Online marketing

Website Traffic Problems Solved!

Has your website traffic hit a plateau?
Let me tell you the story of how websites get built. You get all excited, you burst out of the starting blocks because finally you have decided to build a new website! Your team buys into the project, everyone is pitching in to get this project live. You are so happy and relieved at the same time that it goes live. You tell everyone about it – ‘go take a look at it’. It’s new! It’s sparkling! It’s marketing your business!
Normally at this point you check your website stats and you see a good progression of increased visitors! It’s great news! But as the first visitors to the site leave and the developers stop testing it, you notice your website hits a stage I call, Buy Out. Six weeks pass and nothing has changed on the website. The news section is now not news at all, its old content. People start buying out of the project and the website project loses its shine because you start to realise that you need to maintain it and send new people to it. Essentially, people start buying out of the project. The website is tiring, it’s boring and no one wants to be involved anymore. Now it’s not marketing your business and you have a website traffic problem.
How to solve your traffic problem
Increasing traffic is a sign of a traffic problem solved.

Above is what you want to see with your website traffic. Movement, up or down, preferably up is best. The reason why movement in your traffic is so important is because it is a sign that there is activity. The website is doing something.

4 ways quick ways to increase your traffic

  1. Write new content – Add some new content about some recent news, a review of a latest trend or even review the content and add to some of your services pages. This will give Google some new content food to eat and hopefully give you another chance to get more traffic.
  2. Start search engine marketing – Get yourself on Google and run a little test of Google adwords. If you want to take it to another level hire a search engine marketer and do an audit of your website.
  3. Send an email – Sending an email to your database with links back to new content on your website will get you instant traffic. People in your database already know who you are and have already shown interest in what you have to offer. Give them another reason to come back and you will see an increase in traffic.
  4. Audit where you promote your website – make sure your website address is listed at every promotional opportunity such as :
    • Business card
    • Email signature
    • Print advertisements
    • Business shirts
    • Promo cars
    • Brochures
    • Blog comments
    • Proposals
    • Whitepapers
    • TV ads
    • Signatures in forums
    • Facebook profile
    • And every single other interaction you have with the web
  5. Bonus Tip! – Swap databases with a partner and promote your content in their newsletter. If you are a florist partner with a wedding planning company and include a little snippet promoting your article on “How to choose the perfect wedding flowers for your wedding?”

Online Marketing Strategy – Email List Creation #1

The following post is all about building an email list. I am going to do a few posts on this topic and give you examples of how to build a list up.

Laying the Online Marketing Platform

The Online Marketing Strategy for this email list building needs a solid platform to start with. Key elements of this include:

1. Website – You need a website to online market. Its really tough to get list signups without a website. Key things here are a reliable hosting platform to server your websites content and a content management system to enable you to manage your content. Or better you have a great Agency on retainer and you just get them to do all the work! 😉

2. Database (eCRM) – A database can be as simple as a signup form or a little more complex like an eCRM to capture customer details. We use a simple system for our clients that can capture any detail from any type of form and store it in a database. It also allows you to easily export the list out of the eCRM into Excel. I love playing around with data in Excel because it makes it really easy to see whats going on. Complex online database queiries leave me personally confused and I much prefer the good old Excel.

3. Email Sending platform – When it comes to sending bulk emails I cringe at Outlook BCC’ng. Any professional marketer needs a decent piece of software. We use quite a few different platforms and it all depends on what you are looking for. You get variation in: Deliverability, reporting, cost of send, ease of use and Technical support. To some degree each of these elements comes at a different cost, I personally go for the low cost solution because I know what I am doing and I just need a bulk mailer.

The Online Marketing Strategy

At first this diagram seems a little bit too simple. But on closer inspection and throughout the next few blog entries I will go into a lot more detail about each box. For now I am going to talk through the whole strategy and discuss the flows.

Acquisition Channels

The first thing that is required is to acquire traffic through to your website. The channels I have flagged here are very low cost and effective for trialing any online marketing. Lets look at each one:

Email – Email here refers to email lists that you have already compiled, Other peoples email lists and purchased email lists.

WOM – Word of mouth is always a key element of any marketing and happens naturally when after you get enough buzz around something. A great way to spread WOM is through email as it travels really fast. I also bundle Website blogs, forum posts and articles written about you in this category as someone else is spreading the word of mouth through the online medium.

PR – Public Relations is all about getting into the press and building your profile. You need to get your articles into the media and ensure you have a link in the articles pointing through to your website. Article PR is a great way of doing this and I will go into more detail about this in a later post.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing (I have bundled SEO and SEM together here) is the bread and butter of any online marketing. If you want to drive targetted traffic to your website start with the search engines and work from there.

The key here is to drive these traffic acquisition channels into a website and get the user to take an action. The best actions are ones that result in that person signing up to the database.

Next post I will go into more detail about the website and converting that user into a database member.

Next Post about Website Conversion into Database

Did you find this useful? I am putting on an in-person seminar soon. You can signup below for early bird offers and updates to the online marketing tactics:

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Don’t miss chances to improve your online marketing. For a limited time I’m offering you:
* FREE online marketing tactics. Free is always good isn’t it? 😉
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Fred Schebesta
15 Barr Street, Balmain, NSW, 2041. Call me anytime 02 9818 7300

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How to Build an Email List Part 2

Banner marketing

Make the Most of your Marketing Budget with Internet…

Given today’s media consumption habits, it is essential to allocate a portion of your marketing budget to online. But are you getting the most from your investment?
Working with an online marketing expert ensures you use the right mix of tactics for each campaign. These could include:

  • Banner advertising
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Blog marketing
  • Article marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • promotional websites and
  • Search engine marketing/optimisation (SEM/SEO)

Banner advertising

The original online marketing tool and still used widely, these days banner ads can include page takeovers, large format sizes and with new technologies, be updated with real-time content on-the-fly, to maximise an effective message or tie-in with a current event.

Pay per Click advertising

This strategic and highly targeted approach offers best value for money, as you only pay for ads or links that are clicked on. However, using this niche approach you may miss a potentially wider market. There is also the risk of losing your targets if the message doesn’t resonate. Some fine-tuning may be required to get the results you expect.

Article Marketing

As well as paid online advertorials, many businesses create libraries of resource articles which both explain, as well as subtly sell, their wares. These can be published on their own site/s, and also provide content to others. On top of using the information to engage and convert potential buyers, highly ranked articles can also boost a site’s search engine ranking, if many others sites link to it.

Email Marketing

A well established form of communicating with existing or prospective customer, an eNewsletter can inform, sell and entertain, with the most effective doing all three in a succinct format. With today’s spamming laws it is mandatory to maintain an up-to-date database which respects a recipients’ contact preferences.

Viral Marketing

Spawned and supported by email, viral marketing success depends on creating an entertaining or interactive piece that people wish to forward to friends and colleagues. This type of activity is created everyday in the form of puns and jokes, and can be used a guerrilla tactic by brands to engage or inform.

Blog marketing

Evolving the community aspect of online a step further, blog marketing uses a tribal environment to create a culture of inclusion. In this way blogs also become a useful tool for mining opinions and behaviours of key targets. It is imperative than any corporate voices driving the blog are pitched to suit the participants.

Promotional sites

In one form or another all websites provide an aspect of marketing support. Promotional sites however have been built specifically as a campaign element to support a promotion, as an entry mechanic and/or a loyalty builder. They are the perfect avenue to run sampling and can provide additional tie-ins that cost very little to deliver such as screensavers, cursors etc.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The ultimate requirement in web marketing success, SEM and SEO drive traffic to your site. Smart copy and build will ensure your site is easy for search spiders to mark. To rate on the most popular engines you will need to submit and sometimes pay for the privilege. Other sites linking to yours will improve rankings. You can also buy search engine listings to ensure a higher placement.

Use an online marketing expert

More than any channel, the web enables marketers to track consumer actions and closely monitor ROI. If you are not getting high value for money from your web marketing dollars, you may need to revisit your strategy. Talk to me about how we can help you.

Banner marketing

How to choose an online marketing company

A guide to choosing an online marketing company

By Fred Schebesta

All marketing managers are beginning to embrace online marketing as a core element to their marketing activities. When choosing an online marketing agency to work with, there are many pitfalls that can be easily avoided. This whitepaper goes through the main elements in your selection process:

What are the 5 key steps when looking for in a full service online marketing agency?
A specialist online marketing agency vs an advertising agency
Online marketing agency vs specialist online marketing services providers

The 5 key elements to look for in a good full service online marketing agency

1. A full service offering from a full service agency

Many agencies propose to provide a full service although cannot actually provide it. A full service agency should provide the following services inhouse:

Online marketing strategy – There are many digital agencies out there that don’t have the online marketing smarts. If you’re a marketer work with a online marketing agency not just a digital agency, you will get better strategy and ideas and you wont find yourself briefing them on simple marketing concepts.

Search engine marketing
– Both search engine optimization and pay per click search marketing are key tools in your online marketing exploits and you need your agency to provide this.

Online Copywriting – An online copywriter is different to a print copywriter and you are going to need the online type here.

Website Design and Development – An inhouse production team of designers and developers. Video production is also key for producing webcasts although does not need to be inhouse

Email marketing – Email is the underpinning on any good online marketing campaign and your agency needs to be proficient in creating, sending and reporting on email campaigns.

Flash Production – Macromedia Flash is the key to making your websites look funky, agencies usually have very good flash developers but just check that they do.

Banner Advertising – If you want to raise your brand awareness banner ads are a good way to go, you are definitely going to need an agency to build these for you.

Content management system – every agency has a way to manage a websites content but make sure that their CMS is decent.

Usability and website auditing – Your going to need to review your website every now and again and your agency needs to give your website a good audit to do that.

The above services are all key from a full service online marketing agency. As a corporate business it is essential to have an agency that can provide all of these services. These are fundamental elements to your online marketing and it is imperative at a selection process to ensure you have these requirements met.

Other services depending on what the company you work for is may include:

  • Ecommerce setup and management
  • Web Hosting
  • eCRM systems integration

2. Latest trends in online marketing

Online marketing is still quite a new field of marketing and hiring an agency with the knowledge and experience of the best techniques and tactics will put you in good stead.

Right now there are some key trends occurring in online marketing:

Social networking and blogging – Social networking is going to a new level as more and more people go online. People speaking with other people online on your website is the key to building up a community.

CSS vs table layout development – Website development has evolved and good web developers use CSS to separate the content from the visual display of their website.

Big Daddy and other search engine algorithm changes – The algorithms are always changing you need your agency to be up to date with this and change your websites search engine optimization to cater for this.

Website Usability trends – Marketers have now realized that getting traffic to your website is one thing but getting someone to have a good experience with the website is now invaluable. Usability analysis is becoming the next big wave like search engine marketing is now.

These trends are always changing and the above suggestions will be old hat very soon. Although a good online marketing agency will be able to answer and demonstrate implementations of the new trends and smarts online marketers need to compete and deliver outcomes.

3. Read their thinking and view their past work

A good online marketing agency practices what it preaches and does online marketing itself. Here are key ways you can review or understand their level of thinking:

Blogs – Read the agencies blog. See if it’s up to date. See who contributes what and if you like their thinking

Portfolio – Look at some of the portfolio works of their clients. See what you like about them. Remember that each piece of work is different and each client wants a particular need met. Some pieces of work they have done may not look spectacular although may have met the budget requirements or timeline and delivered what the marketer needed.

Client list – Who are their direct clients. These are usually the ones that they have done the best work for since they get to harness all of their best skills. Many agencies work with other agencies to deliver work for clients, although this third party can either add value or drastically reduce the outcome. The best agency to agency model is where the online agency is left to do and recommend work and the offline agency provides brand and customer insight.

Search for them on Google – See where they have been published. See what other places they spring up. Sometimes there is more to a company than meets the eye e.g. you might find some of their charity work they are involved in.

4. Invite them to present to you and meet their key staff

Once you have short listed some of the agencies you like invite them in to present to you. Meet the following people and look for these qualities:

Online marketing strategist – This is the guy with the online marketing smarts, the ideas guy. He will guide you through the mess of online marketing and consult to you as to what is feasible and what the low hanging fruits are.

Technical director – This is the person that will oversee all of your technology, development and coding. They ensure that websites are built correctly and that they last. It is all well and good to design and think up pretty pictures but you need a good technological platform and specialists to ensure that it works.

Creative director – This is the person with the creative genius to make your online marketing and websites look good and get the special attention your marketing needs. Usability and site architecture also need to be the lifeblood of a good creative director.

Account Manager – Invite the Account manager that you might be working with to the meeting. You don’t want to hate who you work with day to day.

When hiring an agency you are looking for a team of specialists to work with you. This harmony of working together produces the best results for your marketing and makes it easy to deliver the marketing outcome you requir

5. Match your company with the best agency

When selecting an agency it always comes down to matching. Matching your business to the other business. Key elements to ensure match include:

Size – What size of business do you need to deliver your online marketing? Big agencies are more costly but can produce more work and have better people

Requirements and specialities – An independent online agency tends to have more specialization and do more things inhouse. An advertising agencies offshoot tends to have ok people although you wont get the raw experience that a specialist will give. The offshoot generally is strong in banner advertising and flash production although weak in web development, CMS and search engine marketing.

Companies fit together – Look at the culture of the agency, look at its staff and where it is trying to go. Does that work with what you are trying to achieve. If you need to conquer new territory in your company perhaps a more adventurous agency would be good. If you want to do very vanilla web development and nothing more perhaps a more vanilla agency.

Choosing an agency is an expensive process and sometimes very difficult.

If you would like to review Freestyle Media when considering the appointment of your online marketing agency please call 02 9818 7300 or email to arrange an appointment.

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