Get Your Conversion Optimization Right Before The Holiday Rush

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conversion optimization tips

When it comes to Internet marketing, marketers often do this thing where they focus a lot (too much?) on driving traffic to their website, but they fail to properly convert that traffic into actual leads or sales.

To be honest, conversion is not the easiest part of online marketing. The overall layout, graphics, videos, copy and offer all contribute to how well a page converts. These are themselves sub-divided into further categories:

Layout: Page width, font, color, line spacing, corners (square or round)

Graphics: Images in the copy, background images

Videos: Video presentation, HD video, video with face, screen capture

Copy: Headline, sub-headline, P.S., long, short…

So, how can you get around that? Here are 3 tips that you can start using today.

The top 3 conversion rate optimization tips

1. Only use strong offers Use offers

The offer is the most important thing in your sales copy. If you don’t have a strong offer, you won’t sell. Period.

Hard to believe?

How good a sales person do you have to be to sell a BMW for $10? Heck, if you had that kind of offer, even this ad copy would work its magic on me: “$10. Call XXX-XXX-XXX.”

Now what if you wanted to sell an Eskimo a tub of ice-cream? Even the best copywriter in the world would have a hard time doing that, wouldn’t he?

This is how important your offer is. A strong offer will often sell itself. A weak offer will cost you a lot more (higher investment in sales copy and graphics for example) while giving you little return.

It is also known that respectable copywriters reject the assignments of vendors who have a weak offer.

2. Your landing page is important

Every single visitor that lands on your webpage wants to know 3 things:

  • Is this place for me?
  • Can I find what I need here?
  • How do I get what is being offered?

There are 2 things that every business needs to do to optimize their conversion rate:

  • Answering these questions
  • Doing that quickly

So, how can you answer these 3 questions? Let’s illustrate this with an example.

First, your landing page should “speak” the language of your target audience. An 18-year old male who wants to build muscle will better respond to “Pack On Slabs Of Lean Muscle” than “increase the intracellular fluid of the muscle fibers”.

Next, solve a problem your audience has. One of the problems that our hypothetical 18-year old guy might have is that he finds it hard to gain weight. We can make him stay on the page by assuring him that we can help him gain weight quite rapidly.

Then we need to show him how exactly he can get his hands on the muscle building guide we are offering. Do we need him to put his name and email address in the boxes? We need to tell him! Having a good call-to-action helps as well. Instead of “Submit”, we could use “Download the Muscle Building Report Now!”

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One Underused Link Building Strategy: Contests

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People love contests! If done right, they generate a lot of buzz around your business. Contests can be implemented as part of your online marketing strategy. Wondering why you would do that? Here are a few benefits of running them:

  • Lead generation
  • Increased online and offline traffic
  • Brand recognition
  • A more “personalized” interaction with customers
  • Gather data about your target audience
  • Getting a ton of backlinks

This post will talk about the last benefit listed above: link building.

Whatever gurus may say, link building is hard. Probably not hard to understand, but hard to get it right. However, this is not a reason to drop it altogether, as link building accounts for a major part when it comes to search engine results page rankings.

Online contests for link building

contests to build links

The use of contests is a powerful link building strategy. If you think about it, they can be implemented in almost any niche. As for the prize, it doesn’t always have to be a big thing. Most people are happy saving even $9 (ever experience a slow page load time at when they run their “$0.99 domain sale”?). So don’t be scared even if you only have “10 bucks to spare”.

Why some contests stink

Not all contests are successful. A lot of them fail miserably. Here are a few reasons why

Lack of effective advertising

It’s not just about “putting an ad out there”. You need to invest quite a bit in your ad before sharing it with the world. If your ad stinks, people will stay away from it.

Take the time (and spend the money if needed; if you want to succeed!) to carefully word and design your ad. Ask your team, family and friends what they genuinely think of your ad, and if they can think of anything that you can add or remove to make it better. After all, the ad will be displayed to people just like them, right?

Lack of credibility

Advertising is important. But it’s not the only important thing. If you sound scammy, you will definitely be losing a big share of potential participants (and future customers). Don’t believe me? Well, how about that: You come across a lot of ads everyday while surfing the Internet or even having a nice time on Facebook…do you click all of them? I know I don’t!

Types of contests appropriate for link building

Contests can take a whole array of shapes and sizes. There are:

  • Giveaways – Generic cash or generic, unrelated product giveaways.
  • Product promotions – Free product of your own company giveaways.
  • Coupon codes – Coupons giving discounts or even 100% off small products.
  • Free services – If you are a service-based business, this is for you. You don’t have to giveaway your highest priced package for free; just a good enough package.

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How Google +1 Could Affect Your Search Results

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The Google +1 button seems to be a complete mystery to most people on the web these days. In reality however, it’s quite simple.

Google Plus 1 Button

A Google +1 is basically a vote of confidence that a piece of content is either interesting or useful and that you feel other people might benefit from it in some way. Unlike Facebook’s ‘like’ button, once a user has added a +1 to a piece of content, not only is it added to the website itself, it also shows up in search results and gets added to a tab in their Google+ profile as well.

Since Google is in the search game, it was only a matter of time before they integrated the +1 into their ranking algorithm. In fact, it was probably designed specifically for this right from the beginning. Of course in classic Google style they will not release any information about how a +1 affects search engine rankings or your search results.

So lets start with what we can guess at…

Google probably feels that if a single person +1s something, it doesn’t really mean much. But if both he and a close friend does, the chances are better that it’s good. Now, if an entire group of friends likes the same thing that holds a lot more weight, and if thousands of tightly interconnected friends across the world all like it, then the chances are very, very high that it’s incredible and deserves more exposure.

You see, Google has to deal with an incredible amount of search engine manipulation and spam which makes the Google +1 the perfect antidote. It has this social proof factor which makes it very difficult to fake.

Up till now, exactly how Google used the +1 in their ranking algorithm remained a mystery. So to get some real data, a blogger ran a little experiment and published a white paper on the results. Basically he called on his readers to +1 some specific web pages in the Google search results for a specific search term. 72 people did exactly that and the results were interesting. The web pages that got +1s had an increase in impressions. This was for three reasons:

1. Those pages would rank higher when the searcher repeated the same search later.

2. Those results now ranked higher in the search results of his Google+ network for similar search terms.

3. A Google +1 increases visibility in a collection of search results which can have a measurable increase on click through rates, causing more traffic to land on the page from the same amounts of searches.

Overall the results were quite impressive with an average traffic increase of 20% – all from just 72 users. So while a Google +1 does not directly improve rankings, it can definitely get you more traffic. Thankfully it’s more complicated than that (otherwise it would be very easy to game the system) and much smarter too. In fact, it’s safe to say that a Google +1 has a totally indirect effect on a site’s ranking and traffic.

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Get Your SEO & Social Media Marketing to Work Synergistically For You

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Social signals are given more and more weight by the search engines, in terms of search engine rankings, as the days go by. If you are leaving social media marketing out of your campaigns, you are definitely missing out.

Google Social signals in search

There are also some companies who do their SEO part and their social media marketing part, but their mistake is that they are not integrated with each other. Let’s have a look at how to fix that.

Link building and Social media

Social SEOPanda. Penguin. And countless of other updates that the general public isn’t even aware of. Search engines are striving to serve the most relevant results to their users. They found out that one of the ways was to fetch social data.

Search engines (the big ones) are now measuring the strength of social signals – based on likes, comments, shares, tags etc – and it seems that social signals are now weighing much more than links from blog comments, profile backlinks, links from content farms, and other forms of low quality links (becoming more and more true after each and every update).

Perhaps the focus should be changed. The time and money spent on getting low quality links should be invested in relevant guest posting and high quality social marketing instead.

There is no lack of social platforms. There is no excuse. Not sure which ones to start with? Here is a random pick: Facebook, Google + and YouTube. There you go.

Post share-worthy content. Reward people for sharing them. Whatever needs to be done; just do it.

A few words on Blogging Blogging SEO

You got to love blogging – one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies of all time! It’s a spot that you own, where you can post high quality content – tutorials, tips, news, personal experiences – and where people can come back to whenever they want to read about your stuff. It’s also a place where you can put up your offers. It’s ALSO a place where people can link to when they want to share your content. For me, a blog is the perfect blend of SEO and social marketing. For anyone who does online marketing, it’s heaven.

If you’ve ever tracked your SEO campaigns, chances are you’ve noticed that about 80% of the visitors than land on your pages come from long-tail keywords that you didn’t even try to rank for. This is the beauty of a blog. Effortless traffic (almost), simply due to the fact that you’ve shared high quality content.

Tips to further optimize your blog:

  • If you don’t have one yet, create one!
  • Reserve a few hours of your work-time for internal linking (link to your other relevant posts within your posts)
  • Use breadcrumbs; people like knowing where they are
  • Have a site-map
  • Enable social sharing
  • Show your visitors how to share your content (for example have a box below all your posts with some code that they can copy and paste on their blog or social profiles)

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