Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Messy Websites BLOW

Why when I click on your ad or link am I taken to a web page that has nothing to do with why I clicked? I mean do you really think I’m going to search through your site? What’s worse is that if you’re paying for clicks and taking your visitors to crappy website pages you might as well just light your money on fire in an ashtray to watch it go up in flames because that’s what you’re doing anyways.

Here is perfect example of paying for a useless click (Florida Vacation Deals).

The keyword I typed in the URL bar included web master in it.

How many of your ads are running amok? Do you even know how to read your paid search data? I do, and the exampled company above just paid for a useless click. Ouch!

Here is another example of a paid ad that I thought [when I clicked on it] would take me to their services page; however, after checking that page out manually I understood why.

What I want to ask the person who is running their paid search advertising is why would they assume someone would just want to submit information without knowing what you can do? That’s not what the ad implied. I can think of a better use for that page, and provide a way to measure my theory that would lower their ad costs.

Then there are those pages you end up on with so much clutter that you cannot make heads nor tails of the mess that opened up before you. Here’s one for fun.

Come now you know these types of websites that I’m talking about, and if you own one of these types of websites wake-up because it blows.

Look folks it 2013, and no one has time to re-filter for what they are searching for. You have to deliver the right website link every time else you end up with a bounce. That means your visitor hit the back button, and s/he did not learn about what you are offering nor make a sale, sign-up, or do any other desired action. Additionally, your visitor is using mobile devices more than you think, and your website has to be able to meet the new demands.

Want another reason to get a better website? Your customers as well as your undiscovered customers are not call 411, or searching the yellow pages for you any longer.

The morale of the story is?

  • If you’re marketing on the web and your website blows, you’re losing money.
  • Get a website that kicks butt because your customers and future customers are yearning to do business with you.
  • Hire and work with certified professionals who are degreed in their field of expertise.
  • Keywords are just a small part of the puzzle, but having them on the right page matters.
  • Don’t make me think or read when I get to your website because I don’t have time for that.
  • Make damn sure your website is mobile fit otherwise you’re losing opportunities.
  • Build your website for your customers, not for you.

Relevance Transparency & Usability

I just got back from Bali, and took some time while on vacation to look at why websites blow. Now as I watched them drive on the left side of the road in Bali, it made me wonder why some many websites are on the left side of the Web rather than the right side of the Web. It’s not as if websites mean to drive on the wrong side of the www, but so many sites do. Take for instance a site that is loaded up with what the site owner wants. Oh, it maybe riveting; however, reality meets fallacy. So how does a website get on the right side of the Web?

  • Fulfill what the visitor is searching for
  • Path the website’s purpose (meaning make a purchase, a signup, a phone call, produce a lead…)

In other words, website content has to crisscross a visitor’s perception that meets their quest.

Another detail deals with fitting the reason why your website was pulled. The person is expecting it to be their solution. So why is it then that so many damn websites not communicate what they are about? This made me go back and even look at a website that sells high-end animal houses. What I’m confused about is if it’s actually a blog or a retail site. Guess that’s why I have not purchased anything. Break it all down and you have an unusable website.

The moral of the story here:

  • Don’t make me think
  • Don’t make me leave your website
  • Don’t play stupid music
  • Don’t have pop-ups or pop-unders
  • Don’t bore me with your stupid videos
  • Don’t have that person popping up (what is that about?)
  • Don’t have your font so small that it takes a magnifying glass to read
  • Don’t have your keywords so stuffed that it reads like garble goop
  • Don’t make your website out of flash
  • And for dog’s sake make that website mobile optimized

Cost Per Acquisition Cost

Cost per acquisition is more than just a way to measure your search market advertising. It’s also a means to assess your multi-channel marketing and customer acquisition equity. Customer acquisition equity rivals return on investment (ROI), and by understanding ROI, your marketing communication achieves optimization.

  • Cost Per Acquisition = Total Advertising Cost/Number of Total Leads
  • ROI= (Revenue – Total Adverting Cost)/Total Advertising Cost

Tracking campaign channels is key to creating and understanding marketing and customer acquisition. Let’s say you’re a business with no prior marketing background wanting to gain new customers, you need to:

  • Have an online presence for your brand.
  • Optimize your website.
  • Outline true costs associated for your marketing
  • Establish marketing campaign goals.
  • Set a realistic cost you are willing to spend for each new customer lead.
  • Align your marketingto your website.
  • Focus your marketingdirectly at your intended target audience.

Example:

If you ran a three-month Valpak ad, which specifies an expiry date and has a total advertising costs of $2,000, and you’re willing to pay $15 for each new potential customer, your ad would need to produce at least 133 potential leads to break-even. To illustrate why you need to be realistic with your budget, consider your projected revenue return. Let’s say you’re selling bags of crushed rocks for $55, with a goal of selling 133 bags. However, you only have two leads that purchase a total of 10 bags each. With only 20 of 133 sold, your ROI is -84.96%.

Now let’s examine the same example, but instead you advertise in AdWords using an optimized landing page with a downloadable coupon as well as a mobile coupon that specifies an expiry date. Your total advertising costs are $2000 over a three-month period, and you had 500 potential new customers view your deal. At the end of the expiry date, you capitalize from 200 customers who purchased a total of 2000 bags of crush rock at $55/bag.

  • Your CPA = $4, and your ROI= 5400%
  • What’s even better, is that you use your Web Analytics to:
    • Drive down future CPA
    • Increase ROI
    • Optimize your marketing

Now that’s power in understanding your marketing measure, retention cost, and future revenue transactions as well as realization of the importance of customer acquisition equity for how to best allocate your advertising pay-out mix.

Philosophy Of A Website For Visitors

Website visitors want clear immediate direction on what they should do once your website is pulled. Wordy text, meaningless graphics, and multiple differing calls to action, are the ingredients to cause visitor bafflement and bounce. Your website should have a clearly defined goal, and that goal should be straightforward for your website visitors.
  • Is your website to produce leads? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to signup in as few clicks as possible.
  • Is your website to have visitors call you? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to call.
  • Is your website ecommerce? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to get to your thank you page in as few clicks as possible.
  • Is your website informational? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to get at what they want in the shortest time and path.
Unluckily, there is no easy fix when website clutter exists. Overhauling a website begins when the visitors’ perspective is taken. Demographic user testing is the starting point. Learned insights shed light on your website’s:
  • intuitiveness
  • messaging
  • conversion paths
  • content value
  • overall context
Identified insight variables become your blueprint for delivering a predictable goal designed website for your visitors. See on the web, your visitor is always right. By constructing your website for visitor usability, you in turn increase visitors’ desired action as well as upgrade your website’s SERPs, which is a bonus win for your bottom line.

11 Landing Page Must Haves

  1. The ability to pass the 3-5 second blink test. Meaning, will someone after looking at the land page remember what is being offered and why it is being offered?
  2. A gripping headline with clear and concise messaging that draws the visitor in.
  3. Because visuals are understood faster than text, infographic(s) or image(s) must be relevant as well as persuasive. In other words, the graphics must match so that an offer becomes tangible.
  4. lear targeted copy, free of garble goop, and irresistible. Put another way, the content copy has to entice a visitor to take action.
  5. No unnecessary navigation because once visitors notice it, it will distract them from following through with a desired action.
  6. Forms need to be easy, clear, and designed to encourage fill me. Only ask a visitor to supply what is necessary to follow-up.
  7. Don’t forget to include social share icons; however, the quality of the content will determine if it is deemed worthy to be shared by a visitor. In other words, poor content will not be socially shared.
  8. Make the privacy policy easily accessible because visitors are entitled to know what someone is going to do with their information.
  9. The submit button should scream a strong call-to-action, and don’t forget that the color of the button matters as well.
  10. Do display valid testimonials and third party seals of approval near key areas. Keep in mind that the bottom of the page may not be optimal.
  11. Have a unique “Thank You” page for each landing page that conveys assurances for why the visitor had to supply information, and provide access to what is being offer. It is here where links can be provided to other sections of the website.

 

TV Advertising Effective, Not. 25 Websites That Cannot Measure It.

Television still remains a strong branding medium, but it lacks measurability when standalone homepage URLs are used. Oh sure, Nielsen can provide past commercial audience view statistics based on remembrance surveys or from homes that have Nielsen boxes; however, today’s marketers need distinct data to understand what exactly drives converting traffic to a website. Say you’re an online marketer and your boss demands you buy one commercial ad space with the local market cable provider. Your contract buy stipulates 1000 showings across three networks for a 30-day period at a cost of $5000. How many converted commercial audience viewers can you confirm to your boss were attributed to that commercial? What is the resulting CPA?

Your Analytics show a bump in traffic over the 30-day period in the “all traffic report” for source/medium that reads (direct)/(none). To further twist things up, “new visitors” are 50% of all session visits for the 30-day period. Behavior indicates a 40% bounce rate, and total “completed goals” are 4% of all session visits. However, the question remains as to what amount of the new traffic or returning traffic is actually attributable to that television commercial, and what is the CPA?

You’re not using a custom destination URL, and the TV ads are not directly clickable by commercial audience viewers. There are no UTM tags, or gclid either. Even if you subdivide site traffic by “time”, you still don’t have any clearer a picture because you cannot assume that someone saw your commercial then immediately went online to your website. Are you getting the picture of the problem?

Here are 25 websites I viewed over the past weeks that use TV advertising (and I bet) that they are unable to ascertain what their associated CPA, let alone new visitor traffic is for their expensive TV ads because of sending audience viewers directly to their homepage.

  • Hotels. com
  • Expedia. com
  • Everyoneon. org
  • Progressive. com
  • Angieslist. com
  • Lumosity. com
  • Magicjack. com
  • Overstock. com
  • Esurance. com
  • Booking. com
  • Zillow. com
  • Trulia. com
  • Realtor. com
  • Travelocity. com
  • Wayfair. com
  • Trivago. com
  • Christianmingle. com
  • Comparenow. com
  • Match. com
  • Eharmony. com
  • AAG. com
  • Lumosity. com
  • Dealdash. com
  • Autotrader. com
  • Kayak. com

 

12 Online Ingredients That Convert Buyers

Intersecting with your website visitors expectations is no easy task, and getting those visitors to buy is a zigzag. There is not magic formula, and as the web continues to expand you need to define, plan, and execute your marketing better than your competition in order for them to buy from you over your competitor. Here are our battle plans to get your website visitors to buy from you.

  • Develop clear strong calls to action as well as visual signals
  • Mobile ready is great, but we advance mobile smart
  • Don’t detach mobile offers from desktop offers, or social offers because your potential customer who first viewed your website on his/her mobile phone via a social site does not want to have to remember if your desktop offer is now better than what originally registered
  • Deliver products and services that consumers want not what you think they want
  • SEO is no longer about keywords; it is about creating a differentiated brand that separates you from your competition
  • Social, social, and more social because today’s consumers place decision value on what someone says versus what you proclaim
  • Create websites that visually scream, “Buy From Me”, upon open because your visitors make their decision to click the back button before they even blink
  • Shape websites to be visitor intuitive not visitor confusion
  • Since websites cannot be everything to everyone, yours is built to be unique to connect, compel, and showcase your brand’s value
  • Test, test, and keep testing because understanding how to get more and more visitors to buy does not happen without
  • Forms, sign ups, and shopping carts collect only what is necessary because overkill kills the sale
  • Customize email marketing content to spur your recipients to click-thru instead of clicking delete

Social Reviews Dos and Don’ts

The don’ts:

Recently I received a private email from someone who befriended me about two years back on FaceBook. Bear in mind that I have never met this person or frequented his business. His email read:

“Dear Darryl,

I would really appreciate it if you would take a minute to support me on Stik.com. I hold myself to a high standard in business, and your review will help me establish trust with future clients.

My profile is here: www.stik.com/recommend/O**&666La*&^%n.()*tin.*&^guez

Best,
Martin
Owner-Operator
Fountain Valley, California”

Now granted, I get why he sent out such a request; however, I cannot fulfill such a request because I have never purchased or used any of the services his business provides. Additionally, the larger picture here is to grasp how many others did provide fake reviews that have never purchased, subscribed, or used any of the services his business provides. Why is this important you ask? Because paid fake or false reviews are spam, and in 2009 the FTC determined:

“paying for positive reviews without disclosing that the reviewer had been compensated equates to deceptive advertising and would be prosecuted as such.”


Now technically I would not have been compensated to write the fake review, but the firm who is collecting the reviews as well as hosting them on their site along with distributing those reviews across the Web is being compensated. That is to say, this type of posturing is nothing more than paid spamming because the firm who is being paid to collect these reviews has no factual valid way of determining if the reviewer ever actually consumed any of the products or serviced made available outside of someone merely having a FaceBook profile. Notice that I said factural. This type of spam is worse than any stranger writing a negative review about your business because the positive spam review is deceptive.

Here is another example of social review spam. In June 2013, an online social site, where I have a profile, sent this email to me:

“Hi Darryl,
Great news!
Your service profile “is ranked in the Top 3 among in Hayward.

Spread the word and earn 25 points.
Promote your highlighted status by adding a link to your website, and earn 25 points. Reply to this email to let us know when you’re done and we’ll award your points!“

Now as much as I do love holding outward social recognition rewards, I had to think beyond the cheap rush. See this social network did not do its homework concerning my location. In fact, their response to my WTF about their email stated:

“Our policy is to place you on the highest-trafficked “landing page” that is nearest to your place of business.

Getting listed on a landing page is determined by a fairly complex algorithm developed by our engineers. That algorithm takes into account many things, including the number of other people in your profession and area, the population of nearby cities, how many Thumbtack points you and others have, and the amount of traffic Google has in your area.

I guess thumbtrack’s algorithm and ideas about social scaling still need fine-tuning. In other words, their email announcement is worthless social spam.

See as an online marketer and business owner, I know you want 5 star reviews. What business today does not want 5 star reviews? Today’s social media craze helps sitr consumer to buy. Verily, social popularity is becoming the new SEO indicator when it comes to page rank for both large and small online businesses according to the machine lords; however, as tempting at it maybe to buy reviews or accept misaligned social recognition, think twice. Why? Because fake reviews from people who have never purchased your product, service, or interacted with your brand prior to giving positive reviews, are fakes. Additionally, fake social anything does not dress a business attractive seeing that it is nothing more than spam, and once the bots get wise your website will be punished.

So what can you do to organically increase your social review popularity online?

Here are eight social dos to get you started:

1. Engage with your customers online, and be sincere

2. Don’t make online social experiences complicated

3. Be a giver even if you don’t benefit

4. Don’t talk about yourself because it’s not about you; instead, talk about how your brand can benefit your customer

5. Visibly post on your website as well as on all your marketing material, which social environment(s) your business can be found

6. Do participate daily because no one wants to engage with a business that is not social

7. Do have a loyalty program, and encourage your loyal customers to tell their friends online as well as offline about your business

8. Listen to what your social audience says, and make necessary improvements to your business

How Do I Make Money With My Website?

So you have your website up and ranking, but hold on I’m willing to bet you’ve forgot a couple things. Oh I know those keywords are exactly how your customer searches because you did preliminary fieldwork, and you hold organic slot 1 for every one of those keywords too. In fact, your digital imagery hammers home your content flawlessly. It is like you have a sure bet won; however, I think not. Why? You are not proactively marketing. See your website is your marketing tool, but you still need to focus on developing a sales and marketing framework that brings opportunities a pulling.

Because today’s competitive Web is more than just putting your best foot forward, ask yourself?

  • Are you an entrepreneur, or are you actually a highly skilled person?

Entrepreneurs undertake risks that a highly skilled person will shun from.

  • What is/are the business goal(s) of your website as well as the goal of your website?

If your website is to sell widgets, then it needs to be tailored to showcase each category of widget you carry along with the various widget SKUs. Likewise, your website goal needs to be clear for the site visitor as to what s/he is expected to do.

  • Is your website going to finance your lifestyle, or are you going to take your company earnings and put them back into your product/service to make it even more salable?

Here needles are you an entrepreneur, or a highly skilled person. Unfortunately, lifestyle does not equate to building a business enterprise.

  • What is your product/service value proposition? Why would John choose your website when Mary’s website provides the same?

Your product story is what will differentiate your product/service from what Mary offers. From this, your marketing material basics as well as sales temper blossom.

Now if those questions are not hard enough, now think about sales. Yes, that ugly word [work] known as sales. See marketing is not sales, and sales is not marketing. A sale is about building 1-1 relationships where as marketing is about putting out messages for your product/service. Your website is your best marketing tool, and unless you have a banging retail website that is intuitively clear you need a sales master plan.

For example, let’s say your website’s goal is to generate leads. Well, in order to turn those leads into money you need to have a sales strategy. Some of those leads will become customers straightway, while others will take longer. As I stated earlier, sales are about building 1-1 relationships. This is known as your sales cycles, and there will always be a Bob who will be more hesitant than Lucy when it comes to jumping on board with you.

Let me know what you think.

Why is my Page not ranking in Google?

Well, I may have discovered the issue with what make a page rank high in the serps. It seems that it is due to a combination of pages indexed and backlinks. For instance, if you have 100k indexed pages, then your backlinks can suck. But if you have only 10 indexed pages, then you need to have high quality, relevant backlinks. If you have them both, then what are you reading this for?

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