Articles in the Advanced Digital Marketing Strategy Category

Use these advanced digital marketing strategies to stay ahead of the competition, and drive qualified traffic to your website. Learn the latest advanced digital marketing techniques, including our latest thoughts on remarketing, paid search, display media, social media advertising and local search.

December 13 2007

Content Management Systems and SEO, Part 1 of 2

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This is part one of a two-part topic.

The first commandment of a successful website is that you must have content. So, you’ve realized that maintaining that content is taking a lot of your time. You don’t want to keep track of URLs and meta data for all your pages. You need a content management system, or CMS.

In addition to helping you with the above tasks, a CMS can provide an efficient way to syndicate the content you create to other websites. Similar to a blog, it can also keep track of who created the content and when.

Essentially, a CMS allows you or your staff to create and update content quickly and without the use of a stand-alone program like Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver. The content you create can be web pages, sections of web pages such as a common footer, stories or combinations of those. CMS can keep track of those content types (or custom content types) and whether a specific piece of content is viewable (or “published”) to your visitors or just in the draft stage. The CMS will automatically integrate the common sections of your web pages with your content so you only need to create clean and search engine-optimized code for your common sections once.

Using a CMS has benefits for your search engine rankings as well. Each content type or content category can be assigned its own section of your site, even though it’s managed in a central location. This allows the CMS to create keyword-rich, search engine friendly URLs easily. Your meta data and title tags can be managed in a central location also, making changes simpler and faster.

While using a Content Management System can make your life easier, there are a few significant gotchas to be aware of including how they could become SEO unfriendly. Stay tuned for my next post when I will review those pitfalls and offer some helpful suggestions. While I can’t promise you’ll get a raise when you implement a CMS at your office, I’m sure you’ll wonder how you got along without it.

November 28 2007

The Yellow Pages – A thing of the past?

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I can’t remember the last time I reached for an actual yellow pages phone book. Can you? It is typically not for lack of possession. Most households’ receive updated versions at least once or twice a year, although a steadily increasing percentage probably toss them in the trash upon delivery. I think it is in part because most feel a much better experience will occur if a search is done online.

Each of the major search engines today offers a Local Search section on their site, which caters to businesses or stores that have a physical address, as opposed to solely having a web presence. In addition, there are platforms exclusively dedicated to mapping and /or aerial views versus text based directions. Inevitably, all cell phones will be equipped with Mobile Search capabilities, as well. This will provide for a more a visual dimension to streets and landmarks, than you would ever get in a traditional sponsored ad. Just to name a few of the listings currently available: www.yellowpages.com, www.superpages.com, www.anywho.com and many more.

Bill Gates predicts the end of Yellow Pages, according to a May 2007 article from WebProNews and it is difficult to disagree with his logic. If you are a business with an actual location, Local Search is a cost effective solution to help develop and maintain an online identity in the marketplace.

October 24 2007

Effective Incentives Can Improve Your Ad and Landing Page Performance

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It’s no secret that effective ads and landing pages are crucial to the success of your search engine marketing efforts. Perhaps you’ve already created compelling copy relevant to your keywords, achieved top positions on the search results pages, and optimized the design and usability of your landing pages. All of this may have increased your site’s traffic and conversions, but do you still want more? Try offering an incentive.

Appealing incentives are proven to persuade searchers to not only click on your ads but also convert once they arrive at your landing page. Depending on the nature of your business, you can offer a free white paper or book, discount, web special, complementary product or accessory, gift, or free shipping to boost conversions. According to an article in Practical eCommerce, 84% of online shoppers surveyed during last year’s holiday season said they were most influenced by free shipping offers, while 77% cited sales and specials as their strongest motivators.

However, when it comes to determining the ideal incentive for your site, it’s best to test. Remember that while an incentive is a value-add for your customers, it’s also an incremental cost to you. That’s why it’s important to consider how it affects your bottom line. A recent study in Marketing Experiments Journal confirms that conversion rate alone cannot indicate which incentive has the most positive impact on net profit. Instead, the journal recommends using Return-On-Incentive, or ROIc, to measure this. Simply stated, the ROIc is the net cost of the incentive subtracted from its net profit. For instance, a free shipping offer might result in more conversions, but a free gift might be a better incentive because it yields a higher ROIc. Check out the study to learn more about calculating ROIc and using it to test two or more incentives.

Are you utilizing incentives to your advantage today?

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