Marketing Your Small Business Online


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Small businesses require all the help they can get to better themselves in all aspects of business. VQC presented this for The 4th Dimension Consulting group which holds monthly seminars to educate small businesses in various business areas. 4th Dimension contacted VQC to speak on marketing a business online.

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  • Ask audience what their goals are for being online… Some goals may include growing your business by attracting leads and turning them into customers. Maybe you want to improve your brand’s awareness or reestablish a new brand. Is anyone not sure of why they want a website but realize it is a smart move or want to learn more about jumping in? Have a list of outcomes prepared from LNC presentations… maybe a few image slides to beg the question Awareness – someone with a lightbulb over their head Action – Clicking a button Money – Floating Money Generates awareness for my business. Boost my business credibility. Provides value for my existing clients. Intrigues new/potential clients. Become a lead generator. Provide positive ROI.
  • What does each of these goals require for success? What is the one most singular most important thing about having a website that if you don’t have any of this you will never achieve the goals set for your website????? TRAFFIC.
  • Improving traffic to your site brings more people who may potentially perform the desired action you have for them. If you have no one to visit your site… what will you sell? who will you make aware? What action will be taken? Who will find value? And there are people out there to bring to your site….
  • There are 300 million internet users in North America alone: that is 74% of the population or 1 in 3. The world[ has a total of 6 billion internet users And how exactly are they using the internet????.... Stat: [ http:// ]
  • Well ¾ of those users are performing searches for things within their community. As search engines improve their algorithms search will become more and more localized returning results that are increasingly relevant to what it is you are looking for which is the ultimate goal of any SEARCH: to look into or over carefully or thoroughly in an effort to find or discover something. Stats: 74% of internet users perform local searches. (Kelsey Group) 43% of search engine users are seeking a local merchant to buy something offline (comScore Networks)
  • People aren’t just searching online… they are gathering information to make informed purchases. In today’s business environment the buyer really controls the market. Consumers have ability to know exactly what they are buying with comparisons not only to other products but to other stores where that product is also sold. They may even have looked up a review of the store’s employees. The consumer has the power to know what is happening in your business without even stepping foot within your business. What are they seeing when they visit your website? Your website is the first impression many people will have with your business. With the majority of people in the US online, and a large majority of them doing research to find places to spend their money… the probability they will see your business’s website first is HIGH. Stats: 89% of consumers making in store purchased in key categories have conducted research online (BIGResearch)
  • So we can see it is beneficial to have a presence in front of the users of the Internet. But its not as simple as just throwing your site out there into the wild wild west and rounding up some traffic. You need a directed approach that considers the factors and the ways in which traffic will be arriving at your website. the online business process: - search, direct, or referral/impulse [someone decides they need a service and decides to search for it] - click [a search returns a lot of different results; user has to decide which one to click] - landing [ Once a user has completed a search and decided to click one of the many links[count links on typical serp page] they need to decide based on first few seconds of being on your page what action they will take - action [will they click the back button or will they stay? [the clash song! – should I stay or should I go?] Marketing your business on line is all about improving one, two or all of the steps in this process for users. It focuses on your website, your audience and how you are targeting that audience.
  • These are the three sources which traffic will come to your website. Improving all three will play an important role in your site’s ability to achieve the desired outcomes.
  • This traffic is a result of links which are hosted on other websites. This type of traffic is helpful for boosting your SEO Rank and increasing your sites credibility. Depending on the referring source this traffic may be very qualified.
  • Search optimization will aide in growing your sites traffic. Increasing traffic is step one in achieving your goals for you website. Without visitors you will not achieve what you set out to do. All of the above tips are useful not only for optimizing your site for user interaction but also for improving your ranking in search engines. SE Ranking Factors: http:// /article/search-ranking-factors -Claim your site on Local Listings -Attract Backlinks
  • Direct traffic is a result of visitors typing your URL into their browser or using a bookmark. Basically they already know what they are doing online and are on their way to your site. Most direct traffic will be the result of someone pulling your URL off something outside of the web. Your site then becomes part of your sales team informing visitors more about what you do or prompting them to make a purchase. Here you go… check out our business cards or this PowerPoint. Hyper link our
  • The following tactics will aide you in increasing traffic along with increasing the effectiveness of that traffic. Having a website is part of your marketing campaign and as with any marketing campaign it is very important you understand What is your goal? How to achieve that goal? 3. How to measure your success towards the goal. In this case we have covered what our goals may be and part of how to achieve that goal. Traffic is extremely important but there is another piece of the puzzle and that is your Conversion Rate = Conversions / Unique Visitors.
  • When choosing a domain name you go through similar steps as when you first decided upon your business’s name. Your domain name is what people will associate with your website and is what they will recall each time they visit you site. Tips: Easy to remember & Spell Short Relate to your business Preferable to use .com .net .org. biz .us .info Some important things to note: -Domain purchasing works the same way as purchasing TM… once its bought you’ll have to purchase from someone else: -The longer a domain has been in use the more credibility Search Engines will assign to it in their ranking process. -You can purchase multiple domains and have them all redirect back to one base domain. I.E. is the same as vqcdesign[s].com
  • Which would you prefer for vacation or permanent residency? Picking a value host is very similar. Let me ask you … has everyone seen the GoDaddy value host commercials? Recall the price? How do they achieve this price?? - economies of sale my friends… the more tenants they cram onto a server the less money each space costs. Business Class hosts offer the following: -dedicated server space  faster load times for your site -Personal service  you actually have someone to talk to
  • Has anyone here experienced a low quality landlord? Irresponsive and hard to track down? Picking a value host is very similar. Let me ask you … has everyone seen the GoDaddy value host commercials? Recall the price? How do they achieve this price?? - economies of sale my friends… the more tenants they cram onto a server the less money each space costs. Business Class hosts offer the following: -dedicated server space  faster load times for your site -Personal service  you actually have someone to talk to Do you have backup for data, internet connection and power? What happens if their servers go down? Where will your information and site be? How many websites do you host on the server that my website will be on? Do you have server performance metrics? This is how value hosts achieve low costs, cramming more sites into one server which kills resources and slows load times. What is your uptime guarantee? Can I view a sample site that is hosted on the same server that my web site will be on? How does your customer service and technical support system work?
  • We’ve discuss the foundation for your site now lets discuss your actual site structure and how these will play a role in the overall user experience, your rank in search engines and your sites effectiveness at converting visitors. -retaining & engaging visitors -reinforcing your brand -Improving traffic through search engine rankings -Providing a professional image that stands out from the crowd
  • The most important part of any design is that it is consistent with your business’s identity and brand Types of website design can vary from full customization to template design. Important Items: --Clean design which is easy on the user’s eye: limit colors and use softer colors on the edges of the design to keep user focused on main page. --Think about the Fold: what users see when landing on the page without having to scroll, you want your key content to be above the fold. --Consistent design which lessens the barriers for users clicking through the site. -Link Presentation -Home Page Link Location -Search Bar -Navigation bar Full customization grants you full creative control over the site’s look feel and layout. [give examples of some customized sites] Customized Websites: -Mid-Atlantic BX -CODi Direct -Army Heritage Template Websites: - Better Bowls -Berzinsky Architects - Template sites are pre-constructed layouts which can be customized to your brand. Being that you are choosing from a pool of templates you are somewhat limited as to the customization you’ll have. A customized template is cost effective and still very effective a creating a quality presence online. Things to Consider: Keep things very simple. You only have a few moments of a visitors attention. Keeping your design simple so that they can easily determine what your page is about will help retain visitors. Conventions lessen the learning curve... CODI OLD SITE:
  • Gather examples of quality Landing Pages to compare with use 3 examples. Focus on location of action, navigation and overall layout/color selection Planning your navigation is something that goes hand in hand with your sites design and affects a number of areas which you should consider. Usability How easily can users locate the information they are seeking. The levels of your page should be no deeper than 3 pages. The main headers, sub headers and one final level underneath. Burying information will deter customers. Also, what does the front page look like… is it attractive, what is above the fold, Search Engine Optimization A logical and shallow navigation [less than 3 pages deep] allows search engines to crawl your site faster and in turn improves your rank in the engines. Visitor Retention The usability and general layout play a huge roll in the bounce rate of visitors. Visitors will leave a site for a number of reasons but a major reason is that they don’t find the information they were looking for. Making this process ass easy as possible for visitors will keep them on your page longer. Tips: -use “Bread Crumb” trails to aide users in their navigation of your site. Not necessary to have entire page accessible from each content page… it is easier to return to home page and go from there. -Only display a few links. Keep it simple for the usre to decide where they will go next. No need to overwhelm them, since they are fleeting anyway. -Use internal links that take users to relevant information like related and similar products, different versions of the topic, links for the author’s biography, forum postings or info that compliments current page. -Users will rely on search when they are lost… be sure to have this integrated. Without structural links: pages are orphans:
  • Your content is beneficial for two reasons: Attracting users and boosting search rankings. Both Search engines and people read your content and they want to be efficient as possible at finding the relevant content Writing for the web is a very different animal from writing a piece of print copy... Web users are fleeting and ruthless, if they dont find what they need or are not interested you will be “back buttoned” So here are some tips to help attract those users and boost your search rank.
  • Show images of how people read webpages Web content like all content should be compelling. In fact all types of communication should be compelling. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a compelling conversation each time you spoke with someone? Be sure to write for the user but there are some tips you can use to help optimize your page for search engines as well. Users visit pages for actionable content. Readers are looking for their information quickly. Being concise and brief to aide users is key. Keyword Density = word content/ keywords *100: Search is designed to deliver relevant and quality content: you must make your content relevant and quality. Google’s Goal: “ We are constantly working to provide you with more relevant results so that you find what you're looking for faster. “ Each page should only be optimized for 1-2 keywords Active voice is best but passive can be effective for headlines. Users typically read the first 2-3 words in a headline which means you should lead off with keywords to capture their interest: Users read about 18% of information on the page:
  • People begin their viewing experience by scanning the top portion of the page. Then by scanning down through for relevant information. These eye tracking images display this… Far Left: An “About Us” article Middle: Product Page on an e-commerce site Far Right: a SERP 3 pts: -Users wont read thoroughly -first 2 Paragraphs where most important information should go -headers should contain information carrying content
  • Track key metrics to understand how your site is being used and where that traffic is coming from. Visits : Number of people to visit your site over the time period specified. Page Views : Number of pages which people have viewed over time period. Pages per Visit : Avg number of pages the average visitor views on your website - Unique visitors are the number of new visitors you have to your site. This only counts the first time someone visits your site in the time period. Once they visit their next visit is counted in the Page views category. - Page views clues you into which pages users are visiting. This will fill you in on what visitors are most interested in. - Referring sites shows where visitors are finding your site and clicking to come to your site - Bounce rate is the % of single page visits or the percentage of visitors who left your site after landing on the first page. [ ] Depending on time give a run-through of using Google Analytics
  • Marketing Your Small Business Online

    1. 1. Your Business: Online Build it, Market it, Succeed
    2. 2. VQC Designs <ul><li>Founded 2001 by Qui and Vinh Chau </li></ul><ul><li>Please, don’t confuse us with QVC, we don’t sell knives </li></ul>
    3. 3. VQC Designs <ul><li>Founded in 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Offering solutions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecommerce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application/Database Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Hosting </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Two Offices: HBG & PHL
    5. 5. 8 Employees
    6. 6. What are your Goals? <ul><li>Ask for Goals from Audience </li></ul>
    7. 7. Your Goals? <ul><li>Awareness </li></ul>Business Action Value
    8. 8. What Is Key Factor to Reach Goals?
    9. 9. Traffic
    10. 10. Users of the Internet: 300 million in North America
    11. 11. 74% of internet users perform local searches, 43% are seeking a local merchant. (comScore Networks)
    12. 12. “ 89% of consumers making in-store purchase; research on-line first” -(Big Research)
    13. 13. How to do I herd traffic to my site?
    14. 14. Traffic: Referral v. Direct v. Search
    15. 15. Referral Traffic <ul><li>Social Media Management </li></ul><ul><li>Email Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Online Advertisements </li></ul><ul><li>Link Building </li></ul>
    16. 16. Search Traffic <ul><li>51% On-Page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Domain Authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword Density </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click Through/Traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Registration/Hosting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Linking other key portion </li></ul>(seoMoz)
    17. 17. Direct Traffic <ul><li>Direct access of URL (bookmarks, typing URL) </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing materials </li></ul><ul><li>Business Cards </li></ul><ul><li>Email Domains </li></ul><ul><li>Brand Awareness </li></ul>
    18. 18. Your Site: CRUSH IT! <ul><li>Setting the Stage </li></ul><ul><li>Building Something Great </li></ul><ul><li>Enticing Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Growing in SERP </li></ul><ul><li>Tying it together </li></ul>
    19. 19. Effective Domain Name <ul><li>Related to Business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chesapeake Crab Connection  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Parking/Redirecting </li></ul><ul><ul><li> goes to </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider your email address </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of hosting plans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Top Level Domains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>.com, .biz, .org, .info, .us, .net </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Where is your Site Hosted?
    21. 21. Choosing a Web Host <ul><li>5 questions to ask </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have backup for data, internet connection and power? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many websites do you host on the server that my website will be on? Do you have server performance metrics? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is your uptime guarantee? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I view a sample site that is hosted on the same server that my web site will be on? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does your customer service and technical support system work? </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Design & Navigation <ul><li>Retain Visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Engage Visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforces Brand </li></ul><ul><li>Boost Search Engine Ranks </li></ul><ul><li>Stand Out </li></ul>
    23. 23. Design <ul><li>Determines your sites overall “feel” </li></ul><ul><li>Template vs Custom </li></ul><ul><li>What does your landing page say? </li></ul>Before After
    24. 24. Planning Site Navigation
    25. 25. Planning Your Navigation Structure <ul><li>Visitors Path? </li></ul><ul><li>Simple = Better </li></ul><ul><li>Use Bread Crumbs </li></ul><ul><li>Simple Internal Links </li></ul>
    26. 26. Developing Content
    27. 27. Developing Content <ul><li>Scan-able Pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use headlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bulleted Lists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concise Verbiage </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Action Phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Relevancy </li></ul>
    28. 28. User Scanning Patterns
    29. 29. Setting up Metrics
    30. 30. Specific Statistics For Metrics
    31. 31. Boosting your web presence requires a mixture of activities. <ul><li>Plan accordingly </li></ul><ul><li>One step at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Keep good records & measurements </li></ul><ul><li>Always keep goals in mind! </li></ul>
    32. 32. Contact & Questions? <ul><li>Adam Quinn </li></ul>Marketing Coordinator VQC Designs [email_address] @VQCdesigns Facebook: VQC Designs