Understanding Conversion Rates: Big Numbers Don’t Always Mean Big Profit

conversion rate

Understanding conversion rates can be tricky.  There are countless “internet famous” people who aren’t making a dime off their fame. On the other hand, there are a smaller number of individuals who have managed to take their smaller following and develop an income-producing business out of it. Why is that? It’s because fame is not necessarily a sure way to financial success, but planning and strategy is.

Tips for Improving Your Conversion Rate

You Do Not Need Tons of Subscribers – It’s a fact that “the money’s in the list,” but you don’t need a super large list for this to be true. You just need the right people on your list that you make the right offers to at the right time.

You Need Targeted Subscribers – Anyone who subscribes to your list should do so because they really want the information you’re going to provide them. They should also be in your target market and be part of your ideal audience profile. Subscribers who aren’t interested don’t help your conversion rate.

You Need the Right Lead Magnet – This is where you must be very careful not to offer a freebie that is so broad that you get people on your list who do not want to ever buy anything but only want the free item. Create a lead magnet that is so targeted that only your audience would even want it.

You Need to Build Relationships with Subscribers – When you build a relationship with someone, you are thinking of their needs. You find ways to connect with them, to make them smile, and to make them feel as if they know you, like you, and trust you.

You Need to Segment Your Audience – It’s important to segment your audience so that you can send them the right information. For example, you may want to send certain information to people who downloaded lead magnet A. That’s different from people who may have downloaded lead magnet B, and very different from the segment who bought product 1, and so on.

You Need to Send the Right Information to Your Audience – Once you have people on your list, or following you on social media, you must send the right information to them on a regular basis. Try not to get off track, and always think of exactly who your ideal customer is when you send the information.

You Need to Ask for the Sale – When you send information to your audience, remember that some of it should be informational and some should be promotional. Try not to make every message promotional, or else they’ll just start ignoring you. You must promote, but do so strategically.  At the bottom of this post, download my free formula for the perfect ratio of promotional/informational posts, and how to deliver that.

You Need to Follow Up – When someone does answer your calls to action, it’s imperative to remember that the follow-up is important. You want a small list of targeted consumers that want what you offer, and you want them to not only buy again,but also to recommend you to others. You can do that by continuing to build on the relationship even after the sale.

So, stop trying to be internet famous and “go viral.” Instead, continue to push out important and relevant information on a regular basis, while building relationships with your followers and subscribers.  Don’t forget to download the free formula for posting now so that you can get it just right and exponentially improve your conversion rates. But, be ready in case something you do does happen to go viral, so that when it does, it will actually pay off.

GET THE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING FORMULA NOW!

Key Components of a Sales Funnel

sales funnelNo matter what type of product or service you promote, the purpose of a sales funnel is always the same:  The purpose of the funnel is to get new leads, turn those leads into buyers, and to get those buyers to buy more.  While there are different configurations for a funnel, there are some key components that should always be included in your sales funnel.

Sales Funnel Basics:

Lead Magnet – This item goes at the widest part of your funnel because it is designed to get people to sign up for your email list. Often times business owners offer a free product or a trial version of a product in order to get people on their list in order to market to them and offer them the real products or services they want to promote and sell. To accomplish this, you’ll need a squeeze page to promote the lead magnet or freebie, an email sign-up form, as well as a download page.

Entry Product – Some people call this the “tripwire” but using this language can unintentionally (and unfairly) evoke a negative connotation. The fact is that this entry level product is an inexpensive product that your audience can buy that will be a low cost comparison to your main products. It will give them a good example of the type of products you sell. But it’s also a good place to add an up-sell opportunity for your buyer.

Email Content – Both the lead magnet and the entry level product put the prospects onto an email list so that they can now learn about everything you offer. You will want the lists segmented so that you can send them the right information. You’ll need to create email content that is designed to send your audience to the next product in line for them and their unique interests.

Product – You’ll need at least one higher-priced product, if not a series of increasingly higher-priced products. This could be an advanced product or course, a private forum and support group, one-on-one coaching services, and more. If you can create a continuity program, it’ll make a great up-sell for either type of list.

Sales Page – Each product needs a sales page that will also need an up-sell (and even perhaps a down-sell) to best utilize the opportunity of connecting with your prospect. You don’t want to turn away any opportunity to connect and make an offer.

When you create each component for your sales funnel, there are several aspects to include with each element to make it complete. You’ll also need to think about how those components flow together to make a complete campaign.  Even though each unique funnel may have a different purpose, they all need to include these key components in order to be effective and grow your business.  Get to know each component and its function so that you become an expert at creating these sales funnels!

Make Your Landing Page More Targeted

landing pageWhen you send an email marketing message to your audience, you want them to click through to a landing page that is promoting something. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One is to have subscribers click straight to a buy page, and another is to have them first click to a sales page that helps further convince the reader to buy what you’re selling.

You can create very targeted and specific landing pages for each email marketing message that you send.  This can be made easier by using software like LeadPages.net or Instapage.com. These tools help you to quickly and expertly create pages that convert. Not only that – if you create special pages for each email message, you’ll be able to to track some key data from your email marketing efforts by watching which types of email messages are working best for your marketing efforts.

Targeted Landing Pages Should:

Answer Any Concerns of Your Audience – If your audience has any concerns about the solutions they need, then you should be able to address and answer those in the landing page.

Provide a Good Headline -– When you create landing pages that are directly targeted to specific visitors, you can create compelling headlines that mean something to that particular visitor.

Use Known High Converting Designs – When you use well-known landing page software, you can take advantage of using templates that are proven to work without having to reinvent the wheel.

Not Have Distractions – Landing pages should only have one column to avoid distractions for the audience. You want them to read the information that you want them to read, then act on it. If you have too much on the page, they won’t do what you that if they are distracted by the other things on the page.

Have a Single Call to Action – Your CTA is very important, so it should get the special treatment it deserves by being the only CTA on the page. That way there is no way your visitors won’t know what they are supposed to do.

Keep the Language Straightforward – Use clear, concise language in your landing page in order to not blow smoke, or give the sense that you are tricking your reader in any way.

Load Quickly – You want your website to load quickly and not get hung up. This is very important, because if it loads slowly, people will not wait.

Avoid Too Many Images – Images will slow down the page, and while they do help get your point across, too many images will distract.

Use Video When Appropriate – A video of you explaining your offer is a great way to make a landing page that is welcoming to your audience.

Avoid Duplicate Content – Landing pages should have unique content on them. If you clone one landing page to make a different one for your audience, be sure to change the language and make it unique.

Don’t waste your email marketing messages by sending them to boring, unfocused landing pages. Be sure to make it special, focused, targeted, and relevant to your audience.  When you do, you will see many more conversions for your efforts.

Search Engine Optimization for Web Marketing Novices

Guest Post by Aaron Houghton of www.boostsuite.com
Aaron Houghton is a co-founder and CEO at BoostSuite.com, the collaborative marketing platform for small businesses. Aaron has over 15 years experience building and selling marketing products to small businesses around the globe.

search engine optimizationSearch engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of acquiring traffic from the organic listings on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo by creating website content and using specific keywords within said content to match relevant search queries. Organic listings are the first 10 results you see on the left of the results page that have a white background. The listings with colored background means they are sponsored, or paid ads. Searchers generally trust organic listings more, because these websites aren’t paying to be placed there. They’re relevant in the eyes of the search engines to the query.

If you want your website to appear on that first page of results for any particular search, you must have that search query (or keyword) located in various places of your website. You must also have links coming into your site from other relevant websites.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example. I own a boutique cookbook store. I sell are cookbooks that contain recipes for all the various types of cuisine around the world. I have a brick and mortar shop, but I also have a website. In fact, it’s an e-commerce website, meaning I can sell my cookbooks online. To optimize my website for the search engines, I’m going to make sure that I have a unique page for each and every cookbook I sell.

For my French cookbook by Juila Child, I’ll need to make sure I create one product page specifically for this cookbook. It shouldn’t share a page with a Chinese food cookbook, because that’s irrelevant (to a certain extent). Then I add phrase “French cookbook by Julia Child” in the page title, meta description, page URL, h1 heading, and the body content of the page. If you want to know more information about each of those items, I suggest searching for them!

I may also create a blog post about my newest French cookbook by Juila Child that I just got in earlier this week and provide some teasers about some of the awesome recipes to incentivize people to read, and then purchase the book online, or in my store. That’s more “content marketing” than “SEO“, but the concepts still hold true. This technique works at getting me more inbound links as well because another book store in another city may see my article and link back to it, which would get me a relevant link. The link wouldn’t hold as much weight if it were coming from a custom guitar manufacturer website. See the difference?

If you want people to find you in the search engines for various queries, you need to have those queries all over your site. I don’t mean just go on your website and start stuffing them wherever you can, because you can actually get penalized for doing that. Instead, find relevant places to add the keywords and you’ll start getting the hang of it. There are a lot more intricate aspects of search engine optimization, but the basics are really creating unique content on a page by page basis that contains your keywords or phrases that your target audience searches for in the search engines.

Do you have any other basic tips to provide search engine optimization novices with? Let’s hear them in the comments!

The Secret to Search Engine Love

We’re just going to come right out and say it – the secret to search engine love is… building your site in WordPress. Yes, WordPress. Along with affordability, free themes, and ease of use, one of the most beneficial aspects of WordPress is that search engines love these websites. Since WordPress is a content management system (CMS), search engines pick up WordPress sites more easily, making it one of the top platforms for business websites.

2So, why do Search Engines Love WordPress Sites?

Permalinks: WordPress allows you to create permalinks for each blog post and page you create. When someone searches for a specific keyword, search engines can easily find the information via permalinks.

SEO Plugins: WordPress is well-known for its variety of plugins. There are several SEO-related plugins that will help you understand what keywords work well with search engines and swiftly index your website.

Tags in Posts and Pages: A tag is a keyword or set of keywords placed at the bottom of each post or page you create. Tags are beneficial because you can create specific words that relate to your content, making it much easier for search engines to pick up your website.

Categories: Another valuable feature that WordPress offers is the ability to create categories. Categories make it simple for visitors to find specific information without having to browse through unorganized content. This works well for rankings because it helps search engines index your site. Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to name each category with the correct keyword so that it will be easier to index.

Interlinking: When you link a blog or web page to another similar blog or page, it helps search engines find your website and boost it in search results. In addition, interlinking is wonderful for optimizing your keywords. WordPress has built-in features that allow you to interlink as many times as you want.

Content Management System (CMS): WordPress is a CMS, meaning you can update, change, add, and edit information at any time without relying on a web developer to help. This helps to keep your content fresh and relevant, something search engines love. With the creation of Google Panda and Spider, search engines now filter out redundant content and search more for fresh, original information. Whenever you update your website with new material, search engines pick up this information, which in turn helps boost your search rankings.

If you need a website or you need to move your website to WordPress, Contact Us and we will get you taken care of asap.

Poor Website Design Can Cost You Customers – Website Strategy Tips

web-design-mistakesNo matter how professional your company is or how strong your services are, a poorly designed website could cost you more than you think. Today, more than ever, your website may be the first thing that consumers see before making a purchasing decision. People are turning to the Internet to find solutions before they go anywhere else.

Telltale signs a poor website design is costing you customers:

1. Subpar Functionality: It’s important to ensure that all your links, videos, and graphics are running smoothly at all times. In some cases, you may not even know you have these issues, but make sure you’re proactive and get a problem repaired as soon as possible.

2. User Experience: Consumers want websites that are easy to use yet still provide eye-catching options. For example, a simple link that directs them to a product isn’t as pleasing a link highlighted in blue, with a beautiful picture and a product description beside it. In addition, service information and products should always be easy to find. Obscure, hard-to-find information is a disappointment to consumers as they want to find things as quickly and as effortlessly as possible.

3. Categories: Your website should be designed with categories for each product and/or service you offer. This not only helps your site look cleaner, but it also ties into the user experience, making it simpler to find information. If your products and service information is scattered sporadically throughout your website with no order, then your site probably needs an overhaul.

4. Font Size, Text, and Search Boxes: Outdated text, hard-to-read fonts, and websites without a prominently placed search box all plays a part in a poorly designed website. If your website isn’t designed in a user-friendly way, you run the risk of not only losing potential paying customers, but also current customers as well.

5. Goal of the Site: Consumers do research before they make purchasing decisions, whether in-store or online. If your website isn’t designed with the customer in mind, these consumers can easily move on to a similar business with a better website.

6. Negative Reviews: Word gets around easily online, especially via reviews. If someone has a difficult time on your website, there is a good chance that this information will be shared with others. Most people don’t return to a difficult website, including, in some instances, current customers.

Your website is (or should be) at the heart of your online presence, so if you are struggling with any of these elements request our free website review. We’ll tell you exactly what your visitors see as well as what the search engines see – so you can get things corrected. Click here to request your review!

Generating Traffic to your Website with Twitter

twitter bus

You probably already know that twitter is a great way to keep up to date on everything that’s going on in the world around you. Whether it’s finding out about the latest product releases or just knowing what your friends are up to, twitter is a quick, easy and popular way to keep an eye on the pulse of the modern world. But it’s also a great way to get traffic to your website. More and more people are expanding their numbers using Twitter and so can you – you just have to know how to do it.

Why Twitter is a great tool for getting traffic:

• It’s easy. Anyone who has access to a computer can use it. And we all know that the less work people have to do to use something, the more likely they’re going to be to use it.

• It’s accessible. People can use Twitter from their computer, phone, or any mobile device. That means they’re always checking it and always getting updates. It becomes a part of their life. And if they follow you, that makes you a part of their life too.

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If you’ve never used Twitter, it’s pretty simple. It takes about a minute to create an account, then you can type in short messages (less than 140 characters) and they’re sent to everyone who has chosen to be one of your “followers”. You can also follow people you’re interested in and get updated whenever they make a post.
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• It’s Popular. Millions of people are already using Twitter, and thousands of new users join each day. So you can transfer networks over from other sites, or your email list, and watch your followers grow from there.

The first step to increasing your traffic is to simply gain followers on. If you’re tweeting and no one is listening, it’s not really going to do you or your website any good.

The easiest way is to bring along your network from other sources, like your business contacts, email list, message boards, or even other social networks. If you don’t have anyone to add, or you want to expand, simply start following others in your field. Many will follow you in return, and if you use your tweets properly, the word will get out.

Once you have followers, there are many strategic ways to use your tweets wisely. Don’t just talk about anything:

Keeping up relationships. Whether it be clients, potential clients, or business contacts, Twitter can help you update your followers, and following them can help keep you updated. This makes them feel more connected with you and gives you a better relationship. You can even take it a step further and follow-up on their tweets through other communication lines. And remember, happy customers means repeat customers and referrals.

Product release. If you have a decent number of followers, Twitter is a great way to get the word out about a new product, website, or service offer. You can also use it to build excitement before a new release.

• Website changes. If something changes about your site, even something small like a new article, spread the word. This gets them to come back to your site, even if they’ve already been there.

Become a resource. If there are things going on that interest you and that might interest your followers, spread the word. They’ll be thankful that you shared valuable info with them and be more likely to pass on your name and pay attention to future tweets.

Twitter is a great way to get traffic to your website and is an integral part of any marketing plan.

Local Search Engine Optimization: 5 Biggest SEO Mistakes on Small Business Websites

ooopsGuest Post by Phil Singleton

Most small businesses understand that an effective SEO strategy must be implemented in order for the company website to rank highly in Google for targeted search terms, however most fall short of what could be accomplished if a few mistakes were avoided.  If you are a small business owner, you can learn from these mistakes and make your website more attractive to both search engines (in particular Google) and people.

Here are the 5 biggest local SEO mistakes small businesses make on their websites:

  1. Not optimizing page titles and meta descriptions. While it’s true Google doesn’t pay much attention to meta keyword tags today, optimized page titles are critical.  In fact, the 70 characters in the browser title are some of the most important text on your entire website.  In addition, the first characters in the page titles have the most “weight,” so it’s important to use text that accurately describe what you do and where you do it (i.e., city) rather than non-descript text like “home” or “welcome.”The meta description does not directly affect search engine optimization, however it is often what is listed for your website on the SERPs, or search engine results pages.  How compelling the description is will directly impact how many people click on your website, or your “click through rate.”  This IS one of the most important organic ranking factors of the 200 or so Google uses in ranking websites.
  1. Not including optimized static introductory text on your website’s home page. While it doesn’t have to be lengthy (only about 200 words or so), a paragraph or two of optimized content on your home page is important.  It gives search engines (and readers) a brief overview of your products/services, the market you serve, experience, years in the industry, etc.  Keep it brief, but optimize lightly for key search terms.
  1. Not adding a blog feed that pumps fresh content onto your home page. Providing fresh content on a regular basis is critical in SEO for small businesses. While it may seem impossible to update the pages of your website frequently, keeping your home page fresh can be accomplished by feeding your latest blog articles to your home page.  If you add a new blog post every week or two (or even more often, if possible), an excerpt of the most recent posts on your home page will help keep the content fresh.  Keep in mind that content should be valuable and engaging to the reader.
  1. Improper social media integration. Today, social media is a vital component of every SEO campaign, whether for corporations or small businesses.  Embedding a Google+ badge, Facebook “like” box, Facebook and Google+ “like” and “plus” buttons, and other social media and article sharing buttons makes it possible for visitors of your blog to share the content they like with others and “vote” for your content in the form of a like or plus.  All of these social “signals” are picked up by Google, which helps in search engine ranking.  In Google’s eyes, if your content gets “liked,” “plussed,” and “shared” frequently, it must be of high quality and interest to others!
  1. Not using basic search engine friendly coding. Using a WordPress framework and installing an SEO plugin are great for starters, but just the tip of the iceberg.  Unfortunately, there is a substantial amount of “uncorked” SEO value on many small business websites, simply because these sites lack the structure/coding to achieve their full search engine potential and release the true SEO value into the Internet.  Most business owners are not educated in the “background” coding and structure of a website, so it’s a job best left to the professionals.  Moz provides a great checklist with their Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet.

Search engine optimization is no doubt complex, but there are some simple things you can do to make your small business website more search engine friendly, and things to avoid before spending money on a new website.  Are you making any of the SEO mistakes mentioned above?  A few small changes can make all of the difference in the success your business experiences online.

Phil SingeltonAbout the Author: Phil Singleton is the owner of KCSeoPro.com, a full-service online marketing services company that provides organic search engine optimization and other Internet marketing services, and KCWebdesigner.com, a WordPress web development firm specializing in custom SEO-friendly websites and custom web applications.  Phil is also a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant and provides small businesses in Kansas City with marketing products and services at KCMarketingAgency.com.

 

Looking into the Crystal Ball – Marketing Trends 2015 [Infographic]

So, a new year is upon us and we have decided to look into the crystal ball and predict what some of the big marketing trends for 2015 will be. We will spend some time to explore each of these in more detail in future posts, but for now here is a quick overview of what we think is coming in 2015. We’d love your comments, so feel free to add them below.

infographicstatic

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Get Website Traffic Fast!

Online, one of the most significant keys to success is getting website traffic. The more visitors you have, the better your sales and profits. Presumably you have a niche and you know your keywords, and regularly conduct keyword research to stay on top of what’s popular. Based on those assumptions here are five quick and easy tips to get website traffic fast!

Tip #1 Make sure you’re actually tagging your keywords.

Do you spend a lot of time optimizing your content and then neglect to tag them on your webpage? Tags are where search engines look and if there are no tags they’ll pass right by your web pages. Here’s a quick brief on tags.

  • Title tags. Title tags are quite possibly the most important place to situate your keywords. Your title tag is where you place your primary keyword or keyword phrase. The sentence will describe your business in less than 90 characters.
  • Header Tags. Header tags are next and they are ranked in order of importance to search engines. 
  • Meta Tags. Meta tags provide the small descriptive text found underneath the title tag on the search engine results page. Like title tags these should be kept brief, informative and up to date.
  • Alt Tags. Alt tags are used to provide a text description of a graphic. Each graphic on your site should have a description and an alt tag.

Tip #2 Add content to your site daily

Content is essential for traffic and a top search engine ranking. Content is what search engine spiders look for and index – without it there’s nothing to index or rank. Give visitors and search engines a reason to visit and index your site. Make a commitment to provide daily, optimized content and your traffic will soar.

Increase Website Traffic

Photo courtesy of Orin Zebest(CC ShareALike)

Tip #3 Procure valuable and relevant incoming links

The more websites which link to your webpages the more valuable search engines perceive you to be, though not all links are created equal. Search engines give more leverage to links from sites which are popular and credible and from sites which are relevant to your website topic.

There are different types of links:

  • A direct link looks like a basic website address, for example, www.yourwebsite.com
  • A text link occurs when the webpage address is embedded in the text. Readers simply click on the link and are redirected to a new website page.
  •  If the link is to an internal web page, for example an article published on a website, rather than the home page, it is called a “deep link.”

You can encourage linking to your website by adding content to your site,  submitting to article directories, publishing press releases, blogging and participating in social networking forums, chat rooms and social networking sites.

Tip #4 Be Social!

Now more than ever before, internet marketing is about building a community. Whether you offer a forum on your website or you participate in social networking sites, social networking is a valuable traffic generating tactic. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools for generating links and traffic to your site – create a profile and then post comments, links to your site and ideas which generate conversation.

Get involved – many chat rooms and forums are industry specific, find those which cater to your industry, and begin participating. Speak to and connect with a highly targeted audience.

Tip #5 Advertise for more exposure and traffic

Advertising, when handled strategically, can be used to promote your content and products or services. PPC advertising is often the tool of choice because you control the advertising budget on a daily basis and have the tools to test and track your advertising efforts. Once you’ve honed your PPC ads the return on investment can be phenomenal in terms of traffic and purchases.

For maximum results, create a website traffic and SEO strategy. Outline your plan and your goals and then take the necessary action. Take advantage of these five traffic and search engine tips to boost your business.