Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

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?

Website Traffic, Is It Alien Or Human?

There are two ways to gain customers for your website or business. The first way is to pay for it. You could easily pay a marketer, advertiser, or branding company and gain customers that way. The other way is to earn your customers. This is the way that I believe works best and the one that I practice. To earn customers, you must get to know them. You should know where they go, which websites they visit, and local events they attend. This doesn’t just consist of putting your name and business card in these locations, but it involves you interacting with them and finding a true understanding of their lifestyle and preferences, and what it is that they desire from a business such as yours.

Alien Traffic. A study by Incapsula, one of the leading web security services and optimizers, unearthed that more than half of your website traffic could be alien. Not exactly the ones portrayed in War of the Worlds, but maybe. The findings released suggested that around 31% of website traffic was harmful and includes spammers, spies, scrappers, and hackers.[1]

Then there are the 20% of friendly visitors such as Google Bot as well as other search engine indexers. What this means is that analytics do not provide the whole picture and human visitors are not alone prowling the internet. To mitigate this, you should make security a part of your online marketing undertaking and tighten your website content with relevant keywords for the friendly indexers so your website is pulled by more human traffic based on the intent of website visitors.

 

[1] http://www.bizepic.com/2014/12/19/shocking-half-website-traffic-2014-bot-traffic/

Online Marketing Success

Content Marketing

Whether you’re a local business, an ecommerce site, or a nationwide franchise, your website goal(s) is what defines content purpose. Most of all, your website should be enjoyed by the consumer and tour guide visitors through a funnel to reach your website goal.

Keyword Copy Storylines

Content storylines need to answer a site visitor’s reason for pulling your website. It’s not convincing the visitor that they need your help by creating letters and words; instead, your words along with images narrate for visitors and convince them that your product/service will temper their hurdles so to purchase.

With that being said, many websites fail to have an objective. Keyword copy is then created for the sake of SEO, and disconnection of reality occurs on the premise that it leads to money. This belief though is only true when a website has a defined goal, and Web content storytelling is created for formal marketing strategies. For this reason, building brand awareness without a goal, while lacking marketing strategy, is a recipe unmindful of how to market a brand on the Web.

Buy Me Website Design

Serious Web businesses demand and press into service methodical online marketing strategies. Target audiences are analyzed, segmented, and character cross-sectioned. The result is a website with content that:

  1. Connects with
  2. Bewitches,
  3. Embraces,
  4. Influences, and
  5. Herds wanted goal action(s).

This course leaves no generic storyline driveways, and keeps your content focus revolving around your marketing strategies.

Consumer Leads

Marketers From Mars exposed that consumers’ love content storytelling and want it through:


This means that content has to be tweaked for each cross-sectioned audience silo. In other words, getting the copy storyline right depends on where and how the consumer encounters your brand within their unique shopping cycle.

What does this means for Web based businesses? Your brand’s storyline is keyword scripted, optimized as well as distributed for a consumer’s unique shopping cycle to accomplish your website’s purpose.

Press Your Panda SEO, NO WHAMMY

Surprise! Did your website overnight all of a sudden lose rank, or did it rise in rank?

What is this rank thing you ask? Well, rank is how the search engines judge your website worth in terms of its quality-to-your keywords-to its content. Oh no, here goes that idea of unique quality content again. Now content in itself is a handful, but there is a bit more. As a busy business owner, I hear you stating, “like whatever.”

I can also hear you ranting, “I just want to be in the number one slot!”

However, think of this judgment as a type of score or grade that is used to determine if your website can even make it onto page one. You know, kind of like being in an auction. Keep in mind though that making it onto page one is still not enough. Say what! Yes, you have to make it into one of the top three or four organic slots. Why you ask? Because Slingshot research found that the lower your standing position sits on page one, the lower the probability that your site will be clicked on. Ugh!

Now Google sermonizes to create website content for your visitors not search engines; however, if you obey that and don’t shape it for the machine you may not rank. In other words, if you were to write your content blah, blah, blah naturally your site may not rank. Why? Because the machine cannot read your site’s content for its relevance, all the machine can do is crawl your site and give it a quality score aka rank. In other words, the machine is not conscious of your website’s intent.

I know this is hard to believe, but there are no human Google troops who manually grade your website. Instead, it is a machine that crawls it. So as I said early, you can’t just write content for your visitor as the machine proclaims because the machine cannot discern your website to understand its intent.

So what about the bit more? Well that has to do with your website:

  • Meta Data
  • Anchor Texts
  • Keywords
  • Duplicated Content
  • Links In and Out
  • Site Speed
  • Website Structure
  • Web Marketing

So what is SEO? Everything that has to do with your website is SEO, and how your website will be graded by the machine is subject to it.

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.

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