Ranking on the first page for a targeted search phrase is wonderful, but that alone does not constitute a reason to celebrate. You still need to make sure your site is competitive in the search results. Too many times I have heard webmasters brag about a page one ranking in google, but what would impress me is to hear about the amazing amount of traffic their site receives because their site is so relevant to the searcher’s needs. Lessons from the marketing and advertising industry tell you that your site listing has to be more appealing than the competition, otherwise searchers will not waste the time to click on the listing for your site and choose a competitor. If your site is not receiving the click, then your CTR (click through rate) will suffer and will probably start to lose rankings too. However, there is no need to fear. You can increase your CTR if you spend a little bit of time and tailor your site description and title to attract the searcher.
Take a second and think about the searcher’s point of view. What would interest someone enough to click on your site? Is it your amazing product, your award winning service, excellent features or your cutting-edge information? No matter what your site offers, it is the attractive title and description that entices the searcher to click on your site. This is where selective SEO features (such as title tag and site description) come in handy to promote your site offers to searchers.
The Basics of SEO
If you are reading this post, you probably have already read a zillion articles about the fundamentals of SEO/ Search Engine Optimization. Basic SEO components are completely vital to success but primarily focus on the site ranking and not the CTR. Friendly URLs, Keyword density, sitemaps, bolded keywords and incoming links are great elements to ensure your site ranks for the targeted keywords – yet you must enhance your strategy just a bit more to make sure you are competitive in the page of search results. The title tag and site description play a significant role in SEO (especially the title tag), however you cannot forget to think about what happens after you start to get high rankings for targeted keyword phrases.
My Site Ranks in Google – Now What?
Above is an example listing for the keyword phrase “Omega Wire Gate Carabiner” in Google. As you can see from the graphic, the link (or title) provides an brief overview of the content for the page and maybe the site. The description provides more detail about what to expect if one were to click on the link. In the listing, the link is usually the page title in the code and the description is usually pulled from the description meta tag from the page code. When reviewing the page code, the words between the <title> and </title> is your page title and the words within the following tag is your description: <meta name=”description” content=”Description Here”>.
Above is a sample of several listings for the keyword phrase “Omega Wire Gate Carabiner” in Google. Comparing the listings, think about which listing looks the most appealing? All three listings offer the product that I am looking for, Omega Wire Gate Carabiner, but Altrec.com stands out a bit more because it lists features such as free shipping and 100% satisfaction while the other listings only provide information about the product. In this particular case, I know the product that I am looking for, I am just looking for the best deal. When it comes to decision time, I am going to click on the listing for Altrec.com because of the additional features. The site listing simply looks more appealing to me. With the short attention span of web users, if you do not grab the searcher’s attention immediately, you could possibly lose a visit or a conversion.
But I Cannot Create Appealing Copy
No worries. If copywriting is not your strength, then consider hiring a professional. There are many providers to choose from. I have used Watts Writing Studio – Professional Writing Services for many of my projects with great results. However, you should shop around and do your research to find the copywriting or branding company that best fits your needs.
Getting to Know Your Visitors
You must know what your converting visitors like. Testing is the best way to get to know your visitors and what persuades them to click. Using PPC (pay per click) advertising can provide simple testing environments for webmasters to test sales copy. The big three search engine ad platforms (Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft Bing/Live) all provide opportunities for all advertisers to test different ad copy.
Advertisers can test call-to-action phrases like “find out more” and “act today” and see what the viewers prefer. To investigate even further, advertisers can determine what words not only bring traffic but the words that help initiate conversions. You can see from the Google adwords example above for a site selling Orleans Home Fragrances that the ad copy targeted to how the customer’s home will smell brings the most traffic than fast shipping. The title and description for this particular site need to focus on the benefits of the fragrance products. Look for a more detailed article about testing in the next few weeks.
Content is King
Success comes down to the site that has the best content, appeal and reach (assuming there is demand) will prevail. Enhancing your page title and description for ranking pages, will increase your click through rate and ultimately your overall success.
Once you have the click, then your next challenge is to focus post click optimization. I will cover this topic in a later post.
While hanging with Jay of CocoDesign yesterday, we started discussing Internet advertising vs traditional advertising. We discussed that the obvious difference between Internet and traditional advertising is the ability to effectively track and target campaigns. After our conversation, I started to ponder how one could even attempt to track the effectiveness of traditional advertising like Internet advertising. The most common measurement practice for traditional advertising is to use custom landing pages, custom phone numbers, or coupons/adcodes. But this is still no measurement of viewers (or opportunities) to conversions, which the vital for tracking effectiveness. To create any kind of effectiveness measurement for traditional advertising, one would have to be able to track opportunities (similar to impressions), engagement (similar to a click or CTR), and conversion (any predefined and preferred action). Below are a few off-beat ideas on how to tracking traditional advertising like Internet advertising.
Billboards are a great innovative use of unoccupied space viewable by a large diverse group. However, they are great for one thing: advertising to everyone on the road. There is only few broad targeting options with billboards mostly based around amount of traffic. So, how do you track effectiveness? To track the complete effectiveness of a billboard advertisement like an Internet marketing campaign, you would have to be able to determine the following: how many people pass the billboard? how may people actually look at the billboard and process the message? Then, how many people look at the billboard, use the contact information, then request information or purchase something from the advertiser (conversion)?
Magazine advertising is another great method to reach your audience. Magazines provide many more targeting options, but can you truly track effectiveness? To track your effectiveness you would have to be able to determine the following: How many people viewed the magazine (not just subscribers, but all viewers)? How many people viewed the ad and process the message? Then, how many people viewed the ad, visited the website or called, then requested information or purchase something (conversion)?
TV and Radio advertising is another great advertising method that offers additional targeting options. TV and Radio are wonderful mediums because you can catch viewers when they are most focused. However, there are still limitations with tracking effectiveness. To track effectiveness you would need to determine the following: How many listeners/viewers (number of viewers/listeners that are actually listing to one media device)? How many people processed the message and reacted? How many people requested information or purchased from advertiser (conversion)?
For optimal effectiveness and targeting, Internet advertising provides the most flexibility for your reach and budget. Through analytic software, the most effective measurement metrics are readily available: impressions, clicks and click-through-rate (CTR), conversions and conversion rate. Impression data is the most valuable component, because it provides a number of opportunities that were available. Measuring clicks from impressions, you can determine click-through-rate (CTR). Using CTR, a one can determine what ads get more viewer response thus allowing effective measurement and ad testing opportunities. Once a visitor views your ad, clicks on your site and triggers a conversion, then conversion rate can be determined. Conversion rates provide campaign success data. If impressions are high, then high conversion rate is a great metric to determine that the campaign was an overall success. Of course, if the conversion rate is low, well… you know what that means.
All Internet advertising can be targeted to reach a group with a certain interest. Specific targeting alone saves tons of cash on your marketing budget. Also, using a content network such as Yahoo or Google, any business can advertise in the same space as large competitors even with a much more limited budget.
The Internet experience is a much more personal experience compared with other advertising mediums. Although, Internet marketing tracking methods are not 100% , we can assume that each visitor is only one visitor. Rarely, would more than one person use the Internet on the same computer at the same time. This is an advantage over traditional advertising because there could always be more than one user for each medium. For example: For each magazine subscriber, publishers do not know if 1 person or 15 will actually read the one issue. The lack of knowledge hinders the ability to truly track effectiveness.
Reporting has just recently become a large request with a number of sites that I market. Clients enjoy knowing how many visitors or the number of conversions their site receives. When the first requests started arriving in my email box, I figured I would address each email with custom researched data and provide the data in the body of my email. Since then, I have wised up and started using Google Analytics automated reporting feature to send reports to clients and myself on a consistent basis. This removes the element of human error and allows the client to be more involved in the data.
How do you use the automated reporting feature in Google Analytics?
Automated reporting is very simple to setup and you have the ability to automate any report in GA. To start an automated report just simply click on the “Email” button at the top of any report. (See the example below)
Once you select a report to automate (by clicking the “email” button), then you will need to select the frequency. GA gives you the option to send the report immediately or schedule reports to be sent daily, weekly, quarterly or monthly. In addition you can even have the report compare data to the previous equivalent time frame. Automating your reports saves time and provides a more efficient way to monitor site health.
In my next post, we will discuss KPI metrics you should frequently monitor.
A lot of people have been asking “Beau, what have you been working on lately?”. So, here is a list of my most recent projects.
Simplemint.com – Chocolate Mint and More! This site is my introduction to affiliate marketing. I have always wanted to try affiliate marketing. The site has been launched for about 2 weeks and I can report that it has made $0 so far. What a great start!
Careerchoices.wordpress.com – Career Choices is a blog to promote career options and advice along with relevant degrees at Columbia Southern University. It has always been a passion to motivate others to do more in life. This blog gives me the ability to fulfill personal and career interests with one blog.