David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

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Archive for the ‘website conversion’ Category

Title Tag Clinic for Training Websites

Friday, February 1st, 2008

If you run training sessions, courses or classes in various cities at various times, let me give you a secret weapon that will help you fill your seats.  This secret weapon is also great for how-to-authors or anyone else who tours.

I just got off the phone with a client who runs training sessions in various cities.  We were looking at how her website ranked for various local searches related to her type of training in a couple cities where she will be over the next couple months.  In one case, we searched on Google for:

topicname training cityname

Her website came in at #6, with a title tag of:

topicname cityname

Of course, the first recommendation I gave was to add the word “training” to the middle of the title tag, which would probably vault the page to at least #3 in Google’s rankings.  So the title tag would read as follows:

topicname training cityname

OK, so far this is all common sense.  But my second recommendation is not something any SEO class will teach you.  It was to add something to her page’s title tag that would most likely ensure she got more targeted click-throughs than Google’s #1 or #2 listing above hers, without having to grab the top spot. 

Studies have shown that typically 40% of searchers click on the #1 listing in the search engine results.  This is true across all engines and to some degree or more across various types of searches.  And yes, it is true equally for people who look at other listings, even for those who scroll down and look at listings #9 and #10; they tend to return to the top and click on the #1 listing, perhaps because there is a subconscious sense of authority that comes from being Google’s top pick.

But who are the 60% of people who do not click on the #1 result?  Here are a few suggestions (maybe you can add to this list):

  • People who see that the #1 result is not at all what they are looking for.  For example, some people searching for “pursuit of happiness” might be looking for the band, some for the constitution, some for a self-help website.  So many searchers will scroll to find the top ;listing related to their topic.
  • People who have already been to the #1 listing and did not find what they wanted there.
  • People doing research or price comparisons and want to visit many websites for more information.
  • People who feel the #1 listing looks spammy from the outset.
  • People who see something so totally laser-targeted to them, that they skip over the top few results and click directly on that link.

The recommendation I gave my client was to add something to her title tag that would convert the majority of searchers into this last group.  Before I tell you what it is, you must understand the thought process of someone looking for a training session.  They are looking for a local session; they don’t want to travel to Chicago or London or Toronto.  They are looking for something now; their contemplating time is over and now they are searching because now they want to sign up.

So here is how I recommended my client set up her title tag for pages announcing upcoming, scheduled courses:

topicname training cityname month year

Even if very few people search by date, imagine that you are searching Google, Yahoo or whatever engine by location and up pops the results with a bunch of typical generic listing titles and you notice in the title of the fourth listing that there is a class or training session not only in your city but coming up next month.  Bang – you have just diverted a lot of traffic from the #1 listing that is vaguely about training to a listing that offers specifically what the searcher is looking for.  More importantly, you have just diverted the traffic that is holding money in its hand, ready to buy.

Like I said….secret weapon! 

 


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You’ve Made Digg – Now What?

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

This is a great article by Chris Winfield, one of the top social media marketing specialists and a frequent collaborator with The Happy Guy Marketing: You’ve Made Digg – Now What?

As with so many business decisions, people tend to rush in without a long-range plan.  The script is usually the same…

Hey, let’s get the latest gadget. 

Cool gadget.

Now what?

I wrote about the same problem in this article about website planning, because so many companies still are rushing out to build a website without a clue what they want that website to do for them.

Chris offers a few good suggestions on what to do about a page that has benefited from a surge in popularity as the result of a home page Digg appearance, including reoptimizing the page, adding calls to action, advertising on it, or redirecting it to another page.  I would add that basically you can do pretty much anything you want with the page.  For example, you could simply add the page a related survey geared to building leads for your telemarketing operations.  Just keep in mind what people visiting it will be expecting.  If they come expecting a video on how to carve fruits for a New Year’s Eve party, don’t fill the page with wallpaper remover products. 

 


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Human Face of Web Design

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Even when one is on vacation, one never seems to be able to escape work.  A case in point is when I had the chance to catch up with an old friend , Karen Hegmann, and we discovered that we are each writing our own marketing blogs.  Hers is Narrative Assets, about — wait for it — marketing.

Of course, I had to check it out and right away noticed this posting about The Human Face of Web Design , which begins with: When I walk into a store, I’m usually there for one of several reasons: 1) I know exactly what I’m looking for 2) I have an idea what I’m looking for, but need more information to make my decision and 3) I have no idea what I’m looking for and just want to browse.  

You can probably guess the rest, and if not, you can read it.  But I did want to share with you this question: is your website designed so that everybody can easily get what they need?  Even those people with no idea if they even want to make a purchase?  Even those who know exactly what they want?

(As an aside, that evening I discovered that Toronto’s Pickle Barrel restaurant, a dive we would often avoid when living a couple blocks away, is now one fancy place to eat, with a really spiffed up menu.  Sadly, two days later we discovered that my favorite Mr. Green Jeans has gutted its menu and taken all life out of the decor in what we were told was a TV broadcast makeover.  Oh well, win some, lose some.)

 


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Live Chat Improves Conversions

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I found this an interesting read, so I thought I would share it… Study: Live Chat Ups Conversions Tenfold | WebProNews

Even more interesting was the response I got from one of my clients when I forwarded the article to him: That’s very interesting.  Live Chat is easier to support than phone calls too.”I suppose live chat makes it so easy for a person to ask questions, even less of a barrier than picking up the phone.  But keep in mind that not everyone wants to do the live chat thing.  Email and phone numbers are still important.  And trust levels are much higher when you post a real address…so keep all your contact information on your pages.

 


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Online Contact Forms for Better Website Conversion

Monday, June 25th, 2007

This posting is counterintuitive, but I have found a way to get more leads from this website.  Here is the story:

On all the services pages, we would encourage people to email or to phone.  We made it very clear that we prefer email for first contact.  This was in order to do some triage, and not spend half-an-hour on the phone with someone who will never be a client.  Also, once on the phone, a person is inclined to ask a hundred questions, whereas by email they are more likley to confine themselves to those questions that are actually relevant. 

I estimate that at least 80% of queries would come in by email, but still too many by phone.  Furthermore, the email queries often contained very little information, so there was still a bit of back and forth before we could assess what to do with each query.

So we replaced our message with a contact form on each page.  Our phone number and email address are still easy to find on our contact page, but we are now prompting people to contact us using a form.  The form contains all the basic information we need to understand a potential client’s project.  The key is to customize each form for the specific type of project. 

For instance, if you go to http://www.seo-writer.com/freelance/report-writer.html, you will see that the form is very specific about what type of report the client wants written.  On the other hand, http://www.seo-writer.com/freelance/book-writer.html contains different fields based on what is appropriate for that service.

Unexpected website conversion bonus

We loaded the forms to the pages, and two things happened.  First, the suspected.  In several days, there have been no phone calls.  In several days, there have been no emails.  In the several days there have been more total queries.  Yes, the forms are helping drive leads.  I would have though it would be the opposite, since we are forcing people to think a little about their project before contacting us (not a bad thing, mind you, but something I would thing that would act as a small barrier).  I suspect that by giving people an indication of what information we need and making it easy for them to provide it without writing from scratch, we are increasing our leads. 

Will that increase our revenue, our actual conversions?  Too early to tell.  But I sure hope so!

 


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Crazy Egg Website Conversions

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Here is another great free tool, which can also be upgraded for a cost.  Crazy Egg offers some simple website conversion analytics.  I have taken the free version for a spin, and I might just sign up for the paid version at some point. 

The folks at Crazy Egg give you a tiny snippet of code to add to your page, then they start tracking clicks.In the case of the page I am testing it on for the past 4 days, there have been 341 visits, resulting in 116 clicks.  Is this a good conversion percentage.  It seems ludicrous to me that anybody would want to visit a page and not at least go one click deep into the site…unless the site is something totally different than what they are looking for.  However, this page is very much what it appears to be in the search engines (it’s main source of traffic).

The “Overlay” view shows that there were 17 links on this home page that were clicked.  First piece of useful information is that one of those clicks was the privacy page.  Yes, people read the privacy page so make sure that it makes your privacy policy very clear in an easy to read, non-legalese fashion.Second piece of useful information is that people do click on your links pages, so make sure you keep your message in front of them when they visit.

Next is the “List” view, where you can see a list of each link and how often it was clicked in absolute and percentage terms.  In the case of this page, 20% of visitors clicked a “buy now” call to action from the home page.  Is that good?  Could the page sell better?  I have no basis of comparison, but over time I am sure I will know…especially if I make changes and then test them.Most of the clicks went to links that look like they provide more information, essentially two different pages.  So those pages need to sell, and need to offer more opportunities t click the “buy now” button.

The “Heat Map” view shows very clearly that on this page, with a fair amount of text, there are nevertheless a strong number of people who keep reading and then click toward the bottom of the text.  In fact, some click the “buy now” button (Good thing we provided lots of text on the page so as not to lose them.) and many more click from there to the pages for more information…meaning that people want to make informed buying decisions, and you can’t provide too much information, as long as you give people options to buy at intervals.

This is a very useful website conversions tool because of its simple user interface that lets you visually see the difference when you make changes, which makes testing easier for those who are less mathematically-inclined!

 


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Website Conversions – Free Advice from Google

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

What does website conversion have to do with SEO?  Nothing…unless you want people to do something when they click on your listing.

Fortunately, Google is providing two new tools to help you.  The first is the AdWords Optimizer, which is meant for their PPC programs, but can help with any landing page.  For the moment, Optimizer is in an invitation-only beta phase.  (I’m number 500 gazillion on the waiting list).

In the meantime, Google is providing a demo video which is free for anyone to view.  The second half of the video talks about AdWords Optimizer, but the first half gives you some superb tips on conversions from the world’s biggest search engine.  Not bad for the price of reading this blog post.  Here’s where you can view the Website Optimizer Overview Demo video.

 


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