We could actually do a 3 day workshop on the topics for tonight. The challenge as a presenter was for me to pare down the information to fit into a 2 hour time slot but to also give you the most salient and useful information that is actionable.
Overall I am going to talk about things that will drive more traffic, more repeat traffic to your websites and things you can do to build your email lists and also get more people to open those emails. First, we’ll look at Websites that encourage repeat visits. There are a number of things that you can do to encourage repeat visitors to your web site. We’ll talk about those and I’ll give you some examples…and we’ll look at a couple of local websites who’s publishers have asked for a quick critique. We’ll also look at good web design. What are the elements of good design. And what if your website doesn’t meet this criteria? Well we will talk about the steps needed to build a site which are essentially the same as doing a web makeover. Are you measuring your results? Do you know where your visitors are coming from? How long they stay on your site? What your bounce rate is? Analytics can help you determine all this and one of the very best programs for doing that is FREE. From there we’ll move into SEO or search engine optimization. It doesn’t matter how cool your site is if no one ever sees it. We’ll talk about the fundamentals and relate that back to some of the people that volunteered for me to critique their sites. What are the latest trends on the Internet? What will affect your online marketing moving forward. Things like social media, location based marketing apps like Foursquare and other issues that will impact your traffic. Then, we’ll move onto growing your email list. I’ve give you some specific examples of how to get more names. Once you have those names and are sending out emails, how do you get more people to open them? We’ll wrap things up with content ideas as content is the driving force behind all traffic and we’ll touch a bit on social media.
Before we actually get into the presentation, let’s do a quick background check. Let’s go through this list and do a quick survey. Take note of how many hands go up and how the audience responds as a percentage to each question as the next slides will give you a general reference comparison.
Ask the questions. Then, before the next slide: So you’ve seen how your peers stack up. Now, let’s look at some statistics from a recent business survey about SM
With this in mind, let’s look at some of the sites I selected that drive return visitors. Information Entertainment Authority Deals
Clean Website Good use of white space Well organized menu items Fresh content by category
This is the demotivation poster website…there is no doubt as to what it’s about. It has a singular purpose…to sell these posters. This is an example of doing one thing very well.
Busy site but…social media right at the top, contests to engage the visitors, sign up for email…all up high and clearly identified along with an invitation to download their app.
Not very pleasant design wise but extremely functional. This is a site where there true value is ‘information’.
Wine Library.com With over 1,000 videos about wine. Great concept, simple layout. Videos are huge these days….do you know the second largest search engine? It’s YouTube.
Local Phoenix site….is there any doubt what it is and what they want you to do?...yes, order a pizza…kinda makes you hungry now doesn’t it.
Now how about a before and after….this is ‘before’…..
Great images that sell/rent houses. Big fat phone number, Large “Application” button, and a way to engage the realtor with “Ask Bob” Section.
They like the other format so much they used it on their investment site as well. Along with branding Bob.
Is your site useful? Does it have great content? The word relevant here is intentional. If visitors are finding you through search engines, you want to make sure you are giving information they’ve searched for…relevancy.
Here’s why these elements are so important…look at these results…it’s some real time news, and video interspersed throughout. And look at the bottom of the page…optimized images. All of these are elements of your site.
Matt Cutts from Google says,….especially with the new Panda update.
Your content will naturally fall into categories with specific content pages. Link internally….it helps
Wire frame your website…that is develop a simple guide to where all the information will be. Take the time to do this up front and you’ll be able to design a much better website design…there won’t be any ‘I got ya’s’. Iplotz.com is free for one project and up to 5 pages.
Why is this so important
Why is this important….recognize this site? Search was for Arizona Tourism…they own this page with their indexed listing…it’s because they have unique meta tags per page with title tags and specific content… How to achieve better rankings for your keywords.
The better question is who should NOT build my website. Please don’t have your nephew who is finishing school and needs a project build your website. Don’t have your cousin who’s out of work build it either. Either build it yourself or hire it out professionally…or do a combination. For example, have a professional set up a WP site and then you populate it with content. It’s inexpensive, fast and you’ll have the very latest content management system…AND you are in control. A note about analytics…why it’s important.
Set up an account. Add this script to every page and you can get great reports like this:
Great reports are a click away….visitors, content, bounce rates….etc.
Ask your clients and supplies for links
Location based marketing is becoming more and more important in search results. The good news here is that except for the time it takes to set up your pages, most LBM is virtually free. You‘ll want to claim your pages on Google, Yahoo and Bing. You’ll also want to claim pages on Yelp and look into other LBM sites like Gowalla, BrightKite, etc. Only 4 million businesses have claimed their pages on Google…are you one of them? If not, you should do it right away. One of the website critiques tonight will involve Google Places and reviews….more to come on that.
Here’s an example of a tool you can use to help you manage your ‘places’ profiles. GetListed.org The reason it’s only 60% is that the listing needs photos and they need to claim their yelp page.
Let’s talk about email. An email serves a specific purpose. Lead Generation Increasing response rates Customer retention. Education
Actually the Tues/Wed is debatable…read recently that there is only a 3 day work week…Monday is catching up on email and with your co-workers on what happened over the weekend, Tuesday is scheduling and calling people, Wednesday is for actually working and Thursday if for planning the weekend with your co-workers and friends and well Friday…nobody really works on Friday and we all leave early.
A Great headline demands your reader to open their mail. We spend far too little time on this most important aspect of email. You should labor over this part of your campaign because it will make all the difference in your open rate. Urgency Save 50% Today Only Early Bird discounts end on Friday. Last Chance for a Summer Discount. Benefit Relax the afternoon away with a deep massage. Enjoy the best breakfast in Bisbee How To How I Made A Fortune How to get 12 hours out of an 8 hour day How to save money on your next vacation. Fascination An Amazing hideaway in Bisbee Arizona. Discover the secrets of a great massage. List 7 Great Photos of Bisbee 5 Great Places To Buy Art in Bisbee 3 Of The Best Restaurants in Bisbee Question Are you ready for Happy Hour? News We Just Added A New Menu Item We just remodeled our bed and breakfast
An open rate of 10-12% is good. It seems low, but if you’re achieving that, you’re doing great. Have a call to action in every email blast as well as a purpose or theme. Use short summaries and then link to the source, which should be your website. Always be driving people back to your site. A great way to generate email newsletters is to curate existing content. Don’t feel like you have to write brand new content for a newsletter. Email design should match or be complementary to website design = brand identity Include social media accounts and RSS button to drive email subscribers to engage with you on those channels, too Use the analytics within the email marketing software. Every time you send an email, look at what is being clicked on and which emails are driving unsubscribes or higher open rates, etc. Modify to achieve better stats.
A few of you volunteered to have me take a look at your websites and offer suggestions. I do this with the intention of helping you with best practices and to give you ideas on how to improve some already great websites.
Let’s first examine the positives: All information is above the fold, users don’t need to scroll – great! Helping local businesses by linking to their websites and passing on authority – great! Local events listed, lots of photos, FAQs, and tons of information. Improvement: Color scheme and site organization Call to action – what should the user do when they get here? “We’d love to see you here!” is all the way at the bottom…Have you thought about a newsletter? Add a form on the homepage to start building up your e-mail list. Send a monthly newsletter and entice users to come back. What about a blog? This will allow you to update content frequently and get search engines (and visitors) back to your site more often! Too much text, lacking social buttons No sitemap, no custom 404 page Ask other sites to link back to you – only 8 sites link to you currently (TheAnnabel Inn, Jerona.com, Allgrandcanyon.com, Cottonwoodhotel.com, nickoftimeproductions.com, riotcottonwood.com, clarkdalefoundation.org, k9fun.com) Oldtown.org, oldtown.org/index, www.oldtown.org, www.oldtown.org/index all resolving. Reduce duplicate content by determining which is the correct version with a redirect (301).
What is the goal of your website? To get users to Cottonwood. Instead of just telling them how to get there, show them a map. Embed a Google Map on this page.
Photos on a page should always have alt tags. Describe what the photo is, and try to make it unique for each photo. Get traffic from google images! What about video? A flip cam can be extremely cheap (under $200) and a video editing software can run about $30-$50. Play around with the video, add music, and after a short amount of time you’ll find a video you can add to YouTube, embed on your site, and that will show in search engines too.
So many great merchants, but many aren’t above the fold, many aren’t highlighted, and it’s hard to figure out what a user should do when they get to Cottonwood. If you made each of these categories separate, added photos of the businesses, contact information, etc… and profiled them out you could give the user a better experience when on the site. Adding a blog could allow you to feature each of the businesses throughout the year – what to do in Cottonwood in August? Romantic getaway? Come to Cottonwood and stay at the Annabel Inn, but don’t forget to sign up for a tasting package! Road trip with the kids? Come to Cottonwood for the day and eat at Bing’s Burger Station and don’t forget to head over to the Old Town Center for the Arts. Sporadically after every post you could ask users to sign up for your monthly newsletter and stay in touch with what’s going on in Cottonwood. You’ll slowly build up not only your blog readers, but also your e-mail lists too.
All content above the fold Social buttons present 8 sections available (plus a blog) – which would give you a better chance to build out content and organize better Scrolling images allow you to highlight the great photos of Cottonwood up front and center Wordpress platform allows you to add plugins such as one that would allow you to present Gallery Images in a way that search engines can better determine how to index, additional plugins for just about anything (many of them are even free).
About Your Presenter… <ul><li>Account Manager, Vertical Measures, Phoenix, AZ </li></ul><ul><li>Experience with Internet Marketing, Blogging, Social Media, and link building </li></ul><ul><li>Worked with hundreds of brands helping to increase leads, traffic, rankings in search engines, and so much more! </li></ul>Twitter: @cliquekaila
Websites that encourage repeat visits Good web design Measuring and Analysis Search Engine Optimization Internet Usage Trends Growing Email lists Improving Email Open Rates Content Ideas Social Media
A Quick Survey Graphic: istockphoto.com Currently have a Website? Use social media to drive traffic? Need a makeover? Over 3 years old? Update content daily/weekly? Have an ongoing email program? Have video on your website? Have over 500 subscribers?
What Keeps Them Coming Back <ul><li>Relevant and Useful Information </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent Updates = Fresh Content </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to follow links </li></ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul><ul><li>Contests, Giveaways, Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Free Stuff </li></ul>
Elements Of Good Design <ul><li>Easy to navigate </li></ul><ul><li>Simple </li></ul><ul><li>Use of images </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Email Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Useful and Relevant Information </li></ul>
Steps To Improvement <ul><li>Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentals </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing Your Site </li></ul>
Goal Setting <ul><li>What do you want your site to do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transactional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entertainment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead Generation </li></ul></ul>
Content <ul><li>Gathering Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal marketing pieces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>About us information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific Contact Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content about your products/services </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>“ Sites with original content such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on, will move up.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Matt Cutts & Amit Singhal (WSJ – 2/28/11) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Twitter: @Cliquekaila
Identify Types of Content to be Created <ul><li>Your research determines what types of content your audience prefers and consumes. </li></ul>
Structure <ul><li>Categories of Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pleasing design </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flat files or dynamic content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactivity is the key </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews, comments, interaction with website </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement with your Social Media Channels </li></ul></ul></ul>
Home Page (index page) Main Categories Content
Fundamentals <ul><li>Designed for SEO </li></ul><ul><ul><li><h1> tags, description, keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site map </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alt tags in photos, title tags too. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photos optimized for the web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correct HTML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No broken links </li></ul></ul>
Benefits of an On-Site Blog <ul><li>Gives you a vehicle to post new content </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for internal linking </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps the search engines coming back – have 434% more indexed pages* </li></ul><ul><li>Have 2X as many backlinks* </li></ul><ul><li>Your site gets 55% more traffic* </li></ul><ul><li>You have 79% more Twitter followers* </li></ul><ul><li>*Hubspot </li></ul>
SEO The Basics <ul><li>Great Content </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Fundamentals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title tags, meta tags, overall site structure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Links point to you from other sites </li></ul><ul><li>Analytics in Place </li></ul><ul><li>Using Social Media and Location Based Marketing </li></ul>
Marketing Your Site <ul><li>Social Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Location Based Marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Places, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare </li></ul></ul>
My Website Article Marketing Link Building Social Media Blogging Location Based Marketing Blog Commenting Guest Blogging Video Marketing
Location Based Marketing (LBM) <ul><li>Several primary tools (local.yahoo.com, Facebook, Google Places, Yelp and FourSquare) </li></ul><ul><li>Great for promotions or feedback/reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Just-in-time marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation Management </li></ul>
Tips For Building E-Mail Lists <ul><li>Engage customers at every touch point of your business to gather email. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for email at your next ‘open house’ </li></ul><ul><li>Hold a contest </li></ul><ul><li>Give something away free </li></ul><ul><li>Use social media to encourage sign-ups </li></ul><ul><li>Promote your email in all your advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage pass along </li></ul><ul><li>Free downloads </li></ul>
Tips To Effective Email Programs <ul><li>Be Consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Be Interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Be Respectful </li></ul><ul><li>Add value </li></ul><ul><li>Add subscriber opt-out information </li></ul><ul><li>Provide forward too a friend link </li></ul><ul><li>Add to safe-senders-list </li></ul><ul><li>Link to a web based version </li></ul><ul><li>Add contact information </li></ul>
How To Get Your Email Opened <ul><li>A Great Headline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often the hardest part of the email to write. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Send it Tues/Wed between 2:30-3:30 </li></ul>
Types of Headlines <ul><li>A Sense of Urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit </li></ul><ul><li>How To </li></ul><ul><li>Fascination </li></ul><ul><li>List </li></ul><ul><li>Question </li></ul><ul><li>News </li></ul>
General Email Info <ul><li>What is a good ‘open’ rate </li></ul><ul><li>Call to Action </li></ul><ul><li>Link to the source </li></ul><ul><li>Repurpose info to attract emails </li></ul><ul><li>Match the look to your website </li></ul><ul><li>Include Social Media links/buttons </li></ul><ul><li>Use analytics </li></ul>