Welcome to the first instalment of Internet Marketing Secrets. I hope you find something of value.
Secret 1, Know what you want
Internet Marketers generally use the word, “conversion” to refer to the successful transition of website visitor to purchaser, customer or some other outcome desired by the website manager. Websites that deliver results have a very good conversion rate (total completions divided by total unique visitors). Which in simple terms means, comparing the number of website visitors to the number who become “converted” into customers.
So the first thing you need, if you haven’t already done so, is to define what you conversion outcomes are going to be? What are you trying to do; what do you want your visitors to do?
Secret 2, Information is Power
In order to understand and improve website performance you need to have access to and understand website statistics and what they are telling you. Statistics are indicators or action signals that will give you hints as to how you are performing at a moment in time and over a period of time. You should get to understand your website statistics and what they mean so that you are able to identify where improvements can be made. You need to look for these indicators and train yourself to be able to identify them so that you can take the appropriate steps to benefit from what they are telling you.
Check what areas of your website are experiencing the fastest page view growth and the slowest. Compare these areas for any possible structural or content modifications and upgrade the slowest pages appropriately. It may mean that the content in the slower pages is having to compete more heavily with competitors and their websites for visitors. It may also mean that the content or structure of the web page just isn’t up to scratch and we will address this issue a bit later. There are many other things you should be paying attention to in this statistics section, which I will discuss in more detail in another article.
At this point you should take a measurement of the conversion ratio (total completions/total unique visitors) so that you can measure the difference at a later date after you implement a whole bunch of changes to your website.
Secret 3, Create web pages that are rich in text and are relevant to specific search queries
Here we are going to apply the “Single Minded Proposition” Concept to Internet Marketing. Marketing professionals use the idea of the “single minded proposition” as a basis for defining the focus and meaning of advertising communications. It is created using words or phrases that you see appearing as powerful slogans. Nokia use the slogan “Human Technology” as their single minded proposition to ensure that their advertising messages present the same consistent message throughout a campaign across mediums.
Now how does this apply to your website? Well search engines are an excellent judge of relevancy. Their role is to deliver the most relevant suggestions to a searcher and thereby make the search process more efficient and generally a more pleasurable experience.
You can think of your website as a basket of apples sitting in a fruit stall. Consumers or searchers enter the stall area looking for something specific to them. They could choose pears, bananas or apples. Now if you have a stall that is a good example of apples; that is, its looks like a good bunch of apples more than other apple stalls then the consumer is going to choose your stall over others, if they wanted apples in the first place. You don’t care about the consumers who want bananas and pears anyway. Search engines consider your website ranking according to the content in the individual pages and the rankings of the other websites that link to you.
Now the individual apples in your stall can be thought of the web pages in your site. Consumers pick and choose the best apples because they are a better representation of what they think an apple is supposed to be. In the case of the Internet, the search engine is doing some of this comparison for consumers because it would be an impossible task to find and compare this information. When a search query is entered into a search engine it will go take a good look at the blue print of your individual page that it has stored and decide whether it is a better representation or more relevant compared to other pages it has stored.
So here is the secret again “create web pages that are definitive to your potential consumers search queries”. Ok so it sounds logical, but you would be very surprised how many websites don’t do this.
Secret 4, Know your Customers and your Competition
You will need to be smart here and really find out what words your target visitors are likely to use in their searches. You will also be competing with other websites, so you will need to be a step ahead of each one, in order to get a higher ranking position. This means spending a considerable amount of time reviewing your competitors’ website for reasons why they are getting a higher ranking in a search query than you. Learn from your competitors’ success and the reasons for the success, and then implement them in your own website.
Then once you have this search definitive content you need to present this content in a way that is attractive to search engines. This means using text and link placement that is search engine friendly, but I will talk about that in more detail at a later point.
Secret 5, Get in it for the long term and be in a position to continually Evolve
What holds most people back in getting the results they want from the Internet is their ability to make the modifications over time that they need to improve their website performance. You have to come to grips with the fact that this is not a brochure or a magazine. Once it’s done it can be changed and should be changed if it improves performance. So you may have to hold something in reserve at development time so that you do have the capacity to implement the breakthroughs that come to you later on. Find a web developer who is in it for the long term and are excited about developing your project further on a variety of occasions.
Well this was the first of a series of articles that we plan to bring you this year. We hope you enjoyed it and wish you all the best for improving the performance of your websites. If you have further questions or are looking for more personalized guidance then please get in touch. If you have any feedback then please don’t hesitate to drop us an email. Otherwise visit us next month for the next article. We look forward to sharing more insights with you.