Posts Tagged ‘optimization’

17 Ways to Make Sure
Your Website is Working for You

By Hannah Du Plessis (c) 2011 Attraction Marketing
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Is your website bringing in at least five new inquiries per day? If not, you need to look at its functionality.

Your website acts as a “storefront.” You should put as much thought and care into your website as you would to the display in your store’s window. Your website needs to attract customers and keep them coming back for more. The following should give you a place to start and a guideline of what a good website should have and what it should do:

1. Where Do Your Eyes Go First?


You only have a few seconds to catch a visitor’s attention. That means you need to make sure that you capture their interest immediately. You need a headline that stops them thinking whatever they’re thinking, and think instead: “hey, this looks interesting! I need to read this.

2. Do You Know Right Away What This Website is About?

Don’t have any distractions from the message you are trying to get across. If you start talking about how great your company is instead of what the visitor is interested in, you lose them.

3. Is the Important Information Immediately Visible?

Site visitors want to know details as soon as possible. If they have to work too hard to find out what you’re offering, they will likely leave. You need to be clear on what you want them to do. Don’t sell more than one thing from your landing page. Decide on the main action you want them to take, and talk about only that. The best thing to do on your landing page is to provide your client something that will sign them up to your list.

4. Can You Easily Find the Benefits of the Product/Service?

Too many websites cite features rather than benefits. Features won’t get the visitor’s interest. They want to know what’s in it for them. Make sure your website makes it clear to them how your product or service will change their lives.

5. Is There a Clear Call to Action?

If the visitor likes what he sees, it is important to get him to take action quickly because delaying may lose his interest. Don’t have more than one call to action. This will only confuse them.

6. Are the Colors and Images Aesthetically Pleasing?


If your website has too many colors and pictures, it may put visitors off rather than catch their interest. Moreover, too many images will take too long to load, and if visitors have to wait, they will lose interest.

7. Is the Font Easy to Read?

Don’t use fancy fonts that are hard to read or colors that are too light. If visitors have to strain their eyes in order to read, they will lose interest and leave.
Keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and use bullet points. Long sentences and paragraphs make it difficult to read and understand.8. Are There Long Sentences or Long Paragraphs on the Page?

9. Are the Menu Buttons Clear?

Make sure your site is well designed and that buttons and links are easy to click on. Your page should also have a “contact us” and “about us” page.

10. Is There an Easy Way to Contact the Business?

If your website is working well, it should generate inquiries for you. Make sure visitors can find out easily how to contact you. If you are not contactable, your visitors will think that you are not reliable. They want to know that they can contact you in the future if anything goes wrong with their purchase.

11. Can You Find Out More About the Owner or Employees of the Company?

Prospective customers want to know that they are dealing with a real person. That is why having an “about us” page is so important. Have a photo of you and a photo of your business at least. Make sure the visitor knows what makes your company different.

12. Do Your Visitors Feel Personally Connected?

If you connect to your visitors in a personal way, they will be more likely to become customers. Tell them your story and tell them what makes you different. Have a conversational writing style and be honest.

13. Is the Writing Corporate or Conversational?

Your language should be easy to read, conversational and at about a year 9 level. This will be to your benefit because customers will identify more with you. Big corporations write differently, making customers feel like a number.

14. Is There a Visible Contact Form?

A contact form is really the only way to capture the prospect’s details. Make sure you have one with a powerful magnet to help your visitor decide to join you.

15. Do You Have an Irresistible Offér?

You should offér a powerful magnet to give your visitor a reason to give you his contact details. This must be a problem you solve for your visitor or something he really needs.

16. Is There Multimedia?

Some people prefer watching a video or podcasts to reading. Offering these will make your site more appealing.

17. Are There Links to Social Media?

You can connect with your customers in different ways. Perhaps they will not want to sign up to your newsletter, but would prefer to follow you some other way: Facebook, Twitter or some other social media website. Make sure you have these available on your website.

Now all you need to do is to decide what needs to change on your website, and plan to implement those changes.

About The Author
For more information on how to design your website to attract prospective clients like a magnet, sign up at Attraction Marketing for your free copy of “10 Magnets to attract clients.” www.masterattractionmarketing.co.nz

4 Steps to Measure Social Media ROI with Google Analytics

, June 16, 2011

Social media ROI has remained elusive for numerous marketers despite their best efforts to develop a calculation that will prove the business value of the allotted social media resources.

Through a new feature in Google Analytics, some customization to your Google Analytics tracking, and diligent work on the part of your social media team, the ROI of your social media efforts can be discovered using Google Analytics. To get to the point where you can calculate social media ROI, there are four steps that need to be taken.

Step 1: Implement Proper Social Media Tracking

Ensure that you’ll have the ability to segment revenue that’s generated through social sources by your internal direct efforts and revenue that resulted through external social means. In other words, revenue that’s generated as a result of links your team placed on social sites and revenue generated through links placed by people outside your company.

In order to measure your direct impact, you need to ensure you’re always using campaign tracking on any links you put out on social media sites that point back to one of your sites. It’s a fairly easy process, but one that can be a bit tedious to manage at the outset. Once you’re in the habit of always adding campaign tracking, it will become second nature and the results will be well worth the effort.

Google offers a simple URL builder tool to help create campaign tracking strings, but you should either build your own tool or creating one in Excel that allows you to manage the names that are used for each parameter. This is very important because you don’t want to cause yourself reporting headaches by using different names for parameters that should be the same.

The last piece is creating an Advanced Segment that allows you to get a breakdown of the last-click transactions that occurred as a result of your direct social media efforts. This would be accomplished by combining parameters that were used in the campaign tracking. For example, if all the links you place have “social media” as part of the medium, then you’d use Medium as the dimension and containing “social media.”

direct-social-media-efforts

You’ll now be able to segment out the visitors who got to your site as a result of your direct efforts, but you’re still missing the segment that came to the site through a non-campaign tracked social source. To key in on this segment, you’ll need to create another Advanced Segment.

The second Advanced Segment should use Source as a dimension and should contain a regular expression that matches all social sites that are relevant to your company. You’ll then want to include an “and” statement that excludes the segment that was included in the first Advanced Segment. For example, if you used “social media” as the Medium in the first Advanced Segment, you’d now exclude it here.

external-social-media

You’ll now have the ability to segment revenue generated through your own internal direct social media efforts and revenue generated through external means.

Step 2: Track Social Media Last Click Transactions

Last-click transactions are typically how all transactional data is reported in web analytics tools. Through this method, each transaction is generally attributed to the source that drove the visitor to the site when the transaction occurred.

When looking at just social media referred visitors, you’ll want to apply the Advanced Segments that was created in the first step to the ecommerce reporting in Google Analytics. By applying each of the Advanced Segments, you’ll be able to see the revenue that’s generated by your direct social media efforts and the social media revenue generated by other external means.

This will get you part of the way to calculating social media ROI, but much of the value from social media likely doesn’t come from last-click transactions. That’s why the next two steps are critical to gaining an understanding of the overall ROI of social media

Step 3: Track Social Media Assisted Transactions

This step is not yet available for the vast majority of Google Analytics users as it involves multi-channel funnels, which are still in limited beta. Once it’s released to the masses, however, it will provide incredibly valuable data on transactions that were assisted by social media sources. An assist means that the referring source wasn’t the last click, but the source did refer the visitor to the site in the 30 days prior to the transaction.

When measuring assists, you’d again make use of the Advanced Segments that you created in step one to breakout your social media efforts from what was referred by means external to your company. Instead of looking at last-click revenue that was generated by each segment, you’d instead be looking at the revenue that each segment assisted in generating.

Once this data is compiled, you’ll now have last-click revenue generated through social media and assisted revenue generated through social media.

So what about transactions that occurred where a social media source wasn’t involved in an assist or the last-click but did influence the buying decision? This is where it gets tricky, but it’s possible to capture that data in Google Analytics as well.

Step 4: Track Off Site Social Media Influence on Transactions

In many cases, social media will lead to transactions without ever referring the visitor to your site. A new customer may become aware of your brand and make their purchase decision through social media, but come through search or another source to make the purchase. When this occurs, there’s no record in Google Analytics of social media having any impact on the transaction.

To begin gaining insights into the influence of off site social media behavior, it’s important to include a couple quick questions in the checkout process that will allow you to find out what factors played into their purchase decision. Simple questions like the following examples where the user selects from a drop down list of possible answers can provide the information you need.

  • How did you hear about us?
  • What had the greatest influence on your purchase decision?

Just having customers fill out these types of questions during the checkout process isn’t enough. In order to provide value in a social media ROI calculation, you need to capture the answers in Google Analytics as part of the transaction information.

Use the Affiliation attribute in the e-commerce tracking to capture the answers instead of using it for its typical purpose. By doing so, you can see the answers that were chosen for each transaction that’s recorded in Google Analytics.

The end result is that for every transaction that occurs you can see if social media was responsible for the last click, assisted in the transaction by driving a previous visit, influenced the purchase decision off site, or a combination of the three.

The last piece is to determine an appropriate attribution model for your business. Once that’s been determined, you’ll know the amount of revenue generated from social media and can determine the ROI based on the cost of your social media efforts.

These same steps can also be applied to goal values in Google Analytics, where actual revenue isn’t produced, but value is generated by accomplishing a non-transactional goal. To make this work, you need to ensure that each goal in Google Analytics has a value that’s been established and is defined as part of the goal setup.

Lastly, don’t forget about the value of social media beyond ROI. You may not be measuring it as part of your ROI calculation, but you shouldn’t ignore it, as it likely will have an impact on the long-term health of your brand.

Infographic: The Science of Social Timing | Digital Buzz Blog.

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, Twitter usage has climbed to 13 percent of U.S. adults online – up from 8 percent in November. Usage among people ages 25 to 34 and 55 to 64 has more than doubled since late 2010.

These statistics are impressive but they don’t tell the whole story about recent developments with Twitter and the fact that it is on its way to becoming the Web’s next great search engine. For that, you need to optimize. But first, let’s look at how Twitter is getting closer to its goal of becoming a legitimate powerhouse.

Earlier this year, Twitter acquired TweetDeck, the service that helps users organize information on Twitter and eases the burden of constantly streaming updates. They also recently acquired AdGrok, an advertising platform intended to help Twitter monetize the site. Other recent developments include an embeddable button that allows users to more easily follow their favorite accounts on Twitter, and the ability to share photos on Twitter directly (expect video to follow).

One can argue all day that Twitter is used by a small percent of the population and that the number of accounts is inflated, due to users having several accounts at one time. But what cannot be argued is that the amount of information that flows through Twitter is enough to challenge any other source on the Web. Although it might not be a core of Twitter’s current usage, the new acquisitions point to a new phase in the service’s development – a budding real-time, social search engine. It should now be treated as such. Below, are 10 tips for Twitter optimization to make sure that your business is at the forefront of the Web’s next search boom.

Use TweetDeck. Twitter acquired the TweetDeck so that they could centralize Twitter functionality and keep a tight grip on the information flowing through the site. You can be sure that those who use TweetDeck will have an inherent leg-up on the competition.

Use Hashtags. As it stands, hashtags (#web or #sports, for example) are a good way to get your tweets indexed, searchable and noticed by other users. Don’t be afraid to get creative with hasthags, either. Sometimes they can create new streams of content or simply catch the attention of other users who will retweet your message.

Use Keywords. Think like a SEO professional. Research keywords and use them in your updates.

Be Witty. Keywords are necessary. But you must also entertain, from time to time. Clever tweets have a way of being re-tweeted. Also, consider using teasers to encourage clicks on links.

Use Descriptive Short URLs. When possible, edit short URLs to include content keywords. Not only will they stand out from the rest, but users will be inclined to use that URL rather than re-shrinking it on their own – resulting in better, more accurate click and share data.

Vary Content Types and Providers. If users wanted to only read about your company, all the time, they would subscribe to your RSS feed or bookmark your blog. Mix it up with content from other sources and by type (video, audio, photos). Remember that we are focused on search, and multimedia is increasingly important for search engines and users.

Tweet Regularly and Promptly. You don’t want to be a nuisance but be sure to post quality updates on a regular basis. It ensures you stay top-of-mind with consumers and provides more content available to index and search. Tweet every piece of content you produce. Twitter is used by many to find breaking news. Provide it.

Post Contests, Giveaways and Promotions. People love a good deal and Twitter users are no exception. Running promotions will attract followers. And the number of followers is undoubtedly part of the search formula at Twitter and on standard search engines, where tweets are increasingly displayed.

Re-tweet and Follow. By re-tweeting others and following other accounts, you will earn more followers and encourage interaction – another factor that Twitter will take into account when assigning “status” to information providers.

Listen. Many people use Twitter to contact businesses, air grievances and seek support. Listen up, and reply promptly and fairly. It shows that you respect your followers, can foster any number of opportunities for cross-promotion and branding, and can prevent a bad experience from “going viral.” Solicit feedback, too. People like to feel that they are making a difference.