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When you invest in any of our digital solutions, you’ll have some of the top minds in the industry working on your campaigns to deliver the best possible results. We understand that no two businesses …

When you invest in any of our digital solutions, you’ll have some of the top minds in the industry working on your campaigns to deliver the best possible results. We understand that no two businesses are the same, so we take the time to understand your organization and build campaigns that help you achieve your objectives.

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  • 1. 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 10-11 Easy Cars Rentals | Automotive 12-13 Agreements Online | Legal Documentation 14-15 Apex Predators | Shark Cage Diving Shark Photos 16-17 Dr. Aleksandra Cerny | Dental 18-19 Flower Spot | Full Service Florist 20-21 Information Technology | RDB Consulting 22-23 Trans-Global Migration | Immigration Consultancy 24-25 Corp Shorts | Internet Video Production Firm 26-27 Smart2BeGreen | Eco-Newsletter Publication 28-29 Segway Personal Transporters | Transportation 30-31 Harford County Cultural Arts Board | Association 32-33 Front Range Honda | Automotive 34-35 Sage Realty LLC | Real Estate 36-37 focusIT, Inc. | Information Technology 38-39 Seraphini | Italian Restaurant 40-41 Pond Liners | Landscaping 42-43 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 50-51
  • 2. Corinne’s Banquet Hall | Event Venue 52-53 GTours | Transportation /Charter Bus 54-55 Overton Security | Security Services 56-57 Subway Sandwiches - KSA | Restaurant Chain 58-59 Everdrive | Used Auto Parts 60-61 Pack and Ride | Affordable Residential Moving Services 62-63 2m2u | Print 64-65 Mo Shapiro | Public Speaker 66-67 Aesthetic Solutions | Health, Beauty Wellness 68-69 Johnson Equipment | Equipment Manufacturer 70-71 Skyline Whitespace | Exhibition Displays 72-73 Heartland Bank | Finance 74-75 Joya del Pacifico | Real Estate 76-77 Special Needs Family Center | Community Center 78-79 Marcum Group (Margolis Co. P.C.) | Finance 80-81 Tasty Bite | Food 82-83 White Plains Chrysler Jeep Dodge | Auto Dealer 84-85 APENDIX: WSI WHITE PAPERS Conversion Architecture 87-98 Email Marketing 99-109 Landing Page Design 111-125 Your Guide to Paid Search 127-139 Search Engine Optimization 141-147 Social Media 149-160 Web Analytics 161-166
  • 3. Media Entertainment FBT Film and Entertainment Search Engine Optimization www.fbtfilm.com Challenges and Goals: FBT Film’s services include underwriting films, insurance,budget analysis,tax credit filings and location assistance.Prior to building a website,FBT Film had relied largely on direct word of mouth referrals for their business. But with the rapid growth of the industry, they wanted to reach out via their website to film producers and executives that they did not have direct contact with. The Solution: A new website was developed that captured the look and feel of a movie-focused Louisiana based investment firm. The site included a content management system that allows for easy updating and addition of new pages as needed. WSI created professionally written content for the website and optimized it to attract web users searching for related key words and phrases. This included optimizing the site for title tags,headers and keywords. 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 a result,this relatively new site was able to earn high page 1 rankings in less than one year for their targeted search phrases. Results: This site was launched on a brand new domain which can be difficult to rank early on. However, after only 90 days, even with a brand new domain name and no Pay-per- Click (PPC) advertising, they earned a spot on page 1 of Google for key phrases for their business and on page 2 for some others. Within a year we were able to help the client earn natural search results through extensive article and PR efforts as well as good on-site optimization. This placed them very high in search engine rankings. These include phrases such as: » Louisiana film incentives » Louisiana film tax credits » Louisiana film information » Louisiana film credits » Louisiana film tax » Louisiana film tax credits » Louisiana film » Louisiana tax incentives » Louisiana tax credit » Louisiana film insurance Testimonial: The site looks terrific – it’s clean and easy to navigate. This really changes the way we market our business. Leonard Alsfeld President FBT Film and Entertainment WSI Consultant: André Savoie Louisiana, USA
  • 4. The total aggregated traffic that we sent them since the beginning of the campaign (February 17, 2008 – August 18, 2009). Totals: Impressions: 357,659 Visits: 4683 Phone calls (recorded) 1092 Emails: 73 Web events: 3095 Average Visits per week: 62.7 Average Spend per week: $186.73 Average Cost Per Visit: $2.98 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.
  • 5. Services Maid In California Pay-per-click www.MaidInCalifornia.com Challenges and Goals: The client tried running PPC programs on their own and with the help of other companies and never achieved a return on their investment. They had virtually no traffic and no business from their website. 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 only drew one or two visitors each month. These two strategies have combined to produce as much qualified traffic as the client can handle. Results: As a result of the campaign, the client increased her business so quickly she had to hire two additional people! WSI is delivering many clients at half the price she was paying when she did it herself. The following statistics are purely a result of the campaigns WSI is running (does not include any incidental contact points). To date, WSI has driven the following contacts from her website: Total of $13,951 spent to date from February 17, 2008 to August 18, 2009 (18 months) » 1,092 phone calls » 197 request for cleaning forms submitted » 73 emails The vast majority of these contact points resulted in a sale. Since housekeeping is a recurring service, there is a lifetime value to most of these sales. Testimonial: I am so sorry we didn’t start working with WSI years ago. We can’t believe what a difference it made once WSI took over our website and search engine marketing. You have completely changed our business for the better. For the ‘After Construction’ campaign that you are running for us, we made $5600 the first month on only a $400 investment! Our main House Keeping campaign is really cleaning up (pardon the pun). It is a bit difficult to convert into dollars, but our stats show that in the last 4 months we have received 245 phone calls, 21 emails and 56 request for quote forms! Not only that, we are spending half what we used to spend! These numbers are staggering for us. I can’t express how much WSI helped my business. Deborah A. Kerr Maid in California WSI Consultant: Chuck Bankoff California, USA “ “
  • 6. Retail Buy Recycled Products eCommerce www.BuyRecycledProducts.com Challenges and Goals: Before working with WSI,the client had a brochure style website (FibrexGroup.com) that lacked even the most basic optimization. He was spending over $2,000 per month for Google AdWords paid search advertising and sending traffic to the site with no regard to conversion tracking and Conversion Architecture.The client had no reporting to show the effectiveness of his site in terms of capturing leads and converting visitors into paying clients. The Solution: For this project,WSI used the eMerchant Pro eCommerce solution because of its capability to have multiple categories,cross selling, order tracking,customer tracking,etc.WSI was responsible for project management, troubleshooting,and assisting the client with 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. Results: The client recovered his investment within the first month after launching the eCommerce site with sales exceeding $14,000 USD. Site sales after the first year reached $125,000 USD exceeding business revenue goals by 25%. Second year revenues are up by 47% over the first year. The client was so pleased with the results that he contracted WSI to redevelop his brochure site, FibrexGroup.com, to coincide with his new catalog publication. FibrexGroup.com, which averages 5,000 unique visitors a month, compliments BuyRecycledProducts.com by giving site visitors the option to purchase the item through a“Buy Now”button that links to the eCommerce site, saving sales reps significant time. 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! Suzanne Leenders VP, Buy Recycled Products WSI Consultant: Darren Kincaid Virginia, USA
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  • 8. 11 Flower shop Le Lys d’Or Search Engine Optimization www.lysdorfleuriste.be Challenges and Goals: With the construction of a new University town, the community developed into a true city. As a consequence of this economic development of the city, several new flower shops emerged; in particular, one in a big mall at a strategic location. Le Lys d’Or’s income figures were showing a 10 to 15% decrease over the last 12 months and the flower shop was bound to close up if nothing was done quickly. The Solution: WSI did an initial consultation and Internet Business Analysis (IBA) to uncover all aspects of the problem at hand. We then discussed in detail the target groups within which to implement a persuasion driven solution. It was obvious for budget reasons that PPC could not to be proposed at this stage and we focused on SEO. » Online: We worked on the title and description Meta tags, Alt tags, H1 and content. We also designed a Google Maps page. » Offline: We subscribed to Google Maps, 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. » We also provided guidance on the newsletter and the news/promo feature in order to optimize the use of key phrases. Results: One of the early pieces of good news was that in a very short period of time we could see listings for Lys d’Or in top positions on Google search for local phrases like“Fleuriste local areas”. In less than three months the same phrase would also feature the Le Lys d’Or website in 1st place on Google. Relevant keywords like“Conseil fleuriste”,“fleuriste creative”, Arrivages de fleurs”were all in 1st 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 pages. The number of marriages and funerals they had to work on was up by 20%. The number of direct orders through the website was reaching +/- 5 per week although the order form was not on secured pages. The overall TO is probably going to reach a 20% increase for the fiscal year which, if the previous trend is taken into account, could be assumed to be about 30% higher than what would occurred without WSI’s efforts. Testimonial: Since you convinced us to have our own website, we regained confidence in the viability of our business ... You are constantly thinking of our business like it was yours. As a consequence we really feel today you are part of Le Lys d’Or. Marc Jacqueline Delens Le Lys d’Or WSI Consultant: Dominique De Coster Brabant Wallon, Belgium “ “
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  • 10. 13 Automotive Easy Cars Rentals Search Engine Optimization Pay Per Click http://www.easycarsrental.co.za/ Challenges and Goals: Easy Cars Rentals had been struggling to find new client leads. Prior to contracting the services of WSI, Easy Cars Rentals were doing most of their advertising in an offline classifieds newspaper called Junk Mail. However, because of the nature of a tangible newspaper, they weren’t able to track, measure and analyze feedback. Easy Cars Rentals were spending in the region of $6,000 per month on Junk Mail advertising. Their decision to not focus on online marketing was influenced by the fact that their target market was people in financial difficulty and in most cases; they would not 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: » We developed landing pages and various PPC campaigns » We wrote ads and submitted them to online classified listings and directories on a regular basis » Content marketing articles delivered by WSI help drive“long tail”traffic while we start with focused link building phrases in the anchor text. Results: Easy Cars Rentals experienced an average of 11.64% conversion rate spending only $2 to convert a client. They are now gaining 20 new clients per month from their online marketing to a value of $100,000 per month. With detailed keyword research we identified a number of phrases that would generate leads. These results are measured daily with Google Analytics and presented in monthly review meetings to the client. We get over 1.2 million impressions with a high conversion rate of 12.71%. Testimonial: Before we met WSI we never used any online marketing to attract new clients. Our advertising was focused on specific motor related newspapers and maga- zines. WSI audited our website and re- coded it to be search engine friendly. We started a Google Paid search campaign and achieved immediate results. We now get over 1,300,000 impressions on Google per month and our conversion rate for enquiries averages 12%. John Storey Easy Cars Rentals WSI Consultant: Francois Muscat Gauteng, South Africa “ “
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  • 12. 15 Legal Documentation Agreements Online Search Engine Optimization www.agreementsonline.co.za Challenges and Goals: Agreements Online provides downloadable legal documentation (contracts,legal agreements policies) to an online market.The company is owned by a lawyer that wanted to know how she could go online with her business.WSI suggested that she start up a 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 a monthly basis because of their online presence. WSI measured the results using Google Analytics and measured the number of visitors finding the website through over 4,000 different keyword phrases and WSI conducts monthly reviews with the client to discuss the results. Testimonial: I cannot believe the return on invest- ment I have received from WSI. I could never have imagined the business that was available to me online. As a lawyer, you tend to think one dimensionally; however, WSI and their team have shown that additional money can be made without spending long hours in the courtroom. Kerry Jack Agreements Online WSI Consultant: Francois Muscat Gauteng, South Africa
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  • 14. 17 Shark Cage Diving Shark Photos Apex Predators Web Analytics http://www.apexpredators.com Challenges and Goals: Before WSI became involved, Apex Predators was unable to measure the feedback they were getting from their website. They were unable to tell what people were doing when they reached the website. They were not sure of where most of their Web traffic was 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 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 implemented Google Analytics. Apex Predators is now able to plan well because they can tell the exact number of people that booked a shark cage diving trip from the website, how many people are ordering their shark photos online, and how many people are subscribing to their newsletter – a good indication of content interest. Results: Results are measured with Google Analytics. We also use Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) to measure the performance of the keywords we track. Testimonial: Prior to WSI’s involvement with Apex Predators, we were unaware of the opportunity that was available on the Internet for our industry. We had a fancy website but we did not know about the marketing opportunities that the Inter- net presents. WSI’s steps have enabled us to build lasting relationships with clients from all corners of the globe. Our online forms have made it easy for us to plan our trips accordingly and also to make sure we have sufficient stock of the in-demand photos that we sell online. Monique Apex Predators WSI Consultant: Francois Muscat Gauteng, South Africa “ “
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  • 16. 19 Dental Dr. Aleksandra Cerny Internet Marketing www.DRCerny.co.za Challenges and Goals: Most dentists face the same problems when marketing their businesses and Dr. Cerny was no different. Dentists rely on word of mouth referrals and Dr. Cerny’s business relied 100% on word of mouth. Dr. Cerny’s husband recommended WSI to her, as we had just completed his company’s website. WSI evaluated Dr. Cerny’s current website and found it to be a“frame based”website, which did not feature on the search engines. In fact, the website was invisible to Google due to its technical structure. 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 pay-per-click campaign in order to achieve immediate results. We submitted the website to various Internet directories and wrote and submitted ads to a number of busy Internet classifieds websites. WSI then started a link building campaign and created specific blog links that rapidly increased the site’s search engine positions for Dr. Cerny’s services. WSI also provided Web analytics and from our interpretation we created a number of specific landing pages that further increased website traffic. Our efforts resulted in obtaining the first 8 of 11 positions in Google for Dr. Cerny’s dental practice. Results: In the first week, Dr. Cerny received 9 online bookings. At the end of the first month, 21 bookings were made directly from the website, all of which came from search engine traffic. On average, a new client has three appointments and the average revenue value is $300. At 6 months old, the website generated 150 new clients with an average of 450 appointments. The value of 6 months’revenue from the website is $45,000. The website cost over the 6 month period was $1,200, resulting in a return on investment of 3,750%! Testimonial: Before WSI, we had a website but had not received any queries in the 2 years since creating it. WSI showed us ex- ample reports of some of their customer successes and convinced us to build a new website that was search engine friendly. WSI were so confident that they would generate interested traffic to our website and provided us with a monthly Internet marketing solution that included the cost of the website build. This made it attractive to us as we would get an entire solution right from the beginning. Dr. Aleksandra Cerny Lonehill Dental Clinic WSI Consultant: Francois Muscat Gauteng, South Africa “ “
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  • 18. 21 Full Service Florist Flower Spot Search Engine Optimization www.flowerspot.co.za Challenges and Goals: Flower Spot is a one-stop shop for fresh cut flowers and all flower accessories.The store has grown from a local flower shop to a destination store carrying everything from party décor to scrap booking to giftware. 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 2 years ago. The consistent amount of articles that are added to the Flower Spot website on a monthly basis has driven traffic exponentially. The link building has contributed to Flower Spot’s excellent search engine ranking. We use Google Analytics and Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) reports to monitor Flower Spot’s website performance. Testimonial: Flower Spot had just completed the development of its 2nd ecommerce website with local developers. We have a great website but no online exposure. My local developers introduced me to 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 marketing. Dennis Duarte Flower Spot WSI Consultant: Francois Muscat Gauteng, South Africa
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  • 20. 23 RDB Consulting Information Technology Search Engine Optimization www.rdbconsulting.com Challenges and Goals: Prior to retaining the services of WSI, RDB Consulting relied on cold calling to introduce their company services to corporate South Africa. They did not think that their website would produce leads for them as they are so specialized in providing Oracle, SQL and Sybase support services. After reviewing the existing website we found it wasn’t optimized. We recommended creating for them a new website and a new, professional web presence that would differentiate them from their competition. We created 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 through directory submission, blog posting and article marketing. Internet marketing services provided: » Search engine optimization » Web copywriting » Content marketing with website articles » Paid search advertising with Google Results: WSI began optimizing the RDB Consulting website in October 2008. They are now ranking at number one on Google South Africa for“Database Outsourcing”which is their main service. Since February 2009, they have acquired 13 new clients with an annual project value of $400,000 – many are notable Blue Chip organizations. WSI provides monthly analytic reports and reviews focusing on business goals and monthly reviews are held with the client. Testimonial: I called WSI the other day and told them that my website costs me nothing! The amount of business that we have re- ceived over the past 6 weeks is amazing and if we never get another lead I will be more than happy. WSI and their team 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. Jaro Cerny MD RDB Consulting WSI Consultant: Francois Muscat Gauteng, South Africa “ “
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  • 22. 25 Immigration Consultancy Trans-Global Migration Paid Search Marketing www.tgmigration.com Challenges and Goals: Trans-Global Migration provides a simple 3-step process for South Africans wanting to immigrate to Australia,New Zealand,USA, Canada and the UK.Before contacting WSI, Trans-Global Migration was spending a large portion of their marketing budget on offline 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 Migration has a conversion rate of 12.18%. Results are measured daily with Google Analytics and presented in monthly review meetings. Testimonial: I did not know about Internet Marketing 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. John Gambarana TG Migration WSI Consultant: Francois Muscat Gauteng, South Africa
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  • 24. 27 Internet Video Production Firm Corp Shorts Internet Marketing www.corpshorts.com Challenges and Goals: Corp Shorts was unable to generate leads via the Internet due,in part,to its flash-based Web site and lack of relevant content.Less than ten inbound sites linked to the Corp Shorts Web site,and it did not rank in search engine results.The firm needed an Internet marketing strategy to drive large amounts of traffic to its site. The Solution: WSI implemented a comprehensive,multi- phase Internet marketing solution that included: » Adding keyword-rich content to every page 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. The impact of our Internet marketing solution after the first year is extensive. Results: Results include: » Increasing visitors to Corp Shorts’Web site by 500% » Being listed on the 1st three pages of search engine results for more than 20 targeted keywords » Over 1,200 keyword phrases are converted to Web site visits » More than 240 different sources deliver traffic to the Web site » Videos are viewed by several thousand visitors on YouTube » Over 4000 followers/friends/connections on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Plaxo significant time. WSI Consultant: Gregg Towsley California, USA
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  • 26. 29 Eco-Newsletter Publication Smart2BeGreen Social Media www.Smart2BeGreen.com Challenges and Goals: Smart2BeGreen needed exposure, qualified visitors to their website, and new subscribers to ensure success for their Internet business. Also, Smart2BeGreen.com did not rank in search engine results for their top target keywords. The Solution: Tools Used: Google, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn WSI implemented a comprehensive, multi- phase Internet marketing campaign for Smart2BeGreen that included: » Adding keyword-rich content to every page of their website » Implementing social bookmarking and link building strategies » 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 Results: The impact of our Internet marketing solution after the first six months is staggering, results include: » Increased visitors to Smart2BeGreen website by 900% » Listed on the 1st three pages of search engine results for more than 780 targeted keywords » 1st page listing in Google search results for top 10 keywords » Over 1200 keyword phrases are converted to Web site visits » More than 450 different sources deliver traffic to the website » Over 4000 followers/friends/connections on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Plaxo » Videos are viewed by several thousand visitors on YouTube 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. Bill Gueringer President and CEO of Smart2BeGreen.com WSI Consultant: Gregg Towsley California, USA “ “
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  • 28. 31 Transportation Segway Personal Transporter Web Design, Development, and Search Engine Optimization www.i-Segway.com Challenges and Goals: i-Segway was looking to increase the awareness of Segway Personal Transporters (PT) in the region as well as generating more leads online. The objectives were to establish an online presence in the region for Segway PT in order to improve the client’s brand and increase awareness. Also, it was very important for this client to get qualified leads from their website in order to cover the website expenses and to generate more profits to the business. The Solution: WSI prepared 6 concept drafts for this client using our in-house design expertise and the client selected two designs, which were further enhanced and improved to help the client make a final selection. The final design got excellent feedback from the client and the site visitors. WSI also conducted some usability testing to make sure the website was easy to navigate by users. Furthermore, WSI used special images representing various countries from the client’s target region to relate to the audience and improve overall site conversion. As far as technology features go, the site includes a content management system, online forms, document management system and a photo gallery. WSI also assisted the client locally to do some developmental adjustments to page layout, CSS, site footer and navigation menus. In addition, we have implemented a comprehensive Search Engine Optimization program for Segway PT in the region, which consists of ongoing keywords research, online competitive analysis, advanced Web and search engine optimization, and traffic generation strategies from search engines, mainly Google, Yahoo and MSN. We have also integrated leading analytical technologies on the website to track site performance and identify areas of enhancements on a regular basis. Results: In the first 12 months post launch, the website received more than 13,000 visits and the client is getting new leads every day. The client is extremely happy with the website and was amazed with the magnificent results in terms of traffic and leads that are generated on a daily basis via the website. The client’s business is now very profitable and the website was one of the main factors for their success. Testimonial: 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 it. In fact, in the eight months since WSI team designed and implemented our website, we have seen our Web traffic increase dramatically and, more importantly, our Web-generated sales leads increase almost ten-fold. ... I can easily say that WSI has been instrumental in our sales growth this year and I believe the same will be said in the years to come. Steven A. Brown-Cestero CEO, i-Segway WSI Consultant: Husam Jandal Dubai, UAE “ “
  • 29. 32 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 Coordinator “ “
  • 30. 33 Association Harford County Cultural Arts Board Business Edge and SEO www.culturalartsboard.org Challenges and Goals: The Harford County Cultural Arts Board was looking to: » Improve customer service by providing online grant application submissions » Increase their exposure within the greater Harford County arts community in order to make grants available to a greater number of artists / organizations » Become THE resource for arts related events in the area » Develop an online community for the artists in the area » Provide greater exposure for some of the smaller or lesser known arts events and groups in the county » Be able to update their own website at will (which they could not do before) » Utilize the talents of local artists to create the design for the website The Solution: WSI addressed the client’s needs by proposing a WSI Business Edge website that could be placed on the client’s domain and could be optimized for the search engines. WSI Business Edge was the chosen platform because of its ease of use for the client and end user, as well as the wide selection of modules and features that are included within this WSI branded solution. The Web solution required customized forms for the grant applications and an interactive events calendar with a customized Add Event module. It also required site registration that would allow only registered members to have access to certain pages, including the interactive grant applications. The site also needed the ability to adding events to the arts calendar. Lastly, WSI included an opt-in email marketer to replace a rather basic one the client was already using. They hope to eventually add discussion forums in each discipline within the arts, and perhaps some news feeds related to the arts nationwide. and the client is getting new leads every day. The client is extremely happy with the website and was amazed with the magnificent results in terms of traffic and leads that are generated on a daily basis via the website. The client’s business is now very profitable and the website was one of the main factors for their success. Results: In the last 30 days, the HCCAB website has logged over 580 site visits, with 57% of those being return visitors who utilize the site regularly: » 51% of site visitors found the site through search engines » The site ranks #1 in Google for“Harford County Arts”(out of 242,000 results),“Harford County Artists,”and“Harford County Grants for the Arts,”“Harford County Arts Calendar” and“Harford County Arts Events”-- all goals identified prior to the start of the project. » The site even ranks higher than the Harford County Government website (parent organization) for all of these key phrases! » The site has over 100 registered users, with more than 30 arts groups regularly contributing events to the arts calendar. WSI Consultant: Jeff Harrison Maryland, USA
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  • 32. 35 Automotive Front Range Honda Search Engine Optimization Pay Per Click www.FrontRangeHonda.com Challenges and Goals: Front Range Honda had been implementing a pay per click (PPC) campaign with Google and Yahoo! in house,spending $2,500 per month and not tracking any results. The goal was to dramatically increase the client’s Internet exposure,branding and click 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 10 term/10 page search engine optimization and link building campaign. The client’s website traffic increased 80% in 6 months. WSI is currently maintaining a Google AdWords campaign and the 10 term SEO and link building campaign for the client. This account led WSI to later close the Al Serra Auto Dealership made up of 4 separate businesses and websites. Testimonial: I would highly recommend WSI as a search engine marketing provider. WSI is a professional organization with top notch customer service. They are always available to answer my questions. We have been more than satisfied with WSI and their performance and support. They have more than exceeded our expectations within a very short period of time. Diana Weaver Front Range Honda WSI Consultant: Jerry Kane Colorado, USA
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  • 34. 37 Real Estate Sage Realty LLC Search Engine Optimization www.findahomeinpa.com Challenges and Goals: Sage Realty was using a generic realtor’s site for website design and hosting--one of the Web companies that provides websites for thousands of realtors. The site could not be correctly optimized. It had non-friendly URLs, no access to the root so search engine sitemaps and robot files could not be added. FTP Access at the page level was also not allowed and code could not be added at the page level. The traffic reports did not record data for stretches of time and the data recorded was not believable. Many of the pages were canned and had duplicate content. The site was not well designed. It permitted strict template designs and only had the ability for one layer of navigation. The site was confusing to navigate because it had no sub pages or drop down menus and any additional pages were floaters. The site pages had minimal marketing calls to action. The site’s performance was poor. It was down for lengthy periods (more than 4 hours) of time and the hosting support was terrible. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) also did not work and tended to have old data more often than not. The Solution: WSI used a local graphic design strategic partner who worked with the client for a few months on the concept draft. We created a new site map which transferred the data from the old site to the new site. We added the marketing and SEO strategy to the sitemap. We trained the client and her staff on how to maintain the site themselves and using keyword research, they were able to make all the website copy more optimized for search engines. Results: In the worst economic conditions for the real estate industry, my client has told me that this month she had to turn away business because she is so busy. The bulk of her business is now coming from her website versus referrals from past buyers and friends. In 4 months, this is almost $5 million in real estate sales for my client. In addition to reviewing the traffic and ranking reports, my client has measured the results in terms of the business the website has brought her. Testimonial: WSI provides the benefits of a small, highly personal service provider with the technology and know-how of an international Web solution company. We had the following results this year so far from the new website: 3 new clients in March, 2 bought a total of $1,975,000 value homes and one is still looking with me in the $400,000 range; 2 new clients in April, bought $558,200 value homes; 1 new client in May, under agreement to buy a $315,000 value home; 1 new client in June who decided to rent but will buy in the next 9 month with me in the $500,000 range range; 1 new client in July looking in the $400,000 range and a new client in August seeking a $700,000 home ... Linda Walters Sage Realty LLC WSI Consultant: Nancy Vinkler Pennsylvania,USA “ “
  • 35. 38 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. “ “
  • 36. 39 Information Technology focusIT, Inc. Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Marketing www.focusitinc.com Challenges and Goals: Prior to their engagement with WSI focusIT, Inc was struggling to generate leads for their services. They were using an outside sales person who would contact mortgage companies and try to setup a demo. Since the focusIT solution was best suited for new implementations, often times they would miss these early opportunities due to low exposure on the Web. Additionally, their GoToMeeting demos would take about 2 hours – valuable time that was lost because their sales person was wrongly targeting a client who was not a good fit for their product line. focusIT was missing opportunities and spending too much time chasing bad leads. The Solution: To meet the client’s objective we started with a 20 keyword SEO optimization package. We used some of the data from their current Google AdWords campaign to develop a successful keyword set. We wrote quality content and began implementation of the content pages with a complete metatag revamp of the existing site. In doing the SEO keyword research we noticed the CTR (clickthrough rate) on their Google AdWords campaign was below 1%. They were getting lots of impressions, but very few clicks. Their positioning was good, but their pay per click cost was high and they weren’t generating quality leads. At this point we took over management of the PPC campaign. We started by removing their campaigns from the content network. Then we consolidated the campaigns and reviewed all keyword sets. We removed those keywords that were generating high impression rates, but very low click volumes. We implemented a goal conversion metric to determine which keywords brought the best traffic. By eliminating the high impression, low performing keywords we were able to increase the budget on the higher performing keywords. After optimizing the PPC campaign we then built a landing page specifically for the PPC customers. The page was designed with conversion in mind. Lastly, we developed an entirely new website on the eFusion platform. The website was much cleaner, easy to navigate and communicated much more information. We implemented a 301 redirect strategy and careful page naming in the migration. To date we have seen no drop off from prior rankings. We also integrated all the forms on their site with their existing SalesForce database to ensure lead and support capture. Results: From these efforts the client gained a 100% increase in the amount of traffic generated from the website. In addition they were receiving an average of 3.8 leads a week from the website, while prior to this they were generating about 2-3 per month through all their efforts. This metric was generated through SalesForce captures and WSI Voice Marketer. In fact, because of the client’s exposure on the search engines for keywords related to Calyx Point, the Calyx Software Company decided to offer an exclusive agreement with focusIT, Inc. for hosting of their Calyx Point Data Server, now called PointCentral. To measure the results, WSI used many metrics such as percentage of traffic from search, keyword popularity, clickthrough rate, and goal conversions to measure success. WSI Consultant: Scott Robbins Arizona, USA
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  • 38. 41 Italian Restaurant Seraphini Business Edge and Internet Marketing www.Seraphini.com.br Challenges and Goals: Seraphini wanted to develop a website to promote their new restaurant,which opened in September 2008.WSI benchmarked the client’s main competitors,and based on this information,we worked on the graphic design and Web development to ensure the client’s restaurant stood out. The main objective was to promote the restaurant.WSI developed a website that reflected the sophistication of their restaurant and their dishes and to show their visitors comments made by experts on the Imprensa (press) page. The Solution: For this client,WSI chose the WSI Business Edge solution because of its flexibility,ease of use and familiarity with the platform.Since it was a very simple project,the website is composed of content pages,a media gallery and map modules,which are included in the technology. We worked their client base by running email 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 PR agency in order to increase the number of reviews and news articles related to the restaurant in the print media (such as local magazines) and their online counterparts. Results: Within 3 weeks of launching the site, it had over 2,300 visits and 1,812 unique visitors, which helped generate over 30 reservations per day! The client is very happy with the new website and the compliments they receive. They are also very impressed with WSI’s work and the way WSI handled the project in order to launch it within 10 days. The website now averages 900 visits per month (78% of new visitors and 700 unique visitors). 50% of their visitors come from referring websites (30%), search engines (10%) and our e-mail marketing campaigns (10%). Due to the profile of Seraphini´s customers, it is much more effective to work with restaurants reviews on specialized gourmet sites, magazines, newspapers and their online versions. We chose the websites and blogs that their customers usually visit and that are very popular on Google and Yahoo, so Seraphini would benefit indirectly from their well ranked results on these search engines. WSI Consultant: Waldemar Antonaccio Rubens Kim Sao Paulo, Brazil
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  • 40. 43 Landscaping Pond Liners Conversion www.pondlinersonline.co.uk Challenges and Goals: The objective was to design a site with a unique pond liner calculator – one that would take the length,breadth and depth pond measurements given by the customer and calculate the exact pond liner dimensions required and the cost of each type of pond liner for that dimension.The customer would then select a pond liner/s and go through a secure checkout process.A further objective is to ensure that the site is informative and a useful resource to anyone wanting to plan and construct a pond.WSI wanted to use the Internet as the sole means 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 measurements,rounding up to the closest 0.5m in one dimension and closest 1m in another for PVC,and to the closest 0.5m in both dimensions for the rubber liners.The pond liner dimensions have to be absolutely accurate to avoid wastage or the liner not fitting into the hole exactly.Precision was key in this project. Results: Since June 2008, the website is receiving 3,000 visitors per month with a sales conversion rate of 3-4%. WSI’s reports show an average site visit time of 4.2 minutes and 4 page views per customer, as well as a visitor bounce rate of 22% (improved from 27% in June). Since June, the client has received more than £25,000 worth of orders averaging at £500 per day. They were thrilled when WSI completed and launched the website, particularly because they received their first orders the day the site went live on the Web, and have continued to do so since. Testimonial: I am very pleased with the results of my WSI solution. I was not expecting to receive so many sales in the first two months of the site going live! Mike Leask Pond Liners WSI Consultant: Brian Holroyd Bedfordshire, England, UK
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  • 42. 45 Oil and Gas Alpha Oilfield Search Engine Optimization Pay Per Click www.alphaoilfieldsupply.com Challenges and Goals: Prior to working with WSI,Alpha Oilfield Supply only had a very basic website.It was a work in progress with not a lot of pages completed,nor much content on any of the pages.Most of the pages said“Under Construction”. The original website had been live for a couple of years,and didn’t provide them with any leads. WSI’s objectives were to provide Alpha Oilfield Supply with a professional looking website that would give a true representation to the types of products and services that they provided.We also wanted to provide them with an Internet Marketing System (IMS) that would offer them with maximum exposure on the Internet,since they sell their products worldwide.WSI wanted to make sure,if someone was doing a search on the Internet that they would be able to find Alpha Oilfield Supply,no matter what country they were doing the searching in. The Solution: WSI created an entirely new website for Alpha Oilfield Supply utilizing the MicroSite 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. Results: Alpha Oilfield Supply has had to move into a larger building, and is already beginning to outgrow where they are now. We bring the traffic to their website, convert the traffic into prospects. They convert the prospects into customers. They were very pleased with the results. They had started a website without much information on it. With the exposure that we brought to them via the search engines, they are now getting leads through their website from all over the world. Last year, Alpha Oilfield Supply picked up a client who found them by searching for one of the products they sold. In early February of 2007, John Johnson called WSI to let us know that they billed out $100,000.00 to that client in January. Within the first 2 years of implementing an 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 move to a larger facility. They have almost more work than they can handle at times, which is a good problem to have. WSI Consultant: Michael Richards Ellen Richards Missouri, USA
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  • 44. 47 Challenges and Goals: Custom Fitness Concepts was struggling with a site that had been built by one of their clients who could not keep up with frequent requirements for change.This provider could not offer any input or suggestions on how to make the most from their Web presence.They also were spending in excess of $2,000/month on PPC advertising,which was their main source of new business,but at a high price for their size.They were using 1st generation graphics for the branding that did not suit the image the owner wanted to portray as a professional and successful company. 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 fitness boot camp keywords » A complete overhaul of the PPC ad campaigns,bid strategies and landing pages » A monthly review in which we evaluate performance and continue to improve overall lead generation per $ spent on both our services and PPC Results: Overall traffic has increased by 64% to nearly 4,000 visitors/month » Trial and actual class enrollments are up 63% » Personal training enrollments are up 252% » PPC spending has dropped from over $2,000/month to under $500/month » WSI measured the results primarily with Google Analytics WSI Consultant: Gary Levine Virginia, USA Health Wellness Custom Fitness Concepts Search Engine Optimization www.CustomFitnessConcepts.com
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  • 46. 49 Automotive Parts Distributors Elreg Distributors Conversion Architecture and Internet Marketing www.elreg.com Challenges and Goals: Elreg Distributors had a previous website that was outdated and ineffective. They wanted to redesign their website with an engine that could allow visitors to search through a database of over 1,000 products, select the products they are interested in and add them to a dynamic quotation submission shopping cart. They also required website traffic generation via Internet marketing. WSI’s objective for this project was to get the client good leads. Our approach was to apply Conversion Architecture to their Web solution and persuade website visitors to submit quote requests online. WSI also planned to utilize Internet marketing to drive the right people to their new site. The Solution: WSI provided Elreg Distributors with a professional website design and development. We modified the eCommerce system to allow for product selection and quotation request submissions to take place. Once the site was launched, WSI initiated pay-per-click and email marketing campaigns. Later on, WSI implemented search engine optimization services for the client to drive even more traffic to the site. Results: As a result of WSI’s services, Elreg Distributers went from an almost non-existent Web presence to receiving an average of 8-10 new leads or sales opportunities each day. Traditionally, the company only distributed throughout North America, but now gains clients from all over the world as a result of WSI’s search engine marketing. The website has become a significant revenue source with each month’s sales from website inquiries exceeding the previous months’. Since implementing their search engine optimization strategy nearly a year ago, their visitor traffic has more than tripled and now there are thousands of unique visitors each month. WSI Consultant: Jason Gervais Denise Gervais Ontario, Canada “ “ Testimonial: We knew that our website was dated and needed a major overhaul ... WSI truly wanted to present to us with an ongoing strategy that would help us increase our sales for years to come ... What a terrific experience! WSI listened and responded instanta- neously to recommendations that were made along the way. They continually presented innovative ideas to make the site more effective ... Most would think that the job was done at this point. Quite the contrary! WSI immediately started presenting ways to optimize and make our site more effective by ensuring potential clients were finding us. This has been an ongoing process ever since the site was launched three months ago. WSI continually tweaks our site, develops landing pages and looks for ways to ensure we are increas- ing our sales. It’s like having another sales agent working for you – actually better. Joe Zundl President, Elreg Distributors
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  • 48. 51 Health and Fitness Answer is Fitness Search Engine Optimization Pay Per Click www.answerisfitness.com Challenges and Goals: Answer is Fitness was looking to generate more leads and had an outdated site that was done 100% in Flash. Their numerous direct mail efforts were not generating the leads needed to be able to fund the opening of a second club. Together,we specified a new site heavily focusing on the look and feel and the calls to action that we felt they needed to have. The objective was to develop a professional looking Web solution that would take advantage of search 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. Results: The owner, staff and customers of Answer is Fitness all love the new site. Answer is Fitness is now on page 1 of Google for more than 10 key search terms in the 3 towns that make up their target market. The combined efforts of search engine optimization and WSI Local AdWorks generated 70 new membership prospects in the first 25 days after launch, 32 of which have become members so far. They expect their closing rate to be greater than 80% on these leads. 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 just incredible! - David Dos Santos Owner, Answer is Fitness WSI Consultant: Joseph Coupal Massachusetts, USA
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  • 50. 53 Event Venue Corrine’s Banquet Hall Search Engine Optimization www.corinnesbanquets.com Challenges and Goals: Corinne’s Banquet Hall knew that 50% of their current leads came through their existing website.They were convinced that if they could show up on page one of Google for service related terms in surrounding geographic areas,they would see a huge 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 20 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. More importantly, they were truly amazed that the site was on page one of Google for so many different terms. Immediately they noticed a significant increase in calls and a boost in business. This level of satisfaction resulted in a new 6-month deal for SEO and an email marketing campaign. Testimonial: I had heard these types of results were possible but I had no idea how to do it or who could do it. Jarrod Ilkowitz Operations Manager/Partner, Corinne’s Banquets WSI Consultant: Joseph Coupal Massachusetts, USA
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  • 52. 55 Transportation Charter Bus GTours Search Engine Optimization www.gtours.info Challenges and Goals: GTours is a charter bus company that provides services in the state of Texas, mainly, Austin and San Antonio, expanding to southern Texas (Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen) and Houston. They were not showing in the first 50 positions in Google, 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 1 month. WSI provided SEO and is in the process of upgrading the SEO and moving on to Social Media Optimization (SMO) too. Results: The client was able to double their sales in 3 months to the extent that he had to buy another bus to keep up with the growing demand. GTours was so satisfied that they want to increase spending and start an SMO campaign. They also want to target cities such as Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth and expect that with this strategy they will be able to eliminate seasonality for summer and winter when it is the lowest for their service in South and Central Texas. WSI measured the results using Google Analytics and information received from customers. Testimonial: My company received 75% of its business from brokers. Depending on brokers made my business vulnerable because if brokers decided to work with other companies I would be out of business very fast. I learned that brokers received more than 85% from search engines. This is when WSI approached me and we decided to go give it a try. We proved this decision to be the best we have ever made in our business. Now we still receive the same amount of business from brokers but their participation in our revenue decreased from 75% to 34%. We will continue to invest our marketing budget with WSI and plan to upgrade our SEO and add SMO in our strategy. WSI Consultant: Jesus Monroy Texas, USA “ “
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  • 54. 57 Security Services Overton Security Search Engine Optimization Pay Per Click www.overtonsecurity.com Challenges and Goals: Overton was going through many significant changes for the past 12 months. They had changed their business name and were busy expanding into other markets. They had put together a new website with the new name using FrontPage. It was done very 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 be proud of and compete with the larger security companies in the market. They originally contacted WSI to just build a new website. But as we presented Internet Marketing Systems, they were intrigued by the concept of marketing using search engines on the Internet The Solution: The Internet Marketing System Gold Package was the ideal solution. WSI provided the client with a brand new website using WSI Business Edge, in addition to search engine optimization services for 10 key phrases, a pay-per-click campaign for $1000 per month on Google and Yahoo! Their main goal with the new website is not only to present a more professional look but also highlight their main lines of business. Their home page clearly showcases their 3 main services. Results: Overton Security is now a strong believer of Internet Marketing Systems. It has only been about 6 months but their PPC/SEO campaigns have already resulted in several major deals with enough profit to cover the entire 15-month campaign cost several times. Their SEO campaign has put them at the top of Google and Yahoo! for several key phrases. Testimonial: WSI guided us through the entire process of website design, development and Internet marketing. We launched our new site in March of 2008 and initi- ated SEO and PPC to generate traffic to the site. To date, the campaigns have led to very positive outcomes. PPC is generating plenty of clicks and we are getting substantial leads. SEO has posi- tioned us at the top of the first pages of Yahoo! and Google. We have already closed several major accounts which have more than paid for the website and the cost of Internet marketing. WSI continues to meet with us monthly, helping us makes careful adjustments that ensure that we con- tinue to get calls and inquiries. The WSI team has been invaluable, proving to us that Internet marketing can work effectively for Overton Secu- rity. It has become a very significant part of our overall marketing strategy. Frank DiMeco Marketing Director, Overton Security WSI Consultant: Jason Yi California, USA “ “
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  • 56. 59 Restaurant Chain Subway Sandwiches KSA Conversion www.subway-ksa.com Challenges and Goals: The objective was to create a friendly website that is appealing to young customers and can be easily maintained and updated by the owner.Subway Sandwiches KSA was looking for a friendly content management system that could be fully 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. Business Edge modules are versatile and customizable,so they met every aspect and requirements without the need for any special customization or complex functionality.They received approval for the website from the franchisor,which clearly indicated that the website was meeting international standards. Results: Right now the word of mouth is very positive about the website, which means that it has a good user appeal. Testimonial: Great job! We made the right choice by working with WSI. Stand by for referrals from us. Fawaz Bahian Support Services Manager, Subway KSA WSI Consultant: Mohammed El-Sawah Saudi Arabia
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  • 58. 61 Used Auto Parts Everdrive Pay Per Click www.everdrive.com Challenges and Goals: Everdrive has an eCommerce site selling nearly a million different SKUs of used auto parts.Essentially,they are an online sales agent for auto junk yards across the country. Their issue was they were not meeting their full online sales potential.They needed to 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 $1,037,000. 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 sales goals. - WSI Consultant: Neal Lappe Virginia, USA
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  • 60. 63 Affordable Residential Moving Services Pack and Ride Pay Per Click www.PackandRide.com Challenges and Goals: Pack and Ride provides affordable residential moving services throughout the United States. They started this business in 2005 and WSI has worked with them from the start. They were a start up company needing to grow, succeed and increase their online 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: The client opened the business doing $0 in sales. They now get more than 5,000 quotes per month and sell a little over $500,000 per month. WSI publishes monthly reports of several metrics including online quotes, unit sales and dollar sales. The sales data comes from the client. Testimonial: We were a startup company looking for a very extensive website. After diligently shopping the market, we decided on WSI. We did not mind spending extra money because we knew we were 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 additional business and look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial partnership. WSI Consultant: Neal Lappe Virginia, USA “ “
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  • 62. 65 Print 2m2u Search Engine Optimization www.2m2u.co.uk Challenges and Goals: 2m2u is a Web trading arm of 2mprint Ltd. specializing in sales of printed calendars and photo books. 2m2u already have a system in place that they use for taking orders, and worked with a Web developer to change their home page according to their email marketing and mail shots. The aim of 2m2u was to increase brand awareness and to sell, sell, sell. 2m2u 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: 2m2u started then to use the efforts of WSI to design more SEO-friendly Web pages. The Web pages have all been built with key words and meta tags in place and links have been created too. They also combined this with a pay-per-click campaign, achieving an average of 14.86% click-through rate! In a short span of time, the website has become more visible on the search engines. In fact, 90.44% of their visitors find them through the search engines currently. This has led to a large increase in sales for 2m2u. They are very happy with WSI’s services. Testimonial: ...WSI have been invaluable to my business www.2m2u.co.uk during the last few weeks. They have insured we had our new website up and running on time to match our marketing campaign we were in the process of rolling out. WSI have put their skills and efforts into making the difficult situation a more manageable one, something I am most grateful for. I will be trying to secure WSI more business whenever I can. I will be recommending their services most highly. Mark Hipperson 2M Print Ltd. WSI Consultant: Tracy Spence Northamptonshire, UK Warren Thorp Norwich, UK “ “
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  • 64. 67 Public Speaker Mo Shapiro Search Engine Optimization www.Inform-Global.com Challenges and Goals: As a public speaker and impersonator, the way to get work of this kind is normally through an agent. The agency would normally take a rather heavy cut, meaning her profits were greatly reduced. Her aim was to reduce these costs. Her website was hard to update, her online shop rarely sold anything (maybe 1 or 2 books a year) and she did not feel she got the support she wanted from her London based web company. Spam emails were also a big issue for her. The Solution: We created a Joomla based website which included a virtue mart shop. This was far easier to manage than her previous site. 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. We also created a screenshot by screen shot PowerPoint Presentation user manual with links from the intro page to the pages she would use to ensure she can completely manage her website. We researched keywords, included an XML sitemap which we uploaded to Google, added her to Google Local; we made her name the main focus, rather than other words. We are also about to create a YouTube page to help“show her off”. Results: The client has taken her first order on her website for a very niche book. She has been invited to present in two places outside of the UK already. Shapiro receives positive comments about the look and feel of her website. The client can easily manage her own website saving her money and reducing her monthly hosting costs. There has been a significant reduction in spam emails. The client is now on the first page of Google for her name with her website rankings. Testimonial: WSI is a company that truly represents the can-do approach to websites. [My Consultant] clearly knows her way around the Internet and combines a professional, knowledgeable approach with an excellent understanding of the complexities of the Internet to the web- site novice. She has created a website that we can easily navigate and change whenever we want to. She made us feel as though we were her only clients and nothing was too much to ask. Her approach is one that combines humour with lots of creativity in the construction 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 with her. Mo Shapiro WSI Consultant: Tracy Spence Northamptonshire, UK “ “
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  • 66. 69 Health, Beauty Wellness Aesthetic Solutions Search Engine Optimization, mail Marketing and Web Analytics www.Aesthetic-Solutions.biz Challenges and Goals: Before WSI, Aesthetic Solutions had the following challenges: » Had a website but it was not found online » Were not able to easily update their website » Website didn’t reflect a professional image The objective of this project was to develop a website that focuses on how to communicate Aesthetic Solutions’offering to their end customers. Their previous website didn’t have a clear organization of information. In the first page, it didn’t even mention the purpose of their business. We discussed that there is a lot room for improvement and they liked the idea of measuring the results to adjust plans accordingly. The Solution: WSI provided a solution using the Online 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: » Search engine optimization: Develop new and high quality content to include more keywords » Email marketing: The system includes an email marketing tool so the client can send newsletters to customers » Web analytics: Regular reports are presented, analyzed and based on them, enhancements are made Results: The site was launched on May 2, 2008. After some SEO work, it took less than one week for the site to appear on the first page of Google Canada for several product related keywords like: » Medical spa equipment Toronto » Medical spa equipment Canada » Non surgical lifting Canada » Lymphatic Drainage equipment Canada » Breast firming equipment Canada They have 4 products in inventory, plus another 6 that can be sold by order. All of them are highly specialized pieces of medical equipment and the purpose of the site is to generate qualified leads for the sales team. Aesthetic Solutions is very happy that the website is supporting the sales team by providing the right information about the products and they will be monitoring the site as a lead generator tool. Testimonial: Before WSI, my website couldn’t be found in Google. WSI redesigned the way we present the information on the site so visitors can understand our busi- ness. What impressed me the most was after just one week of launching our new WSI Marketing System, we ranked in very good positions on Google. Ange Kanavas President CEO, Aesthetic Solutions WSI Consultant: Victor Castellanos Ontario, Canada “ “
  • 67. 70 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 100 people that search for a specific word more than 3 searches go to the Johnson equipment website.
  • 68. 71 Equipment Manufacturer Johnson Equipment Pay Per Click www.johnsonequipment.com.mx Challenges and Goals: Johnson Equipment Company started with a basic Web page and some salesmen distributed within the country, but they needed a way to effectively promote their new operations in Mexico. The main objectives were to start with a basic website, a sales force and a promotional campaign to be the motor of the promotional strategy in Mexico. WSI’s goal was to help Johnson Equipment with an integrated strategy to help the company promote their products within the Mexican market and to achieve a good return on investment. The Solution: WSI provided the client with a basic Web 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 was to start with two Internet marketing campaigns for their two mail products, loading docks and industrial ventilators. For this, we started two pay-per-click campaigns with Google. Results: After the site was launched, WSI started the PPC campaign. Three months after the first campaign was started, WSI launched the second one. The client worked with WSI throughout the project with ideas and value added inputs. When WSI delivered the final project, the client was excited with the end results. WSI greatly surpassed their original expectations. The project for the client produced excellent results within the first month, and now they are growing with a larger sales force. In the month of June 2009, the customer received a total of 2,247 visits to their website (420 for campaign #1 and 1,827 for campaign #2) – in only one month! Testimonial: We have maintained two PPC cam- paigns with WSI, and I feel very happy when I ask a customer on the phone ‘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. Marco Dávila Sales Manager / Mexico Northeast Region Johnson Equipment Company WSI Consultant: Alberto Ferreiro Nuevo Leon, Mexico “ “
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  • 70. 73 Challenges and Goals: When WSI initially met Skyline Whitespace, they wanted some advice on how to market their business online and get ahead of their competitors who were at the top of the search engine results at the time.WSI identified that the best way to do that was to create a new website that was more search engine friendly and to make sure that it was optimized correctly for the search terms the client wanted to compete for. Skyline Whitespace wanted a“showcase site” that would not only look good and display 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 and these pages are already bringing traffic to the site. Results: The new www.skylinewhitespace.com website reflects the sleek and professional image of Skyline Whitespace and conveys their exceptional exhibition services and portfolio of past projects in an organized and attractive manner. Their reaction has been very positive with internal staff and other Skyline subsidiaries showing enthusiasm and interest in the new UK site. They are already seeing improved traffic, conversion rates and search engine results and are receiving increased management information from WSI’s Web analytics service. WSI Consultant: David Duncan Surrey, UK Exhibition Displays Skyline Whitespace Website Design and Search Engine Optimization www.skylinewhitespace.com
  • 71. 74 before after
  • 72. 75 Challenges and Goals: Prior to WSI,the bank was not able to easily update the content on their website.They felt this was hindering their ability to offer current information about the bank and their site was both becoming stale and not keeping up with current branding and marketing efforts.They also had no idea 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 interactivity.Heartland Bank is also planning on incorporating online account opening services to open deposit accounts online. Results: Heartland Bank is very excited to be using their new site platform and being able to update content whenever (and wherever) they want. Since the site is newly launched (within the last month), WSI is still tracking activity on the site and seeing positive trends and customer comments. WSI Consultant: Eric Cook Michigan, USA Finance Heartland Bank Website Design www.heartlandbank.com
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  • 74. 77 Challenges and Goals: Joya del Pacifico was looking for investors to invest in their different real estate projects, such as condominiums and marina projects. In addition,the client wanted to increase their club memberships by using more effective marketing techniques. The objectives of the project in order of importance were: » Sell land » Increase memberships of the club » Sell beach houses » Sell apartments » 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 12 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 manage for lead generation purposes every month. We also conduct other campaigns weekly to the club members with special promotions and discounts to drive more foot traffic to the client’s business. Results: As a result of WSI’s PPC campaign, Joya del Pacifico’s website went from receiving 4 visits daily to 40-50 targeted website visits daily. In combination with WSI’s SEO efforts, the new site receives about 75-90 visits per day in total. Joya del Pacifico is very happy with the new website, but most importantly, they are thrilled that WSI generates about 20-25 prospects for them on a monthly basis, strictly from the Web. WSI Consultant: Edgar Sandoval La Libertad, El Salvador Real Estate Joya del Pacifico Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Marketing http://www.joyadelpacifico.com/
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  • 76. 79 Community Center Special Needs Family Center Web Design and Email Marketing www.snfgroup.com Challenges and Goals: Before WSI, Special Needs Family Center had an inaccessible website with very poor design, bad structure, etc. It was a home- made website, so they needed to have a professional online presence created for them from scratch. 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 loved it, and the special needs kids are using it with no issues. It was not very complex; however it is very functional and usable. Results: The results have been great. The site has been awarded a Princess Haya Award for the Outstanding Special Education Website in April 2009. The client was very happy with the results and they appreciated our assistance to make the site a success online. Testimonial: Words cannot express the joy I felt when the announcement was made that SNF had won the Best Website award. I am so thankful that SNF has such a great band of dedicated Volunteers like WSI, who have given so much of your time and talent to make this award pos- sible. Thank you and your team for all the effort that you put in to create the SNF website and I wish you success in all your endeavors, big or small, in the future. Safia Bari SNF Director WSI Consultant: Husam Jandal Dubai, UAE “ “
  • 77. 80 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. “ “
  • 78. 81 Finance Marcum Group (Margolis Co. P.C.) Pay Per Click www.marg.com Challenges and Goals: Margolis Co. P.C. wanted to build an online marketing campaign specifically geared towards attorneys and business owners who were looking for timely, cost effective business valuation services. The ongoing campaign began in March of 2007 and was geared towards measuring return on investment rather than building brand awareness for the firm’s business valuation practice. The Solution: » Set up AdWords campaigns with major search engines Google, Yahoo!, Ask, and AOL whereby several search phrases such as “business valuation expert, Philadelphia”in various combinations appear at the top right column of the first results page. » Create a website landing page for the campaign so that visitors who enter the site through the campaign landing page can be tracked for page visits, time spent on the site, and what files were downloaded. » Create a unique phone line that rings directly into the Marketing Director’s office and use caller ID to identify all callers from the pay-per-click campaign. When this line rings, the Marketing Director becomes the business developer and handles these calls herself. Results: The campaign has been so successful that the firm is continuing it indefinitely. Measurements from the start of the campaign on March 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008 include: » 1,058 visitors coming into the firm’s website from the campaign’s landing page. » 2,189 page views of the landing page. Behind the home page, the campaign landing page was the second most viewed page on the firm’s overall website during those 13 months. » 152 phone calls to the unique phone number on the landing page that went directly into the Marketing Director’s office. » Revenue generated from signed engagements: $ 26,741, a return on investment of 611%. » Average cost to secure an engagement: $ 179 » 18 prospects currently in the pipeline for estimated additional fees of $ 50,000. » The two downloadable curriculum vitas of the business valuation team that are linked to the landing page, CV-GLUSMAN.pdf and CV-BARBAGALLO.pdf, were downloaded a combined 650 times. Glusman was the 3rd most popular download from the firm’s overall website for those 13 months and Barbagallo was the 6th most popular download from the overall website. » The landing page was viewed an average of 4 minutes and 32 seconds a visit. » Other work opportunities have been identified as a result of the initial communication with prospects and at least one attorney has returned to Margolis Co. with repeat business. WSI Consultant: Nancy Vinkler Pennsylvania, USA
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  • 80. 83 Food Tasty Bite Web Design and Email Marketing www.tastybite.com.au Challenges and Goals: Tasty Bite manufactures and sells ready-to- eat Asian food, mainly Indian and Thai. They sell it in main supermarket chains. When WSI met the client the first time, they were not ready to invest in a Web solution yet. However, WSI continued to keep in touch with them, and two years later, when they were ready for a solution, they turned to WSI. The main challenge the client had was defining a system to leverage the large amount of clients who purchase their products on a regular basis. Their clients buy their products but remain anonymous, so 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 discounts. Aside from the website development, WSI also provides the client with occasional advice on Internet marketing best practices. After the site was launched, Tasty Bite started a contest to win a trip for two to India. Purchasers had to send them the barcode of the products they bought to enter the competition. The website provided information and support for this program. This contest was used to build a mailing list through the website allowing the client to maintain extensive communication with their customers using the integrated email marketing system. Results: With their new website, the client was able to get more leads and practice better communication with existing clients. WSI provided the client with a professional Web solution, which they are very happy with. WSI and the client are currently in discussions regarding ongoing enhancements to the website and starting an Internet marketing strategy in the near future. WSI Consultant: Yaron Berkowitz Victoria, Australia Testimonial: The website is a great success. We were able to communicate directly with our clients and prospects and promote our products effectively. WSI eFusion is a great and user-friendly system. We are happy to recommend WSI’s products and services to new prospects or clients. The website has been wonderful for our business and I want to thank you again for your persistence and patience. Vasant Manoharan National Business Manager, Preferred Brands Australia “ “
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  • 82. 85 Auto Dealer White Plains Chrysler Jeep Dodge Search Engine Optimization www.whiteplainschrysler.com Challenges and Goals: White Plains Chrysler Jeep Dodge is an established car dealership in downtown White Plains, New York. The New York metro area is highly competitive and newspaper advertising continues to lose its effectiveness. The ultimate goal is to drive prospective customers into the showroom. The Solution: We decided we needed to increase the website in the search results rankings, increase and measure traffic. We recognized that a custom solution was required to achieve this. We rolled out an SEO program to include extra key words and pages with the support of WSI Search Results. In addition to SEO, we provided a concise executive report which included insights as well as some basic data. Results: Visits in June 2008 increased to 3327 from 838 in August 2009. » Unique visits in June 2008 were 2348 compared to 609 in August 2009 » Total page views in June 2008 10,652 compared to 3145 in August 2009 » Nine targeted key words that were not on page one in August 2009 are now on page 1. In May 2009, when Chrysler closed about 25% of its dealerships, White Plains Chrysler Jeep Dodge remained open for business. In June 2009, when the client purchased a Hyundai dealership, WSI was hired to do the SEO as well as PPC. WSI measured the results using analytics and ranker reports provided by WSI Search Results. WSI Consultant: Rob Shapiro New York, USA
  • 83. CC                                                     IImmpp WW CCoonn prroovvee WWhhiill nnvvee ee  YYoo llee  RRee eerrssiio ouurr  OO eedduucc oonn OOnnlliinn cciinngg WS Pre Con AArrc nnee  PPee YYoouu SI White Pa epared by: nversion A cchhiit eerrffoo uurr  SSpp aper : Doug Sch Architectur tteecc rrmmaa ppeenndd hust   re Expert, W ccttuurr annccee dd   WSI  rree::
  • 84. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 2 of 12    IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn 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.         
  • 85. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 3 of 12    IItt  AAllll  BBeeggiinnss  WWiitthh  TTeessttiinngg  TToo  EEssttaabblliisshh  BBeenncchhmmaarrkkss::     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. 
  • 86. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 4 of 12    TTHHEE  BBEENNCCHHMMAARRKKIINNGG  PPRROOGGRRAAMM   11.. SSttaarrtt  wwiitthh  tthhee  rriigghhtt  qquueessttiioonn..     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?”  22.. DDeevveelloopp  tthhee  TTrreeaattmmeenntt((ss))..     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.  33.. DDeetteerrmmiinnee  tthhee  rriigghhtt  mmeettrriiccss..     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.  
  • 87. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 5 of 12    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 or did they call?  Number of orders, average amount, total revenue  44.. CChheecckk  vvaalliiddiittyy,,  ssttaarrttiinngg  wwiitthh  ssaammppllee  ssiizzee  ssuuffffiicciieennccyy..     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. 
  • 88. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 6 of 12    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. 
  • 89. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 7 of 12    55.. CCoorrrreeccttllyy  iinntteerrpprreett  tthhee  rreessuullttss..     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.   BBrreeaakkiinngg  DDoowwnn  YYoouurr  CCaammppaaiiggnnss  aanndd  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  CChhaannnneellss   HHeellppss  ttoo  DDeetteerrmmiinnee  tthhee  FFoolllloowwiinngg::   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. 
  • 90. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 8 of 12    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. 
  • 91. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 9 of 12    TTeesstt  PPrroottooccooll  ffoorr  AA//BB  SSpplliitt  TTeessttiinngg  ffoorr  LLaannddiinngg  PPaaggeess::   11.. DDeevveelloopp  YYoouurr  CCaappaabbiilliittiieess  aanndd  SSeelleecctt  tthhee  RRiigghhtt  TToooollss     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.  22.. IIddeennttiiffyy  YYoouurr  EEssttaabblliisshheedd  CCoonnttrrooll  PPaaggee     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.  33.. EEssttaabblliisshh  YYoouurr  TTeessttiinngg  GGooaallss  aanndd  PPaarraammeetteerrss     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.  44.. DDeetteerrmmiinnee  YYoouurr  SSuuffffiicciieenntt  TTeesstt  IInntteerrvvaall     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.  55.. CCrreeaattee  11‐‐33  RRaaddiiccaall  RReeddeessiiggnnss     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.  66.. EEvvaalluuaattee  TThheessee  RReeddeessiiggnnss  iinn  AA//BB  SSpplliitt  TTeessttss     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 
  • 92. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 10 of 12    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.  77.. BBaasseedd  oonn  RReessuullttss,,  DDeetteerrmmiinnee  YYoouurr  TTrruuee  CCoonnttrrooll  PPaaggee     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.  88.. OOppttiimmiizzee  wwiitthh  TTrraaddiittiioonnaall  VVaarriiaabbllee‐‐SSppeecciiffiicc  AA//BB  TTeessttiinngg  VVaarriiaabblleess   ttoo  TTeesstt::     • Headline  • Call to Action  • Page Copy  • Graphics  • Color  • Configuration of Page Elements  • Etc.    
  • 93. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 11 of 12    CCoonncclluuddiinngg  CCoommmmeennttss::   There are a few important points to remember about A/B split testing:  1. Even if you can't 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.    CCoonncclluussiioonn::   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.  
  • 94. CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  AArrcchhiitteeccttuurree::   IImmpprroovvee  YYoouurr  OOnnlliinnee  PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee  WWhhiillee  RReedduucciinngg  YYoouurr  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  SSppeenndd     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 12 of 12       AAbboouutt  tthhee  AAuutthhoorr     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.    RReessoouurrcceess::   • MarketingExperiments  • MarketingSherpa  • Omniture  • Google 
  • 95. SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII WSI White Paper Prepared by: Francisco Hernandez Email Marketing Expert, WSI EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg::
  • 96. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 11 IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn 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.
  • 97. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 11 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. CCRRMM == CCuussttoommeerr RReeaallllyy MMaannaaggee 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 personal
  • 98. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 11 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. FFooccuuss oonn CCuussttoommeerrss’’ NNeeeeddss oorr LLoossee TThheemm FFoorreevveerr 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. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg’’ss EEffffeeccttiivveenneessss 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.
  • 99. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 11 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. FFiivvee EEmmaaiill SSttrraatteeggiieess ffoorr 22000099 1. CClleeaann aanndd NNuurrttuurree YYoouurr EEmmaaiill LLiisstt 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.
  • 100. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 11 • 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. EEnnhhaannccee YYoouurr SSeeggmmeennttaattiioonn 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. RReevviieeww aanndd RReeffiinnee YYoouurr OOpptt--iinn CCaammppaaiiggnnss 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?
  • 101. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 11 • 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. DDeessiiggnn ffoorr ““IImmaaggeess OOffff”” aanndd PPrreevviieeww PPaanneess 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:
  • 102. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 8 of 11 5. IInntteeggrraattee SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa iinnttoo YYoouurr EEmmaaiill PPrrooggrraamm 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 SSoocciiaall EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: TThhee NNeexxtt BBiigg TThhiinngg 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. WWiillll EEmmaaiill JJuusstt ““TTwwiitttteerr”” AAwwaayy?? 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 in
  • 103. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 9 of 11 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. IIss TThhiiss TThhee DDeeaatthh ooff EEmmaaiill?? HHaarrddllyy!! 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. NNeeww TTeecchhnnoollooggyy BBrriiddggeess tthhee EEmmaaiill//SSoocciiaall NNeettwwoorrkk GGaapp 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.
  • 104. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 10 of 11 GGiivvee SSoommee SStteerrooiiddss ttoo YYoouurr EEmmaaiill CCaammppaaiiggnnss 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. CCoonncclluussiioonn 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 • Wunderman
  • 105. EEmmaaiill MMaarrkkeettiinngg:: SSttiillll tthhee PPoowweerrffuull EEnnggaaggeemmeenntt TTooooll TThhaatt TTuurrnnss MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss IInnttoo HHiigghheesstt RROOII Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 11 of 11 AAbboouutt tthhee AAuutthhoorr 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.
  • 106. WSI White Paper Prepared by: Chuck Bankoff Research Analyst Conversion Expert, WSI CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn
  • 107. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 15 IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn IItt’’ss NNoott AAbboouutt TTeecchhnnoollooggyy;; IItt’’ss AAbboouutt PPssyycchhoollooggyy…… “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. WWhhyy AArree EEffffeeccttiivvee LLaannddiinngg PPaaggeess EEsssseennttiiaall?? 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.
  • 108. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 15 66 SStteeppss ttoo EEffffeeccttiivvee LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: SStteepp 11:: DDeeffiinnee SSuucccceessss 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. SStteepp 22:: DDeeffiinnee YYoouurr CCuussttoommeerr 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. SStteepp 33:: SSeelleeccttiinngg DDoommaaiinnss 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). SStteepp 44:: WWiirreeffrraammiinngg 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).
  • 109. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 15 SStteepp 55:: CCooppyywwrriittiinngg 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. SStteepp 66:: TTeessttiinngg TTwweeaakkiinngg 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.) KKeeyy CCoonnssiiddeerraattiioonnss 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. SSccrroolllliinngg,, PPaaggiinngg tthhee FFoolldd 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.
  • 110. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 15 NNaavviiggaattiioonn BBaarrss 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” LLaannddiinngg PPaaggeess wwiitthh LLiinnkkss ttoo OOtthheerr PPaaggeess 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). CCoolloorr CChhooiicceess 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. TTyyppeeffaaccee FFoonnttss 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.
  • 111. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 15 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.
  • 112. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 15 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.
  • 113. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 8 of 15 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?
  • 114. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 9 of 15 HHooww mmaannyy eelleemmeennttss sshhoouulldd bbee oonn aa ppaaggee?? 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. TTrruusstt IIccoonnss 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.
  • 115. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 10 of 15 VViiddeeoo oonn LLaannddiinngg PPaaggeess 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. RReessppoonnssee DDeevviicceess 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. PPhhoonnee NNuummbbeerrss:: Bigger is better….don’t be shy Some consumers just prefer to call
  • 116. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 11 of 15 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 BBuuttttoonnss 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! RReeggiissttrraattiioonn FFoorrmmss 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. CCooppyy TTiippss 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 copy
  • 117. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 12 of 15 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 shouldn't be longer that 4 or 5 lines long Numerals have more impact than written numbers LLoonngg CCooppyy vvss.. SShhoorrtt CCooppyy 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 CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess aanndd CCaammppaaiiggnn KKiilllleerrss::
  • 118. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 13 of 15 IInn--HHoouussee vvss.. OOuuttssoouurrccee 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.
  • 119. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 14 of 15 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.
  • 120. LLaannddiinngg PPaaggee DDeessiiggnn:: CCoommmmoonn MMiissttaakkeess TTeesstteedd TTeecchhnniiqquueess Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 15 of 15 SSuummmmaarryy 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? AAbboouutt tthhee AAuutthhoorr 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.
  • 121.                                                           DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr   MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   WSI White Paper  Prepared by: Ron Adelman  Search Marketing Expert, WSI  YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee ttoo PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh
  • 122. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 2 of 13    IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn     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?    OOnnlliinnee  AAddvveerrttiissiinngg  SSppeenndd  ––  TTrreennddss  IInnccrreeaassiinngg     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?           
  • 123. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 3 of 13    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.      PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh  MMaarrkkeettiinngg  oorr  PPPPCC  MMaarrkkeettiinngg   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.  
  • 124. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 4 of 13          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.     
  • 125. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 5 of 13    GGooaall  ooff  YYoouurr  CCaammppaaiiggnn   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.     KKnnooww  YYoouurr  AAuuddiieennccee     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.    TTaarrggeettiinngg::       Limit the visibility of your ad based on the theoretical audience and their likely online behavior.     GGeeoo  TTaarrggeettiinngg::         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!   
  • 126. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 6 of 13        SSeeaarrcchh  NNeettwwoorrkk  oorr  CCoonntteenntt  NNeettwwoorrkk::      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.    DDaayy‐‐ppaarrttiinngg::      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.       
  • 127. Copy DDoonn’’tt  L YYoouurr  GG   yright © 2009 b   KKeeyywwoo   Getting as miserable without e   •  Find the      compe   •  Filter ou      bidding      but ana   •  Exampl      you sho     MMaattcchh   You can c your keyw   Example:  well as “w Exact Mat match the away. Thi You can d   LLeeaavvee  YYoo GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PP by Research and  oorrddss::   s targeted as  e failure and a excluding the  e bargain phr etitors bidding ut what are k g on, but indi alytics again h e:  If you are  ould add “me h  TTyyppee::     hoose Exact,  words in orde  Broad Matc wood desk” or tches for “me e search term s is why exha determine bad uurr  MMoonneey PPaaiidd  SSeeaarr Management. A possible with a very produc majority.  ase variation g on them.   nown as nega cate a compl helps you her bidding on “d etal” as a neg Phrase, or Br r for your ad  hing on the w r “desk for ho etal office des m, many peop austive multi‐ d matches in  yy  oonn  tthhee rrcchh   All rights reserve h your keywo ctive campaig s that receive ative keyword etely differen re.   desks” or “off ative keywor road Matchin to be display word “desk,” y ome office.” B sk” would driv le will leave t word keywor Google’s Sea TTaabbllee   ed.  rd selection c gn.  Restrict yo e a high searc ds, or search  nt concept or  fice desks” an rd to filter out ng to choose h yed.   you would ge But lower lan ve your bid p the page whe rd phrase lists rch Query Re can make the our potential  ch volume but terms that co type of busin nd all of your  t searches for how closely a et impression ding page rel rices up. Plus en they don’t  s can help low eport or with  e difference b audience as  t don’t have n ome close to  ness.   This ta products are r metal desks  typed phrase s for “metal o evance and c s, if the landin find what the wer prices and advanced we etween a  much as poss numerous   phrases you’ kes some tho e made of woo s.    e has to matc office desk,” a competition f ng page doesn ey want right d bounce rate ebsite analytic Page 7 of 13  sible  re   ought,   od,   ch  as  rom  n’t    es.  cs. 
  • 128. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 8 of 13    AAdd  TTeexxtt::     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.    LLaannddiinngg  PPaaggee::       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.    GGooooggllee  WWeebbssiittee  OOppttiimmiizzeerr  EExxppeerriimmeenntt                 
  • 129. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 9 of 13    BBuuddggeett::  HHooww  mmuucchh  aarree  yyoouu  wwiilllliinngg  ttoo  ssppeenndd  ttoo  aaccqquuiirree  aa  nneeww   ccuussttoommeerr??         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.    KKeeyywwoorrdd  BBiiddddiinngg::         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.    CCoonnvveerrssiioonn  aanndd  AAnnaallyyttiiccss  TToooollss::     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.    
  • 130. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 10 of 13        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.    WWSSII  CCaassee  SSttuuddyy::  MMaannaaggeemmeenntt  ooff  AAddWWoorrddss  UUssiinngg  AAnnaallyyttiiccss     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.   
  • 131. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 11 of 13        AAggeennccyy  MMaannaaggeemmeenntt     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.     
  • 132. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 12 of 13    TToopp  FFiivvee  RReeaassoonnss  CCoommppaanniieess  MMuusstt  CCoonnssiiddeerr  PPaaiidd  AAddvveerrttiissiinngg   iinn  aa  SSllooww  EEccoonnoommyy     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.    WWoorrkk  WWiitthh  WWSSII  ttoo  MMaaxxiimmiizzee  YYoouurr  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh  RROOII   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...            
  • 133. DDoonn’’tt  LLeeaavvee  YYoouurr  MMoonneeyy  oonn  tthhee  TTaabbllee   YYoouurr  GGuuiiddee  ttoo  PPaaiidd  SSeeaarrcchh     Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved.  Page 13 of 13    AAbboouutt  tthhee  AAuutthhoorr     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.      GGlloossssaarryy  ooff  PPaayy‐‐PPeerr‐‐CClliicckk  TTeerrmmss     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.  
  • 134. WSI White Paper Prepared by: Francois Muscat Search Engine Optimization Expert, WSI SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn YYoouurr GGuuiiddee ttoo LLeeaadd GGeenneerraattiioonn iinn TToouugghh EEccoonnoommiicc TTiimmeess MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouurr CCoommppaannyy iiss VViissiibbllee oonn GGooooggllee wwiitthh
  • 135. SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn:: MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouurr CCoommppaannyy iiss VViissiibbllee oonn GGooooggllee Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 7 IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn 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. MMaarrkkeett DDrriivveerrss TThhee YYeellllooww PPaaggeess VVss SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinneess 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 business
  • 136. SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn:: MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouurr CCoommppaannyy iiss VViissiibbllee oonn GGooooggllee Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 7 SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee MMaarrkkeettiinngg 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. SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee VViissiibbiilliittyy 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. WWhhaatt IInnffoorrmmaattiioonn DDoo WWee LLooookk FFoorr?? 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 studies
  • 137. SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn:: MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouurr CCoommppaannyy iiss VViissiibbllee oonn GGooooggllee Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 7 • 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. CCoommppeettee EEffffeeccttiivveellyy AAggaaiinnsstt BBiiggggeerr BBrraannddss wwiitthh SSEEOO 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. II HHaavvee GGoooodd CCoonntteenntt BBuutt II SSttiillll DDoonn’’tt RRaannkk oonn GGooooggllee’’ss FFiirrsstt PPaaggee,, WWhhyy?? 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.
  • 138. SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn:: MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouurr CCoommppaannyy iiss VViissiibbllee oonn GGooooggllee Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 7 SSoo WWhheerree DDoo WWee GGeett VVaalluuaabbllee LLiinnkkss FFrroomm?? 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. WWhheerree DDooeess SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa MMaarrkkeettiinngg FFiitt IInn?? 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.
  • 139. SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn:: MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouurr CCoommppaannyy iiss VViissiibbllee oonn GGooooggllee Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 7 WWhhyy iiss SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa MMaarrkkeettiinngg IImmppoorrttaanntt?? 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. GGeenneerraattiinngg LLeeaaddss OOnnlliinnee 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. TThhee SSoolluuttiioonn 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. GGeenneerriicc SSoolluuttiioonn 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 is
  • 140. SSeeaarrcchh EEnnggiinnee OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn:: MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouurr CCoommppaannyy iiss VViissiibbllee oonn GGooooggllee Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 7 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. WWoorrkk WWiitthh WWSSII ttoo MMaakkee SSuurree YYoouu AAppppeeaarr oonn GGooooggllee 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. AAbboouutt tthhee AAuutthhoorr 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.
  • 141. WSI White Paper Prepared by: Heather Angus-Lee Social Media Strategist, WSI GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSOOCCIIAALL MMEEDDIIAA TTIIMMEE IISS OOFF TTHHEE EESSSSEENNCCEE::
  • 142. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 12 IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn You keep hearing about social media and how it's 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 there's 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.
  • 143. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 12 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). DDeeffiinniinngg SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa 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). There's 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.
  • 144. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 12 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 it's 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. RROOII ooff SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa AAccrroossss tthhee CCoommppaannyy 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 you're considering the role of social media to augment functions within your organization. While marketing is an obvious fit, don't overlook the value that social media brings to other business processes: Human Resources: Social media boosts a company's 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.
  • 145. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 12 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 program's development and careful implementation. NNeeww BBuussiinneessss SSiiggnneedd iinn FFiirrsstt TTwwoo MMoonntthhss 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. TToopp 88 SStteeppss ffoorr SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa SSuucccceessss No matter where you live or what kind of industry you're in, a common refrain among business owners and executives is: I don't have hours a day to blog, to update my Facebook, to Twitter, etc. I have a business to run! You'll 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 'web
  • 146. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 12 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%).
  • 147. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 7 of 12 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 you've never thought of crowded online beehives like Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr as search engines. True, they're a lot more fun/sexy than Google's 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 you've 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, you've 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. Don't 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 site's 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.
  • 148. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 8 of 12 TThhee MMeetthhooddoollooggyy BBeehhiinndd SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa OOppttiimmiizzaattiioonn Given that Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a relatively new area in Internet marketing, you need to feel assured that you're 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. WWhhaatt ttoo LLooookk ffoorr iinn tthhee SSeerrvviicceess ooff aa SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa CCoonnssuullttaanntt 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. Online Market Research Recommendations Blogging Training/Training on Other Social Media Digital Asset Optim- ization Social Media Programs, Other Custom Work Metrics Reporting
  • 149. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 9 of 12 SSuummmmaarryy 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 won't 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! AAbboouutt tthhee AAuutthhoorr 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.
  • 150. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 10 of 12 GGlloossssaarryy ooff SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa TTeerrmmss 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 don't 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.
  • 151. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 11 of 12 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.
  • 152. TTiimmee iiss ooff tthhee EEsssseennccee:: GGaaiinniinngg aanndd MMaaiinnttaaiinniinngg aa CCoommppeettiittiivvee AAddvvaannttaaggee wwiitthh SSoocciiaall MMeeddiiaa Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 12 of 12 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.
  • 153. OOppttiimmiizzee YYoouurr MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss DDuurriinngg TThhee RReecceessssiioonn WSI White Paper Prepared by: Feras Alhlou Web Analytics Expert, WSI WWeebb AAnnaallyyttiiccss::
  • 154. WWeebb AAnnaallyyttiiccss:: OOppttiimmiizzee YYoouurr MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss DDuurriinngg tthhee RReecceessssiioonn Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 6 IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn 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 WWhhyy WWeebb AAnnaallyyttiiccss 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?
  • 155. WWeebb AAnnaallyyttiiccss:: OOppttiimmiizzee YYoouurr MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss DDuurriinngg tthhee RReecceessssiioonn Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 6 PPrroobblleemm 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. SSoolluuttiioonn SSuucccceessss SSttoorriieess Analytics and measurements help you remove the guesswork from your marketing decision making process. CCaassee SSttuuddyy ##11 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)
  • 156. WWeebb AAnnaallyyttiiccss:: OOppttiimmiizzee YYoouurr MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss DDuurriinngg tthhee RReecceessssiioonn Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 6 OObbsseerrvvaattiioonnss • 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. CCaassee SSttuuddyy ##22 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. (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. 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 July August Total Web Inquiries Total Inquiries
  • 157. WWeebb AAnnaallyyttiiccss:: OOppttiimmiizzee YYoouurr MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss DDuurriinngg tthhee RReecceessssiioonn Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 6 Figure 4 demonstrates how inquiries as well as lead quality are tracked and segmented. (Figure 4) OObbsseerrvvaattiioonnss:: • 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. WWhhaatt TToo DDoo NNeexxtt aanndd WWhheerree DDoo II SSttaarrtt?? 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.)
  • 158. WWeebb AAnnaallyyttiiccss:: OOppttiimmiizzee YYoouurr MMaarrkkeettiinngg DDoollllaarrss DDuurriinngg tthhee RReecceessssiioonn Copyright © 2009 by Research and Management. All rights reserved. Page 6 of 6 • 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! RReeffeerreenncceess HHeellppffuull RReessoouurrcceess 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 AAbboouutt tthhee AAuutthhoorr 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.

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