Tag Archives: Visitors

Online Advertising Traffic and the First Law of Web Surfing

You won’t read about this phenomenon in books or articles on general principles of advertising or direct marketing. In fact, traditional advertising professionals and direct marketers often create only so-so online advertising campaigns simply because they’ve never heard of this phenomenon, even though it’s essentially the first law of human web surfing behavior.

How to convert your online advertising traffic into customersReady to find out what that all-important first law of web surfing is? Prepare to be not very amazed. You see, everyone who surfs the web already knows about this phenomenon of human behavior because we all do it–even you.

So here it is, the first law of human web surfing behavior, which you absolutely must take into account when marketing your website: While surfing the web, almost everyone will hit the “back” button if they think there’s a chance–even a small chance– they’ve come to the wrong web page.

The corollary to this law of web surfing behavior: Anyone who clicks through to your site via an online advertising link needs to know they’ve arrived at the right place as soon as they get there.

Immediately. Within a second. From a click glance. Without having to read anything. The average human attention span on the web has been measured at eight seconds, and you’ll have already lost a few seconds while the page downloaded.

The Key(word) to Converting Advertisement-Clickers into CustomersHow do you make absolutely sure visitors feel like they’ve arrived in the right place?

Make the title and first heading of your landing page (the page on which a visitor “lands” after clicking on an advertisement) the same as the headline of the advertisement that brought your visitor there. If the landing page links to a banner (image) advertisement, use the same pictures and color scheme as the advertisement.

The landing page absolutely must immediately remind the visitor of the advertisement.

The advertisements, in turn, must flow logically from the keywords they are targeting. Even if your advertisements are appearing on websites rather than search engine results, you need to be thinking in terms of the keywords people are using to search for your product in order to speak the language of your prospective customers.

That’s why it is very important both your advertisement and landing page incorporate the target keyword prominently, in headings as well as the page body. That’s also why it’s so important you don’t send your visitors from online advertising to your homepage–it’s unlikely you could optimize your homepage for all your possible advertisements. Visitors who arrive via advertising need to land on a special “landing page,” or they may crash and leave your site.

Conversions: your advertising campaign’s goal But what happens once visitors land on your site and decide to stay more than ten seconds? It’s no use if they just hang around. They need to convert.

Important definition: In online advertising parlance, saying a website visitor “converts,” means he or she has taken a desired action toward becoming a customer, either 1) buying something or 2) contacting you for more information, thereby becoming a lead.

The percentage of visitors who convert out of the total number of visitors who arrive at your page is the conversion rate. Your goal is to get this rate as high possible. You do that by finding the right message to display on your landing page, and also by targeting the advertising so you are getting visitors who are most likely to convert.

In order to get your visitors to convert once they arrive, you need to make sure they have a clear path to conversion from the landing page. The simpler the path, the better–a winding road might lose some potential customers. This conversion path could be as simple as a “buy now” button or a contact form, or as complex as a multi-step shopping cart with required registration with required email confirmation to scare away those who are not truly devoted buyers.

Targeting your trafficWhat you show visitors who arrive at your site is only half the equation. The visitors themselves are the other. As with everything in life, you can’t convert a sow’s ear into a silk purse. In this case, the sow’s ear is paid traffic that is not targeted, or is coming from popunders or other forced viewing, or is just plain faked (there is software specifically designed to emulate human visitors so fraudsters can sell the “traffic”).

Even in the best of cases, some traffic converts better than others. Generally speaking, visitors who are looking for you are the likeliest to convert, so conversion rates tend to be highest from advertising on search engines. Conversion rates tend to be lower from advertising on websites (so-called “content” or “contextual” advertising).

Conversion rates are lower still on advertising on website popups, and lowest of all on so-called adware (programs that display popups on a user’s computer; the people who sell this advertising often label it “targeted traffic”). Sending emails that consist of nothing but your advertisement, even if you’ve skirted the legal definition of spam, is not worth the bad will and damage to your brand.

Preaching to non-converting online advertising trafficA significant percentage of visitors, maybe a majority, will never just click “buy now.” How do you reach them?

Many people simply will never make a purchase without speaking to a salesperson first. For them, provide a convenient contact form, as well as a live chat option–if you can afford the time and expense–your email, and a telephone number. A telephone number is especially important since there are some visitors who will never convert without hearing the voice of someone on your end.

For visitors who are not ready to convert immediately, you should have informational articles, “about us” pages or FAQs ready to help them make up their minds.

For visitors who simply will not be ready to convert today, give a reason to bookmark your page. Good articles. A special offer. A newsletter to sign up for. Free advice.

Just make sure you don’t place these alternative non-converting options in too prominent a position, or you’ll risk distracting prospective customers. A few paragraphs up from the very bottom of the page is a good place to catch people who are interested in you enough to read the entire page, but still haven’t converted. The very bottom of the page should be reserved for a conversion option for all the prospective customers accustomed to scrolling to the bottom of the page to get a quick overview.

After all, if you want your visitors from online advertising traffic to convert into customers, shouldn’t you at least make it easy for them?

SEO Introduction

If your looking to increase your websites presence on the internet we will provide you with a detailed insight into the world of Search Engine Optimization, so let us begin with this broken down introduction to SEO. In the current age having your site online is only one step towards making your mark on the internet, it’s incredibly easy to get online but once you get online you will probably encounter a common dilemma, where are the visitors? Undoubtedly you have joined the many millions of websites that fall into the abyss of the search engine’s, if you are fortunate to get listed by them at all. You may not think search engine positioning affects you but if you own or operate a website, it does. If you any ambitions for your website then you have to cater for this increasingly important webmaster role.

Search engine optimization is more than making your site rank well in the major search engines, it’s about integrating it seamlessly into your page design without your visitors even being aware exists. SEO is an on going task that all webmasters need to undertake in order to keep reasonable positioning within search engines and receive the subsequent traffic it brings. A common mistake many people make is to optimize their site once and believe that they can hold a rank, this might be true for some obscure key words but there is so much information flowing around the internet that there will always be someone willing to take your site on for rankings.

It is important to remember the complex algorithms search engines use to determine your position calculate thousands of different factors, you cannot rely on one to keep ahead of the game. SEO Assistance will bring you an in depth view into the world of search engine positioning, we have broken it down into easily digestible sections so you can move your site up inch by inch. One downside to keeping your website in the public eye is that it requires a constant effort but if you are planning to sell a product or keep your website active, it is definitely worth it.

The Importance of Web Analytics :: Using Your Analytics Properly

Analytics are very important to your web marketing campaign. If you do not use analytics properly you may not understand how effective your search engine marketing is.

In this article I look at some practical examples of when to use analytics and some things you need to identify in order to get the most out of your analytics.

I came across a situation today that I thought I’d share. It has to do with a client’s analytics.

Many times, as a search engine marketer, it is up to us to tell the client what they should be looking for in their analytics. Right away this seems odd to me. It’s like me telling my client what their business model is, or how they should be selling their product online.

But this does seem to be a common thread among some site owners. They had an idea for a product or service and they wanted to promote it online. So they had a website built, and may have initially had it optimized. But that is as far as their experience goes.

They have no idea on how to track progress or improvements. All to often the numbers they do look at are not the best results to view.

two perspectives on analytics – SEO and client

With my client today, we were trying to nail down what should have been important numbers. And it was a very similar case – they had invested in this super-duper analytics package that was collecting and displaying data upteen different ways, yet they had no idea how to interpret the numbers.

They thought their traffic was increasing, but they had on idea why, really, nor did they have any idea what their customers were doing once they hit the website.

And, as sometimes happens, we fell into the trap of telling them what they should be looking for.

“You want to see search engine referrals going up. That means it’s working” or “increased page views is a good thing.”

But this really isn’t solving their problem is it?

Sometimes as search marketers, we need to step back and say “I know what I need for numbers, but what does my client need to see.”

So this was the approach we took today – let’s have a discussion with the client and focus on what they want to see, not what we need to show them to prove our value as search engine marketers.

When we were done, we had not only shortened their monthly analytics report to a few key metrics (down from pages and pages of statistical analysis) but we had also decreased the time required to complete this analysis.

Sure we still will do some of the analysis for our own purposes, but does the client really care how many backlinks or pages indexed they have? Not likely.

Nope, more often than not, the client wants to know that they are making money. Pure and simple.

So, if you can show them that they are making money, that’s all they really care about. You can add value as a search engine marketer by showing areas of improvement (“did you know that your Google referrals went up by 15% this month? That proves the value of our services, yada yada yada…”)

As long as you can illustrate the bottom line to the client in terms they understand, at that it is improving, then you as a search marketer have done your job.

Keep the pages indexed, backlinks, referrals by keyword and other non-client related data to yourself and present a concise simple report that even the CEO (who has 25 hours per day of work) can look at and understand that the SEO program is paying for itself.

Now let’s look at analytics from the client’s perspective.

If you are a client of an SEO firm, or just want to get a better idea of just how your site is doing online, first you must decide what it is you want to see. Do you want to see sales figures? Or would you rather just look at the aggregate numbers like total visitors and search engine referrals?

What has more value to you – reams and reams of data, or a simple, one page summary of overall performance?

As a recommendation, I’d say you only need enough data to make your business decisions.

In other words, if your website is e-commerce based, all you really need initially are the sales numbers over time. You should also understand how the sales cycle works, and perhaps look at your conversion funnel to see where people are dropping off. Most good analytics packages offer some sort of funnel analysis.

Understanding your sales funnel can also help you improve your sales. Sometimes an analysis of the sales funnel can help you determine where the drop offs occur. By modifying the funnel you can improve your drop off rate, increasing your sales. And really, this has less to do with SEO and more to do with traditional business marketing.

For example, let’s say your site gets 2000 visitors per month. Let’s also assume your site has a 3 step sales process, and your average sale is $11 per item.

If half of your site’s visitors start down the sales path, that means 1000 start (a 50% drop off rate at the first step – this could be due by a requirement to sign up to browse your site). If 40% of that total drop off at the second step, and 30% of that group complete the sale, that equates to $495 in sales, about a 2.25% conversion rate as only 45 of the original 2000 people purchased.

Now let’s experiment with the sales funnel:

If you can improve the final step of the sale by just 10% – that equates to an additional $165 in sales, a 3% conversion rate. However if you can improve the first step of the conversion, reducing that 50% bounce rate to 25%, you can increase your sales by $247.50 – a 3.38% conversion rate.

Further, if you shorten the conversion funnel by 1 step – making a 2 step sale, rather than a 3 step sale, you can increase your sales by over $330 – a 3.75% conversion rate. That’s still assuming the same number of monthly visitors start down the conversion path.

However, if you don’t or can’t find this data in your analytics package you wouldn’t be able to perform such analysis.

And this is where, if you are dealing with an SEO firm, you must get the data you need.

Simply knowing how many referrals you got from Google or Yahoo! won’t help you make the business decisions you need to make.

So whether you are an SEO firm or professional, or employ one, be sure that the metrics you see are the ones you need to make your decisions.

As a client, don’t be afraid to ask – what does this do for me? Because unless you’ve discussed your needs with your SEO, they will likely provide you with the numbers they deem as the best. That is, the ones that illustrate their value to you.

That’s not to say that those numbers are invalid, its just that they don’t do you as much good as those you need to make your business decisions.

Similarly, as an SEO, if you don’t know what your client needs to see, in terms of numbers, how can you justify your income from them. If search engine referrals have gone up, but conversion haven’t then there is no immediate value to the client.

Sure you can say “but we got you all these top rankings” but unless they are turning into sales, your contract with that client won’t last that long.

So be sure as you work with your SEO firm or client that you nail those metrics early, so there is no misunderstanding, and everyone knows what successes are measured by.