The most popular question asked by many online marketers is how to drive more traffic to their websites. The answer to this question is easy: "Have your website exposed to as many internet surfers as possible, once people can find your website, there will be traffic flow into your website'. But to make your website successfully exposed to internet users is not an easy task. Efforts, strategies and techniques need to be put in place in order to make it a success. Below are 4 common online marketing techniques used by most online marketers to drive internet traffic to their websites:
One of the ways to optimize your website to be search engines friendly is by generating backlinks from other websites to your website. When websites provide a link to your site, the search engines deem your site as valuable and this affects your position in the listings.
When publishers use your articles in their blogs or websites, they will retain your bio information which contains links to your website at the bottom of your articles, which means that the publishers will contribute their link from their websites to yours. The backlinks are counted in SEO. When their visitors who read your articles want to know more about your products or services, they may click the hyperlinks at the bottom of your articles to reach your website.
If you don't want to manage your affiliates yourself, you can subscribe to an affiliate network such as ClickBank if your products are digital items. ClickBank marketplace is able to expose your products to thousands of affiliates who are looking for products to sell online.
Any internet business will die without traffic streaming into their website. If you have already started your website, it's time for you to work out a marketing plan to flood it with traffic. The above 4 online marketing techniques are time-tested & proven methods to drive more traffic to a website.
What further confuses this is typically a lack of clear insight into your website's performance. For example, how well does your website convert visitors into buyers? What are the key decisions that visitors must make on your website? Do you give them the information and tools necessary to make those decisions?
Measure Progress with Website Analytics
Many companies mistakenly install a standard "website statistics" program and only get a group of standard reports. Typically, these reports do very little to help you judge the true effectiveness of your website. Want to get a jumpstart on creating your own website analytics? Just follow these 3 simple steps:
2. Get in touch with your visitors' behavior on your website
Track how many unique visitors you get, and how long they stay on your site (including how many pages they view). You want all of these numbers to be going up, since that means youíre getting more visitors who are staying on the site longer. You are maximizing the odds that they will do what you want them to.
Here are two examples:
Regardless of what you want to achieve, getting to website usability first starts with solid website analytics. Why? Because website analytics force you to identify those areas that matter most, and identify how well or poorly you are doing in them. Once you know this, you are armed with key data that can help you focus your efforts and determine where things like usability testing can help the most.
Leverage Usability Testing
Usability testing is where you take people who would use your website, and actually watch them using it. Typically, you ask the person to do things on the site, and you watch either over their shoulder, behind a one-way mirror, or via a second computer where you can see what's being recorded on the test computer.
So be careful when hiring a professional that seems to make the testing process complicated or costly. When someone does this, it's usually only for their own financial gain.
To successfully conduct a usability test, just follow these 5 steps:
1. Define your objectives. Begin with the end in mind
What do you want to accomplish with this usability test? Do you have specific areas of your website that you want to improve? If so, this is a great way to get ideas on how to make those areas better. Are you planning on rolling out a new area of your website? A usability test is a great way to do a "trial run" before the big launch.
2. Recruit the participants
This will take the most time, and can be the most frustrating part of the test process. You have to find people to participate (which can be tough, particularly if you need to match specific demographic profiles), and then you need to schedule them. Then, some will cancel, some wonít show, and some will be great test participants. The best way to get a feel for the person is to talk to them directly more than once over the phone. TIP: Be sure to call the person the day of the test to remind them about it.
3. Script the test
Youíll want to have an intro script, the test script, and a post-test survey. The intro script serves as a checklist of things you want to be sure to cover with the person before you start the test. TIP: During the part, try to focus on making the person feel comfortable giving their opinion, and reiterate that any feedback is good feedback. The next part, the test script, is a checklist of the actual things you want the person to do. This is followed by the post-test survey, which allows you to ask the person questions, and later compare those answers to what they said during the test.
5. Report the results
The best way to report the results is two-fold: First, do a quick, one-page or less recap of each session immediately after the test. That way, the information is still fresh in your mind. TIP: Include a picture of the user in your recap, since it will help make that person's feedback "come alive". Next, take the information collected during testing, and create 1 to 4 "personas": user profiles that explain the type of person, what they need from the website, what issues they encounter frequently on the site, and what can be changed to help them. This will help you explain the results to others, and you can reuse these personas later when you are adding or updating areas of your website.
How many people should I test?
For most usability tests, you can learn the maximum amount by only testing ten people. Too many more and youíll start to see too many recurring patterns. If you go less than ten, you might miss things or not see enough of a pattern.
What Personas are:
What Personas are not:
Reporting user tests as personas is a great way to:
Again, exactly how you choose to implement these techniques is obviously up to you. Even small steps can make a big impact. You don't have to have super-sophisticated website analytics, test your website with 100 users, or develop extremely detailed personas. Every step you take in these three areas, no matter how big or how small, will help you get more from your website, and your website marketing strategy.
These 3 marketing myths can cause you to lose sales if you base your marketing decisions on them. We've given you some marketing tips to blast each myth and boost your sales.
Myth 1: People buy a product at the cheapest price they can find.
That is not true - if it was then companies like Rolex and would not exist - Timex would have put them out of business a long time ago. Despite the ease of research that the internet affords - buyers are generally lazy and don't undertake full research. Even on eBay - where it is far easier to check the relative prices of a product - people often buy a product at a higher price than they can. So what causes people to buy? These are called buying triggers - the most common are:
Myth 2: Offering your customers numerous different options will boost your sales
When confronted with several options, most customers have difficulty making a decision. They often react by procrastinating - and going to a seller who offers a clearer product. Now by this we don't say add extras or upsells, just clearly state what's included in the product and don't offer options that not only confuse but making your selling and processing more difficult. The human mind works better when offered the two options "buy", "don't buy".
Blasting Myth 2:
Myth 3: Everybody Needs My Product or Service
Unfortunately, most people don't believe that they do need a particular service of product. Obviously with items such as iPods - your teenager will try and tell you they really, really, really need one, but this is peer pressure that has been built up with millions of dollars. Much of this was spent on research into what their market wanted - and they got it right!
If you believe this myth then you also believe that you can succeed without doing much marketing or selling. Unfortunately, despite what some marketers tell you - it does not happen that way. Undoubtedly there are some very successful marketers around, but they will all admit that a great deal of market research, testing and reviewing of their offerings - happened before they became successful.
Building a successful business is hard work - most of it devoted to finding potential customers and then matching them with your products and services. Even if most people can use your product or service, you still need a marketing strategy to reach them and a persuasive sales message to close sales - because you can bet your last dollar - that wherever there are lots of potential customers, there are just as many sellers.
Blasting Myth 3:
Unless you are one of the millionaire marketers around - you will find many myths that you follow and potentially lose money on. Hopefully the ones above have helped you. Lee Lister - Biz Guru
Dear Fellow Internet Marketer,
It is vital to create a product that will allow you to eventually expand into other markets. The goal is for the people who initially buy your product to also buy your next products. Since you have proven that you can be trusted by delivering a product to your clients they love it should be much easier to obtain their business when your new item hits the online marketplace. We need to understand that a seed is truly important indeed. You need to see your first product as that seed.
You see this is about creating an Internet marketing kingdom, a virtual empire of products that all start with one tiny seed that is planted in the fertile soil of those hearts that are eager for your particular product. For example, I am in the process of creating a set of online videos where I teach students the various techniques needed to speak English. My area of expertise lies in the field of ESL (English as a second language) of which I have been blessed to have over 10 years of experience teaching to adult learners. My target market would be foreign adults who wish to learn English via video. I realize though that if I wish to branch out and sell different yet similar products later I will have to pick a product that these learners would also enjoy.
This led me to recall the great end of the semester food parties in the classes that I taught where both myself and my students brought in dishes from other countries that many enjoyed. Now I know that my second product launched will be an ESL cookbook with recipes submitted from actual students. The cookbook will be sold to other ESL students online. Branching out even further, a cooking forum would be established as well as an online cooking class with graduates of my esl video courses eventually teaching the course. It is amazing to see how all this began from the planting of one little seed. The online ESL video seed grew to become a cookbook, an online cooking school and a cooking forum. As we all know marketing is a numbers game and the bigger number of people you have on your marketing list the better your chance of survival and dominance.
Think about your online marketing seed before you plant it. You want to plant something that will grow into something huge. When you look into the jungle you see an incredible array of trees. That is what you should want your seed to turn into. The trees in your Internet jungle will be represented by the vast number of names on your email list who want your first and additional products. The product you create should also appeal to as many people as possible. I know those who may not be interested in esl may be interested in cooking and vice versa. I could use the cooking bait to reel in the ESL fish and use the ESL bait to reel in those who love cooking. When your Internet marketing seed is sown you will reap the harvest of personal freedom. This translates into having the freedom to spend time doing what is really important.
Even though I am blessed to be doing well working from home right now, my goal is to create an online marketing kingdom. I am the king, my wife is the queen and my daughter is the princess. I plan to give my little girl the choice to attend college or as the princess of the family become the boss while the queen and I enjoy our travels. It all starts with that tiny internet marketing seed. We have to have dreams, big dreams and seeing those dreams become realities is quite inspirational and shows that this Internet marketing thing is real. No one in your circle of naysayers can argue with your results unless they choose to be up against the truth of your success.
I was referred to a prospective client recently that had their website redesigned. They paid $60,000 for a site that really does nothing for them. It is a simple brochure site that provides visitors nothing and it certainly does nothing to convert traffic into sales. Since all their budget went to design, they have no money left over to properly market the site. Mistake #1, don't pay $60,000 for a branding exercise.
A corporate website is about supporting the business. The beauty of the Internet is there is no guessing. You can measure pretty much anything. What are you trying to accomplish? Increase traffic? Generate leads? Increase sales? If it is yes to one of these questions, then a $60,000 investment should have measurable targets tied to it. Can a brochure site deliver a 80-95% ROI?
Web design is a commodity today. The cost of the design should represent about 25% of your total spend. Design costs are competitive today, so spending more than you have to should be the last thing you do. There are excellent open source Content Management Systems (CMS) that give you the power to manage your own content. The cost of the software is $0 to you.
The value of web design is working with companies that can understand what you do. To properly market the site, you should be investing up to 10-12x on what you invested in design. If you are a small company that is spending $4,000-$8,000 on a basic website, you should plan over 12 months to invest an additional amount in marketing. The dollars spent on marketing brings traffic to the site. Simple rule: more traffic through the front door means more business.
Unlike other advertising, you can control your spending and measure your ROI pretty quickly. You can turn your marketing dollars on and off depending on the performance, it is all measurable.
One of our clients went through the redesign process. We built a Search Engine Friendly website that allows them to manage content on the site. Prior to working with us, his website was not listed in the top 100 on Google for popular keywords. Since working with us, his visitors and page views have increased. But most importantly, he has doubled his bookings from this time last year. And, he did not spend $60,000 on his web design.
If you need help evaluating a prospective vendor, here are some questions that may help you understand their knowledge: