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San Jose Web Development - See NetEdge's Difference

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Earn Big Returns with an Effective Web Site Marketing Plan

What does your web site do for your company? If you answered anything other than, “Increases profit,” the web site is a liability. Grab the lion’s share of online customers looking for your products and services--or your competition will. Learn how by answering The Five Questions.

Five Questions You Need to Ask Before Investing in Web Site Marketing

You wouldn’t pay a contractor to build a new office building for your company until you were certain that the construction would more than pay for itself by meeting your current needs and anticipating future growth. In the same way, an investment in web design and development needs a solid plan before construction begins. 

Ask Yourself:

  1. What do we want the web site to do for our organization? Start your site’s web design and development by analyzing your company’s web site marketing objectives. Do you need to establish your company’s branding and image online? Increase sales? Bring in more leads? Reduce operation costs and improve efficiency? 
  2. Who do we want to attract to the site? Know who your target customer is and exactly what they’re looking for. Then work with your web site development consultant to implement strategies that capture the prospect’s attention and lead them to your site. 
  3. What do we want the visitor to do when they arrive at our web site? Contact you for more information? Get a quote? Make a purchase? The web site development and design should appeal to visitors, build your credibility, overcome any hesitations they may have, and entice them to act immediately. 
  4. How will we know what marketing strategies are successful and what need to be improved? A solid web analytics program gives you detailed information about the success of your internet marketing campaigns--who is visiting, where they've come from, what they’re looking for, how they behave on your site, and much more. Most web developers can implement web analytics technology in a web site, but it’s essential that your web analytics strategy includes an expert who knows how to interpret this information, see how it fits with your web site marketing objectives, and make effective recommendations. 
  5. Technology changes rapidly. How do we keep our site current and relevant? A vital part of an effective web design and development strategy is planning for future growth and changes in technology. Your internet marketing consultant, like other trusted business advisors, should create a web site that anticipates changing technology and easily accommodates it. They should also conduct regular evaluations of your site’s status, and make recommendations to ensure you stay on top of the competition.

Do you have more questions about marketing your business online? NetEdge's expertise and dedication to helping our customers achieve their internet marketing objectives sets us apart. 

Landing page - Are you ready to convert your online visitors?

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

landing pages, website landing pages, why landing page is important, lading page designsLanding Page Design

Only 2 seconds - glory or gloom?   

Research shows that visitors to a web page take between 2 to 8 seconds to decide whether they have come to the right place. Your landing page can either hold their attention in those precious 2 seconds or watch them click away from it. If they stay, you now stand a better chance that they will go find what they came looking for by following through on the call(s) to action you set for them. What this means is that a mere 2 seconds is all the time you have to achieve conversion or face failure.

Now that is a tough challenge. One that you should be fully prepared for. An important part of being prepared is knowing what the best practices are and avoiding common mistakes in landing page design, content and implementation.
 

Landing Page - A Gateway to Your Brand

First impressions count, so make sure they're great!   

Similar to a store's window display or signage, a landing page is often the first touch point for your brand. A potential customer's impression of your landing page goes a long way in determining and influencing his or her experience with your brand. It's up to you to ensure that this impression is a positive one, because you can be sure, it will be a lasting one!

From a design planning and layout perspective it helps to keep in mind that:

  • A majority of users will quickly scan a landing page like a magazine or book cover - left to right, diagonally across and down the page and back to the top.
  • A strategically designed landing page will have the main message front and centre at the top of the page.
  • The call to action or conversion tool (form, button, coupon, etc.) will be also be very close to the top on the right-hand side.
  • The main body text will be above the fold and neatly formatted for easy scanning.

These are the fundamentals that can help optimize the results of your landing page

A Landing Page Does Not Have to Be A Final Destination

If they have landed, they must travel, explore, discover and experience!  

Be aware that if your visitors have stayed beyond the 2 seconds you can do much more with their mindshare. Not every visitor may convert right away. Many will want to know more about your company and products / services. There are some that will linger, click on the link(s) to other pages of your website (so make sure you have some good ones in there), take their time to get more information before clicking on your form or call to action button on the landing page.

Let there be no confusion that the focus of your landing page should still be on that one important message and lead to a single, strong call to action. Too many images, verbose copy, confusing and cluttered calls to action will simply distract visitors and drop your performance levels. However, it pays to think beyond the short-term objectives of a landing page and integrate your online strategies for the long term. Return on investment or ROI is not a one-time gain; there are ways to keep it ongoing and incremental.

Why Do You Need a Lead Nurturing System?

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Lead Nurturing System WSI Internet MarketingWe’ve talked a little about lead nurturing before (see our post, “How to turn your website into a lead-generation machine”), but let’s take a little deeper look at this subject, because lead nurturing is an essential part of your online conversion system.

Lead nurturing earns your prospects’ interest and trust over a period of time, especially for a more expensive or hard-to-define product or service. You’re not selling -- you’re giving out useful information that encourages your leads to rely on you as an expert in your field. Then when they’re ready to buy, they’ll buy from you. It's farming, not hunting. Just as a farmer plants seeds and nurtures them as the grow, you stay in touch with your prospects as they learn more and more about your services and gradually become ready to make a buying decision.

Let’s use a chiropractic office as an example. Many prospective patients don't even know what a chiropractor really does, and they have tons of questions and concerns: "How do I tell a good chiropractor from a so-so chiropractor? Is chiropractic right for my condition? Does it make sense financially?" They're much more likely to go with the chiropractor who addresses their questions with helpful bits of information spread out across a series of communications -- say, one day after the initial contact, then five days, then a week, then two weeks. Along the way, the chiropractor builds trust by sharing his expertise and positions himself as the logical choice when it's time to make that first appointment.

This kind of lead nurturing pays off in the business-to-business sector too. If, say, a bank distributes regular “state of the industry” blurbs to the businesses it serves or works alongside, it solidifies its position as the trusted advisor for financial information.

Whether you’re B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer), however, bear in mind that you don’t just take your leads and throw them into a generic series of emails (it's one of the most deadly mistakes for many email marketing campaigns). You want to craft a series of responses that address where they are in the decision-making process.

If they’ve just begun to shop, for instance, you may want to present general industry information about how to select the right company for their needs. Then as they stick with you as leads you can gradually offer more direct information about your own company -- again, not to sell but to add value and strengthen their feeling that they know and trust you.

Nurture your leads, and eventually they will nurture your profits!

How to Turn Your Website into a Lead-generation Machine?

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

lead generation machine, online marketing campaign, lead nurturing systemA passive website is a useless website, as least for business purposes. You want your company’s website to generate leads and deliver those leads to you in a measurable, manageable way. So how do you find those prospects and turn them into customers? Here are five basic techniques that any business can (and should) use to make it happen. 


1. Capture that 98%

A typical business website or online marketing campaign is doing well to hit a 2 percent sales conversion rate. What’s our instinctive response to this scenario? Many businesses will try to pad that 2 percent out to 3, 4, 5 percent by employing little tweaks like extra landing pages or a prettier website design -- effectively giving up on the outstanding majority who visited but didn’t buy. Not everyone buys right away, of course, and you can't win 'em all. But shouldn't you implement a plan to capture these leads and boost their interest in your products or services until they are ready to buy?

2. Lead Nurturing System

Once you have leads, you want to nurture them by addressing their needs and answering their questions, including the all-important questions, “Why buy?” and “Why buy from you (and not your competition)?” Everyone has objections to buying. Anticipate them. Once you know what your prospects fear about making that purchase, you can prepare the correct answers to allay those fears. Buyers love information, especially free information. Give them the value of your expertise by sharing tips, offering incentives, and generally being useful without asking anything in return. But most of all, keep them listening to what you have to say.

3. Track it (Web Analytics)

You wouldn’t do your books by “guesstimating.” Don’t do your marketing that way either. If you don’t have hard numbers on how your website is performing as a lead-generating tool, then you’ll have no idea how to optimize it to make it perform better. There are a ton of free web analytic tools out there, among which Google Analytics is probably the best known. Some of these systems provide tons of detailed information about your web traffic, including frequency and length of visits, where they went, how they got there, where they exited from, what web browser they were running...you get the idea.

And yes, sometimes it can seem like an overwhelming mass of data to sift through and interpret. (Our own eFusion system tries to make it simpler by pointing out the most important stuff to users.) But if you want to know how those prospects behave and what they care about, that data is gold.

Once you’ve turned those prospects into customers, hang onto them for dear life. It costs four times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an old one. And just about the worst way to keep your customers is by annoying them with the same old email pitches month after month. You don’t have to make these people buy -- they’re already your buyers! All you have to do is keep them informed. Send useful guides, tips or other genuinely appreciated data instead of strident ads and arm-twisting emails. Use blogs or other social media channels to solicit feedback and interact with your clientele as valued friends, not sales targets.

5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)  and Social Media: Final Step, Not First Step.

Every company wants to drive more traffic to its website, and that's why so many of them invest so much money into search engine optimization. But if your lead nurturing and customer retention systems aren't already in place to accommodate those new visitors, they won't stick around to become buyers -- and you're right back to your 2 percent conversion rate. Don't put the cart before the horse. Make sure your website is operating as a well-oiled lead capture/generation machine before implementing your SEO and social media campaigns to usher the online community toward.

Website Metrics: The Least You Need to Know

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Web Analytics Report Dashboard, google analytics, website metricsYou can learn a lot from your website -- especially when it comes to lead generation and nurturing. How did your visitors find you? What pages did they look at? What worked for you, and what didn’t? Paying attention to these metrics, with the help of web analytics tools, can reveal exactly what you need to do to strengthen your company’s attractiveness on the Web. Here are the numbers that we feel matter most:

  1. Number of your return visitors and new visitors from your targeted area. Your “target” might be a vertical, a demographic, or if you’re a local business, a city. Modern geo-targeting techniques even allow Google to return results based on a smartphone’s precise geographic location.
  2. Number of visitors referred by search engines. Which search engines, for starters? Google is still the 800-pound gorilla here, so if you only focus on getting one search engine’s attention, the choice is pretty simple.
  3. Keyword(s) that drew your visitors to your site. While any traffic is good traffic, watch for patterns that can betray weaknesses in your keyword distribution. Say, for instance, that everyone referred to your website searched your company name to get there. Obviously you’re not turning up on keyword searches related to your industry, so it might be time to install more of those industry keywords into your SEO.
  4. Pages visited. Which web pages did your visitors land on first? How long did they stay there? Most importantly, did they spend time on the pages you really wanted them spend time on -- the pages you feel are most important to driving sales and converting prospects into customers?
Keep a close eye on these critical metrics and you’ll find that analyzing your web traffic isn’t so hard after all -- especially if it means more sales!

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