Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Find the latest information about Digital Marketing, Web Site design and development, Search Engine Marketing, and Social Media from Bob Peterson, a WSI Consultant in Edmond, Oklahoma.

It’s a Start – Mobile Web Has Grown 2,000 Percent

Bob Peterson - Friday, October 22, 2010
From WebSite Magazine

 
We all know that the mobile Web is experiencing an explosive growth spurt right now, but few actually predicted these kinds of fireworks.

The 2010 Mobile Web Progress report from dotMobi found that there are more than 3 million mobile-ready websites today – that’s a 2,000-percent increase from the 150,000 sites revealed in the 2008 study. To compare it to the meteoric rise of the desktop Web, the number of websites grew from 150,000 to 2 million between 1996 and 1998 – a growth of only 1,333 percent.

And, most experts agree that this is just the tip of the mobile iceberg.

In its report, dotMobi broke down the mobile-readiness of the world’s top 500,000 websites as ranked by intelligence firm Alexa. Just over 40 percent of the top 1,000 sites are mobile-optimized, while 29.7 percent of the top 10,000 sites fall into that category, as do 19.3 percent of the top 500,000.

Is your website mobile-ready? More importantly, does it need to be?

Judging from the statistics above and the overwhelming growth of the mobile Web, the answer is eventually going to be yes. But the best way to determine the urgency of that transition can be found in your analytics.

Determine the percentage of traffic that presently visits your site through mobile devices, and find out what are the most common results of that traffic. It is from there that you should be able to draw conclusions about the immediacy of a more mobile-friendly platform for your website.

link to article

 

Advantages to Online Networking

Bob Peterson - Thursday, October 07, 2010

POSTED BY TRACY SPENCE

Networking is a long term relationship building activity. We like to trust in the people we buy from. Traditionally networking is face-to-face.

Online, as with offline networking, there are many places that we can meet people. Social media groups such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter are great examples. Here you must understand the “rules of engagement”, but generally they are the same as offline; you must always be seen as professional, but authentic too.

Sometimes this is a difficult balance to achieve online, when everything is written down or recorded for playback.Digital marketing opens you up to public scrutiny. Forums, blogs and social sites have been the ruin of many a reputation online. It is important, therefore, to teach yourself and your staff the importance of acting responsibly online so as not to engage in any controversy.

After all, it’s the people who make a company, and it is also the people who can let it down. It is also important to monitor what is being said about your business online.

Although we would never suggest you stop meeting with people face-to-face, online networking does have its advantages and these are detailed below:

  • Time: travelling to and from an event can take up time in your day that could be used for working on or in your business.
  • Costs: networking groups often charge a fee. Online networking is generally free, and there are no travelling expenses to be incurred.
  • Fear: some people are a little nervous about meeting people for the first time, and online networking eliminates that completely.
  • Speed: you may be able to respond fairly quickly to a question online, because you are more likely to have all your resources at hand.

Professional Online Networking

LinkedIn is the professionals’ choice of social media, and is something that you should consider using in your business if you do not already do so. All the Fortune 500 Companies are there, and they are there for a reason. LinkedIn can be optimized for the search engines and is a great place to get introduced to people through their site. It is also a great place to pitch yourself as the expert that you are, by simply asking and answering questions. Furthermore, LinkedIn is a great place where you can showcase your testimonials; add videos, share files and more.

Connect and network with us on WSI’s LinkedIn profile now!

 

Get your website visitors to take action

Bob Peterson - Thursday, September 30, 2010

POSTED BY FRANCOIS MUSCAT

In order to have a successful website, you need your visitors to take action.  You might have exactly what they need. If you have your visitors interested, how can you get them to commit? You also might have a clear and compelling offer, but that is not always enough to let them take the final decision.

It’s a fact that people are wary about buying online. You always have to build trust by eliminating their risk. Your visitors are looking for reassurance.  Adding strong trust-building elements to your website or blog is frequently the difference between a poor performing website and a money maker.

Find below 20 tips you can implement into your digital marketing strategy to build trust, credibility and lower your prospects’ anxiety.

  1. Offer a 100% unconditional money back guarantee.
  2. Include an option for a free trial or introductory offer.
  3. Include a video clip of the product in action to help the customer see what they are buying.
  4. Have a simple and hassle free returns policy.
  5. Prevent surprises by disclosing shipping costs early in the shopping process.
  6. On your home page and ordering pages have ‘trust logos’ prominently posted (Bank logos, VISA, HackerSafe).
  7. Give reassurance that you will guard their privacy (no spamming, emails won’t be sold to spammers).
  8. Include helpful product education and ‘how-to’ advice. The more time they spend on your site, the more they will trust you.
  9. Include user product reviews and ratings.
  10. Include real testimonials and reviews by people who have used your products.
  11. Get endorsements from industry experts and professional organizations.
  12. Include links to press coverage from the mainstream media; include an ‘in the news’ or ‘press’ section on your website.
  13. List any industry awards you have won.
  14. List any industry associations you are a member of (or use their logos in #5).
  15. Include actual case studies you have done.
  16. Disclose any ongoing costs to maintain and operate the product.
  17. Include your phone number and physical address prominently on your site.
  18. Offer offline ordering alternatives such as finalizing the purchase by phone.
  19. Offer multiple payment options.
  20. Offer multiple shipping options.

The goal with call to actions is to be transparent and to show your prospects why they should trust you. Always provide real value and offer your customer choices.

Visit our site for more digital marketing tips and industry techniques that will help your company’s website convert visitors into customers!

 

If all you have is a hammer…everything looks like a nail

Bob Peterson - Wednesday, September 22, 2010
POSTED BY CHUCK BANKOFF 

No I didn’t make that up, but I can’t think of a better way to say that as a Digital Marketing Professional it’s essential to have the right tools for the job.

In preparation for our WSI Global Convention this week in Miami, USA, I will be sharing a variety of my most useful tools that my team uses to give our clients a competitive advantage. In particular I want to highlight one of my favorite analytical tools, the WSI WebScan™.

Individual tests cover many areas, including spelling, broken links, speed, optimization of keywords and much more – over 30 tests in total.

Results are summarized into 5 areas:

  1. Search: how well optimized the website is for search engines like Google and Yahoo
  2. Content: how well written the content is
  3. Quality: how well built the website is
  4. Accessibility: how accessible the website is to users with disabilities
  5. Site: overall, how good the website is

The technology behind WebScan was originally developed for FORTUNE 100 companies to test thousands of high-profile websites worldwide. WSI has since acquired exclusive access to this technology and made it available to our clients.

WebScan is now used to test over 10,000 websites each month in over 10 countries. The technology continues to be used by a huge range of websites, from corporations to small businesses, and is updated monthly with the latest in best practice.

All of our consultants are familiar with this tool, but I will be sharing unique ways to utilize the data in combination with other tools that I will be highlighting to the network.

If you would like to see a sample WebScan™ or request one, contact your WSI Consultant.


 

WSI Global Convention Presentation: How Much Does SEO Cost?

Bob Peterson - Monday, September 20, 2010

POSTED BY THOMAS PETTY 

I get this question all the time. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy question to answer.

To back up a bit, there has been a major shift in the marketing rules in just the last few years. Interrupt marketing (commercials, pop-ups, banners) and passive marketing (magazine ads, flyers and mailers, phonebook ads) have become less effective as more people are engaged with the Internet. I give talks to groups of business owners, and at the start of each talk, always ask two questions:

  1. How many of you have used the yellow pages in the last month? (a few hands go up)
  2. How many of you used Google yesterday? (every single hand in the room goes up)

This is a poignant illustration that we all use Google and the other search engines to search for products and services, and do research before making a purchase or finding a company to do business with. Unfortunately, many businesses still cling to the “old ways”.

As business owners start to realize that their advertising dollars bring fewer new clients in the front door, they start to wonder, “What would it take to get onto Google and the other search engines?” That’s where the question, “How much does SEO cost?” comes in.

There are so many factors that determine who gets to be “king of the Google hill” and who is relegated to the bottom of the heap. We don’t have a magic wand to wave over a client’s website to make it to the top. It’s been documented that Google actually changes the rules every single day! Furthermore, the client’s website itself usually has significant enough problems that prevent it from performing the way it could on the search engines.

We always recommend that a business that wants to get ahead of their competition on the search engines, must have us perform a thorough analysis. It’s kind of like going to the doctor. You may have a pain that’s bothering you, but the doctor isn’t going to just recommend surgery or a prescription. They have to run tests – blood work, diagnostics, x-rays, and so on, before deciding upon a course of action.

Similarly, WSI’s analysis looks at many factors:

  • The client’s website coding structure (think of it as their vital signs)
  • A 25-point SEO readiness checklist (health history)
  • A WebScan™ that looks at on-site and off-site factors (an x-ray)
  • Keyword research – what are people really searching for? (We hate shooting in the dark!)
  • Competitor research – what do the client’s search engine competitors look like (environmental factors)

Once our diagnostic analysis has been completed, then we can effectively answer the question, “How much does SEO cost?” It may be just fixing a few things on the site, or it may be “major surgery”, depending upon how aggressive and competitive the landscape is.

If you as a business owner want to get to the top, insist that your digital marketing expert run these tests to diagnose the problem. It’s better to know up front what you’re facing, rather than shooting in the dark and completely missing the mark!

Learn more about how WSI Consultants leverage SEO techniques that will help your business gain competitive rankings for your site. 

 

Facebook is the New Google

Bob Peterson - Friday, September 10, 2010
(from Web Site Magazine)
For the first time ever, U.S. Internet users spent more time on Facebook in the month of August than on all of Google’s sites combined. If Facebook really is the next Google, maybe it’s time to take another look at how your business is utilizing the social network. Read more....

 

Complimentary Whitepaper! Landing Page Design

Bob Peterson - Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Regardless of your profession or industry, it’s easy to understand why you always need to be aware of your audience and their needs. No matter who you’re educating, speaking to, writing to, or presenting to, you need to always be focused on how your message applies to your audience’s interests and intentions. Your audience will be diverse and, correspondingly, they may also be fickle! So generally, you’ll only have a few seconds to attract your audience’s interest.

Importantly, this rule is very much applicable to your online audience as well. And knowing how to keep their attention (and keep them on your website!) can be a tricky skill to master. Just one small mistake on your landing page can cost you a customer!

For September’s Internet marketing expert webinar, WSI Certified Research Analyst, Chuck Bankoff, will be facilitating a free webinar that will take you through the appropriate steps to keeping your audience interested and ultimately get your business increased conversion. He’ll share proven digital marketing methods that will work to turn your site’s visitors into paying customers.

To supplement his webinar, Chuck has also made a complimentary whitepaper available with even more industry tips and best practices for creating effective landing pages appropriate for your business and your audience.  Entitled “Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes & Tested Techniques,” this whitepaper will cover constructive, best-in-class digital marketing techniques for your landing page strategy.

Some whitepaper highlights include:
  • Best process for designing your landing pages
  • Common design mistakes to avoid
  • How to create compelling content on your landing page to draw interest and drive conversion
  • Determine which elements are absolutely essential to your business’ landing page

Skills like these do not come naturally, so this whitepaper is definitely worth checking out. Together, the free webinar and complimentary whitepaper will provide a comprehensive view into industry expertise and solutions for your business’ landing page strategy. And when it’s all said and done, you’ll know exactly how to execute landing pages that will appeal to your audience and to your conversion rate.

Click here to download your complimentary copy of the whitepaper.

Also, be sure to register for the free webinar before spots fill up!

 

Bloggers Apply Here

Bob Peterson - Tuesday, August 24, 2010
POSTED BY CHUCK BANKOFF ON AUGUST - 24 - 2010

Blogging is one of the best digital marketing methods used to increase your Internet visibility (you’re reading this aren’t you?). Being a “guest blogger” on someone else’s blog just increases your reach that much more. Not only does it give you instant exposure to someone else’s audience and associate you with other highly respected bloggers, it also provides a valuable link back to your web property. Everyone wins; the blog gets some fresh new interesting content, and the guest blogger gets more exposure for their own blog, website, brand or products.

Just remember that this isn’t a secret. Many other talented subject authorities are seeking the same exposure on the top blogs. So how do you differentiate yourself and snag one of those prime guest blogging spots? Here are a few tips:

  1. 1. Understand the Blog…Know your audience: Yes, you might actually want to READ the blog you are soliciting BEFORE writing your articles. Popular topics evolve and if yours is of no interest to the owner or the readers, your blogging request will be denied. Go back a few months and get a feel for the theme and the direction of the topics being discussed. Don’t pitch topics that have already been covered unless you have an interesting rebuttal or a completely different take on the subject.
  1. 2. Know the Rules of the Road: Not all blogs are looking for guest bloggers, so if it’s evident they don’t, you might be able to pitch them the idea. If they do accept guest bloggers, they might actually have blogging guidelines posted on their site. If you break the rules before you get started, chances are you won’t be taken seriously by the managers and you will probably blow the opportunity.
  1. 3. Write First, Ask Later: The more popular the blog, the busier the blog managers. Don’t bother going through a long relationship building courtship…get right to it. Just write the article (after assuring yourself that it is appropriate) and send it to them. If they like it, they publish it and no one has to jump through too many hoops. If they don’t like… shop it around to another blog, or use it yourself.
  1. 4. Credibility… Credibility… Credibility: This may be obvious, but and article written by an industry expert will carry more weight than just a random person with an opinion. Along with submitting your initial article, make sure that you explain why you are qualified to write on a certain topic or how you can bring a fresh new perspective to that topic.
  1. 5. Write an Interesting Headline: There is so much information out there that people no longer read…they scan. That goes for busy blog editors as well as curious readers. Think about your own reading habits when surfing the Internet. We all do the same thing…we scan headlines and move on until something catches our eye. That’s when we take the time to read the article. Write something amusing, witty, mysterious, shocking, or even a question that infers an answer in the article.

OK, I guess I’ve convinced myself. If you want to take a shot at guest blogging, contact me here, and be my guest….

Learn more about how you can enhance your business’ online brand and build your online credibility.

 

Facebook Bible: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook

Bob Peterson - Monday, August 23, 2010
From CIO.com

CIO.com's Facebook guide delivers expert analysis on the latest Facebook developments, helpful tips, tricks and how-tos, and the latest updates on privacy, Facebook apps and more.

Read the article...

 

Are Marketers Struggling to Keep Up with Social Trends?

Bob Peterson - Monday, August 23, 2010
AUGUST 20, 2010 - from eMarketer

Marketers are challenged to stay up to date on the latest developments
 
Social media is no longer new, but it’s still a turbulent space. Just a couple years ago MySpace was on top of the world, only to be ousted unceremoniously by crowds flocking to Facebook. Twitter crept onto the scene and then exploded with growth in 2009, putting itself on every marketer’s radar. New trends are developing in the social location-based area, and that’s not counting the seemingly constant mergers, acquisitions, startups and failures.

Little wonder that marketers find it difficult to stay on top of the hottest social media trends. A May 2010 survey from staffing firm The Creative Group found that 65% of US marketing executives considered it at least somewhat challenging to keep up.

Read the entire article...

 


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