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The Secret to a High Conversion Rate.

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:00:07 PM EST by Richard Norris

 

For Rugby League fans, Jonathan Thurston is exciting to watch when he is attempting a conversion.  After his team mates have scored a try he lines up in front of the goal posts to attempt to add two points to their score.  A conversion on your website has the same idea. You have had a win by gaining a visitor to your site, but you now have to take the opportunity to drive the advantage home. Examples of conversions on your website include when someone subscribes to your newsletter or your blog, or when someone buys something from your site. These are both conversions. Your visitor is just having a look around, but you’ve been able to persuade them to undertake a desired action.

A conversion rate is the percentage of conversions you have based on your total amount of visitors. For instance, if you have 1000 visitors and 300 conversions your conversion rate would be 30%.

The secret to generating higher conversions is rather simple but not a lot people are using it to benefit their business. So without further ado , the secret to a high conversion rate is:

Testimonial's

It's so simple, I know, but few people use this great tool for conversion. Testimonials are important in converting your visitors to customers. Often, people like to think that they make their own decisions in life. People do what they want when they want to do it and people buy what they want when they want to buy it.

However what they don't realise is they are influenced by other people's experiences.

If you hear a bad review on a movie that your friend just saw, chances are you won't go see it. Your work colleague doesn't shut up about how great this new restaurant is that she just visited. So where do you think your going the next time you plan a night out?

Neither of these where your own decisions. You were influenced by the opinions of others. You fell subject to social proof. 

Social proof is when you use the opinions of others to add value to a product, service or event. These opinions are often called testimonials.

Testimonials certify value.

When you use this technique on your website, you automatically put the value of your business in front of all your visitors. Your visitors read that other people are happy with the work you have don, so they think if these other customers are happy I'm going to be a happy customer as well.

How do you get this amazing tool?

Ask…

Over your years of business you would have a number of customers or clients that are so happy with your service that they want to tell other about your business. So just ask them!

Testimonials can be a letter or email from a customer stating that you, or your company, did a great job, and that they are satisfied with the result of doing business with you. Why not stick this testimonial on your website?

Also, video testimonials are great. Most smart phones come with HD video capabilities, so use your iPhone a record your clients saying what a great job you have done. It doesn't have to be studio quality; in fact, if it looks like you have shot it on an iPhone you can still get a great result because it's authentic. People love what's real. You only need to have a look a reality TV show success to see proof of societies love for what's real.

You want more business so go get some testimonials, put them on your website, and watch your conversion rate rise!

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus

Get Great Results With Google Places – Part 2

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 1:59:38 PM EST by Richard Norris

In the first part of this post I touched on how to set up the basic information for your Google Places Listing.

The idea of this post is to walk you through the remaining fields to complete you listing. The fields that were left are:

  • Service Areas and Location Settings
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Additional Details

The goal is that at the end of this post you will have a 100% completion bar. This means that you have given your listing the best chance of getting great results with Google Places .Let’s tackle the Service Areas and Location Settings (as seen below).

serviceareas 

This is based on where your customers go to receive the services your business offers. If customers come to you e.g. shop front or office, you would leave the selection at “No, all the customers come to the business location” (make sure the business address is correct). That is all you need to do for this selection.

However, if you go to your clients at their location, for instance mobile car washing, you need to select “Yes, this business serves customer’s at their locations”. Once you make this selection the screen will expand as shown below.

serviceareasdropdown 

You have the ability to select whether or not you want your business address to be shown, it’s up to you. If you don’t want your business address shown, make sure you tick the box “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing”. However we recommend that your display your business address.

Once you have decided if you want your address shown, you can move to the important part of choosing your service areas. You will see a map of your business address, as seen below, that when you select an area it will be highlighted so you can clearly see that area you have selected.

 placesservicesmap

So if you service an area 30kms in diameter from your business location enter your business address in and type 30kms. Once you have done this click “Update Preview”. It should look something like this.

 placesservicesmaphighlighteddiameter

Alternatively you can list the areas you want to service. For instance if you were based in Archerfield and you only wanted to service Carindale, Darra, Forrest Lake and Algester, you simply enter in those suburbs one at a time and then click the add button. Then the map will look like the one below.

 placesservicesmaphighlightedlist

Whichever Service Area method you choose it doesn’t matter, as long as you choose one.

We are now finished with your Services Area. So we can move on to Photos and Videos. It is important that you have photos on your listing as it gives your potential clients a recognition point to your business. Whether it is a logo or a key product you need to present your viewing audience with something visual to remember your business. To upload a photo simply click the browse button, find the file you want and then click upload.

Note that you can only upload 10 photos and 5 videos.

Not a lot of businesses have a video done, which is why your listing will be more successful with a video. Go the extra mile with a video on your listing so that you have the best chance of getting great results with Google Places.

It is a little bit tricker to upload a video. If you have a video I suggest you upload it to YouTube and then enter the URL in to the video field on your Places editing page. Alternatively, contact SiteZero and we can assist you.

The last thing to do to get a 100% completion is the additional details. This gives you a great oppourtunity to tell your clients what you do. Get a bit creative. If you sell CNC Machining Equipment, type CNC Machining Equipment: Yes. If you don’t sell pink fluffy dice type Pink Fluffy Dice: No.

This completes this series of posts on Google Places. But if you have any questions about anything you have read please contact me and I will be happy to help you in getting great results with Google Places. 

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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Get Great Results With Google Places - Part 1

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 1:59:10 PM EST by Richard Norris

In my last post we went over what Google Places is and also why it is important for businesses to have. This post is a guide on how to set up your Google Places listing to achieve the best result possible.

First things first, you need to login to your Google Account. Once logged in, you then need to go to the Google Places page.

A page may come up with the headline, ‘What happens if you lost access to your Google Account tomorrow?’ This is an automated message Google puts up if you haven’t accessed your account for some time. If you enter in the country you are based in and a mobile number you will be able to continue. Sometimes Google will list an email address, so check that you receive emails from the listed email address, make the necessary changes and then you can continue. Otherwise, you will then be taken directly to your Google Places dashboard.

From your dashboard, you can view the performance of your listing. For an in depth look at what this means for your business and how to use it, contact us and we will walk you through what you need to know.

If you go to the right hand side of your dashboard you will find a section called ‘Your business info’ in that section there is an edit button, as highlighted in the image below.

 googleplacesstats_2

Clicking this link will lead you to the page as seen below where you will be able to edit your listing. If your business is found with Google it will auto-fill some details, if not you will need to enter it in yourself.

 googleplacesbusinessinfo

Please ensure that if Google auto-fills some details you check to see if those details are correct. Change them if they are wrong.

The first section of this page is called Basic Information. Fill out everything up to and including the website field.

Once you get to Description field, you need to write one or two sentences describing what your business does. You can only use 200 characters, so choose wisely. If your aren’t a wordsmith I suggest that you have a look on your home page and have a look for one sentence that best describes your business then just copy and paste it into the description field, this sentence may also be on your about us page.

The following section is called categories. Essentially categories are the keywords that you use to find you listing. Now before you go crazy listing all your keywords, Google only allows you to have 5 categories. One of these categories needs to be on the list Google provides i.e. one that automatically comes up when you type in the category field (as seen below).

 googleplacescategoriesdropdown

Have a search around for as many keywords on this list that relate to your business as possible. For the remaining keywords I suggest that you use your top performing keywords which should be identified on your Analytics Report that SiteZero sends you each month. If you don’t receive your analytics or aren’t sure where to find your top performing keywords contact SiteZero and we will assist you in getting that information.

In the next post I will address how to properly set up the Service Areas and Location Settings, Photos, Videos and also Additional Details. Your homework is to fill in the Payment Options and Hours of Operations fields.

Before you sign out you need to know how to save your listing. You can do this by clicking the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of the page.  If this is the first time you have edited you Google Places listing, Google will ask you to verify your listing. You can select different methods of verification, but I recommend that you make the selection that Google call you. Before you get too excited, it’s not a real person. An automated voice will give you a passcode, which is a series of numbers that you need to write down.

It’s highly important that the number you have put in is a direct line to you, because it is a robot they will only say the digits regardless who is on the other line. So don’t give a number your receptionist picks up or a number with your own automated answering service attached to it. If you don’t have such number select for Google to send you a postcard. To get verification make your selection and click ‘Finish’, expect the phone call in a matter of seconds. So don’t click finish if you have to visit the bathroom. The postcard will come in about 2 weeks, so you have plenty of time to visit the restroom.

Clicking finish will take you to a new page where you need to enter the passcode Google. To finalise everything, enter in your passcode and then click submit. Now you are all set in continuing making your Google Places listing as effective as possible.

Keep an eye out for my next article so you can finish setting up your listing and start getting great results with Google Places.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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A Beginners Guide to Google Places

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 1:58:47 PM EST by Richard Norris

Google Places is a free listing for your business that enables you to reach millions of people. By simply creating a listing with the relevant data about your business you can access this powerful business tool. The next four posts will tell you about the importance Google Places has in making your business successful.

googleserp

You will find the Google Places Listing on most Google search queries. There are two components of Google Places on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) the map and the business listings; both are shown in the above image.

Everyone who performs a search query on Google automatically becomes their customer. Therefore, just as any business wants to improve their services for their customers, so do Google. Google Places makes it easier for their customers to search for a particular product or service based on their location.

For instance, in the below image the SERP is for the query ‘brisbane pet shops’. This SERP shows all the listed pet shops in the Brisbane area. The results don’t include any from the Gold Coast and especially not Sydney or Perth.  This is fantastic for Mr and Mrs Small Business Owner as they can now compete on an even playing field with the leaders of their industry in a local business directory.

How will Google Places help my business?

Google has changed the way we now look for products and services, as it is now the source of information for local businesses online. Before, if we needed a plumber, we would flick through the yellow pages or through the back of our local newspaper, find the biggest ad for a plumber and then give them a call.

This is not the case in today’s world. If we need a plumber, and we are in Brisbane, it is more convenient to go on to Google and search for “Brisbane Plumber”. From this SERP we have access to hundreds of plumbers is Brisbane which we can easily browse through and see which plumber is best suited for the job we want done. With Google Places you actually see what plumbers are closest to your location. Therefore, with your Google Places Listing you have the ability to geographically target exactly where you want to market your business. Did I mention that all this is free to use?

Being a free service is a real benefit to small businesses, as it creates an even playing field. Jo the Grocer can have a Places ranking right next to the local FoodWorks or Coles, if he sets up his Places Listing correctly. The power of Google Places is that it enables Jo the Grocer to compete with the leaders in his industry.  It’s a simple cost effective marketing tool that every small business can manage, even if you’re a 15 year old kid mowing lawns in your street.

On the subject of Google Places Ranking, there is a completion bar on your Google Places dashboard to show you how much of the listing you have to go. The higher you completion percentage, the higher you tend to appear for your relevant categories (Read my next post to find out about categories). Therefore is it important that you set up your Google Places Listing correctly.

Do You Already Have A Google Places Listing?

Google have created a Google Places Listing for the majority of businesses. Because of this it is important that you claim your listing so you can take advantage of this great business tool.

Follow these steps to claim your Google Places Listing:

  1. Login into Google using your Google Account. If you don’t have a Google Account contact SiteZero and we will walk you through the setup.
  2. Go to the Google Places homepage. If your listing has been claimed this will take you to the Google Places Dashboard from where you can edit your Google Places Listing. If your listing hasn’t been claimed you be taken to the below screen where you will need to claim your listing.

googleplacessetup

Here are the steps to claim your Google Places Listing:

  1. Click the ‘List your business’ button located on the right hand side of the screen.
  2. Select your Country and enter your businesses main telephone number.
  3. Click ‘Find business information’.
  4. If the business details that come up are yours click ‘edit’.
  5.  If they aren’t your details click ‘Add new listing’ where you can create your new listing.

Google Places is a great tool for all small businesses to increase traffic to their website. Read my next post to learn how to correctly set up all the details needed to create a successful Google Places listing.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus

Three Lessons From The Royal Wedding

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 1:58:21 PM EST by Richard Norris

royalweddingblog

Millions of people today will be celebrating the holy matrimony between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Hype has been built over many years surrounding William and Kate’s relationship. It's all lead up to today. People are asking, “Will it be the same as Diana and Charles wedding?” “What will Kate’s dress look like?” I just want to know what flavour cake they are having. Because of this wedding pandemonium, here are three lessons for your website based around the royal event.

  1. Sizzle - Content & Accessibility and Keywords
  2. Pop - Links
  3. Buzz - Social Signals

Though this may seem like a rip off of Kellogg’s popular cereal Rice Bubbles, but I promise it has something to do with generating more performance out of you website.

The Royal Wedding has been anticipated for quite some time now. Invitations have been sent out and TV privileges have been set and organised. William and Kate want as many people to share in their special day as possible. You, as a business owner, are no different. You want as many people as possible to do business with you. So let’s extract these lessons so you can start generating success online.

1. Sizzle – Content & Accessibility and Keywords.

William and Kate have spent months planning their wedding. From Kate’s dress to Williams’s suit, centre pieces to the menu and floral arrangements. This is their content. You have to plan every aspect of your content. William and Kate wouldn’t take a shortcut on the cake so you don’t get to take a shortcut on the quality of your images.

People then need to have access to it. Ian Thorpe got an invitation so he just has to ask his limo to take him to Westminster by a certain time. In another situation, what if there is someone that requires a wheel chair. William and Kate would need to organise with Westminster Abbey that there is sufficient wheelchair accessibility.

Your content needs to be accessible to your audience. For instance, you navigation needs to be clear and easy to follow. Those garden mazes aren’t the ideal model for your websites navigation. Furthermore are your keywords relevant enough to your content that Google is going to be able to index your site? Considering this ensure that you website is built with good clean code and not built on flash. Otherwise Google won’t index it. LaunchPad is a great example of a platform with these properties.

Without this sizzle you aren’t going to get a pop.

2. Pop – Links.

William and Kate have it in their favour that they already have some sort of fame which makes publicity a little bit easier. All the ‘it’ people will know about it. It wouldn’t surprise me if Justin Bieber sang at the reception. Never the less certain marketing ploys were followed to ensure that as many people know about this event as possible.

Links make your site ‘pop’ular. Get your site publicised with someone or some business that is an authority on the genre relevant to your business. If you are a packaging company that uses environmentally friendly materials, get links from Clean Up Australia. If you deal with mining supplies get links from Rio Tinto.

Just because your sizzle is good doesn’t mean you get to pop, you still need to work for it. Writing columns and blogs relating to your industry puts in some elbow grease to generate that pop. Participating in forums as an expert in your field is another great way.

Sizzle, we have. Pop, we also have. Bring on the buzz.

3. Buzz – Social Signals.

From 4pm EST today every mainstream television station will be showing the Royal Wedding. Although Ian Thorpe received a proper written invitation, we regular people got invited courtesy of television. William and Kate made sure that every one who couldn’t make it on the day could experience their wedding on some level. This is their twitter and Facebook.

Twitter, Facebook and other social media vessels give you the tools to send out information to those who normally couldn’t or wouldn’t be expected to visit your site. I wouldn’t be expected to show up at Westminster Abbey but because of social media I can experience the Royal Wedding purely by seeing what people are tweeting and posting on Facebook. 

Tap into the Buzz of society by using social media to promote your business or product. Set up a Twitter and Facebook profile, and actual use them. Promote blog posts on twitter, create competitions on Facebook. The bigger the buzz, the bigger biz.

There we are three lessons about SEO from the Royal Wedding. If you want to know about Sizzle, Pop or Buzz, contact us.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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Put Up Signs - Strong Call To Actions

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 1:57:04 PM EST by Richard Norris

All over our cities there are signs and signals telling us where to go. There are stop signs, give way signs, keep left signs and various other traffic signs. Although some of us ignore them, there would be absolute pandemonium without them. Now this same "science of signage" works on the web as well. A good site has lots of clear signs called call to actions. Some people will ignore them but most people follow them as they expect the call to action to take them where it says.

Now transfer this world of chaos to your website. If you don't have clear, direct call to actions the potential clients visiting your site will get lost. They won’t end up where they want, and they would leave you site out of frustration.

But there is hope...

With clear, direct call to actions on your businesses website, your visitors can easily navigate to find what they are after. More people will view your site and more people will do business with you. Therefore you get more money in your back pocket.

The best way to go about creating effect call to actions is to think about the one thing you wish you visitors to do. Make a call to action for this. Secondly, think about one thing that your visitors would be looking for. Do a call to action for this as well.

If you’re still stuck here are three important things to have strong call to actions to help get you started.

  • Tell your viewers where to find your contact details. 
  • Where they can subscribe to your newsletter 
  • Where they can buy your product.

Visitors don't know your site like you do, viewers need to be told. Just like when you go to a new house I can guarantee you will ask where the toilet is, because that’s important.

You will get a minority of people ignoring your call to actions but the alternative will cause far too much effect on your bottom line.

Get your calls to actions right, Contact Us to get your viewers going to the right place on your website!

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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