Internet Marketing Tips for the Small Business Owner: Website Design Elements that Will Make or Break Your Conversion Rate

Internet Marketing Tips for the Small Business Owner: Website Design Elements that Will Make or Break Your Conversion Rate

When we meet with clients for the first time, more often than not, they’re frustrated because their sites don’t convert. They’ve got a web presence but are learning that it’s no longer enough to simply be online with the digital version of a business’ brochure. As marketing consultants, my colleagues and I often discover the same set of website design issues–conversion rate killers–that are responsible for the low number of leads and/or sales the clients are attracting.

Internet marketing may be ever-evolving, but what remains the same is that a site that’s not converting is a liability, not an asset. If you own a small business and are looking for clues as to what it is that could be preventing your site’s visitors from taking action, take a look at the following:

Clutter Kills Conversions: An Internet Marketing No-Brainer

You’d be surprised to learn just how many business owners are shocked when we tell them it’s the clutter on their website that’s preventing them from converting more of their site visitors. Really? You’re surprised that the 12 images, five buttons, six paragraphs of text, nine navigation links and side bar brimming with more post titles than there are verses in the bible, just on the home page, turns people off?!

No amount of internet marketing is going to save your site when people are overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ you’ve got crammed onto your web pages.  Visitors, in fear of getting lost and never getting out, will just skip over your content and exit about as fast as they entered.

Instead, consider this:

  • Conversions Require White Space:  Researchers found that people actually read more slowly when there’s more white space on a page…
  • Keep side bars neat and tidy, with ads (if applicable) at the top of the side bar, and a small summary of your recent posts, or reserve this area for straightforward navigation.

Font: Direct Attention without being Obnoxious

This is not an excerpt from Web Marketing for Dummies: the type and size of the font you use can help or hinder your conversion rate. Seem pretty basic? Tell that to the loads of business owners out there who are still using ridiculously hard to read fonts because they think it looks cool. This is another area where it’s best to keep it simple.

That being said, don’t be afraid to highlight important bodies of text or calls to action with a larger font or even bold. Both can be very effective ways to guide site visitors further down your conversion funnel.

Format and Speed:

I know that in our internet marketing business, this is one bit of advice we’ve offered (maybe ‘pleaded’ is a better word),  again and again: You DO Need a Mobile Site. To compete online today, and that means converting website visitors into your customers, you’ve got to make your site more user-friendly for the growing number of people using their mobile devices to search for goods and services.

Adding to this, if  your site is slow, it’s not just going to frustrate the people who discover your site while searching from their smart phones. Even the people sitting in front of their laptops, not going anywhere, are going to give up. Waiting for web pages to load is annoying and one of the biggest conversion killers there is. No amount of web marketing will save your site from high bounce rates if it loads slowly.

Convince Your Visitors

A site that lacks testimonials or social media icons will always have more difficulty converting visitors. When people have proof that someone before them has used your services or purchased your product and can attest to your authority, they will always be more willing to look at your business more closely, sign-up for your newsletter, buy your product, or feel motivated to contact you for more information.

Now is the time to make the necessary adjustments to your site so that it can perform the way one should. While these basic web marketing strategies will get you started, deeper analysis of your site and the way people behave when on your site will give you an even more accurate idea of how your site must change if you want to improve conversions.

Contact a team of marketing consultants to learn how tools like heat maps will reveal the key to getting more leads and sales, online. Call The SEO Company on 1300 88 55 57 for more information.

Facebook is a Great Internet Marketing Opportunity, But Are You Reaching Potential Customers In Time?

Facebook is a Great Internet Marketing Opportunity, But Are You Reaching Potential Customers In Time?

Ask any marketing consultants whose specialty is internet-based marketing and they’ll tell you Facebook is a great no-cost, or at the very least low-cost, way to advertise your brand. If a small business with an even smaller marketing budget has the opportunity to tap into literally tens of thousands, maybe even millions, of people on the internet via their Facebook page, for free, that’s an amazing thing. The catch? You’ve only got about 2.5 hours to reach as many people as you can.

According to the American Facebook analytics group, WiseMetrics, 75% of the potential reach for any Facebook post is achieved in just 2 hours. Adding to this internet marketing analysis, WiseMetrics also found that 75% of total engagement occurs in the first 5 hours and 75% of the total impressions you’re going to make from one post on your profile will take place in 2.5 hours. What about a business’ prospects for reaching a global audience? In just 30 short minutes, 50% of the total global reach will have already taken place.

Refining Your Marketing Strategy for Facebook—Make it Count!

What does this mean for your small business and your internet marketing strategy? You had better make those Facebook posts as interesting and informative as you possibly can and commit yourself to posting as regularly as possible, or else have marketing consultants like ourselves hook you up with a powerful feed that will automatically post to your Facebook page from your blog (call us to learn more!).

What it Means for Your Small Business

So your aim is obviously to reach as many people as you possibly can in the amount of time WiseMetrics says you have before your ability to do so with your content drops off into the abyss. Any marketing consultants that are worth their weight will tell you that writing posts that speak to your potential customers’ pain points is the best way to not only get them reading but also clicking through the pages of your internet offering. Our content consultants would tell you to start with your business’ list of frequently asked questions and to brainstorm post ideas directly around those main questions and concerns. Hopefully, your posts will generate conversation which you can use to engage your prospects further with follow up posts and discussion questions.

Analysis is Key for Future Internet Marketing Success

Follow the above steps each day for at least two weeks, preferably a month. After your trial period, look back over what it is that you achieved; did your post on pre-winter boat maintenance generate more conversation and reach more people than your post about tips for travelling on a boat with kids? What does this tell you about your readers and how can this direct your future content and marketing efforts on Facebook?

Just about everything moves faster on the internet and your marketing efforts had better keep up. In the future, every time you create a post for your business’ Facebook page, remember that the clock is ticking and that you need to make the biggest impact you can, straight away.

To learn more about effective social media internet marketing strategies, or our comprehensive solutions for small businesses like your own, call us at 1300 88 55 57.

Commit Yourself to Doing Just 30 Minutes Every Day & You Could Take Your Business to a Whole New Level Online

Commit Yourself to Doing Just 30 Minutes Every Day & You Could Take Your Business to a Whole New Level Online

Ask any small business owner and they will likely tell you that one of the things they’re short on, in addition to money for marketing, is time. Growing a business on or off the internet takes time, dedication and smart marketing. It can, however, seem hugely overwhelming at times to try to squeeze another few hours out of the day so that you can dedicate yourself to marketing your business with yet another strategy. The truth is, just by committing themselves to doing 30 minutes of basic internet marketing, each and every day, any small business owner could see a vast improvement in their traffic, leads and sales on the internet. Small business marketing doesn’t have to cost big bucks, but it does require a commitment of 30 measly minutes each day, from you.

Internet Marketing: The Express Version

If you can manage to shave some time off your morning ritual of reading the paper, doing a crossword while you drink your coffee, or even opting to reply to your many business related emails at a later point in the day, you can surely eek out 30 minutes to knock out a few internet marketing tasks.

The First: Build at Least One New Relationship Each Day

Whether you choose to do your business marketing via social media, finding and connecting with new followers, or commenting on a forum, another person’s blog post or even answering a question posted on your own blog, small moves on the relationship building front can evolve over time, growing exponentially when others like what it is that you have to say and decide to share your information or recommend your business to another. The internet is a big place and you can quickly feel overwhelmed trying to market your business to everyone, everywhere. Take 10 and make a new friend in one of the many channels online. You never know where it will lead for you and your business.

Staying On Top of Your Internet Marketing Results

After you’ve tweeted, shared your comments in an industry forum, and/or made a new connection in LinkedIn, take another 10 minutes to review your Google Analytics account to see which keywords are bringing you traffic today, and take a quick peak at your rankings. The more in-touch you are with your business’ marketing achievements and failures, the better positioned you will be to do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t. Marketing consultants, like our own team at The SEO Company, will stay up-to-date on these stats, but it’s important for you, too, to be aware of where your business stands in comparison to your competition. Remember, marketing a small business doesn’t have to be costly, but you’ve got to be committed. And who doesn’t like to see that their marketing efforts are paying off, anyway?!

Industry News

One of the biggest challenges of marketing a company, big or small, on the internet is proving to potential customers that yours is a business they can trust. One quick and easy way to show you’re an authority is to stay current with the latest industry news and to then post your reaction or comments to what’s new and happening in your niche on your blog or Facebook, or tweet it out. Take your last 10 minutes and spend it reading up via Google Alerts or any industry news source. The more you know about current trends and the like, the more convinced people will be that they should spend their money with you.

That’s it! Of course, the more you do in terms of internet marketing, the better off your business will be. If you’ve got the time or money to commit to a greater number of more sophisticated marketing tactics, call us now at 1300 88 55 57.

When PPC isn’t the Internet Marketing Success You’d Hoped it Would Be

When PPC isn’t the Internet Marketing Success You’d Hoped it Would Be

Pay Per Click, or PPC, is an internet marketing tool used by businesses big and small to drive more targeted traffic to their sites and, hopefully, customers to their ‘buy now’ pages or their doors. When done properly, PPC can be a valuable web marketing tool, but in too many instances, PPC isn’t done properly and business owners wind up wasting what can sometimes be large sums of money to achieve little or no results.

Now don’t get me wrong, PPC can and does achieve favourable results for some, but PPC shouldn’t be the sole tool used in your internet marketing campaign because other search engine marketing tactics can achieve just as good, sometimes better, results than PPC and they often cost less. The best case scenario, from a web marketing standpoint, is a solid search engine marketing campaign, with great on and off-page SEO, lots of quality content, social pinging and a well-designed PPC strategy.

If you were sold on PPC as the be-all, end-all of small business marketing tools but have yet to experience its true value, use the following to analyse your site and pinpoint where it is that your PPC campaign is falling short.

There’s Traffic, but Where are the Conversions?

In many instances, businesses that invest in PPC focus their attention on getting traffic to their site by carefully selecting keyword terms but give little thought as to the impression their site will make and whether or not it will successfully convince visitors to take action. In many cases where PPC fails to convert, it’s the landing pages that need work.

Take a look at your site. Is it easy to navigate and does the landing page have a clear call to action? Can visitors easily find your contact information and do you present testimonials or any other ‘proof’ that yours is a business worth trusting? You don’t have much time to convince your visitors to stick around so you’ve got to make your landing pages effective.

Sometimes, the case isn’t that the landing pages are unattractive or that the quality of copy is poor, but that the ads that brought visitors to the page seem unrelated to what it is that visitors find when they arrive. In this instance, creating specific landing pages for each ad may be a quick fix. If you still can’t figure out where it is that your landing pages are falling short, get in touch with our marketing consultants for expert advice.

Wait! That’s It? Where is Everyone?

Sometimes, despite the research you did to find the keyword terms that would provide the greatest amount of traffic, your PPC ads fail to generate much traffic at all. There are a few different things that could be causing this, one of which is a budget that’s just too small. The amount of money you invest and the bid you make for a particular ad will determine where your ad appears in results and, ultimately, the amount of traffic your site receives. Basically, your ad needs to rank in the first page of results to get clicks. Take a look at ‘impression share’ to see the portion of the impressions your ads are receiving compared to the number that are available. There are a few other things besides a low budget or bid that will affect the position of your ads, including the rank Google gives your site based on how relevant your ads are to your targeted keyword terms and your landing pages. Take a look at these stats in your AdWords account to see if these are the issues preventing you from enjoying PPC success.

Still feeling a little lost and sick of wasting time and money? Contact us and speak to one of our marketing consultants. Perhaps PPC isn’t the ticket to a successful internet marketing campaign in your case, after all. Let’s evaluate your campaign together and come up with a strategy that will produce the results you want and need.