WordPress 101

Build and learn how to think about building a website with wordpress and best practices and tools for search engine and social media.

Month: November 2010

Leveraging Existing Web Content for Optimizing Your Website

banner-painterNew content is important to a website, however, constantly striving to create new content can become burdensome, and more importantly, distract us from capitalizing upon the content we have that is working well. What do we mean?

With the content you already have published online, our strategy is to maintain awareness of our inventory. Following some basic steps, we’re then able to leverage existing assets in a more targeted fashion, and create more opportunity. Let’s review.

Keep a list of your content and assets by inventorying everything on your website, in your marketing mix, and keep this list handy for ongoing review. Content is not merely your blog post and website pages either, you will also want to list video, ebooks, audio, images, and other items you have published online.

Organize your list of content assets by category. Typically we publish content in categories on our blogs, so keeping your list organized allows you to quickly leverage, edit, republish, and assign to appropriate categories for consistency and increased ranking weight.

Who is the target audience for the content or categories we have published online? By taking some time to decipher who the target audience is (even appears to be from traffic metrics), you gain more useful insight to your content strategy, content use, and target audience which helps with focusing our content new and old.

Monitor your Analytics (web statistics) and know what posts and content has been the most popular. As well, where are most of the visitors (or best visitors) coming from when they reach your website? Knowing this information gives us a more focused and strategic opportunity when leveraging our existing assets and publishing content.

In addition, your statistics and the insights gained provide you with a key opportunity to optimize current web pages and blog posts for keywords and phrases that will strengthen this content for the target market trying to find your website via search.

Here are some methods for leveraging your content and website assets:

  • Create an ebook from existing content
  • Interview subject or industry experts
  • Link new content to older relevant content
  • Find places to link-back to your existing content
  • Invite guests to write guest posts, and link to existing content
  • Focus attention upon your strongest categories to create authority.

All these things strengthen your current assets, help to optimize your website for search engines, and set you apart as an authority.

Happy blogging!

A Blog with RSS Feed is Your Best Social Media Asset

climb-ladderMeeting with a past client over lunch recently, our conversation spent some time discussing what was happening with his new business launch and the website development he had his nephew do on his behalf. Learning that there was no blog at all included in the website delivery, I reacted strongly with disappointment and disbelief.

As a past client, in the Business Coaching side of my vocational life, the best practices for web development, website publishing, and social media marketing were discussed. Sharing the value and importance of the RSS Feed a blog offers, the updated content strategy followed, all offer enormous benefits for online advertising and internet marketing.

Young nephew suggested a blog wasn’t required at this stage. At OMC Social, it is an essential ingredient to the social media marketing strategy and business development goals for online marketing. New fresh content, the ability to share that content, and extend one’s business to an audience has to keep them interested. As a major side-benefit, Google Search loves fresh content, and the better written per Search Engine Optimization and Keyword Research practices, the influence upon website ranking is powerful.

So, my soapbox today says to get a blog on your website domain, and use it religiously, faithfully, and in engaging and creative ways to draw your website visitors in to engage you more. Additionally, benefit from the Search Engine benefits, and social media promotions that create more and more influence as you remain faithful to the best practices for online engagement and content development.

You’ll be glad you did. Your domain is your best asset for increasing website visitor traffic. The blog channel is one of the best website tools. Add one now.

Email Marketing with Aweber Service

Getting visitors to your website is a must; we are all aware of this fact. However, do you know

  • how often the same people come back to visit again?
  • how long they stay and visit?
  • whether they found what they were looking for on your site?
  • who they are?
  • how you can contact them again to build the relationship?

A very simple and effective way to gain more intelligence and insight to the visitor website traffic is to capture their name and email. While this sounds like an obvious and simple solution to online marketing, it is not one that comes easily to everyone.

How do we capture leads from website traffic?

Using an email marketing service is the most efficient method of communicating regularly with your audience. When a visitor comes to your website, you want to offer some incentive that invites them to leave their name and email with you.

This is where you would create some easy offer in the form of a digital download. It could be:

  • an ebook or report
  • a music video
  • an mp3 audio file

In order for the visitor to access this content, they would sign-up in the form you insert on your web page that provides the offer. The Aweber system has a very intuitive and guided interface to set up targeted lists so you can manage multiple offers easily.

When the visitor traffic signs up, their name and email is captured to your Aweber email marketing list, the Aweber system sends out an authentication email to ensure you’ve confirmed ‘double opt-in’ which is important today for anti-spam regulations, and follows up with a welcome email that contains the file for download, or the link to the file for download.

Pretty easy, right? Setting things up the first time can take a little time, but once you’ve done one, you start to get the hang of it and will find this tool invaluable in increasing your communication effectiveness with an audience that would otherwise remain invisible to you.

Email marketing remains the most effective tool for increasing traffic to your website and increasing your websites longevity and viability.

5 Ways to Generate Leads Online

Ideas for capturing new leads and converting prospects into customers

2heads-better1As an expert in your field, you’ve got a ton of really important information in your head. But you’ve got to get it out of your head and into some useful format for lead generation. Information is the heart and soul of marketing, so you’ve got to have some idea about the products you want to develop as part of your overall strategy. Let’s talk about the top five.

1. White Papers

“White paper” is the corporate, fancy-pants term for an online article. A white paper usually ranges from two to three pages and stands alone as an item customers or prospects can download. White papers work great as a lead generation tool when you ask prospects to provide their email address in exchange for your valuable””yet free””information.

2. Free Reports

A free report is like a white paper, just a bit bigger. From a lead generation standpoint, it holds more value than a white paper and is usually several pages long. Free reports are great products to use as an add-on to online purchases. “Buy Product X and receive three Free Reports!” You can also use them like white papers and offer them as free downloads in exchange for contact information.

3. E-Books

E-books are the killer product that can create a lead generation bonanza! Like a real book, an e-book is going to be long…at least 50 pages. The fact that it’s a real book makes the perceived value huge. If the copy inviting prospects to download your e-book is well-written and compelling, you can generate several thousand new leads from this one lead generation tool alone.

4. Audio Reports

An audio report helps prospects get a feel for what you and your company are all about. It’s a way for prospects to talk to you about doing business without really taking to you. Using audio reports as part of your campaign can boost brand loyalty and help you prospects commit to a sale. If you are well known in your industry – or if you can hire someone who is – you have the power to generate a LOT of leads using audio reports.

5. Webinars

No joke. Webinars can drive an endless stream of customers to your business. Like audio reports, they give customers a feed for your company. But webinars go way beyond teaser information. The power-punch of the webinar is that it lets you cover the entire sales pitch AND close the deal. Another bonus is that webinars can be recorded. That lets you leverage your time by making the pitch once and then playing the presentation again and again for new groups of prospects. Talk about a time saver!

How Does It Work?

Here’s the way it works, in a nutshell.

Develop information products.

Make the available on your site in exchange for contact information.
Send out an announcement to your email list that also creates a sense of urgency.

  • Put tools in place to track downloads and capture new leads.
  • Follow-up with leads to convert them into customers.
  • Bingo! You’ve got your very own lead-generation machine!

To check out some real lead generation products, download a free report about Email Marketing 2.0.

Engage Your Website Visitor Audience

we-are-worldWhat I’m about to say usually comes as a big surprise to many folks.

Your Website is Not About You, your website is about connecting to a site visitor, and ensuring they come back and you have an opportunity to build a relationship with them. When you create your website, and add to the website, your thoughts want to be focused upon “What would interest a total stranger to sit here on my web page and surf my website for five minutes?” This exercise, done each time you are preparing to update or change site content, ensures you begin to drill down more and more with your contributions. With the introduction of social media, the use of video, and how blogging and email marketing all tie together, there is a tremendous marketing mix available and at your disposal. As social media was introduced, email marketing slowed a little as everyone jumped on the social media bandwagon. And yet, email marketing, updates for clients quarterly, and other informative tidbit emails have always remained the number one traffic generator for a website.

How to Get People On Your Email List

The basic home page, no blog, embedding a YouTube video, and a newsletter sign-up box, you’ve got a bare bones beginning. Of course, once you do have a fully functioning website, this old home page then gets customized and updated, and can now be used as a squeeze page. A squeeze page is simply a page you direct people to with links out on the web, and on this page you are offering them an incentive to give you their email address. Always be clear about the offer, make it something that has value, and be clear about what you are collecting their information for, and that you don’t sell their contact information. The other important way to add people to your email list, requires some of the traditional approach. Personal, in-your-face networking. Exchange business cards, meet people, exchange email communications as you follow-up with new people you’ve met, and ask if they’d mind receiving updates periodically. Don’t jump on it right away, necessarily. Listen, develop rapport and relationship, and either in conversation, or after a period of time, (you’ll know when) you can extend an invitation. Quite often, if they engage in conversation with me first, they go onto the list automatically and are informed, with thanks, for sharing their interest, and that I’ve included them in our updates. There is always more to this subject. These basics will hold you good stead to get you going. Post your comments, and your questions.

Understanding Google Keyword Tool Research

Research Your Market Online

Google Adwords is an important service for many in business looking to generate leads online. It requires a level of expertise to research and create the best advertising results, and to ensure you are drawing the right BUYERS to your website. It is NOT my recommendation for anyone getting started online to buy traffic this way unless you already have this expertise. Too often, the novice spends money for clicks that yield zero to low results.

What Google Adwords does offer that is of extremely high value is a Keyword Research Tool. Using this tool, you will discover the monthly search volumes for keywords both globally, and locally. Be sure to make note of your local market search volume as much as you take note of the global search volume.

Along with this, you can also investigate more deeply with Insights for Search which is found by clicking the magnifying-glass icon in the Keyword results list.

From the new page, Insights for Search, you can hone your research based upon the various search terms you are exploring for your market. You can zero in on geographic locations, adjust time ranges and see trends, and explore various categories to gain a much more accurate picture. When increasing the time-range, an option to see Google’s Forecast for the search term is also available.

There is much more available through the Insights than just these few tips, so explore a little, discover, and learn.

Going back to the Keyword Tool and the list of results with search volumes, you will also find how stacked the deck is against you, or in your favour. This doesn’t mean throw in the towel if the competition is high and the keyword search volume is low: It simply means it is time to think outside the box.

When the keyword tool is used, it not only returns results directly matching your search criteria, it also returns many relevant, and potentially relevant keywords. This allows you to find that sweet spot.

The estimated Avg. CPC column tells you how much the bidders are paying for clicks from Google Adwords traffic on each search term. Where it shows a higher dollar value, it stands to reason that the buyers of that traffic are experiencing positive results that justify the expense; although this is not always the case.

Using the Keyword Research to Buy the Domain Name

Once you’ve completed your research with Google Adword Keyword Tool and identified a number of potentially viable keywords, you are ready to buy a domain name.

A versatile and favourite tool used to find a well-chosen domain name is found at DomainsBot.com.

Entering the keyword(s) as separate words, this handy service includes a tool on the next screen containing the domain name availability results. Located at the right column, called LiveBot, the semantic dictionary allows the user to filter, add, and play with the variations. This assistance is invaluable in an ever competitive space where domain names are desired and already purchased and owned by someone else.

Using the synonym selector, you will be able to massage the search criteria until you successfully find the best matching combination that fully supports the keyword research you’ve already done.

Many people getting online for the first time will have traditionally gone to a web designer first. With a marketing type brochure concept in mind, they hand over their content for the web-pages, ask for the domain name to represent their brand or company name, and the designer buys the domain name on their behalf and hosts their website on their own server, and charging you for each item including hosting.

I strongly advise against this approach, and now that your research is completed, and domain name chosen, you are ready to buy your own domain name yourself. Buying it yourself ensures it is registered properly to your name as the owner, and ensures you always remain in control with the management and hosting of your website.

Best practices in today’s fast changing online world of web implementation requires a website that can quickly and easily launch additional web pages for the purposes of marketing. Simple design, focused upon the evolution and development of a content strategy are critical to:

  1. Attract website traffic
  2. Turn visitors into leads using lead capture
  3. Convert leads to sales

To do this requires the right elements and tools, along with the strategy and processes to create the right mix of marketing elements quickly and easily. If you’re not able to post to your blog quickly and easily, and also link a Call to Action to a new Landing Page created in as little as 15 minutes to capture leads, you’re website marketing will not be effective.