Sunday, 14 September 2008

Organic and PPC: selling tool

Four steps to sale

Qualification stage: Keyword
Selling phase 1: Adword ad / Organic ad
Selling phase 2: Landing page

Very simply organic and paid search ads are just another way of selling a product. They are small text, sometimes image ads which are clicked on by a qualified visitor. By qualified the potential customer has gained their qualification as they typed in a key-phrase in the search engine which relates to your product or service group. The adwords or organic text ad, is part of selling phrase 1 – on click / arrival to you site, it is time to get their interest by providing the customer with all the information they need.

If I was buying a shirt offline, checked out the spec; it fits, I would want to know if it was available in other colours too, same as if I was online. Other things online are of interest to me ie: I may need to find out about delivery details, as I need the shirt tomorrow, I could consider the sale as being a great deal and look for a ‘recommend a friend to this site’ offer. I then make the purchase and on leaving the checkout I was made aware what else was available after I left the checkout. I have re-qualified, next time I enter could be via the site name; thus I will be taken to special offers appearing on home page straight away. This is why the home page should appear on search for company name.

When picking up potential customers at the qualification stage, prominence should be given to the longer key-phrases, rather than single keyword, as these potentials are more likely to convert. Bear this point in mind when setting up PPC campaigns and Organic strategies.

What potential customers look out for in Selling phase 2.

Selling point 1 should be confirmed
Can they clearly find product or service looking for?
What other info could they need – can they find it?
If ready to buy are you providing them with a clear call to action?
Also consider who they are new v existing customersReview the image what is this portraying to above audience – does it match ad in selling phase 1.

Web Analytics for you

Help with Web Analytics

We can help you verify, analyse and interpret your web site data in line with your business goals.
At the first stage, we will help you define who your customers are, reviewing what they are searching for; what's important to them (voice of customers online community). This process helps us work with you to idenfity your key areas for growth, which will help set your overall goals and a clearer understanding on how to deliver to your online customer base.

Analytic implementation

Correct implementation of your web analytics will help you answer critical business questions of your websites effectiveness and highlight to you how your website is interacting with your customers.

Hint: The structure of the website should be driven by both the company and the customers.

Establishing a successful Web Analytics Framework

Clever use of your web analytics can help you and your company release the insight from the numbers. It will assist with future site design, architecture and indicate clear product / service drivers which will lead to development of a more profitable company site.

Analytics makes your site changes more meaningful and in line with customer habits.

Where to start

Pretty simply, start by defining your business goals and the goals for your website. Should you have separate product-managers speak to them, as each product-group will potentially have different targets / outcome & audience groups. Working with the project managers or solely, it is important to make sure you document and prioritise your goals and that the metrics being focused on can be actionable.

For example if you find an issue in your shopping cart, make sure you have the necessary back up / help to correct this.

Make use of the features in your web analytics package to assist you in reporting. For example; custom reporting and tracking via the use of tags on and off site.Consider how the analytics package can report on both high and medium level goals.

This may involve you setting up separate profiles in your analytics utilising use of filters –ie: you may just want to track success of organic traffic to the site.

Time to Analyse

The general rule is that you should spend 80% of your time on analysis and only 20% on reporting. Hint; make sure you keep a project list of all developments on your site ie: new banner, new page, new tracking – this will help clearly identify results.

Some areas of particular interest to me in analytics is reviewing the paths visitors took around the site, reviewing how they reached the product page and what creative on or off the site led to a purchase.

If you find that a high % are visiting a particular product page and leaving straight away, then, this may be due to your pricing strategy or they could have arrived by accident (see you organic keyword report).

A complete review will allow you to decipher:

1. How you can make your site better (navigation)
2. What customers particular like (engagement, page views, time in category)
3. How you can use the information to devise retention strategies
4. Whether you can make improvements to your calls to action
5. Look at particular market segments coming to your website, think about how the site
can be optimised for that segment. (ie: Review site traffic, build 'compare us' table)
6. etc, etc, etc – read Web Analytics an hour a day by Avinash Kaushik

Room to improve?

Remember analysis may not always indicate room for improvement, at these stages you could test things on the site to see if performance can be enhanced. This may mean moving a call to action button, or change creative (A/B testing), test different copy, give more prominence to certain benefits.

Hint; If there is a problem and you just can’t seem to fix it, speak to a usability company who can lead insight into the cause of the problem the web analytics has defined.

Analysis Paralysis

Don’t get carried away with the review, always consider how what you are finding will effect your overall business goals. If what you are reviewing is not related to overall business gain, then exclude this data. You don’t want to fall victim to a condition known as “analysis paralysis”.

Keep things focused

Develop scorecards of key business metrics, indicating where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. These are also helpful when sharing the information with other members in your company. Ongoing review is critical, to obtain a clearer insight into the need and behaviour of your online customers and will help you identify business opportunities as your customers needs evolve.

Four step process

1. Outline your business metrics
2. Set up your reports in relation to business metrics
3. Analyse
4. Optimise the site / take action

WikiPedia thoughts

Why WikiPedia

Did you know that WikiPedia add “nofollow” on all external links, so that no link gain passes from Wikipedia to an external site. This policy does change the motivation of spammers and SEO professionals to add information to the site, which is a good thing in my opinion.

However just because you can’t get link quality score from WikiPedia, shouldn’t mean that it should be forgot about: as there is still traffic to be gained from having a Wikipedia entry.

The Wikipedia Ethos

The ethos of Wikipedia is that anyone can add and edit anything quickly and easily: however they do have a stringent and high level amount of quality and accuracy checks. It is against Wikipedia external linking policy to add links to sites you own, maintain or represent, so it’s best to add a WikiPedia account that can’t be connected to you. Seems like a dodgy tactic, but it’s true, and based on experience !!

What’s good about having an entry

Having an article mentioned or company entry on WikiPedia can only indicate one thing credibility. Also if you are a new start up, having an entry here could provide the impression that your organisation is bigger than it actually is (more legitimate). In a way having an entry on Wikipedia could be classed as being reputation management, its better to be there than not be there.

A few Wikipedia Tips

Because external links are so hard to add consider adding reference links.

If you do have problems adding an entry – make sure you contact the person who disapproved it, to find out what you could have done differently. If you are not getting anywhere fast, move on.

Make sure you meet the “notability test” and have added a reference to back your entry up, these could be online press releases. Check out Wiki-news, see if anything has been written in there.

Make use of categories, you can place the entry in more than one category via the use of category tags.

Contribute-yourself, to other WikiPedia posts– and build up age history in WikiPedia.

And if all the above fails, become BFF (best friends forever) with a Wikipedian (Editor on WikiPedia).

Good Luck

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Benefits and Pitfalls of Adsense

If you are a niche site and you are yet to start generating revenue, Google Ad-sense would be a good move initially. Later date could look at sponsorship directly with advertisers.

How Adsense works:

Google use their sophisticated algorithm to determine the content and context of your web pages, they then match Google ads to each page.

Before they send out their robot with its algorithm rule book, Google will firstly look at your URL to determine which ads to display, if the site has yet been cached.

There is help to specify what adwords ads you don’t want to appear, just in-case it displays something which doesn’t suit ie: if local food directory focus on organic food – and ad for “Pizza takeaway local delivery” or one of the sites competitor would be unprofitable choice.


Easy to set up, inexpensive and accessible – good for short term cash flow

Useful to identify other related sites – ones to contact in the future – possible collaboration to help each other increase traffic to your sites – help identify new
Marketing routes in future months.

Google does offer a higher % of payment to the website owner than other similar sites, the mode of payment is via EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) directly into your bank account


Could appear that you need extra income, harm credibility with viewers

No guarantees that ads will result in income

White space isn’t always a disadvantage – see the white space which surrounds this page: