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I’m NOT an SEO Company: Here’s Why

February 19, 2011
Hi folks, I’ve doing a lot of thinking about what is unique about my SEO consulting business. And it boils down to the fact that I’m simply ‘NOT A COMPANY’. So many SEO companies have no character or personality and end the end, you don’t actually know who you’re going to be dealing with. In my experience, when dealing with other businesses, I like to work with another person. Why? Because once I’ve established a relationship with that person, there is a social obligation to get the work done right. So that’s why I’m not a company. I’m an individual. If you haven’t already, take a look around my website. There’s lots of free ebooks I’ve written to help you understand SEO better and even manage some of the work yourself, such as the ‘Australian Small Business Guide to Keyword Research’.

HOW TO: Track offline print advertising campaigns

October 22, 2010

A lot of businesses still rely on a variety of print advertising to promote products and services. Brochures, magazine ads and flyers are all great ways to provide potential customers with a physical and visual way to engage with your business. However most print advertising will simply list the business website with something like http://www.mybusiness.com. If you have a variety of different print campaigns running at the same time, how do you know which campaign is generating traffic for you site? This article provides a simple way to track the exact number of visits to your website based on a particular print advertising campaign.

To track the success of a print campaign you need just three easy to use tools that are free:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google URL Builder
  • Bit.ly URL shortener

Let me briefly explain what each of these tools are.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tool that can be installed on any website by inserting a snippet of HTML. This can be done yourself or by your web designer. Once installed, Google Analytics records information about the traffic on your website. It will list the keywords people are using to find your site, which pages they visit and whether they use your enquiry or order forms. It is an essential tool for any business with a website since it helps you understand which advertising efforts are working best.

Google Analytics for Print Advertising

Google URL Builder

Google URL Builder adds a few pieces of information to a URL so that Google Analytics can better understand it. For example, you can add information like the source of the link, the medium the link is placed and the name of the advertising campaign. Here is an example for a t-shirt business:

Source: Brochure
Medium: Print
Campaign: Summer T-shirts 2010

When you add this information and generate a link you get this as a result:

http://www.mybusiness.com.au/?utm_source=brochure&utm_medium=print&utm_campaign=summer-tshirts-2010

Google URL Builder for Print Advertising

Now any time someone clicks this link, Google Analytics can provide you with a report that tells you exactly how many people visited your site using this link. “But the link is so long, no one will type that!” Indeed, which is where the URL shortener comes in.

Bit.ly

Bit.ly is a URL shortening service. As you will have noticed a link with source, medium and campaign information attached is long and not user friendly. However with Bit.ly, you can enter your long URL and generate a shortened version of it. It will generate a link like www.bit.ly/h5k3.

Bitl.y for Print Advertising

Tracking Print Advertising

So the penny is probably starting to drop now. For every print campaign you run, rather than using your regular website URL (www.mybusiness.com.au), create a URL with campaign information, shorten it with Bit.ly and use the short link instead. This is much more user friendly and will allow you to track the exact number of visits generated by any given print advertising campaign. Here is an example report from Google Analytics using a tagged URL for one of the websites I manage internet marketing for.

Google Analytics with URL Builder Link for Print

Summary

With this report, I know exactly how many visits the site has received for a particular source. I highly recommend anytime you run a print campaign, you use this method so you can calculate the return on your investment. There is one criticism of this method which relates to credibility. Bit.ly and URL shortening services are relatively new and may not be recognised by your audience. This could potential influence the likelihood of them visiting the URL. In this even, you would want to host your own URL shortener on your own website. This way you could have something like http://www.mybusiness.com.au/gh76ws.

If you have any questions of ideas, please post them below. If you try this out, let me know how it worked for you.

Increase conversion rates with better buttons

October 8, 2010

One of the recent formal developments in internet marketing is a specialised area called Conversion Optimisation (CO). In my experience clients I consult for are often very interested in driving more traffic to their website through search engine optimisation. However they have never considered optimising their website for an increase in conversions. In this article I am going to talk about one simple technique that almost always increases conversions: better buttons.

Let’s take a look at this lead generation form as an example:

Low converting button

You will notice that the button is small and grey. Firstly the appearance of the button is not very attention grabbing. The grey colour makes the button fade into the white background. Secondly the text on the button is ‘Submit’ which is bland and not aligned with a specific goal or call to action. A form button should align with the message of the page. For example “Request a quote” or “Book a demo”. In fact, statistically buttons that include “Click here…” have been shown to also increase conversion rates.

Let’s take a look at an example of a high converting button:

High converting order button

In this example you will notice that the colour of the button is orange. This has been tested by folks like Amazon and PayPal as the most attention grabbing colour next to red without triggering a danger emotion. The navy blue text contrasts well with the orange. This makes for a very obvious button. In addition to the colours the size is huge. Furthermore the text “Click here…” has been included to direct the user. While this example says “Add to cart”, it could easily say “Book a demo” or “Request a quote”.

High converting button factors

  • Bright colour
  • Contrasting text colour
  • Call to action text such as “Click here…”
  • Button text that matches the pages to copy such as “Request a quote

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