Entries from February 2011 ↓

What Is Conversion And How Do You Achieve It?

conversion ratesAs an internet marketer you’ve probably heard people talking about traffic and conversion rates.

So what’s your conversion like?

Do you know?

Do you even care?

Well, if you want your online marketing to be effective you need to know and care what it is. But before you charge headlong into panic because your conversion isn’t as good as your neighbour’s, you need to consider what your conversion goal is.

Your conversion goal may well be different to your neighbour’s so don’t get hung up on who’s got the biggest just yet.  First you have to work out what yours is. It could be:

  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • Order form completions
  • Brochure downloads
  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Payments

Once you know what it is you’re measuring you can start to quantify the effectiveness of your website through Google Analytics.

But before you can achieve conversion you must have traffic. The information you obtain about your website through analytics will show you the number of visitors your website is receiving every day, week or month (that’s your traffic), how long they remain on your site, which keywords bring in the most traffic, which pages they visit etc.

You may think you’re doing brilliantly with your marketing because you are getting thousands of visitors to your website every month.

Great – but is that reflected in your sales or sign ups? If your traffic has suddenly jumped, has your turnover made the same leap? If not, something’s wrong because you’re not converting.

5 reasons why you’re not converting

1. Quantity not quality

You may be getting loads of visitors but if no one is buying something is seriously wrong. The first thing to check is your keywords.

Each page of your website should be targeting a different keyword. So if you are getting traffic but there are no conversions (and your bounce rate is very high), check your keywords as they may not be attracting the right readers.

2. Your promise isn’t delivering

Again this one goes back to your keywords.

In this instance you may be using a keyword that doesn’t actually reflect what’s on your webpage. Therefore visitors are arriving at your site expecting to see blue butterfly brooches but when they arrive all they find are blue brooches.

Therefore you have a mismatch between what you’re offering your visitors and the traffic your SEO efforts is targeting.

3. Now what?

One of the most common aspects of a web copy that is missed is the call to action.

If a visitor lands on your website, finds your content relevant and interesting you must make sure you tell them what to do next.

A well positioned, commanding call to action above the fold of your web page (so it’s in their eye line) will make sure your reader knows exactly what they must do next – whether it’s to buy, order, sign-up etc.

4. Boring…

If you’ve gone to the expense and trouble of developing a good SEO strategy you need a great website to wow your visitors when they find you.

If your web site is poorly structured with bad navigation, slow-loading pages and full of annoying pop-ups your visitors will flee.

This will reduce your conversion rates and boost your bounce rate – and that’s not good.

People want to see websites that are well designed, easy to navigate and a joy to use. These features will encourage them to stay and make them more likely to buy from you, sign-up to your newsletter or complete your survey.

5. What about you products?

Of course, your poor conversion rate may have nothing to do with the design of your website or the keywords you’re using. It could simply be because your products aren’t what your customers need.

You see web design and great copywriting will get you only so far – if you’ve poorly researched your market and are trying to sell something people don’t want, they won’t buy it. If you’ve checked everything else on this list and it all looks OK, maybe it’s time to consider whether your products and services satisfy the needs of your market.

As we’ve seen, your conversion rate (or lack of it) can be affected by a number of different factors. Your keywords, web copy, web design and products and services will all have their part to play. If you want targeted traffic and a great conversion rate they all have to be firing on all cylinders.

Branch Out Into Video Marketing

video marketingThere’s still a lot of 2011 to get through so why not take this opportunity to offer your consumers something new.

I’m sure by now you’re beginning to dabble in the wonderful world of social media – tipping your toes in Facebook and Twitter. But perhaps now’s the time to consider a new vein of marketing that will compliment your social media activities.

What am I talking about?

Video marketing.

I have already looked at why you should have video on your website, but this post is more concerned with the logistics behind video marketing.

A recent post on socialmediaexaminer.com called “5 Steps To Achieve Success With Video Marketing” talked about what you need to think about when moving into the video marketing arena.

Apart from how you’re going to create your videos and how you’re going to distribute them it’s very important to think about who will feature in your videos.

Whoever you get to  take centre stage must be:

  • Personable
  • Dynamic
  • Interesting

If they are monotone and have the appearance of a 1970s Open University Maths lecturer, they aren’t going to captivate and inspire your audience.

Once you’ve got your presenter(s) organised you then have to think about the content.

To get people to watch your videos you have to give them what they want, so ask them. Survey your colleagues and customers to find out what they want to learn about; what they will find useful. Once you have that sorted, how are you going to distribute your videos?

Leveraging the power of social media – YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, is a great way to gain exposure quickly.

To learn more about video marketing and how to go it well, pop over to Social Media Examiner by clicking the clink above and take your marketing strategy to a new level in 2011.

Sally Ormond is a freelance copywriter who creates compelling and persuasive copy for all online and off line marketing needs including video scripts.

Is Your Website Compliant?

From 1st March marketing communications on websites will be covered by the ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority will soon be covering marketing communications on your company’s website and other non-paid-for space under your control. It will cover all organisations operating from  the UK.

Basically it will bring online marketing in line with the high standards that have to be adhered to in other media.

The areas it will cover are:

  • Your company’s own marketing messages on its websites, regardless of sector, type of business or size of organisation
  • Your company’s marketing communications in other non-paid-for space which is under your control. This includes social networking sites line Facebook and Twitter

So what does that mean?

Basically the ASA is looking to maintain and improve the standard of digital marketing communications and build consumer trust. All marketing should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.

So if your website promises a guarantee claim of delivery of goods within 2 working day, you must do that. If you offer a product at a specific price, that’s what you must charge. Similarly if you are offering a service, your claims must be genuine and truthful, we all remember the exaggerated broadband speed claims of recent months.

Probably the most difficult part of the remit to understand is that relating to social networking sites. In a nut shell, any claims published by companies on their Facebook pages or Twitter accounts must be adhered to as they will come within the realms of the ASA ruling.

Of course, one of the main aspects of social networking is encouraging user generated content – things like comments and tweets. If these are generated by the public they won’t fall within the new guidelines but if they are adopted by a company and incorporated within their own marketing campaigns, they will. For example if you use photos of customers enjoying your product, they will fall within the remit of the ASA. If you, as a company, re-tweet a comment by a follower on Twitter (e.g. regarding the availabilty of a certain item in store that day), it will fall within the ASA’a remit.

As you can see this could have far reaching consequences for many businesses so it’s well worth taking the time to visit the ASA website for more information to make sure all your marketing communications comply.

What The Quora!

Quora Social media and social networking sites appear to be taking over the world at the moment.

Practically everyone seems to be Tweeting, Facebooking, LinkedIn-ing so how do you keep on top of everything? Is there room for another new site?

Let’s look at the first point – How do you keep on top of everything?

Firstly, if you tried to be active on every social networking site out there you’d soon end up in a padded room.

The trick with social media is finding out which applications work for you and your business. Don’t sign up to everything just because ‘everyone else’ seems to be doing it.

Do your research – what do you want to achieve from social media? Once you’ve worked that out, find out which one(s) is the best match for your needs.

Next up – Is there room for another site?

With the recent emergence of Quora it would appear a the answer to that is a resounding “yes”.

Unlike other sites, Quora is based on a question and answer format. Like Twitter you have followers and can follow questions that are specific to your industry and expertise. It is an opportunity to respond to other users and pass on your knowledge or post a question to which you need an answer.

Hub Spot Blog has recently published a very useful post to help anyone looking to dabble in the waters of Quora to see if it’s for them. Entitled A Marketer’s Guide to Quora it’s well worth a read and will explain how you can use Quora to help your own business and online marketing activities.

As a relative newcomer, I had initially set up my profile and started following questions in my areas of expertise such as copywriting. But now, thanks to those wonderful people at Hub Spot, I have discovered how I can use Quora to help me and others.

Thanks guys!

How to Write Press Releases That Pack a Punch


The writing of press releases seems to be a dying art.

It’s not because they are very difficult to write; it’s not even because they are really difficult to get published.

No, it’s because they often get overlooked in favour of other forms of marketing.

But the press release still has a vital part to play in your marketing strategy. Whether you write them in-house or prefer to hire in a copywriter, below are a few tips on making sure you create a press release that’s eye-catching, informative and effective.

How to write a great press release

There are several crucial elements to a press release. The following 6 aspects must all be present in the creation process if your press release is to be successful.

Are you ready?

Here we go…

1. Hook

The first think to remember is that people aren’t going to read it just because it’s got press release written on it. That alone will not convince them that it’s worth reading.

To get someone to take time out of their busy day to read it, you must provide a hook to get them interested.

Think about what you are writing and who you want to read it. If it is a local press release see if you can tie its content to a local event. Your hook must engage you reader, arouse their curiosity and make them want to know more.

2. Headline

It’s all in the headline. If that doesn’t pique their interested they won’t read on.

Come up with one that addresses a concept rather than just starts with your brand name. So don’t follow the pack. Try and come up with something more creative.

3.  No Jargon

Even if your press release is aimed at industry professionals, there is a fair chance it will also be read by non-industry bods. If you fill it with techno-babble and jargon you are limiting your audience.

Make sure you use simple language that is accessible to all. If you do have to use technical language don’t be afraid to provide an explanation of its meaning.

4. Resources

A great way to convince editors and journalists that your press release is the making of a great story is to add resources. Link out to other related information sources; provide video and images – basically everything they would need to craft a news story.

5. Proofread

Nothing will kill your credibility faster than a press release full of spelling and grammatical errors. Always read through your press release several times or get someone else to proofread for you.

6. Share

A press release isn’t a press release unless you share it. Send it to local publications, distribute it to online outlets, email it to interested parties and utilise your connections on social media.

These 6 tips will help you create newsworthy press releases that will be distributed far and wide to help you spread the word about your business.