10 Jun 2010

Establishing Credibility through Online Testimonials

Online Marketing No Comments

One of the many steps that need to be taken to market a company website presence on the internet is to build the number of online customer testimonials.  Website customer testimonials help to overcome the skepticism.  Establishing credibility on the internet is an important step towards converting website visitors into website customers.

Become Familiar with Posting Online Customer Testimonials

The easiest way to learn about online customer testimonials is to post a customer testimonial yourself.  Think of companies that you have recently used that deserve a thumbs-up.  Go to several websites to become familiar with the steps it takes to make an online customer testimonial post.  Write down the steps you took to post the customer testimonial, these can be very useful to send your customer when asking them to post a testimonial for your company.

Give Your Customer Testimonials Direction

While it is easy to ask your client for a testimonial, an effective customer testimonial has to relate to your clients needs.  Think about your target market, and what your clients needs are, write down some bullet points.  Send your customer an email with directions on how to post an online testimonial and ask your customer to provide a targeted review in their experience of your product or service.

Build Online Testimonials on Numerous Sites

Build a broad base of customer testimonials on numerous websites such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Online Yellow Pages.  Diversity is the key, as it will gain your website greater marketing exposure.  An added benefit is that numerous online rating sites will draw reviews from each other.

Keep Online Testimonials Current

While it is important that you have numerous testimonials, it is very important that the testimonials are current.  Make a company goal to achieve a minimum of one customer testimonial each month.  Testimonials that are built up overtime demonstrate a longstanding commitment to customer service or product quality.

Be Responsive if You Receive a Poor Online Customer Testimonial

Nobody likes to hear that one of their customers is unhappy with their product or service.  View a complaint as another opportunity to demonstrate exemplary customer service and make your customer happy.  If you find that a customer has written a complaint on your company react to the complaint promptly in a non-confrontational manner. If you receive an unwarranted complaint, most online customer testimonial sites have a process to flag the complaint as inappropriate, and have a process for its removal.

To learn more about how you can incorporate online testimonials, please contact us.

16 May 2010

Give Me a Big Ol’ Sip of that Link Juice

Search Engine Marketing No Comments

When a website is designed, there are a number of factors that go into the design that make the website search engine friendly.  Improving website search engine rankings used to be a fairly quick and easy task as there were not a lot of factors that affected how a website was ranked.   Search engine marketing is an ever changing environment, and currently one of the most effective factors in improving the search engine ranking is the number and quality of inbound links to your site, which is known as link juice.  With some knowledge of how to link building works, you can create a marketing strategy that will dramatically improve your rankings.

What is Link Juice?

Link juice is a term for the number of quality backlinks pointing to your website.    The goal of a search engine is to provide users with the best and most relevant results for their search query.  Quality backlinks from authoritative websites are currently the most important factor in improving your search engine ranking.

Quality Backlinks

All websites are assigned a PageRank by Google, which is a numerical measure of the relevance of a website.  Quality backlinks are links that come from websites that are relative to your website and have a high PageRank.

Top 10 Link Building Tips

There is no better marketing strategy for improving your websites search engine ranking other than quality backlinks. Here are 10 link building tips to get you started…

  • Get links from authoritative websites:  Look to associations of your trade or service for backlinks to your website.  Links from authoritative websites not only give your site credibility, but often also pass on higher amount of link juice.
  • Get links from a trade partner: Most every company has trade partners within their industry, ask for a link from their site.
  • Create a Blog: Become a recognized authority in your industry by creating a blog.  Create original content that provides valuable information, and viewers will keep coming back.
  • Submit Articles to Article Directories: Article directories are a powerful means of promoting traffic and quality backlinks to your website.
  • Participate in Social Media: Social media websites are a great way to increase inbound links to your website.  Create an interesting article in social media and your traffic can grow exponentially.
  • Give Something for Free:  Offer something for free that will help people solve their problems, and they will be sure to link to your site.
  • Use Anchor Text: When possible, always use anchor text for the backlink to your site, anchor text improves the quality of you backlinks.  Do not just place your website address, use anchor text that has keywords that you want your website to be searched for.
  • Participate in Community Events: Often times communities will hold events that you can donate to or participate in.  Look for opportunities that you can have a backlink to your website, sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised in the quality of backlink that you can receive.
  • Create a Top 10 List: Website viewers are always attracted to top 10 lists. When possible, present your top ten lists in a bullet point fashion.
  • Stay Away From Black Hat Techniques: Do not buy your links from link acquisition companies known as link brokers or link sellers.  Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines. If your site is linked to web spammers or bad neighborhoods it will negatively impact your websites search results.

To learn more about adding link building to your search engine marketing campaign, please contact us for a free consultation.

09 May 2010

7 Tips to Make Your Business Listing Stand Out

Search Engine Optimization, Website Optimization No Comments

If you have a new website, or are new to marketing your website one of the best places to start driving traffic to your website is through geo targeting your website through search engine map or local searches.  As with any type of marketing, it is important to seek every opportunity to reach potential customers.  The business listings of your company is yet one more way to diversify your online presence.

What is Geo Targeting?

When a website viewer views the internet their IP address is tied to their geographic location. Geo targeting is when information is delivered to a website viewer based on their physical location and search results for the product or service that they are looking for.

Marketing through Search Engine Maps and Local Searches

While organic search results will drive the majority of traffic to your website, it can be a timely process to achieve strong search engine ranking results when competing for competitive keywords markets.  One of the best, often free, and immediate methods for driving traffic to your website is by placing your business information on search engine maps or local searches.  Most major search engine providers provide local search queries within regular search engine results.

Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Business Listing

Standard business listings are easy to create, but with a little planning and couple of extra steps you can create a professional business listing:

  • Company Logo: Brand your company logo to the products and services that you offer, if available; always upload your company logo.  Make sure that the logo is properly sized and not cut off.
  • Product & Service Listing: When listing your business products and services choose a broad category first, but also make sure to list your business in specific categories.  Website viewers looking for a specific will have a higher clickthrough rate.
  • Coupons: Create coupons that will engage the website viewer. When creating a website coupon, be sure to include a call to action and expiration date.
  • Videos: Nothing impacts a website viewer greater than video, if you have produced videos, make sure to embed the videos within your business listing.  If you do not have a video, search through YouTube for a video that will complement your product or service.
  • Photos: Upload photos of your product or the results of your service.  Take the time to make sure that the photos are professional representation.
  • Reviews: Testimonials are always a great method to build trust with your potential customers.  Ask customers to place a customer review within your business listing.  It is important that the reviews are current; we suggest that you actively pursue at least one review a month.
  • Service Area Map: Always provide your service area within search engine maps and local searches.  It is the service area that you provide that determines the relativity of the geo targeting results.

To learn more about placing your business in search engine maps or local searches, please contact us.

02 May 2010

Four Tips to Decrease Website Bounce Rates

Website Optimization No Comments

Bounce rates determine the effectiveness of your website.  It is extremely important to monitor the bounce rate of your websites entry or landing pages, and take steps to decrease bounce rates.

What are Website Bounce Rates?

Bounce rates are the statistics of website viewers who only visit one page of your website, and leave your website without visiting any other pages.  Bounce rates occur when a visitor clicks on an outbound link, types in a new website address, clicks the back button, closes the internet browser when viewing a page, or times out when the browser is left open on a specific page for more than 30 minutes.

How Can You View Your Bounce Rate Statistics?

Bounce rates statistics can be viewed through any number of free website analytic programs.  Website analytic programs require that you place a small script within each page of your website to track your website usage.  Once there is some statistical data, you can begin to view your bounce rates.

Why Are Bounce Rates Important?

Bounce rate statistics are important in determining the effectiveness of an entry page.  Entry pages of your website are designed to entice the viewer to look at more information or to convert a customer through a website form.  If the bounce rate of an entry page is abnormally high, it is important to evaluate what is causing the problem and take steps to correcting the problem.

Four Tips to Decrease Bounce Rates

  • Refine Page Titles and Page Descriptions: Make sure that your Page Title and Page Description accurately describe the web page.  Potential customers make click through decisions within search engine results through page titles and page descriptions.  If your Page Title or Page Description does not accurately depict the website page, the website viewer will leave.
  • Evaluate Your Website’s Navigation: Your website navigation needs to clearly direct website viewers to the pages that you want them to view. Website navigation needs to be a prominent element within the website design.  Utilize website analytics to determine if your website viewer is following the navigation that you have intended.
  • Limit the Number of Outbound Links: Outbound links dramatically increase bounce rates.  Website viewers have a short attention span, if you point your website viewer to another site; it is very likely that they will not return to continue the navigation that you have intended for them.  While it is ok to place outbound links on resource pages that you have developed for your customer, do not place outbound links within landing pages.
  • Experiment with Different Variations: By testing different versions of your site content, you can determine what will best attract users and lead them to convert on your site.  Clearly define your goal and what action you want the website viewer to take.

If you would like to learn more about how to decrease your website’s bounce rates, please contact us!

24 Apr 2010

Tips For Improving Search Engine Click Through Rates

Search Engine Optimization No Comments

A great deal of time and money goes into search engine marketing and search engine optimization.  We all know that when building your web pages it is critical that you write your content with keywords that will rank your site well within organic search engines searches.  We also know that we can enroll within pay per click campaigns to elevate our website to the top of the search engine list.  If your site ranks well within pay per click campaigns and organic searches and you are not achieving clickthroughs it is time to change your copy.

Page Titles

Each web page needs a page titles that is descriptive and relative to the content of your web page and engages your potential visitor.  Page titles need to be 64 characters or less in length, if the page title is too long, search engines may cut off the display of the text.

  • Home Page Title:  Your home page title needs to be crafted rather selectively because search engine place significant weight on the home page title.  If the site is ranking well in organic searches do not modify the home page title.
  • Secondary Page Titles:  While secondary page titles also need to be descriptive and relative to the content they should be crafted differently.  Use your secondary web page titles to draw in clickthrough results.  Use page titles that solicit an emotional response, ask a question, or state a fact to a specific audience.

Meta Descriptions

It used to be that search engines would pull information from both your title tag and your meta description.  While now meta description tags are not a major factor for search engine optimization, they are a major factor in influencing people who are browsing the internet through search engine results to actually visit your site.  It is absolutely necessary to have unique meta descriptions on each searchable page of your website.

  • Meta tag length: Search engines display meta descriptions 200 characters in length, if the meta tag is too long search engines will cut off the text.  One method is to create an engaging tag that fits within the 200 character limit, the other method is to create a meta description that is over the 200 character limit and baits the web viewer through a teaser to read more.
  • Call to action: Create an effective call to action that complements your page title and page content.  This is the most important facet of converting web browsers to clickthough your link.

Monitor Your Results

Google has introduced a new “clickthrough” feature that provides statistics of how many people have clicked on your site as a result of a search query.  Monitor the clickthrough results of your web pages, and modify page titles and meta descriptions on web pages that are receiving poor results.

If you are unsure how optimize your page titles and meta descriptions, and would like our help, please contact us and we will help you get started.

17 Apr 2010

New Clickthrough Feature in Google Webmaster Tools

Search Engine Optimization No Comments

Google Webmaster Tools offers great deal of information for website owners.  Google has just introduced a new feature in Webmaster Tools that will give a greater understanding on how your site appears and performs in organic search results.  If you have Google Webmaster Tools set up, take a look at the new clickthrough feature.

Google Top Search Query Tool

Previously, Google Webmaster Tools would display a report of the top 100 average position at which your website’s pages appeared in the search results for a particular query. This tool allowed website owners to understand where their site was appearing in search engine results.  While this tool offered great information, it only provided results based on the number of impressions, the number of times your website appeared, but not the number of times your site was clicked.

New Clickthrough Feature

Google has introduced a new “clickthrough” feature that provides statistics of how many people have clicked on your site as a result of a search query.  In addition to impressions and clickthrough numbers, you’ll also see a list of your site’s pages that were linked to from the search results for that search query.  An auto generated graph is available to display the number of impressions and clickthroughs, as well as providing detailed search result positions of each key term.

It’s All About Conversion

Search engine optimization is always about getting your website to be found at the top of the search engine list, right  in front of the right audience.  If your website is achieving a high volume of impressions and low volume of clickthroughs you are not reaching your intended audience!  Modifications can be made to the page title or meta description of your site to create a more appealing description of your site in the search results page.  Results of these changes can be measured through Googles new clickthrough feature.

If you are unsure how this feature works, and would like our help, please contact us and we will help you get started!

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