Archive for the ‘internet marketing’ Category

SEO Principles 2013 eBook for Individual and Small Businesses

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

I recently launched my new eBook on Amazon called “SEO Principles 2013″. I wrote this book for individuals and small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to having a fulltime SEO expert working on their site.

Over the past 9 years of optimizing sites for search engines, I’ve found consistent and proven ¬†principles that haven’t changed regardless of updates and algorithm changes made by major search engines.

“SEO Principles 2013″ starts by taking you through SEO strategies, details how to build a keyword glossary, and explains each of the principles and what you need to do to make your pages ready for search engine crawlers. You will also learn what it takes to make your pages stand out in search results – ranking well is the first battle but you need people to click on your search result for it to be effective. Optimizing search results is an important tactic that is often overlooked.

“SEO Principles 2013″ is just $2.99 on Amazon. Download your copy today and start building your SEO strategy in no time at all.

Get More Call-to-Action Clicks With This Simple Test

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Tip Of The Week

Have you experimented with positioning your calls-to-action in-line with your web copy? If not, I suggest you start today. Many companies position their calls-to-action in the right column of the page. Unfortunately, this has been done for so long that most people ignore this content all together. Experiment, with different positioning on the page. Make sure you track your tests and see if putting some simple in-line links after the first paragraph of text or at the bottom of your page drives more clicks then your beautiful right column buttons.

How the Real-Time Web Will Impact Internet Marketing

Monday, October 12th, 2009

The real-time web has become the buzz word of the day.

Sites like Twitter and Facebook have made it easier and faster to consume media, causing a shift in our expectations. We want any and all information as soon as possible and we find it difficult to extract ourselves from these rivers of information.

Articles written month or even weeks ago are considered old news and this isn’t good if you’re still managing your web site like it’s 2004.

The real-time web is here and growing. Don’t let your site be left behind.

You Need to Boost Quantity from Quality

With the rise of the real-time web, people are less likely to go to your corporate web site. This isn’t news, it’s been happening since the beginning of the decade when RSS reduced the need to visit your favorite web sites each day looking for new content.

The real-time web leverages this even further.

If you’ve used Twitter or Facebook you know exactly what I mean. You’re receiving updates and recommendation from hundreds of people on what to watch, read, and listen to. The human network has taken over and it’s funneling everything to you without searching on Google.

This opens up a huge opportunity for Internet marketers but it requires more work and extra planning.

Content has always been a web sites greatest asset. But now you need to think about how you can break it up into smaller pieces that can be shared and reused through other channels.

For example, that new product page you just created should also be condensed down into an interesting 140 character Tweet, a Facebook update, and maybe a 30 second demo showing off the best new feature. You want as much content from your web site pushed out into your “cloud site” – your companies content that is floating in different areas of the Internet. It’s photos on Flickr, articles on Digg, and bookmarks in delicious.

This strategy helps you to effectively use the real-time web to to scatter breadcrumbs across the Internet leading people back to your web site but how will you know if it’s working?

Real-Time Web Analytics

To deal with the changes that the real-time web brings, companies are developing real-time analytics programs. Gone are the days when we waited for log files to run to process the previous days statistics.

The real-time web ensures that we respond to visitors faster than ever before. Waiting days or weeks to see how a campaign performed is no longer necessary. With real-time web analytics we can respond to visitors instantly. Dashboards keep us up-to-date on how each campaign is performing and the smallest changes can be seen, corrected, and tested within minutes.

Integrated into real-time analytics will be information coming from outside of your web site. Since most real-time web applications use shorter messages – and character limits – URL shorteners have become very popular. This is fantastic for Internet marketers as these service give statistics on how your links are being shared.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides to this which will be fixed over time. Right now there are too many URL shortening services. This fragments your statistics across different services making it difficult to see the big picture. The second is that these statistics aren’t available within your current web analytics program. You’re going to have to do some searching to get the information you need.

Overtime, the real-time web is going to dramatically shift how we think about corporate web sites and how we build corporate content. We’re already seeing this now. It’s up to you to experiment and learn how to leverage real-time technology before web site and your company are left behind.

Please feel free to share your comments. We’d love to hear them!

New Internet Marketing Dashboard Features and More

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Yesterday, a few minor changes were made to the Marketing for Mavens application.

  • Dashboard page now shows page views per visitor for the past year, week, and day along with how the current day compares to the data from the past week.
  • Today’s Top 5 Pages section of the Dashboard has links that show more detail for the individual pages. Now you can quickly see which visitors visited your top pages.
  • A few minor bugs were fixed with some tables and CSS changes were made

Coming Soon!

  • We’ll be releasing a new widget that will allow you to display your top 5 most visited web pages to your visitors. This should be available this weekend.

Why Content Management Systems Need a Brain

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

If I Only Had a Brain…

Web analytics is the brain behind your web site. It knows exactly what people are doing.

So why is it that web analytics isn’t built into every content management system? I’ve worked with several different CMS – large and small – over the years and none of them included statistical tracking and visitor analysis. CMS’ are missing their brain!

Why Do Content Management Systems need Web Analytics?

CMS’ are great at managing and publishing content for static web sites. But static web sites are like your body without a brain, they just exist. Instead, they should be dynamic and by dynamic I mean, personalized to each person visiting your site. If someone comes to your site 5 times, they shouldn’t see the same home page banner each time. The CMS should be smart enough to show a home page based on the information it learned from the person’s previous visits. This goes for all of your web pages.

Completing the Web Content – Visitor Loop

To accomplish this, a CMS should include analytics data – a brain – that it uses to control content. This would allow it to discover visitor trends and display related content and promotions based on this data.

A continuous feed back loop should be created between the CMS and the visitor. This can be done by packaging web analytics within the CMS. The CMS pushes content to the visitor and the web analytics feature reports back to the CMS on the results. Now it knows what the visitor clicked on and the next page they visit is personalize based on the their previous history and the CMS’ knowledge of what content and promotions past users in the same situation responded to.

Closed Loop, Found Brain

The loop between the CMS and the visitor is now closed and several new opportunities have opened. Your site is now engaging to your visitors. It’s personalized based on their needs and it’s easier for them to find what they want. New content is recommended based on an intelligent CMS that is constantly learning with each new visitor.

Internet Marketing Dashboard Update

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

We just published an update that fixes the list of “Top Citizens” information on the dashboard page. When looking at archived dates, visitors visiting after the archived date were being displayed.

Removing Bias from Your Web Statistics

Friday, September 4th, 2009

The State of Web Analytics

Web analytics applications are great at helping internet marketers and executives understand how their web site and online campaigns are performing. But there’s a huge problem. They overload us with too much information and, worse, they provide no context to the data leaving the statistics open to interpretations.

Less is More. It’s True for Statistics Too.

First, we don’t need more information. We need the right information analyzed in an unbiased context.

If you have a seasoned web analytics person on your team then this isn’t a problem. But most of us don’t have this luxury. In the age of downsizing and the growth in number of small businesses, internet marketers are performing multiple jobs. This includes sending emails, building Adwords campaigns, publishing content, updating social networks, and analyzing statistics.

With all of these tasks to perform, who has time to go through the mountain statistics that analytics applications provide?

In addition to this, having the same person or people working on campaigns and analyzing statistics creates a conflict of interest. This isn’t deliberate but we all want to perform our jobs well and this usually means that we’re overly optimistic about the results we think we see.

How People Interpret Statistical Reports

When people look at statistics they put it into their own context which is biased based on their experience and their relationship to the data. If the data coincides with projects they’re responsible for then you can image how they’re going to interpret the results.

I’ve seen this happen over and over again. It’s human nature to try to reason that the email campaign that bombed didn’t really bomb because the open rate was fantastic – hint, open rates mean nothing. Again there are too many statistics and it’s far too easy to steer the eye toward the data that looks good. So how do we find a baseline to work from that minimizes our biases?

Putting Statistics into Unbiased Context

To prevent biased reports, it’s important that rules and/or goals are established. These should be unique to each of your web sites and marketing campaigns. For example, your Google Adwords campaign is measured against conversions, your email campaign measured against new registrations, and your blog posts measured against the number of comments received. Choose the rules that match your business goals and stick to them.

Now it’s easy to determine the success of your campaigns and you’ve removed the bias from your reports. Everyone knows¬† which campaigns performed well and which ones need improvement. Plus, there are fewer statistics to interpret because you know exactly what you’re looking for and everyone is working from the same set of rules.

Rules leave nothing to biased interpretation. They provide a baseline for comparing your online campaigns. Best of all, they allow you to focus on what matters most to your business and your visitors.

5 Things You Can Do Today to Build a Better Web Site Tomorrow

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Web sites are constantly evolving. Often we’re so busy with the design, adding new features, and writing new content that we overlook some of the simple details that make a web site great. These quick tips will get you back to the basics and thinking about how you can improve your site for your visitors.

1.) Create a Clear Purpose Statement: Anyone coming to your web site should understand what you do in just a couple of seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab their attention and keep them interested. Create a clear purpose statement and make it visible to your visitors no matter where they enter your web site.

2.) Easy to Find Contact Information: Make it easy for people to contact you and ask questions. This seems obvious but it’s amazing how difficult it can be to find contact information on some web sites.

3.) Write Clearly: Use plain English (insert language of choice). Stay away from industry buzz words and jargon. It’s confusing to your visitors and it doesn’t help explain your product or service very well. If your in technology, you will stand out from the crowd if your visitors can come to your site and understand what products and services you provide without needing a buzz word dictionary.

4.) Make it Clear What Problem(s) You Solve: People are looking for solutions to their problems. Show you understand their problems and describe how you solve them.

5.) Bring the Information to Your Visitors: Don’t assume that your visitors will find what they need by clicking around your web site. Make it simple to find information and resources by providing related content areas and suggest where they should go next.

How Well Do You Know Your Web Site?

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

10 questions you should know about your web site. None of these questions require much effort to find but they’re very important to understanding how well you’ve done marketing your web site.

  1. How many visitors does your site average per day? Is this more or less than last week? Last year?
  2. How do people find your web site? If they came from a search engine, what key words did they use to find it?
  3. What are people interested in once they come to your site? What are your most visited pages?
  4. Why are people leaving?
  5. How many leads has your site generated?
  6. Of the people visiting your site, how many are close to becoming leads?
  7. Is the money you’re spending on your web site working?
  8. Do you know which Internet marketing campaigns are bringing in the most people? Most conversions?
  9. Are you tracking these campaigns? What resources, videos, podcasts, pdfs, etc., are campaigns drawing people toward?
  10. Are your blog posts, Twitter updates, etc. driving traffic? Is there a direct relationship between posts and spikes in traffic?

Answering these questions will give you a good understanding of why people are coming to your site, what they want, and whether they’re finding it. Your goal is to match your visitors to your products/services through great content and targeted internet marketing campaigns focused on your niche. If your web site is doing this effectively, conversions, sales, and/or subscription rates will be very high.

Over the next few posts, we’ll provide more detail to each of these questions. If you have other questions to add, post them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.

Overcoming Internet Marketing Overload

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

It is very easy to become overwhelmed by Internet marketing. After all, it is made of so many different disciplines, each of which could easily be a full-time job on their own. So how do you avoid Internet marketing overload?

Stay Focused

The first discipline to learn is web analytics. If you aren’t tracking your site statistics, you need to start now. Web analytics is a great place to start because all of your other Internet marketing programs can build off of it. Unless you know what is happening on your web site, you won’t know if the work you put into SEO, paid advertising, email marketing, etc. are worth the time, money, and effort you put in.

To get started you will want to track some core statistics. You can measure any statistics that you’d like but you will want to keep it simple to start with. Tracking visitors, visits, page views, and conversions would be a good start. Tracking these statistics weekly or monthly will help you determine how well your site is doing over time.

Expand Your Knowledge

Once you become comfortable tracking and understanding your web site statistics you will want to explore other areas of Internet marketing. This could involve search engine optimization, building a marketing campaign, or setting up Google ads. The option is up to you but stay focused on one discipline at a time and refer back to your statistics so you know what you’re doing is working. At this point you may want to add more tracking information to your weekly/monthly report to track your new projects. For example, tracking referring sites will help you recognize whether the time and effort you spent on SEO is working. You would see more people coming to your site from Google and Bing.

Just Keep Tracking

Tracking your statistics is the key to Internet marketing success. It is very easy to spend hours and hours of your time and never receive any results. Whenever you create a new Internet marketing campaign, make sure you have a way to track it in your report. This will save you a lot of time, effort, and money and allow you to focus on what works and retire what doesn’t.