Managing an effective follow-up campaign can be quite challenging, particularly for a startup. The reason is that apart from the effort and time needed to kick-start the campaign, there is always the difficulty of maintaining a balance between persistence and annoyance. Follow up can make it looks like you are going too far but the truth is that many people don’t consider your offer at the first go. Hence, where there is no follow up the campaign, there is a good chance of losing prospects who could have turn to your loyal customer.
In this piece, we will be delving into the components necessary to make an effective Follow-up campaign and the tools that can make things easy for you as far as follow up campaign is concerned. Read along!
What are your goals?
First and foremost, you have to define your goals before you can begin your follow-up the campaign. Start by asking yourself about what you would like your clients to bring to the table once you start to see the outcome of the campaign. Whether you want the prospect to give a call to your sales team or you want an existing client to participate in your referral program; whatever goal you intend to achieve, it is vital to have a specific purpose so that your follow up can be designed in a way that it promotes that goal.
Maintain fresh messages
Without a doubt, every user of emails knows how the quantity of email that enters their inbox on a daily basis. Hence, if you keep up with sending the same content of messages designed in the same way recurrently, then, there is a good chance that your messages will be overlooked or deleted. Regardless of how excellent your goals are, your follow up must not be a “copy and paste” affair. For instance, assuming you manage a landscaping business and there is a need to inform your clients that the winter is coming, and also motivate them to demand a recurring lawn care treatments in the summer and spring; each content for the goals must be different and even the approach. Your first approach can be a short video displaying families who are spending quality time together at a picnic while a team is taking care of their lawn. The second approach might reveal a set of positive feedbacks from the existing clients who placed an order for lawn care package in the previous year and love your service. While the third can be a proposal of lawn care services plan including the management of spring plantings, the fourth can be a request to meet and discuss your services.
Strategize your timing
Timing is integral to an effective follow-up. The reason is that if you send different messages within short periods to another, the receiver may consider it as spams. Also, if your timing between one follow up to another is too broad, then, you are at risk of missing out on chances to secure a sale.
Hence, the most advisable period is a minimum of two days between each email. In most cases, if a person will reply to your message, it shouldn’t take him/her more than 24 hours after receiving the message. Hence, do not send messages from one hour to another and also, avoid leaving your follow-up till over a week or more.
Take note that a perfect timing may vary based on your kind of business. Consequently, one factor to consider if you want to get your timing right is to know the relationship between your sales cycle and your clients. If your brand runs as B2B, then, you are mostly running an extended sales cycle, and it is most likely that a company’s decision to buy your product will be internally scrutinized before approval. The direct implication is that it is best for you to leave more time between your communications so as to give your contact an ample time to run your offer with the stakeholders and get back to you – with their decision or more details.
Concerning an e-commerce business dealing with individual clients, the timing is not the same. For instance, if you are a retailer in cloth dealings and you run a follow up campaign that activates once someone leaves a cart on your site; ensure that such emails are grouped closely because in such a case, it won’t take a week for a single person to decide on either to buy a pair of shoe or polo top.
Combine email with other channels
The use of email is a vital aspect of a marketing campaign – including follow-ups. Nevertheless, some other means are available – and more effective. For instance, our ever-improving digital world has made us forget about reliable methods such as phone calls or snail mail. Sometimes, the best way to reach out to a person is through the conventional means if you want to be noticed because as far as email is concerned your message is just one among countless others.
While an effective follow-up campaign will entail a well-scheduled email, you have to add other communication means too. Also, with technology, you can utilize the conventional means more efficient. Regarding tech-improved direct mailers; some of the examples include forwarding specially designed mail to prospective clients which entails specific information for a particular individual or the use of landing pages for their particular needs.
For instance, assuming you are managing a law firm and one of your website visitors demands your estate planning service after filling a form. As planned, once it triggers a follow-up campaign, endeavour to use a phone call to follow up too. In a case where you have sent a series of follow up without any response, make contact and say that you are trying to follow up your emails and will be glad to answer any question or request for further details. Also, you may integrate mailers into your campaign. For example, you can send pamphlets containing info on estate planning few weeks after someone has filled out your form. The brochure should include a customized letter with an offer to have a physical conversation with the prospect if interested.
Get the right tools to execute your plan
To track your interactions with prospective clients or existing customers, tools such as marketing automation and CRM tool are crucial to have. And also, endeavour to check your follow-up constantly.
Some tools are available which can perform the tasks of marketing automation and CRM together. Few among them are OntraPort and ActiveCampaign which tracks and execute campaigns effectively. A tool that can perform CRM and marketing automation will enable you to follow through all your means of contacts whether via analogue communication such as a postcard or digital like email. The marketing automation component enables you to set time for email follow-ups, SMS adverts among other strategies which can be activated while a prospect or client is performing an action.
Persistence is the key if you want to improve your conversion rate and increase your sales. Doing this can be quite tedious for a single person; however, through the use of marketing automation tools, your targeted success is attainable. All you need is to establish your campaign and run it.
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A study by Facebook themselves reported that users were able to increase traffic from the platform by a whopping 250%, simply by using clickable social cards. Thanks to AnyImage, you can begin creating your own cards in just a matter of seconds (for free)
AnyImage created this useful infographic (below) to explain exactly how AnyImage works. Enjoy!
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Nevertheless, some different suggestions have been relayed online concerning the approach of how to advertise on the two large digital platforms. Although there is no doubt concerning the fact that the way you will advertise for a large firm will be different from a small business with a little marketing budget.
In this post, we will be revealing how to approach Facebook and Google to ensure that you get the best out of them as a small business entrepreneur.
Establish your Budget
Before you proceed with online marketing, the primary thing to do is to establish a logical budget for your business. While it is possible to perform online marketing with a meagre budget, it is pertinent to know how much you can spend before you construct a method on how best to use the two platforms effectively.
While trying to figure out your budget, it is essential to consider your annual budget apart from the monthly ones. There is a chance that your online marketing may fail if it comes in fits and starts just like a blogger once mentioned that being consistently present online to serve customers is critical to building trust and attracting conversions. The implication is that while deciding about your marketing budget, you have to consider your long-term goal.
Design a Game-plan
Once you have established your budget, you have to create clear-cut objectives for your online advertisement. Basically, every entrepreneur will want to gain more clients, but is it how to measure accomplishments? What about the rate of conversions? Or the number of sales and the percentage of income growth?
Knowing your expectations concerning your marketing efforts will give you the necessary push to have a sound understanding of your campaign result and help redefine your future approach.
Understand your Potential Clients
Every business is meant to find a solution to a challenge; hence, each company has its group of prospective clients which could gain from their services or products. A significant benefit of Google and Facebook advertisement is that both enables you to target a specific group of people that will see your digital campaign.
Finding Your Facebook Audience
Once you have your Facebook business manager running – details on how to establish Facebook business manager can be found in another post – some tools are available for use in order to recognize your potential clients on the platform. They are as follows:
• Facebook Pixel
This tool is a chain of code which you can install by yourself into your business website. It allows you to trace all the guests who visit your site and consequently, you can forward targeted ads on Facebook to them depending on their behaviour. If an individual shows an interest in your business by surfing your website, that doesn’t mean the person is already a client. It is advisable to get them to encounter your brand on Facebook again. The more times someone views your brand on several media, the higher the chances of getting them to go deeper into your purchase options.
• Develop similar audiences
This tip is crucial for the optimization of Facebook advertisement program. The giant social media enables you to post a list of your present clients, and then, it will generate a list of users who possess the same attributes to the ones you have in your business already.
Finding Your Google Audience
Google offers entrepreneur the means to target specific users concerning online marketing campaign. Some of these means include:
- Google Ads (Previously known as AdWords)
This tool enables entrepreneurs to focus their ads through the use of location and keywords. However, you have to do some findings to identify the most potent search words for your business. By doing this at the beginning of your venture, you will have a great chance to achieve a better outcome for your business and make your pay worth it in the end.
- Google Local Services Ads
This tool is particularly important to those who provide services to homeowners such as technicians, and also the tradesmen too. The tool helps to curates a list of service suppliers of a particular task in a specific location, for instance, ‘technicians in Los Angeles.’ In this way, your business will be placed right in front of homeowners who are demanding for the service you have to offer. You will need to make available your contact details so that you can gain your customer directly and immediately.
Maximizing each platform
While Facebook and Google will both enable you to focus your ads on potential clients and get well-defined analytics concerning the progress of your campaign, there are few differences between the two sites regarding advertisement. Hence, you have to approach the two sites via different means.
As for Facebook, the idea is about developing a community. Hence, once an individual search for a business, the first appearance will be how their friends are engaging with the company. Immediately the person moves to the business’s profile; Facebook will encourage them also to inform their friends to “like” the page. Advertisement on Facebook is usually driven by what you can see which enables you to design what your business has to offer. “Likes” from friends and other Facebook users with image-laden pages will give you the right chance to display your brand as trustworthy.
Concerning Google Paid Search, it requires a different approach which has to do immediacy. Your brand will show in results to a specific search when you use a paid search ad. It means that if your brands deal with flowers in Los Angeles, and an individual will like to get some flowers within that area urgently, you can be confident that your brand’s name will be the first to come up once he/she inputs “florist in Los Angeles” while Google is searching. In this way, you will become the immediate solution to their challenges. Also, there is the use of ratings and reviews in some of Google’s advertising tools such as an aspect of Local Services Ads. Brands with the highest ratings are usually top of the search list. The implication is that reviews and trustworthiness are essential aspects of Google campaign strategy.
Combining both is the best
Although the two sites have their unique strengths; however, there are even better benefits by using the two platforms together. For instance, Kenshoo – a digital marketing technology – once revealed that the Experian’s paid search approach of using Facebook and Google together is an excellent means of gaining much campaign effectiveness. Since users mostly check Facebook first to see friends and other users’ recommendation, establishing an advertisement on Facebook is the initial step to gain potential clients’ attention. It has been found that 90% of clients trust recommendations from friends or family members while another 70% prefers personal reviews from fellow clients – which can be a total stranger they meet on the internet.
In Kenshoo’s case study, the brand disclosed that as Experian campaigned on Facebook and Google, there was a 19% increase in their overall conversions and they spent 10% less total for each acquisition. The application of the two sites as one enables people to move closer to potential clients in several media, develop trust and create a better conversion rate.
Analytics and Pivots are crucial
Google and Facebook ads both offer a series of information concerning a performance assessment of ads. For instance, your ads can be reaching the targeted people, but it is not being converted to leads. The truth is that you have established the campaign and the money is non-refundable.
Luckily, by using online advertisement, you can easily find the ideas that are ineffective and then modify them to attempt new methods. Once you make some changes to your advertisement approach, it is advisable to use the A/B testing principle so as to see the changes you have made and which one is having the most positive influence on your audience. In this way, you can explore that method and apply it to other marketing efforts.
The two platforms are excellent means to raise a small business since they of low risk and effective ways of getting across to several prospects. Facebook and Google are natural means of reaching your targeted audiences who will like to engage your brand and consequently, make lead generation easier and conversion rate becomes higher. However, if you would want to go higher by sorting through the analytics from your campaigns, you can apply the information to redefine your strategy for future use, and as a result, develop a more effective online marketing technique from time to time.
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If your website is the most exquisite one throughout the universe, as long as it does not have excellent performance, it is useless. Hence, if you have an interest in establishing a profitable website, you should begin with a robust SEO framework to construct a site which is quick and easy to locate effortless with your additional online marketing strategies.
Reasons why SEO is crucial
Search Engine Optimization, simply known as SEO, attracts new clients to your website. For instance, if an individual is surfing the web for a solution to his/her challenges, and your site has the answer – which another website also may have – you will want your website to be the first link they will see while searching. You can imagine that, as an individual, you will be more willing to check the first website or page shown on Google rather than stressing to the others to get your needs. Hence, the more your site pops up on the first page, the higher your chances of getting more clients.
Begin by making Keyword Research
One of the significant reasons why it is essential to start your website design and construction with a keyword search is to make sure that your site is one of the highly ranked on search results. Hence, you have to begin by thinking about a word you would have searched if you happened to be in a position of potential customer looking for your product or services. Your ideas can be many – write everything down. Through the use of Google Search Console, you can find out terms which are already enticing many users to a site similar to yours; and that can help restructure your thinking concerning your keyword.
Afterwards, you can begin to tailor the list down to like 12 to 20 terms; some of the words must show the core principle of your business while others can talk about the particular intent which a user might be looking for. These keywords will entail everything your website design choices will be.
It is advisable to use Google Cache Checker to view how your website comes up on Google. In a situation where your pages are almost blank, then, you should know that search engines are skipping a substantial part of your site content. Hence, there will be a need to apply HTML heavily during restructuring.
Understand your website structure
Apart from thinking about how your website is viewed by search engines, you have to ensure that your website is constructed in a meaningful manner for SEO and guests.
You can establish a site map to guide you on how to figure out your content and flow. This aspect includes the information you will like to put together, the logical paths which guests will take when surfing your site, the easy means for users to move from one relevant information to another, and a way to design the website so that it enriches the customer’s navigation and motivates users to check the bottom side of your natural sales funnel.
If you have figured out the user’s experience part of your website, then, the next reasoning to do is the structure using an SEO perspective. Establishing a site with surf-able link design is vital to ensuring that search engines can view every content of your website. Some reasons can be responsible for the problematic navigation of links on your site, such reasons include:
- If the links for pages are concealed beneath submission forms
- If the links are in-between Java content which search engines cannot read
- If there are several hundreds of links on a single site (search engines have a limit concerning searching hence it may not find it before it moves on)
Deliver Valuable Content
Regardless of how functional and appealing your website is, as long as the content is below par, your site will remain redundant.
The aim of your content should focus on showcasing your business as the top-notch in your sector. Valuable content will be functional in all areas. It will attract clients, gain their trust, and also push them to attempt a purchasing option on your website. As long as you deliver rich and useful content for your customers, they will want to come back for more details, keep you in their mind, and go as far as referring you to others apart from their purchase.
Aside from that, when you fill your website with valuable content consistently, you will gain more chance to generate useful information and data to attract more guests to your site. Endeavour to house every content such as blog posts, case studies, white papers, podcasts, infographics, and webinars that belongs to you on your website. Once you distribute links of such valuable contents to social media pages or through a newsletter, you will be directing massive traffic to your site.
Without an excellent approach to SEO, a beautiful website is meaningless. As we mentioned earlier, your website is the fundamental aspect of your online marketing strategy; hence, it is worthy to invest your time, money and energy to establish a site which does not only have a superb form but an excellent function that suite your business.
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As Google decided to reduce its number of listings being displayed from seven to three, putting your business on Google’s local 3-pack map listing is now quite tedious than ever. And consequently, the local competition has increased massively as entrepreneurs now struggle for the few spaces.
The reason for Google to take such a decision cannot be farfetched. The presence of less local businesses on the maps listing means that more local company will have to use extra funds on AdWords to take the highest state above others.
Google exists to generate money – call it a business. And most local business owners have forgotten this fact. While local SEO has its purpose, the “pay and use” business of Google will continue to generate the search engine some billions of dollars. However, the people who have their business among the top three local map spot will know the heavy positive influence of such posts to their business.
The listing attracts site traffic, location check, and phone calls. The peak of the real estate is so influential that paying for it is a good bargain for most entrepreneurs. While, without a doubt, many prefer the organic traffic, when it comes to paying for the view, a majority of business owners will be willing to pay the bill.
Let’s check some random points concerning the state of local search and Google’s 3-pack.
- While phone calls are not as significant as in the past, they are still in use. For businesses that need to attract phone calls to reach their marketing goals, then, it is advisable to use AdWords Call Only PPC advert.
- Currently, Google+ is losing its relevancy. Before, people used to be worried that it is necessary to have a running Google+ account in order to be highly ranked among local searches. Well, not anymore, Google+ is no longer as valuable as before, and the reason why some are still engaged with Google+ is due to the fear of what might happen to their local rankings. Instead of wasting precious time with Google+, such time would have been more productive if spent on social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
- Google stars and reviews are still much in use and endeavour to establish an innovative means of getting your clients to drop reviews. Without a doubt, a local listing combined with many high-star reviews will pull a better click-through rate than a listing without one at any time and any day.
Don’t overthink your local SEO
More than half of the local searches are being made from mobile phones, and the figure is expected to increase continuously. Factors such as search query, people’s current location, on-page and off-page optimization of your website determine whether your site will be displayed to people or not.
To be competitive in a local 3-pack, below are five points you must consider:
- Perfect On-Page Optimization
- Relevant Directory Listings
- Optimized Google Maps
- Local reviews
1. Perfect On-Page Optimization
It is essential to allow Google to know where your business is situated so as to deliver your site for searches close to your business location. For a company with many locations within the same city or different cities, there is a need to ensure that each business location has an allocated page. So that when Google surfs through these pages, each business location will be explicitly represented.
One common mistake people make has to do with the text and copy for every individual location page. It is inadvisable to use the same content or merely change the location’s address. Instead, create different content for each page and its location, and see it as a chance to optimize the pages for many location-oriented search terms. Also, endeavour to add an embedded Google map on each location page, and Schema markup should be on your Name, Address and Phone number (NAP).
2. Relevant Directory Listings
Many directory services are available which will submit your NAP data in several lists of business directories automatically. This idea sounds great, but it is a wrong concept. We believe you won’t want your business details to be linked to spammed and low-quality directories.
Hence, use more time to deliver your business to valuable and relevant directories manually. Some of the good directories available are YP.com and Yelp which works for virtually everybody. Also, there is an availability of several industry-specific directories which you can join your business. Another excellent move you should make if you have the fund is to get your brand accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Take note that by the time you are submitting your Business NAP to these directories, it is vital to enter your business name, correct address, and the phone number the same way it available on your business site. For instance, the use of “Ste.” to represent “Suite” on your website can create issues. Hence, be consistent to avoid unnecessary challenges.
You can use many ways to manage and audit your local listings and also gain suggestions concerning other directory listings to use. Moz Local is an affordable option as currently; you only need to spend $84 per year for a location. Also, it is a great choice for people who are new to local SEO and needs an easy way to audit their listings.
3. Optimized Google Maps
Data such as business address, hours, phone numbers and review stars are the four pieces of information which Google Maps reveal. By the time you create your Google Maps Listing initially, you will be asked to submit your phone number and local address of your business. This action will be performed manually; hence, do it meticulously.
Ratings are mostly pulled over; hence, once you have a few brilliant systems to get your clients to drop a review, such information will be widely spread and assist your business to become unique on the Maps. Schema Markup is necessary to use if you would like to see your business hours being displayed on your Google Maps Listing.
4. Local Reviews
Apart from extra free exposure, there is an advantage for submitting your business in several large review sites. You may try and conduct a Google search about the local companies within your vicinity; without a doubt, you will find many Yelp reviews being displayed at the peak of your search outcomes. The implication is that such a website is highly favoured for the search result. Hence, you will gain much exposure by having your business listed on that website.
Aside from making sure that your listing is adequately optimized on review websites, you need to develop systems which will motivate your loyal clients to drop feedbacks on those websites. Because a business which has 100+ Yelp review will gain more ground concerning a display of their business profile than those with nothing. It is inadvisable to force your customers to leave you a positive review – which is against regulations of Yelps. Instead, it is better to enlighten them about their importance to your business and also encourage them to click the link on your website which will lead them to every review profile you have.
For several years now, links have remained as the top Google signal, and it will stay important for many years to come. While the term “Content marketing” is significant, it is crucial to know the reason behind its significance. First, content marketing is an excellent means to earn links. You don’t stand a good chance by posting just any content; you have to create impressive contents which will stimulate social distribution to move across the digital world. The further your content goes, the higher your chances of generating more links through your content.
Hence, if you want links, below are some of the reliable means of getting high-end links:
- Spy your competition: you have to check the profiles of the brands among the Google 3-pack listing and analyze if your business is not one of them. To do this, some tools can be used to get their link profiles, and then use it to develop means of creating a similar link on your site.
- Form local partnership: one of the quickest ways to generate some links is to note every company you perform business with. Check their website pages for testimonial section or partner page. If there is none, then make inquiries if they would love to see a testimonial from you – not many businesses will turn away from such an offer.
- Academic scholarships: you can check for the websites of some universities within your community to see if they run any sponsorship affairs that you can join. By donating little to such a good cause, you are likely to gain many links than you imagined as they tend to show the local brands which support such a purpose.
- Non-Profitable affiliation: this idea is similar to the one stated above. The difference is that instead of using local educational institutes, you will be collaborating with charity organizations. Peradventure you can’t find any donation program on their website, you can ask if they would like to have your support in one way or another.
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How To Grow an Engaged List On Steroids (With an 80% Open Rate & 40% CTR)
The Money Is In The List, as they say…
And maybe still to this day, this could be one of the most valuable pieces of advice any budding digital marketer, entrepreneur or any business could take on board and implicate.
List building & email marketing Is still one if not the most important things you can do to grow re-occurring, long-term revenue streams for your business.
However, the fact is these days even a higher engaged and nurtured email list can only really expect the following results these (optimistic) results – An open rate of 15 to 20% and a 2.5 to 5% CTR (click through rate to your offer)
So it begs the question is email marketing is as effective as it once was?
The short answer is a resounding Yes – an engaged, active and sizeable list will always provide a great opportunity to reach potential customers with your offers and of course offer new products to your existing customer base.
Though that being said we have to admit the inbox these days is a fiercely competitive medium to gain a prospect’s attention in the first place, seeing that the average person now receives of over 120 email per day…
The video we are presenting to you is not really about email marketing or email list building, as I’m sure you are aware the internet is awash with info on this particular subject…
So what we would like to cover is the new wave of messenger marketing – The Chatbot!
Actually, Let Me Rephrase that The New New Wave Of Messenger Marketing…
Messenger Marketing Automation (Conversational)
Enjoy the video and we hope you get some real value form it that you can employ in your list building strategies.
According to a comprehensive study carried out by SEO tools provider and marketing data company Ahrefs, the average Top 10 ranking page is 2+ years old, while those that rank at position #1 are almost 3 years old on average.
Only 22% of pages that currently rank in Top 10 were created within a year. In other words, almost 95% of newly published pages don’t get to the Top 10 within a year, while the “lucky” ones that do manage to get there, do so in about 2-6 months.
To find out more on what makes these top pages “lucky”, check out this useful infographic below by The Website Group.
Google, the best search engine ever built, has been famous for everything that it provides – free of course. It has even increased the size of the Email (G-mail) storage to 2.6 GB. Since then, it has started launching a huge variety of products & services, which contains 50 online services. It was in May 2005 that Google acquired a company named Urchin Software Corporation which provided a web service called ‘Urchin on Demand’. Henceforth, the service was renamed to Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is an excellent solution for all the website related needs, starting from the source which brought the visitors to your site to how they interacted with your website. Hence, it provides good results as to how the site should be designed/ modified so as to attract more visitors or how to do better marketing for your product online. Some of the features of Google Analytics are given below.
Firstly, it is much easier to use. With the special AdWords feature, Google provides more flexibility with the keywords and also provides you immediate ROI results. It also provides good suggestions as to which keywords can make the site or product more attractive. Nextly, it focuses on only those modifications (in your website) which will gain you profits. As the service is available in many languages (English, German, Spanish, Korean, etc.) there is a wider scope for improvement of the site along with the marketing campaign.
As Analytics is powered by the same server which runs Google, it can be reliably used for even top corporate projects. Also, it is very much easy to use. For e.g. instead of purchasing or downloading some software or script, just pasting the tracking code in the web pages directly begins the tracking. Google Analytics also provides Executive summaries of the conversions, traffic directly to you so that you don’t have to hunt for the reports. You can then comfortably compare keywords, revenue & basically, the performance of the website. It also provides you the comparative reports of the performance, for e.g. if you need to compare this weeks performance with last week’s you can very well get the entire tabular data. This service extends so much that you can tally this winter’s reports with last summer’s reports. Google Analytics can also be used for e-commerce websites, as you can compare revenues, arrange & modify campaigns & get a whole view of the metrics.
Another special feature of Google Analytics is the Funnel Visualization. Sometimes it so happens that a visitor starts exploring your site but quits in the middle. Mostly, it is due to puzzling or maze-like data or irrelevant information on the site that confuses the visitor. Google tracks the positions of the quitting & hence provides you the opportunity of modifying that particular area of the site. Google also provides you the segmented visitor report, which includes sorting of visitor information by location, by action, by new versus returning visitor, making it easier to compare the keywords and the traffic. Geotargeting helps in tracking the location of the visitor and also gives your information about markets in various areas & their potentials. Hence, it provides you a better option for the market analysis & gives you more options for setting up or modifying your campaign in order to increase the market value of your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an essential weapon in the arsenal of every online business. Unfortunately, for most business owners and marketing managers (and even many webmasters), it’s also somewhat of an enigma. This is partly due to the fact that it’s such a new and rapidly changing field, and partly due to the fact that SEO practitioners tend to speak in a language all of their own which, without translation, is virtually impenetrable to the layperson. This glossary seeks to remedy that situation, explaining specialist SEO terms in plain English…
See ‘Sponsored Links’.
A complex mathematical formula used by search engines to assess the relevance and importance of websites and rank them accordingly in their search results. These algorithms are kept tightly under wraps as they are the key to the objectivity of search engines (i.e. the algorithm ensures relevant results, and relevant results bring more users, which in turn brings more advertising revenue).
The submitting of free reprint articles to many article submission sites and article distribution lists in order to increase your website’s search engine ranking and Google PageRank. (In this sense, the “PR” stands for PageRank.) Like traditional public relations, article PR also conveys a sense of authority because your articles are widely published. And because you’re proving your expertise and freely dispensing knowledge, your readers will trust you and will be more likely to remain loyal to you. (In this sense, the “PR” stands for Public Relations.)
article distribution lists
User groups (e.g. Yahoo, MSN, Google, Smartgroups, and Topica groups) which accept email submissions of articles in text format, and then distribute these articles via email to all of the members of the group. See also ‘article PR’.
article submission sites
Websites which act as repositories of free reprint articles. Authors visit these sites to submit their articles free of charge, and webmasters visit to find articles to use on their websites free of charge. Article submission sites generate revenue by selling advertising space on their websites. See also ‘article PR’.
A text link to your website from another website. See also ‘link’.
The words used on your website.
A professional writer who specializes in the writing of advertising copy (compelling, engaging words promoting a particular product or service). See also ‘SEO copywriter’ and ‘web copywriter’.
Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details in its index by sending out ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’. These spiders make their way from page to page and site to site by following text links. To a spider, a text link is like a door.
The virtual address of your website (normally in the form www.yourbusinessname.com). This is what people will type when they want to visit your site. It is also what you will use as the address in any text links back to your site.
An electronic magazine. Most publishers of ezines are desperate for content and gladly publish well written, helpful articles and give you full credit as author, including a link to your website.
A technology used to create animated web pages (and page elements).
free reprint article
An article written by you and made freely available to other webmasters to publish on their websites. See also ‘article PR’.
The search engine with the greatest coverage of the World Wide Web, and which is responsible for most search engine-referred traffic. Of approximately 11.5 billion pages on the World Wide Web, it is estimated that Google has indexed around 8.8 billion. This is one reason why it takes so long to increase your ranking!
See ‘Sponsored Links’.
How Google scores a website’s importance. It gives all sites a mark out of 10. By downloading the Google Toolbar (from http://toolbar.google.com), you can view the PR of any site you visit.
A free tool you can download. It becomes part of your browser toolbar. It’s most useful features are it’s PageRank display (which allows you to view the PR of any site you visit) and it’s AutoFill function (when you’re filling out an online form, you can click AutoFill, and it enters all the standard information automatically, including Name, Address, Zip code/Postcode, Phone Number, Email Address, Business Name, Credit Card Number (password protected), etc.) Once you’ve downloaded and installed the toolbar, you may need to set up how you’d like it to look and work by clicking Options (setup is very easy). NOTE: Google does record some information (mostly regarding sites visited).
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the coding language used to create much of the information on the World Wide Web. Web browsers read the HTML code and display the page that code describes.
An interconnected network of computers around the world.
A programming language used to create dynamic website pages (e.g. interactivity).
A word which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches. This use known as targeting a keyword. Most websites actually target ‘keyword phrases’ because single keywords are too generic and it is very difficult to rank highly for them.
A measure of the frequency of your keyword in relation to the total wordcount of the page. So if your page has 200 words, and your keyword phrase appears 10 times, its density is 5%.
A phrase which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches.
A word or image on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. There are normally visual cues to indicate to the reader that the word or image is a link.
Using text links to connect a series of page (i.e. page 1 connects to page 2, page 2 connects to page 3, page 3 connects to page 4, and so on). Search engine ‘spiders’ and ‘robots’ use text links to jump from page to page as they gather information about it, so it’s a good idea to allow them traverse your entire site via text links. (See ‘Link paths’ on p.21. for further information.)
A webmaster who is willing to put a link to your website on their website. Quite often link partners engage in reciprocal linking.
The number of links to your website. Link popularity is the single most important factor in a high search engine ranking. Webmasters use a number of methods to increase their site’s link popularity including article PR, link exchange (link partners / reciprocal linking), link buying, and link directories.
The part of a text link that is visible to the reader. When generating links to your own site, they are most effective (in terms of ranking) if they include your keyword.
A short note within the header of the HTML of your web page which describes some aspect of that page. These meta tags are read by the search engines and used to help assess the relevance of a site to a particular search.
natural search results
The ‘real’ search results. The results that most users are looking for and which take up most of the window. For most searches, the search engine displays a long list of links to sites with content which is related to the word you searched for. These results are ranked according to how relevant and important they are.
organic search results
See ‘natural search results’.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising)
See ‘Sponsored Links’.
See ‘Google PageRank’.
Your position in the search results that display when someone searches for a particular word at a search engine.
A mutual agreement between two webmasters to exchange links (i.e. they both add a link to the other’s website on their own website). Most search engines (certainly Google) are sophisticated enough to detect reciprocal linking and they don’t view it very favorably because it is clearly a manufactured method of generating links. Websites with reciprocal links risk being penalized.
A file which is used to inform the search engine spider which pages on a site should not be indexed. This file sits in your site’s root directory on the web server. (Alternatively, you can do a similar thing by placing tags in the header section of your HTML for search engine robots/spiders to read. See ‘Optimizing your web ‘ on p.22. for more information.)
Many SEO experts believe that Google ‘sandboxes’ new websites. Whenever it detects a new website, it withholds its rightful ranking for a period while it determines whether your site is a genuine, credible, long term site. It does this to discourage the creation of SPAM websites (sites which serve no useful purpose other than to boost the ranking of some other site). Likewise, if Google detects a sudden increase (i.e. many hundreds or thousands) in the number of links back to your site, it may sandbox them for a period (or in fact penalize you by lowering your ranking or blacklisting your site altogether).
Search Engine Optimization. The art of making your website relevant and important so that it ranks high in the search results for a particular word.
A ‘copywriter’ who is not only proficient at web copy, but also experienced in writing copy which is optimized for search engines (and will therefore help you achieve a better search engine ranking for your website).
A search engine is an online tool which allows you to search for websites which contain a particular word or phrase. The most well known search engines are Google, Yahoo, and MSN.
A single page which contains a list of text links to every page in the site (and every page contains a text link back to the site map). Think of your site map as being at the center of a spider-web.
Generally refers to unwanted and unrequested email sent en-masse to private email addresses. Also used to refer to websites which appear high in search results without having any useful content. The creators of these sites set them up simply to cash in on their high ranking by selling advertising space, links to other sites, or by linking to other sites of their own and thereby increasing the ranking of those sites. The search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and already have very efficient ways to detect SPAM websites and penalize them.
Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details in its index by sending out ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’. These spiders make their way from page to page and site to site by following text links.
Paid advertising which displays next to the natural search results. Customers can click on the ad to visit the advertiser’s website. This is how the search engines make their money. Advertisers set their ads up to display whenever someone searches for a word which is related to their product or service. These ads look similar to the natural search results, but are normally labeled “Sponsored Links”, and normally take up a smaller portion of the window. These ads work on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) basis (i.e. the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad).
You can submit your domain name to the search engines so that their ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ will crawl your site. You can also submit articles to ‘article submission sites’ in order to have them published on the Internet.
A word on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. Text links are normally blue and underlined. Text links are what ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ use to jump from page to page and website to website.
Uniform Resource Locator. The address of a particular page published on the Internet. Normally in the form http://www.yourbusinessname.com/AWebPage.htm.
A ‘copywriter’ who understands the unique requirements of writing for an online medium.
A person responsible for the management of a particular website.
The number of words on a particular web page.
World Wide Web (WWW)
The vast array of documents published on the Internet. It is estimated that the World Wide Web now consists of approximately 11.5 billion pages.
What can you do right now, to increase your search engine ranking?
Well for starters, incoming links play a huge role when it comes to placing high in the search engines. The more links that point to your site from other websites the better. To the search engines, each incoming link counts as a vote for your ranking. The higher a site ranks, the more its vote is worth.
It’s also important that these sites that have a similar theme as yours. For example, if your site is built around photography software, you would want to get your link on sites that deal with camera equipment or photography tips.
There is a simple and free technique that you can start using this minute to get tons of incoming links to your site. After reading this article of course 🙂
Try this, open your favorite search engine and type in the following phrase with quotations marks: “fishing” “add URL”. Hit the search button and the results will turn up numerous sites that allow you to add your website link to their directory.
Some of these sites will add your link right away and some might require a reciprocal link which means you add their link to your site. Reciprocal links can also help your ranking by positioning you as an authority if you link to other quality, similarly themed sites.
Apply this technique to your own site by substituting the keyword “fishing” with whatever keyword applies to you niche. To find even more sites that allow link submission, play around with different combinations of keywords in between the first set of quotation marks.
“football” “add url”
“football gear” “add url”
“fishing gear” “add url”
“hockey equipment” “add url”
“weddings” “add url”
“wedding merchandise” “add url”
“golfing equipment” “add url”
“golfing secrets” “add url”
“fitness products” “add url”
“adventure tours” “add url”
Next, you can expand you search even more by replacing “add url” in between the second set of quotation marks with other phrases like “add link” or “submit a url”. Get creative and try every possible combination you can think of.
“add your link”
“add a link”
“add a site”
“submit a site”
“suggest a link”
“suggest a url”
“recommended a site”
“suggest your site”
As a side note, sometimes these link directory sites will have another text link that you must click to find the submission form. In cases like this, look for things like “click here to add your site” or “add your url” etc.
If you want to streamline the process of submitting your website link to hundreds of directories, significantly increase your link popularity and search engine ranking, then I highly recommend a hot new product called Link Directory Submitter http://www.GetDirectorySubmitter.com
This program has a very large, every increasing number of sites already built into it that you can submit your link to. Using this program is a great way to leverage your time by letting the program handle all the dirty work of finding these sites and manually submitting to them on your own.