Tag Archives: website traffic

How to be Successful with Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Do you pay for the clicks of your AdWords campaign without getting the sales? Here are some points to consider when planning your next pay-per-click advertising campaign.

 Pay-per-click adverts are not for free

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for retailers is similar than the advertising campaigns they do in the print media – they must pay for it.   The retailer needs to plan her PPC carefully otherwise the people clicking on the ad may not find what they were looking for.

Depending how expensive your keywords are, a lot of money could be wasted when the wrong audience is responding to your ads.

Here are some points to consider before starting your pay-per-click campaign:

  1. Keywords – should describe the kind of website pages where the retailer wants her ad to be displayed;
  2. Ads – the ad needs to deliver the following messages in the shortest time to read it:
    1. The retailer’s website is the best source of information that will visitor is looking for;
    2. The benefits to click on the retailer’s website is clear; and
    3. The visitors know what is expected from them once they arrive at the retailer’s website.
  3. Bid prices – the retailer will quickly find what the cost of a keyword is once her campaign has started. She should adjust bids until the ad shows the required profit;
  4. Landing page – is the page that visitors go to when clicking on a retailer’s PPC ad. The best results with a PPC ad is possible when the landing page match the theme of the keywords and ad message;
  5. Conversion path – having decided to buy, a visitor must be able to give information about the type of product, where it must be delivered and how it should be paid for. If the conversion path is not clear, the visitor may leave your website.

A PPC ad campaign is much more than selecting a couple of keywords and bet on them. A successful campaign is one that is well planned, well measured and flexible.

Visit eBizplan to help you with your digital marketing strategy.

Note

Szetela, D. and Kerschbaum, J. 2010. Pay-per-click search engine marketing: An hour a day. John Wiley & Sons.

Finding Customers in the Vastness of the Internet

No business can exists without customers. However, finding customers on the internet can be a challenge for most Bricks and Clicks retailers. Once you know who your audience is, where they hang out online and what they respond best to, you can begin to market…

The vastness of the internet

Online advertising and the retailer’s website can be exposed to thousands of people around the world for little cost due to the vastness of the internet.

The challenge is to find to the customers online.

Steps to find customers online

Dean Brookstone proposes the following steps to find customers online:

  1. Register and set up your website/blog and ensure it’s optimized for mobile devices;
  2. Help customers to find you on Google by making use of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy;
  3. Keyword research – find out what keywords or keyword phrases will attract customers to your website;
  4. Start a blog page for your retail business – writing blogs with great content will draw customers to your website;
  5. Use hyperlinks to grow your business – internal- and inbound links show Google which pages of your website are the most important. The links may also help to improve your page ranking;
  6. Introduce your retail business on the social network sites. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are excellent platforms to find customers online;
  7. Use email campaigns to build relationships with people and to turn them into customers;
  8. Measure your progress with analytics to improve your business.

If you put all these steps together, you will find the customers that are seemingly lost in the vastness of the internet.

If you need help with your Digital Marketing campaign or Business Planning, please visit eBizplan.

Content Marketing Tips for Retailers

The quality and relevance of the content of a retailers’ webpages can mean the difference between a sale and a bounce. One of the main reasons that people use the internet is to get information about something.

Content, which is the information part of a website, is one of the ‘trade-offs’ that is used by retailers to attract customers to their sites. If it is good, the customers may make a purchases and visit the site again.

The value of good content

According to Drew Hubbard, writing in iMedia, content will only deliver value to a brand if it delivers value to the consumer and consumers are not ignorant of bias when it comes to content.

Drew suggests that consumers want information that is presented in an objective manner and based on documented facts – not a brand’s contorted version of those facts. The best content marketers do their research and cite their sources.

Answering the customers questions

The content of a retailer’s website should anticipate the questions that his/her potential customers will ask. The content should guide the reader to the answer the questions that he or she is seeking as concisely and clearly as possible.

To anticipate the answers that the customers require, retailers should think about the people they are communicating with. If retailers understand their audiences they will know what to write, how much to write, and what vocabulary to use.

Less is better than more

A great tip from Janice Redish is that you should remember that you are having a conversation with real people. Those people bring all of their previous experience and knowledge – and also their lack of experience and knowledge – to understanding what you are writing.

People surfing the web want to get to the answers they seek as quickly as possible therefore retailers need to avoid content that contain unnecessary information that may cause the readers to lose interest and bounce the page.

Visit eBizplan for eCommerce and Digital Marketing solutions.

Note

Redish, J.G., 2007. Letting go of the words: Writing web content that works. Morgan Kaufmann.

More Mobile Sales For Online Retailers

Growing your mobile sales in the retail channel starts by delivering the same type of experiences consumers are encountering while shopping online using a computer.

Mobile has since 2014 exceed personal computers for internet usage…

The growth of mobile devices

The onset of smartphones and the roll out of Wi-Fi connections has increased mobile online shopping. Although mobile continues to drive the most sales growth for retailers, the sales still aren’t keeping up with retail traffic.

According to Andrew Meola, IBM found that smartphone traffic beat both tablet and desktop, making up 53% of all online traffic. But mobile still only accounted for 29% of all online sales.

Why does mobile sales lag behind other devices with online sales?

Customers using mobile have to fill out too many fields, and the text is too hard to read, among other things, says Dangelmaier in a recent blog. Merchants haven’t put enough weight into mobile and its impact on converting shoppers into buyers and completing purchases at checkout.

Some customers will abandon their checkout chart if they don’t have or can’t find a coupon to apply at the checkout. A lot of merchants haven’t built platforms that can easily execute coupon codes. Checkout conversion, especially on mobile devices, is a huge problem that needs to be addressed.

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How Direct Mail can help you to market your Website

Remember the ‘good old days’ when your post-box was filled to its capacity with flyers, brochures and promotion letters? For the most part you can now use direct mail to inform your customers and other consumers what they can find on your website…

Summer Gould writing in Target Marketing proposes 13 ways on how to use direct mail best to promote your website.

Direct mail to promote your website

  1. To generate traffic to a location, a website or event. It is equally useful if  you want to direct customers/prospects to a store, event or online location.
  2. Generate sales leads. You can target and reach qualified and interested leads easily with direct mail.
  3. Counter a competitive offer. Direct mail has some secrecy to it, unlike online.
  4. Customer loyalty. Reaching out with direct mail to customers with special offers and giveaways is a great way to reward your customers.
  5. Customer acquisition or referrals. Include these in your mail as a way for your message to be passed on to friends and colleagues.
  6. Improve customer service. Sending a thank you note to your customers is a great way to make people feel appreciated.
  7. Cross sell or upsell. You can mention other things you offer that they may be interested in based on what they have already purchased.
  8. Announcements.  Is a great way to get important information out to people quickly.
  9. Augmenting other media efforts. Direct mail ties in with so many other channels like email, web, social media, mobile, and so much more…
  10. Improving sales efficiency. Sending out mail that helps to qualify and clarify people before you sell to them is extremely important.
  11. Catalog, custom publications or newsletters. Direct mail give you the ability to showcase new information or offers to the people most likely to buy from them.
  12. Combining mailings with other companies. Co-branded mailings work well when each brand has the same target audience.
  13. Building brand awareness. Direct mail can be used to strengthen your brand’s awareness.

There is a great opportunity now to use the postal service to promote your online business because of the lower postal volumes.

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Image from Wisegeek”

How to use LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service that is mainly used for professional networking.  LinkedIn has around 400 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories. The basic functionality of LinkedIn allows users (workers and employers) to create profiles and “connections” to each other in an online social network. Lasting professional relationships can so be created. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.

According to iMedia Connection, LinkedIn Groups can be used as a marketing tool for connecting and communicating throughout the marketing industry. iMedia Connection suggests a number of ways that marketers can use LinkedIn Groups to their advantage.

Participate consistently with LinkedIn

Like anything else, you wouldn’t just run one ad for your new product or service. If you believe the improved LinkedIn groups are target-rich environments, then you need to focus your efforts to establish yourself as an authority. Make sure you are responding to articles from others and providing strong and objective feedback. Engage with the members and build your reputation within the group.

Networking with LinkedIn

LinkedIn groups can be used as a networking platform. However the groups are not ideal platforms to sell something from. Likewise, the groups are  not the place to pitch or acquire social contacts or email subscribers.

The best way to make use of LinkedIn groups is to use your time by engaging in conversation and building meaningful relationships.

Find great moderators

Marketers can use LinkedIn groups to their advantage by creating highly relevant groups that provide content of value. Active members who are posting interesting and helpful discussions separates a good group from a great group.  The success of a group depends of the how it is facilitated by its moderator.

Create valuable content

The content of group is of more value when it members participate frequently. Therefore, group members should take an active role in making the content on the groups more valuable. Importantly, new members will be attracted to the group and existing members will choose to stay. The members of the groups become more engaged and the content becomes more valuable since discussions aren’t as public.

Grab attention with images

The first question to answer is “What does your LinkedIn profile picture say about you?” A picture is worth a thousand words. It will take a fraction a a second for someone to draw conclusion about you by looking at your photo.

Try to create your own images. Also, grab attention with images as you do on other social streams, attract industry influencers and engage them with mentions, and get direct access to member’s inboxes with “highlight” emails.

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How to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing provides twice the return on investment (ROI) relative to other forms of online marketing1.

Why should you practice email marketing?

Emails remain one of the best ways for retailers to communicate with their customers and many businesses see high conversion rates from emails they send from their internal mail lists. Email marketing is cheaper, it can carry more information and can be personalized more easily than print advertising.

Caitlin Palmieri in a recent presentation proposes three factors that can make or break your email marketing campaign:

1 What “clicks” with your email subscribers?

  • In today’s mobile-dominated world, simple and concise emails are working the best.
  • You need at least 5 to 7 clickable links in your email to start achieving click-throughs.
  • 20 lines of text and three or fewer images result in optimal email campaign click-through rates.

2 When is the best time to send emails to maximize open rates?

It depends on what industry you want to reach…

Monday 7am Tuesday 6am Wednesday 7am Thursday 12pm Friday 5am
Restaurants Accountants and financial advisers Hotels and Bed & Breakfast Inns Religious organisations Arts and crafts

3 Who are opening and reading your emails?

There is an email equivalent of the ‘Big Five” and you can rely on them to open and read your emails – 38% of all opens comes from 5% of all openers; and 51% of all opens comes from 10% of all openers.

The click-through rates percentage of the ‘Big Five’ equivalent is as follow: 33% of all click-throughs comes from 5% of clickers; and 44% of all click-throughs comes from % of clickers.

Take another look at your e-mail campaigns and see if your click-through rates increase when using these three factors.

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1 Pavlov, O.V., Melville, N.and Plice, R.K. 2008. Toward a sustainable e-mail marketing infrastructure, Journal of Business Research, 61:1191–1199.

Is Search Engine Optimization A Viable Tool for Online Retailers?

Search Engine Optimization is used by retailers to get their websites ranked higher with organic searches on websites like Google. Also, retailers change their websites and acquire links from other sites to improve their position on result pages.

How does Search Engine Optimization works?

It starts with the retailer that monitors the position of its website on the search results page regularly.  She adds or removes keywords, use tags and titles in text to get search engine spiders to recognize her website.

Also, Google counts each link to a page from another page or another website as a vote for this page. Therefore, pages and websites with more external links from other sites will be ranked more highly.

A retailer should also examine their competitors’ websites, especially those who rank the highest on the organic search engine result page. It is important for retailers to find out what they are ranking for and how they achieve those rankings.  Try to identify the keywords and tabs that the competitors are using for their websites.

Although retailers do not pay for clicks when using SEO as a digital marketing tool, the process usually takes a considerable amount of time.  Another concern regarding SEO is that it is getting more difficult for retailers to adapt and react to changes in Google’s algorithms.

Search Engine Optimization  is getting more difficult

In a recent blog Cory Howell suggests that Google is making SEO more difficult. Google is implementing 500 to 600 changes each year to its algorithms and keeps quiet about the changes.  Retailers should become more agile.  According to Howell organisations should monitor and use the feedback about their products and service to deliver the value their customers demand.

SEO is no longer a competition or online game against search engine spiders but rather a bona vide marketing strategy. To communicate the products and services that customers want and thereby earn their clicks and subsequent sales.

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Use the Humanity of Facebook to Boost your Retail Sales

Facebook offers a number of opportunities to connect with literally millions of potential users or customers that may increase the number of visitors to your website.

The ‘humanity’ of Facebook

It is hard to comprehend the number of people that are connected to Facebook- 1.4 billion active users as of the first quarter of 2015. However, because we are human beings, the numbers should not surprise us.

The key to the popularity of Facebook may be best described by quoting Atul Gawande: “Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we each depend on others. We are social in a more elemental way: simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people.”

Your business needs to interact with other people.

Get friends on Facebook

You need friend to spread the message of your business. Use Facebook’s friend-finder app to see who you can invite to become your Facebook friend.

To make sure you get more friend requests and subscribers, be sure to share your personal profile link publicly on your website, blog, forums, and other social profiles.

Invite your personal Facebook friends to like your business page

Once you have established your Facebook friends, you should invite them to ‘like’ your business page.  A visitor that ‘liked’ your business page has an interest in your business and wants to hear more from you. Your friends on can invite their friends to like your page.

Socialize with your friends on Facebook by:

  • Wishing them ‘happy birthdays’;
  • Sending them private messages;
  • Participate in online social groups that your friends are members of;
  • Suggest your page to friends.

If you need assistance with your online business strategy or digital marketing strategies visit eBizplan.

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The Big Challenge: How to Increase your Website Traffic

New research has shown that increasing Website Traffic is the biggest challenge for Bricks and Clicks retailers.

Why is Website Traffic important?

You need visitors to your website for customers to see your products and services.

Once customers have opened you website, they will take a quick glance to see what your website has to offer. If they like what they see, they will bookmark your page or, even better, order and pay for your products and services.

If they don’t like your website, they will get out of your site – maybe to never return again.

Getting customers to you website

Data from January 2014 showed that there were about 840 million registered websites on the internet.  Thus, getting customers to your website require some effort and a lot of savvy.

Here are some tips to get customers to your website:

  • One of the popular ways to get traffic to tour website is through search engines – people always search for stuff online and, if your write about that stuff, the probably will visit your website;
  • Social media – you can use social media e.g. Facebook or Twitter to spread news about your website;
  • Contests – it attracts readers who normally wouldn’t visit your site. Hopefully they will buy something when they stop by…
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – if your budget allows it, you may use Google AdWords to list your ad high up in its search result pages.

Except for the PPC option, getting customers to your website require a lot of time and effort…

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