Is your web site like a billboard, which attracts Internet traffic?
I know I said the next monthly newsletter would be about email marketing, but following some conversations I have had recently with potential clients, I feel a little more on effective marketing to be in order before we progress to the email marketing.
We have all seen billboards. They are in every country in the world. They are on every highway and by-way. Billboards that slap you in the face with one offer or another. They are usually prominently and strategically placed, so that when you come over a rise, or round a bend, there it is, right in your line of vision. You can’t miss them!
The unfortunate thing is, a large number of of web sites out there are not like billboards. Even though that’s essentially what they are. They are virtual advertising space that costs you rental and maintenance every month, but they do not follow the basic rules of getting seen.
Let’s just discuss two of those rules in this article.
1. Make your message clear and concise. Don’t be ambiguous in your web site content.
Have you ever seen a billboard obscured by a tree? I have, but I can’t remember where it was, or I would go and take a photo of it, and paste it here, instead of this graphic I just drew up.
The last thing you want is for your web site to look like this example.
Even though it is there, traffic is passing it every day, and it’s being seen, nobody can read it. The message it is carrying is unclear and very easily misunderstood, because there is stuff in front of it.
If this was a real billboard, I am certain the message being displayed is not what the owner intended to be seen by the passing motorists.
Some things that may detract from your web site are:
- Advertising other people’s stuff on your site eg. google adsense. In some cases it is appropriate, mostly not.
- Content that has nothing to do with your offer. One page, one article or item.
Obscure content does nothing to enhance your web presence, and that’s the goal. Isn’t it?
2. Once you have a web site, you need to actively market it, or it will become like a billboard out of sight.
Have you ever seen a billboard hidden behind a hill, where nobody can see it? Of course not! Why? Because nobody would pay for it in the first place, and nobody would ever see it.
So why, why, why… would you ever pay web site design fees, and monthly hosting fees, and never market your web site?
An un-marketed web site is like a billboard out of sight. Nobody ever sees it, or even suspects it exists.
The “build it & they will come ” mentality may work in a Hollywood baseball movie, but it won’t work on a web site. Unless you market your web site regularly, nobody will ever see it. Nobody will even know it exists.
I spoke with a woman just this morning. Her web site was obscure, ranked at over 13 millionth spot on the Alexa scale, and not appearing in Google searches.
She was offended that I was attempting to market to her, because she is a marketer herself. She stated that she had it under control and someone was taking care of all that for her. I disagreed, and rightly so. End of conversation. No point talking to a closed mind.
Somebody may be assigned to do the work, but they are far from taking care of it. She was so obviously over-confident in her abilities as a marketer, that she forgot that she needs to learn new skills in order to stay on top of marketing. I will not be recommending her to any of my clients… lol
So, there you have it. Clear and concise content and web site marketing are the keys to getting your web site seen, like the billboard in this example. It is there, it can be seen, and it can be read easily.
Your web site should be a virtual billboard on the information super highway, where all traffic travelling in your target market area can see it, and can read its message easily.
Those are the keys to consequently building an email list, which is where the real money lies, and what I will deal with in the next issue.
As always, any questions, feel free to ask.
Web World Marketing
Vol 100901: This Issue: SEO vs. SEM
If you own a web site, you’ve probably heard the terms SEO or Search Engine Optimisation and SEM or Search Engine Marketing. Today, we’ll talk a little about those.
What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
The following diagram will show some of the differences and similarities.
SEO is getting your generic listing to the top of the search engines through means of popularity rating. ie. A lot of people like your site, so they log to it frequently.
SEM is paying to have your site listed at the top, at least until its generic popularity grows enough to keep it there.
There are just two paid listings in the above examples. They are listed in the right side column. If there are a larger number of listings, then the first few would appear in the blue shaded area at the top of the generic listings.
Which is more important? SEO or SEM?
A well formatted SEM campaign will lead to a good generic search engine ranking, and it probably won’t take that long to achieve.
If you get your site seen by a lot of people, using the SEM method to attract that traffic, then you will automatically grow a good search engine ranking with your generic listing.
The whole idea of search engines is to get your web site at least on the front page of the search engine, and preferably in the top few listings for your nominated search terms.
Web site popularity is what will get it to the top of the generic search engines. The more people who visit your site, the higher up the rankings your web site will climb and the faster it will get there. One of the fastest ways to get it there (SEO) is by marketing it (SEM), ie. getting it seen by a lot of visitors.
This can be achieved by selecting a few keywords, probably no more than a half a dozen or so, which you are prepared to bid on, to be seen at the top of the search listings for those keywords, and you only pay for clicks, not displays (PPC).
eg. in Diagrams 1 & 2, Gary at Pink Waterlily Health Centre at Palmwoods has previously bid on the terms “anxiety” and “depression” using SEM. The generic web site listing now appears at the top of the search results for those terms in his selected target area of Palmwoods in the Sushine Coast hinterland.
Gary only needs to bid on those terms again if his ranking starts to slip. He can now spend his budget on building his ranking for some other search terms.
So, SEM will get more visitors, but what about sales?
That all depends on a lot of factors including product or service type & quality. The ability of your reader audience to pay for your products etc. However, sales conversions from first time visitors is a pretty rare result to achieve, like way less than 1%. It usually takes several visits before people feel confident enough to take out their credit card and hand it to you.
You’ll also need more than just SEO & SEM to be effective in your web marketing efforts. There are several more key ingredients to effective web marketing.
Web marketing is all about relationship marketing. You market yourself harder than you market your products & services in order to achieve the best results.
TV, radio & printed media advertising is generally scatter marketing a brand eg, Holden, Ford, Lowes etc blasting it to the masses & hoping someone pops into the shop.
The Internet is more on direct response, relationship marketing. ie. each individual must act on an invitation that is addressed to them personally, and/or on a need they have for which they are looking for a solution & the results are measurable.
- Next Issue we’ll talk about email marketing campaigns.
- As always, call & ask any questions you may have
Managed Campaigns – We’ll run your campaigns for you
- or you can do your own web marketing. Here are some tools we recommend
What is Web Marketing?
Because most people have no idea what it all means, I will attempt to give an overview of the process involved in web marketing. Be aware, it is time consuming and unless done well, will prove to be a waste of both time and financial resources. That’s why doing it yourself will cost you a lot of time, and will probably only produce limited results unless you study and learn the techniques well. I am not going to try to make this sound more complicated than it is. As a matter of fact, I am going to try to simplify the explanation to make it easier to understand. If you have a lot of spare time during your work days, it’s probably OK to do as much as you can for yourself. However, most small business people don’t have much of that.
There are 3 basic elements to web marketing.
1. Getting your web site seen is your first step. If nobody sees it, then nobody is going to know about you and what you do. Getting it seen is accomplished through several different media:
- Search Engine Marketing – The fastest way of getting your site seen by people who don’t know of your business, but are looking for something that you offer. This includes things like PPC and other paid methods of getting your ad seen so that people click and land on your site.
- Search Engine Optimisation – Same result as search engine marketing, but it takes months and sometimes even years to get to the top without investing some money and a lot of time on search engine marketing, and the other methods which will get your web site seen. Basically, if you do all the other things right, this one will take care of itself provided your web site is set up with the right elements.
- Social Networking – Using social networking to build your contacts list is essential to a big mailing list. The biggest mistake most people make with social networking is that they use it like a classified ad site or bulletin board. Social networking is all about relationship marketing.
- Search Engine Submission – getting your site listed in as many locations as possible within your target area
- Other ad boards, classified sites, ezines, etc. in your target area, or with mailing lists that send to your target market.
There are a number of software packages you can use to get some of those steps done and make it less labour intensive.
2. Capturing the visitors details for follow-up email campaigns. You have paid good money to get those visitors to your web site. The absolute last thing you want to do is let them leave without volunteering their contact details for you to load into your auto responder for later follow-up marketing. Visitors will rarely by from you on their first visit. It will usually take a minimum of seven visits, and often more for that to happen. You don’t want to have to pay for them to come back every time, so you have a mechanism on your site which encourages them to volunteer their contact email so that you can send them offers.
3. A Well Formatted Follow-up Marketing Campaign. You’ll need an auto-responder with a good deliver-ability reputation, that allows you to send multiple emails per month. You’ll need a series of follow-up emails sequenced into the auto-responder, which sends out to all eligible recipients (those on your list who have not opted out of your list) on your list, in the order that you have pre-set and at the intervals which you have pre-set into the campaign. All this takes time to set it up, but once it is done, the only thing left for you to do is post the occasional special offer to your list. Good auto-responders don’t come cheap. Cheap auto-responders don’t come good.
How do I know that? I used to run an in-house responder for the members of a networking business I owned. I was getting what I thought was a good delivery rate. One day I tried a responder form another supplier as a test. I doubled the number of emails that actually made it to the inbox, and I tripled the number of people who opened their emails. Then I heard of yet another supplier who claimed 99% deliver-ability to the inbox. I trialed it with the same list and immediately re-doubled the number of emails that got opened again. Meaning that 8 times as many people were receiving the information I was sending using my in-house responder. I immediately stopped promoting the in-house responder, and referred all my customers to the one I had found. To rephrase the words of a famous oil ad from many years ago… Auto-responders ain’t auto-responders Sol!
A Graphic Example of SEO & SEM
In the above example, search engine optimisation will place you in the pink area. Pink Waterlily Health Centre has placed first in this example for the search terms anxiety, depression, and Palmwoods. Pink Waterlily is a Web World Marketing customer.
There are 2 paid listings in this example, both of them appearing in the right hand column. They are examples of SEM – Search Engine Marketing. They have paid to have their listings appear there for those search terms.
For more information on how you can raise your web profile using Web Marketing strategies, please complete the form to the right & we’ll call you, or
Call us on mobile 045 007 9558
or Skype: mickpopp
Want to get your web site seen, but don’t want to pay me the fee to do it?
Do your own! You’ll need these few tools to get you started – and a few hundred dollars to buy it all, and a couple of years to study up on how it all works, but you can do it.
Before commencing down the track of DIY-SEO, you had better read up on SEO so that you understand what’s involved so that you can do it properly yourself, what I call DIPY-SEO. This is a zipped file. If you need software extract the file, Here’s a free one.
|Google Adwords Account –
Account is free, keywords are not free – http://adwords.google.com
|Buy Platinum PPC Web Spy. Nothing less will give you the information
you need for choosing your Keywords for google.
|At Least a Silver
Veretekk – http://mick.veretekk.com
|Once you have got your account, open a leadsomatic account – looks like this
. Use it to submit your URL to multiple search engines and ad networks
on a regular basis
|Get yourself some high quality SEO software|
|Get yourself a GOOD auto responder
All Auto responders are NOT created equal. iContact provides better than 99% deliverability to the in-box of your subscribers. That rate leaves he others for dead! If you want your customers to actually receive your emails, then you need iContact. Nothing else will do!
That should keep you hopping and give you enough to study up on for the next year or so. You see, we have been doing this since 2002. It has taken a lot of learning and tweaking to get our system working right. If you want to do your own, then just be prepared for an intense learning curve and to spend a lot of money and time getting yourself up to scratch.
Most business owners are lacking in at least one of those areas. They either don’t have the time because they are so busy making money, or they don’t have the money because their business is suffering while they do the things they should be paying someone else to do. You’re a business owner, not a key puncher. Your business depends on you having the right tools to do what you do best. Sometimes, those tools are other people.
If you have employees, then you have issues with wages and salaries, employee insurances, superannuation, sick leave, compo and whatever else. If you outsource to Web World Marketing, you only have our fees plus your advertising costs, which you already have anyway.
Doesn’t it make sense to outsource what you don’t have to do in-house?
Call us for a free Web Marketing Appraisal.
+61 (0)7 3102 9558