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Landing Page Optimization

Yesterday I attended a webinar “Conversion Ninja Toolbox with Tim Ash” which was extremely helpful.

Some great inexpensive tools for analyzing and helping to create better optimized landing pages were discussed.

But the most compelling part for me was in the end of the presentation when Tim critiqued landing pages that attendees sent in before the webinar.  The landing page I sent in was the first, it was difficult to watch but I had to keep reminding myself I hadn’t built this page I knew what was wrong with it but I really needed and wanted more input on what should be done to make it better.

As a result I think I’m going back to the drawing board.  I had begun building a few other possible landing pages that are awaiting approval but I’m now going to apply the techniques and suggestions from this webinar and take a stab at making a better landing page.

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Marketing can lead people to your site but that doesn’t make them leads

Clicks, visits, visitors, unique visitors, page views, time on site, etc. don’t really mean a whole lot if they are converting!

Organic, and Paid search along with social media can create traffic to any site but the site must lead the users through the conversion process in such a way that the convert.  Whether that is by filling out a form for a case study or white paper, signing up for a newsletter or blog rss feed, or registering for a trial membership the most important thing is to capture that conversion!  At the end of the day we’re all measured on that end resulting goal of the all might ‘Conversion’.

So I ask myself time and time again how to get that person to that form and how to get them to WANT to fill it out?  Not just using calls to action…not dangling more information in front of them…but make them WANT to be a part of that end result?  I believe that it is going to be by giving them the user experience they need to lead them through the research, sales process, and eventually the sale.  The one thing that is lacking in so many marketing and sales strategies is the user experience.  utilizing landing pages and A/B testing to build a better experience that will convert traffic into customers.

Site Audit Time Again

When starting a new SEO project for a site you’ve never worked on before?  How to get started?  My first step is always to Audit the site.  I take the site pages one at a time, in order of importance of course, and build a spreadsheet of important info I need for on-page optimization.

Page Name	URL	Keyword(s)	Current <TITLE>	Optimized <TITLE>	Chars	Current Meta Desc	Optimized Meta Description	Chars	H1 Titles	Optimized H1 Titles	Content 	Optimized Content

After I have the current site’s information I can then see what I want or need to edit.  It also helps me track my changes over time and see how my optimization changes worked in the long term.

I then run base-line reports to get a perspective on the site’s current performance.  Key site information such as number of inbound links, pages indexed, current keyword SERPs, and of course a spider simulation to see how the site looks to the search engines are part of my long term planning and goals assessment.

SEO Competitive Statistics

As well as looking at the inbound linking

link popularity of web site

Next I analyze the analytics, and reporting information to get a full picture of how well the site is converting.  Looking over the background data for 3 – 4 months of the key performance indicators such as visits, page views, leads, conversions, etc.  are a good indication of how the site has been performing and an idea of where to put your ongoing goals.I also build a competitive analysis so that I can see how the site looks against the competition.

Finally, and possibly the most difficult is the acceptance and implementation of optimization changes and all the hard work ahead.   It is a challenge but the reward of optimizing an existing site to create better performance is ‘priceless’.

The end of Meta-Keywords

For years the meta-keyword has been on the way out but now the final large search engine to still use meta-keywords for page ranking has dropped it.   Yahoo Drops The Meta Keywords Tag Also announcement that Yahoo is following the crowd and dropping the Meta Keyword tag.  But this doesn’t mean that keywords aren’t important anymore. Keywords are still important, optimizing landing pages for specific keywords is still very important.

Dropping the meta-keyword tag means that the search engines are no longer using that tag to decide on ranking of a page.  But the use of the meta-keyword tag is still important as an optimization tool in creating, maintaining, and monitoring landing pages.   In my case even though the search engines don’t use the meta keywords tag for ranking I have an will continue to use the tag as a record for myself and other interested parties such as website producers, content writers, etc.  Keeping this tag logs on the landing page what keywords that page is being optimized for and is helpful for content producers, PPC management, and optimization reporting and monitoring.

Web Site Designers & SEO

I’m seeing a lot of web site design firms that ‘say’ they do SEO to the sites they build but from what I’m seeing after they launch the sites, they really aren’t doing any SEO work on the sites.  Many of these companies really don’t know or understand what SEO is and trust these design firms to do it all for them.  Unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of wonderful sites that don’t even have basic SEO elements.  

Recently a friend’s company had a Web Design firm do a much needed new web site design for the company.  The site went up Friday and the site itself came out beautiful I have to say it’s a great look and feel, the usibility is simple and stream lined.  Really wonderful ‘design’.

 Unfortunately, the SEO quality of the site which the design firm promised leaves much to be desired.  They really dropped the ball on even the most simple and easiest SEO elements.  Looking at the meta-tags they used the same tags for every single page!  The same title, meta-description and keywords.   They re-define ‘keyword stuffing’ in the meta-tags as they used the same 30 keywords for every single page!

 I’m afraid that this beautiful site is just not going to end up cutting it and getting the company what they really need to succeed.  It took a great deal of convincing to get the company to see the need for their web presnce and now they have this fantastic site but how is anyone going to find it?  Unfortunately the web just isn’t ‘Build it and they will come” anymore.  And they are in an EXTREMELY competitive market that their company has never tapped before.  They have HUGE potential here but without even the SEO basics being hit I’m afraid that they are going to give up on the internet and its potential.  

As I speak to other small businesses they seem to have the same idea, get a great site with lots of flash and pretty pictures and they will come…SEO is too time consuming for them to deal with so they aren’t even going to try or start their site on the right foot with the search engines 😦

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt 5

Now What?

Post regularly to the social sites you have joined.

  • Comment on posts
  • Post your own content
  • Post other relevant content of interest
Create content to post to social media and post it
  • Post to relevant topics
  • Send to your ‘friends’
  • Comment on your post
Invite Guest to write for you
  • Invite people from your ‘friends’ list to write for your blog or site.

Make it easy for people to find you on Social Media and Follow your content

  • Build RSS Feed
  • Make links on your site or blog to your social media profile so people can ‘friend’ you and follow you there.

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt 4

Social Network Effects on Traffic

 

A little goes a long way and social marketing is not an “all or nothing” situation. Eventually you will establish yourself on the major social media sites you need to be on. And you will have a schedule that allows you to keep up with your other work while adding this extremely powerful marketing method to the mix.
  1. More activity on their blogs, such as more commenting and interaction.
  2. Direct traffic from incoming links on social media sites (One good StumbleUpon.com submission can net thousands of visitors alone.)
  3. Fast traffic increases and steady growth in unique visitors month after month.
  4. An increase in subscribers and sales. Social traffic, properly acquired, is very warm to your content, messages, and products. 

Steps For Starting a Social Marketing Campaign 

 

  1. Sign up for the major social sites: Digg.com, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn .  Don’t submit anything to these sites until you have filled out your profile completely and submitted news from elsewhere on the web to generate a real presence and avoid being labeled as a spammer. (Do not only submit your own content to social networks, be sure to submit content from other sites or sources as well)
  2. Schedule a bit of time each day to do some new things. Don’t just say you are going to do them. Write the time into your day and follow through.
  3. Join groups, make ‘friends’, and interact with others on these networks. Especially the people who would be most likely to link to your content and send you traffic, who write about similar things or have an audience similar to yours who’d benefit by knowing you. You can even start your own group, promote it in the network, and send “shouts” to the group when you have announcements or need attention to a new post.

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt 3

Social Media sites are where people post links to information they feel is relevant or vote for or comment on this information, such as articles and blogs.  Anyone can browse and look at content while members of the site may post and comment, but anyone can see or comment without having to be invited by another individual.

Examples are:
Digg
  • Reddit
  • Stumbleupon
  • Mixx
  • Delicious
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Blogs

A good social media optimization plan would include seeding these mediums with information and relevant links to content.  Building a network of ‘friends’ and posting other relevant information consistently.  You would not just post your own content but content that is relevant to your business or industry.  Be active and vocal, comment on items of interest and be an active member of the community.  

How To Promote Content On Social Media Pt. 2

Social Networks are sites where people’s interactions are the main focus of the information presented. You have to be invited or be a part of the group to interact in social networks.

Examples are:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • LiveJournal
  • LinkedIn

Joining these networks and building a network of ‘friends’ to share your site information with will help build your brand and bring about word-of-mouth traffic and inbound links to your site’s content.  Posting to these networking sites and building up a ‘friends’ list that will appreciate and utilize your information is critical.

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt. 1

This will be a series of posts about promoting content on social networks geared for small companies and individuals to learn the basics and how to get started and why it is important to utilize social media.

What is it and how does it work?

Social media/networking is the new frontier and for those unfamiliar it can be a daunting question. What is social media? How do I use it? Why should I use it? What will it do for me?

Social media is the use of sites that allow users to post and communicate information through the internet and mobile devices directly or through topical or groups.

They can be broken down into two distinct groups, Social Networks and Social Media

The Benefits of Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization is a relatively new, often misunderstood form of online marketing that is reaping huge rewards for website owners who incorporate it into their marketing plans.

  • Social networks are a good place to gain new eyes on content.
  • Social networks are good relevant inbound links.
  • Bringing content to a larger community.
  • Finding readers for specific topics.
  • Creating ‘word of mouth’ syndication of content through social networks.