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    WSI Wisdom Book WSI Wisdom Book Document Transcript

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    • Table of conTenTs: fbT film and entertainment | Media & entertainment 4-5 Maid In california | services 6-7 buy Recycled Products | Retail 8-9 le lys d’or | flower shop 0- easy cars Rentals | automotive -3 Agreements Online | legal Documentation 4-5 apex Predators | shark cage Diving & shark Photos 6-7 Dr. aleksandra cerny | Dental 8-9 Flower Spot | full service florist 0- Information Technology | RDb consulting -3 Trans-Global Migration | Immigration consultancy 4-5 Corp Shorts | Internet Video Production firm 6-7 smartbeGreen | eco-newsletter Publication 8-9 segway Personal Transporters | Transportation 30-3 Harford county cultural arts board | association 3-33 Front Range Honda | automotive 34-35 sage Realty llc | Real estate 36-37 focusIT, Inc. | Information Technology 38-39 Seraphini | Italian Restaurant 40-4 Pond liners | landscaping 4-43 alpha oilfield | oil and Gas 44-45 custom fitness concepts | Health & Wellness 46-47 elreg Distributors | automotive Parts Distributors 48-49 Answer is Fitness | Health and fitness 50-5
    • Corinne’s Banquet Hall | event Venue 5-53GTours | Transportation /charter bus 54-55 overton security | security services 56-57subway sandwiches - Ksa | Restaurant chain 58-59everdrive | Used auto Parts 60-6Pack and Ride | affordable Residential Moving services 6-63mu | Print 64-65Mo shapiro | Public speaker 66-67 aesthetic solutions | Health, beauty & Wellness 68-69Johnson equipment | equipment Manufacturer 70-7 skyline Whitespace | exhibition Displays 7-73Heartland bank | finance 74-75 Joya del Pacifico | Real estate 76-77special needs family center | community center 78-79Marcum Group (Margolis & co. P.c.) | finance 80-8Tasty bite | food 8-83White Plains chrysler Jeep Dodge | auto Dealer 84-85APPENDIX: WSI WHITE PAPERSconversion architecture 87-98email Marketing 99-09landing Page Design -5Your Guide to Paid search 7-39search engine optimization 4-47social Media 49-60Web analytics 6-66 3
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    • Media & entertainment CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: FBT Film’s services include underwriting films, This site was launched on a brand new FBT Film and insurance, budget analysis, tax credit filings domain which can be difficult to rank early on. However, after only 90 days, even withEnTErTainmEnT and location assistance. Prior to building a website, FBT Film had relied largely on direct a brand new domain name and no Pay-per- search engine word of mouth referrals for their business. click (PPc) advertising, they earned a spot optimization But with the rapid growth of the industry, on page  of Google for key phrases for their www.fbtfilm.com they wanted to reach out via their website to business and on page  for some others. film producers and executives that they did Within a year we were able to help the client not have direct contact with. earn natural search results through extensive article and PR efforts as well as good on-site optimization. This placed them very high in THe SOluTiOn: search engine rankings. A new website was developed that captured the look and feel of a movie-focused These include phrases such as: louisiana based investment firm. The site » louisiana film incentives included a content management system that » louisiana film tax credits allows for easy updating and addition of new » louisiana film information pages as needed. » louisiana film credits » louisiana film tax WSi created professionally written content » louisiana film tax credits for the website and optimized it to attract » louisiana film web users searching for related key words » louisiana tax incentives and phrases. This included optimizing the » louisiana tax credit site for title tags, headers and keywords. » louisiana film insurance At the same time, WSi began an aggressive campaign to market the site to online news, press and article outlets to establish our client’s expertise in the market. This included writing articles and press releases filled with valuable information about timely topics. As TESTImoNIAl: a result, this relatively new site was able to earn high page 1 rankings in less than one The site looks terrific – it’s clean and year for their targeted search phrases. easy to navigate. This really changes the way we market our business. WsI consultant: leonaRD alsfelD André Savoie President fbT film and entertainment louisiana, Usa 5
    • Illustrates the top 5 performing keywords for each of the major search engines. Under that we can see the details including her click-through-rate, click-to- call ratio, and click-to-web- event ratio. The total aggregated traffic that we sent them since the beginning of the campaign (february 7, 008 – august 8, 009). Totals: Impressions: 357,659 Visits: 4683 Phone calls (recorded) 09 emails: 73 Web events: 3095 average Visits per week: 6.7 average spend per week: $86.73 average cost Per Visit: $.986
    • The vast majority of these contact points services CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: resulted in a sale. since housekeeping is a The client tried running PPc programs recurring service, there is a lifetime value to maid in on their own and with the help of other most of these sales. companies and never achieved a return on CaliFornia their investment. They had virtually no traffic Pay-per-click and no business from their website.www.maidInCalifornia.com THe SOluTiOn: WsI developed a pay-per-click strategy that drove targeted traffic to www. MaidIncalifornia.com. We quickly found the highest performing keywords were actually a combination of a few generic “heavy hitters” that drew a lot of traffic, and a high volume of individual geo-targeted keywords that TESTImoNIAl: only drew one or two visitors each month. “ These two strategies have combined to I am so sorry we didn’t start working produce as much qualified traffic as the with WSI years ago. We can’t believe client can handle. what a difference it made once WSI took over our website and search ReSulTS: engine marketing. You have completely as a result of the campaign, the client changed our business for the better. increased her business so quickly she had to For the ‘After Construction’ campaign hire two additional people! WsI is delivering that you are running for us, we made many clients at half the price she was paying $5600 the first month on only a $400 when she did it herself. investment! Our main House Keeping campaign is really cleaning up (pardon The following statistics are purely a result the pun). It is a bit difficult to convert of the campaigns WsI is running (does not into dollars, but our stats show that in include any incidental contact points). To the last 4 months we have received 245 date, WsI has driven the following contacts phone calls, 21 emails and 56 request from her website: for quote forms! Not only that, we are spending half what we used to spend! Total of $3,95 spent to date from february 7, 008 to august 8, 009 (8 months) These numbers are staggering for us. I can’t express how much WSI helped my “ WsI consultant: » ,09 phone calls business. Chuck Bankoff » 97 request for cleaning forms submitted DeboRaH a. KeRR california, Usa » 73 emails Maid in california 7
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    • Retail CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Before working with WSi, the client had a The client recovered his investment Buy rECyClEd brochure style website (FibrexGroup.com) within the first month after launching the ecommerce site with sales exceeding ProduCTs that lacked even the most basic optimization. He was spending over $2,000 per month for $4,000 UsD. site sales after the first year ecommerce Google AdWords paid search advertising reached $5,000 UsD exceeding business and sending traffic to the site with no regard revenue goals by 5%. second year revenueswww.buyRecycledProducts.com to conversion tracking and Conversion are up by 47% over the first year. Architecture. The client had no reporting to show the effectiveness of his site in terms of The client was so pleased with the results capturing leads and converting visitors into that he contracted WsI to redevelop his paying clients. brochure site, fibrexGroup.com, to coincide with his new catalog publication. THe SOluTiOn: fibrexGroup.com, which averages 5,000 For this project, WSi used the eMerchant Pro unique visitors a month, compliments eCommerce solution because of its capability buyRecycledProducts.com by giving site to have multiple categories, cross selling, visitors the option to purchase the item order tracking, customer tracking, etc. WSi through a “buy now” button that links to was responsible for project management, the ecommerce site, saving sales reps troubleshooting, and assisting the client with significant time. advanced features of the platform. WSi fully optimized the site for search and continues to provide advanced SeO techniques to improve search results. We are also running a limited paid search advertising campaign for 2 of the client’s product categories. TESTImoNIAl: WSI has been wonderful to work with. They have been so responsive to all our needs. The website is amazing. It has helped us realize our dream of an online store and it couldn’t be more impressive. WSI is our Internet partner for life! WsI consultant: sUzanne leenDeRs VP, buy Recycled Products Darren Kincaid Virginia, Usa 9
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: flower shop With the construction of a new University one of the early pieces of good news was lE lys d’or town, the community developed into a true that in a very short period of time we could city. as a consequence of this economic see listings for lys d’or in top positions on search engine development of the city, several new flower Google search for local phrases like “fleuriste optimization local areas”. In less than three months the shops emerged; in particular, one in a bigwww.lysdorfleuriste.be mall at a strategic location. le lys d’or’s same phrase would also feature the le lys income figures were showing a 0 to 5% d’or website in st place on Google. Relevant decrease over the last  months and the keywords like “conseil fleuriste”, “fleuriste flower shop was bound to close up if nothing creative”, arrivages de fleurs” were all in st was done quickly. page rankings. lys d’or was in second place via affiliated page for marriage events. lys d’or was in first place on Google belgium THe SOluTiOn: pages. The number of marriages and funerals WsI did an initial consultation and Internet they had to work on was up by 0%. business analysis (Iba) to uncover all aspects of the problem at hand. We then discussed The number of direct orders through in detail the target groups within which to the website was reaching +/- 5 per week implement a persuasion driven solution. It although the order form was not on secured was obvious for budget reasons that PPc pages. The overall To is probably going could not to be proposed at this stage and to reach a 0% increase for the fiscal year we focused on seo. which, if the previous trend is taken into account, could be assumed to be about 30% » online: We worked on the title and higher than what would occurred without description Meta tags, alt tags, H and WsI’s efforts. content. We also designed a Google Maps page. » offline: We subscribed to Google Maps, TESTImoNIAl: worked on a strategy of carefully selected back links, always keeping in mind the importance of the use of key phrases in the anchor text. “ Since you convinced us to have our own website, we regained confidence in the viability of our business ... You are » We also provided guidance on the constantly thinking of our business like it was yours. As a consequence we really “ newsletter and the news/promo feature in feel today you are part of Le Lys d’Or. WsI consultant: order to optimize the use of key phrases. Dominique De Coster MaRc & JacqUelIne Delens brabant Wallon, belgium le lys d’or 
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: automotive easy cars Rentals had been struggling to easy cars Rentals experienced an average of .64% conversion rate spending only Easy Cars find new client leads. Prior to contracting the services of WsI, easy cars Rentals $ to convert a client. They are now gaining rEnTals 0 new clients per month from their online were doing most of their advertising in ansearch engine optimization offline classifieds newspaper called Junk marketing to a value of $00,000 per & Pay Per click Mail. However, because of the nature of a month. With detailed keyword research wehttp://www.easycarsrental.co.za/ identified a number of phrases that would tangible newspaper, they weren’t able to track, measure and analyze feedback. easy generate leads. cars Rentals were spending in the region of $6,000 per month on Junk Mail advertising. These results are measured daily with Their decision to not focus on online Google analytics and presented in monthly marketing was influenced by the fact that review meetings to the client. We get their target market was people in financial over . million impressions with a high difficulty and in most cases; they would not conversion rate of .7%. have access to the Internet. THe SOluTiOn: WsI rebuilt their website and applied search engine essentials to ensure that the website was search engine friendly. In terms of Internet Marketing: TESTImoNIAl: » We developed landing pages and various PPc campaigns » We wrote ads and submitted them to online classified listings and directories on a “ Before we met WSI we never used any online marketing to attract new clients. Our advertising was focused on specific regular basis motor related newspapers and maga- » content marketing articles delivered by zines. WSI audited our website and re- WsI help drive “long tail” traffic while we start coded it to be search engine friendly. We with focused link building phrases in the started a Google Paid search campaign anchor text. and achieved immediate results. We now get over 1,300,000 impressions on Google per month and our conversion “ rate for enquiries averages 12%. WsI consultant: Francois muscat JoHn sToReY Gauteng, south africa easy cars Rentals 3
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    • legal Documentation CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: Agreements Online provides downloadable agrEEmEnTs legal documentation (contracts, legal onlinE agreements policies) to an online market. The company is owned by a lawyer that wanted search engine to know how she could go online with her optimization business. WSi suggested that she start up awww.agreementsonline.co.za venture that sells agreements and all kinds of legal documentation to an online market. THe SOluTiOn: WSi created a Voloper OBS website, provided a new design and all the web copywriting. We optimized the entire website for all their services and ran successful PPC & SeO campaigns. We created an eCommerce shop and provided focused link building through directory submission, blog posting and content marketing with website articles. ReSulTS: agreements online is currently ranked at number one on Google south africa for the keywords “legal agreements”. They are making in the region of $3,000 - $6,000 on TESTImoNIAl: a monthly basis because of their online presence. I cannot believe the return on invest- ment I have received from WSI. I could WsI measured the results using Google never have imagined the business that analytics and measured the number of was available to me online. As a lawyer, visitors finding the website through over you tend to think one dimensionally; 4,000 different keyword phrases and WsI however, WSI and their team have conducts monthly reviews with the client to shown that additional money can be discuss the results. made without spending long hours in the courtroom. WsI consultant: Francois muscat KeRRY JacK Gauteng, south africa agreements online 5
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: shark cage Diving & shark Photos before WsI became involved, apex Predators Results are measured with Google analytics. was unable to measure the feedback they We also use advanced Web Ranking (aWR) to aPEx measure the performance of the keywords were getting from their website. They were PrEdaTors unable to tell what people were doing when we track. Web analytics they reached the website. They were not sure of where most of their Web traffic washttp://www.apexpredators.com coming from (geographic location). apex Predators did not know how many people were using their website or which sources they were coming from (search engine, direct referrals, external links, etc.) THe SOluTiOn: apex predators’ website receives a lot of traffic from an overseas client base so the web analytics information that WsI provided was able to help their business get an improved scope on their e-commerce ventures. Prior to WsI’s contribution, they were struggling to find an effective way of TESTImoNIAl: marketing their shark cage diving trips and shark photos online. We implemented a secure online form that showed where the majority of leads were coming from. We “ Prior to WSI’s involvement with Apex Predators, we were unaware of the opportunity that was available on the implemented Google analytics. Internet for our industry. We had a fancy website but we did not know about the apex Predators is now able to plan well marketing opportunities that the Inter- because they can tell the exact number of net presents. WSI’s steps have enabled people that booked a shark cage diving us to build lasting relationships with trip from the website, how many people clients from all corners of the globe. Our are ordering their shark photos online, and online forms have made it easy for us how many people are subscribing to their to plan our trips accordingly and also newsletter – a good indication of content interest. to make sure we have sufficient stock of the in-demand photos that we sell “ online. WsI consultant: Francois muscat MonIqUe Gauteng, south africa apex Predators 7
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Dental Most dentists face the same problems when In the first week, Dr. cerny received 9 online bookings. at the end of the first month,dr. alEksandra marketing their businesses and Dr. cerny was no different. Dentists rely on word of mouth  bookings were made directly from the CErny website, all of which came from search referrals and Dr. cerny’s business relied 00% Internet Marketing on word of mouth. Dr. cerny’s husband engine traffic. on average, a new client recommended WsI to her, as we had just has three appointments and the average www.DRCerny.co.za revenue value is $300. at 6 months old, the completed his company’s website. website generated 50 new clients with an WsI evaluated Dr. cerny’s current website average of 450 appointments. The value and found it to be a “frame based” website, of 6 months’ revenue from the website is which did not feature on the search engines. $45,000. The website cost over the 6 month In fact, the website was invisible to Google period was $,00, resulting in a return on due to its technical structure. investment of 3,750%! THe SOluTiOn: WsI created a website with separate Web pages for each of the dental services that Dr. cerny provides. each of these pages was optimized using information that we identified from our keyword research. from the start, WsI implemented a Google TESTImoNIAl: pay-per-click campaign in order to achieve “ immediate results. We submitted the website Before WSI, we had a website but had to various Internet directories and wrote and not received any queries in the 2 years submitted ads to a number of busy Internet since creating it. WSI showed us ex- classifieds websites. WsI then started a link ample reports of some of their customer building campaign and created specific blog successes and convinced us to build a links that rapidly increased the site’s search new website that was search engine engine positions for Dr. cerny’s services. friendly. WSI were so confident that they would generate interested traffic WsI also provided Web analytics and from to our website and provided us with a our interpretation we created a number of monthly Internet marketing solution specific landing pages that further increased that included the cost of the website website traffic. our efforts resulted in build. This made it attractive to us as we“ obtaining the first 8 of  positions in Google would get an entire solution right from WsI consultant: for Dr. cerny’s dental practice. the beginning. Francois muscat DR. aleKsanDRa ceRnY Gauteng, south africa lonehill Dental clinic 9
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    • full service florist CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: Flower Spot is a one-stop shop for fresh cutFlowEr sPoT flowers and all flower accessories. The store has grown from a local flower shop to a search engine destination store carrying everything from optimization party décor to scrap booking to giftware.www.flowerspot.co.za Prior to WSi coming onboard, Flower Spot had a good website but it wasn’t rendering much business since it was nearly impossible to find it on major search engines. The site was not optimized. THe SOluTiOn: We did extensive SeO work including link building with blogging and copywriting. WSi’s internet marketing services included: search engine optimization, web copywriting, content marketing with website articles and paid search advertising with Google. ReSulTS: We began optimizing the flower spot website  years ago. The consistent amount of articles that are added to the flower spot website on a monthly basis has driven TESTImoNIAl: traffic exponentially. The link building has contributed to flower spot’s excellent search Flower Spot had just completed the engine ranking. development of its 2nd ecommerce website with local developers. We have We use Google analytics and advanced Web a great website but no online exposure. Ranking (aWR) reports to monitor flower My local developers introduced me to spot’s website performance. WSI. Within 6 months we started to re- ceive a steady stream of leads and now we get over 1,200 queries a month that are generated through search engine WsI consultant: marketing.Francois muscat DennIs DUaRTe Gauteng, south africa flower spot 
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: RDb consulting Prior to retaining the services of WsI, RDb WsI began optimizing the RDb consulting website in october 008. They are nowinFormaTion consulting relied on cold calling to introduce their company services to corporate south ranking at number one on Google southTEChnology africa for “Database outsourcing” which is africa. They did not think that their website search engine would produce leads for them as they are their main service. since february 009, they optimization so specialized in providing oracle, sql and have acquired 3 new clients with an annualwww.rdbconsulting.com project value of $400,000 – many are notable sybase support services. after reviewing the existing website we found it wasn’t blue chip organizations. optimized. We recommended creating for them a new website and a new, professional WsI provides monthly analytic reports and web presence that would differentiate reviews focusing on business goals and them from their competition. We created monthly reviews are held with the client. a resource website that would support their credibility, generate leads and boost recruitment opportunities. THe SOluTiOn: We created a Voloper obs website, provided a new design and all the web copywriting. We optimized the entire website for all their services and provided focused link building TESTImoNIAl: through directory submission, blog posting “ and article marketing. I called WSI the other day and told them that my website costs me nothing! The Internet marketing services provided: amount of business that we have re- » search engine optimization ceived over the past 6 weeks is amazing » Web copywriting and if we never get another lead I will be » content marketing with website articles more than happy. WSI and their team » Paid search advertising with Google have become my salesmen. The results we have achieved are truly amazing. I recommend everyone that I know to use WSI’s services. I would also like to add that WSI has done amazing work for my wife’s dental practice. Her website “ generates over 20 new leads per month. WsI consultant: Francois muscat JaRo ceRnY Gauteng, south africa MD RDb consulting 3
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    • Immigration consultancy CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: Trans-Global Migration provides a simpleTrans-gloBal 3-step process for South Africans wanting to migraTion immigrate to Australia, new Zealand, uSA, Canada and the uK. Before contacting WSi, Paid search Marketing Trans-Global Migration was spending a large portion of their marketing budget on offline www.tgmigration.com print advertising – newspapers, magazines etc. They experienced difficulties with offline advertising because they couldn’t tell where most of their client leads were coming from. THe SOluTiOn: WSi rebuilt their website and began an aggressive Pay-Per-Click campaign to generate queries and conversions. By using internet Marketing we made sure our PPC campaigns clicked through to relevant, accessible landing pages. We wrote ads and submitted them to classifieds websites on a regular basis. WSi also developed content marketing articles that drive “long tail” traffic while we start with focused link building. ReSulTS: We managed to decrease their marketing budget from $3,000 to $500. Trans-Global TESTImoNIAl: Migration has a conversion rate of .8%. Results are measured daily with Google analytics and presented in monthly review I did not know about Internet Marketing meetings. before I met with WSI. WSI has really helped my business generate a lot of leads and decreased our spending on traditional media advertising, tenfold. WsI consultant: Francois muscat JoHn GaMbaRana Gauteng, south africa TG Migration 5
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    • Internet Video CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Production firm Corp Shorts was unable to generate leads Results include: via the internet due, in part, to its flash-based » Increasing visitors to corp shorts’ Web siteCorP shorTs Web site and lack of relevant content. less by 500% than ten inbound sites linked to the Corp » being listed on the st three pages of Internet Marketing Shorts Web site, and it did not rank in search search engine results for more than 0www.corpshorts.com engine results. The firm needed an internet targeted keywords marketing strategy to drive large amounts of » over ,00 keyword phrases are converted traffic to its site. to Web site visits » More than 40 different sources deliver traffic to the Web site THe SOluTiOn: » Videos are viewed by several thousand WSi implemented a comprehensive, multi- visitors on YouTube phase internet marketing solution that » over 4000 followers/friends/connections included: on Twitter, facebook, linkedIn, and Plaxo » Adding keyword-rich content to every page significant time. of the Web site » implementing social bookmarking and link building strategies » Pay per click (PPC) advertising » Building a social networking presence on YouTube, Twitter, linkedin, Facebook, and other networking sites » developing email marketing campaigns » Creating and disseminating keyword-rich press releases A key partner in our complete internet marketing solution was novo, inc., a copywriting firm specializing in search engine optimization (SeO), to write articles on a monthly basis. These keyword-rich articles helped Corp Shorts significantly increase its online exposure by ranking on the first page of Google and other search engines for several targeted keywords. WsI consultant: The impact of our Internet marketing Gregg Towsley solution after the first year is extensive. california, Usa 7
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS:eco-newsletter Publication smartbeGreen needed exposure, qualified The impact of our Internet marketing visitors to their website, and new subscribers solution after the first six months issmarT2BEgrEEn to ensure success for their Internet business. staggering, results include: also, smartbeGreen.com did not rank in » Increased visitors to smartbeGreen social Media website by 900% search engine results for their top target keywords. » listed on the st three pages of search www.Smart2BeGreen.com engine results for more than 780 targeted keywords THe SOluTiOn: » st page listing in Google search results for Tools Used: Google, Twitter, YouTube, top 0 keywords facebook, linkedIn » over 00 keyword phrases are converted WsI implemented a comprehensive, multi- to Web site visits phase Internet marketing campaign for » More than 450 different sources deliver smartbeGreen that included: traffic to the website » adding keyword-rich content to every page » over 4000 followers/friends/connections of their website on Twitter, facebook, linkedIn, and Plaxo » Implementing social bookmarking and link » Videos are viewed by several thousand building strategies visitors on YouTube » building a social networking presence on Twitter, YouTube, facebook, and linkedIn » automating updates for new content distribution » link building campaign for inbound links from other websites TESTImoNIAl: “ WSI’s keyword research, competitive analysis, search engine optimization, and social media marketing helped our “ website rocket in the ranks of the search engines. Our business has grown as a direct result of WSI’s solutions. WsI consultant: Gregg Towsley bIll GUeRInGeR california, Usa President and ceo of smartbeGreen.com 9
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    • consists of ongoing keywords research, Transportation CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: online competitive analysis, advanced i-segway was looking to increase the sEgway Web and search engine optimization, and awareness of segway Personal Transporters traffic generation strategies from search PErsonal (PT) in the region as well as generating engines, mainly Google, Yahoo and Msn.TransPorTEr more leads online. The objectives were to We have also integrated leading analyticalWeb Design, Development, establish an online presence in the region for technologies on the website to track and search engine optimization segway PT in order to improve the client’s site performance and identify areas of www.i-Segway.com brand and increase awareness. also, it was enhancements on a regular basis. very important for this client to get qualified leads from their website in order to cover ReSulTS: the website expenses and to generate more profits to the business. In the first  months post launch, the website received more than 3,000 visits and the client is getting new leads every day. The THe SOluTiOn: client is extremely happy with the website WsI prepared 6 concept drafts for this client and was amazed with the magnificent using our in-house design expertise and results in terms of traffic and leads that are the client selected two designs, which were generated on a daily basis via the website. further enhanced and improved to help the The client’s business is now very profitable client make a final selection. The final design and the website was one of the main factors got excellent feedback from the client and for their success. the site visitors. WsI also conducted some usability testing to make sure the website TESTImoNIAl: was easy to navigate by users. furthermore, WsI used special images representing various countries from the client’s target region to relate to “ When we first looked at expanding and enhancing our Web presence, we set a Web generated sales goal of four units. Little did we know that we would not only meet that but would rapidly exceed the audience and improve overall site it. In fact, in the eight months since conversion. as far as technology features WSI team designed and implemented go, the site includes a content management our website, we have seen our Web system, online forms, document traffic increase dramatically and, management system and a photo gallery. more importantly, our Web-generated WsI also assisted the client locally to do some sales leads increase almost ten-fold. developmental adjustments to page layout, ... I can easily say that WSI has been css, site footer and navigation menus. instrumental in our sales growth this “ year and I believe the same will be said in the years to come. WsI consultant: In addition, we have implemented a Husam Jandal comprehensive search engine optimization sTeVen a. bRoWn-cesTeRo Dubai, Uae program for segway PT in the region, which ceo, i-segway 3
    • TESTImoNIAl: “ The Harford County Cultural Arts Board is very pleased with the website that WSI created for us, and it was a well placed investment....The best part of this project for me has been working with WSI. You’ve made every aspect of this huge project simple and a lot of fun! “ Huge kudos to you! TonYa WooDY Hccab coordinator3
    • association CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: needed the ability to adding events to the arts calendar. The Harford county cultural arts board was harFord looking to: CounTy » Improve customer service by providing lastly, WsI included an opt-in email marketerCulTural arTs online grant application submissions to replace a rather basic one the client was already using. They hope to eventually add Board » Increase their exposure within the greater business edge and seo discussion forums in each discipline within Harford county arts community in order towww.culturalartsboard.org the arts, and perhaps some news feeds make grants available to a greater number of related to the arts nationwide. artists / organizations and the client is getting new leads every » become THe resource for arts related day. The client is extremely happy with events in the area the website and was amazed with the » Develop an online community for the magnificent results in terms of traffic and artists in the area leads that are generated on a daily basis via » Provide greater exposure for some of the the website. The client’s business is now very smaller or lesser known arts events and profitable and the website was one of the groups in the county main factors for their success. » be able to update their own website at will (which they could not do before) » Utilize the talents of local artists to create ReSulTS: the design for the website In the last 30 days, the Hccab website has logged over 580 site visits, with 57% of those THe SOluTiOn: being return visitors who utilize the site regularly: WsI addressed the client’s needs by » 5% of site visitors found the site through proposing a WsI business edge website that search engines could be placed on the client’s domain and » The site ranks # in Google for “Harford could be optimized for the search engines. county arts” (out of 4,000 results), “Harford WsI business edge was the chosen platform county artists,” and “Harford county Grants because of its ease of use for the client and for the arts,” “Harford county arts calendar” end user, as well as the wide selection of and “Harford county arts events”-- all goals modules and features that are included identified prior to the start of the project. within this WsI branded solution. » The site even ranks higher than the Harford county Government website (parent The Web solution required customized forms organization) for all of these key phrases! for the grant applications and an interactive » The site has over 00 registered users, events calendar with a customized add event with more than 30 arts groups regularly module. It also required site registration that contributing events to the arts calendar. WsI consultant: would allow only registered members to Jeff Harrison have access to certain pages, including the Maryland, Usa interactive grant applications. The site also 33
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    • automotive CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: Front Range Honda had been implementing FronT rangE a pay per click (PPC) campaign with Google honda and Yahoo! in house, spending $2,500 per month and not tracking any results.search engine optimization The goal was to dramatically increase the & Pay Per click client’s internet exposure, branding and clickwww.FrontRangeHonda.com through rate for less money. THe SOluTiOn: We knew we could get them as many clicks as they were currently receiving for $1,000 less, as approximately 50% of their ads were not being seen. We planned to accomplish this goal with some optimization efforts and by reducing the client’s bids. ReSulTS: Within the first 30 days, WsI accomplished what we said we would with regards to the pay per click campaigns. next, WsI advised the client to apply the money they saved toward a 0 term/0 page search engine optimization and link building campaign. The client’s website traffic increased 80% in TESTImoNIAl: 6 months. I would highly recommend WSI as a WsI is currently maintaining a Google search engine marketing provider. WSI adWords campaign and the 0 term seo is a professional organization with top and link building campaign for the client. notch customer service. They are always This account led WsI to later close the al available to answer my questions. We serra auto Dealership made up of 4 separate have been more than satisfied with WSI businesses and websites. and their performance and support. They have more than exceeded our expectations within a very short period WsI consultant: of time. Jerry Kane DIana WeaVeR colorado, Usa front Range Honda 35
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    • using keyword research, they were able to Real estate CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: make all the website copy more optimized sage Realty was using a generic realtor’s for search engines. sagE site for website design and hosting--one of the Web companies that provides websites rEalTy llC ReSulTS: for thousands of realtors. The site could not be correctly optimized. It had non-friendly In the worst economic conditions for the real search engine URls, no access to the root so search engine estate industry, my client has told me that optimizationwww.findahomeinpa.com sitemaps and robot files could not be added. this month she had to turn away business fTP access at the page level was also not because she is so busy. The bulk of her allowed and code could not be added at business is now coming from her website the page level. The traffic reports did not versus referrals from past buyers and friends. record data for stretches of time and the data recorded was not believable. In 4 months, this is almost $5 million in real estate sales for my client. In addition to Many of the pages were canned and had reviewing the traffic and ranking reports, my duplicate content. The site was not well client has measured the results in terms of designed. It permitted strict template the business the website has brought her. designs and only had the ability for one layer of navigation. The site was confusing to navigate because it had no sub pages TESTImoNIAl: or drop down menus and any additional WSI provides the benefits of a small, “ pages were floaters. The site pages had highly personal service provider with minimal marketing calls to action. The site’s the technology and know-how of an performance was poor. It was down for international Web solution company. lengthy periods (more than 4 hours) of time We had the following results this year and the hosting support was terrible. The so far from the new website: 3 new Multiple listing service (Mls) also did not clients in March, 2 bought a total of work and tended to have old data more $1,975,000 value homes and one is still often than not. looking with me in the $400,000 range; 2 new clients in April, bought $558,200 THe SOluTiOn: value homes; 1 new client in May, under agreement to buy a $315,000 WsI used a local graphic design strategic value home; 1 new client in June who partner who worked with the client for a few decided to rent but will buy in the next months on the concept draft. We created 9 month with me in the $500,000 range a new site map which transferred the data range; 1 new client in July looking in from the old site to the new site. We added the $400,000 range and a new client in “ WsI consultant: the marketing and seo strategy to the August seeking a $700,000 home ... Nancy Vinkler sitemap. We trained the client and her staff lInDa WalTeRs Pennsylvania,Usa on how to maintain the site themselves and sage Realty llc 37
    • TESTImoNIAl: “ Wow, the SEO work is really kicking in this month. We received four leads in two days from our website for PDS hosting. We usually receive 2-3 per MONTH. Nice work! We had a ton of call activity this week from people saying “I found you on the web”. That’s all your hard work paying off. Thanks for “ everything! JosH boPP President focusIT, Inc.38
    • Information Technology CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: We implemented a goal conversion metric to determine which keywords brought the best Prior to their engagement with WsI focusIT, traffic. by eliminating the high impression, FoCusiT, inC. Inc was struggling to generate leads for low performing keywords we were able their services. They were using an outside to increase the budget on the highersearch engine optimization sales person who would contact mortgage performing keywords.and Paid search Marketing companies and try to setup a demo. since the focusIT solution was best suited for after optimizing the PPc campaign we then www.focusitinc.com new implementations, often times they built a landing page specifically for the PPc would miss these early opportunities due customers. The page was designed with to low exposure on the Web. additionally, conversion in mind. lastly, we developed their GoToMeeting demos would take an entirely new website on the efusion about  hours – valuable time that was lost platform. The website was much cleaner, because their sales person was wrongly easy to navigate and communicated much targeting a client who was not a good fit more information. We implemented a 30 for their product line. focusIT was missing redirect strategy and careful page naming in opportunities and spending too much time the migration. To date we have seen no drop chasing bad leads. off from prior rankings. We also integrated all the forms on their site with their existing THe SOluTiOn: salesforce database to ensure lead and support capture. To meet the client’s objective we started with a 0 keyword seo optimization package. We used some of the data from their current ReSulTS: Google adWords campaign to develop a from these efforts the client gained a 00% successful keyword set. We wrote quality increase in the amount of traffic generated content and began implementation of the from the website. In addition they were content pages with a complete metatag receiving an average of 3.8 leads a week revamp of the existing site. from the website, while prior to this they were generating about -3 per month In doing the seo keyword research we through all their efforts. This metric was noticed the cTR (clickthrough rate) on their generated through salesforce captures and Google adWords campaign was below %. WsI Voice Marketer. In fact, because of the They were getting lots of impressions, but client’s exposure on the search engines for very few clicks. Their positioning was good, keywords related to calyx Point, the calyx but their pay per click cost was high and they software company decided to offer an weren’t generating quality leads. exclusive agreement with focusIT, Inc. for hosting of their calyx Point Data server, now at this point we took over management of called Pointcentral. To measure the results, the PPc campaign. We started by removing WsI used many metrics such as percentage their campaigns from the content network. of traffic from search, keyword popularity, Then we consolidated the campaigns and clickthrough rate, and goal conversions to WsI consultant: reviewed all keyword sets. We removed measure success. Scott Robbins those keywords that were generating high arizona, Usa impression rates, but very low click volumes. 39
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    • Italian Restaurant CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Seraphini wanted to develop a website to Within 3 weeks of launching the site, it had sEraPhini promote their new restaurant, which opened over ,300 visits and ,8 unique visitors, in September 2008. WSi benchmarked the which helped generate over 30 reservations business edge and client’s main competitors, and based on per day! The client is very happy with the Internet Marketing this information, we worked on the graphic new website and the compliments theywww.Seraphini.com.br design and Web development to ensure the receive. They are also very impressed with client’s restaurant stood out. WsI’s work and the way WsI handled the project in order to launch it within 0 days. The main objective was to promote the restaurant. WSi developed a website The website now averages 900 visits per that reflected the sophistication of their month (78% of new visitors and 700 unique restaurant and their dishes and to show their visitors). 50% of their visitors come from visitors comments made by experts on the referring websites (30%), search engines imprensa (press) page. (0%) and our e-mail marketing campaigns (0%). THe SOluTiOn: Due to the profile of seraphini´s customers, For this client, WSi chose the WSi Business it is much more effective to work with edge solution because of its flexibility, ease restaurants reviews on specialized gourmet of use and familiarity with the platform. Since sites, magazines, newspapers and their it was a very simple project, the website is online versions. We chose the websites and composed of content pages, a media gallery blogs that their customers usually visit and and map modules, which are included in the that are very popular on Google and Yahoo, technology. so seraphini would benefit indirectly from their well ranked results on these search We worked their client base by running email engines. marketing campaigns. With that we were able to identify different groups of interest and target them with specific messages in order to increase conversion rates. Since clients in Brazil don’t choose fine restaurants based on search engines results, we decided to focus on building incoming links. We advised the client to work with their WsI consultant: PR agency in order to increase the numberWaldemar Antonaccio of reviews and news articles related to the Rubens Kim restaurant in the print media (such as local sao Paulo, brazil magazines) and their online counterparts. 4
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    • landscaping CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: The objective was to design a site with since June 008, the website is receiving a unique pond liner calculator – one 3,000 visitors per month with a sales Pond linErs that would take the length, breadth and conversion rate of 3-4%. WsI’s reports show depth pond measurements given by the an average site visit time of 4. minutes conversion customer and calculate the exact pond liner and 4 page views per customer, as well as awww.pondlinersonline.co.uk dimensions required and the cost of each visitor bounce rate of % (improved from type of pond liner for that dimension. The 7% in June). since June, the client has customer would then select a pond liner/s received more than £5,000 worth of orders and go through a secure checkout process. A averaging at £500 per day. They were thrilled further objective is to ensure that the site is when WsI completed and launched the informative and a useful resource to anyone website, particularly because they received wanting to plan and construct a pond. WSi their first orders the day the site went live on wanted to use the internet as the sole means the Web, and have continued to do so since. of marketing the product. THe SOluTiOn: WSi chose a customized solution due to the database requirements of the pond liner size calculator. Working with the developers on the functionality of the pond liner size calculator was a challenge but the final result is a unique, user-friendly pond liner size calculator. in the development process, the difficulty was rounding up the metre squared dimensions. The pond liners are supplied via the manufacturers in fixed measurements with the “on the-role” PVC pond liner dimensions differing from that of the rubber pond liners. So the calculator had to work in both imperial and metric TESTImoNIAl: measurements, rounding up to the closest 0.5m in one dimension and closest 1m in I am very pleased with the results of another for PVC, and to the closest 0.5m in my WSI solution. I was not expecting both dimensions for the rubber liners. The to receive so many sales in the first pond liner dimensions have to be absolutely two months of the site going live! WsI consultant: accurate to avoid wastage or the liner not MIKe leasK Brian Holroyd fitting into the hole exactly. Precision was key Pond liners bedfordshire, england, UK in this project. 43
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    • oil and Gas CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Prior to working with WSi, Alpha Oilfield alpha oilfield supply has had to move into aalPha oilFiEld Supply only had a very basic website. it was larger building, and is already beginning to a work in progress with not a lot of pages outgrow where they are now. We bring thesearch engine optimization completed, nor much content on any of traffic to their website, convert the traffic into & Pay Per click the pages. Most of the pages said “under prospects. They convert the prospects intowww.alphaoilfieldsupply.com Construction” The original website had been . customers. live for a couple of years, and didn’t provide them with any leads. They were very pleased with the results. They had started a website without much WSi’s objectives were to provide Alpha information on it. With the exposure that Oilfield Supply with a professional looking we brought to them via the search engines, website that would give a true representation they are now getting leads through their to the types of products and services that website from all over the world. last year, they provided. We also wanted to provide alpha oilfield supply picked up a client them with an internet Marketing System who found them by searching for one of the (iMS) that would offer them with maximum products they sold. In early february of 007, exposure on the internet, since they sell their John Johnson called WsI to let us know that products worldwide. WSi wanted to make they billed out $00,000.00 to that client in sure, if someone was doing a search on the January. internet that they would be able to find Alpha Oilfield Supply, no matter what country Within the first  years of implementing an they were doing the searching in. Internet marketing strategy with WsI, the client’s sales have doubled every year. In fact, they’ve had to increase their staff, as well as THe SOluTiOn: move to a larger facility. They have almost WSi created an entirely new website for more work than they can handle at times, Alpha Oilfield Supply utilizing the MicroSite which is a good problem to have. platform. in addition, we supplied them with essential SeO for their website, as well as started doing pay-per-click marketing, as soon as the site went live. WsI consultant: michael Richards Ellen Richards Missouri, Usa 45
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: » A monthly review in which we evaluate Health & Wellness performance and continue to improve Custom Fitness Concepts was struggling overall lead generation per $ spent on bothCusTom FiTnEss with a site that had been built by one of their our services and PPC ConCEPTs clients who could not keep up with frequent requirements for change. This provider search engine optimization could not offer any input or suggestions ReSulTS: on how to make the most from their Web overall traffic has increased by 64% to nearlywww.customfitnessconcepts.com presence. They also were spending in excess 4,000 visitors/month of $2,000/month on PPC advertising, which » Trial and actual class enrollments are was their main source of new business, but up 63% at a high price for their size. They were using » Personal training enrollments are up 5% 1st generation graphics for the branding that » PPc spending has dropped from over did not suit the image the owner wanted $,000/month to under $500/month to portray as a professional and successful » WsI measured the results primarily with company. Google analytics THe SOluTiOn: WSi created a corporate identity package and we worked closely with the client to come up with the new logo and design concept. We then used our in-house resources to create a WSi Business edge skin and implemented the new site, porting over existing contact and building custom features such as their location finder, and personal trainer directory. As for internet marketing, WSi implemented an SeO program that involved: » Keyword research and forensics » Optimization of the existing content for proper use of meta tags, titles, H1s and other best practices » used an authorized WSi supplier to perform 50 directory submission » Added 20 pages of new content focused on WsI consultant: fitness boot camp keywords Gary levine » A complete overhaul of the PPC ad Virginia, Usa campaigns, bid strategies and landing pages 47
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    • clients from all over the world as a result of automotive Parts CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: WsI’s search engine marketing. The website Distributors elreg Distributors had a previous website has become a significant revenue source that was outdated and ineffective. They with each month’s sales from website ElrEg wanted to redesign their website with inquiries exceeding the previous months’.disTriBuTors an engine that could allow visitors to since implementing their search engineconversion architecture search through a database of over ,000 optimization strategy nearly a year ago, theirand Internet Marketing products, select the products they are visitor traffic has more than tripled and now www.elreg.com interested in and add them to a dynamic there are thousands of unique visitors quotation submission shopping cart. They each month. also required website traffic generation via Internet marketing. WsI’s objective for this project was to get the client good leads. TESTImoNIAl: our approach was to apply conversion “ architecture to their Web solution and We knew that our website was dated persuade website visitors to submit quote and needed a major overhaul ... WSI requests online. WsI also planned to utilize truly wanted to present to us with an Internet marketing to drive the right people ongoing strategy that would help us to their new site. increase our sales for years to come ... What a terrific experience! THe SOluTiOn: WSI listened and responded instanta- neously to recommendations that were WsI provided elreg Distributors with made along the way. They continually a professional website design and presented innovative ideas to make the development. We modified the ecommerce site more effective ... Most would think system to allow for product selection and that the job was done at this point. quotation request submissions to take Quite the contrary! WSI immediately place. once the site was launched, WsI started presenting ways to optimize initiated pay-per-click and email marketing and make our site more effective by campaigns. later on, WsI implemented ensuring potential clients were finding search engine optimization services for the us. This has been an ongoing process client to drive even more traffic to the site. ever since the site was launched three months ago. WSI continually tweaks ReSulTS: our site, develops landing pages and as a result of WsI’s services, elreg Distributers looks for ways to ensure we are increas- WsI consultant: went from an almost non-existent Web presence to receiving an average of 8-0 ing our sales. It’s like having another sales agent working for you – actually “ Jason Gervais new leads or sales opportunities each day. better. Denise Gervais Traditionally, the company only distributed Joe zUnDl ontario, canada throughout north america, but now gains President, elreg Distributors 49
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    • Health and fitness CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Answer is Fitness was looking to generate The owner, staff and customers of answer is answEr is more leads and had an outdated site that fitness all love the new site. answer is fitness is now on page  of Google for more than 0 FiTnEss was done 100% in Flash. Their numerous direct mail efforts were not generating key search terms in the 3 towns that makesearch engine optimization the leads needed to be able to fund the up their target market. The combined efforts & Pay Per click opening of a second club. Together, we of search engine optimization and WsI localwww.answerisfitness.com specified a new site heavily focusing on the adWorks generated 70 new membership look and feel and the calls to action that prospects in the first 5 days after launch, 3 we felt they needed to have. The objective of which have become members so far. They was to develop a professional looking Web expect their closing rate to be greater than solution that would take advantage of search 80% on these leads. traffic and become the primary source of generating leads. THe SOluTiOn: WSi’s focus was on personal training and weight loss prospects. We chose the WSi Business edge platform because of the ability to create a modular look we felt was needed in order to emphasize Conversion Architecture. it’s a simple site with a slideshow Flash module on the home page, numerous call-to-action links, and information resources on fitness, staying healthy, weight loss and personal training. The services WSi provided included graphic design, website development, content writing, page layout, Web SeO, analytics, and paid search through WSi local AdWorks. TESTImoNIAl: This is exactly the site that I would want if I could have described it. How is it that not everybody is focusing on Internet marketing? The results are WsI consultant: just incredible! Joseph Coupal - DaVID Dos sanTos Massachusetts, Usa owner, answer is fitness 5
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    • event Venue CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: Corinne’s Banquet Hall knew that 50% of CorrinE’s their current leads came through theirBanquET hall existing website. They were convinced that if they could show up on page one of Google search engine for service related terms in surrounding optimization geographic areas, they would see a hugewww.corinnesbanquets.com increase in business. THe SOluTiOn: WSi provided SeO which included key word research, competitive analysis, page creation and modification of the existing site, on-page optimization, meta tag changes and wrote new content. The objectives were first to get the client on page one of Google and Yahoo! for 20 different geocentric terms. The second objective, which is just as important, was to generate traffic for their targeted market segments. For the analysis, we used Wordtracker.com, WSi local Adworks traffic estimator tool and Quintura.com. ReSulTS: as a result of our efforts, corrine’s banquet Hall is now on page one in Google for more than 0 geocentric terms for Pawtucket and Providence, RI and attleboro, Ma which were the prime targeted areas. They loved the new look of the Home page and the live entertainment and seated Dinner pages. TESTImoNIAl: More importantly, they were truly amazed that the site was on page one of Google for I had heard these types of results were possible but I had no idea how to do it so many different terms. Immediately they or who could do it. noticed a significant increase in calls and a WsI consultant: boost in business. This level of satisfaction JaRRoD IlKoWITz Joseph Coupal resulted in a new 6-month deal for seo and operations Manager/Partner, Massachusetts, Usa an email marketing campaign. corinne’s banquets 53
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    • Transportation CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: charter bus GTours is a charter bus company that provides services in the state of Texas, gTours mainly, austin and san antonio, expanding to southern Texas (brownsville, Mcallen and search engine Harlingen) and Houston. They were not optimization showing in the first 50 positions in Google,www.gtours.info Yahoo! or Msn. Most of their marketing and customers are online and reachable via – organic searches. GTours wanted to appear on top of search engines targeting locations such as san antonio and austin, Texas to capture that market. THe SOluTiOn: We not only positioned GTours in the first page of major search engines for san antonio and austin but also positioned the company in the first place for cities such as Mcallen, brownsville and Harlingen within  month. WsI provided seo and is in the TESTImoNIAl: “ process of upgrading the seo and moving on to social Media optimization (sMo) too. My company received 75% of its business from brokers. Depending on brokers made my business vulnerable ReSulTS: because if brokers decided to work The client was able to double their sales in with other companies I would be out of 3 months to the extent that he had to buy business very fast. I learned that brokers received more than 85% from search another bus to keep up with the growing engines. This is when WSI approached demand. GTours was so satisfied that they me and we decided to go give it a try. want to increase spending and start an sMo We proved this decision to be the best campaign. They also want to target cities we have ever made in our business. such as Houston and Dallas-fort Worth and Now we still receive the same amount expect that with this strategy they will be of business from brokers but their able to eliminate seasonality for summer and participation in our revenue decreased winter when it is the lowest for their service from 75% to 34%. We will continue to WsI consultant: in south and central Texas. WsI measured invest our marketing budget with WSI “ Jesus monroy the results using Google analytics and and plan to upgrade our SEO and add Texas, Usa information received from customers. SMO in our strategy. 55
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    • major deals with enough profit to cover security services CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: the entire 5-month campaign cost several overton was going through many significant times. Their seo campaign has put them at ovErTon changes for the past  months. They had the top of Google and Yahoo! for several changed their business name and were busy sECuriTy key phrases. expanding into other markets. They hadsearch engine optimization put together a new website with the new & Pay Per click name using frontPage. It was done very www.overtonsecurity.com quickly and they soon found out that it was inadequate for the new brand they wanted to build. They were looking for a brand new professional website that they could TESTImoNIAl: “ be proud of and compete with the larger WSI guided us through the entire security companies in the market. process of website design, development and Internet marketing. We launched They originally contacted WsI to just build a our new site in March of 2008 and initi- new website. but as we presented Internet ated SEO and PPC to generate traffic to Marketing systems, they were intrigued the site. To date, the campaigns have by the concept of marketing using search led to very positive outcomes. PPC is engines on the Internet generating plenty of clicks and we are getting substantial leads. SEO has posi- THe SOluTiOn: tioned us at the top of the first pages of The Internet Marketing system Gold Package Yahoo! and Google. was the ideal solution. WsI provided the client with a brand new website using WsI We have already closed several major business edge, in addition to search engine accounts which have more than paid optimization services for 0 key phrases, a for the website and the cost of Internet pay-per-click campaign for $000 per month marketing. WSI continues to meet with on Google and Yahoo! Their main goal with us monthly, helping us makes careful the new website is not only to present a adjustments that ensure that we con- more professional look but also highlight tinue to get calls and inquiries. their main lines of business. Their home page clearly showcases their 3 main services. The WSI team has been invaluable, proving to us that Internet marketing ReSulTS: can work effectively for Overton Secu- rity. It has become a very significant “ overton security is now a strong believer part of our overall marketing strategy. WsI consultant: of Internet Marketing systems. It has only Jason Yi been about 6 months but their PPc/seo fRanK DIMeco california, Usa campaigns have already resulted in several Marketing Director, overton security 57
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    • Restaurant chain CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: indicated that the website was meeting international standards. The objective was to create a friendly suBway website that is appealing to young ReSulTS:sandwiChEs customers and can be easily maintained and updated by the owner. Subway Sandwiches Right now the word of mouth is very positive ksa KSA was looking for a friendly content about the website, which means that it has a conversion management system that could be fully good user appeal.www.subway-ksa.com controlled by a non technical staff. They also had two target audiences in mind: » Subway customers from the public (mainly school aged students and health conscious middle aged customers) » potential Subway franchisees. First, WSi analyzed the client’s profile to assess their business. Being a franchisee, Subway Sandwiches operated like a typical SMB, so the challenges and objectives were no stranger to WSi. WSi determined that awareness needed to be created and a presentable internet presence had to be developed. They also needed a site that required limited resources to market and maintain. THe SOluTiOn: WSi provided a WSi Business edge solution as this platform covers all Subway Sandwiches’ basic needs and has a friendly interface, and is convenient and scalable. The website is simple yet has all the content they need. TESTImoNIAl: Business edge modules are versatile and Great job! We made the right choice customizable, so they met every aspect by working with WSI. Stand by for and requirements without the need for referrals from us. WsI consultant: any special customization or complex functionality. They received approval for the faWaz baHIan mohammed El-Sawah saudi arabia website from the franchisor, which clearly support services Manager, subway Ksa 59
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    • Used auto Parts CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: everdrive has an eCommerce site selling nearly a million different SKus of used autoEvErdrivE parts. essentially, they are an online sales agent for auto junk yards across the country. Pay Per click Their issue was they were not meeting their full online sales potential. They needed towww.everdrive.com increase sales while managing marketing costs. THe SOluTiOn: We evaluated their current PPC activity, made changes to their campaigns, conducted usability studies on the website, executed a SeO campaign, evaluated metrics, etc. As for internet marketing, WSi provided consulting services, PPC, SeO, Conversion Architecture and analytics consulting. ReSulTS: When we started working with everdrive they were selling $70,000 per month online. In the most recent three months, their sales have averaged $,037,000. WsI published a weekly report of several metrics including unit sales and dollar sales. The sales data comes from the client. TESTImoNIAl: Partners like WSI have been instru- mental in making Everdrive a success. WSI and their team have worked closely with us to achieve our online WsI consultant: sales goals. Neal lappe - Virginia, Usa 6
    • affordable Residential CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: Moving services Pack and Ride provides affordable residential moving services throughout the UnitedPaCk and ridE states. They started this business in 005 and WsI has worked with them from the Pay Per click start. They were a start up company needing to grow, succeed and increase their onlinewww.PackandRide.com quotes so their inside sales team could close sales faster. THe SOluTiOn: WsI built and continued to improve their website. We also set up their PPc campaigns and have been managing them strategically. We conducted usability studies on the website and executed a seo campaign. WsI provided consulting services, PPc, seo, conversion architecture, analytics consulting and website development. ReSulTS: TESTImoNIAl: neal lappe and his team built and continued “ to improve the PackandRide.com website We were a startup company looking for and also set up their PPc campaigns. The a very extensive website. After diligently client opened the business doing $0 in sales. shopping the market, we decided on They now receive several thousand quotes WSI. We did not mind spending extra per month and generate several million money because we knew we were dollars in sales a year. WsI published monthly forming a partnership. Our decision reports of several metrics including online to go with WSI was one of the best quotes, unit sales and dollar sales. The sales decisions we have made. We received a professional and intricate website along data comes from the client. with invaluable ongoing marketing services. The WSI people have handled our account in a timely and professional manner throughout the process. We will continue to give WSI WsI consultant: additional business and look forward “ Neal lappe to continuing our mutually beneficial Virginia, Usa partnership. 63
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    • affordable Residential CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: Moving services Pack and Ride provides affordable residential moving services throughout the UnitedPaCk and ridE states. They started this business in 005 and WsI has worked with them from the Pay Per click start. They were a start up company needing to grow, succeed and increase their onlinewww.PackandRide.com quotes so their inside sales team could close sales faster. THe SOluTiOn: WsI built and continued to improve their website. We also set up their PPc campaigns and have been managing them strategically. We conducted usability studies on the website and executed a seo campaign. WsI provided consulting services, PPc, seo, conversion architecture, analytics consulting and website development. ReSulTS: TESTImoNIAl: The client opened the business doing $0 in “ sales. They now get more than 5,000 quotes We were a startup company looking for per month and sell a little over $500,000 per a very extensive website. After diligently month. WsI publishes monthly reports of shopping the market, we decided on several metrics including online quotes, unit WSI. We did not mind spending extra sales and dollar sales. The sales data comes money because we knew we were from the client. forming a partnership. Our decision to go with WSI was one of the best decisions we have made. We received a professional and intricate website along with invaluable ongoing marketing services. The WSI people have handled our account in a timely and professional manner throughout the process. We will continue to give WSI WsI consultant: additional business and look forward “ Neal lappe to continuing our mutually beneficial Virginia, Usa partnership. 63
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    • Print CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: mu is a Web trading arm of mprint ltd. 2m2u specializing in sales of printed calendars and photo books. mu already have a system search engine in place that they use for taking orders, and optimization worked with a Web developer to change their home page according to their emailwww.2m2u.co.uk marketing and mail shots. The aim of mu was to increase brand awareness and to sell, sell, sell. mu generally only print for UK customers, although long-term this could change when they have a shipping system in place for overseas customers. THe SOluTiOn: WsI in conjunction with a partner in the WsI network started work immediately and exceeded the client’s expectations by turning the project around overnight. They overcame every obstacle in order to launch the site. ReSulTS: mu started then to use the efforts of WsI TESTImoNIAl: “ to design more seo-friendly Web pages. ...WSI have been invaluable to my The Web pages have all been built with key business www.2m2u.co.uk during the words and meta tags in place and links have last few weeks. They have insured we been created too. They also combined this had our new website up and running on with a pay-per-click campaign, achieving an time to match our marketing campaign average of 4.86% click-through rate! we were in the process of rolling out. WSI have put their skills and efforts into In a short span of time, the website has making the difficult situation a more become more visible on the search engines. manageable one, something I am most In fact, 90.44% of their visitors find them grateful for. I will be trying to secure WsI consultant: through the search engines currently. This WSI more business whenever I can. I will “ Tracy Spence has led to a large increase in sales for mu. be recommending their services mostnorthamptonshire, UK They are very happy with WsI’s services. highly. Warren Thorp MaRK HIPPeRson norwich, UK M Print ltd. 65
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Public speaker as a public speaker and impersonator, the The client has taken her first order on her website for a very niche book. she has beenmo shaPiro way to get work of this kind is normally through an agent. The agency would invited to present in two places outside of search engine normally take a rather heavy cut, meaning the UK already. shapiro receives positive optimization comments about the look and feel of her her profits were greatly reduced. Her aim was to reduce these costs. Her website was website. The client can easily manage herwww.Inform-Global.com hard to update, her online shop rarely sold own website saving her money and reducing anything (maybe  or  books a year) and she her monthly hosting costs. There has been did not feel she got the support she wanted a significant reduction in spam emails. The from her london based web company. spam client is now on the first page of Google for emails were also a big issue for her. her name with her website rankings. THe SOluTiOn: We created a Joomla based website which included a virtue mart shop. This was far easier to manage than her previous site. TESTImoNIAl: It also enabled her to add a video to show exactly what she does. It’s a great looking site with good functionality. This is also hosted with WsI and we monitor the spam. “ WSI is a company that truly represents the can-do approach to websites. [My Consultant] clearly knows her way We also created a screenshot by screen shot around the Internet and combines a PowerPoint Presentation user manual with professional, knowledgeable approach links from the intro page to the pages she with an excellent understanding of the would use to ensure she can completely complexities of the Internet to the web- manage her website. site novice. She has created a website that we can easily navigate and change We researched keywords, included an XMl whenever we want to. She made us sitemap which we uploaded to Google, feel as though we were her only clients added her to Google local; we made her and nothing was too much to ask. Her name the main focus, rather than other approach is one that combines humour words. We are also about to create a YouTube with lots of creativity in the construction page to help “show her off”. of the clean, accessible website that we wanted. It has been a pleasure to work alongside WSI and we look forward to a long-term and successful relationship “ WsI consultant: with her. Tracy Spence northamptonshire, UK Mo sHaPIRo 67
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Health, beauty & Wellness before WsI, aesthetic solutions had the The site was launched on May , 008. after some seo work, it took less than one week aEsThETiC following challenges: » Had a website but it was not found online for the site to appear on the first page of soluTions Google canada for several product relatedsearch engine optimization, » Were not able to easily update their website mail Marketing and » Website didn’t reflect a professional image keywords like: Web analytics » Medical spa equipment Torontowww.Aesthetic-Solutions.biz » Medical spa equipment canada The objective of this project was to develop a website that focuses on how to » non surgical lifting canada communicate aesthetic solutions’ offering » lymphatic Drainage equipment canada to their end customers. Their previous » breast firming equipment canada website didn’t have a clear organization of information. In the first page, it didn’t even They have 4 products in inventory, plus mention the purpose of their business. another 6 that can be sold by order. all of We discussed that there is a lot room for them are highly specialized pieces of medical improvement and they liked the idea equipment and the purpose of the site is to of measuring the results to adjust plans generate qualified leads for the sales team. accordingly. aesthetic solutions is very happy that the website is supporting the sales team by providing the right information about the THe SOluTiOn: products and they will be monitoring the site WsI provided a solution using the online as a lead generator tool. business solution (obs) platform with an additional email marketing module. WsI also used Google analytics and the obs live stats to track visitors. Internet marketing highlights: TESTImoNIAl: » search engine optimization: Develop new “ and high quality content to include more Before WSI, my website couldn’t be keywords found in Google. WSI redesigned the » email marketing: The system includes an way we present the information on the email marketing tool so the client can send site so visitors can understand our busi- newsletters to customers ness. What impressed me the most was » Web analytics: Regular reports are after just one week of launching our “ presented, analyzed and based on them, new WSI Marketing System, we ranked enhancements are made in very good positions on Google. WsI consultant: Victor Castellanos anGe KanaVas ontario, canada President ceo, aesthetic solutions 69
    • This shows the amount of visits to the site in comparison with the searches for the words. The clickthrough rate (cTR) is over 3% meaning that for each 00 people that search for a specific word more than 3 searches go to the Johnson equipment website.70
    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: equipment Manufacturer Johnson equipment company started after the site was launched, WsI started the PPc campaign. Three months after the Johnson with a basic Web page and some salesmen distributed within the country, but they first campaign was started, WsI launched EquiPmEnT the second one. The client worked with WsI needed a way to effectively promote Pay Per click their new operations in Mexico. The main throughout the project with ideas and value objectives were to start with a basic website, added inputs. When WsI delivered the finalwww.johnsonequipment.com.mx project, the client was excited with the end a sales force and a promotional campaign to be the motor of the promotional strategy results. WsI greatly surpassed their original in Mexico. WsI’s goal was to help Johnson expectations. The project for the client equipment with an integrated strategy to produced excellent results within the first help the company promote their products month, and now they are growing with a within the Mexican market and to achieve a larger sales force. good return on investment. In the month of June 009, the customer received a total of ,47 visits to their THe SOluTiOn: website (40 for campaign # and ,87 for WsI provided the client with a basic Web campaign #) – in only one month! solution to start the roll out of this strategy. The solution was designed according to the corporate image and their products, while showing concordance with the products of their home office plant in the United states. WsI delivered a solution using the small business express. at the time, WsI’s goal TESTImoNIAl: was to start with two Internet marketing “ campaigns for their two mail products, We have maintained two PPC cam- loading docks and industrial ventilators. for paigns with WSI, and I feel very happy this, we started two pay-per-click campaigns when I ask a customer on the phone with Google. ‘How did you find about us?’ and they respond with ‘I Googled “levelers” and found you’. We have been able to participate and win important projects through this. I strongly believe our “ potential customers will use the Internet more and more to find quality suppliers. WsI consultant: MaRco DáVIla Alberto Ferreiro sales Manager / Mexico northeast Region nuevo leon, Mexico Johnson equipment company 7
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    • exhibition Displays CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: When WSi initially met Skyline Whitespace, The new www.skylinewhitespace.com skylinE they wanted some advice on how to market website reflects the sleek and professional image of skyline Whitespace and conveys whiTEsPaCE their business online and get ahead of their competitors who were at the top of their exceptional exhibition services andWebsite Design and search the search engine results at the time. WSi portfolio of past projects in an organized and engine optimization identified that the best way to do that was to attractive manner. Their reaction has beenwww.skylinewhitespace.com create a new website that was more search very positive with internal staff and other engine friendly and to make sure that it was skyline subsidiaries showing enthusiasm and optimized correctly for the search terms the interest in the new UK site. They are already client wanted to compete for. seeing improved traffic, conversion rates and search engine results and are receiving Skyline Whitespace wanted a “showcase site” increased management information from that would not only look good and display WsI’s Web analytics service. the many variations of display products that they create, but also one that would reach the top of the search results and enable them to increase the online visibility of the business. They also wanted to be able to update the site themselves which they had not previously been able to do. THe SOluTiOn: WSi chose to provide a WSi Business edge solution due to its modular platform, which enabled WSi to add the appropriate modules to achieve the functionality required, and also to achieve a very high-end looking solution. For Skyline Whitespace in their exhibition display industry, image is extremely important and they were therefore very particular about the design and implementation of their solution. They were overall very satisfied with WSi’s creativity. in order to help with the marketing of the site, WSi also incorporated some content pages WsI consultant: and these pages are already bringing traffic David Duncan to the site. surrey, UK 73
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    • finance CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: Prior to WSi, the bank was not able to easily Heartland bank is very excited to be using hEarTland update the content on their website. They their new site platform and being able to update content whenever (and wherever) Bank felt this was hindering their ability to offer current information about the bank and they want. since the site is newly launched Website Design their site was both becoming stale and (within the last month), WsI is still tracking not keeping up with current branding and activity on the site and seeing positive trendswww.heartlandbank.com marketing efforts. They also had no idea and customer comments. what the activity on their site was, who was visiting, how they were being found and had come to the decision that their website was a “necessary evil” in the course of doing business. The primary objective was to build a solution that enabled their marketing department to keep the site current with fresh and helpful information for their customers and visitors. They also wanted to get a better handle on what visitors were doing on their site, and recognize trends in site activity. THe SOluTiOn: WSi redesigned a new site for Heartland Bank using the integrated internet marketing platform, WSi eFusion for ease of use and ongoing management. The bank’s new site embraces their own “main focus” on the home page to help visitors dig deeper into the site. The client opted for a very cutting edge, graphical interface with four call-to-action items in a Flash-based navigation feature. The site also incorporates a financial calculator package to further engage visitors with WsI consultant: interactivity. Heartland Bank is also planning Eric Cook on incorporating online account opening Michigan, Usa services to open deposit accounts online. 75
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    • CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: promotions and discounts to drive more foot Real estate traffic to the client’s business. Joya del Pacifico was looking for investors to Joya dEl invest in their different real estate projects, ReSulTS: PaCiFiCo such as condominiums and marina projects. in addition, the client wanted to increase as a result of WsI’s PPc campaign, Joya delsearch engine optimization their club memberships by using more Pacifico’s website went from receiving 4and Paid search Marketing effective marketing techniques. visits daily to 40-50 targeted website visitshttp://www.joyadelpacifico.com/ daily. In combination with WsI’s seo efforts, The objectives of the project in order of the new site receives about 75-90 visits per importance were: day in total. Joya del Pacifico is very happy » Sell land with the new website, but most importantly, » increase memberships of the club they are thrilled that WsI generates about » Sell beach houses 0-5 prospects for them on a monthly basis, » Sell apartments strictly from the Web. » Sell shareholder club memberships » increase the events of the club » Have an internet online booking system for the club THe SOluTiOn: WSi chose to develop this solution using WSi Business edge because the platform can be customized in almost every way, and WSi was able to tailor the look and feel of the platform for this project. after the website was launched, WsI conducted a PPc campaign for Joya del Pacifico to increase website traffic. We also launched  ads directly leading to the different projects Joya del Pacifico was working on. In addition to these search marketing strategies, WsI launched an email marketing campaign for Joya del Pacifico that we WsI consultant: manage for lead generation purposes every Edgar Sandoval month. We also conduct other campaigns la libertad, el salvador weekly to the club members with special 77
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    • community center CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: before WsI, special needs family centersPECial nEEds had an inaccessible website with very poor design, bad structure, etc. It was a home-Family CEnTEr made website, so they needed to have a Web Design and professional online presence created for email Marketing them from scratch. www.snfgroup.com THe SOluTiOn: WsI’s Internet marketing plan included an advanced content management system, high-end creative design, interactive games, donation system, mailing list management system, email marketing template, volunteers’ application module, and event gallery and registration solution. for this project, WsI chose the Voloper obs (online business solution) as the base platform for this client. also the in house work has been done to complete the final delivery of design, marketing, etc. We ended up having a nice and easy to use website for this organization. They love it, their volunteers TESTImoNIAl: loved it, and the special needs kids are using “ it with no issues. It was not very complex; Words cannot express the joy I felt when however it is very functional and usable. the announcement was made that SNF had won the Best Website award. I am ReSulTS: so thankful that SNF has such a great band of dedicated Volunteers like WSI, The results have been great. The site has who have given so much of your time been awarded a Princess Haya award for and talent to make this award pos- the outstanding special education Website sible. Thank you and your team for all in april 009. The client was very happy the effort that you put in to create the with the results and they appreciated our assistance to make the site a success online. SNF website and I wish you success in “ all your endeavors, big or small, in the future. WsI consultant: Husam Jandal safIa baRI Dubai, Uae snf Director 79
    • TESTImoNIAl: “ Working with WSI has been an incredible experience. With their thorough understanding of effective Internet marketing systems, they were able to help our firm increase our return on “ investment drastically. I am so impressed with the hard work, dedication and results-driven nature of WSI lIsa TIeRneY Margolis & company P.c.80
    • campaign on March , 007 to March 3, finance CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: 008 include: Margolis & co. P.c. wanted to build an » ,058 visitors coming into the firm’s websitemarCum grouP online marketing campaign specifically from the campaign’s landing page. geared towards attorneys and business » ,89 page views of the landing page.(margolis & Co. P.C.) owners who were looking for timely, cost behind the home page, the campaign Pay Per click effective business valuation services. The landing page was the second most viewed ongoing campaign began in March of 007 page on the firm’s overall website during www.marg.com and was geared towards measuring return those 3 months. on investment rather than building brand » 5 phone calls to the unique phone awareness for the firm’s business valuation number on the landing page that went practice. directly into the Marketing Director’s office. » Revenue generated from signed THe SOluTiOn: engagements: $ 6,74, a return on investment of 6%. » set up adWords campaigns with major » average cost to secure an engagement: search engines Google, Yahoo!, ask, and $ 79 aol whereby several search phrases such as » 8 prospects currently in the pipeline for “business valuation expert, Philadelphia” in estimated additional fees of $ 50,000. various combinations appear at the top right » The two downloadable curriculum vitas of column of the first results page. the business valuation team that are linked to the landing page, cV-GlUsMan.pdf and » create a website landing page for the cV-baRbaGallo.pdf, were downloaded campaign so that visitors who enter the site a combined 650 times. Glusman was the through the campaign landing page can be 3rd most popular download from the tracked for page visits, time spent on the site, firm’s overall website for those 3 months and what files were downloaded. and barbagallo was the 6th most popular download from the overall website. » create a unique phone line that rings » The landing page was viewed an average of directly into the Marketing Director’s office 4 minutes and 3 seconds a visit. and use caller ID to identify all callers from » other work opportunities have been the pay-per-click campaign. When this line identified as a result of the initial rings, the Marketing Director becomes the communication with prospects and at least business developer and handles these calls one attorney has returned to Margolis & co. herself. with repeat business. ReSulTS: WsI consultant: The campaign has been so successful Nancy Vinkler that the firm is continuing it indefinitely. Pennsylvania, Usa Measurements from the start of the 8
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    • their customers using the integrated email food CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: marketing system. Tasty bite manufactures and sells ready-to- TasTy BiTE eat asian food, mainly Indian and Thai. They sell it in main supermarket chains. When Web Design and ReSulTS: WsI met the client the first time, they were email Marketing With their new website, the client was not ready to invest in a Web solution yet. However, WsI continued to keep in touch able to get more leads and practice betterwww.tastybite.com.au with them, and two years later, when they communication with existing clients. WsI were ready for a solution, they turned to provided the client with a professional Web WsI. The main challenge the client had solution, which they are very happy with. WsI was defining a system to leverage the and the client are currently in discussions large amount of clients who purchase their regarding ongoing enhancements to the products on a regular basis. Their clients buy website and starting an Internet marketing their products but remain anonymous, so strategy in the near future. they did not have any communication with them after the purchases. THe SOluTiOn: WsI delivered a solution using the robust Internet marketing platform, WsI efusion. This clean and easy-to-navigate website has a good design with detailed information about the client’s products. It also features their promotions and the ability to subscribe to their mailing list to receive recipes and TESTImoNIAl: “ discounts. The website is a great success. We were able to communicate directly with our aside from the website development, WsI clients and prospects and promote our also provides the client with occasional products effectively. WSI eFusion is a advice on Internet marketing best practices. great and user-friendly system. We are after the site was launched, Tasty bite happy to recommend WSI’s products started a contest to win a trip for two to and services to new prospects or clients. India. Purchasers had to send them the barcode of the products they bought to enter the competition. The website provided The website has been wonderful for our business and I want to thank you again “ for your persistence and patience. information and support for this program. WsI consultant: This contest was used to build a mailing list VasanT ManoHaRan Yaron Berkowitz through the website allowing the client to national business Manager, Victoria, australia maintain extensive communication with Preferred brands australia 83
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    • auto Dealer CHAllenGeS And GOAlS: ReSulTS: White Plains chrysler Jeep Dodge is an Visits in June 008 increased to 337 from 838 in august 009. whiTE Plains established car dealership in downtown White Plains, new York. The new York ChryslEr JEEP » Unique visits in June 008 were 348 metro area is highly competitive and dodgE newspaper advertising continues to lose its compared to 609 in august 009 search engine effectiveness. The ultimate goal is to drive » Total page views in June 008 0,65 optimizationwww.whiteplainschrysler.com prospective customers into the showroom. compared to 345 in august 009 » nine targeted key words that were not on page one in august 009 are now on page . THe SOluTiOn: We decided we needed to increase the In May 009, when chrysler closed about website in the search results rankings, 5% of its dealerships, White Plains chrysler increase and measure traffic. We recognized Jeep Dodge remained open for business. that a custom solution was required to In June 009, when the client purchased a achieve this. We rolled out an seo program Hyundai dealership, WsI was hired to do the to include extra key words and pages seo as well as PPc. with the support of WsI search Results. In addition to seo, we provided a concise WsI measured the results using analytics executive report which included insights as and ranker reports provided by WsI search well as some basic data. Results. WsI consultant: Rob Shapiro new York, Usa 85
    •                                Conversion Architecture:            Improve Your Online Performance       pr ou an   While Reducing Your Spend  WS SI White Pa aper Pre epared by: : Doug Schhust   Con nversion A Architectur re Expert, W WSI 
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    Introduction Research has shown a major difference in conversion and return on investment between companies  that test their online communications and those who don’t.  So why doesn’t every online business have a regular testing program?  The fact is that many businesses and marketers are confused about where to begin, and how. Some that  do test don’t do it often enough, or are not sure how to interpret the results.  With so many potential areas to test, including home page, landing pages, pay‐per‐click ads, emails and  now the influence of social media, marketers need to know:  • Which tests provide the biggest potential return on investment  • How to structure tests for consistency and accuracy  • How to continue improving test results and duplicate success  First of all you need a solid benchmarking framework for basic online testing that enables you to realize  significant gains in conversion and revenue.  We hope this overview helps your business and if you have not yet implemented a formal program as  well as those looking for higher conversions, we recommend a WSI Benchmarking Program to guide and  improve your efforts. Please contact a WSI Marketing Consultant today!  There is only one key thought process you need to act on to increase your online conversion rate and  that is simply Test, Test and Test.    Within that testing there are 4 key areas you need to understand to increase your online conversion and  reduce your overall cost per lead.    ‐ Ask The Right Questions  ‐ Measure The Right Items  ‐ Perform The Right Tests  ‐ Analyze & Make Adjustments Based On Results    These tests will give you a better understanding of: your customer profiles, their online behavior  patterns and what drives them to take action.         Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 2 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    It All Begins With Testing To Establish Benchmarks:    At WSI, we apply the concept of “benchmarking” to our testing process.  What do we mean by benchmarking? A testing process that is useful, practical, and delivers predicable  results that you can carry forward into a successful marketing program.  The benchmark results of our online testing process are directly related to five key elements.  This formula was created by MarketingExperiments and is the basis for online conversion today.  Wherein:   u = Utility   q = Research Question   t = Treatment  m = Metric System  v = Validity Factor  i = Interpretation  In other words, ask the right question, measure the right thing, perform the right test, and learn from  the results.  We recommend that businesses interested in establishing a strong online presence use the WSI  Benchmarking Program and incorporate these elements into your online strategies.  There are 3 main areas that need to be tested, home page, landing page, email and the impact of social  media. Using these testing techniques you can see what influences a client or potential client when they  connect with you online. Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 3 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    THE BENCHMARKING PROGRAM  1. Start with the right question.   In a recent Web clinic on this subject, more than 60% of the audience said that the very first  step in successful online testing—asking “the right research question”—is their biggest  challenge.  All single factor A/B split tests begin with “which?”  Marketers may start with the interrogative “what?” or “why?” when they are brainstorming on  an informal basis, but their research question must progress to “which?” in order for it to be  specific enough to be used in a formal test.  For example, “What is the best headline?” becomes “Which headline will convert best?” and  “What is the best price?” becomes “Which of three price points is best for this product?”  2. Develop the Treatment(s).   A variable is the general element you intend to test. Headline, price, and copy are all example of  variables, and there are dozens more. Again, one key to successful A/B testing is knowing which  one you want to single out.  A value is the specific option (content, size/amount, color, position) of the variable you are  going to test.  The test Control—“A”—will be your current page, ad, or email.  The test Treatment or Treatments—“B” or “C”— are the pages, ads, or emails containing the  new values of your variable.  Values become Treatments. When a new Treatment performs better (better than the Control,  better than another Treatment if there is more than one), it becomes the new Control in  subsequent testing.  3. Determine the right metrics.   Your main objective will be to determine the metrics that will best answer your primary  research question (the “which?”), though secondary metrics may also provide insight.  First, establish what you are trying to accomplish.  Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 4 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    Are you trying to attract more subscribers?  Capture more qualified leads?   Obtain a higher conversion rate?  Produce a better ROI on a pay–per–click (PPC) campaign?  After establishing what you want to achieve, choose the element you wish to test in order to  select the appropriate metric.  There are essentially four elements you can measure:  • The amount of activity on your site  • The source of that activity  • The nature of that activity  • The results of that activity  Use organizing questions to help you choose the appropriate metric; for example:  Question Metric   Who visited my page?   Number of unique visitors (UV)  Where did they come from?  Referring URL, organic search, PPC ad & social media influence  What did they do/view?   Page views per visitor; clicks  What did they buy / sign up for Number of orders, average amount, total revenue  or did they call?  4. Check validity, starting with sample size sufficiency.   For confidence in your findings, test results must be statistically meaningful. In other words,  there has to have been enough difference in results to make the meaningful right choice.  Typically, researchers will tolerate no more than a 5% chance that the test results are due to  random variation. This is referred to as “5% significance level” or “95% confidence level.” For  example, you would want to be at least 95% confident that the results of your test will detect a  difference in clickthrough rate of 0.5% or more. Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 5 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    Key point: as sample size (n) increases, Margin of Error (E) declines.   Check for four additional, major validity threats.  There are a number of threats to the validity of testing, but these four threats are common in  online testing:  • History effects  • Instrumentation effects  • Selection effects  • Sampling distortion effects  Ensure that your test results have not been skewed or invalidated by these threats.  History effects. The effect on a test variable by an extraneous variable associated with the  passage of time. Industry events, news events, and holidays are all examples of history effects  that could skew your test results.  Instrumentation effects. The effect on a test variable by an extraneous variable associated with  a change in the measuring instrument. Having a server go down in the middle of your test is one  example of an instrumentation effect.  When reviewing your test protocol to exclude this threat, ask: Did anything happen to the  technical environment, measurement tools, or instrumentation that could have significantly  influenced the results?  Selection effects. The effect on a test variable by an extraneous variable associated with  different types of subjects not being evenly distributed between experimental treatments.  Mixing traffic sources can skew results. A great landing page created for one specific channel— for example, a PPC ad with great copy related to a specific organic search term—can do poorly  when presented to visitors coming from a different PPC ad for a completely different product or  service.  Sampling distortion effects. The effect on the test outcome caused by failing to collect a  sufficient number of observations.  Depending on the amount of traffic your landing page normally gets, the number of email  addresses you have to send your new email to, or the clicks you normally get on your existing  PPC ad, it may take days, weeks or even months to reach the number of observations necessary  to achieve testing validity. Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 6 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    5. Correctly interpret the results.   If results are valid, determine the impact and decide what your next test should be. Remember,  the “winning” Treatment becomes the Control for your next test.  If results are invalid or inconclusive, consider re‐running the test, but keep in mind that even  invalid or inconclusive tests can provide value when properly analyzed. Learn from your results:  • Expertise is cumulative knowledge. Keep careful records of tests and results. When results are  surprising, look for hidden sources of error or insight.   • Lack of difference is meaningful. That changing the variable(s) in the way that you did had little  effect on performance is valuable knowledge. This may be the single most valuable insight you  gain from an inconclusive test.   • Try stratification. Try filtering the results, looking for patterns (days of the week, hours of the  day, etc.). You may find a clear statistical “winner.”   • Note alternative or secondary conclusions. Look for patterns of performance, even those that  identify things that you definitely DON’T want to do.   Breaking Down Your Campaigns and Marketing Channels  Helps to Determine the Following:  Who your clients are, what their needs and wants are and what drives them to take action. These are  the key to any online marketing program. The diagram below illustrates a standard conversion funnel. Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 7 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    Testing allows you to identify your clients or potential client’s profiles which ultimately leads to higher  conversions.  Understanding each potential audience allows you to communicate the right message at  the right time.  Understanding how your audience makes their decision is very important. The graphic below illustrates  a standard buying process in a B2B environment buying process. Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 8 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    Test Protocol for A/B Split Testing for Landing Pages:  1. Develop Your Capabilities and Select the Right Tools   A/B split testing tools vary from simple CGI scripts to sophisticated software applications. You  will find a list of services in the Resources section at the end of this report.  Even without sophisticated A/B testing capability, sequential testing offers you an opportunity  to learn many insights about your pages. For more on sequential testing, see the Concluding  Comments, below.  2. Identify Your Established Control Page   Your control page will be the page against which you test all subsequent optimization efforts. If  you are just getting started with A/B testing, your control page will be your current landing page  before any optimization. When a new page performs better than the existing control page, it  then becomes your control page in subsequent testing.  3. Establish Your Testing Goals and Parameters   What are you trying to accomplish with A/B split testing? Are you after more subscribers, a  higher conversion rate, or a greater return on investment on your PPC campaigns? Your goals  will determine your testing parameters, which will determine the potential success of your  testing efforts.  4. Determine Your Sufficient Test Interval   This time period should allow you enough time to gather sufficient data to gauge real insight  about your A/B tests. Identify the number of unique visitors and/or conversions needed to  establish good data and then determine how long it will take you to generate this traffic. This  number will vary from business to business, but should give you enough data to confidently  declare a "winner."  5. Create 1‐3 Radical Redesigns   KEY POINT: These pages are not subtle optimizations changing only one or two elements on the  page, but are wholly different pages representing a radically different approach.  6. Evaluate These Redesigns in A/B Split Tests   Test these alternate landing pages against the control page. Ideally, each page will be tested  against every other page, but if that is impractical, test two pages at a time and keep the best as Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 9 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    your control for subsequent testing. We like to use heat maps to help track the impact of all the  key elements and its potential impact.  7. Based on Results, Determine Your True Control Page   The radical redesign method will be more likely to generate a quantum leap in improved  conversion rate than optimizing a mediocre page with little potential. Once you have identified  the best general approach, you are now ready to optimize individual elements on the page.  8. Optimize with Traditional Variable‐Specific A/B Testing Variables  to Test:   • Headline  • Call to Action  • Page Copy  • Graphics  • Color  • Configuration of Page Elements  • Etc.   Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 10 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend    Concluding Comments:  There are a few important points to remember about A/B split testing:  1. Even if you cant set up a true A/B split test (where two versions of a page are being displayed  one after another to alternate visitors to your site), it is very easy to create a sequential A/B split  test.   KEY POINT: A sequential test is when you show one version of a page for a certain period, like  two days or a week, and then show another version for the following two days or a week. The  results may be a little less reliable, but can still yield valuable information and trends.  2. Testing gives you the opportunity to maximize conversion rates, solve problems, and challenge  assumptions. And keep in mind that you have opportunities beyond testing small changes to a  page.   You can also challenge an existing page by designing and writing a radically different version,  where almost everything is different. In fact, it is through these dramatically changed  approaches that you are most likely to achieve breakthrough improvements.  3. Testing provides companies with an invaluable means to demonstrate to company heads and  management the hard figures behind any suggested changes or improvements.   4. Use of consistent testing will increase the knowledge base of your web group or company  significantly. You will learn more, and soon be able to determine a set of optimized practices  that work best for your particular business.   The absence of rigorous testing leaves you in the dark, depending on guesswork alone when  creating your pages.    Conclusion:  Most businesses today do not take advantage of how important it is to test regularly. The key for any  business wanting to achieve online success is knowing how to communicate to your target audience and  knowing that all parties do not act on the same principles. This also allows your to figure out your online  ad spend in an effective manner. The average online conversion today is 2%, which means that 98% of  your ad budget is not being used effectively.  The key is really to keep the testing simple and uncomplicated and once you have established your  benchmarks then you can start to divert from your Control Page. This can be a simple process and or a  more complicated one but the key is simply testing, testing and more testing of the right things and you  will increase your online conversion.  Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 11 of 12   
    • Conversion Architecture:  Improve Your Online Performance While Reducing Your Marketing Spend      About the Author    Doug Schust’s background consists of both online and traditional marketing. His main  focus is online marketing and helping clients focus not on traffic but the results from  that traffic. Most recently Doug has spoken at several Google events on conversion  and continues to share his knowledge and experience with other consultants and  clients.    Resources:  • MarketingExperiments  • MarketingSherpa  • Omniture  • Google Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 12 of 12   
    • Email Marketing:Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI WSI White Paper Prepared by: Francisco Hernandez Email Marketing Expert, WSI
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI Introduction Email marketing’s popularity is attributable to its low cost, high ROI (Return-On-Investment) and focus on customer retention. While the economic crisis will force retailers to cut back on many important marketing and technology initiatives, email programs will survive relatively unscathed. Odds are your marketing budget has felt the negative impact of growing concerns over the worldwide economy. Small businesses and large corporations alike have been forced to erase entire sections of their 2009 marketing “wish list” in response to a bleak economic forecast that has many marketers evaluating the cost-effectiveness and ROI of previously ironclad marketing vehicles. Amid the turmoil, Email marketing has remained a staple due to its cost-effectiveness and flexibility. At a fraction of a penny per message, the value of an email campaign compared to an expensive direct mail communication is substantial. However, getting the most from your email marketing campaigns during tough economic times may require a different approach than what you’ve done before. It is not surprising to see how advertisers continue adding to the budget for marketing activities that are generating the greatest ROI, like searches and email marketing. According to eMarketer, at the beginning of this year, 14% of the online marketing budget is destined for email marketing. What is more surprising, is that advertisers are giving more importance to their email marketing campaigns than on investing in social networks, even though it is a rising trend. In the current economy, on which marketing budgets plummet, email marketing can be as important as a wood plank to someone stranded at sea.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI While marketing budgets will undoubtedly be trimmed in 2009 due to the recession, email’s share of budgets is likely to rise. Email owes its resilience to its low cost, highly measurable results and focus on customer retention. No wonder business leaders were most likely to say email was a marketing tactic earmarked for increased spending in 2009, according to a December 2008 StrongMail survey. The survey generated responses across all industries, with strong representation in retail, financial services, technology and media/entertainment. CRM = Customer Really Manage A few years back, great importance was given to the acquisition of the latest technologies to predict, model and manage the relations between brands, companies and consumers. Unfortunately, for many years, advertisers were lost in the midst of technological development and they were not giving importance to what the consumer deserved. Today, with the growing reach of the Internet, broadband connectivity, search engines, social networks, and increased demand for Smart Phones, we have arrived at an era on which the consumer is truly the manager. Taking into account that technology has to facilitate things, but it is not everything, advertisers have to give the consumers the value they demand. For this reason, when we speak of email marketing, it is very important to speak of RELEVANCE of the messages and the level of personalization in the conversations that are initiated through email. The actual situation of the use and abuse of email marketing has led the consumers to fight more and more against SPAM and has driven them to different avenues of communication like social networks, text messaging and other methods that allow the consumer to regain control over their personalCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI communications and relations with retailers. If retailers want to avoid being blacklisted or ignored, they must improve the relevancy of their email programs. The solution lies in using segmentation and personalization techniques to target emails. Of course, retailers also need to be vigilant about testing their tactics to determine which are most effective. Focus on Customers’ Needs or Lose Them Forever Marketers must use measurement tools in order to provide personalized messaging. In a 2008 Merkle Study, half of email recipients said good email influenced their decision to make a purchase, and 38 percent said they tend to spend more money with a company that sends emails they read regularly. Thirty-two percent said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor email marketing practices. Looking forward, some of the most exciting possibilities for email marketing are appearing in social networks. The social inbox, for instance, promises to provide an integrated view of a user’s email and other communication channels. Furthermore, new applications will make it easier for people to virally share emails with friends in their social networks. Email Marketing’s Effectiveness Email marketing’s ROI in 2008 was $45.06 for every dollar spent on it, according to the DMA’s report “The Power of Direct Marketing,” which analyzed direct marketing activity across major industries. However, compared to other media, the ROI of email marketing has been in a faster decline than other advertising avenues. This decline could be attributed to the maturation of this method. But also to how companies are investing more on emails that are not focused on generating revenue, like order confirmations, or the failure that companies have experienced by using “rented” databases. Despite these issues, advertisers and retailers do not want to reduce their media budget for email marketing, because they recognize the ROI is going to be affected by the relevance of the messages sent and the segmentation done on the databases, and also the low cost compared to other online marketing strategies.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI Typically in any recession, there is tremendous pressure on marketers to do more with less. According to MarketingSherpa, 24 percent of B2B and 34 percent of B2C marketers reported budget cuts this year. Not surprising given its remarkably high return on investment, email marketing increases during tough economic times. Also, in email’s favor is its measurability. Marketers can quickly and effectively measure who is responding to messages, which promotions work best and so much more. Five Email Strategies for 2009 1. Clean and Nurture Your Email List Be sure to perform a thorough cleaning of your email lists. This does not mean blindly deleting a bunch of names, but rather using segmentation strategies to treat historically inactive recipients differently than people who are actively opening and clicking on your email messages. Here are some suggestions for cleaning house: • Take a close look at your lists and list segments. Are there some list segments you are never using? If so, clean them out.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI • Today’s email success is about quality, not quantity. Review lists of people who have not responded to messages in the past few months and contact them in a different way than the rest of your list. If they still do not respond, consider removing them. • Review any new list segments you may want to make. Are there any ways to segment and strengthen messages to various groups? If so, segment them now and start communicating more effectively to those groups. 2. Enhance Your Segmentation Email marketing data offers incredible segmentation power and the ability to take advantage of small audience segments that might otherwise be financially or technically difficult to reach. If you haven’t started segmenting your list and sending more targeted messages based on recipient data or behaviors, start in 2009. Most of the research in the email industry indicates that segmentation yields significant gains in email conversions. Some typical strategies for segmentation include: • Geography - This is an easy, fairly obvious segment. For example, your customer in Florida is likely not interested in a snowmobile. And your customer in Minnesota probably isn’t interested in a jet ski—not in the winter, anyway. Geography can also be an indicator of buying patterns and other influences on the purchase cycle. Take the technology industry, for example. In high-tech pockets like Silicon Valley, Boston and Austin, early adopters are far more common. • Demographics - This is another easy one, and can make a lot of sense. For example, we know men and women can interpret information quite differently. Younger vs. older audiences take in information in different ways as well. • Job title and function - Are you emailing potential users with none–or all–of the buying power? An owner or CFO may want to know about ROI, while a middle manager may just want to make his or her job easier. An engineer or programmer may want to find better ways to work, and so on... • Purchasing frequency - Less frequent purchasers may require a time-sensitive offer to encourage them to act. Another approach would be to reward frequent buyers with exclusive privileges via email. • Monetary spending - Adjust resources so you’re dedicating your efforts toward customers who spend the most money with your company. If you have been segmenting your email audiences, don’t stop. Try to find new ways to segment and look at segmentation based on historical email activity, perhaps treating people who are frequent “clickers” or “openers” differently. 3. Review and Refine Your Opt-in Campaigns Now is a good time to perform a checkup on your opt-in processes. Review everything from the data fields you’re collecting to the confirmation emails you are sending afterwards. Small changes can mean big gains in new audiences, as well as setting the proper expectations for subscribers. • Can you increase opt-ins by reducing unneeded data collection?Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI • Are you prominently directing web visitors to sign up for email? Can you place this on more pages, or in more visible locations? • Do you clearly define significant benefits for subscribers signing up for your email? Does the email you send confirming the opt-in restate the benefits? • Can you set expectations and ask subscribers to “add this address to your safe list” in the opt-in process? The language you use, the support graphics, and the staging techniques you employ can make a huge difference between being ignored and creating an evolving, dynamic relationship that can enhance database precision, enrich dialogue, and help you showcase a larger scope of services. If you’re not using strict opt-in policies, 2009 is the year to start. As consumers continue to tire of unwanted email, you’ll continue to see declining response rates if you are not using an opt-in-only process. 4. Design for “Images Off” and Preview Panes In 2009, you’ll find your audiences are increasingly looking at your messages without images turned on (it may not be their choice, but rather the default of their email client or a corporate IT policy). Make sure your messages are still readable and compelling without images. This may mean designing messages using fewer images, or including a short list of articles at the top of your newsletter. This technique works well for people who are viewing your message through a preview pane as well. Making sure enough content is placed at the top of the message to give recipients something to act on will be important to success rates. Without designing your messages with “images off” in mind, your campaigns may end up looking like this to recipients:Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI 5. Integrate Social Media into Your Email Program Like email, social media has quickly become one of the most widely used communication mediums on the web, so it only makes sense that integrating the two can serve to increase the overall effectiveness of your online marketing. The power of social media lies in the ability of its users to quickly and easily share information with their contacts, which might then turn around and share with their own contacts. If the information being shared is, for example, a piece of content from one of your emails, this type of “word-of-mouth” marketing can extend the reach of your message by a tremendous margin. Here are a few ways to integrate social media into your email program: • Incorporate a social media bookmarking tool into your emails, allowing subscribers to share your newsletter to their contacts on various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) • Develop and maintain a company profile on various social media networks, and prompt social media contacts to consider subscribing to your email newsletter(s) • Promote your social media presence on your emails in order to build a larger social media following • Start a company blog and use your emails and social media profiles as traffic generators Social Email Marketing: The Next Big Thing While the World Wide Web continues to generate exciting new forms of human interaction, including such Web 2.0 offshoots as social networking and video-sharing sites, wikis and blogs, what is just as exciting are the new engagement-marketing opportunities that result from the joining of both old and new Internet-based communication technologies. Email and social networks represent such a nexus. Clearly, social networks have changed the relationship between companies and their customers. Sites like Facebook and MySpace allow people to share their thoughts and quickly connect with hundreds of friends and friends-of-friends. An estimated 19 percent of online users log onto social networking sites at least monthly or more often, while 41 percent of youth ages 12 to 21 visit social sites daily. Individuals linked to one another on a social networking site are affiliated for a reason. They’re like each other in some important ways. Social email marketing, therefore, enables you to reach prospects that share some affinity with your best customers. The ability to reach out to others with attributes similar to your best customers is invaluable. Will Email Just “Twitter” Away? There’s mounting evidence that social networks are pulling certain audience segments away from the email inbox, and the numbers indicate it’s not just the Millennials, or Generation Y. JupiterResearch reports that 22 percent of email users say they use social networking sites instead of email. And inCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 8 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI England, Hitwise estimates that social network sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo receive more Internet traffic than email sites Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail. Is This The Death of Email? Hardly! Though change is inevitable, most industry analysts and experts agree that email marketing won’t be going away anytime soon. A recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that 92 percent of adult Internet users send or read email — far more than regularly visit any social network. Email is simply too valuable a marketing channel to disappear or even diminish. Email marketers have long been the stewards of customer engagement. And Forrester Research projects that email marketing will grow to more than $4 billion by 2012. But new technologies that combine the rich reporting capabilities of email with the viral, consumer- oriented nature of social networking have arrived to make reaching out to customers and their friends through social networks easier, allowing progressive marketers to enjoy the benefits of both. In fact, a few companies are making it easier than ever to enable both email recipients and landing page visitors to post their favorite messages on social network sites. Such new technologies allow marketers to combine the power of email with the reach of social networking sites to engage with customers, friends of customers and friends-of-friends of customers. New Technology Bridges the Email/Social Network Gap Recently, Silverpop developed an industry-first technology that bridges the gap between email marketing and social networking. Using links within emails, recipients are able to quickly post messages to their profile page on Facebook or MySpace. When these social emails are posted on social sites, everyone connected to the original recipient can see the message, make a comment or post it on their own profile page. Dynamic content and personalization remains intact in the posted email. So when Golfsmith sends an email about a putter sale at its stores in Dallas, area recipients can post the message on their profile page to let Texan friends in on the good deal. And the golfer in Akron will be able to post a message on her profile page giving the details of the sale there. Share-to-Social feature gives email marketing a tremendously powerful viral effect. Plus, the ability to pull reports on who posted emails to social network sites resulting in additional opens and clicks provides marketers with the detailed data necessary to prove the campaign’s value.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 9 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI Give Some Steroids to Your Email Campaigns Combining the targeting and reporting capabilities of email with the reach of social networks enables companies to build marketing programs that change their relationships with customers in very real and dramatic ways. To help ensure effective outreach, take a customer-centric approach to your messaging. Begin by listening to your customers and monitoring the way they currently interact with your messaging. Start with those recipients most connected to your brand as indicated by their behavior. Those who open your messages most and click on links frequently are already in line to serve as brand ambassadors. Give them a good reason to share your promotional emails with their friends, and make it easy for them to connect by including links within the email and landing pages to their social site. Utilizing brand enthusiasts to post your emails onto their social sites signifies their endorsement—they posted them for others to see. But better yet, social emails can even result in the poster adding an influential comment or two, such as, “This is a cool watch, and it’s on sale. Did I mention my birthday is coming up soon?” Such postings add strong word-of-mouth marketing that helps sell products. Studies by Bazaarvoice found that customer accolades can make Web site visitors who browse for highest-rated products 49 percent more likely to make a purchase. And sharing opinions is at the very essence of social networking, where consumers are frequently influenced by the thoughts of peers. Conclusion Email marketing continues to prove itself to be a low cost retention and conversion tool that yields high response from consumers. However, using segmentation and personalization techniques to target emails is essential to prevent campaign failures. Remember, relevancy is king. By diligently studying the extensive reports that can be gathered from an email marketing campaign, a feature many other types of media lack, you will be able to apply the 5 email strategies and provide information about your products/services to the people that are truly interested in it. Lastly, keep up with the times! Social media is becoming huge and these two strategies (email marketing + social media) promise to skyrocket the ROI of your campaigns. References • eMarketer • Silverpop – “Beyond opens and clicks” – “Engagement Marketing” • Forester Research • GotMarketing • Listrak • WundermanCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 10 of 11
    • Email Marketing: Still the Powerful Engagement Tool That Turns Marketing Dollars Into Highest ROI About the Author Francisco Hernandez’ focus is not only to provide just a website, but a complete Internet marketing strategy that includes creative work like promotions, display advertising, email marketing, social media campaigns and consulting. Francisco is also an international speaker and in 2008 created a road show of Internet Marketing Summits with Google through 8 countries in Latin America. Francisco can be reached at education@wsicorporate.com.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 11 of 11
    • Landing Page DesignCommon Mistakes & Tested Techniques WSI White Paper Prepared by: Chuck Bankoff Research Analyst & Conversion Expert, WSI
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Introduction It’s Not About Technology; It’s About Psychology… “Advertising is the art of getting people to buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have”. That statement predates the Internet by a number of decades, yet it is as true today as it was back then. A bit cynical? Perhaps, but let us not forget that in the Internet world people rarely stumble across a website without actively searching for something. If you have what they are looking for, your job is to help them find it. The problem is most websites are so ill conceived and poorly constructed that they are little more than monuments to their owners. Let’s make something transparently clear; people do not read on the Internet… they scan! They see headlines, images and bullet points. Depending on the personality type of your visitor, you have between 2 and 8 seconds to convince them to stay on your website and delve deeper into it. They click in… take a quick peak… and click out. Those are the conditions in which business is conducted on the Internet. Why Are Effective Landing Pages Essential? A Landing Page is where visitors land after clicking on an email link, a search engine result, a banner ad, or manually typing in a specific advertised address. Actually making use of that tidbit of knowledge is a little more complex. It’s easy to fall into the trap of throwing money into driving traffic and living with your conversion rate. Want more customers? Just buy more traffic. Not exactly efficient…or cost effective. The scenario below illustrates that a mere 2% increase in conversion results in 240 additional customers WITHOUT increasing traffic. Depending on the lifetime value of those new customers, that might be a game changer for this particular business.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques 6 Steps to Effective Landing Page Design: Step 1: Define Success In order to accomplish your goals, you have to know what they are. Is this an eCommerce website focused on transactions? Is the purpose to generate leads, or is it about branding or relationship building or increasing your database through membership registration? A good marketer will often start at the bottom of the sales funnel and work their way up to the point where the visitor first enters the funnel. Step 2: Define Your Customer It’s NOT about YOU! Many businesses feel compelled to tell their story to what they perceive as a captive audience. There is no captive audience on the Internet. Check your ego at the door; it’s just too easy for a visitor to leave and find what they really want. A tried and true technique for defining you customer is to actually create a persona… complete with name and age and marital status, etc. You may even have multiple profiles; just make sure that you prioritize them. Remember…if you try to appeal to too many different customer types, you will wind up appealing to no one. Once you know WHO you are selling to, you can craft your message so that it appeals to THEM. Step 3: Selecting Domains Most businesses consider their home page their landing page. That may be perfectly acceptable in some instances, but it is not always the best choice. Your landing page may be part of a micro-site or single page with its own domain name. You might consider one or more “vanity names” targeting a specific product or service. That is particularly effective when the domain will be visible such as on printed material or other instances where the domain will be visible such as on sponsored link advertising (pay- per-click). Step 4: Wireframing Essentially a “sketch” of the page layout. Start by listing all of the elements that go on the page and lay them out on a piece of paper taking up approximately the amount of space they will warrant. You should do this “before” you write the copy because the space available will dictate the amount to copy you have to work with. Make sure that you place the most important elements above the “fold” (the spot on the page where most visitors will have to scroll down to see more).Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Step 5: Copywriting People don’t actually read on the Internet...they scan. They see headlines, bullet points and graphics. Headlines should refer back to what the visitor was looking at before they landed on your page. Only about 20% of your visitors will actually read the body copy... still, it has to be good (less is more). Don’t forget the call to action! You might test matching up the call to action with the headline since that is almost certainly the one element on the page that you can be sure they will read. Step 6: Testing & Tweaking This is not a spare time activity. It is something that should be scheduled at regular intervals. Examine your metrics, make incremental changes and reexamine the effect. Don’t make too many changes at once or you won’t know what you did to effect the changes. Your testing and adjustments should match your original goals (Transactions, Lead Generation, Branding/Education, Relationship Building, Registrations, Viral Marketing, etc.) Key Considerations There is a difference between a “web designer” and a “web marketer”. A web designer can make a web page pretty. A web marketer can make a web page pretty compelling. Although a list of tips is no substitution for a web-savvy marketing professional, there are certain industry best practices that every business can use as a guideline or “check sheet” to avoid some campaign killing mistakes. Scrolling, Paging & the Fold Scrolling is the point on a web page where a visitor would have to scroll down to see the rest of the page. If the visitor isn’t intrigued at first glance, you will never even get to show them what is below the fold. Do NOT make text-copy columns too wide or fonts too small just to keep content above the fold. 10-12 point or larger fonts / no more than 50-60 characters (including spaces) across. Women ages 34-45 are more likely to scroll, read more info and click onto additional pages than men. Above-the-fold info must contain enough convincing data to will over the short attention span visitors.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Navigation Bars It is very tempting to make sure that no information about your company is left out; however the truth is that most people just don’t care at this point. Keep in mind what your goal is… if it is to get visitors’ contact information, you will have plenty of opportunities to educate them as you build the relationship. You will have plenty of opportunity to tell your customers how wonderful you are. Would you tell an attractive stranger your life history when you are just trying to get them to agree to a first date? The objective is to not encourage the visitor to wander “off-point” Landing Pages with Links to Other Pages Use discretion when providing links to other pages or websites from your landing page. You may be tempting the visitor to wander off-point. In some cases it may be permissible or even desirable to offer the visitor an opportunity to lean more as long as each link returns the visitor back to the sales funnel. Eliminate any clicks to irrelevant pages or advertisers Minimize font size of links to privacy and legal information Make the ENTIRE area around a link clickable Make the first 3 words of a link descriptive Make your hero shot clickable and open in a separate window of information so the visitor does not lose the main landing page (hero shot is a single picture that tells the story). Color Choices Believe it or not, color choices have remarkably little influence on the effectiveness of a landing page. However poor color choice that impacts reading comprehension does have a negative effect. Keep in mind that a higher percentage of the population than you probably realize is color blind and may have trouble with the contrast of certain color combinations. Copy: Black (or dark) text on a white (or light) background Headlines: Large enough to be readable in most colors, so largely irrelevant. Hotlinks: Blue until clicked and then turns purplish. Designer colors are OK…but test first…. Branding Colors: OK if branding is more important than copy. Typeface Fonts It is hard enough to get a visitor to actually read your copy, so don’t make it any more difficult than necessary. Generally small font sizes “look” better because they mentally form a block which is a convenient design element. However, effective trumps pretty every time.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Make copy as easy to read as possible. Many visitors will bail just because the page “looks like work” Use 10 point or larger font. Consider a larger size if you are targeting children, adults or if you have very long copy Captions, form field names, legal and some tech-specs can be smaller Smaller text promotes slower reading and a drop-off in comprehension Text should never run more than 52-60 characters across the screen. People can’t comfortably read long or wide columns. Keep columns at a fixed width (no liquid designs) Use “web-safe fonts” to control the appearance of the page. (http://www.efuse.com/Design/web_fonts_basics.html#WebSafeFonts) With the possible exception of one-line headlines, all text should be flush left and NOT centered. Headlines should be significantly larger and possibly bolder. Sub-headlines should be close to body copy size and bold Note: Harder to read because the human eye wants to return to the same point after each line. Note: The block of text may look good because smaller print makes a nice “design element” however small size and poor contrast make it hard to read.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Note: The human eye is trained to move from left to right only so far. Any farther and it requires a conscious effort to continue to get to the end of the line. Note: We grow up reading dark print on a light background (school books, newspapers, etc.). The contrast is better with dark over light. Note: Bold print is not necessarily more readable. In fact it can obscure the different characteristics of each letter that helps us quickly differentiate various words. Bold should be reserved for emphasis.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Note: Group your paragraphs into short easily digestible “blocks”. Not only is it easier for a person to comprehend, it appears to be “less work” to read at a sub-conscience level. Note: Which do you think is easier for you mind to organize and retain, the block or the bullets?Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 8 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques How many elements should be on a page? The correct answer is…. As many as necessary… no more no less…. These are just some items that MAY go on a landing page. It is not meant to be a checklist of items that should be on every landing page. Trust Icons Data and case studies prove conclusively that trust icons do make a difference in conversions. Multiple icons may help even more. Make sure you place the icons above the fold and at critical decision points such as form submissions or transaction points in a shopping cart. Consider using the space around your logo to identify it with a trust image and slogan like the Kelley Blue Book logo to the right. Notice that Kelley Blue Book awarded themselves their own trust icon, however it gives the appearance of an award or certification.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 9 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Video on Landing Pages Video can be a powerful tool or an unwanted nusance depending on how it is used. NEVER start playing the video automatically when the visitor arrives on the landing page!!! No one likes a commercial forced on them. The visitor just may not be prepared. In fact visitors might be in the work place and might bail as soon as unexpected sounds start blaring from their computer. They may want to scan the page before investing in the video, or simply adjust their speaker volume. The quickest way to shut down an unwanted video is to close the web page. That is the last thing you want. There are many reasons to use video; to educate, to demonstrate, to entertain and become viral… One of the more successful commercial applications of video on a website is the “As Seen on TV” scenario. The purpose is not to sell, but to brand and reassure the visitor that they are in the right place Use a shorter version (30-seconds or less) than the original TV version Typically works best on the top left side of the page or in a featured area Video Testimonials are very powerful. There is evidence to support that amature video of a real person is more credible than professional video of a model. Not all video should intentionally be poor quality, but in the case of testimonials, or product demonstrations, it does give it a sense of realism. Response Devices Unless you are cultivating a branding-only web presence, you are probably trying to elicit a particular response from your visitors (remember your goals). It’s important to consider that different personality types prefer to communicate using different media. Some people prefer to pick up the phone for the comfort of a human voice; others prefer the anonymity of email. Phone Numbers: Bigger is better….don’t be shy Some consumers just prefer to callCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 10 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Some consumers just want to be reassured there is a real person available (even if they never intend to call) Put a phone number on EVERY page, not just the landing page or contact page Buttons Next to headlines, button copy, color and shape as the most important element on the page. Don’t be afraid to test; red vs. gray… round vs. rectangular. Wording is important as well. You may get different results from “Buy Now” vs. “Try it Now”. Different buttons work for different audiences But don’t get too cute with the labels….say what you mean! Registration Forms As a rule, the less you ask for, the more likely you are to have people fill out the form. Go on the premise that you will have future opportunity to get the rest of the information as you build a relationship with the visitor. Be patient. Ask for only what you need… you will have more chances to get the rest. Roughly 40% of visitors may answer a few extra questions on the “Thank You” page for example. On certain occasions however, you may actually want to use a longer form as a screening or “qualifying” tool. You might want to trade volume for quality if there is a cost associated with following up. Copy Tips Use half the copy that you would use in printed material Headline should exactly match the headline that got them there Stay on point…. headline match body copyCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 11 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Nothing more than needed…nothing less than needed Don’t waste valuable real-estate with “Welcome…” “You” and “Your” trumps “We” and “Our” People read only the first few words of bullets and paragraphs People read the tops and bottoms of lists…not the middle Keep your first few paragraphs short and inviting Alternate long and short paragraphs Paragraphs shouldnt be longer that 4 or 5 lines long Numerals have more impact than written numbers Long Copy vs. Short Copy Face it, the USA Today newspaper is written at a 6th grade reading level for a reason. Attention spans and motivation to invest time reading is contingent on the demographic of the visitor, and the nature of the product or service. Long copy works well for…. Expensive products and services Money related products and services Health related products and services Older consumers Reading related products Technical products Common Mistakes and Campaign Killers:Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 12 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques In-House vs. Outsource In September of 2007 MarketingSherpa conducted two surveys in an effort to learn what challenges in- house marketers have designing a landing page program, and what challenges agencies have managing a landing page campaign for their clients. Notice the common frustrations in each case: Frustrations of In-House Marketers round analysis of Landing Pages The biggest obstacle to in-house landing page optimization is by far is the lack of resources. In mid-sized companies the marketing department is typically overloaded. In smaller companies without a marketing department, the owner of the staff, even if they had the right credentials is (or should be) too busy minding the core business.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 13 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Frustrations of Agencies in Providing Better analytics to Clients Resources: It is tempting to try and do it yourself or assign it to existing staff. Take into consideration the true cost of doing it in-house. Are you diverting staff members from other necessary duties? Are you paying them to learn on the job when an agency or consultant may have already cultivated that know- how? You may indeed have the talent under your own roof; just consider carefully the true costs. Aptitude: Most individuals are either left brained or right brained. That is to say technically or creatively inclined. Since a landing page campaign is a combination of creative and analytical, a technical oriented team or individual is not likely to come up with the compelling creative, and the creative team may not be able to interpret the data. That applies to agencies as well as you and your staff. Experience: Agencies may have strengths in either creative or analytics; however they may not have the full array of skill sets necessary to do it any better than you can do in-house. If your current levels of web traffic are insufficient, make sure you work with a consultant that can deliver everything that you need, either in full or in part with your in-house team.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 14 of 15
    • Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques Summary The limited scope of this white paper covers only some industry best practices. Virtually every element on a web page has some effect…positive or negative on the actions that a visitor takes. Ultimately only testing will determine what works and what doesn’t. Whether you are working with an agency, a consultancy, in-house staff, or doing it yourself, this paper was designed to help you avoid costly mistakes and wasted effort. Use the information in this paper to help you implement, or manage others to implement best practices. There are however other considerations: • Traffic: If you are not driving enough traffic to your website, no amount of landing page best practices will help. There is still a common misconception that if you build a website your customers will automatically find it. Before you can gauge how your visitors react to your landing page, you need to have visitors. • Testing: It’s easy to say that you will test the results, but do you have the mechanisms in place to capture the data? Do you know how to interpret the data? • Implementation: Who will implement these best practices? Should you hire professional help or task you in-house staff? If that is a budgetary decision, what is the true cost of re-taking your staff? About the Author Chuck Bankoff is a WSI Certified Research Analyst, and has certified other WSI Consultants around the world in Landing Page Design and Conversion Architecture strategies. Chuck is currently serving his third term on the Internet Consultant Advisory Council for WSI and is a sought after speaker at Internet marketing conferences in both the United States and Europe. If you have any questions, please email education@wsicorporate.com. . Special thanks to team at MarketingSherpa for providing much of the research data used in this paper.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 15 of 15
    •                                       Don’t Leave Your          Money on the Table     Your Guide  to  Paid Search t P       WSI White Paper  Prepared by: Ron Adelman  Search Marketing Expert, WSI 
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    Introduction    When was the last time that you looked online for a product or service?  What stood out to you and did  you visit the website to make a purchase?  If you did, then your habits are in line with 85% of the world  who use the internet to make a purchase.  Online shopping has increased by over 40% in the last two  years according to Nielson’s Global Online Survey.  That’s over 875 million consumers! Think of all of  those opportunities for new business.   If you aren’t taking advantage of them, then you should be and  you’re leaving money on the table….    Paid Search or Pay‐Per‐Click (PPC) advertising is an effective and powerful marketing tool that allows  your company to create online brand exposure to your target markets.   Additionally, PPC gives you  ultimate control over your marketing dollars while allowing you to capture the attention of the booming  number of online consumers who are ready to spend money on your products and services.  You just  need to be there.  It’s like having an ad in your local newspaper and only paying for the prospects that  read it!  How can it get any better than this in advertising?    Online Advertising Spend – Trends Increasing    Remember the 875 million people that was just mentioned? The figure below will show you the latest  trends in online advertising spend and how it has increased since 2001. You’ll notice that the amount of  money spent directly on paid search correlates with the growing number of online consumers, which  will continue to skyrocket.  Now, compare that figure to what you are currently spending on print  advertising. The difference is astounding, isn’t it?           Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 2 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    The driving force behind shifting advertising spend is attributable to the growth in search volume and  the tracking and refinement that only paid search marketing allows.  To the very keyword or ad we can  track the effectiveness of our campaign and improve targeting and spend.  No other advertising  mediums are as accountable for performance as online sources.        For companies seeking more website traffic, paid search marketing offers an opportunity for immediate  results. You can instantly get to the top of the Google, Yahoo!, or MSN, and access precisely targeted  traffic that is likely to transition to real customers for your business.      Paid Search Marketing or PPC Marketing  Paid search marketing, also called pay‐per‐click (PPC) marketing, is a method of advertising when a user  searches for one of your keywords, through paid online ads that link to a landing page of your choosing.     Usually labeled as “Sponsored Links” or “Sponsor Results,” these ads appear just above or to the right of  the natural listings, known as organic search results.  Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 3 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search          Paid search ads can be purchased through any of the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo,  and MSN. These engines receive the great majority of search volume, with Google’s share being  considerably larger than the other two.     This paper will focus mostly on Google because of its market share, as well as the control and tracking  ability of tools in AdWords, Analytics, and Webmaster Central.     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 4 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    Goal of Your Campaign  Before you begin your campaign you first need to identify, “What is it that I want to accomplish with  buying clicks?”    Typical goals of a paid search campaign:    • Sell products or services  • Get leads direct email or calls  • Increase website membership or RSS / e‐newsletter subscriptions  • Establish a brand    Once you’ve clearly identified your goals, make sure your website and its conversion architecture funnel  your visitors to these goals. By far the most common mistake first time advertisers make is not being  honest with themselves about the landing page and website.  Review your competitors’ sites—which  would you buy from and why?  Make it simple for your users to accomplish your goals, give them plenty  of incentive, remove their fears and “roadblocks,” and answer their questions.     Know Your Audience    Knowing your audience allows you to specifically target your keywords, ad text, landing page and  conversion funnel to speak directly to that audience.  The more customized your message can be, the  more “roadblocks” you can remove. Gaining more targeted clicks will maximize your marketing dollars  for your core demographic.    Targeting:     Limit the visibility of your ad based on the theoretical audience and their likely online behavior.    Geo Targeting:      Many businesses only serve customers in a certain geographic areas. Select only the areas you are  willing to sell.  Alternatively, if your budget is limited, market only to areas where you have the best  conversion, highest margins, or prefer to work. This can be narrowed to a 10 mile radius or custom  inclusion area.  In other words you can target an area, like delivering pizzas only in the area you want to  and having the ads only show up in that area!   Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 5 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search        Search Network or Content Network:      Do you want to advertise on Google only or 3rd party websites with content “matching” your keywords?  The content network can result in cheaper clicks but with less targeted traffic, as we are letting Google  determine relevance of 3rd party content to our search terms.  Determining when and how much to bid  on the content network will be something you’ll want to track and Google also provides the analytics for  this tracking.    Day‐parting:      When your audience tends to use the Internet during certain hours or days of the week, deactivating  your ad during off‐peak times can reduce your irrelevant traffic. This is particularly helpful for business  to business companies that get targeted inquiries during the work week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The inverse  can be true for those gaining most of their business evenings and weekends.       Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 6 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    Keywords:    Getting as s targeted as possible withh your keyword selection c can make the e difference between a  miserable e failure and aa very producctive campaig our potential audience as much as poss gn.  Restrict yo sible  without e excluding the majority.    •  Find thee bargain phrase variations that receive e a high searcch volume but t don’t have n numerous        compe etitors biddingg on them.     •  Filter ou ut what are known as nega ative keywordds, or search terms that co ome close to phrases you’re        biddingg on, but indicate a completely differen nt concept or type of busin ness.   This takes some tho ought,        but anaalytics again h helps you herre.     •  Example:  If you are bidding on “d desks” or “off fice desks” annd all of your products are e made of woood,        you shoould add “me etal” as a negative keyworrd to filter outt searches for r metal desks s.        Match Type:   h    You can choose Exact, Phrase, or Br road Matchinng to choose h how closely a typed phrase e has to matcch  your keywwords in order for your ad to be display yed.     Example:  Broad Matching on the w word “desk,” y you would ge et impressions for “metal o office desk,” a as  well as “w wood desk” or r “desk for ho ome office.” B But lower landing page relevance and c competition from  Exact Mat tches for “me etal office des ve your bid prices up. Plus sk” would driv s, if the landin ng page doesn n’t  match thee search termm, many people will leave tthe page whe en they don’t find what the ey want right  away. This is why exhaaustive multi‐word keywor rd phrase lists s can help low wer prices and d bounce ratees.  You can ddetermine bad d matches in Google’s Search Query Re eport or with advanced we ebsite analytic cs.   Copy yright © 2009 b by Research and Management. A All rights reserve ed.  Page 7 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    Ad Text:    Write compelling ad text that lets a search user know, “This is exactly what I was looking for.” Specific  descriptions also help decrease irrelevant traffic, which prevents you from wasting money on clicks that  don’t translate into sales or leads. Google allows you to rotate ad text for your ad group effectively  providing you A/B testing to determine which ad text is getting more clicks and more importantly more  leads. Selectively pulling messages that aren’t working will move your campaigns to the next  performance level and help drive positive changes to your sales and marketing messages.  Adding phone  numbers, pricing, competitive advantages all seek out the right potential lead to click.    Landing Page:     By keyword you can land your traffic on your site’s most relevant information or highest conversion  area. It is also possible to test unique landing pages which are customized for specific search terms and  only visible to PPC customers, enhancing your ability to track results. For instance, displaying a unique  phone number (call tracking), on a PPC landing page can help identify which incoming calls originated  with paid ads.  We can even record the calls off your specific landing page for our clients to follow up on.    Google also provides A/B or multi‐variate landing page testing to help you improve your landing pages  ensuring their conversion potential.    Google Website Optimizer Experiment             Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 8 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    Budget: How much are you willing to spend to acquire a new  customer?      Budgeting for campaigns and keyword bids requires a thorough understanding of paid search; otherwise  returns will suffer and advertisers begin to doubt the value of this medium. Although you can change  your budget at any time if you find it’s not working for you, you can use this simple calculation to help  you find a good starting place for your daily budget.     • Decide what you are willing to spend for a goal being met. Think about what your usual cost per  lead is in other forms of advertising like direct mail, networking, radio, print, or billboard.  • Estimate how many completed goals or sales you expect or want to get in one month as a result  of your PPC campaign.   • Multiply your expected individual cost by anticipated number of sales.  • Divide that total by 30 days to get your daily budget.    Your budget can also be divided proportionally so certain keyword phrases get a higher daily spend, and  less important or experimental phrases will have a more limited spend. Frequency of ad delivery can be  adjusted as well, either spending your budget as quickly as the search volume allows or spacing out your  ad impressions to make sure there is at least some visibility for your site over the full course of the day.    Keyword Bidding:      When setting up your campaigns, Google, Yahoo, and MSN will provide estimates on what you need to  bid to achieve a certain position for each keyword phrase. You can apply one amount to an entire ad  group or change bids by individual keyword. Your bid amount determines your placement on the page,  and ads are ranked top to bottom in order of bid amounts.     Higher placement will get you more clicks, but there can be a downside. Increased cost per click may be  detrimental to your return on investment (ROI), and the bounce rates for the top three ads tends to be  higher as they receive more casual search traffic we call the “Happy Clicker”.   By using an analytics  program to closely monitor your sales or lead values, and dividing that by your keyword cost per click,  you can keep an eye on each phrase’s ROI and determine if higher placement is worth it.    Conversion and Analytics Tools:    Just like a traditional marketing campaign, PPC marketing needs to be tracked and have its success rate  evaluated. Each element of the campaign is studied and tested to determine the impact on the rate of  conversion from ad views to ad clicks to final goals met. Areas of success can be expanded and the  pieces that aren’t productive can be tweaked or eliminated altogether. This ongoing process of  campaign refinement uses web analytics, tools that give you information about user activity and help  make search marketing decisions.    Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 9 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search        The most popular analytics tool in search marketing is Google Analytics, which is completely free and  usually more than adequate for managing online business. The program directly integrates with Google  AdWords, and tracking information for Yahoo, MSN, and other properties can easily be input as well. If  you opt in and allow your information to be included, you can access industry comparison data. As the  number of companies using AdWords has increased, their metrics have gotten very accurate and  incredibly useful.    By using analytics tools to improve your campaigns, PPC marketing will become more profitable over  time. As you adjust the structure of your ad groups and budgets, edit your ad text, and add very specific  longer keyword phrases, you will see consistently increasing ROI for every dollar you spend.    WSI Case Study: Management of AdWords Using Analytics    We were hired by a nationwide business broadband provider targeting small to medium businesses as  well as enterprise level clients in Nov. 2006. They had been managing their own paid search marketing  internally and were seeing diminishing returns and made a decision to outsource. Our plan to increase  overall efficiency centered on gaining lower cost qualified traffic with increased conversion rates. These  key aspects paid big dividends for the client.  Featured below are some of the key metrics we use to  measure our success.   Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 10 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search        Agency Management    Someone will inevitably bring up the question, “Why don’t we just manage this ourselves?”—and you  can.  The next question should be, “Do we have someone that we can devote full time to learning not  only the basic functionality of the various engines, but have daily vigilance of bids, ads, landing page  effectiveness, visitor behavior, and conversion tracking?”      Many companies have tried to use one of the paid search models with internal staff and have  determined, “it doesn’t work for us”.  More than likely the task was given to a technical person  (someone comfortable editing the website) or a traditional marketing person.  However, offline  marketing is not the same as online marketing and trying to get your IT person to market when they are  already overburdened with technical tasks will only cost you more money.  Maybe this has been your  experience!    “Campaigns that were profitable years ago are no longer profitable,” is another common complaint we  hear from companies.  Because paid search is no longer new and competition is fierce for profitable  niches, adaptive management is the only way to maintain ROI.  Actively tracking your cost per  conversion will let you determine trending in your industry, landing page effectiveness, and bid  strategies that work best for your industry.     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 11 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    Top Five Reasons Companies Must Consider Paid Advertising  in a Slow Economy    1. Targeted marketing. You don’t have time to waste pitching to consumers who may have no need  for the products or services you provide.    2. Instant traffic.  Acquiring inbound links and domain credibility to move up in the organic results  can take awhile. Paid search offers a quick ticket to immediate visibility, and can be especially helpful for  new and small businesses facing competition with national chains and long‐established brands.  Local  Ads Sell!    3. Marketing during the purchase phase.  Impulse shopping is out. Buyers are thoroughly  researching and performing price comparisons on even small purchases. With PPC marketing and  custom landing pages, you can include specific messaging and resources that give consumers the  information they need.    4. Measured budgets. Only spend what you can afford.  As sales and your profits increase, you can  adjust your PPC budget accordingly.    5. Higher conversion rates.  The number of sales and leads you’ll get per dollar spent in PPC  marketing exceeds the averages for traditional media like direct mail or telemarketing, TV and radio.   Newspaper, Trade Shows, and Magazines are hard to measure.    Work With WSI to Maximize Your Paid Search ROI   Developing and maintaining a paid search campaign requires constant attention and analysis. Selecting a  long list of keyword phrases and letting the costs accumulate may increase sales, but at a much higher  cost than is necessary. By investing in PPC management services and targeting your advertising spend,  your budget can stay the same while your sales increase and awareness of your brand builds a solid  foundation for your company’s future. In tough economic times, the highly‐qualified, relevant traffic you  need can be brought to your front door.     Let WSI apply our wealth of paid search management experience to your advertising campaigns. We’ve  spent years learning and mastering the PPC back‐end systems of Google, Yahoo!, and MSN—detailed  and complicated tools that are updated and changed regularly. Focus your attention on your business  and let us bring you new customers. We even have proprietary software that gets smarter with each  click honing in on the leads that covert!  Very compelling reasons to use a WSI Consultant...         Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 12 of 13   
    • Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table  Your Guide to Paid Search    About the Author    Ron Adelman is a Search Marketing Specialist at WSI who really knows the ins and outs of  the Internet industry. He has spoken at several dozen events, including global Internet  marketing conventions, training workshops and events organized by the American  Marketing Association and the Direct Marketing Association. If you have any questions,  please email education@wsicorporate.com.     Glossary of Pay‐Per‐Click Terms    To fully grasp the concept of PPC marketing, you need to know a few important terms. By learning the  lingo, you can properly communicate your business needs, give specific input on how the campaign is  set up, and understand the value that paid advertising brings to your company.    Keyword Phrase:  The string of text a user enters into a search engine.    PPC (pay‐per‐click): An advertising model in which sponsors acquire online ad space, but are only  charged by the host when a search user clicks on the ad.    Impressions:  The number of times your ad has been produced in search results.    Clicks:  The number of times a search engine user has clicked on your ad and been taken to a landing  page on your website.    CPC (cost per click):  The actual amount you are charged for each click.     Average CPC:  The average of your CPC over a set period of time. CPC is usually represented as an  average number, since the individual click costs will vary depending on changes in your maximum bid  and competitor campaign changes.    CTR (click‐through rate):  The percentage of impressions that generated  ad clicks.    Landing page:  The web page delivered to search users who click a particular ad.    Conversion:  A specific behavior that the search user completes that matches a goal set by the sponsor.  A goal could be an e‐commerce sale, contact form submission, newsletter subscription, or specific series  of page views.    Conversion rate:  The percentage of ad clicks that resulted in completed goals.  Quality score:  A ranking given to your ads by Google that take into consideration your CTR, landing page  relevance, and domain trust that is used in determining CPC and level of placement in the results.  Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 13 of 13   
    • Make Sure Your Company is Visible on Google withSearch Engine OptimizationYour Guide to Lead Generation in Tough Economic Times WSI White Paper Prepared by: Francois Muscat Search Engine Optimization Expert, WSI
    • Search Engine Optimization: Make Sure Your Company is Visible on Google Introduction How many times have you typed keywords that are related to your products or services into Google and saw your competitors’ names instead of yours? Many business owners have heard of the successes that others have had using the Internet as a lead generation marketing tool. But some of us are not sure how to approach Internet marketing as an integral part of our business. We continually hear about social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. We know that companies promote themselves on sites like Twitter and on television and radio, but how do we know that this will work for us. This whitepaper examines how a company should approach Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Market Drivers The Yellow Pages Vs Search Engines This graph from webpro news (Australia) shows that search engines have finally passed the Yellow Pages with regards to finding products and services. Search engines can be more effective than Yellow Pages because: • Your Yellow Pages ad can appear next to your competitor • With an optimized website you can differentiate yourself from competitors • It is difficult to determine what business came from your Yellow Pages ads • Using analytics you are able to track how visitors interact with your website • With Content Marketing your website will become an asset to your businessCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 7
    • Search Engine Optimization: Make Sure Your Company is Visible on Google Search Engine Marketing Search Engine Marketing (SEM) generally covers two areas: Paid Search Advertising and Organic Search Optimization. Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is the most popular or well known method of advertising your products and services on the Internet. Even though PPC is one of the best forms of advertising, like all advertising, your exposure stops when your budget runs out. With organic search, once you achieve a page one Google ranking you will begin to receive up to 75% more visitors to your website than with traditional Google PPC. So how does one go about achieving these often elusive rankings? Once you know the secret to obtaining search engine visibility, you will be motivated to participate in the process of developing your online brand. Search Engine Visibility Search engine visibility means getting your company’s name and brand to appear on search engine results pages for many keywords that are related to your product or service. So how does one go about achieving this? Why do people use search engines today? Analysing the Enviro and MarketingSherpa B2B Report 2009 identified that only 10% of people go to a search engine like Google, type in a keyword and then click through to a Web page and buy a product, all on the same day. The rest of us go to the Internet to get information and do research on the product or service we are interested in. What Information Do We Look For? The study revealed that people who use search engines are looking for the following information in order of importance: • Easily found prices • Download info • Product info • Product comparisons • Your company’s approach to business • Technical papers • Knowledge base • General information about your product • White papers • Case studiesCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 7
    • Search Engine Optimization: Make Sure Your Company is Visible on Google • Multimedia like video on your product • Information about your company • Webinars • Podcasts From this list it is easy to see what the “secret” is. It is “CONTENT”. I am sure you’ve all heard of the phrase “content is king”. Well since the inception of the Internet, content is what we have all been looking for. It has stood the test of time, while many of us try to keep up with Google’s ever changing algorithms. Once we find out that content is all we need to achieve search engine visibility, we see many business owners get excited about participating in their website marketing with great results. The best way to get a return on your website investment is to create an asset out of your website. This is achieved by adding content to your website on a regular basis. This strategy is called “Content Marketing”. By adding content pages you increase your chances of ranking for “long tail” keyword phrases. These are phrases of 3 or more words that often result in highly focused and targeted search results. Compete Effectively Against Bigger Brands with SEO One of the greatest advantages the Internet has over the Yellow Pages is that the Yellow Pages puts your business right next to your competitors, whereas the Internet gives you infinite scope to differentiate yourself from competitors. In addition to this, the various analytical tools available to website owners allows for you to identify areas where you can make an improvement to your website. I Have Good Content But I Still Don’t Rank on Google’s First Page, Why? This is a question that is asked many times. The way Google prioritizes its search rankings is done in two ways: 1. On-page optimization – at the very basic level, it is where the good content comes in with the related keywords being used in headings, sub headings, bullets and internal link text. 2. Off-page optimization – These are external links that point to your website from other websites. These links are seen as recommendations and build credibility for your website. Google ranks your web page based on the number of valuable related links. You could view this as a voting system; the one with the most related votes will do well.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 7
    • Search Engine Optimization: Make Sure Your Company is Visible on Google So Where Do We Get Valuable Links From? Other websites will link to your website if you have good content that they wish to refer to. In this case your website will acquire links without much intervention from you. Many webmasters soon realized that external links would get their website ranked well and that is when they started to use techniques that are seen or termed as “Black Hat SEO”. A term used when one engages in activities that try to manipulate the search engine rankings. The objective with link building is to get links back to your website using your “product keyword” or variable thereof in the link text. This is seen as a valuable link and not easily manipulated. Links can be created by the following link building strategies: • Blog posts that promote, discuss or compare products • Article marketing – where one writes product related articles and submits to “Article websites” where webmasters can use your article on their websites. The rule is that they cannot change your content and must leave the authors signature where links are pointed back to your website. • Reciprocal links from other industry related websites. Where webmasters agree to swap links with one other using requested “valuable” link text. Where Does Social Media Marketing Fit In? Social Media could mean many things to us especially if one is not familiar with the term. Social media could be looked at in the following categories: • Social media advertising – using paid text or banner ads on sites like Facebook. These ads allow you to target your market based on their demographics • Social media book marking – Sites like “Digg” and “Stumbleupon” provide users with the ability to tag websites that they like or recommend. Social Book marking supports your search engine linking strategy • Social media optimization – upload your videos to Youtube and optimize them using product related keywords and you stand the chance of getting on Google’s first page for your related keywords. By posting optimized content on websites like “Craigslist” & “Yahoo Answers” one can get ranked for related keywords in a short space of time. • Social media networking – many business owners attend regular networking meetings where the objective is to meet other business owners with the objective of doing business with each other. Social media websites like “LinkedIn” provide professionals with a way to establish relationships online where one can build credibility and introduce their products and services in an educational manner.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 7
    • Search Engine Optimization: Make Sure Your Company is Visible on Google Why is Social Media Marketing Important? Up until now we’ve heard that “content is king”. This is even more important as one can now place your content on many social media sites as well. Content Marketing now moves to video, slideshows, blogs and networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. So many more places for people to find your company and brand. But with the popularity of Social media networking sites, like forums, Facebook and LinkedIn, we find out that not only is content king, but “conversation is king”. People like to ask others for recommendations and experiences with products and services. What people say about your product, service or company can mean all the difference to closing a lead or losing the business. Generating Leads Online Lead generation for most businesses is possible on the Internet. You will be surprised what good relevant content can do for website visibility and lead generation. You will be seen as a resource website and this builds credibility which in turn creates confidence for the visitor to engage with your company. The Solution The solution is to think creatively about the types of content you should upload to your website. One of the best ways to come up with content ideas is to do some research and identify other keywords that would help you with writing relevant content. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes into its own. It is used to increase your website’s search engine rankings so users can find your products or services easily. With the addition of Social Media Optimization you can dramatically increase the number of search engine rankings you list in, which in turn will drive more targeted traffic to your website. Generic Solution By taking full advantage of Search Engine and Social Media Optimization you are able to reinforce your website or brand presence on popular search engines without paying extra for it. Here are some steps you can take to optimize your website organically: • Content Marketing. A resource website should have articles related to the product or service that you are offering. Websites that contain 100 pages of content or more are likely to achieve higher rankings in search engines and increase your website’s ability to be found for long-tail keyword searches. • Create Incoming Links. Link building and link popularity is important for all websites. Link popularity refers to the amount of text links that lead to your website from other sites and isCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 7
    • Search Engine Optimization: Make Sure Your Company is Visible on Google the single most important factor that a search engine algorithm considers when ranking a web page. Effective link building is achieved by blogging on a regular basis, submitting your websites to online classifieds/directories and by taking advantage of the many social media platforms that are available – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Combine SEO with SMO. Brand your name with social media marketing. Websites like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter can be leveraged effectively to grow your business. By spreading your content over social media channels your website will gain many more search engine positions. Work With WSI to Make Sure You Appear on Google Developing a search engine optimization game plan is the key to the success of your website. It takes careful keyword research which is an activity that can take many hours followed by carefully sorting them into specific product or service silos to ensure creating relevant content that will attract targeted “long tail” searches. Let WSI help you by creating the optimal website content blueprint to ensure a successful “lead generating” website. With our proprietary WSI Power Search software, we can quickly identify and obtain creative content ideas that will develop your website into a resource website that will establish your credibility as an expert in your industry. Let WSI become your Internet marketing lead generation partner. About the Author Francois Muscat is a recognized Internet and Search Marketing Expert who has worked in this industry for the past 6 years. He is a sought after speaker at Internet marketing conferences and has presented at numerous International seminars. He recently won best presenter at WSI’s international convention in Stansted, England. If you have any questions, please email education@wsicorprate.com.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 7
    • TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with SOCIAL MEDIA WSI White Paper Prepared by: Heather Angus-Lee Social Media Strategist, WSI
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media Introduction You keep hearing about social media and how its spreading like wildfire. But as a business person with a crazy schedule - saddled with the added stress of rocky economic times and a shrinking marketing budget - you need to know: Is there any real business value to social media, or is it mostly buzz? And if theres value, how on earth will I have time to learn it and use it effectively? Trend-chasing and random leaps into social media will not enhance your bottom line. What will is strategic social media participation - the alignment of social media activities with your business objectives and target demographics. If conducted methodically, the benefits of social media include improvements in search results, customer service, brand awareness, PR/media relations, recruitment, reputation management, and other measurable outcomes. Today, you ignore social media at your peril. To quote eMarketer in a Feb. 2009 report, "Consumers are getting a lot more information about products and services from social networks than marketers think—and very little of it comes from the marketers." Indeed this truth extends beyond networks to all forms of social media. Consider this MarketTools research in late 2008 on the US market: • 68% of adults visit blogs, social networks and online communities • 47% said those sites had a direct impact on their purchasing decision • 42% say the frequency of their visits to such sites has risen in the last six months • 34% say they use social media sites to conduct product research • 26% changed their minds about a product or service after reading information in social media These same consumers have come to expect companies to be participating in social media. According to the 2008 Cone/Omnicom Group "Business in Social Media" Study, among Americans who use social media: • 85% believe a company should interact with consumers via social media • 56% feel they are better served by companies when they can interact with them in social media • 43% believe that companies should use social networks to solve their problems • 41% believe that companies should solicit feedback on their products and services via social media • 37% believe that companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brands.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media These sentiments and online behaviors are shared by people around the world. Americans actually fall behind citizens in Canada, Brazil, the UK, Mexico and Spain when it comes to the percentage of Internet users who frequent social networks (eMarketer.com; original source: comScore World Metrix, Nov. 08). Defining Social Media The term "social media" is most commonly used to describe web- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information; communal activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction; as well as consumer-generated content (text, video, audio, photos, networks). Theres really only one rule in social media: The consumer rules. Individuals decide what content is worth sharing, discussing, rating, downloading, joining. They base those decisions largely on what their peers are doing online, and on the opinions of "web influencers" - thought leaders with lots of people following their blog, podcast, forum, video channel, network, etc.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media One way to wrap your head around the fundamental concept of social media is to think of traditional mainstream media turned upside-down. With the traditional "top-down" delivery of content (TV, radio, papers, magazines), the media companies and advertisers are telling you what to consume, when and how to do it (at a fixed time and location). Conversely, social media delivers content from the "ground up," which is why its often referred to as a "grassroots" media. Social media is all about on-demand content – sometimes even in real-time, and always downloadable to be watched, listened to when and where one feels like. The way in which music, literature, movies and other content are produced and distributed has also been turned upside-down. With social media, any Joe/Josephine can instantly become an author with his/her blog, a movie producer with a YouTube channel, a radio host or DJ with a podcast show. ROI of Social Media Across the Company Resources are limited during a difficult economy, and the workload often falls on the shoulders of fewer employees, with the expectation of timely delivery and quality results just as high as before the downsizing. Not to panic! Your thinking may not be broad enough when youre considering the role of social media to augment functions within your organization. While marketing is an obvious fit, dont overlook the value that social media brings to other business processes: Human Resources: Social media boosts a companys brand online, therefore attracting more job candidates, and if social media use by employees is encouraged (such as corporate blogging, running company Facebook group), and staff is happier and tend to stay longer. Bottom Line: Reduced employee turnover; lower hiring and training costs; lower costs for job advertising. Customer Service: Social media means open lines of communication between consumer and company, so customer problems and needs can be addressed in a real-time, transparent environment. The result is accountability and trust by consumers. Bottom Line: Less customer churn, lower customer acquisition costs; higher customer conversion rates.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media PR/Media Relations: Social media is used more and more by mainstream journalists, as well as citizen journalists/bloggers, for spreading the news and views of a company with easy dissemination of photos, videos, and links. Bottom Line: Higher profile means more business leads, more sales per customer. Corporate Communications/Shareholder Relations: Social media allows a company to keep close tabs on what the public at large, as well as investors, competitors, and consumer groups are saying about it. Bottom Line: Enhanced share value; online reputation management; crisis aversion/management. In every one of these scenarios, increased revenue is the end-point of a strategic social media programs development and careful implementation. New Business Signed in First Two Months Companies that have invested in social media programs are getting new business as a result. For example, Jerry Steele, outreach director for TheraVitae Co. Ltd., was thrilled with the new business his firm received as a result of social media programs WSI put in place to raise brand awareness of VesCell, their adult stem cell therapy product. Their blog, Facebook group, MySpace page, YouTube channel, Flickr account, Twitter stream, Delicious account, and Squidoo page started in September 2008; the number of new patients signed by the company increased by 34% in November and by 95% in December over the same months in 2007. "The (WSI) team trained our staff on blogging principles, influencer outreach strategies, and online reputation management," Jerry says. "The deep knowledge of search and social media, coupled with tremendous project management, got us great results in a small window of time." Top 8 Steps for Social Media Success No matter where you live or what kind of industry youre in, a common refrain among business owners and executives is: "I dont have hours a day to blog, to update my Facebook, to Twitter, etc. I have a business to run!" Youll be relieved to know that social media does not have to take up a lot of your time, perhaps as little as 1-2 hours/week, if you have a well-defined plan with these considerations in mind. 1. Research First. Who/how/why your prospects and customers are using social media. Which of your competitors are using social media? What are their best practices? Who are the webCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media influencers (bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, forum moderators, etc.) in your market who can affect how your brand is received? 2. Plan, Plan, Plan. Create a detailed social media strategy, based on information arising from the online market research; then align your social media initiatives with your specific business objectives and target demographics. 3. Blog. No Exceptions. Blogs? Those personal online diaries written by weirdos about their cats and superheroes? (No, not those ones.) The practice of corporate blogging gives you the double-whammy benefit of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and all the above-stated business benefits (customer service, HR, etc.). SEO plays into blogging because every time a blog post gets published, Google favors it as a new page of content on your site, moving you up the ranking to the cherished page-1 position in the search results. No surprise, then, that blogging is viewed as the most important lead generation channel by those companies that have tried it, according to HubSpot study released in Jan. 09. Compared to other social media, 75% of respondents say it is "useful" or better. Other social media ranked positively included StumbleUpon (55%), YouTube (52%), Facebook (48%), Delicious (47%) and Digg (47%). MySpace was thought as being the least useful (22%).Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media 4. Get Your Hands Dirty. There is no greater way to benefit from social media than to get adequate education, ideally to include hands-on training/demonstration of how to use the social media sites (create user profiles, uploading digital assets, getting followers/fans/friends, etc.). 5. Think of Social Media as Vertical Search Engines. Maybe youve never thought of crowded online beehives like Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr as search engines. True, theyre a lot more fun/sexy than Googles pragmatic functionality - but these social media act like vertical search engines for finding people, videos, photos, documents, links, etc. For example, Joe is thinking of buying an acoustic guitar, so he trolls through those sites and lands on the photo of a guitar youve uploaded in Flickr (a giant photo-sharing site). He likes what he sees and clicks on the link in your Flickr profile that takes him to your corporate site. Whether e-commerce or lead generation, youve now got a potential customer in Joe! 6. Great Ideas Drive Great "Viral" Campaigns. Like in any aspect of marketing, having a great, timely, demographic-aligned idea can be the bud of a truly memorable social media campaign that spreads. Online contests, content crowd sourcing, the building of a targeted community whose members are your market and many other ideas that work in the social media sphere. 7. Dont Stop at Content Creation. Just as with traditional PR, digital outreach is a key aspect of an effective social media campaign. Digital PR is all about excellent relationship management - understanding the needs and wants of key web influencers in your market, and the best approaches to use with them. 8. Measure and Repeat. It is critical to benchmark the progress of your social media program at the start, at various milestones during a campaign, and then in an ongoing manner to keep an eye on the effect on your sites traffic, your position in the page rankings, the engagement levels at your various social media locations, and most importantly - the increase in business leads and sales! The combination of all these best practices is known as Social Media Optimization (SMO) - which shares in common with SEO, the end-game of getting found easily by people searching for information, entertainment, enlightenment, pretty pictures, videos, etc. online.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media The Methodology Behind Social Media Optimization Given that Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a relatively new area in Internet marketing, you need to feel assured that youre getting the best advice and service. Not every Internet consultant knows the intricacies of SMO, or has a proven methodology in place to ensure clear communication of scope and progress throughout the project. WSI Consultants use a proprietary, tested methodology for Social Media Optimization, whose project life-cycle provides deliverables in a phased delivery approach, resulting in measurable results and repeatable processes that maximize your investment. Online Market Research & Blogging Training/Training Digital Recommendations on Other Social Media Asset Optim- ization Metrics Reporting Social Media Programs, Other Custom Work What to Look for in the Services of a Social Media Consultant WSI Consultants feature the following attributes in their social media service packages: • Scalability: not every social media project is the same. Look for different sized packages options. • Affordability: A range of price points to suit every marketing budget. • Customization: A la carte menus and custom-order jobs to suit special cases. • Pre-sales support: Conference calls and online meetings with social media experts to support the end client. • Personal service: Direct contact with social media strategists, writers, researchers, analysts throughout the project. • Follow-up: Continuation of service beyond the contract in the form of ongoing social media metrics and updates.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 8 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media Summary As discussed in this white paper, social media is affecting fundamental changes in consumer behavior - specifically, how people research and buy products/services. How are YOU responding? In a day and age when consumers demand an unsurpassed level of service and accessibility - and in an economy where you need every competitive edge - social media is a must-have marketing strategy that wont take up all your time and drain your resources. Few, if any, other marketing initiatives can help the way social media does when you get marching orders to build the brand, engage customers and prospects, save money, stretch resources, and boost ROI. To meet these needs, WSI offers Social Media Optimization services - a natural add-on to the WSI portfolio of SEO, SEM and web development services. WSI leads the global Internet industry offering best of breed Internet marketing solutions to suit the needs of multiple industries. Through the adoption of international best practices, use of world class technologies and strategic industry partnerships, WSI delivers online business success to its customers worldwide. Every Social Media Optimization project delivered by WSI includes the methodology and best practices outlined in this white paper to ensure optimum business benefits for every client. Go forth and enjoy the benefits of doing social business; to your success! About the Author Heather Angus-Lee is the lead social media strategist for WSI. She has worked extensively in social media optimization, developing a broad client base that includes an international biotechnology healthcare provider, a national real estate company, an international machinery manufacturer, a continental workplace safety advocacy organization, regional retailers, and other B2B and B2C companies. Prior to her transformation into a web innovator, Heather was an award-winning business writer for more than 15 years - working as the editor of national magazines and as the business editor of a metropolitan daily newspaper. Heather can be reached at education@wsicorporate.com.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 9 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media Glossary of Social Media Terms AJAX: An acronym (Asynchronous Java Script and XML) representing a way to create real-time Web applications. Anonoblog: A blog site authored by a person or persons who dont publish their name. Archives: Most often an index page, often organizing posts or entries by either category or date Atom: A popular feed format used for syndicating content. Avatar: A graphical image or likeness that replaces a photo of the author of the content on a blog. Blogosphere: Term referring to the entire body of work online encompassed by the millions of blogs. Blog Roll: The list that a blogger puts on his/her own blog indicating which other blogs he/she is reading regularly, and linking out to those blogs. Dashboard: The administration area on your blog software that allows you to post, check traffic, upload files, manage comments, etc. Delicious: A social bookmarking site and a property of Yahoo! Allows users to quickly store organize (by tags) and share favorite web pages. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds of other users and share a page specifically with another user Digg: Digg is a website for people to discover, share and recommend content from anywhere on the web. (People’s vote means they ‘dugg’ something.) Domain Name: The identifying name of an Internet site. The domain name of my site is "www.wsicorporate.com" Drupal: popular, open-source (free) software for creating websites and blogs. Ecto: A stand-alone publishing application, allowing users to compose posts offline. Edublog: A blog site focused on education, be it teacher, administrator, consultant or student.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 10 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media EFF: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the leading civil liberties group defending your rights in the digital world Entry: An individual post or article published on a blog. Each of these entries, while appearing in an index, is also web pages unto themselves. Event Blog: A blog specifically launched as a companion to an event Feed: The RSS or Atom feeds used by news aggregators (aka feed readers). FeedBlitz: An RSS service that makes it easy for those addicted to email. FeedBurner: Feed Burner is a ‘must-have’ Google company/tool allowing web sites, blogs and podcasts to "burn" content into a simple way for readers to subscribe, including email. Feed Reader: Aka RSS feed reader, news reader. An aggregator of content, subscribed to by the user, so that specific content or search results arrives in their "reader". Among the popular (and free) tools are Great News, Feed Demon and Google Reader. Flog: A fake blog, such as one that a company puts up and either pays the blogger(s) to write positive stuff, or the company posts under a fake persona, posing as “happy customers” of said company. Google Analytics: Free and popular way to measure traffic within a site (page views, unique visitors, time on page, bounce rate, referring sites and more.) Web developer grabs a piece of tracking to add to the back end of the site to activate the analytics then web-based sign in to monitor the results. Joomla: A popular, open-source (free) software for creating websites and blogs. MicroBlogging: A form of blogging allowing users to compose brief text updates and publish them. These messages can be submitted and received by a variety of means and devices, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, mobile device, MP3 or the web. Twitter anyone? Moblogs: A blog published directly to the web from a phone or other mobile device. Post: An individual article, or entry, published on a blog. Each post, while appearing in an index, is also a web page unto itself.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 11 of 12
    • Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media RSS: short for Really Simple Syndication. This allows you to subscribe to content on blogs and other social media and have it delivered to you through a feed. Aka News Feed. SMO: Social Media Optimization – a collection of best practices to make sure your digital assets (photos, videos, e-docs, links) are found online by submitting them to social sharing sites. pambot: Automated software robots that post spam on a blog. Social Media: The tool set (including blogs) that everyone can use to publish content to the web. This can include audio, video, photos, text, files, just about anything. These days, everyone is a content producer and distributor! Splog: Nickname for Spam Blogs, or blogs not providing their own or real content. Sploggers use automated tools to create fake blogs full of links or scraped content from other sites in order to boost search engine results. Threads: On an email list or web forum/message board, these strands of conversation are defined by messages on that same subject. On blogs, threads are less clearly defined, but emerge through comments and trackbacks. Twitter: A social media platform, born circa 2006, that combines instant-messaging technology with the concept of "microblogging". The second fastest-growing social media tool in 2008. Web 2.0: a term to describe blogs, wikis, social networking sites and other Internet-based services that emphasize collaboration and sharing, rather than less interactive publishing (Web 1.0). Video Blogging: Speaking to the camera - in studio or out on the street or other settings - as the chosen form of blogging, and posting those videos, usually homemade, to digital sharing sites like YouTube. Aka "vlogging" or "vlogs." Widget: A custom-built web application that has a function, usually involving a data feed that shows updated content in the widget. The widget can be shared for free across social media platforms like blogs, Facebook, MySpace, etc. Wiki: A web page - or set of pages - that can be edited collaboratively. The best known example is wikipedia, an encyclopedia created by thousands of contributors across the world. WordPress: A popular, open-source software for creating websites and blogs.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 12 of 12
    • Web Analytics: Optimize Your MarketingDollars During The Recession WSI White Paper Prepared by: Feras Alhlou Web Analytics Expert, WSI
    • Web Analytics: Optimize Your Marketing Dollars During the Recession Introduction We have heard it many times, an old management and marketing saying: “You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Measure”. It is still so true today, and more than ever in a recession. Although Web analytics is full of numbers and measurements, this whitepaper highlights the business and marketing aspects in analytics and focuses on two very important aspects for your business: • Increasing Revenue • Reducing Costs Why Web Analytics In the graph below, Figure 1 (using the “Google Insights for Search” online tool), it is clear that our collective interest in analytics has been on the increase since late 2005, November 14, 2005 to be exact. What is the significance of this date? It is when Google launched its enterprise-level analytics tool branded as “Google Analytics”. Google also made the tool available to all for free (please note that “free” doesn’t equate to “cheap”). (Figure 1) Google Analytics and other analytics packages, when properly configured and implemented, help answer the following questions: • Which marketing campaigns generate leads and customers? • Which keywords drive more visitors? • Which pages do my customers find engaging?Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 6
    • Web Analytics: Optimize Your Marketing Dollars During the Recession Problem Especially in a recession, marketing managers and business owners are looking for ways to optimize the return on their investment, in simple terms, to get more bang for their marketing dollars. But where would they start this optimization effort? • Does my radio ad really work? • Is my half-page yellow page ad worth the thousands of dollars I am paying? • Is my website unattractive to my visitors? • Is my search marketing campaign driving the wrong traffic? • Are my email campaigns going to spam and my emails are un-opened? The above questions are clear signs that a business is not measuring and not employing available analytics techniques, or the business owners are unclear what to do in tough economic times. Without proper analysis and making decisions based on best guesses, marketing managers might stop a campaign that is working very effectively. This action would lead to missed opportunities in leads / sales and make a bad situation worse. Solution & Success Stories Analytics and measurements help you remove the guesswork from your marketing decision making process. Case Study #1 Figure 2 below shows how traffic segmentation (arranging website traffic according to the sources of traffic) will lead to significant visibility into your campaign performance. Note that every bar represents the cost-per-transaction from the respective traffic source. (Figure 2)Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 6
    • Web Analytics: Optimize Your Marketing Dollars During the Recession Observations • In August, the most expensive traffic source was the “Google Content”, costing over $250 / transaction. • After a few months of optimization (improving targeting and some website enhancements), the cost-per-transaction from the Google Content, improved by 5 fold. Additional improvements to other traffic sources also were introduced during the same period, resulting in a significant reduction in cost of transaction over time. Case Study #2 Analytics doesn’t only apply to websites; it should be an integrated part of running a business. Businesses often track website metrics but don’t invest the time and energy to track offline activities. For a lead generation business, understanding where leads are coming from is imperative; tracking the quality of the leads is just as important. Figure 3 below shows how a typical business might be tracking leads from their website. Total Web Inquiries 350 300 250 200 150 Total Inquiries 100 50 0 July August (Figure 3) A much more effective analytics system would cover all mechanisms to capture a lead, including phone data. For this business, trained staff members who interact with customers, played a key role in identifying lead quality.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 6
    • Leveraging Social Chatter:Online Brand ReputationMonitoring and Management A Wakeup Call WSI White Paper Prepared by: Gary Levine Brand Reputation Expert, WSI
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management Introduction Marketers could keep a positive spin on consumer and client perceptions when their brand visibility was managed through a combination of media advertising and news coverage. Only extreme, newsworthy activities got any other visibility beyond small numbers of people, and big brand companies had good crisis control departments geared to deal with the exceptions. The introduction of social networking sites and consumer-generated content to the Web has dramatically altered that landscape. The means for customers, champions and critics to disseminate information about their experiences and opinions are now accessible to anyone with an Internet connection and a browser-enabled PC. Despite this crucial trend, many businesses are still behind the curve. Some recent research 1 surveying 703 executives found that: • Nearly 70% of executives regard their company’s reputation as vulnerable, but they are universal in their belief that non-traditional outlets like blogs are the least important in building corporate reputation; • Virtually all executives surveyed regard the Web as important in measuring corporate reputation, but almost none of them believe the Internet is crucial when making important business decisions; • Despite previous surveys that indicate the reputation of the CEO is closely linked to the reputation of the company they work for, very few executives seem to believe that, and fewer than 40% have even Googled their own name; • Most surveyed executives say they utilize the Web more for competitive intelligence than understanding their company’s reputation positioning; and, • Despite overwhelming shifts in consumer media behavior trends, global executives put much more stock in brand perceptions that appear in mainstream media channels than what’s said about them in online communities. The good news is that savvy companies who are open to communicate with their customers can leverage the online trends to generate new business and deepen existing relationships in ways that are more effective and less expensive than old fashioned mass broadcast or print media campaigns. As Tara Hunt says in her book The Whuffie Factor 2, marketers need to “turn the megaphone around” and listen more and talk less. Companies who shy away from the trend and are uncomfortable adjusting their relationships accordingly are in for rude awakenings. And this is true across the spectrum from very large to small, local businesses. 1 Source: Weber Shadwick, Reputations Online http://www.online-reputations.com/findings.html 2 The Whuffie Factor, Tara Hunt, 2009, Crown Business, New YorkCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management But with a little executive attention, companies big and small can stay on the right side of the situation and get advantage – particularly if they do it before or better than their competitors. The Perils of Inaction Users put great trust in their social networks. One-half of respondents to a survey by Beresford Research 3, said they considered information seen on their social networks when making a decision—and the proportion was higher among users ages 18 to 24, at 65%. For those executives and business owners whose heads are not in the game, the risks are significant. The venerable Pepsi brand took a serious hit this year when they created an iPhone app to promote their Amp energy drink product. The app provides tips for the product’s target audience, young men to “score” with women. The bad-taste item generated a fire-storm of activity on various social media sites with comments flying around the blog site Mashable.com and conversations on Twitter. Pepsi withdrew the app and apologized to all who were offended, but the situation points out how vulnerable a brand can be. In another recent example, two Domino’s Pizza employees created what they thought was an amusing video of some “un-hygienic” activities back in the kitchen. They posted the video on YouTube and had nearly a million viewings before they knew what hit them. They were able to get the video shut down for “copyright infringement” and officials of Domino’s pursued both legal and online responses. They set up a Twitter account to field comments on the matter, and have since been morphing that traffic into their @dominos account where they are aggressively running contests and providing other information to undo the damage and rebuild their online reputation. 3 A full copy of the report is available at www.beresfordresearch.comCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management There is a definite silver lining to this apparent cloud of consumers being able to readily broadcast their opinions online. CNNMoney.com posted an article 4 about Jim Hobart, co-founder of an online retailer called AlpacaDirect.com. Hobart found that even critical feedback can turn into increased sales when he decided to replace the hand-picked customer testimonials on his website with a service that allows consumers to publicly post ratings and comments. He received some 3-star (out of 5) ratings and unflattering comments, and yet he notes that sales increased 23% on items that had reviews. He was able to address concerns and respond to the reviews showing a credible concern for customer service and quality products. What to Do There are plenty of things you can do to get a handle on your brand’s reputation and turn the phenomenon to your advantage. Take an Attitude Check The first step in the process is to update your mindset as a marketer and embrace the opportunities to make customers into marketers. This is not a trivial task, but is fundamental to capitalizing on the opportunities. If you fear what customers may say, and are not prepared to respond to the critical and embrace the opportunity, you may be in for a bumpy ride. Most consumers and clients are realists. While everyone seeks and prefers the perfect product and service, we recognize that “things happen.” When you genuinely care about those customers or clients, online dialogue can become your asset. Research and Monitor Listening to your audience, customers and potential customers is critical in this world of Social Chatter. The burning question for companies is: as an organization are you listening? If you have customers, most likely theyre talking about you to their friends, colleagues, and to anyone else who will listen and is in their social sphere of influence. Once you are ready to embrace the reality of public dialogue, it is time to find out what people may already be saying about you. There are many tools available to accomplish this, but unless you have a lot of time or are going to delegate this to someone who can concentrate on it, narrow your monitoring to a few key resources. 4 Even bad reviews boost sales, September 28, 2009, http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/28/smallbusiness/retail_democracy.fsb/index.htmCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management Some of the easiest tools for monitoring your brand online are the search engines you are already familiar with. Google Alerts 5 or Yahoo! Alerts 6 are free, can be set up in minutes and will send you a daily update via email letting you know of any materials they find using keywords related to your brand or other key issues. Another tool at HowSociable.com provides a quick scan of 32 different online sites, rates your brand’s visibility on each (by number of mentions) and links to those mentions so you can see the conversations and join or react where appropriate. One of the most talked about Web phenomena in recent years is Twitter. While the very concept of a steady stream of small messages can intimidate busy business owners, it can be an invaluable source for finding out what people are saying about your brand, or your competitors. Go to the advanced search panel at Search.Twitter.com/Advanced to see some powerful search options including not only the keywords, but also the geographical areas in which you are particularly interested. You can subscribe to your searches so future updates go to your RSS reader when someone is talking about you. WE WILL ADD LOGOs of these apps, if you approve. Here are some of the top tools for listening to and monitoring the online conversation about your brand: Free Apps 1. Google Alerts Google Alerts is the steady rock in the sometimes white-water world of monitoring. You can easily target keywords that are important to your brand and receive streaming or batched reports—choose your own adventure. 5 Google Alerts can be found at http://www.google.com/alerts 6 Yahoo! Alerts can be found at: http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/alerts/Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management 2. Technorati Billing itself as "the leading blog search engine," Technorati has been helping bloggers and those with their fingers on the blog pulse stay informed for years. It’s a simple, free tool available for you to measure what is being talked about in the blogosphere. 3. Lexicon Are people talking about you on Facebook? If yes, then the Lexicon tool can help as it searches Facebook walls for keywords and provides a snapshot of the chatter volume around those terms. 4. Monitter Everyone is talking about Twitter, but what are people talking about on Twitter? Beyond the integrated search of Twitter apps like Twhirl and TweetDeck, Monitter provides real-time monitoring of the Twittersphere. 5. Tweetburner In the world of Twitter, URL shortening is the magic wand for effectively connecting with the public. Tweetburner also lets you track the clicks on those magically shortened links, giving you some hard numbers. *** Listening, analyzing and responding is key to successfully solving the brand monitoring equation and one step you don’t want to miss is how you use that information to interact with your audience. Build up Your Online Brand Visibility For many small and mid-sized businesses, you may find that you have very little online recognition so far. The time has come to promote your own brand by making your website visible and beginning to communicate regular updates through a blog mechanism. At a minimum, the top result for a search for your brand name on major search engines should be your business website. If it isn’t, you need to revisit your website to make sure that it was constructed in a search engine-friendly manner. Your brand nameCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management should be prominently used in text on the Home and other “About” pages, and the HTML Title and Meta-Description tags. Manage and protect that position as it may be vital to keep your content ranked above any other comments or news that may come out about your brand. Make sure you have set up your business in the Google 7 and Yahoo! 8 local listing services. These profiles are increasingly visible in search results, especially for businesses that do local services and are searched with regional, city or other local qualifying terms. If you don’t already have a blog, you really should consider creating one. “Blogs” (the term is a contraction of “Web Log”) is a mechanism made popular initially by individuals for their opinions and diaries. In the last few years, it has become a preferred method for communicating all types of business information to audiences who are interested in your field or products or services. This topic is covered in more depth in an excellent whitepaper within this series. Click here for the whitepaper “Time is of the Essence: Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Social Media” by Heather Anges-Lee, Social Media Strategist, WSI. Another important way to build your brand visibility is by using the social media sites themselves. The full subject of social media has also been covered in more depth in another WSI whitepaper entitled “Understanding the ‘Buzz’ Around Social Media: Finding the Right Social Media Mix” by Baltej Gill, Social Media Strategist, WSI. Click here to download it: http://getwsipowered.com/socialmedia. But at a minimum, if you are a professional services business, build a company page in LinkedIn. If your business is more consumer-oriented, a Facebook Fan Page can be a valuable way of bringing awareness to more people. The example shown here for a heating, plumbing and air conditioning company was built around a character they’ve used in local advertising and gives a literal “face” to their online presence. If you’ve got commercials, presentations or other visual and audio materials, create a YouTube channel where you can post these materials. YouTube is now the second-most searched website after Google, surpassing Yahoo! in the number of searches per month. Your positive presence there can do a lot to improve your perceived reputation. 7 List your business on Google Local at http://www.Google.com/LocalBusinessCenter 8 List your business on Yahoo! Local at http://www.local.yahoo.comCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management Engage The most critical factor in this online brand management game is to engage in conversation. The simple fact is that marketing in the Internet world is not a one-way activity. Some ways to engage with your markets and customers: Make sure you post to your fan pages or company profiles from time to time. Make sure you, or someone you assign, responds to the conversations you are now monitoring. Expand your blog by opening it up for comments. Invite people you know to read and link to it; monitor the comments and make sure you respond with thoughtful answers. Consider engaging in active feedback with your market. As mentioned earlier, more and more consumers are looking for hard data from other buyers to determine the credibility and quality of goods and services they find online. Add a 3rd party, online review capability on your website and solicit feedback from customers. Review publishing site Customer Lobby 9 has a service that provides a means to ratings and feedback and post it in a very credible way. They also provide an enhanced service for under $100/month that includes making 3 phone-based client interviews to solicit in depth insights to your client’s perceptions. Conclusion This is a lot for many business owners and executives to absorb. The important message is that consumers have unprecedented voice and visibility today, enabled by the Internet and social media sites. If you have not brought your company around to this reality, it is time to start. We suggest you use the following checklist to get some traction and begin to protect your brand online: 9 Customer Lobby can be found at http://www.CustomerLobby.comCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 8 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management 1. Ask 5 customers what they would say about your business, products or services. Find out how you will respond if it isn’t all positive. Comment Response 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 2. Make sure your company website comes up What position did my site come up? first when you search for it by name in Google. If not, who do I talk to about getting that fixed? 3. Set up a daily Google Alert for your company name, and some relevant industry terms. Done: ______________ (date)Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 9 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management 4. Make a list of 10 things you repeatedly explain Blog Titles: to customers; then assign them to someone to write each one into a blog post. Start your blog and start posting them! 1. ________________________________ 2. ________________________________ 3. ________________________________ 4. ________________________________ 5. ________________________________ 6. ________________________________ 7. ________________________________ 8. ________________________________ 9. ________________________________ 10. ________________________________Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 10 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management 5. Pick a social media site to get engaged in. Start a conversation by linking a status to your blog posts; tout your successes and ask friends Facebook to become fans. LinkedIn Twitter MySpace YouTube Other 6. Make sure you have a way for customers who have feedback on your products or services to get their input to you in a constructive way that Customer you can monitor and respond to. Survey Form Social Fan or Company Page OtherCopyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 11 of 12
    • Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management About the Author Gary Levine has been an Internet Consultant with WSI since January 2004, and he is currently on the Advisory Council, representing North East USA. He runs his WSI business from McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. and specializes in providing proven Internet marketing and social media consulting services to businesses of all sizes. If you have any questions, please email education@wsicorporate.com.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 12 of 12
    • Web Analytics: Optimize Your Marketing Dollars During the Recession Figure 4 demonstrates how inquiries as well as lead quality are tracked and segmented. (Figure 4) Observations: • Identifying the source of all the “junk” inquires resulted in significant savings on lead generation. You might ask how. Easy! In case study #1, we discussed “campaign segmentation”, so apply the same concept here: o Say campaign X is bringing the “junk” traffic o Campaign X costs you $2,500 / month o By stopping campaign X, you begin saving $2,500 / month immediately o Alternatively, redeploy the same amount of dollars into a more effective channel, leading to an improved overall returns • Trending data (July and August in the above example), will help identify seasonal and other business cycle attributes. What To Do Next and Where Do I Start? You are not on your own! Helpful resources are in abundance. If you are a business owner, you can take the following steps: • Ask for numbers, data and reports on efforts you are spending money on. • Educate your staff about the importance of tracking and measurement (highlight cost savings, increase in revenue, etc.)Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 6
    • Web Analytics: Optimize Your Marketing Dollars During the Recession • Online marketing is much more measurable than traditional marketing. Familiarize yourself with online marketing terms (keywords, SEO, PPC, conversion rates, etc.) • Stay connected with developments in your industry and monitor what your competition is doing. • Seek the help of a qualified Internet Marketing Consultant to increase your ROI! References & Helpful Resources Books: • “Web Analytics–An Hour a Day”, Avinash Kaushik • “Advanced Web Metrics – Google Analytics”, Brian Clifton Blogs: • http://www.kaushik.net/avinash • http://analytics.blogspot.com • http://www.e-nor.com/blog About the Author Feras has an extensive background in the areas of business consulting, interactive marketing and Web analytics. Feras has traveled the globe educating businesses and Consultants on the subjects of search engine marketing, online marketing and analytics. Under his leadership, his company has achieved certification as a Qualified Google AdWords Advertising Company as well as a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant (GAAC). Feras can be reached at education@wsicorporate.com.Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 6