Tag Archives: Traffic

Lead Conversions – Metrics Part Three

I’ve saved the best and most important metric for the last post this week. Lead conversions or requests for information coming from your website (from organic search placement) are typically the top metric that top level executives watch to determine if their website is successful. Website design is important but what really drives lead conversions is the content, communicated transparency, and culture of the business.

What you say, how you say it, and the depth of experience in your field that you show on your website works to communicate that you care about your potential customers and effectively explains how you can help them. By communicating your business culture in your content, you differentiate yourself from others in your industry and create a position of authority that search engines typically will reward with organic placement.

It’s great to have a pretty website, but if that website does not make your phone ring and you don’t get regular information requests from your contact form, it is key to take a very close look at your website content.

  • It may be that you simply do not have enough content to make an impact on your potential customers.
  • Your content may be too technical or too simplistic to resonate with your audience.
  • There may be no call to action to encourage a reader to take further action.
  • You may communicate too many specifics that really should be detailed later in a contract and not in the initial interaction.
  • Your message may not be clear as to what you offer and can do.
  • Features and benefits may not be clearly detailed setting your product or service apart from similar offerings.

Periodic review should additionally be done on your website content. What was great and resonated with your audience five years ago may need updating to reflect new services, interests, and trends. There is simply no reason why your website should not be working hard for you. If your’s is not, it may be time to check with us for a website review.


Using Freeloaders to Your Advantage

You’ve hit the tipping point on all you do and now your website traffic is continuing to rise, in fact you’ve never had so many visitors to your website before, but your conversions have not grown at the same rate, what can you do?

First, it is great to be successful and have a high traffic site, but if you are not converting your readers into buyers you may want to consider a new strategy to specifically market to the reader-freeloaders on your website. Much of what you will select to do will be based on your specific sales goals.

If you are a local seller and your traffic has grown, but when you look in Google Analytics most of your traffic is outside of your service area, I would enjoy the numbers and know that Google will eventually award you with improved organic placement. However, I would put your out of area readers to work for your benefit by actively asking them to Google +1 your pages or like you on Facebook. You’ll then be able to get SEO juice off of the traffic that will never convert to a sale for you.

If you sell nationally or service locally but also sell products nationally, I would take a careful look at your traffic and the pages where you think you have freeloaders. On those pages you will need to evaluate if you should follow my advice on Google +1 and Facebook or if the pages are good areas for you to advertise the products you sell nationally.

If they are a good fit with product sales, then start by creating your own banners, buttons, and links to your store to promote your own products. If you are going to provide great informational content, you should work to have the readers who like what you say move into your store to buy, Google +1 you, like you on Facebook, or be added to your email subscriber list. Which direction you take or multiple directions will depend on the information specific to your site. The key is to put the traffic to work for you! Don’t just invest your time and money into a well trafficked website, move your readers to action that will benefit your long term approach and goals.


Are You Watching Your Website Stats? Why Not?

You can’t find out if your website is working for you if you never take a look at your website statistics! It is great to have a website and every business should have one, but sometimes just having one is not enough. Sometimes you need to “nurture” and “feed” your website to help it be the best promotion vehicle in your advertising arsenal.

When I say “nurture” and “feed” your website I mean specifically know what your website visitors are looking for when they come to visit, how long they stay, and what they do when they get there. I have found in many cases by a careful analysis of website statistics will allow us to recommend new pages, optimization, and areas for enhanced engagement with readers. Here’s just one example: from the integrated web search report we get for a client we found over and over that users were searching for a specific product. Based on this information, to make it easy for them to find it and to feed sales, we created new content on the home page to speak to this need and point readers to the shopping and more information sections on the product. In other cases, reviewing Google Analytics, we have found new search terms to use for optimization of content, new terms for AdWords programs, and services that readers are looking for and possibly not finding.

One key indicator to review in Google Analytics is a page’s bounce rate. Over 75% and you have some challenges that you need to address as your readers are not finding what they want or you are directing untargeted traffic to the page with pay per click programs and may need to add negative keywords to your program to cut costs and be more targeted.

A careful review of  your website statistics can be used to really review your online health. It is more than a gage of how many visitors you have a day, the wealth of information can help you develop new services, cater to an audience, and more carefully target pay per click advertising. As Google Analytics is free, there is simply no reason you should not be tracking and reviewing what is going online with your website.


Black Friday – Where’s My Website Traffic???

Today is known as Black Friday by retailers all around the US. It is the start of the holiday shopping season and a crucial day which will forecast their holiday sales or lack of.

For website owners when their site traffic comes to nearly a standstill around the Thanksgiving holiday and literally becomes non-existent the weekend after Thanksgiving, it can be a shock. Most sites, e-commerce shopping sites excluded, will see a large traffic drop around Thanksgiving and then another one around Christmas and the week leading up to New Years. This is not unusual and we have seen this trend every year. Your website visitors are at the mall or visiting with friends. They are simply not online browsing for your services. Their focus has moved from business to family and friends.

If you have an e-commerce site, Black Friday becomes really for you more like Black Monday. A typical e-commerce store will have large traffic increases on Monday as many online shoppers are pricing all through the weekend and then will come back to the site with the lowest price or best shipping deal on Monday when they do their online buying at the lunch hour.

If you are well-priced for your products and services, you may instead see heavy buying traffic this weekend an additional spike on Monday as well. People are in the shopping mood and online businesses will benefit from this frenzy even in online stores.

Even with all the economic trouble this past several months, the stores when I have shopped have been busy. I am not sure if Black Friday will be as big as previous years based on many consumers cutting back on spending, but I for one have already done my part albeit early in plunking down my cash for electronic kid gifts even before Black Friday.

So the bottom line is, if you are a regular business owner, expect your traffic and pay per click activity to crash this next week and expect the same as we get close to Christmas and New Year, but it will build back up just after the holidays.


Visibility for New Blogs and Websites – When Do You Appear?

One of the biggest issues for new websites and blogs is “when do I appear online for searches using my domain name, my business name, or my keyword phrases”.

My answers are based on years of experience of watching, helping, advising, and doing. Here are a few answers to a few of these questions that new website and blog owners really want answered.

First, there is simply no way to know for sure when your new website or blog will appear in the all important Google search index. One thing that I do know for sure is that until you have several popular websites or blogs pointing to your site, you will not appear in the search index. This is where doing articles for syndication, posting comments on forums and blogs that do not install “nofollow” in their tags, and doing a press release will help Google to discover your new website or new blog. No one can force Google to do anything and that is particularly important when it comes to being included in their search index.

Additionally I have seen some brand new websites fall into the Google Sandbox and not appear for up to six months in the search index for hot property terms – real estate sometimes falls into this category. The Sandbox topic is a controversial one, but I have actually tracked it and seen www.Homes-Database.com be impacted by it when we initially launched the website. Another website we are watching carefully is a new Quick Launch prefab web template site that we launched last week for www.MoussaMoaadel.com for Moussa Moaadel Realtors. I am not sure that Google will delay indexing this site as they did with www.Homes-Database.com, but I do know that it has not yet appeared in the Google index even under its domain name but has appeared rapidly in the MSN Live index.

Another site that we are watching carefully is www.AmericanBoom.com. We are blogging for the site at www.AmericanBoom.con/blog and it is troubling as to why the main website and even blog still do not appear in the Google Search index. As we identify additional answers for that particular blog and website, we’ll keep you posted, but for now know that visibility for a new site is crucial.

So what can you personally do to help the search engines find you? Well, there are some things that you should for sure consider doing while you are waiting for the search indexes to grab your new site.

1. Make sure to do a Google sitemap in .xml and load it into the Google Webmaster control panel.

2. Make sure to verify your site in the Google Webmaster control panel. If you don’t verify you do not get the benefit of the diagnostic tools that Google provides to help you understand any issues. If when you verify you get an error message, work quickly to correct it. One site that we recently tried to verify generated a 500 internal server error. If the Google Webmaster control panel has an error validating your site, the Google robot will most likely run into other issues.

3. Do not work over your server to defeat searches using www. or just http://. If you feel that you absolutely must control how a spider indexes your site, add it into the Google Webmaster control panel. Do not set this up at the server level. One issue that we have uncovered for one client is that they site is visible for http://newdomainname.com but not at www.newdomainname.com. It appears that the programmer has altered some server setting which has caused issues for Google visibility. To check to see if your site is visible for these queries, go to www.Google.com and enter this as your search: site:www.mydomainname.com and then later site:http://mydomainname.com – note the no www and http:// additions.

4. Lastly do not have your home page of your website done in all images or Flash. You are setting yourself up for major visibility issues when you design a new website or blog in this manner. Search engine spiders review text, they cannot read images or Flash. If you do not have the web visibility that you think that you should, then the very first place to look is your home page. The home page of your website is crucial to your website’s visibility. It carries more weight with search engines than any other page on your website. For that matter if your site is dynamic in nature, you still should have a home page residing in the root directory. We recently evaluated a site where no home page existed. How can a search engine robot index the site if the page that the search engine considers the most important does not even exist on the server in the root directory?

From experience I have found that not all programmers and not all web designers understand the nuances of search engines. If your website is not showing now’s the time to check out these simple things to find out why and to realistically identify what you can do to correct them, and to identiry if they are correctable.


The Truth on Linking From Forums and Other Blogs

Okay, it used to be a great SEO technique to actively and aggressively link to your fledgling blogsite or website on other blogs or forums. You could get quality one way inbound links using this not talked about much technique. It was very workable. Mind that I said WAS.

Now, that technique is passé with Google’s Blogger, Typepad, and some WordPress sites automatically inserting a “nofollow” tag in any link left in comments. You simply cannot get the search engine capital you used to be able to get with blog commenting or forum posting.

There are still some sites that don’t have the no follow tag installed and for these sites you can still build capital with great comments and then a link back to your website. So how do you know which sites this technique will work on and which it will not?

Go to a site you think if a good match for authority for your site or blog. Go to a post that has a comment. If there are non, leave one yourself and then go back to the page where you comment appears. Right click anywhere on the page and then select view source. Notepad will open, using the Find feature go to a word in your comment and then go to your actual link. The link source code will have this in it. <a href=”http://www.yourweblinkaddress.com”>Your text</a>. If you see inside the a href a nofollow or external nofollow tag, you will never get organic capital from this site. If you do not see the no follow tag, better book mark this site and come back to comment often and frequently.

Now one thing about commenting. Most site and forum owners have ways to ban you or delete your comments. So, don’t be a spammer! Say something insightful about the blog post not “great post, I am bookmarking your site.” Spammers do that, actually leave something of value, a tip, a trick, another link, but always insert a link to your blog or website to deep content and include your full http://www.webaddress.com in that format to your website or blog in your signature block.

You can still get links and great search engine capital from forum or blog comment posting, you just have to be more careful about where you go to invest your time.