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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Archive for the ‘fueled friday’ Category

How to Maximize Your Online Marketing Efforts – Fueled Friday

For those that did not know, I started a new company a few weeks ago. I have not made a big media push or make any announcements yet because I had so much to do to get the business up and running, and most of all I needed to take care of those that needed immediate help with their online marketing efforts. There will be more to come on this very soon. This is my excuse for skipping last weeks Fueled Friday (my first and hopefully last).

Every day, I talk to someone about some form of online marketing. The one thing that people always want to know is “how much traffic will I get.” We discuss market potential, estimated percentages, and the like and they have a broad idea of what to expect over time. What is more important is knowing what percentage of your website visitors will do business with you. The sad statistic is that on average, 97% of the people that come to your website will not do business with you. Ask yourself how many websites you visit when you are looking for something before you buy. Your website visitors are no different.

A few strategies can help you increase the percentage of people that either stay or take the next step and contact you:

1. Give them a good match for their search query. If someone does a web search for “invoice factoring”, the page that they land on better speak specifically to the topic, otherwise you have lost that visitor. If you have multiple service offerings from your company, it is critical that you have specific pages that discuss each separately to help your prospect find what they are looking for.

2. Get their contact information (ethically). This is the most important because if you are able to send educational and informative follow up emails, over time you will find that you are getting more sales from these prospects that otherwise would never have heard from you again. There are several email marketing systems to choose from, but the most robust system by far is InfusionSoft. It is far more than just an email marketing system, but rather a business automation and enhancement system. As an affiliate, I am offering a free 15-day trial of InfusionSoft.

3. Using a Live Chat operator. Just a few days ago I was looking into some software and the live chat operator popped up. I didn’t chat, but it did entice me to call and I got all of my questions answered. Once such option is Website Alive, which also offers a free trial.

These are a few simple ways to make your online marketing efforts go further by engaging your website visitors. Do you have any techniques that have helped you increase your conversion rate that you would like to share? If so, please comment below.

Have a great weekend!

How to Succeed Online by Giving it All Away – Fueled Friday

Well, it has been a very busy week which is why this weeks Fueled Friday is late. First, I launched a new Internet Marketing Firm this week (more to come on that later), and second, I attend InfusionCon which was AMAZING (more on that later as well).

So what I want to share with you today is the power of educating your prospects. Many people in the consulting field often ask the question “how much information should I give my web prospects?” My answer – Give them everything! This, of course, is within reason, but the bottom line is that if your prospect can figure out how to do what you do, they will. If the information is out there to be found, wouldn’t you rather have them find it from you? This was if they get stuck or have a questions, chances are they will look to you for help as opposed to someone else. Also, most people don’t want to become their own consultant (many have to due to sheer financial constraints), so your job will be to sell them on the benefits of having you do it for them so they can focus on making money in their business.

If you do sell a physical product, you still have an opportunity to educated your customers. Offering white papers, ebooks, and testimonials as to how your product can be used and how it has helped others will go a long way to helping boost sales. For those that don’t buy on the same day they visit, there is a high chance that they will return if they like what they read.

The big in giving it all away, is doing it in exchange for your prospects contact information. At a minimum, you want to collect their first name and email address to be able to send personalized emails. The more you follow up, the higher your chances of selling to them.

Years ago, I used to fear giving away information on how to do your own online marketing for fear that I would lose customers. Instead, because I write and blog on all topics related to online marketing, I have a fairly consistent flow of referral business.

Do you have any success stories to share about a successful follow up email campaign? If so, we’d love to hear. Next week I will be discussing the mechanics of how to set up these information sharing campaigns so stay tuned.

Have a great weekend and enjoy my birthday tomorrow 🙂

What is the Cost of NOT Doing Online Marketing

If done correctly, online marketing (SEO, Paid Search, Social Media, etc) is an investment in your business. Many people seem to get lost by focusing on the cost of engaging a professional to manage their online marketing campaign. I often ask people who tell me online marketing is too expensive if they plan on staying in business, and if so, how they plan on getting customers. The responses range from laughter to “we get plenty of referral business.” My goal is not to provide shock value, but a reality check because many business owners still don’t know where their next customer is coming from and often don’t see that they are on the quick road to going out of business.

I was recently talking to several local plastic surgeons about online marketing due to an opening that my company has for online marketing services. Among the many questions I asked was “do you realize how many people are searching for you every day?” Few know that answer, and for a plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, I can tell you there are over 1,000 DAILY searches just in the Phoenix / Scottsdale area. The next question is “of the 35,000+ monthly searches for your business Doctor, how many are finding your practice?” This question (regardless of industry) is often met with silence. In a face to face meeting, you can see the wheels turning thinking “that’s why my competitors are doing so well.”

A few weeks ago, I did a blog post about keyword research and finding your online marketing potential. I encourage you to find out how many people are search for you and not finding you, so you are fully aware of how many missed opportunities you have every day that you put off your online marketing campaign.

If you have a (non online) business development strategy that is working for you, then I commend you. I have never said that online marketing is the magic bullet to fix a business, but I have to say it is very often the low hanging fruit – especially for those businesses that rank on page 2 (62% of searchers never click past page 1).

Let me know how I can help you implement an effective and affordable online marketing program.

Have a great day!

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Twitter – Fueled Friday

Some people love Twitter and others still find no purpose for it. I get lots of questions from people about what they should do regarding Twitter, and this is what I say. Do not let the “hype” of Twitter distract you from your business or intentional marketing practices such as search engine optimization of paid search. Most businesses will do far better focusing on connecting with those people currently searching for their products or services because these are people who are looking to make buying decisions.

That said, Twitter does have tremendous value in terms of building your brand, connecting with others in your industry, and providing customer service (for those who are on Twitter already).

Here are my recommendations for anyone considering adding Twitter to their online marketing program:

1. Decide how you are going to use Twitter and let people know by putting this on your Twitter page. If you are simply providing customer service, then let people know. If you have limited staffing for Twitter, let people know the quickest way to reach you. If you are building community or having a contest, make that known as well so people know what to expect.

2. Make sure you have someone who can spend at least 30 minutes per day on Twitter. You can even break it down into two 15 minute tiem slots and make the focus on checking for direct messages or mentions of your company and responding. As you grow, you will eventually need to dedicate whatever time is needed to handle the inquiries so be prepared for that. Ideally, you should make time to see who is following you and decide if you want to follow them back.

3. Don’t feel compelled to spend time growing your followers if you are not using Twitter as a branding platform. The customers that want to find you on Twitter will find you because they will search for you. Ideally, you would want to use it for all of it’s value which includes branding and promoting your company, but people need to realize that the more you want to use Twitter for, the more internal resources you will need.

4. Find a tool that helps you manage your Twitter account as simply as possible. There are many, but a few popular Twitter tools to check out are TweetDeck and HootSuite.

I hope that is helpful.

Happy Tweeting and have a great weekend!

P.S. – You can also find me on Twitter (Anthony Kirlew).

What You Need to Know About SEO (Website Architecture – Part 3 of 3) Fueled Friday

This is the last of this 3 part series on “what you need to know about SEO.” Originally, I only wanted to cover the main two aspects (web content and links) but I realized that many people are still unaware of what a search engine friendly website architecture is.

In short, you want to build a website with URL’s that have your keywords in them as opposed to those that have query strings and contain characters such as “&” or “=”. You normally see query strings associated with ecommerce websites and it is basically showing you where the web server is looking to produce the webpage – but it make for an ugly, non search engine friendly URL. It is also common to see non search engine friendly URL’s with websites that are constructed with a Content Management System (CMS).

Here is an example of a search engine friendly URL: http://www.azrebsi.com/blog/2010/01/owe-more-than-your-home-is-worth-help-is-here/. This is a URL produced by a WordPress blog. There are actually settings in WordPress that determine whether or not you will have search engine friendly URL’s or not (under the section called Permalinks). If you are using WordPress as a CMS or blog, you will want to make sure that these setting are correct. And if they are not and you change them you may have some issues with your old URL’s changing.

Amazon gets a lot of bad PR from SEO folks as their URL’s are very commonly used to show examples of non search engine friendly URL’s. I don’t think it matters because they are such a strong web property, and because over time the search engines will often index dynamic URL’s from strong sites such as Amazon. Here is an example of a typical Amazon.com URL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015T963C?ie=UTF8&tag=finamark-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B0015T963C

Take a look at your website and determine whether or not you have search engine friendly URL’s or not. If you do, then you are on the right track. If you do not, then you have a potential hindrance to obtaining search engine success. If you need help, let’s chat!

Have a great weekend. I am off to the races for three day!

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