Online marketing

Preview what your meta description and title tag will…

Found this awesome tool that will help you put together your meta description and title tags.

I am not sure of the research yet but I think a 70 character title tag might be the most optimal size to get click through rate in Google. If you go longer your title tag gets shortened and if you go shorter you are losing real estate.

Entrepreneur

Too aggressive

I have a phrase that I use when I want to describe something as a little over the top and a little bit challenging to people. Generally if you are doing something and you are described as too aggressive its a good thing.

Examples:

  • If you found a way to send out 1,000,000 emails for the same price as sending 100, thats too aggressive.
  • Americans are too aggressive when they do sales pitches.
  • Time Life daytime “old music” repackaged up and sold as classics is too aggressive with the words they use to describe the product.
  • If someone cuts in the line at the bank when you wanted to bank a cheque just because they didn’t consider you, that’s too aggressive.
  • For girls they would prefer to be described as being assertive as opposed to aggressive.
  • If you go to someones house and do something a little offensive, like spill something on their couch that they just bought, that’s too aggressive.

You get the idea.

Let me tell you now whats too aggressive in online marketing.

Spending more money on your PPC than on your SEO is too aggressive.

Investing in SEO is like putting money into a savings account. Sure the interest is small at first, but if you get enough cash in there, you can pull in some serious dollars.

Just investing in PPC is like spending all of your pay cheque and not saving a single cent. (too aggressive)

My advice, get the SEO book. Aaron Wall is a golden SEO’r who can actually write down the techniques. I knew SEO and I bought it because I wanted more traffic. I got it, read it and now dominate. Buy it, read it over time, implement the techniques and save $10,000 in SEO fees that some consultant will charge you.

It will help you generate new ideas for campaigns, build a robost SEO site, fix problems with your rankings to get more traffic and actually help you understand technical things that most of us don’t get.

P.S. The ADMA Forum campaign at present is too aggressive. Sex sells, but I don’t want to pick that thing up at work, what are my colleagues going to think? I reckon a simple up the centre, “ADMA Forum, Make your DM pull better, June 25 – 27th 2008, Sydney Convention Centre. Register Now” would work better. The die hards will already go, they just need to know when it is. Spare me your creative mumbo jumbo just give me a simple benefit with some golden copy for this one, the authority is al.

Rob Edwards, if your reading this, invite me to speak and I will help you get some more bums on seats.

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?”
ALT attributes for images

Google’s Matt Cutts explains ALT attributes for images

Google’s Matt Cutts recently posted a video about how to use ALT attributes for images

The ALT attribute provides alternative or substitute text, for use when the image cannot be seen by a visually impaired person or by a search engine.

In both cases they can’t see the image so you have to describe it in a way that tells them what the image shows. For example if it’s a photo of a Siamese cat than you might use:

<img src=”cat.jpg” alt=”siamese cat”>

This is great for the visually impaired person and also for SEO purposes because the search engine engine has a label to attach to that photo for use in their Image search.

For more information, I’ll handover to Matt’s video (3min 10sec):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NbuDpB_BTc&rel=1&border=0]

Google

How to start a search engine marketing campaign

Why start a search engine marketing campaign?
Buying traffic for the sake of buying traffic will send you broke. The reason is because it isn’t targeted, so you will only get people coming to your website that just leave. Buying just any traffic is like putting up a T.V. ad, you are shooting millions of arrows out to try and hit a prospect. The answer to not wasting your money is to target specific users and prequalify your traffic.

Target specific users – Market to people who are interested in your product. Michael Kiely taught me to “Fish where the fish are”. I took out of that advertise where people are looking for your products. Search engine marketing targets the people who are interested in your products because the visitor types in what they are searching for. The user makes their intentions clear that they are searching for “a way to save my marriage”, keyword typed in = “Save Marriage Book”. Before the user goes to your website they tell you what products they want to see. If your product matches what they want to see you can easily market your product to them.

Prequalify your audience – Buying advertising on a performance basis is a great start but you still don’t want to be paying for traffic that is not sent to your website for the right reason. Getting a user to do something like typing in a query makes the traffic more qualified. Users actually have to search for your ads.

I recommend buying search engine marketing traffic as the first thing to do. The reason is that you can keep your budgets low, ($100 per month) and you can keep the campaign small and manageable to determine what results you get.

How to start your search engine marketing campaign to get instant traffic

Step 1 – Choose your search engine: I recommend starting with Google because it accounts for around 70% of the Australian search engine market traffic. Yahoo and Ninemsn each account for around 12% each and the minor other search engines account for the remainder.
Below is a snapshot from one of my clients websites that shows you the % of traffic they get from each of the search engines.

You can see from the above results that Google is the big Gorilla in the Australian search space so I always recommend you optimise first for it and buy Adwords first. After that consider Yahoo and Ninemsn.

Step 2 – Setup your campaign on Google
I have put a guide together to help you in 7 steps get your site live on google. Just go to www.StartSearchMarketing.com.au and follow the steps.
To begin you will need the following:

  1. A website – You need somewhere to send the traffic you will get from the search engine.
  2. A credit card – This is to pay for your ads.
www.StartSearchMarketing.com.au
Start your search marketing campaign now
Google

Warning, Are you ignoring Your Desperate Customers Searching for…

During the evening my stomach hurt, but when I woke in the morning..

At 1:02am on Monday my stomach hurt so much that I felt like crying, I had no idea what was wrong. My father is an anaesthetist and I called him because he helps me out when I am really unwell. I told him my symptoms and he quickly diagnosed that it was my appendix that was in trouble. I live in Sydney and know of all the private hospitals, although I was in Melbourne for business and had no idea where or what the private hospitals were called. So I did like everyone else would and asked a mate for a recommendation, he said the Alfred Hospital was good in St Kilda so I went there.

At the same time as this I asked my dad to go on Google and find a private hospital in Melbourne, “Private Hospital Melbourne” was the keyword I muttered underneath my pain. Now, my dad couldn’t work out a private from a public hospital in the search engine as they had the worst search engine marketing in the world. I wasn’t exactly in a position to be reading a review as my pain was excruciating. I personally was desperate for care, I would have accepted an Indian backyard shop with a pocket knife if he was going to remove my appendix. The Price was not even a consideration. I would have re-mortgaged my apartment just to get under the knife.

I quickly got into a cab and hurled down the streets to the hospital only to find out it was a public hospital. I have had 2 operations in my life and this one has definitely been up there in the pain stakes. Its amazing how much you use your stomach muscles. I must say that the service speed has not been super at times but the nurses have been great. The food is hospital food and with some creative ordering you can get some nice stuff (I would recommend the spaghetti Bolognaise).

After my operation I heard a diagnosis from my surgeon who said apparently my appendix had actually burst and had created an abscise. My stomach had created a wall around it to stop it from infecting my entire stomach but was not in a good way. The extreme requirement of this situation was drastic although I could not find a single place on the internet for somewhere to fix it. It seems that the hospitals have turned a blind eye to people searching for a hospital to fix their condition in an emergency.

4 things I would immediately do if I were search engine marketing hospitals
  1. Buy Relevant keywords – Start buying up keywords for every single emergency condition and send them to a landing page with address details and a good guide on how to get there.
  2. Optimise the basics on your website – Display a clear title tag for each page. Especially information as to whether you are a private or public hospital.
  3. Put your details on Google Maps – Update your Google map details immediately so that people can quickly and easily find your premises.
  4. Search Optimise your website for emergency terms – Start optimising your website for all of your main services and the conditions they fix. Make sure you create pages optimised for human speak and not just doctor speak. “Appendix out” vs. “Appendectomy”. Emergency terms although it makes me a bit squeamish to say this are good money customers searching for services for hospitals, they need your service as a matter of life or death!

During my stay I have thought of a lot of ideas in terms of hospital marketing. Here are my initial 3 ideas. I am sure some of you entrepreneurs out there could build businesses out of these.

3 Killer ideas for web businesses that would make money in the hospital niche that are currently wide open
  1. Hospital Review website – The website reviews and takes in feedback from people who have used a hospital and makes recommendations. It also provides information and service provisions for the different hospitals.
  2. A directory of hospitals in every major city – A simple directory could bring in a lot of traffic from the travellers and I am sure could be a good audience to market to.
  3. A hospital survival Blog – There must be people out there who have mastered the art of going to hospital and having a superb time. There are so many little nuances and things you pick up over time. Like why doesn’t the tea lady bring me strawberry milk but they do bring the other patients exotic drinks. How do I upgrade my drinks?

Update: I have been discharged this Friday Morning at 10:24am from hospital and am now recovering in a hotel room. After 5 days in hospital I have had a whirlwind experience and look forward to catching up with you for some of my new online marketing strategies I came up with in my hospital bed! Ask me about my new landing page strategy.

Free stuff

Look over my shoulder as I search engine optimise…

Free Search Engine Optimisation Webinar Recording

Last week I did a webinar with SmartCompany and search engine optimised a few websites including:

Key elements we went through:

  1. Overall search engine optimisation performance of a website
  2. Keyword research and selecting profitable words
  3. Structuring your website for keywords
  4. Code optimisation
  5. Inbound Links

Bonus Questions answered
I also answered some very specific questions about search marketing that you can learn a lot from at the later 3rd of the webinar.

You can view the search engine optimisation webinar now.

News:

Freestyle Media adds Goodman Fielder to its speciality FMCG online marketing divison

How to

Surviving a Surge of Popularity

How would you feel if your website wasn’t accessible for a whole day?

Does the thought of that happening make you kind of sick in the stomach?

Well this is exactly what happened to a site I visit regularly (we’ll let them be anonymous to avoid embarrassment).

One evening their site got linked to by a major overseas newspaper and the incoming traffic all through the Australian night was 10x normal … until the site crashed under great stress … and took 24 hours to replicate and bring back up again on a different server.

Prevent this happening to you:

  • Get your site optimized by a specialist internet marketing company – the techniques to make a website user and search engine friendly also make sure that is fast and efficient
  • Make sure your web host can handle sudden unexpected peaks of traffic – ask them if they can guarantee your website will survive what’s known in the trade as the slashdot effect
  • Monitor your website 24/7 and assign an IT manager with a pager/mobile which gets notified if the site goes down so they can react quickly.
How to

Should you optimise your META tags for your SEO?

I get asked at every single SEO conference or talk I do whether or not you should optimise your META tags. Firstly here is my answer:

Title tag <title> – Definately. Probably the most important factor in your SEO

META Description and Keywords tags <meta> – Yes. My reason for this is that although it may not be the most important tag right now it is still a fundamental tag which Google may use more in the future. Below is Matt Cutts (Head of SPAM at Google) view on this.

Matt Cutts on Toolbar Data » Online Marketing Blog: “Let’s take the example in a different context. Meta tags got a bad rap in the early days of search engines because a few people abused them heavily. As a result Google doesn’t use meta tags much in ranking documents. But I’ve learned not to say “We would never use meta tags” because it’s not wise to preclude using any particular signal; in the future, someone might work out a way to use that signal.

So I’m not going to say definitively that Google doesn’t/won’t use toolbar data (or other signals) in ranking. I think what you were picking up on was my long list of “cons” in data like that.”