A small-business owner once asked me a question: I have a website, I run an advertising campaign on AdWords, I know through Google Analytics that people come to my website. So why am I not receiving any calls?
If I had a penny every time I hear that question… Online advertising experience can be frustrating at first, but there is a core thing that we need to understand to avoid disappointment: your website is your best tool for both advertising and sales! A common mistake is treating the website like you treat a business card: here is my contact phone and e-mail, call me to receive more information. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in most consumers’ minds. Continue reading →
I think once the debate over where to put the code (near beginning or near the end of the page code) settles***, all my fellow marketers will have a chance to see how brilliant and elegant this new feature is.
*** We already know that it doesn’t really matter to us, business owners, it only matters to Google and their stats.
Landing pages are somewhere between Social Media and Direct Mail marketing. Closer to the latter, I would say. But why should we use Landing Pages? For many purposes, but most of all to further convince the user to complete an action, or in marketing terms, – to convert the user.
Get the visitor to click to go to another page. For example, you may want to summarize on one page all the resources you have in various sections of your website, that are related to a particular product, market segment or “pain point”.
You can compare two screenshots of Google search results for “David Beckham“, first one when the searcher was not logged into your Google+ and the second one after he logged in. You can see the two results are quite different. Simply put, the fact that the searcher “follows” H&M on Google+ caused Google search engine to serve H&M-related results with a certain priority.
Assuming that these screenshots are genuine, I want to make two remarks here.
The website should never be static. It should change, evolve in response to the market conditions and trends. There are several factors that contribute to that change:
Business objectives. Your business defines your website, not the other way around. Any changes in your business environment should be reflected on your website: products and services, payment and delivery models, suppliers, new offerings and promotions etc.
Technology advancements. You can expand your business model or improve processes by implementing new technologies as they become available: online payment processing, e-commerce, lead capturing, customer relations management and so on.
Social and cultural trends. There are certain types of generally accepted but undocumented rules about websites: layout, accessibility, social networks or community integration, value-add features, etc. The website should be periodically modified to accommodate changes in those rules, otherwise it may lose it’s reputation among users or impact on the new audience.
E-mail marketing campaigns play great role in lead nurturing process, as well as in customer retaining. Whether you are announcing an important service update, a promotional event, a lucrative pricing offer or a new piece of valuable thought-leadership content, here are a few tips that will help you be successful with your e-mail campaign.
Include your privacy and security notices or provide a link to the page with that information, and always include instructions to “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” from your future communications. This is truly rule number one and by far the easiest way to avoid legal and/or ethical implications as well as simply irritating your customers. Here is an example: “This email was sent to you because you requested information from Cochinay Consulting or a partner. We apologize if this correspondence reached you in error. Cochinay adheres to ethical marketing research and communications, and respects your rights of privacy and choice. To opt-out from future contact from Cochinay, please click here (link).” Do not forget that according to polls, Canadians are more sensitive to privacy issues than Americans or Europeans. A great example of elaborate privacy statement can be found on Eloqua’s website: http://www.eloqua.com/about/privacy/
Why Google, why AdWords? Well, are you familiar with the so-called Pareto Principle? That’s what some people call the famous 80/20 rule: 20% of your efforts bring 80% of your results. Applications include: 80% of a company’s sales are done by 20% of the sales staff, or 80% of your business come from 20% of your customers, or 80% of your revenue are generated by 20% of your services/products, – the list of business myths is truly endless.
I personally do not believe in the magical 80-20, but I have come across some interesting figures recently:
Tweeting and updating Facebook statuses with links to your website has been a corner stone of any Search Engine Optimization program since the days those platforms were born. On top of blogs and public forums and sites like Kijiji and Craigslist, small and medium businesses have been adding up Tumbler, YouTube, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, Pinterest and whatnot to build up their search engines rankings. It is no secret, it is common knowledge and probably the most traditional practice for SEO boosting. Even though it was rarely officially acknowledged by the major players.
And then Google took it a step further: upon successful launch of their Google plus social network, Google search started showing links to some Google plus pages right next to its regular results, where the ads have traditionally sat. They call it the “People and Pages on Google+”, a part of Search Plus Your World initiative.
A website is the fulcrum of your promotional efforts. It is focal point of your awareness, lead-generation, nurturing and in many cases customer care campaigns. There is no way to avoid having a website, if you want for your business to succeed.
Various sources claim that about 80% of sales begin with an internet search, whether B2B or B2C. Guess where these searches end up? Your website. Your potential customers can first come to your listing on Craigslist or Yellow Pages or even Google Maps, but chances are, they would want to further their research of you and your products and services.
At the very least they will want to take a look at your website, just because they would have already seen your competitors’.
Social media drives marketing results like no other communcation vehicle these days. The impact of a social network campaign on a brand can be disasterous. And it’s no surprise – after all you are talking to billions of people through various structural channels – groups, ads, fan pages. Thinking through all the logistics is one way to ensure success. Considering all possible consequences is another.
In a recent promo action, Timothy’s Coffees of the World faced an unpleasant result. When they ran out of single-serve coffee boxes, that they were giving away for free to anyone who would “like” their Facebook page, they decided to go silent for a week, before attempting to console the upset fans. If you are asking yourself what kind of goal were Timothy’s trying to acheive by exchanging consumable product for “likes” of their Facebook page, here is the answer: