Tag Archives: website

Tips To Keep Visitors On Your Web Site

Your Web site can under-perform, actively drive customers away, poorly represent your business, or, well, just be horrible. Here are a few easy ways you can keep visitors on your Web site:

1. Be mobile-friendly. Almost 5 billion people have mobile phone subscriptions out of a population of approximately 7 billion people. You need a fast, well-designed, and efficient mobile-friendly site for your customers.

2. SEO optimization is not more important to you than readability. You got them there with high-ranking keywords, but once they arrive they want to read something written by and for real people. Avoid blatant SEO tactics.

3. Visitors want to know who you are, what you do, and how to reach you. Fluff, jargon, hype etc. do not belong on an About Us page. Be real — customers will respond.

4. Do not use auto-play audio or video. No one wants to turn off the video, or turn down the sound. If you include video or audio, let visitors choose to access it.

5. Don’t ask visitors to learn how to use your site. If an operation or a page itself requires some sort of instructions, your site is broken. Be clear. Be straightforward. Make next steps intuitive. Sometimes a little site reorganization or a different navigation structure is all you need. Remember, any time visitors have to figure out what to do next, they leave.

6. Include a search function. Maybe a small website doesn’t need an internal search function, but why take the chance? Many people would rather use a search function than take the time to explore. Since hundreds of millions of Google searches are performed every day, at least a few of your visitors will be happy to see a search function.

7. Deliver on advertising promises. Anyone can run an AdWords campaign and generate traffic, but what happens when a visitor lands on a page that only partially relates to the ad? They leave. Include one main call to action, make sure each page has a clear purpose, and don’t throw everything you have on a page in the hope something will create a response. Make sure your pay-per-click ads deliver exactly what they promise.

Following just a few of these simple tips will surely help to keep visitors on your site, and coming back for more.

Write a Better ‘About Us’ Page

Potential customers who click your About Us page are already interested; now they want to be reassured you are the right choice. Here’s how to be sure your About Us page gives potential customers what they need:

Think customer first. What do potential customers want to know? At a basic level, first-time visitors want to know you own a real business with real capabilities. What questions are you asked during sales calls? What information tends to seal a deal or win over a hesitant customer? If I’m looking for a fulfillment center, “providers of outstanding customer experiences” means nothing to me, but “99.3% on-time shipping with a .002% error rate” sounds pretty good, because …
Facts are compelling, superlatives are not. Lots of About Us pages are filled with words like outstanding, excellent, world-class, visionary, cutting edge, etc. If your business truly is outstanding, prove it with facts. If your business truly is visionary, talk about innovative products you’ve developed. If you don’t have many facts and figures (yet), admit it. Describe what your business hopes to achieve, and how.
Don’t try to be something you’re not. As a general rule, the smaller the business the “fluffier” the About Us page. Trying to make your small business look bigger is a natural impulse but can also create awkward moments when a potential client asks for references or specific examples. Own the fact you’re a startup and show why new clients will benefit: Greater focus on individual customers, shorter lead times, a burning desire to prove yourself in a new market, etc. Candor is compelling. Turn who you really are into an advantage.
Describe qualifications, but be brief. Certifications and awards are great, but pick a few that resonate the most with potential customers. (Stick the rest on a separate “Industry Awards” page.) If you won an Emmy you can probably leave out your “Best Supporting Actor in a Non-Speaking Role at the Roadhouse Dinner Theater and Swap Shop” award.
Kill the stock photos. We’re all expert stock photo spotters. Use real photos or no photos at all. Seriously: Will anyone believe these fine folks work for you?
See your About Us page as a continual work in progress. Most About Us pages stay static for months or years. Whenever you land major customers, add expertise and capabilities, enter new markets, open new locations, etc., update your About Us page. Keep it fresh for prospective clients and for SEO purposes.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Ask someone to read your About Us page and then describe back to you what you do. If they can’t immediately answer most of the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why), get back to work.
Final thought: If you’re fairly modest and writing an About Us page feels “salesy” or self-congratulatory, focus on facts, figures, and accomplishments. Objective information is a lot easier to write and a lot more powerful as well. Think about the needs you fulfill and the problems you solve for your customers. Then use plain language to describe how you fulfill those needs and solve those problems.

And put a monthly reminder on your calendar to revise your About Us page. It can always be improved.

Winning in the New ‘Marketing Democracy’

Imagine for a moment that you moved to a new home located right next door to a train station. It’s noisy at first. But after a while, you get used to the noise and barely notice it. That notion captures “exactly how consumers feel about marketing and advertising — as if it’s not even there,” said Tim Suther, chief marketing officer of Acxiom, the world’s largest processor of consumer data, at a recent Wharton Marketing Conference. Such consumer numbness has profound consequences — $112 billion in major brand advertising is wasted every year, while eight out of 10 online ads fail to reach their desired audience. “A truly awful, awful performance,” noted Suther.

With the right strategies, however, Suther said companies can successfully navigate this tumultuous world to reach their target customers. He cited a few of the most well-known strategies. For one, they should personalize their marketing to consumers instead of blasting them with broadly targeted ads. They should also identify those customers who spend the most money on their products and services, and invest more in marketing directly to them. Companies should craft a multidimensional profile of their customers, Suther advised, looking not only at what they are buying, but also what they are thinking and how they are behaving online. Moreover, companies should better coordinate their different sales channels to deliver a seamless experience for the customer wherever he or she chooses to shop.

“Einstein famously said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result,” Suther said. Likewise, companies need to begin thinking differently about how they do marketing, especially in an increasingly connected world. With the expansion of sales and media channels, consumers can shop online using their computers or phones or make traditional bricks-and-mortar store purchases. This increased number of options presents marketers with tremendous opportunities to understand and reach the right audience — if they are savvy enough to do it correctly. “Those [consumers] who engage in multiple forms of media or channels are four to five times more valuable” than those who only participate in one, Suther noted — yet two-thirds of senior executives do not have insight into their consumers across all of these channels. For instance, while people spend 42% of their media consumption time online, advertisers shell out only 11% to 12% of their total advertising budgets on the web.

For marketers, the stakes have never been higher, especially in a world where, via the Internet, consumers can instantly judge a company and convey their opinions to fellow shoppers. This “consumer-to-consumer” trend is a “powerful force affecting the business of advertising and marketing,” and has created what Suther refers to as a “marketing democracy.” “Elections, if you will, are being held every day. Consumers are voting … and they are determining winners and losers. You’ve got to pay attention to this, because they will vote you out of office.”

Suther, who joined Acxiom in 2005 and became an officer in 2007, is responsible for the company’s product marketing, communications, sales support, strategy and business development efforts. Previously, he served as a senior vice president at Metavante, a banking and technology solutions firm, and as president of Protagona Worldwide, a marketing software company. He has a degree in finance and marketing from Loras College in Iowa.

So how can a company fine tune its marketing? The first step, according to Suther, is reaching and engaging the firm’s target customers. The company needs to know who its customers are and what their needs are. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get,” he said, quoting from the movie Forrest Gump. “A lot of marketing and advertising is like that. If you don’t know who is on the other end of the equation, you’re going to have a very nasty problem.” Marketing efforts may be over-invested in relationships of low value and underinvested in those with high value. About 20% of a company’s customers bring the greatest portion of profits, Suther noted, while about half are only marginally profitable. Dividing customers into these groups and marketing appropriately to them makes a material difference in performance. “The future of marketing and advertising will be about reaching just those customers who are likely to drive the maximum value to your organization.”

Second, companies need multidimensional insight into their market. While some firms rely mostly on past purchases or online behavior in determining buying patterns, Suther said there are pitfalls in relying on only one facet of a customer. “If you’re relying just on a single dimension [of a consumer], you’ll get it wrong. You need to have a multidimensional view.” That means taking into account consumer action in different sales channels, behavioral changes over different life stages and other external information. It is a complex process with “no silver bullets.”

The third facet of smart marketing is best shown by what Suther considers “the greatest marketing movie of all time,” Groundhog Day. In the movie, Bill Murray plays a character who relives the same day endlessly and learns as much as he can about the people around him so that he can anticipate their needs the next time he sees them; his tireless work gets him the girl of his dreams.

“Remember me [i.e., the customer] and treat me like a friend. Wherever you see me, anticipate my needs and what I don’t need,” Suther said. “The notion of remembering every interaction and learning [from it] is an important part of being a marketer.” Once a company collects all the insights it has gathered about a particular customer, and implements a marketing plan, the firm then arrives at what Suther referred to as “the moment of truth: Getting [the plan] right can drive a five- to 10-fold return on investment.”

According to Suther, companies should deploy a strategy that encompasses all facets of smart marketing. By doing so, a firm will be able to reallocate 15% to 30% of its marketing budget into higher-performing options; such changes lead to real profits, he said. For example, a major global technology company looked at the pattern of calls coming into its call centers. Many of the calls were questions that the company’s online FAQ section could answer, or orders too small for sales representatives. The company ended up sending out a personalized newsletter to fill information gaps, and it enabled electronic handling of the small orders, saving money and boosting profits.

The economic benefits of smart marketing are real, but there are real-life roadblocks, Suther warned. Changes aren’t easy to implement when employees are used to the status quo. “Your [ad] agency of record will be all over the persona of your customers, while those in digital will be exclusively focused on digital. If you rely on just one of those dimensions, you will get it wrong.” He advised firms to find a way to help both sides collaborate more closely. In addition, senior management often can be impatient about the payoff of such changes and put pressure on the person who recommended the new policies. “It’s really important to show results along the way. [We advise doing] that every three months or so to remind those who you have convinced about your noble ambitions that you are making progress against that investment.”

In the end, the hard work of navigating the new world of advertising will be worth the trouble, according to Suther. Paraphrasing a famous quotation from the 1949 film The Third Man, Suther noted that, although Italy suffered constant warfare and bloodshed for 30 years under the Borgias, that era also gave birth to Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. “The point of all the tumult that exists in the marketing and advertising world is that goodness will come out,” Suther said. “We will have our Renaissance.”

Article courtesy of: The Knowledge Behind The News

Link Requesting

SEO Professional

If you contact the webmaster of a site as an Internet marketing specialist or other SEO professional they will think you’re getting paid for doing so, which encourages them to ask you for money.

Beware of forming a bad relationship with the webmaster because it can reflect on the way they’ll view your company. But if you form a good relationship they can be your best friend as they can secure links for you in the future.

Client

It’s best to get an e-mail address for your client’s domain with your name. Another option is to use their brand name with a free e-mail account like yahoo.

These e-mail addresses will help you form a good image with official sites like .edu and .gov.

Brand Advocate

You can also contact webmasters as a fan of the brand. E-mail them stating that you like their website but that they forgot to mention your favorite brand. Hopefully they’ll take you seriously and add it onto their list.

Social Media analogy

Below is a video that explains social media by describing it as ice cream.