Articles written in June, 2007

June 29 2007

Reduce Bounce Rates with Good Form Pages


During the time that I have been working with analytics, I have noticed a repetitive issue with forms and high bounce rates. The majority of my clients are service oriented and those who have analytics in place allow for a good evaluation of site exit points and pages with high bounce rates. Usually it is the form page that causes visitors to leave.

Frustration is the #1 cause for a user leaving a site -if the form is too long and/or asks for too much personal information. Also, irritating questions that require heavy typing can certainly lead to visitor frustrations that may result in abandonment. Clients who have made it all the way to your form page are definitely interested in your service/s and/or products. Don’t allow a bad form page to scare them away.

Let’s see what we can do in order to keep our visitors happy and wanting to fill out forms for us:

1) Align the fields in an organized way so everything is clean looking and easy to understand.
2) Keep it short-ask only for information that is necessary for a completion of the request.
3) Eliminate heavy typing- a drop down menu is a great solution.
4) Try to eliminate login and password creation to save time.

With these simple steps, you will be able to hold on to your prospects and reduce your bounce rates dramatically!

June 7 2007

When It Comes to Keywords, Be Picky!


In an effort to create an optimal SEM campaign, many companies dump vast quantities of broad, semi-relevant keywords into an account and then proceed to wonder why they are paying so much money for such minimal results. Don’t get me wrong, if you can manage the account properly, it is okay to start out with a keyword list that is a bit longer. After all, how else would you determine what keywords work best if you don’t try them?

The key here is to be picky, stay organized and follow trends. Begin with the preliminary research and select keywords that are relevant to your campaign goals. For added analysis, utilize third party tools for keyword variations, traffic flows and competitiveness.

Once you have your list of selected keywords, break them down into their prospective ad groups. Avoid vague ad group titles that give no clear reference to what keywords are contained within. Be as clear as possible – as you probably won’t be the only individual to utilize the campaign you are creating.

Check to make sure you have no duplicates and include your variations. Be sure your keywords are relatively niche or at least not too general. If you do have keywords that have the potential to generate unwanted traffic, be sure to embed them as phrase or exact match types with negative keywords for filtering purposes.

Launch your new campaign with the majority of your keywords as ‘phrase match’. As time progresses, keep an eye out for any unwarranted traffic spikes and be sure to monitor your budget, adjusting accordingly. Once there is sufficient data, you can begin your evaluations.

At this point it should be easy to identify which keywords are performing and you can begin to optimize your campaigns. Start by pulling any keywords with high costs and little to no conversions. By this time, if they haven’t converted, they probably won’t and will continue to deplete your budget. Continue by removing any keywords with little to no impressions or clicks; keeping poorly performing keywords in a campaign will hurt and ultimately lower your Quality Score.

Increase your budget allocation for the keywords that are converting and consider expanding any performing ad groups by updating the match types, including variations and/or adding new keywords. Likewise, if the overall performance of an ad group is lacking, feel free to drop the entire group and focus your efforts elsewhere.

Keep up-to-speed on all your campaigns and periodically adjust your bid pricing, match types, etc. You can even continue your optimizations by locating seasonal keyword trends and focusing on your ad copy and landing pages – but that is for another blog.

June 4 2007

Arresting a spammer – Boosting confidence in Web Marketing


Ding dong the King of Spam is Gone! Many advertising professionals and consumers alike rejoiced yesterday morning as they read about the arrest of Robert Alan Soloway for mail, wire and email fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. In short, Mr. Soloway is accused of spamming millions on behalf of himself and his clients who engaged his company Newport Internet Marketing Corporation to market their products through email blasts.

The good news is that spam may be reduced, the government is protecting the consumer, and illegitimate practices are clearly not being tolerated. So why is this important to all facets of electronic marketing, from email blasts to natural optimization? Generally speaking, those who have remained skeptical of any form of web marketing group all facets of the industry together. This portion of the population may see the arrest as an effort to safeguard them from any questionable web activity that has garnered attention, such as click fraud or keyword stuffing. Such a notion may then lead this crowd to feel more comfortable leveraging the web with search engine marketing, optimization and proper emailing, all of which may be considered relatively new tools.

The arrest can also be seen as a rite of passage for web marketing to become part of traditional marketing tactics. Direct marketing efforts though mail and phone are both regulated and monitored, for example no call lists and protection against mail fraud ease the consumer’s mind. Television and print are also policed and highly regulated to protect the consumer. This arrest proves that misuse of the web marketing platform through email in this case, is truly a serious matter and will not be tolerated.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief today, so rejoice with your clients and remember that doing the right thing always has its rewards!

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