Archive for December, 2010

Video on Landing pages

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On December - 28 - 2010

Video can be a powerful tool or an unwanted nuisance depending on how it is used. NEVER start playing the video automatically when the visitor arrives on the Landing Page!!!

No one likes a commercial forced on them. The visitor just may not be prepared. In fact visitors might be in the work place and might bail as soon as unexpected sounds start blaring from their computer. They may want to scan the page before investing in the video, or simply adjust their speaker volume. The quickest way to shut down an unwanted video is to close the web page. That is the last thing you want.

There are many reasons to use video; to educate, to demonstrate, to entertain and become viral… One of the more successful commercial applications of video on a website is the “As Seen on TV” scenario.

  • The purpose is not to sell, but to brand and reassure the visitor that they are in the right place
  • Use a shorter version (30-seconds or less) than the original TV version
  • Typically works best on the top left side of the page or in a featured area

Video Testimonials are another very powerful. There is evidence to support that amateur video of a real person is more credible than professional video of a model. Not all video should intentionally be poor quality, but in the case of testimonials, or product demonstrations, it does give it a sense of realism.

Virtual Spokespersons are another “potentially” effective opportunity to establish interest in the objective of your landing page. Adding a virtual spokesmodel to your website can not only increase conversion rates but also add a personal touch.  A recent B-to-B study found that 79% of respondents found great value in video and believe this format is an effective tool that enhances brand awareness, educates customers, underscores the value of products and makes online content more compelling (KnowledgeStorm/ Universal McCann).

Video on the web is becoming more mainstream and more important on the web. However just like the copy on your landing page, the video hast to be concise and interesting. At the end of the day, you are still dealing with the attention span of a 6th grader.

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Typeface: Size Matters

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On December - 21 - 2010

It is hard enough to get a visitor to actually read your copy, so don’t make it any more difficult than necessary. Generally small font sizes “look” better because they mentally form a block which is a convenient design element. However, effective trumps pretty every time.

There is an awful lot of psychology just to get a visitor to even start reading your copy. Make copy easy to read as possible. Many visitors will bail just because the page “looks like work” at a subconscious level.

The actual size of the font has a lot to do with it. Use 10 point or larger font. Consider a larger size if you are targeting children, adults or if you have very long copy. Captions, form field names, legal and some tech-specs can be smaller.

Smaller text promotes slower reading and a drop-off in comprehension. If you have long page of text, resist the urge to make the font size smaller. This may seem counterintuitive, but a visitor is more likely to “hunker down” and read a longer page of text if it is more comfortable to read (larger font size).

Headlines should be significantly larger and possibly bolder. Sub-headlines should be close to body copy size and bold. Make sure that you group your Headline/sub-headline/copy group together and leave space between the end of your body copy and the next headline. This forms a visual “unit” that helps your visitor mentally organize the concepts in to digestible chunks.

Consistent with making it comfortable to read, text should never run more than 52-60 characters across the screen. People can’t comfortably read long or wide columns. That is why “liquid designs” where the website expands and contracts based on the viewer’s screen resolution is not a good idea. Keep the columns at a fixed width so you don’t lose control of the viewer’s experience.

If you want to download my entire Whitepaper on Landing Page Design – Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques, you can find this and a host of other useful Internet Marketing papers on our free section of the WSIeWorks website.

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Offline Conversions – Measuring Phone Calls

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On December - 16 - 2010

One thing that many businesses overlook is how important offline conversions are. When reviewing the success of your SEM program, you should remember that often times people find you on the internet, but choose to visit your place of business or simply call instead of using the internet to make their conversions. Offline conversions can be hard to track, but if you are not tracking them, the ROI data for your online campaign will not be accurate and might cause you to under-budget your SEM program.

Phone Lead Measuring Techniques:

Through our research and analysis, we have found a few effective methods to measure your phone leads that are a direct result of your online marketing. Here are a few of them:
Campaign On / Campaign Off: The way this method works is that you can see how many calls you are getting over a set period of time with your campaign on, and then turn it off and see if you are getting the same amount or fewer calls. You can do this a few times in order to really get an idea of where your phone calls are coming from.

Multiple Phone Numbers: When running a PPC campaign, the landing pages can have a different phone number than the rest of the site. The only down side to this is that occasionally an individual will find you through your PPC campaign, but then revisit the site using your main url. While this method is not 100% accurate, it provides and easy way to determine the general success of your marketing campaigns.
Telephone Tracking Software: This method can be extremely helpful especially when running mixed media campaigns. What it does is assign different unique phone numbers for each search engine. If you wanted to also track beyond media vendor, you can assign coupon codes or extensions at the listing level. You can also utilize pop up software that has the ability to initiate a call or voice chat that would be fielded by a sales person. The only downside to this method is that often people have pop up blockers enabled.

Dynamic Reverse Proxy: My personal preference is an intelligent system that that can differentiate the source of the visitor to the site. Depending on which source, the visitor will see a different phone number. Your phone would ring just as it normally does, but all the calls will be tracked, the phone number of the caller, and the length of time the call lasted will be recorded. Not only that, the actual voice conversation with your sales rep will be recorded as well for playback on demand.

Obviously phone calls that are generated from your Internet marketing efforts are among your top KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Several of these methods are very easy and you can probably handle them yourself. You might want to seek the advice of a certified Digital Marketing Consultant to really leverage the techniques and technology.

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What Are Key Performance Indicators?

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On December - 13 - 2010

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are the metrics most indicative of how well your internet marketing campaign is performing. These are the big things that “move the needle”.

For example; if you have a high “Bounce Rate” (visitors come to your website and never go beyond the landing page) that is an indication that there is an issue with the relevance of your landing page to the visitor.

There is no one set of standard KPI’s for every business, it really depends on what your objectives are. For example, if you are in a service related industry, the amount of phone calls generated by your online efforts would be a primary KPI. Digging a little deeper, the length of each phone call would tell you even more. Short phone calls (under a minute) might mean that no one answered the phone and no message was left. Longer phone calls are a good indication of customer engagement.

“Time on Site” is often an indicator of how relevant and engaging your site is. “Pages Visited” may indicate if your sales funnel is set up properly. The impact of any particular KPI may not be readily obvious. It often takes some insight to look past the numbers to find their true meaning.

Key Performance Indicators are somewhat unique to each type of business, and their individual objectives, but here are a few that I consider relatively universal:

Some KPI Definitions

Visit – This is when someone visits one or more of your web pages with 30 min or less time in between page visits.

Visitor – A visitor is a person that visits your website. Visitors can be broken into 3 categories:

  1. New Visitor – This is only measured once for visitors who have never been on your website before. It is different than a unique visit because a unique visit is measured over a specific period of time.
  2. Repeat/Returning Visitor – This is a person who visits your website two or more times over a given period of time, this is only measured once over that given period of time.
  3. Unique Visitor – A unique visitor is a person tat comes to your website for the first time during a specific window of time. Usually daily, weekly or monthly.

Conversion – Conversion is when a visitor or customer completes the action that you want them to take, for instance, making a purchase or filling out a web form.

Examples of Some Key Performance Indicators

General KPI

  • Average Time on Site – This is based on the assumption that if a person searches for a particular keyword or phrase, and they visit a page on your site, if it has relevance to what they were looking for, they will spend more time on that page than if they found information that was not very relevant to their search.
  • Page Views / Visit – This will tell you how many pages a visitor to your website views on each visit. Multiple page visits will affect this multiple times.
  • Page Views / Visitors – This is very similar to page views / visits except that it ignores the amount of visits that a specific visitor makes.
  • New Visitors / Visitors – Measures how many of your visitors are first time visitors; this is good for telling you how many new potential clients/customers are visiting your site.
  • Repeat Visitors / Visitors – Shows you how many of your visitors are returning, therefore showing you the site’s ability to attract visitors or customers back to your web site.

The Importance of KPI – Taking KPI to the Next Level

Developing the best KPI for your internet marketing goals will allow you to measure how well your different strategies are working to positively affect your business objectives. They can give you a warning sign to let you know what is working and what isn’t working. Once you are able to determine the results from examining your KPI, you can make the important adjustments to fine tune your sites effectiveness.

KPI’s may require more analysis than meets the eye. You might want to enlist the services of a professional digital marketing specialist. Sometimes it’s just a matter of interpreting your current data, and other times actual experiments might need to be setup to measure cause and effect of incremental changes. Professional Digital Marketing consultants with the right tools can even do a Competitive Analysis on the KPIs of direct competitors in your industry.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On December - 8 - 2010

For some, “Social Media Optimization” is a buzz phrase with no definition. You know that you have to “do” Facebook, or that you have to Blog, but face it; you don’t really have a plan do you?  The fact is that everyone is migrating to social media, whether they know it or not. Whenever you go online to see what other people are doing or what they recommend, you are leveraging Social Media whether you know it or not. If you use Social Media for business, why not take full advantage of a population of users that exceeds most major counties?

1. Focus On What Is Important

One of the most important things you can do is listen to what your customers are saying on their social media posts. This will help you gain a better understanding for their needs. Connect with them; see what they are up to. This will help you have a better understanding of what you can do to help them.

2. Personalities and Style Make a BIG Difference

When using social media tools like Facebook or Twitter, the two most dynamic ingredients for success are personality and style. This is often what makes the difference between a post and a viral post. It can also give you more credibility when it comes to being a trusted source in your industry.

3. Implement Good Habits In Your Strategies

Making sure your policies, guidelines and structure matches your company’s size. What may work for a smaller company won’t necessarily work with a large company. You will need to adjust these to fit your needs as your company grows. You will want your team to exhibit qualities that enhance your relationship with customers. Customers value quick, consistent and well-spoken responses and posts.

4. Rules and Regulations?

You will find that having a few rules and guidelines regarding your social media strategies will seem more and more necessary as your company grows. Keep in mind that every situation is different and that your may have to bend the rules when necessary. Trust your team’s intuition; don’t blindly lead wit a book of rules and regulations.

5. Utilize Metrics

In order to effectively manage you social media strategies, you should pay attention to metrics and tie in the social media aspect to you overall business goals. When starting up a brand new project, you should determine what metrics and goals you should set before getting started.

Wondering where to start with Social Media for your business? Let us offer you a Social Media readiness evaluation. We examine your company goals along with your existing assets to determine what is the best media and the best strategy for you.

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