Entries Tagged 'online marketing' ↓

The Mystery of SEO Uncovered


This post was first published back in 2009, but still remains as relevant today as it was back then.

To get 2012 off to a great start I though it worth while pushing this one ‘out there’ again to help you get one step ahead this year…

Everyone has heard of SEO.

But not everyone understands how to utilise it to promote their websites. Many still believe that over stuffing their website copywriting with keywords is what SEO is all about – wrong.

Many believe that by simply listing all the keywords they can think of on their webpages is right – wrong.

And as for those who still insist on using ‘black hat’ strategies – well, we’re not even going to go there.

Understanding SEO and how to use it to get Google to love your website is key in the online world.

At the end of the day, if you’re an online marketer, you’ve got to get to grips with SEO if you want your website to survive and thrive.

Therefore, to help you stay one step ahead, here’s a fantastic guide from those amazing people over at Seomoz.org. They have put together a list of the important and not so important aspects of SEO to help you demystify search engine optimisation – Search Enging Ranking Factors.

It’s a worth while read and will make a world of different to your online marketing.

Is This Farewell to Print Marketing?

the end of print marketing?It’s been like a slow train coming – more and more marketing is being turned over to digital formats, whether that’s websites, emails, e-newsletters, QR codes, video or social media.

Although brochures and leaflets etc., still hold a valid place in your marketing armoury, you do begin to wonder how long that will remain so. After all, if we look at consumer behaviour, it would suggest they will soon become a dim and distant memory like the humble pound note or vinyl.

The consumer leads the way

That’s where it all started (well, in my world anyway) – with music. I started off buying tapes of my favourite bands or vinyl singles. They were the best as far as I was concerned; that was until the CD arrived.

It wasn’t long before I was seduced by those shiny discs and my vinyl and tapes were consigned to the history books (and our loft). I thought CDs were the pinnacle – nothing could surpass their sound quality. But a few years down the line and I was confronted by the iPod and digital music downloads.

So, you guessed it, eventually I converted to downloading my music.

The same is happening to books.

A staunch lover of an actual book, I have vowed never to go over to the digital side. I love the feel and smell of a book; the ability to thumb through pages. I don’t care how cluttered my house gets (I simply can’t part with my books), I love browsing through book shops and buying books.

But, the other day I really wanted to read. Not having a book to hand (one that I hadn’t previously read), unable to wait for Amazon to deliver one, and certainly unwilling to brave the pre-Christmas crush in town, I did the unthinkable.

I reached for my iPad and, yes that’s right, downloaded a book.

Expecting to hate the experience, I have to say it’s not a bad way to read. Granted, I don’t have the physical book to touch or smell, but I can use a digital book mark, turn the pages almost as I would in real life, and enjoy it

That illustrates how consumers are embracing new technology and paving the way for change simply by accepting it.

We’ve already seen more and more people engage in online shopping rather than hitting the High Street, online banking, video calling, and social media – so perhaps the era of print marketing is drawing to a close.

The online way

Perhaps now companies should be investing more into their online presence. With the search boom continuing, their budgets may well be more wisely spent on search engine optimisation, professional copywriters, mobile websites, video and social media.

It would certainly appear that the effectiveness of print adverts is dwindling. So is this the beginning of the end?

What do you think?

Do you think we’re coming to the end of the print advertising era?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your views.

Customer Reassurance – Overcoming ‘What if…’ Syndrome

Encouraging online salesIf your business sells goods online, your ‘shopping experience’ must be exceptional.


Well, for many people, shopping online is still dabbling in the unknown. If they buy something from a High Street store, they can speak with staff, see the product, pay for it and take it away there and then.

But shopping online is a completely different experience:

•    There is no one to ask questions of immediately
•    The can see a picture of the product but not the real thing
•    They can’t touch the product
•    Although they can pay for it, they have to wait for it to be delivered

Effectively, they are giving a faceless company their hard earned cash for something they’ve not yet received.

It’s hardly surprising so many online transactions are never completed.

Don’t lose sales through ‘what if…’ syndrome

What do I mean?

•    What if I can’t get back to the webpage I want if I click this link?
•    What if I don’t like the product when it arrives?
•    What if the company goes bust?
•    What if they sell my details on to another company?

These are just a few of the ‘what ifs…’ that could be flying through your customers’ heads right now.

So how can you alleviate their fears?

How can you make them feel safe while shopping with you?

Give reassurance every step of the way

The key is to reassure them at every stage of the buying process – from the moment they land on your website, right through to their sale confirmation email.

1. Testimonials

An old one, but a good one. Showing real customer testimonials on your website will help reassure your customers. If they can see other people were satisfied with your products and service, they are more likely to buy.

If you don’t have any, get some. Ask past customers to rate your service.

2. Privacy policy

People are, quite rightly, concerned about the possibility of their details being passed on to third parties.

Reassure them this won’t happen by telling them and providing a prominent link to your privacy policy.

3. Simple ordering

If you want someone to buy from you, your ordering process must be simple. And I don’t just mean so you can understand it.

People of all IT abilities are going to be potential customers, so when you design your ordering process, get your Aunt or other member of the family (non-tech savvy) to do a dry run for you. This ‘test drive’ will help you iron out any ambiguities.

4. Reputable payment

People don’t like to input their sensitive information online, such as bank details and card numbers. Give reassurance by only using reputable payment partners.

5. Guarantee

Everyone loves a guarantee, especially the ‘100% of your money back, no questions asked’ type. It shows your commitment to your customers and your faith in your products.

6. Let them know where you are

There’s nothing more off putting than seeing a website without an address.

If you are genuine, surely there’s no reason to hide your postal address.

7. Click points

All over your website there’ll be various ‘click’ points for navigation. Do a full review of them (call in your Aunt again) and make sure they are all clear. If not, add a line of text to explain what your customer needs to do.

8. Awards

If you have won awards for customer service or for your products, display them on your website. Sight of those will provide an extra layer of confidence for your customers, making them more likely to buy.

There you go, 8 very simple ways you can avoid the ‘what if…’ syndrome.

Over to you

Can you think of anymore? If so, leave a comment below.

Inbound Marketing – The Best of 2011

inbound marketingMore and more companies are moving away from the traditional forms of ‘outbound marketing’ such as cold calling, print advertising, junk mail and unsolicited emails.

As people begin to see the light they are starting to understand that consumers don’t like to be ‘sold’ to in this way. They prefer a more subtle approach and the opportunity to build relationships.

This type of ‘inbound marketing’ focuses on the customer finding the supplier through search.

Understanding how to attract customers has been the focus of 2011 for many companies, which is why I thought you might be interested in seeing this fabulous post that appeared on Hubspot Blog a short while ago.

It looks at the top 10 marketing infographics in 2011 and is really worth a look.

You can see if here: The Top 10 Marketing Infographics of 2011

Thanks guys.



Why You Should Offer a Guarantee

When it comes to deciding whether to offer a guarantee or not, most people’s thought process goes something like this…

If I offer a guarantee, loads of people will use it as a way of getting their money back, which will cost me a fortune.

In truth, yes some will take advantage, but it will be a very small percentage.

But offering a guarantee (especially a no quibble money back one) will offer you far more benefits that not offering one.

The advantages of a guarantee

There are so many internet scams about people have grown very suspicious of online retailers. They want to be sure their money is exchanged for quality goods that will meet their expectations.

When they buy from the High Street, they have their receipt and the ability to return to the same store should something go wrong. But on the internet, they aren’t afforded that luxury and many companies make it difficult for the customer to get in touch with them when they experience a problem.

By offering a guarantee you will:

  • Remove one of the many barriers to purchase. If someone can see you offer a money back guarantee, they know that if they are dissatisfied they can get their money back.


  • Build trust – it won’t make someone trust you unreservedly, but it will certainly help to build trust. It shows you are a genuine company that wants to give them great value.


  • Stand out from the competition so if they are torn between your product and one of your competitor’s, but they don’t offer a guarantee, they’ll more than likely go with you.


  • Increase your focus on quality. It’s only natural that you won’t want to have to deal with complaints or demands for refunds, so you’ll be even more focused on making your product the best it can be.


Why you should offer a guarantee

In a nutshell, you should offer a guarantee because:

  • You could gain sales
  • You’ll build trusting relationships with your customers
  • You’ll be seen as a ‘good’ business

Above it, it won’t cost you anything to do.

At the end of the day, you are in business to provide your customers with the best product you can. If they are dissatisfied, it means you have failed to do this. So by offering a guarantee you will ensure you do everything in your power to be the best you can be.

Over to you

What’s been your experience?

Do you offer a guarantee or did you decide not to?

Leave a comment and share your feelings.