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Search Marketing

The Whiteclick SEO blog aims to keep you up to date with the latest in the search engine optimisation and marketing industry and the company.

The 5 Unbreakable Laws for Making Websites That Create Sales

Justin Daniel - Thursday, October 20, 2011

After many years guiding businesses on how to retool their web sites into effective marketing machines, we've uncovered 5 unbreakable laws for building web sites that sell. Read on to gain precious insights for multiplying the return on your marketing dollar. 

1. Do looks really matter? 76% of web site visitors judge the credibility of a business from the appearance of the web site alone—not the content. Many people know professional looking designs increase credibility in the eyes of your web site visitors, but few consider the damage shoddy advertising does to a business. Your web site must look professional otherwise you literally risk damaging your brand.

2. Drive targeted traffic to your business. It's no secret the vast majority of customers now use online search to find local businesses. Many businesses have realised there is little or no benefit in building a web site that no one visits and are getting better and better at finding customers online. Target these customers with online marketing, or somebody else will.

3. Engage your web site visitors. Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said, 'You cannot bore people into buying' and his advice still rings true today. Consumers have never been so informed, discerning and impatient.

Looking for a powerful way to motivate customers to pick up the phone and call your business? The easiest way is to do a bit of online market research and post a compelling offer unlike anything offered by your competitors and post it on your web site. This is a deceptively simple—yet staggeringly effective—way to differentiate your brand from the competition.

4. Make it easy for your customers. The customer of the 21st century is overwhelmed with information and easily frustrated. Usability and clear information design are vital for a successful business web site. Does your home page look like a christmas-tree by cramming everything but the kitchen sink into one page? Or does it present a simple selection of options-just enough for your web site visitors to know how to easily get to the information they're looking for?

Make it easy for your customers…. Or they will go elsewhere.

5. Use your best resource for more sales. Your existing client base have already developed trust and familiarity with your business and will readily buy from you again. And a well constructed web site is the most economical and effective tool to communicate with your customers. Mailing lists, blogs and social media sites all rely upon your web site as the nerve centre for communicating with your customers and new prospects. Have you been using your web site to re-engage your customers?

Are there more approaches than these to make web sites that sell? Sure. But this is the best place to start.

Remember —a well built web site is an investment, not an expense. Poorly constructed web sites almost always come with high maintenance fees and are inevitably scrapped and replaced by better ones as a business grows.

You wouldn't trust just anyone to be the face of your business-and the first time a person visits a business web site is the very first sales meeting that takes place between the customer and your brand. Invest wisely.

Developing a killer digital marketing strategy...

Jessica Graham - Friday, August 26, 2011

...aka Why PPC, SEO & Social Media make the perfect Ménage à trois!

Humor me for a moment. Lets play a game.

Step outside your body and imagine inhabiting the brain of your perfect customer. You (as the customer) have just sat down in front of your laptop. After updating Facebook, maybe sending an email or two, you've now just remembered that 'thing' you've been meaning to research for a few weeks.

Lets call that 'thing' X.

You flick open Google and type in 'Buy X'… Click into a few sites… Decide to refine your search to 'Buy pink X'… Still no dice... What about 'Buy cheap pink X'... Getting closer… 'Buy cheap pink X in Sydney'

...BINGO!

Now step back from that potential customer. They just bought said pink X from your competitor.

What the hell happened???!

The perfect digital marketing strategy involves a mixture of PPC, SEO & Social Media marketing, and unfortunately you were missing an element.

  • Was it SEO ? Let's go back to that Google page. You sell pink X too but when that customer typed it in, your website didn't even come up in the first page of search results! Optimising the copy on your website is super, super important - it allows search engines (and customers) to understand how relevant your site is to what's being searched for. Including the right keywords in your website content is only a small part of effective SEO but it's an important one. If Google knows your site contains what's being searched, you can bet that your potential customer will know soon too.
  • Was it PPC? Again lets go back to pink X. This time your SEO is sorted out (you took our advice above! Yay!) and your website appears in the top 5 rankings of the search query. But GUESS WHAT - that customer just bypassed them completely! To the top and right hand side of the organic search results, Google displays paid advertisements, and one just caught that darn customers eye! AdWords is a highly effective marketing strategy to use in conjunction with your SEO to catch those customers with ADHD! The best part is, you only pay for the customers who actually click into your page (Pay per click or PPC).
  • Was it Social Media? But wait, there's more! Remember that same customer… before they even Googled what were they doing?! Messing about on Facebook that's what. Unfortunately for you, one of their friends commented on your competitor's fan page touting them as the best seller of 'Pink X'. This comment had appeared in their news feed - The very thing that had triggered the Google search in the first place! It's essential to build your business presence in social media channels to give your brand a voice, and a personality - Not to mention the huge value of personal recommendations.

The common problem with many digital marketing strategy's is that they are generally strong in one area yet fail to grasp the importance of covering all bases.

Social mentions are becoming integral to determining the ranking of your web site in search engines, the quality of your website (i.e. keyword relevance) effects where your ppc ad displays in Google, and you can even optimise your social network status updates to drive traffic straight to your site. It is essential to know how each affects the other, and how to use this to your advantage by creating a comprehensive marketing plan including all 3 elements.

How does your e-marketing strategy compare? Do you buy PPC Ads? Have you had success with SEO? Do people regularly recommend you on Twitter?

5 common business web site mistakes

Justin Daniel - Tuesday, July 05, 2011

After a rush of new clients asking us on how to improve the performance of their sites, we've identified a few common mistakes preventing businesses from achieving their goals. 

Want to ensure a high return on investment from your marketing spend? Read on to ensure your business web site doesn't make these same mistakes.

1. Inadequate web site performance tracking.

Without effective web site statistics software installed on your site how else will you know if your web site is achieving your online goals?

Our preferred analytics software, Google Analytics, is entirely free and allows you to monitor the amount of web site traffic your web site receives, where your web site visitors come from and what they do when they arrive at your site.

You can take web analytics to the next level by setting up goal tracking, which is a great way to monitor how many of your web site visitors convert to clients. This gives you the power to make informed decisions on improving your site over time to increase sales conversions.

2. Lack of web site traffic.

The majority of customers are now seeking their information online. Most business leaders know this but many are left wondering how do I attract more traffic to my site?

Focusing on acquiring targeted web site traffic through an informed search engine optimisation strategy is the key to acquiring Internet users who are looking for your business online.

This is achieved by optimising the web site content for the keywords Internet users are using to find your service offering, a competitive link building strategy to notify search engines your web site is an authority in the field & a social media strategy to drive targeted traffic to your site.

This is not as easy as it sounds. Recent updates to Google's search algorithm has slammed many web sites for acquiring a suspicious amount of links from spammy web sites, resulting in many web sites losing their search engine rankings and web site traffic.

3. Targeting the wrong search terms.

Many businesses have achieved number one rankings for a long list of search terms, but are these the same terms customers are using to find the business?

You must ensure the search terms your business ranks for are in fact the same terms customers are using to find your business.

Keyword research is the most vital and consistently overlooked process for optimising a site to achieve search engine rankings and ultimately web site traffic. Without adequate keyword research a web site doesn't have a fighting chance for finding customers online.

4. Damaging web site development.

Many web sites have little hope of achieving search engine rankings and web traffic as a result of being developed without search engines in mind. Common errors in the code of many sites prevent the site from being indexed and in extreme cases risk the site being banned from search engines.

This includes excessive usage of Flash and Javascript, making search engines unable to crawl and recognise the content of the page. Also, hosting multiple web sites on the same account for the one business with duplicate content.

Shady tactics like these usually inform the search engines the site is trying to game the system and is a prime target for being excluded.

5. Poor usability and design.

Contrary to common belief, design is not subjective. Did you know that 76% of web site visitors determine the credibility of a business from the visual appearance of a web site alone?

A study by Stanford University revealed the common visual cues web site visitors use to judge the credibility of a business. Clean and uncluttered web design, relevant content, restrained use of colours, industry certifications and customer recommendations are just some of the visual signifiers visitors use to make this assessment. 

And this happens within a fraction of a second before your web site visitors make up their mind and close the window to move on to the next site.

Is this all we know?

It has become increasingly difficult for businesses to increase their web site traffic. This knowledge applies to most businesses. But not all.

Whiteclick have developed a separate and specialised body of knowledge on what makes for success in growing targeted traffic to web sites for the ecommerce sector, retail, business to business and many other industries. But this special information is only revealed to Whiteclick clients. 

If you would like to have an informal and confidential discussion on the effective strategies available for finding new customers online, or a receive a free web site health check, feel free to get in touch.

Google's Social Search Update

Giles White - Monday, February 21, 2011

Why only one search marketing conference is required in Australia

Grant Hilton - Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Recently I had the pleasure of attending SMX Sydney 2010 and was especially excited to hear that the conference was going to focus on a more unique advanced track this year. The number of search marketing conferences in Australia are relatively still limited, so they often contain information targeted at beginners or people in business that are seeking a better understanding of what search engine optimisation is and how it can help their business. In my opinion conferences such as SMX, Search Engine Room, ad:tech and CEBIT, despite being very professional and well organised, have become stagnant and far too similar rather than advancing with the industry and representing the current state of search engine marketing in Australia. It has been a known fact for the last few years that Australia trails the USA and the UK in the search world and until there are conferences that can advance our knowledge and experience with the latest developments overseas this will continue to remain so. Therefore the prospect of experiencing more advanced content from speakers at SMX had increased my expectations or had it?

It’s true, the content at SMX Sydney in 2010 was more advanced but this was only evident in the sessions involving the international speakers and was not reflected by many of the Australian speakers. I’m not sure how the selection of Australian speakers takes place but I really hope they took the time to watch the presentation and speaking skills of their international counterparts. They also failed to back up their data/statistics with enough factual evidence by simply stating claims such as, “they have done internal tests that support this”. Anybody can do an internal test but where is the data to back this claim? Has this been tested externally? If so, what were the results? Australia is not going to advance on the USA and UK if we continue down this path.

This is why Australia really needs only one search engine marketing conference (for the time being) that is not held once a year but quarterly in different cities of Australia (ie Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth). We need one brand of search engine marketing conference to attract the best search industry experts to them, which will subsequently produce more knowledge and more sharing of information. These conferences need to start focusing more on learning and the education of the local search industry rather than the networking aspects and the scrumptious food in the breaks.

It’s definitely a positive that SMX has distinguished itself from the other conferences by taking the unique direction of featuring more advanced SEO topics but the Australian speakers also need to be at a similar level of the content and this unfortunately was not apparent. The industry in Australia continues to grow but the only way we can advance further is with more experts leading the way and this can only be done for the time being by attracting more quality international speakers and one conference brand that is more frequent in different cities throughout the year (like in the USA).


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