Posts Tagged ‘internet marketing’

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.

Know the ROI of Your Small Business Web Site

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Launching Your Web Site is the Beginning Not the End

Many small business owners think that putting up a web site is all they need to do to establish an online presence. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning and the hard work hasn’t even begun. Worse, not continuing to focus on your web site beyond its launch, ensures the time and money spent building the site will be wasted and its effectiveness lost.

Internet marketing begins when your site launches and it ends, well…never. It’s made up of different disciplines such as search engine optimization, advertising, and analytics, each with their own set of rules, goals, and learning curves. Learning Internet marketing overwhelms many, especially small business owners who have limited time and many tasks to focus on which is why we’ve created Marketing for Mavens. We want to help you understand what is going on with your web site and feel confident that the resources you invest in your web site are returned to you through more sales and visitor interest.

Build Your Site with Confidence

Our application simplifies Internet marketing by allowing you to manage your campaigns, track your goals, dynamically display your call to actions and promotions, and view important statistics.

We understand that you’re not a web designer, developer, or Internet marketer, and even if you are, you will find a lot of value in Marketing for Mavens. We are Internet marketers and we use our own product because it simplifies our lives as well. Our application will help you understand if the campaign you just launched is working or if the conversion rate for your forms is increasing over time. If not, you can quickly try something else, but you will always know what is occurring on our web site and be able to respond to in real-time.

Joining the Beta and Understand Your Site ROI

You can try Marketing for Mavens for as long as you want. It will take just a couple of minutes to setup your account and for you to add a couple of lines of JavaScript code to you web site. Don’t worry if this sounds intimidating, we can walk you through the process.

Once the code is added to your site, you will see people visiting your site in real-time. See where they’re going, what they’re looking for, and how they got to your site. It’s amazing how fun it can be to see your web citizens make their way through your site, learning about your products and services, and hopefully, if all goes well, they will make a purchase, fill out a form, or inquiry about your business. Good luck!

Internet Marketing Campaigns:Visual Highlighting Added

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Today, we rolled out a new feature to the dashboard page. Internet marketing campaigns now have color highlighting so you get a quick visual representation on how well your campaigns are performing. This is a small update but one that should help simplify the dashboard.

Internet Marketing Campaigns

Internet Marketing Tools for Small Business

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

As a small business owner you want to minimize the number tools so you can focus on what is necessary and nothing more. This list isn’t intended to be the end-all-be-all list of Internet marketing tools. Instead, it will help you focus your attention on the tools that will help you get started with the goal of increasing your online presence.

Analytics: What are people doing on your web site?

  • Google Analytics: Free web site analytics tool that gives you all the web site statistics you could want and more. It doesn’t have as many features as some of the paid analytics tools but it provides most of what you need at a price that can’t be beat. If you want to understand the data provided by Google Analytics beyond the basics, you should check out the book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik.

Email Marketing: Keep people informed of your business.

  • VerticalResponse: There are a lot of great email marketing applications available. This is the one that I use and would recommend as a good starting point. Their pricing is great and they offer a free trial period which will help you to determine if this is the right tool for you.

Paid Advertising: Get noticed when people search for terms related to your business.

  • Google Adwords: When people search Google they are usually presented with paid results at the top and right side of the results page. You can position your ads in these locations by using Google Adwords. Adwords allows you to select the keywords you want to advertise for, determine how much you want to spend, and create your ad copy. There are hundreds of articles on how to setup and use Google Adwords. A great place to start is with own Adwords page.

Resources: What else is available?

  • Web Marketing Tribe: A collection of the web marketing stories, articles, blog posts, and news submitted and voted on by site members.
  • Google Webmaster Tools: Tools to help you find problem areas with your web site. Find broken links, submit your sitemap, and see how people are getting to your web site.

Search Engine Optimization: Optimize your site for listing in search engines.

  • Site Mapping: Site mapping tools are a great way to ensure that Google and other search engines find all of the pages on your web site. There are several site mapping tools available. I’ve had good success with XML-Sitemaps.com, a free tool that crawls your web site, sets page priority and frequency change, and outputs a sitemap.xml file for you to add to your site and submit to Google using Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Google Local: Add your business listing to Google so people searching in your local business area can find you.

Social Media: Share and contribute to the community you serve.

  • Twitter: A micro-blogging tool that you can use to keep your followers informed about your company, products, services, events, etc. Posts or “Tweets” are limited to 140 characters which keeps the information concise. Stand alone applications such TweetDeck and Twirl are highly recommended.
  • Facebook: Facebook’s popularity is at an all time high. You can use Facebook to start a group focused on your company and you can also participate in other groups related to your service/product to assist people and gain recognition in your field.
  • Linked-in: Similar to Facebook, Linked-in also provides groups you can start and/or join to help people in your field of interests.

Finally, here’s the self promotion plug, at Marketing for Mavens, we’re building an application that helps pull all these pieces together. Internet marketing requires a lot of different tools in many areas of expertise. It doesn’t take long before you can become overwhelmed.

This is why we’re building an application that helps you to track your visitors and what they’re doing on your web site, create targeted promotions and calls-to-action that are automatically matched to your visitors, manage all of your marketing campaigns in one location, and monitor in real-time what is happening on your web site using a simple dashboard page and reports. Marketing for Mavens is currently in beta. Sign up today and join the community.

Internet Marketing for Small Business

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

As a small business owner you are constantly getting pulled in different directions. Whether it’s sales, marketing, client support, or finances you always have something or someone who needs your attention. One of the areas that can consume a significant amount of this attention is Internet marketing.

Internet marketing is what every business needs to do after their web site goes live. It is made up of several areas including, search engine optimization, email marketing, paid advertising, social media, web design and development, and analytics. Each of these areas can be incredibly complex but they are all necessary to certain degree to help you build your business. The problem is that there is so much to do that it can be very overwhelming. Often, people get so overwhelmed that they become paralyzed and never do anything or they go to the other extreme and spend a significant amount of their budget in areas that return few results. This is where Marketing for Mavens can help.

Marketing for Mavens helps small business owner grasp what is going on with their web site. A daily dashboard pages shows visitor trends, popular web pages, the current days’ visitors, and most importantly, how well your online marketing campaigns are performing. With Marketing for Mavens, you can track your Twitter campaign, your blog, and your email campaigns. You will know exactly how many people responded to these campaigns and what assets and pages they viewed on your site. You will instantly know whether the time you spent on your blog or the money you spent on your latest email campaign was worth the effort or expense. This will help you to further focus your time, money, and attention on the tasks that need it most.

In addition to the daily dashboard and marketing campaign tracking, Marketing for Mavens also helps you to create calls-to-action and promotions on your web site which can be targeted to individual visitors. This helps you to easily customize your site to each visitor automatically without having to constantly monitor user activity. And best of all, targeted content is more likely to grab the users attention, leading to more email list subscribers and sales leads.

Finally, we’ve included a report page to show you the progress your site has made over the previous six months. It’s our goal to only provide the site analytics you need to make solid business decisions. The six month report shows visitor history, site conversions, and promotion activity. You will see trends in this activity and be able to make tweaks to your web site improve the user experience.

We’ve built Marketing for Mavens as a tool for small business owners and Internet marketing managers alike to assist them in their daily tasks. We’re here to help you free up your attention so you can focus on your business. Let us help you gain back your time and feel confident that your budget is being spent most effectively. Sign up for the free beta today.

Measuring the Success of Internet Marketing Campaigns

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Now you can measure the success of your Internet marketing campaigns and ensure that you’re spending your time, effort, and budget on the campaigns that are most effective. Tracking and analyzing your campaigns can be very time consuming, especially if you’re running these campaigns using different tools and vendors which is why we’ve simplified this process by allowing you to track all of your campaigns in one location and setting up “success criteria” to measure the effectiveness of each campaign.

Using Marketing for Mavens, all of your campaigns are tracked on a dashboard page which shows each of your marketing campaigns, your goals (success criteria), and how your campaigns are matching up to those goals. You can quickly check each day to see how your campaigns are performing and a notes field tells you how often you’ve reached your goals over the past week or month.

To get started using this new feature, you can select your “success criteria” from each campaign’s edit screen. Select as many different goals as you’d like and each of them will be tracked in real-time through out the day.

Easily Move Calls-to-Action to Different Locations on Your Web Site

Monday, June 8th, 2009

We added a new feature today to move promotions between promotion spots. Each promotion now has a drop down list of your promotion spots. Simply select the new promotion spot and save the promotion and your promotions will now show in that promotion spot on your web site.

Web Site Report Page Updated

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Today, the report page was refreshed to add a 6 month page view chart and add the RSS feed info to the conversion/promotion chart. Two bugs were also fixed on the report page. The first prevented the window overlay box from showing the citizens who responded to conversion pages. The second prevented RSS feeds from showing up properly in the 6 month RSS feed view.