword ranking reports and therefore you might be missing out on tracking keywords that provide you revenue rather than just search volume.
1. Sales Per Keyword Cluster
Now that we understand the meaning of a keyword cluster, it is important to find out how many sales your website is making from these keyword clusters. It could very well be that a low search volume cluster is producing more sales for you than a high volume keyword cluster (which is often the case).
Ask your SEO Company for a breakdown of keyword clusters and the amount of sales/leads/conversions generated for that keyword cluster. This will give you a good insight into what keyword clusters you (and your SEO Company) should be focusing on.
2. Conversion Rate Per Keyword Cluster
Naturally, the next step is to work out what your conversion rate is per keyword cluster. It’s one thing to see a low search volume cluster producing more sales/leads, but it is also important to know what ratio of people searching for those clusters are actually converting.
3. Cost Per Acquisition for a Keyword Cluster
Last but not least, figure out what your cost per acquisition is per keyword cluster. It could very well be that the cluster producing the most leads is also the most costly (in terms of SEO investment and time taken to rank particular keywords).
A Few Extra Tips
When engaging/interviewing potential SEO companies, make sure you request them to do an audit of your current state of affairs. Give them (read only) access to your analytics in order for them to do a proper analysis of where your website currently stands.
Whilst interviewing your potential candidates, ask them what they think are reasonable goals and milestones to set for your campaign and how long they will take to achieve those results. If they return with an answer anywhere near “That’s hard to say/SEO is a difficult process/We can’t be sure” I say, run for the hills.
Ask for recent successes/experience with other clients in or similar to your niche, more than likely they will have worked with a client who has been in a similar situation to you.
In closing, Search Engine Optimisation isn’t the black voodoo some companies make it out to be. As long as you’re well aware of the information that is out there and the information that you can request from your SEO Company there is no longer any reason for you to be “wasting” money or getting yourself caught in endless contracts.
Mike van der Heijden, Senior Business Analyst, SEO Works
Mike is a Business Analyst with SEO Works and has extensive experience in various online marketing techniques with both blue chip and SMB clients.
While not working on SEO, Mike enjoys working out and keeping abreast of industry trends.
The Apple iPad mini launched in Australia last week. If you haven’t already seen one, it is a thinner, smaller, lighter and more affordable version of the standard iPad with all the features you love and some extra enhancements.
As you might expect there has been talk about how much it will cannibalise Apple’s standard iPad sales, despite this, we feel it’s a much more convenient and portable option for users. Even better, it can be held in just one hand. Apple fans love it and Apple haters don’t, but what does the launch of the Apple iPad mini mean for Australian marketers?
Recently we discussed the launch of the iPhone 5 in Australia and according to a release by Apple, they sold over 5 million devices just three days after its launch in the US. Samsung also recently released it’s Galaxy Note 11 while Google has the Nexus 10. All this buzz around new and improved mobile devices continues to bring us back to one obvious recurring theme for marketers. Mobile needs to be a key focus of our marketing strategies as Mobile love continues to build in Australia, with the frequent launch of new and improved devices.
When we refer to mobile, we don’t just mean mobile phones, it’s really any device with web browsing capabilities other than our desktop or laptop computer. Mobile also doesn’t just mean when you’re on the go (we’d argue that this has been the case for a long time). Even though location-based and location-aware services are still the killer apps, many of us will use mobile devices at home with the desktop computer only metres away. It’s often more convenient, interactive and also allows us to multi task (e.g watch TV and browse the web at the same time).
Smart Company shared an article yesterday where according to Net Marketshare, 10.29% of all web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. So it really is critical that your marketing strategy (in particular, your digital communications and content strategy) includes a focus on mobile devices. It’s also important for advertisers to step up and ensure online advertising is mobile friendly and takes full advantage of the interactive touch screen features mobile provides.
So if your website is mobile browsing friendly (with the option for users to view the full site) and your email campaign templates render nicely on mobile devices, then you are at least a couple of steps ahead in the right direction to ensure a seamless mobile user experience. Just make sure that you don’t get left behind and give disgruntled customers straight into the hands of your mobile savvy competitor.
If you want to check out the new iPad mini features for yourself, they’re available from the Apple Store and we’ve also included the iPad mini video for you below.
If you’ve got one of the new iPad mini’s, what has been your experience? We’d love to hear from you below.
We recently published an article on Inbound Marketing In Your Marketing Mix where we discussed the importance of customer engagement and the need to focus more attention on earning the interest of customers and not just relying on being able to buy it through traditional marketing. However, for many of us, digital marketing is still somewhat of an untamed beast. The good news out this week is we’re not alone.
Responsys got in touch with us and kindly shared their annual Big Australia Report which discusses and benchmarks the practices of digital marketing in Australia based on interviews they conducted with 125 digital marketers around Australia in July and August of this year. (more…)
We recently discussed some top tips for creating great presentations. However, in this post we’d like to discuss some great alternatives to just defaulting to Microsoft PowerPoint. There are a growing number of people now relying on cloud based Internet hosted applications for presentations, without the need for desktop software. Not only does this make presentations easily accessible, it also provides some fresh alternatives to the look and feel of your presentations.
We’re not here to bag PowerPoint at all, it’s a great piece of software that many of us rely on daily. However, since it was launched in 1990 there have been a range of other presentation tools that have come onto the scene. We’d like to share some of the other alternatives out there that might be better suited to you, make your job easier and help your next presentation stand out from the norm.
Prezi was launched in 2009 and is a web based presentation application that brings a new perspective to the traditional whiteboard and slide formats for sharing of ideas.
We all know just how important visuals are in your presentation. That’s one of the reasons why the zoom functionality of Prezi is so popular, it allows you to zoom and rotate around your page or ‘virtual canvas’ to help the audience visualise your ideas. These may be in text, images or even video.
Many presentations are also not linear, often there are many concepts that are inter-related. Instead of jumping back and forth in your presentation deck, with Prezi you just zoom up, down, left or right as you please. If your presentation is more linear, you can even create a storyline to take your audience on a journey.
Prezi also has a cool Prezi Viewer iPad App so you can present from your iPad.
Google Docs is actually a suite of tools on the web that allows you to create and edit documents online so you can collaborate with others in real time.
The Google Docs Presentation component has come a long way since it was launched in 2007. Not only can you create your presentation online, you can store it there so you can access it almost anywhere. There is also a great selection of interesting themes, custom drawings and animations to make your presentation more exciting.
Another great feature of Google Docs is you can collaborate in real time with others whether they’re in the same room as your or on the other side of the world.
Google Docs is also easy to access on any device so with many of us now having tablets and smartphones, this functionality is really handy.
Keynote is developed by Apple and was first launched in 2003.
Keynote is a favourite with the Apple crowd and for good reason. It’s a very advanced presentation tool. One of the main benefits of Keynote is that it’s compatible with all your Apple devices and by using iCloud you can create presentations and access the latest version from any device. There is also a great collection of themes and we all know one thing Apple does well is design.
The software has a similar feel to PowerPoint but has it’s own unique features and functionality such as great graphic tools and drag and drop for images, video and music. You can even add on the Keynote Remote which lets you use your iPhone as a wireless controller.
SlideRocket was founded in 2007 and is a web based presentation platform with a slick set of professional design tools with eye catching themes, charts, tables, images, audio and Flash. What is particularly cool about SlideRocket is the ability to measure how effective your presentation with the great analytics feature.
As with other web based presentation solutions, you can access SlideRocket from anywhere and make your presentations available via computer or mobile devices. SlideRocket also integrates with Google Docs and Flickr so you can pull in live data and content easily.
So there are just a few of the great alternatives to PowerPoint. Go forth and challenge yourself to try one for your next presentation. Just remember to give yourself some training time so you can learn the full functionality first before you get in front of your audience. Better yet, have a few practice runs with your friends or colleagues.
If you want some more great ways to reinvigorate and deliver your presentations, check out these handy tips for creating great presentations. If we’ve missed anything you’re using that’s not listed, please let us know in the comments.