Graphic Matter, Inc BLOG

www.graphicmatter.com

Graphic Matter, Inc BLOG - www.graphicmatter.com

Conversions: Turning Prospects into Purchases

“A Conversion… is when a prospective customer takes the marketer’s intended action. [www.Wikipedia.com]

A Call to Action generally initiates a Conversion. We see them all the time: a retail business offers a coupon [call to action] to entice a purchase [conversion]. A service-oriented business may identify a service your business needs followed by an easy solution [contact form]. You may have several actions, or conversions, that are desired for your business. Your website should be able to generate most of them, and it’s likely that the point of conversion doesn’t always happen on the home page. How do you find the right page[s]?

Optimize your website for better conversion rates[#1]: Identify Conversion Opportunities: Generate a list of all the desired outcomes, or conversions, for your business prospects. This could include requests for more information or follow-up, completed purchases, subscription enrollment, or submitting contact information to download a white paper – and there are many more possibilities.

[#2]: Locate Conversion Points: Where on your website does each of these occur? Is there a Call To Action? Make sure the opportunity is easy for the visitor to find and understand what action they should take. This may be a contact page, or a sign up or purchase form, for example.

[#3]: Optimize for the conversion: By embedding metadata on targeted landing pages, that are relevant to the specific search phrase of each visitor, you can create a virtual path to the desired outcome: conversion.

Some additional points to consider:

  • In order to maximize the conversion rate it is crucial to have a well thought out and well developed landing page. See Our 2¢ post on July 15, 2010, and www.activemedia.com.

  • Attempts to improve conversion rates often involve testing different landing pages to see which perform best. See Our 2¢ post on August 10, 2010, and www.thehoneypotbook.com.

  • When we focus on search engine optimization we sometimes lose site of the fact that increasing traffic to our website is not the only desired result. In the end, if our traffic improved dramatically yet we have not sold more product or service, have we accomplished what we set out to accomplish? Conversions offer us a way to track our progress by creating opportunities for site visitors to identify themselves to us as prospective clients, or to potentially complete a purchase transaction directly.

    Are you confident you’re getting great conversion rates from your website? A call to Graphic Matter will help ensure your website is working hard for your business 24/7.

    Does Your Website Need An Alignment?

    More specifically, is the content of your site in alignment with your searcher’s keywords? Is there a clear path to your virtual doorstep? The sample below will demonstrate the typical process:

    1. Keyword or Phrase Searched: A searcher types in keywords into the search engine [google, msn, aol]. In this example: “iPhone 4G reviews”.

    2. Results Listed: The search engine results are listed, showing organic search results and sponsored links. Also know as paid advertising or pay-per-click [ppc], sponsored listings are usually called out by a colored background and the words “sponsored link”, and appear in the main list and in the side columns as well.

    3. Keywords Matched: The words that were included in the initial search phrase “iPhone 4G reviews” will be highlighted or bolded in each of the resulting search listings.

    Click on one of the top sites listed on the first page and notice the keywords that are organically placed on this page. You can reference the SEO terms we described in our post Finding Hidden Opportunities On Your Website, to help you look for the keywords in each area – page title, file name, metatags, alt tags, etc. Note how many times the keywords you entered appear in each of the components of this page.

    When the keywords appear in all of the page components listed above, and the content on that page is relevant to the keyword phrase, then you have organically optimized this page by making all of the components align with this keyword phrase.

    This aligned page is known as a “landing page” for that keyword phrase. See our post about landing pages to refresh your memory.

    Does this landing page have a “call to action”? Does it ask you to submit your information, or call the office, or to buy now? If so, then it is also a Conversion Page.

    We know what you are thinking: What is a Conversion Page? This answer is coming soon in our next post, and may be your “aha” moment that puts all the SEO pieces together for you.

    How can you be in that #1 spot in your prospect’s search results? By methodically “aligning” the key messages on your website, from the inside out. Your own [keyword] alignment is just a phone call away!

    What Is A Landing Page?

     

    When we started the Graphic Matter blog, we decided that we wanted it to be a no-nonsense source of information that focused on our most frequently asked questions. Well, this is certainly one of them! Here are ourfavorite answers to “What is a landing page?” and the sources that provided them.

    • In online marketing a landing page, sometimes known as a lead capture page, is the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-engine result link. www.Wikipedia.com
    • The first page that a visitor lands on as a result of a traffic acquisition activity. The landing page can be a stand-alone page, a part of a special-purpose microsite, or a page on the company’s main website. Landing page optimization: the definitive guide to testing and tuning for conversions, by Tim Ash, John Wiley and Sons, 2008
    • The first page that a user views during a session. This is also known as the “entrance page.” www.netstrategies.com
    • A Web page that is the click-through point for an online advertisement. Special landing pages are often prepared that focus specifically on the offer or keywords that the Web surfer clicked on. www.neubertweb.com
    What are the landing pages on your site? When a prospective customer enters your site through a landing page, is there a clear path to the information they seek, or the results you would like? We’ve been focusing a great deal on how and where people land on our web site – as well as our clients’ sites. Give us a call for a no-nonsense evaluation today; you may find that just a few small changes can dramatically improve your rankings and results!

    Finding Hidden Opportunities On Your Website

    Have you wondered how search engines pick which sites are displayed in search results? Or more specifically, which text from a site they will display in search results? And these terms that we’ve heard before [page title, metatags & keywords]… what do they mean and how do the puzzle pieces fit together?

    [#1] The Page Title is the text that appears at the very top of your browser window [not the URL or address that you type in, above that]. It is the most prominent piece of information displayed in the search results. There is typically a 40-60 character limit to what you can include, and your title should be pleasantly readable, not awkwardly stuffed with keywords.

    [#2] The HTML Page Name, aka the File Name, should be comprised of words that actually describe the contents or function of the page. [Hint: keywords work really well]. This is another opportunity to distinguish your company from the competition. Think of how many pages there are out there called “services.html” or “contactus.html” and how you can use the page name to focus on and attract the people looking for your services by being more specific. [example: “nj-graphic-design.html”].

    [#3]  There are several types of metatags:

    A Meta Description Tag is metadata coded into a web page that describes the content of the page. This text should also be concise, yet pleasantly readable as it may be featured prominently in the results. Meta Keywords Tags are metadata that contain keywords related to the content of the web page. Search engines use these keywords to determine relevance. It is recommended that in addition to your targeted keywords, you include some that are not on your “short list.” Also add your company name and common alternate spellings, regardless of whether they are correct. If people misspell your company name or a product you sell when they type in the search request, you want them to find you anyway.

    Metatags are not evident on the web page, but can be seen by selecting “view source” from the browser menu. To maximize your SEO opportunities, each landing page of your site should have a unique metatag description and keywords targeted specifically to the content of that page.

    Also coded into a web page, Alt Tags are “alternative” descriptive text coded into an image to describe the image in the event that it cannot be viewed. An example: when a browser is set to display only text, as is common on mobile devices. Alt Tag text may also appear when your cursor hovers over an image, but is typically not seen otherwise.

    Did you realize that there is so much happening behind the scenes of your website? And while this data may be “out of sight” to you, search engines and web crawlers are attracted to them like moths are to light. Graphic Matter’s web design team will help you uncover the hidden opportunities on your site. Call us and begin optimizing your site for greater search engine visibility.

    Get Pushy With Your Marketing: The Difference Between SEO & SEM

    We’ve established that SEO [Search Engine Optimization] can effectively pull traffic to your website through the use of strategically planted “seeds” within your site. Search engines continually send out “spiders” or web crawlers, looking for those keywords that you’ve carefully embedded within your site as metatags, alt tags, page titles, page names and links – each of which is seen and recognized differently by the spiders.

    Search Engine Marketing [SEM] pushes traffic to your website. SEM refers to the practice of increasing traffic to your website through the use of paid placements [advertisements, pay-per-click listings] and external directories [trade and business membership listings – Chamber of Commerce and similar networks, for example]. Blogs and social media are essential tools in today’s marketing world.

    Search engines like links – both incoming and outgoing. Links from your site to other sites, articles, and resources are easy to add to your site, but the search engines know that. Incoming links carry a little more weight with the crawlers, but finding those opportunities might present more of a challenge.

    There’s good news here: you can create your own incoming link opportunity with a blog or e-newsletter for your business. The beauty of these media formats is that they work double time for your business. Done correctly, they will literally push traffic to your site: the reader reads and then clicks – beautiful! But they’re also virtually pushing traffic via the search engines. Not only is your link from your blog to your website [incoming link] attractive to the crawlers, but so is the content of your blog. Search engines love fresh, keyword-rich content, so keep feeding them with regular blog posts [like this one].

    Lastly, don’t discount the importance any Internet mention of your business: Has your business been in the news recently? Has it been recognized by a trade organization or received an award? There may be a listing [incoming link] as a result, and if you make mention of it on your site you can create a reciprocating [outgoing] link.

    Ready to get pushy with your marketing? Call us, we’d love to help!

    Organic Marketing? Really?

    In the Internet marketing world, there’s a lot you don’t have control over. However, Search Engine Optimization [SEO] and Search Engine Marketing [SEM] offer you a surprising bit of influence to draw the customers right to your virtual doorstep. To do this you need to identify these things:

    Who are the customers you really want?

    The ones who want you, of course! They’re the ones most likely to purchase your services or products.

    How do they search for and find you?

    Putting yourself in the role of your customer, generate a list of words and phrases you would use to search for your products or services. Layering these terms deep within your site will provide a path for the search engines and web crawlers to find you organically. Think of these keywords and keyword phrases as the “seeds” you will plant with the hope of a bountiful harvest [of purchasing customers, of course].

    Are you ready to go organic? Graphic Matter can help you to find the hidden marketing opportunities in each and every page of your site. Give us a call – you may be surprised at the potential you have on your website right now!

    SEO Unplugged

    It seems like everyone is tossing the acronym SEO into marketing conversations.
    And yet there are a lot of us hearing it that still don’t know what it means – and are afraid to ask.

    Here’s what you really need to know:
    Search Engine Optimization [SEO] is a multi-faceted process for improving a website’s ranking in the search engines.
    Search Engine Optimization is THE essential tool for connecting you [via your website] with your target audience.

    First Place in Google RankingsWhy should you care?
    Higher rankings = more [quality] traffic to your website = more potential conversions [purchasing customers].
    That’s why everyone wants to be Google’s #1 listing.

    How can you be in that #1 spot – or at least closer to it?
    By methodically “aligning” the key messages on your website, from the inside out.

    For most industries, there’s a huge amount of competition for the #1 spot, and it’s dependent upon which keyword phrases you select. The good news is that placing on the first page in the search results is an attainable and notable accomplishment that will yield a marked increase in traffic to your website. Still confused about SEO? Call Graphic Matter to demystify SEO and begin your rise to the first page.

    What Can Your Blog Do For You?

    In recent posts we shared information on how best to start a business blog – including tips to help define it’s purpose and audience, and the importance of planning your blog.

    This post will focus on the RESULTS your hope to achieve through your blog. Now that you’ve determined your blog’s purpose [see post #7], what result or results, do you hope to see? For example, if your blog’s purpose is to inform about upcoming events, the result you see might be an increase in attendance. But if the blog’s purpose is to promote a service or product, how will you know if it is effective?

    By defining WHAT you’re looking for, you will also better understand how to measure it.

    For example, while you might not consider a blog to be a typical direct sales tool, you can get a sense of the traffic and conversions that result from your blog simply by tracking the number of visitors to your web site or blog. There are analytic tools such as Google Analytics that provide this service, that are easy to install and use and they are free!

    Do you have a newsletter or catalog that you send to your customers, via email or snail-mail? Include a sign up feature on your blog and track the results. Adding a Contact form to your blog, and making a point of asking new contacts how they learned about your business can also give you data about your blog.

    So remember: plan, plan, plan before your write, write write!

    Now leave a comment on this post to let us know how we’re doing. This will help us to track our results and practice what we preach!

    Who Will Read Your Blog?

    Now that you have clearly defined the purpose of your blog, you need to identify who your audience is going to be. In the same way that you focus on who will be using your products and/or services, you need to figure out for whom you are writing this blog. This will dictate the content of your posts as well as the tone in which you write them, two elements which will influence how you are perceived by your readers. Your objective may be to demonstrate the expertise of your niche to prospective partners, or to create an interactive relationship with clients, or even to motivate your internal staff. No matter what objective you decide to focus on, each one will require a different approach to both what you write and how you present it.

    In order to help you define who your target audience will be, ask yourself these questions:

    1) Are you writing this blog to inform existing customers about the full range of your products and/or services?

    2) Are  you trying to reach new customers or markets and introduce them to your products or services?

    3) Are you using your blog to demonstrate your expertise in a certain area?

    4) Are you using your blog to promote better or more efficient customer service?

    These are just a few of the questions that you can ask yourself in order to define your market.

    For more details or help with identifying your audience/target market, contact the team at Graphic Matter!

    What’s Your Purpose? ..the purpose of your BLOG!

    A successful blog needs to have a PURPOSE. Why, you ask? Think about the blogs you follow. Chances are, you are benefitting in some way, correct? Perhaps you like a particular blog because it increases your general knowledge base. Or perhaps it provides entertainment. Or even specific information about a product or service, or upcoming events.

    Ask yourself, “What purpose do I want my blog to serve?”

    It is crucial to clearly identify WHY you want to start a business blog.

    • Will it serve as a focal point for a network of contacts for your company?

    • Will it help to position you as an expert in your field?

    • Is it to promote a particular service or product – and perhaps in the process, create a group of evangelists for your product or service?

    • Perhaps the focus will be internal communications, either for the company as a whole, or for a specific business unit?

    While these are ALL great reasons to start a blog, it is important to identify and focus on ONE objective in order to maximize your blog’s potential. Keep in mind though, that you may need to adjust your blog’s focus down the road to adapt to evolving business and audience needs.

    Come back next week to find out how to define your target audience. Can’t wait? Assistance from the Graphic Matter Team is always just a phone call away!

    How Do I Start A Blog?

    You’ve made the decision to begin a blog for your business. How do you get started? Not to worry. The Graphic Matter team is ready to provide guidance as you embark on your blogging endeavor.

    Before diving right in and writing your first post – or any subsequent post, for that matter – you need to answer these 3 questions:

    1. What purpose will your blog serve?

    Identify the role your blog will have in your business. How will your audience benefit when they visit your blog. For example, will they receive information about upcoming events or new products? Will this serve as an information exchange with other participants?

    2. Who is your blog’s audience?

    To whom are you writing – your client base? Your potential client base? Both?

    3. What results are you looking for?

    Set some goals for what you want to achieve through your blog and how do you intend to measure your results. How will you know if you successfully met your goal?

    With a little planning, you will ensure your business blog maintains its focus in terms of content and audience, and provides your readers with what they are looking for – and you will reap the rewards.

    Look for more in-depth answers to these questions in upcoming posts. And, as always, assistance from the Graphic Matter team is just a phone call away.

    To Blog or Not To Blog?

    Now that you know how to follow a blog, you might be considering a blog for your business. Blog marketing continues to be a hot topic for both businesses and marketers alike.  Is a blog right for your business? Consider first defining the purpose of your blog – then set some goals for how you want to use this tool before you begin thinking about what to write. These are the top 5 reasons why your business should have a blog:

    1. Blogs offer the author a user-friendly tool for publishing information.

    2. Blogs are easy to navigate for your readers.

    3. Readers can comment on your blog, encouraging 2-way communications between you, your clients and your prospects.

    4. Search engines LOVE blogs.

    5. Blogs can be an active prospecting source for your business.

    If you are ready to begin blogging, or have questions about how to get started, ask Graphic Matter! We are here to help! Come back and visit us next week to find out how to start a blog.