The 8 Essential Steps To Internet Marketing
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Internet Marketing can be a powerful tool for your company but has a way of intimidating the majority of business owners. But internet marketing

Internet Marketing can be a powerful tool for your company but has a way of intimidating the majority of business owners. But internet marketing

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The 8 Essential Steps To Internet Marketing Document Transcript

  • 1. Table Of 2 6 13 19 23 27 32 35 Contents pg Step 1: Create a Keyword Strategy pg Step 2: Optimize Your Website To Get Found pg Step 3: Create a Blog & Marketing Offers pg Step 4: Promote Content Through Social Media pg Step 5: Convert Website Traffic Into Leads pg Step 6: Nurture Leads By Using Targeted Messages pg Step 7: Optimize Your Marketing For Mobile Viewing pg Step 8: Analyze & Refine Strategies 1
  • 2. 1 Step Create A Keyword Strategy How do your customers find products or services on the web? Unless they have a site already bookmarked, they likely use a search engine to find what they are looking for. If you are trying to build your business, you have to make sure that your website comes in at the top of those search engine results. Building your keyword strategy is essential. Keywords are those words or phrases someone types into a search engine to find information they want. Keywords also work in social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. A keyword can be a single word or an entire paragraph, though most are two or three words long. Why is Building a Keyword Strategy So Important? According to a 2011 survey, over 75 percent of Internet users do product and service research online. To take advantage of this traffic, you need to optimize your website so it ranks high in search engine results. Keywords are a cornerstone of optimizing your website and social media profiles for search engines. Predicting with 100 percent accuracy which keywords will give you the most traffic is impossible. However, you can do research on which keywords are popular and competitive. You can also test keywords by adding content to your website and seeing who visits. Doing keyword research is an ongoing process. As trends emerge and fade away, so do keywords associated with them. Checking your keywords periodically will show these trends. This allows you to keep your website at the top of the search engine ranks. Optimizing your website means you can grow organic traffic. When you get traffic through organic search engine ranking, you can save money on pay-per-click campaigns through Google Adwords or another PPC company. 2
  • 3. How to Create a Keyword Strategy When selecting keywords for your website optimization, keep these things in mind: • What words or phrases would someone use to look for your service or product? For example, if you are a plumbing company in Chicago, a couple of keywords might be “plumber Chicago” or “Chicago plumbing services.” Think of as many keywords as you can. • Local businesses need to include all the communities they serve. A Chicago plumber may also offer service in a neighboring city like Oak Park. A keyword might be “Oak Park plumber.” • Unless you are a large corporation, own a highly recognized brand, or are a famous local business, your keywords will not include your company name. Most people will not look for “Joe’s Plumbing” unless they know you personally. • Be sure to include long-tail keywords. These keywords are the ones that are more specific to your company. For a Chicago plumber, a long-tail keyword can include “residential plumbing services Chicago Illinois.” Ultimately you want to create a list of 10 to 20 keywords for your products and services. In the next step, you are going to whittle that list down to three to five keywords. Selecting Your Final Keyword List When you have your list ready, you need to rate each entry for relevance and competition level. The ideal list will contain relevant keywords that offer plenty of traffic without being too competitive. Some keywords are very competitive. Think of how many entries you will see if you search for “plumber Chicago”. For small and mediumsize companies, getting to the top ranks of highly competitive keywords is very difficult and expensive. You need to get traffic from the less competitive keywords. 3
  • 4. How do you rate a keyword for competition level? You can use a tool like Google Keyword Tool. You type in the keyword and it gives you back the amount of traffic the word has and its competition level. You want one that has higher traffic numbers but a Low or Medium competition ranking. A bonus of the Google Keyword Tool is that it returns a list of related keywords and their statistics. You may find some terms on that list you had not thought of. The next step is to rate whether a word is relevant to your business. If a person is trying to find a plumbing parts dealer, they will search for “plumbing parts Chicago” or “drain pipe Chicago.” If you are a plumber providing service and do not sell parts to the public, those keywords might not be relevant. Now you likely have a shorter list of keywords at this point. Go through them and use your knowledge of the business. You have to strike a balance between relevance and difficulty. You want keywords that match your business very well. But, you do not have to have a perfect match out of the gate. 4
  • 5. Design and Optimize Your Website Around Your Keyword List You have your list. It is time to make them a part of your website. Adding keywords in the right places is search engine optimization. You can add them to your content, as descriptions for images, and in your social media profiles. 5
  • 6. 2 Step Optimize Your Website To Get Found When you see a newspaper at a newsstand or in a box, the first part you see is the top half of the front page. That is the part of the paper considered “above the fold.” It is where the big headlines sit and where every newspaper reporter in the world wants their by-line. What does that have to do with Internet marketing? You want your company to come in “above the fold” when it comes to search engine ranking. You want that top spot so visitors will be more likely to come to your site instead of your competition’s. What Does It Mean to be “Above the Fold”? How do you get your company in that coveted position? The answer is with search engine optimization, or SEO. In most cases, to come in “above the fold” means having your company appear in the first page of search engine results. The top three spots are the most coveted. But, for a big industry with a lot of competition, you want to appear in the first couple of pages. You have to optimize your website and your social media profiles to make that happen. Both work together to propel your company to those lofty ranks. A note on content: While Google says you need to design your website for visitors, not search engines, you need to keep search engines in mind when you optimize. Balancing quality content with search engine optimization is the best route to take. 6
  • 7. What Do You Need to Know About SEO? You will find two categories of SEO: on-page and off-page. • On-Page SEO refers to how your website content plays to search engines. This counts for 25 percent of how search engines rank your site or a particular web page. • Off-Page SEO refers to what other websites say about your site. If other sites reference your site using inbound links, this lends credence in the eyes of search engine bots. This counts for 75 percent of how search engines rank your site or page. Even though on-page SEO counts for only 25 percent, this needs to be your area of first concern. You can make changes to it immediately. Off-page SEO is something that takes time to build and refine. Nine Essential Components of On-Page Website Optimization What do you need to do? Component #1 - Page Title When you look at the top of your browser on a web page, the text you see is the title of the page. In the HTML , it is what appears between the <title> tags. Here is how you optimize the page title: • The title needs to include keywords • Make your title 70 characters or less since Google search results only show that much. That count includes spaces and punctuation. • Put keywords close to the start of the title for the most impact • The title needs to appeal to site visitors and give relevant information on the page’s contents • Include your company name at the end of the page title • Use different titles for each page and use different keywords on each page. 7
  • 8. Component #2 - Meta Description and Meta Data Meta data are HTML tags that provide a holder for page information. This can include the author, the language, and the last modified date, among others. The meta description tag is one of these tags. The meta description does not display on the web page itself. However, Google will display it in the search engine results as a description for the web page. While it does not influence search engine rankings, the description does provide the searcher with pertinent information. Using keywords and providing some detail in the description can get the searcher’s attention. Ideally, the description will be 150 characters or less since that is what Google will display. If Google does not find a meta description in the HTML tags, the default is to show the first few words on the website. Component #3 - Headings If you look at the HTML in any website page, you will see tags like <h1>, <h2>, or <h3>. These are heading tags. They make certain pieces of information more prominent than others on the site. Search engines give more weight to any words or phrases inside these header tags. Those with the <h1> tag will get more weight than those with the <h2> tag. The <h2> tags will have more weight than the <h3> tags. How to use your headers for search engine optimization: • Use only one <h1> tag in the page. • Do not over use any header tags. Too many will dilute the weight placed on your headers. • While <h4>, <h5>, and <h6> tags exist, they carry no value with search engines. • Use keywords in headers for added weight. • Throw in a few <h2> and <h3> tags to break up paragraphs in order to make reading easier. Headers help with human readability, but you can also use them for SEO. 8
  • 9. Component #4 - Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Most modern websites use cascading style sheets (CSS) to handle the format and visual aspects. Older websites only used HTML markup for these functions. Using CSS can improve your search engine ranking. Search engine bots read the HTML text in your web pages. If you have a bunch of formatting information in your web page, this dilutes the weight of your content in the eyes of the search engine bots. If your website currently only uses HTML markup for formatting, transition to CSS for more impact. Component #5 - Images Images are part of the visual package you are presenting to your visitors. They enhance the user’s experience. For SEO purposes, you need to keep a few things in mind: • Use a small number of images. Putting too many images on a page can slow down the load time. That will be a negative for the user’s experience and it also counts against your search engine ranking. • Keep the size of your images to the smaller side. Let’s say you have only one image on your site. That is great for SEO, right? Maybe. If the image file is too large, you will get a slow load time and have the search engines count it against you. • Always associate text with images. Each image should have ALT text added to it because search engines do not know what a picture contains. You can give a keyword rich description in the ALT text to gain SEO traction. • Make your image file name relevant and keyword rich. Many people visit a website first because an image draws their attention. Separate keywords with a dash in the file name. Component #6 - Domain Information How long have you extended your domain name commitment for? Most people renew their domain name every year or two without thinking about the impact it has on their search engine rankings. The search engines actually love sites with a long registration time. It indicates that the site is less likely to be spam. You can stretch out the registration time for many years and see a positive impact to your SEO results. 9
  • 10. Component #7 - MOZ Rank The MOZ rank comes from an algorithm that ranks a web page’s authority from zero to ten, with ten being the highest. This algorithm looks at both on-page and off-page SEO. When you make changes to your on-page SEO, it can bring your MOZ rank up. You can find a few places on the web where they will show your MOZ rank when you type in your URL. Component #8 - Google Crawl Date You want Google to crawl your site as often as possible. When their search engine bots crawl your site, they update the indexing information related to it, including your keywords and SEO efforts. You can get Google to look at your site more often by doing regular updates with fresh content. Component #9 - URL Structure The URL of any web page is the web address people and search engines use to get to that particular one. Your URL structure can actually work in your favor when it comes to SEO. Adding keywords to your URL and making it humanly readable makes it search engine friendly. Here are some more tips for making your URL structure SEO friendly: • Apply a 301 Redirect when appropriate. A 301 redirect allows you to redirect an old URL to a new one. If you change the URL of any page on your site, make sure to put a 301 redirect in for the new page. Also, make sure you put a redirect in place between the name of your website with and without the www in front. For example, put a 301 redirect for yoursite.com to www.yoursite.com. If you do not do this, search engines may count the two names as separate sites. That will cut your SEO impact in half. • Keep URL nests to one or two levels only. Here is an example of a deeply nested URL: http://yoursite.com/about/management/ president/contact/phone. This URL has five sublevels. This type of nesting gets less SEO credit. A better site design will help improve this problem. • Include keywords in your URLs. If you have not purchased a domain name yet, find one that has a keyword included. If you already have a domain name, don’t worry. You can get keywords embedded in the titles of your internal pages. 10
  • 11. • Separate keywords with dashes. Replace any spaces in your URLs with dashes (-). For example, http://yoursite.com/inboundmarketing/ is a good URL since it captures “inbound marketing” as a keyword. • Create static URLs/Avoid dynamic URLs. A static URL is always the same. The example http://yoursite.com/inbound-marketing/ is an example of a static one. A dynamic URL can change in different circumstances. An example is http://www.yoursite.com/forums/ thread.php?threadid=12345&sort=date. Search engines love static URLs. Because dynamic ones can change, they will have less weight with the search engines. Most content management systems offer a way to set-up static page names. Balance is Critical No Stuffing Avoid keyword stuffing. A major mistake some web designers make is trying to maximize the use of keywords by stuffing as many of them as possible on a single web page. You have seen pages like this. Let’s say the keyword was “dog food.” The text of the web site reads something like this: “Dog food is great. Dog food is nutritious. My dog loves dog food. Your dog will love dog food.” They think that using as many keywords in the shortest amount text possible will enhance their search engine rankings. In fact, the exact opposite happens. Search engines bots are getting smarter and smarter. When a page comes back with too many keywords, the search engines will rank it lower. Improving Off-Page SEO with Inbound Links As pointed out before, off-page SEO makes up 75 percent of your search engine ranking. It’s simple. Search engines look at what other websites “say” about you. If other websites have plenty to “say” about you, you will get a higher authority ranking and a higher search engine ranking. 11
  • 12. How does the search engine know what other websites are “saying”? Inbound links. Inbound links are a major indicator of a website’s authority. An inbound link happens when another website links to one of your website pages. The easiest way to get those links is to create highquality, easy to share content, then start sharing it through social media. When you start spreading the word to your followers, they will start linking to it. Also, share it in industry forums and on other places where you talk about industry related topics. How does the weight of inbound links differ? • The higher number of inbound links you have, the higher your authority level. Links from one site count less than links from 10 sites. • The authority rank of the linking website carries weight. For example, a link from a major newspaper site would rank higher than one from your local chat group. • The linking page’s title counts towards the weight. If the title is generic like “Home,” it will count less than a title that is similar to your web page content. • The anchor text used on the link also counts. Much like the title, if the anchor text is relevant to your page content, that link counts more. That is how you increase your “link love.” 12
  • 13. 3 Step Create A Blog & Marketing Offers Blogs are a powerful tool in Internet marketing. They attract people interested in what you are talking about. They also give the perfect introduction for your company, your services and your products. When paired with other content like eBooks and webinars, you have the start of a powerful marketing program. Today, with platforms like Wordpress and Blogger, publishing a blog is easier than ever. There is really no excuse for a company not to have an active blog. Stop and Think Before You Start Blogging When you blog, you need to have a purpose. For a business blog, that purpose is to attract potential customers and to keep current customers engaged. Think of your blog as a magazine that highlights your company and what you do. You are going to offer value to your customers with this blog. This means thinking more like a magazine publisher sometimes than a business owner or manager. Choosing your words carefully is the best approach to business blogging. You have a keyword strategy in place. You are familiar with the way your customers view your company, its products, and services. You need to use your customers’ language in your blog instead of industry jargon. For example, a web designer’s blog would talk about new features available for customers in language they understand. It would not use technical jargon about how those features work. Integrate Your Blog into Your Website Many companies make the mistake of using a blog that sits on someone else’s site. Instead of having a URL like Blog.MyCompany. com, they may have a URL like MyCompanyBlog.OtherSite.com that they link to from the company site, MyCompany.com. This shift of URL is a mistake. Put your blog on your site and have it use your company’s domain name. 13
  • 14. Why is this important? • Visitors are weary when one site takes them to a different domain name. Even though it would be to the company’s blog, this shift can drive some visitors elsewhere. • Putting the blog on another company’s site means there is a disconnect between the look and feel of your company website and the blog. That shift can turn some visitors off. • Search engines love fresh content. In order for your blog posts to count towards that fresh content, they must be on your company website. Platforms to Consider for Your Business Blog Popular blogging platforms include Wordpress, Typepad, Drupal, Blogger, and Posterous. All of these offer the functionality you need to run a successful business blog. Some key features included in the content management system for these platforms are: • Add content without the need for a webmaster • No need to know HTML • Schedule posts in the future • Update and edit posts on the fly 14
  • 15. Creating a Great Blog Post A good blog post has a few critical elements. Every one of your posts should have each and every one of these elements: • Compelling Article Title - Your title is a major deciding factor in whether someone clicks through to read the article. If your title is boring or vague, you will see very little traffic. Be compelling, clear, and specific on your topic. This attracts readers and prompts them to share with others. You want titles that also appeal to search engines. Try to use a keyword in your title for SEO purposes. • Professionally Written and Formatted Text - Your blog needs to include text which looks and reads professionally. Use header tags to break up long lengths of text. Use bullet points to create easily digested bits of information. Paragraphs should contain three to five sentences at most. Use plenty of white space in your formatting. If you are not a professional writer, consider hiring a ghostwriter instead. • Add Multimedia Content - Try to add at least one relevant piece of multimedia to each blog post. Relevant multimedia content will make your article more memorable and easier to read. It breaks up the text and makes the piece more visually appealing. You can add images, slide show presentations, videos, and infographics as features. • Add Links - Your articles should give links to relevant content. These links help your readers get more information and find other resources on the same topic. You can point to internal pages to help generate more internal traffic. You can add links to landing pages to generate leads. You can add external links to help your SEO. • Call-To-Action - Every blog post needs to have a relevant call-to-action. Calls-to-action direct your visitor to do something. It might be to a relevant eBook or white paper you will give them in exchange for their name and email address. It might be to an upcoming webinar you are holding. 15
  • 16. What Do You Write About for Your Company Blog? You need to start your business blog with a purpose in mind. What do you want to educate your audience about? Do not make the mistake of using your blog to talk only about your products or services. A blog needs to give useful information to the visitor that goes beyond your products or services. You can write about common industry issues, problems your customers may be facing, and the solutions your product or service can offer to handle those problems. Your products and services get mentioned, but in the context of solving a problem. A great way to get started blogging is to tackle common questions customers ask in your industry. You might answer one or two a week for the first ten or twelve weeks. You have set the stage for your business blog. At the end of that time, check your blog analytics to see which articles are most popular. Use those popular topics for the next series of articles. If you are running low on ideas, consider interviewing someone important in your company. Now, if you are the owner and only employee, that is very difficult. But, if you have a head technician, or a sales manager, you have the perfect interview subject. Always let your passion and experience shine through your blog articles. Always keep these best practices in mind. What is the Ultimate Goal of Business Blogging? Lead generation. You have a fantastic opportunity to generate leads with your business blog. A blog allows you to attract organic traffic while engaging your audience with quality content. However, the focus of your blog is always to generate leads and drive conversions. That is why all posts need a call-toaction that links to landing pages. On the landing page, you can give the visitor access to in-depth materials such as an eBook, white paper, or webinar in exchange for becoming a lead. 16
  • 17. Your calls-to-action should appear in the post and in a sidebar to the blog. You can include CTAs with images, buttons, and text in the blog itself. Add two or three CTAs to each blog entry sprinkled from start to finish. A CTA can include any of the following: • Downloading some content • Following the business on social media • Subscribing to the blog • Joining the newsletter. When placing your CTAs, make sure they resonate with the content in your blog post. If your blog focuses on nutritional foods, your blog might focus on how quinoa is a great addition to a healthy diet. For the CTAs, you could encourage the reader to download a report that lists 25 other healthy additions to any diet. Do not use too many CTAs. Too many calls-to-action will interrupt the flow of your blog. It also looks like spam and will turn visitors away. Download The Full List of 25 Healthy Diet Additions! Web Content for Marketing is More than Blog Posts For internet marketing purposes, blogging is valuable. However, producing longer-form content is a useful lead generation activity. These can include research reports, white papers and ebooks. Adding non-text content like slide shows, videos, and webinars offer even more choices. 17
  • 18. These longer-form content options will feed your lead generation and conversion efforts. Visitors will love the value these industry resources offer. The content can educate on basic concepts, enrich existing knowledge, or just entertain. The richness of this content is powerful. It can help achieve the information exchange of having a visitor filling out a lead capture form to get the resource. That is critical in the sales cycle. Do not offer content randomly though. Based on marketing analytics, you need to select your rich content carefully. Reporting insights will help you select the content to get your target audience in place. Plus, on-going analytics will help you refine your offerings. For example, if more people chose to download a white paper than to view your webinar, you need to put more effort in text-based content than video-based. Closed-loop marketing helps find the offers with the highest conversion rates and then leveraging their power appropriately. Get Information Give Resources Grow Leads 18
  • 19. Step 4 Promote Content Through Social Media Social media plays a major part in successful Internet marketing. Leveraging social networks can spread business content and increase inbound links to your website. As your network grows, it increases the number of people listening to what you have to say. All of this can help your business revenue grow. Social media allows for direct communication between you and your customers, prospects, and employees. You can use it to drive brand visibility and recognition online. While there are dozens of social media channels out there, the top three players are: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Before you run out and open up your social media accounts, you need to check marketing analytics and create a plan. Marketing Analytics Begin with Monitoring Social Media In order to use social media for your company, you need to tap into industry-related conversation already happening. This offers you vital information and the opportunity to respond. Certain tools can help with these efforts: • Google Alerts - Set-up Google alerts for your company, your brand, your products, your company leaders, top industry terms, your competition, and anything else that will help you tap into industry conversations. You can have them delivered as they happen or in a daily digest. This information gives you insight to what people are saying about your company as well as relevant keywords for your industry. • Hootsuite - This tool allows you to save keyword searches in a live stream so you won’t miss what people are saying about your brand, your industry, and your products on social media. 19
  • 20. Twitter for Business If you didn’t already know, Twitter is a social network where people share 140-character messages to their network. People subscribe or “follow” another person or company’s network to receive messages. Spending a bit of time seeing what people are talking about in regards to your business or industry will help you decide if Twitter is a good addition to your marketing efforts. If Twitter is a good fit, you can set-up a free account in just seconds. Use these tips when setting up your business Twitter account: • Use your business name as your Twitter username. For example, if your company is XYZ Company Inc, you can set up your Twitter name as “@XYZCompany.” • Use your company logo as the profile image for the account. • Create and add a custom Twitter background for your profile page that offers more information about your business to visitors. • Use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to identify industry leaders and potential customers that your business should follow. Facebook for Business Facebook is the most popular social media site today. As of December 2012, the company had over 200 million active users and one billion accounts created. This audience offers a place to build a community of followers and to increase word-of-mouth marketing. You can set-up a business account on Facebook for free. • Take time to set-up your profile and use SEO practices throughout • Make your logo your profile picture • Use your new Facebook account to follow industry leaders and potential customers 20
  • 21. LinkedIn for Business Business people created and grew LinkedIn as a professional social media site. Many people use it to connect with potential customers and employers. In November 2012, the company reported over 187 million members. It has become a major place for lead generation, especially for B2B companies. Much like Twitter and Facebook, you can get a free account on LinkedIn when you sign up. Take time to set-up your profile and fill it in completely. Optimize the profile with links to your company website and blog. This is the page where other companies will come and check you out. Make it accurate and show your passion. If you want to leverage LinkedIn even more, there are two features that you want to concentrate on: • LinkedIn Groups - Join industry-related groups in LinkedIn. These groups offer a place to take part in industry topics and to interact with industry leaders. It offers a place to make business connections and to share content. • LinkedIn Answers - When someone has a challenge or need, they can post a question to LinkedIn Answers. When you find a question that your company can answer, you have a great opportunity. You can give the answer with links to your company’s products and Use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to identify industry leaders and services that address the issue. Not only will the person who originally asked the question see the answer, so will others who search for a similar answer. You can generate high-quality traffic and see a good number of leads from just answering a question. potential customers that your business should follow. 21
  • 22. After Setting Up Your Social Media Accounts When you have your business social media accounts in place and optimized, you need to take a step that many companies fail to do or only partially do. Integrate those accounts into your marketing efforts and start using them: • Add links from your website to those profiles to allow people to follow you. • Offer “Like” buttons on your blog posts • Add your profile information to online (website, newsletter, etc.) and offline (business cards, brochures, etc.) marketing materials. • Post updates routinely when you add a new blog post. • Integrate social media campaigns into your marketing plans Make Social Media a part of your marketing efforts. 22
  • 23. 5 Step Convert Website Traffic Into Leads So, what have you done so far? • Started your blog • Applied SEO to your website • Got started in social media • Began promoting your content via social media If you have been at this for a few weeks, your traffic numbers should already be on the rise. You have a growing number of people visiting your website every day. Yet you still have a problem. Your new traffic is not generating any business. Why go to all that effort to have no increase in sales? Take heart, the process is not done yet. You have set the stage to take the next step: converting website traffic into quality leads. All that traffic is poised to enter your sales funnel. Now you will start moving those visitors further into the sales funnel by converting them to leads. How Do You Convert Traffic to Leads? • Create a compelling offering • Launch a landing page where visitors will give their information in exchange for the offering and don’t forget to say “Thanks” • Create a call-to-action to promote the offering • Test and Measure the results and repeat. 23
  • 24. The Detailed Steps for Converting Traffic to Leads • Step #1 - Choosing The Compelling Offer Your offering is what will draw people to your website - the visitors. It must speak to your target audience and give them a reason to fill out the form to get access to that prime offering. If you are a vegetable gardening expert, you want to create an offer that will attract someone who wants to grow their own vegetable garden, even if it is for the first time. You can use product-focused offers as well as content-based offers. You might offer a free consultation, a 30-day trial, or a live demonstration of your product. Use your imagination. You may come up with a unique offering that no one else has used in your industry. If you think it will work for your target audience, try it. Anything you offer is designed to start a conversation with your target audience. Whether you are the only salesperson or if you have a full sales staff, these offers will get the conversation started so you can lead that prospect into becoming a paying customer. • Step #2 - Create a Landing Page and Download / Thank You Page In order to give people the opportunity to sign up for your offering, you need a landing page. This is where your various calls-to-action will take visitors. Having a call-to-action with no place to take action is a mistake made by many. It will frustrate visitors and make them go elsewhere. Your landing page will contain two elements: a description of the offering and the form where visitors fill out information before gaining access to the offering. • Offering Description - The description should offer a concise list of bullet points about the benefits the offering provides. Integrating graphics into this description is also good. Use clear language with what you are offering: “Download the whitepaper here” or “Get your copy of the eBook here.” • Visitor Form - The information you ask for on the form is what you will use for sales and marketing purposes. Do not ask for too much information as this can turn away people who do not want to become spam victims. Get the information you need to start the sales conversion process. You can gather more information later in the sales process if needed. Many start with name and email address. 24
  • 25. As soon as the visitor gives the basic information, immediately redirect them to a thank-you page where they can download the offering. Not all leads are the same. In the future, you can start filtering out leads for quality. At this point, getting leads in the pipeline is the goal. • Step #3 - Creating Calls-to-Action You have your offering and a page where people can sign-up to download it. You are ready to start integrating calls-to-action to direct people to the offering. A call-to-action is a button or link that grabs the user’s attention and takes that person to the landing page. You can use many types of calls-to-action throughout your website, in email, on blog posts, inside offers, and in any other marketing efforts you send in a campaign. The call-to-action and landing page need to align in message and look. If your CTA offers “Download this industry leading whitepaper about X,” your landing page needs the same message. If you change the landing page message to “Get this eBook about Y,” you have lost your audience. If you are using a graphic element in your callto-action (button, image, etc.), be sure that look is also present on the landing page. Make sure your message tell the benefits of your offering. When creating a CTA, make sure it links properly to your landing page. Check it several times before publishing it so your visitors do not get confused or lost. With compelling calls-to-action, you will start seeing leads signing up. Download Free eBook Download Free eBook THANK YOU! Download 25
  • 26. • Step #4 - Test and Measure Results To get an exact measure of your conversion efforts, you need to look at a few critical marketing metrics on the basic elements in your conversion process: calls-to-action, landing pages, and offerings. Here are the metrics to watch: • Click-through rate (CTR) on the calls-to-action - You may have two or three different CTAs for a single landing page. You may find that one of those CTAs stands out for pulling people in while the others are only mediocre. This allows you to focus your efforts on the CTAs that work with your audience. • Conversion rate of the landing page - Your CTAs bring them to the landing page. How many of those people are taking the next step to fill out the form and become a lead? You can offer more than one landing page. Measure which one of the landing pages has the better conversion rates. • Number of new leads and sales from a particular offering - Your landing pages and CTAs are bringing in leads to a particular offering. Once you offer more than one offering, you can begin to measure and compare which offering is drawing the largest number of leads. These metrics give you an idea of what is successful and what is not in your conversion process. To find what is working best, you have to test different CTAs, landing pages, and offers. Make changes every three to four weeks to your CTAs and see if it improves your numbers. Add a different offering every couple of months and see which one gets the most leads. Test different versions of landing pages. Keep a copy of the older ones, you can always switch back if the new version doesn’t work. In a few months, you will begin to get a good idea of what your audience likes in the conversion process and what they do not. But, do not stop experimenting. You can continue to get those numbers to climb. 26
  • 27. Step 6 Nurturing Leads By Using Targeted Messages Here are some statistics to ponder: • A full 50 percent of leads are looking for what you have to offer but are not ready to become a paying customer. That statistic comes from Gleanster Research. • Another survey, this time from Forrester Research, indicates that companies who have active lead nurturing plans gain 50 percent more highly-qualified leads at 1/3 less cost than other companies without a plan. • MarketingSherpa found that up to 65 percent of companies have not established a lead nurturing plan. What does that add up to? A smart company needs to invest time and effort into developing a lead nurturing plan. This plan will boost qualified leads with a lower cost than the competition. All of this effort will put you well ahead of your less ready competition. Lead nurturing involves building a relationship with your potential customer. You do this by sending targeted, relevant messages to your leads in a timely manner. The goal of this effort is to get them to convert from being a lead into a paying customer. It also lays the foundation for them becoming repeat customers. The Concept of Lead Nurturing Lead nurturing is a plan and a system you put into place to pre-qualify an early stage lead. Most Internet marketers use an automated series of email messages to do this. Getting leads is fantastic. Not all leads are ready to become paying customers when they are visiting your site. In fact, anywhere from 75 to 95 percent of visitors are not ready to make a purchase. They are in research mode. 27
  • 28. How much time does it take your sales funnel to move a lead from the first inquiry to becoming a paying customer? Does this time vary based on what product or service they ultimately buy? This is information that can help you in establishing working lead nurturing plans. You can create campaigns designed to maximize this marketing channel, to find quality leads, and to enhance your sales effort. Best Practices for Email Marketing Your lead nurturing plan should include a comprehensive email marketing plan. You need to look at the bigger picture besides nurturing leads through targeted email messages. You want to grow your email database, follow metrics closely, and use conversion best practices. • Building your email list A major challenge for Internet marketers, both experienced and newcomers, is creating opt-in opportunities. These are the chances you offer to visitors to opt-in to receive your email messages. You need to give them a reason to sign up to receive your emails. This all goes back to your marketing offers. You need to offer unique and interesting information in emails, like a newsletter or industry update. When you offer a form for them to sign up, offer clear reasons and benefits as to why they should do so. Do not send emails unless someone has explicitly opted in. They should have to check a box that says they want to receive emails. Just adding an email without this explicit permission is inviting your emails to be seen as spam. 28
  • 29. • Sending Emails Before sending emails, you need to keep one thing in mind. Leads respond better to personal messages not broadcast ones. Each email needs to be relevant to the person receiving it. What offer brought them to you in the first place? How can you follow-up to nurture their interest and engage them further? Here are some points to remember: • Use a real email sender name and add a personal signature. It can be the owner of the company or a sales person. • Personalize the message and remind them why they came to your site. “Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter” or “You recently downloaded the X white paper.” • All messages should offer value to the recipient. What will that person get from your email content? Project that value in the subject line and the email body. • Avoid sending emails touting your company and its products. Keep the sales message subtle to be effective. • Do not rely on images. Some companies send out an image that has text instead of a text email with an image to enhance it. Use images as clickable content in the email, but your main message should be text. • Be consistent in communications as this builds trust with customers. Pick a schedule and stick to it. Keep the same format and template for the email message. • Converting Email Followers into Customers Make sure each email you send out has a clear purpose and a call-to-action. What do you want that person to do when they open your email? It might be to direct them to a landing page on your website. It could be to share an offer with friends and family over social media. It might be to download a new white paper or ebook on your website. 29
  • 30. Even if someone is on your email list, that does not mean they are a qualified lead yet. You can send out an email asking them to go to a landing page. That landing page may offer special promotions or discounts. The landing page can take them further into the sales funnel and make them more likely to become a paying customer. When they sign up for this further offer, they are re-converting themselves into more qualified leads. The landing page is part of your campaign. Your email messages and landing pages must be consistent in message, offer, and look. This will promote the visitor’s trust in the offer. • Measure the Performance of Your Marketing Email You can find many ways to measure your marketing emails. Some of the metrics include the rate of successful delivery, the rate messages are opened, the rate of unsubscription, click-through rate, list growth rate, email-forwarding rate, and many others. Here are a couple of key ones to follow: Click-Through Rate (CTR) - This metric measures how many people you emailed actually clicked on the embedded links. This metric will give you an idea of how effective your marketing messages really are. You can try different offers, change email subject lines, create new CTAs, and tweak other parts of the email campaign and see the effect on the CTR. Conversion Rate - This metric measures how many clicks-throughs actually turned into re-conversions on the landing page. How many people opt-in for the offer or product? This is the greatest measure of how well your email marketing actually does. The higher this rate is, the more relevant and compelling your offer is to your target audience. Your conversion rate depends also on your landing page and the effectiveness of your offer. Test different offers and different landing pages to find the ideal mix. 30
  • 31. A couple of other metrics get a lot of attention, but do not offer a reliable picture of what is actually going on, specifically: Open Rate - This metric shows how many people actually opened the email. Most email clients measure this by measuring how many individuals loaded the images that are part of the email. This is unreliable because many major email clients do not automatically load these images. Unsubscribe Rate - This metric measures what percentage of recipients opted out of your email communication. This metric does not give a reliable measure of your email list health. You will have some people who do not unsubscribe, but who simply stop reading and opening your messages instead. Some More Thoughts This section offered a look at lead nurturing and email marketing. These are both essential components in a successful Internet marketing company. It allows you to engage your customers on an ongoing basis and to start pushing or leading those customers further down the sales funnel. This merges quite well with nurturing leads through social media and other platforms. At this point, the next step is to think about behavior-driven communications. Those are the communications based on your lead’s full history of interactions on and off your site. 31
  • 32. Step 7 Optimize Your Marketing For Mobile Viewing Mobile devices are a major player when it comes to Internet marketing. Need to see some statistics? • Over 270 million people in the United States own some sort of mobile device. • About 75 percent of mobile device users use their devices for shopping. • Forty-six (46) percent of users will not return to a site that is not mobile friendly. • By 2014, mobile device use will surpass desktops and laptops for browsing. What does this mean? You need to keep mobile devices in mind when developing an Internet marketing campaign. This means creating quality content that people can enjoy and share using their mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones. How Do You Optimize for Mobile Devices? There are a couple of options for making your website friendly to mobile devices: set up a redirect for mobile devices or use CSS to make your site mobile friendly. • Setup Redirect for Mobile Devices - This option means creating a second version of your website especially designed to work on the smaller screen of a mobile device. When someone comes in, the homepage determines the device screen size and if small enough redirects to the mobile version. The downside of this option is that you have to keep up two versions of your website. • Use CSS for Mobile Friendliness - This option is also known as adaptive web design. With this option, your website rearranges the images and text based on the screen size of the device coming in. This option only requires a single version of the website. The downside is that the coding for this is a bit more complicated than the other option. However, most web designers know how to handle this coding. 32
  • 33. Both options are being used by companies around the world. At first, only the big companies had mobile-friendly websites. Today, the expectation is that most companies will. Before deciding which option is best for your company, you need to assess your website content. What information do you need to present to mobile device users? These users want useful information. They need to access key information with easy to use navigation. They do not want to wade through tons of text to find what they need. You may need to remove some content for mobile users or to shrink images for mobile device viewing. Remember that many mobile device users use their fingers for navigating. Buttons should be easy to press with the fingertip. Font sizes may be different for easy viewing on a mobile device. The Essential Elements to Optimize for Mobile Devices Make sure your entire website works well for mobile devices. However, there are a few elements you want to make sure are mobile friendly for marketing purposes. If you have a web designer working for you, ask about these elements. Keep them in mind if you are doing it yourself: • mails - Emails should be concise and offer a link E to a mobile friendly landing page. • alls-To-Action & Landing Pages - Graphics used C in calls-to-action need to scale appropriately for mobile devices. Landing pages should also adjust for optimal viewing on a smaller screen. Keep descriptions short and concise but still compelling. • ownloads - Be sure to show a download size D on any files. You do not want the visitor to get a surprise when they use a good deal of bandwidth on a big download. • ideo - Videos are big users of bandwidth. Either V give a short summary of the video or create a very short version that hits the highlights. 33
  • 34. Mobile bandwidth costs will likely continue to rise in the near future. To keep your visitors happy, keep your videos and downloads very small. Give the visitor a concise text summary of video or slideshow content. That means they can get the gist of the content without eating into expensive bandwidth. If they are on a WiFi connection, they can view the full-sized version of the video. Now, all the Internet marketing strategies are in place. You have a working engine that is producing traffic, generating leads, and enticing customers. The next step is to make these stategies efficient and working at optimal levels. 34
  • 35. Step 8 Analyze & Refine Strategies Conclusion You have all the pieces in place. You have people coming to your site. This shows up as increased web traffic. You have people becoming leads. The lead count keeps climbing. You have people going further down the sales funnel and showing more interest by re-converting for more offers. Now is the time to start making adjustments to find what is working and what is not. Let’s look at some metrics you should be monitoring and get some suggestions on how to refine your Internet marketing strategy. 35
  • 36. How to Analyze and Refine Internet Marketing Strategies • Get an Analytics Program in Place - Analytics tools help you gather key measurements that show how well your marketing efforts are really working. The software ties into your customer relationship management system. It will give you a great deal of information on traffic and leads. It will also track new customers coming in through various channels and campaigns. One example of this kind of software is Google Analytics. There are other packages available as well. • Identify the Next Opportunities - As you go through your marketing analytics and activities, look for areas to improve. Do you want to increase your blog traffic? Do you want more leads? When something hits you, make a note of it. You can put it on your next steps list. Always think about your next steps and what you need to improve. • Set Goals for Success - When making a goal, be sure its quantifiable and has a solid timeline. Let’s say you want to increase traffic, your goal might be “Increase new visitor traffic by 20 percent by the end of the 2nd quarter.” • Refine Your Programs - You have programs in place. Check how they are performing and make changes. Your intention is to achieve your goals. You do this by doing more of what works and changing what is not working. As you make changes, measure their effectiveness. This is an ongoing process. • Evaluate Performance - You have a goal set. You should find out if you are going to meet that measurement. If you are, you have made a positive change. If you are off track, what can you do to change that? Making changes will help you meet goals and keep your business growing. Monitor your ongoing progress shortterm and long-term. 36
  • 37. Metrics You Need to Follow Certain metrics will give you critical information on how well your changes are doing. Before looking at making improvements, you need to understand what these metrics are and what they stand for. • Marketing Grade - The marketing grade offers a measurement of the weaknesses and strengths of your marketing efforts. The report will show you information that you can use to optimize your website and marketing efforts. • Traffic - Traffic is critical for measuring how many people are visiting your site. Which channel has the largest volume? Which one has the least? You now have a blueprint of what is working and what is not. You can make changes and launch campaigns to increase traffic numbers. • Leads - How many of those new visitors decide to become leads? You should see a healthy volume of lead generation. Which of your channels are generating the most leads? Which ones are not? • Customers - Every customer you get came through a particular channel. A particular campaign drew them in. You want to know which campaigns and channels are drawing the most sales. How many sales did you get this month? Are you improving over last month? When you see a growth trend, you are on the right track. You can tell which campaigns and channels are giving you the best ROI. • Keyword Effectiveness - Back in the first section, we looked at keyword strategy. You now want to know which keywords are getting people to come visit. Google Analytics makes this easy. Which keywords are getting you traffic? Which keywords ended up with the highest lead generation? Which keywords ended up with the highest sales? • Cost of Acquiring Customers - All marketing efforts count towards the bottom line. You want a low cost of acquisition in comparison with the amount of money a customer can spend. So, how much are you spending to get a single customer? Outbound marketing is expensive with direct mail, pop-up ads, and PPC campaigns. Inbound marketing is lower in cost and should yield a very low cost for each new customer. 37
  • 38. • Comparing New Visitor Count with Repeat Visitor Count - You want to attract both new and repeat visitors. New visitors show that your marketing efforts are attracting fresh people to your company and message. Repeat visitors means you have given those visitors a good experience and they want to get more. You want to find the right balance. Some suggest that you need about 15 percent repeat and 85 percent new. But, your company may be different. • Channel Effectiveness - Keep an eye on your channels. Which ones are sending you the most traffic? Look at this metric long-term. Some channels will get a spike on occasion. Also, look for referring sources. Are some external links bringing you a significant amount of traffic? Suggestions for Improving Your Results Here are a few suggestions to improve the results you have seen so far: • Keywords - You can add new keywords or try new versions of your keywords. Each web page offers an opportunity to use a different keyword. Add a new web page with new content and a new keyword. See how much traffic hits it. • On-Page SEO - Make a change to an on-page element and see what happens. You might change the meta description or the page title. Make a single change and measure if the page gets more traffic. If not, make another change and measure again. • Landing Pages and Conversion Forms - Make a change to a landing page. Try a new image on a conversion form. A simple change may make a big difference in the amount of opt-ins you see. Just be sure to keep your channels consistent in message and look. • What Types of Content - If you have followed the strategies laid out, you have a variety of content for visitors. Look at what people are visiting the most. You might have a video or webinar getting traffic or your blog articles may be tops. This tells you that you need more of that content and you need to adjust the other types of content. • Social Media - Like you watch search engine traffic, you need to check your social media traffic. Which social media channels are giving you the most visitors? Which ones are getting you leads and customers? Add more to the successful channels and change your performance in others. • Email Marketing - Experiment with your email marketing strategy. Try sending emails more often or less often. Change your CTAs. Keep making changes and measuring the results. 38
  • 39. Conclusion When someone first mentions Internet marketing, most people see it as too difficult to even tackle. But, when you break it down step by step, you can see that you can do it. You will see results. The information provided here will give you a solid foundation on which to build your business. Now you know the fundamentals of building a keyword strategy, optimizing for search engines, getting traffic to become leads, nurturing contacts into customers, and how to look at the entire structure for improvements. All of the industry secrets have been revealed. Master these concepts and apply them to your existing strategies or create new strategies based on these fundamentals. You will not only see immediate results but will conquer the mysteries or at least the perceived mysteries of successful internet marketing. Request A Free Internet Marketing Evaluation 39