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October 21 2009

How User Friendly is Your Website?

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is and always has been a core competency of MoreVisibility. We have been advising companies’ for ten years how to make their sites more SEO friendly. That being said, it is also imperative not to forget the importance of ensuring that your site is User Friendly.

When was the last time you looked at your site from a visitor’s perspective? We all get busy with day to day nuances and before you know it, a year has passed since you completed a thorough review from the standpoint of a user. I encourage you to take the time to visit your site and go through it page by page. Really read through your content; does it read the way you want it to or should it be updated? Are there new offerings that should be included? Perhaps different or updated calls to action would be appropriate?

Important items to take note of:

Make sure your pages load quickly and without errors.  Did you know that Google will penalize you if your pages have slow load times? In other words, if an advertiser’s landing page loads slowly once an ad is clicked on, the ad position and minimum bid for keywords will be affected, as will your Quality Score.

Is your site easy to navigate? Think like a customer; make it seamless for your visitors to maneuver through your site and find exactly what they are looking for. For example, if they click on “Newsletter Signup”, you will want to ensure this brings them to a simple and user friendly form to complete.

Does your site have clear calls to action? What is it that you want your visitors to do? Here are some examples of calls to action that are clear and to the point: Call Now, Act Now, Click Here, Enter Coupon Code for Discount, Enter Your Email Address, etc.
Remember, your website is a representation of you. Make sure it says exactly what you want it to say.

October 5 2009

Autopilot is not an option!

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I speak with a large number of clients on a daily basis and often hear that they are already running an AdWords, Yahoo Sponsored Search or Bing campaign on their own. In other words, they have that aspect of their Online Marketing initiatives covered and are engaging us to help with other components such as: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Web Design, etc. In some cases, this is perfectly fine and can be a viable way to save the cost to outsource their Search Engine Marketing (SEM) efforts. HOWEVER (and I have bolded, capitalized, italicized and underlined the however in this circumstance, as I really want to get my point across) there must be consistent, ongoing maintenance and management if this effort is to be kept in house.

Basically, if any client (large, small, ecommerce, lead generation, what have you) is going to manage their own Cost Per Click (CPC) Campaign, it is imperative that the campaign be actually “managed”. By managed, I mean that autopilot is not an option! Sure, a campaign will run and generate impressions and/or clicks without anyone managing it. The big issue here is that it will not run well and your clicks will not be nearly as relevant as they could be if you invest the time it takes to effectively manage it.

Here are some tips:

  • Be sure to log into your account(s) on a frequent basis; daily if possible.
  • Be aware of performance. What is your CTR? How much have you spent? Do your bids need to be increased/decreased? Do keywords need to be added/removed?
  • Do not allow your keywords and/or ad copy to remain stagnant; optimize and tweak regularly.
  • Use rotating ad copy; a minimum of 3 versions is suggested. Google will eventually show the best performing ad.
  • Employ an analytics tool like Google Analytics. Invest the time to review your stats. This ensures that your advertising dollars are being spent as intelligently as possible.

Let’s face it. Every dollar and every click is important and if your campaign is on autopilot, then you are effectively shooting in the dark with a blindfold on. Not too smart, huh?

September 18 2009

The Holidays Will Be Here Before You Know It!

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Yeah, I realize it’s only the third week in September, but before you know it, the holiday season will be upon is. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have plenty of time to get your online marketing campaigns into top shape for the upcoming holiday season! It is not too early to start strategizing.
 
Below are some ideas and tips to capitalize on holiday sales:

 

  • Bid more aggressively in an effort to appear in the top real estate of the engines.
  • Bid on your branded terms if you are not already doing so.
  • Do not let competitors snatch away your shoppers!
  • Do some investigating; what is your competition bidding on?
  • Shoppers love free shipping. Offer this perk whenever possible.
  • Send out a holiday blast to your existing database offering loyalty discounts.
  • A seamless return policy is critical, especially when it comes to gift giving.
  • Offer online only specials to entice shoppers to buy holiday gifts on your site.
  • A free gift with purchase makes an already good value even better!
  • Provide free gift wrap. What a convenient luxury for online shoppers!
  • Create compelling holiday ad copy, with clear calls to action: Buy Now, Free Shipping, Free Gift With Purchase, Free Gift Wrap, etc.
  • Guarantee delivery BEFORE the holidays, even if you charge more for this option. Last minute shoppers still exist in large numbers!
  • Ensure that your site is 100% secure. Shoppers want to feel safe and protected when giving their credit card information.

Happy strategizing!

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