keyword research

There is little merit in designing and producing an informative, well-structured website if no-one can find it. Unfortunately, far too many businesses fail to fully research the most effective keywords for their website, and it quickly ends up in the lower-reaches of the search engine results pages. Of course, researching keywords which are germane to the central products and services being offered is always a good strategy, but how can people be sure that they are the best for a particular business? Only by following three simple steps can business-owners be certain that their products and services will reach as many potential customers as possible.

Ascertain the Purpose of a Website

Ascertaining the purpose of a website relies on first knowing what the purpose of the business is. That may sound rather simplistic, but many new businesses start out with a very broad idea of what services or products they will offer, and that can lead to a vague or complex message for the customer. Business-owners must be completely clear about the type of people who will be potential customers, and they should be able to identify pertinent keywords which those customers are likely to use. For instance, a company that is specializing in selling a wide range of discount coupons will want a website that offers customers the chance to download, print or view discount coupons.

Defining the specific function of a website will usually identify keywords that customers are likely to use; in this case, ‘print discount coupons’ and ‘download discount coupons’ would be excellent keywords. However, SEO campaigns are rarely that generic, so it may be necessary to narrow the criteria further. Perhaps the same website is offering discount coupons for restaurants; in which case, the most relevant keyword may be ‘download discount restaurant coupons.’ Successful SEO campaigns rely on identifying specific messages and the customers who are likely to respond to them.

Steer Clear of Broad Keywords

There may be times when a keyword is completely pertinent to a product or service, yet it will be so broad it risks giving the customer far too many options. Internet-based consumers are extremely savvy in their searches, and they are growing increasingly efficient in their searches for specific products. For instance, a business-owner may have ascertained that the purpose of a website is to sell used garden furniture in California. Although ‘garden furniture’ may be a pertinent keyword, the competition on a phrase like this will be huge. The website will likely be lost in the lower reaches of search engine results pages. However, using ‘used garden furniture California’ as a keyword will narrow the results, and it will bring only the customers who are interested in that specific product to the website. Narrowing the appeal of the keyword will usually provide a better chance of ranking in a suitably high position.

Use Google’s Keyword Tool Regularly

Google’s keyword tool is an essential component of any successful SEO campaign. Simply by entering a general keyword idea, the user will be presented with hundreds of possible combinations. The user will also be able to check the competition on that particular keyword. Business-owners should be aware, however, that the most used search terms on the internet are not always the most desirable. Popular search terms and keywords will attract the most competition, and that may leave a new website languishing at the bottom of the search engine results pages.

Be Wary of the Changing Algorithms Used by Search Engines

Businesses must be prepared to change their SEO strategies in line with the constantly changing nature of the internet. The algorithms of leading search engines are constantly changing, and the keyword that worked a few months ago may be the reason a particular website is now languishing way down the rankings. Google recently updated its own algorithms in order to enhance keyword targeting. Many of these updates are constantly changing, so it is vital that regular tests on Google’s keyword tool are performed to ensure that particular keywords are still relevant and performing well. An effective SEO campaign is one that is never finished; it should be modified and adapted to the ever-changing internet.

Don’t Forget the Handheld Revolution

The rising popularity of handheld devices should not be underestimated. Search terms and keywords vary greatly on smart phones and tablets, as they generally contain more misspellings and shorter keywords. Some of the most effective keywords may actually be misspellings, as smaller keyboards on handheld devices make typing errors far more likely. It is possible to isolate keyword data by individual operating systems, so ascertaining the most popular search terms and keywords on Android and Apple devices will allow a more focused approach to an SEO campaign.

The whole point of launching a website is for it to attract visitors, yet there are some excellent websites on the internet that constantly languish at the bottom of search engine results pages. This is usually because the effective use of keywords was ignored from the outset or the website administrator failed to keep up with the changing face of the world wide web. Effective SEO Services rely on three basic principles: the research of keywords, constructing effective content and the constant measuring of success. The very best campaigns will repeat these three principles ad infinitum.

Know the Guest Author

Charles Dearing has extensive experience in the SEO industry. He is an SEO consultant and is always looking at ways to improve website best practices. Visit SEO Works for more information.

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Youtube MarketingIf you are not into video marketing, then you are likely to be left out in the internet marketing race. This is not my statement, this is something that most GURUs today are professing.

With the most recent changes that Google has brought about in its algorithms and the kind of enhancements they are doing to Youtube, this looks  true to a great extent.

Whatever the situation maybe, I think that there is no harm in getting into Video Marketing because videos are the best way to promote something or, to get traffic to your websites.

Of the many features that Youtube has introduced, one is the option of scheduling video releases. This was something that most marketers were waiting for, since quite some time.

In this video by Ileane Smith, she shows how to schedule videos and how to upload a custom thumbnail for your videos.

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Blog Optimization for Search Engines

Business blogging is different from normal blogging. When you blog for your business, you do it deliberately to promote your business rather than just share your ideas or experiences. You will have to exercise caution so as not to over optimize your blog or under optimize where you could do better. Creating a good blog takes time and you will have to follow different strategies in order to keep it alive. Just filling your blog with posts doesn’t help achieve the results you are aiming at.

Therefore, experiment with different strategies and measure the results so that your business blog is well optimized. SEO is a continuous process and you will have to change your strategy from time to time depending on the different scenarios you face.

Post Regularly:

Posting regularly is the first step to optimize your blog. If you don’t, your readers might even forget to check your blog. As a result, you will lose your readership or you will not be able to build a strong readership. Moreover, search engine crawlers give more importance to blogs that are updated regularly than the ones which get updated once in a while. While it is important to write regularly, you should also take care not to repeat the same ideas in different blogs. Express unique ideas and address different issues within your niche.

Get Links from Authoritative Sites:

It is most important to get links from authoritative sites. You will not have any difficulty linking your blog content to those sites. However, the real task is getting links from them. To do so, you have to work even harder to create quality content which can be posted on those sites and get a link that will bring visitors to your site. I admit that it’s a tough job, but give it your best and try to bring in some of their visitors to your site. Such links rank higher than links that go out to highly authoritative sites. In order to do this, you will have to stuff your blog with quality content.

Participate in Forums:

Participating in forums is one of the ways to build links to your blog. You need to do this regularly to see good results. If you start linking to your blog from the very first participation, you won’t be heard. It is natural that you won’t be recognized initially when everyone around is a stranger. Therefore, comment on forums regularly and answer others’ questions until you get some recognition in the forum. After gaining a little reputation, you can try building links to your blog so that the regular visitors find that visiting your blog is worth their time.

Write Guest Posts:

Another way to optimize your blog is to write guest posts. You can build links to your blog in the profile part of the guest post. This is a direct way of addressing a different crowd. But, remember that only the crowd is different, the interests remain the same. Therefore, you needn’t struggle much to prepare the content you are going to share unless you are not talking about something that doesn’t interest you much. So, choose the right niche, dive right in and impress your new audience with your posts.

Testimonials:

Have a testimonials page for you. It is good to have someone speak about the good points of your business. However, you need to take care when posting content on the testimonials page. Your testimonies should speak about how informative your blog is. I have come across testimonials packed with flowery words rather than what could be gained from the site. When people find such weak testimonials, the very next thing they do is hit the back button of the browser. Keep your testimonials clean and precise.

Share More:

By saying share more, am asking you to share more than the regular business stuff you usually do. You can blog about the events you organize. It could be a social event or a birthday party arranged by your business. It will help build an unseen bond between your readers and your business. However, you needn’t go about letting your readers know everything that’s happening in your business. Just deviate a little now and then, but switch back to the business mode, because you are just doing it to create an interest in the readers to visit your blog again. After all, you blog in order to promote your business rather than tell them you’re having fun.

Link to Old Blogs:

You also have to link to your old blog posts in your new posts. It is a great way to keep using the content you’ve created. New visitors might not take time to scroll through your archives and read your old posts. Therefore, you need to link certain words to the old posts to let them know that there is more for them to read. As most of your readers won’t have much time, they won’t know where the other informative posts are, unless you tell them. This will help you build good internal links.

Create cool posts and as always content is king. As you are blogging about your business, spice up your posts with interesting facts. People love to read lively articles than articles with just information. Keep your posts precise and steer clear of links leading to sites with a bad reputation.

Know Your Guest Author:

This is a guest post by Sharon Thomas of thecornersuite.com, a site that offers savings and current information on dish network internet.

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blogging tipsWe all strive to improve ourselves. In our personal lives and in our business lives it is always a goal to get on to bigger and better things. However when you are a blogger it can really seem like an uphill battle. Everything you do, every update you create, can seem like the same old thing over and over again.

How can you fight against the stream? How can you improve your blog and make better use of your time? Well, here are some tips to make you a better blogger:

Work smarter, not harder

We have all heard the old saying, “work smarter, not harder”. That is good advice, no matter what you are talking about. It is always a good idea to conserve energy where you can so you have some to spare for other parts of life. Just like the idea that you do not want to stay out all night with your friends so you have energy to work the next day, so you also do not want to spend all day every day working your brains out so you never have the time or energy for fun.

Pick the tasks that have to be done every day and make sure they get done. Then organize the rest of the tasks in order of importance. If you get to them today then great, but if not they can wait until tomorrow. That way you do not waste your time with the things that can wait and then have to work longer trying to finish the things that can’t wait.

It is also a good idea to do the hardest things first and get them over with. As a friend of mine says, if the biggest thing kills you at least you won’t be alive to do the rest. If it does not kill you then everything else seems easy in comparison. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Update regularly

This is a no brainer to many of you, but regular updates are the bread and butter of a successful blog. No one follows a blog that updates twice a week then once a month and then every day. It is just too many changes.

Keep it consistent and update regularly. Every day, three times a week, once a week, whatever works for your blog’s niche. More often is usually better, but do not post so much that you bug your readers or run out of stuff to blog about. If you have more than one topic for your blog then it is okay to post more frequently but try to keep it down to a manageable level that balances audience appeal and your health and mental capabilities!

Keep it short

This is another way to avoid burnout for yourself and your readers. Keep your blog posts short. Around 500 words is usually good but under 2000 is a necessity. No one wants to read pages and pages of text. Yes, I know sometimes you are giving directions or a how to or telling a complex story, but even books are divided into chapters.

Break up long posts into a series of posts. That way you do not overwhelm readers and it looks like you have more content, which is a great way to use your time intelligently! You should also work on keeping your paragraphs on the short side. Do not make a blog post that is one big hunk of text. Break it into smaller pieces for easier reading, even when it falls in the 500 word category.

That way readers will not get distracted and bored and you will look like a better writer. Yes, it is that simple.

Take a break

Like I said, being a better blogger is all about being balanced. Know your limitations and when you need to take a break to be at your best. I have days where I can sit at my desk all day and type like a mad person and get tons done. Other days I can sit there for hours and not write a sentence. There are just times that it pays off to take a break.

Take a walk, go out to lunch, take a jog up the stairs, look at Facebook or watch a television show. Them when you are done come back to work. That way you do not get blocked up and upset and you still have the opportunity to get something done. If you just sit there then your brain will go into revolt and you will waste a whole day. Better thirty minutes wasted then eight hours, right?

Break it up

Beyond just making your blog posts shorter, you should also break up your text into manageable hunks. This is easy to do with headers or bullets. Bullets offer the advantages of a list without having to be quite as descriptive. They also stand out and your reader’s eyes are drawn to them. That can be a great way to highlight important points.

Using headers is also a way to break up the text without using a list. Headers allow readers to know the topic of each section before they read it so that they can have the proper mindset and outlook. Headers are easy to create in all blogging platforms, even manual html. It is best if they are bolded or off center or both to help them stand out and catch reader’s eyes.

Watch for distractions

When you are blogging it is easy to get distracted. Music, phone calls, surfing the net or checking social media, text messages, coworkers and more are all sources of distraction. When you are working it is best to set aside an area as free from distraction as you can get. Try to go for a corner or a room that is off the beaten path.

If you have a door you can shut that is a good idea too. You should also try to limit the noise around you. If you can’t limit it, then drown it out with instrumental music or nature sounds. Music without lyrics is best to blog with so that you do not accidentally start typing the lyrics!

Be consistent

One thing to remember when blogging is that readers like consistency. That does not mean you can’t be creative, but try not to go too far all at once. If you typically blog around 1000 words do not jump to 2000 or drop to 250. If you post a lot of picture do not suddenly go to all text, or vice versa. You should also keep your blog topic the same.

If you want to gradually work your way into a more varied niche then that is fine, but try to do it a little at a time. People will be confused if you suddenly jump from a music blogger to a tech blogger, but if you gradually transition by using stereo equipment and music apps it can be done without losing too many readers. The goal is not to shock and scare away the readers you already have.

Edit later

Last but not least is my favorite. Edit later. That means when you write just write. Ignore all those red and green squiggles under your misspelled words and comma errors. Yes, they are annoying but if you stop and fix them then you will lose your train of thought. I know that the faster I type the more mistakes I make but the better ideas I have. So, take the time to edit when you are finished and ignore the glaring errors for now. That is why typing on a computer is so great; you can always fix things later with no problems.

These are just a few of the suggestions that have helped me to become a better blogger. Some of them may seem simple and obvious to you, but they can be lifesavers to others. Remember to work smarter, not harder and always take time for a break when you need it. After all, a burnt out blogger is no fun to read and even less fun to be around in real life!

Know Your Guest Author:

Ken Myers is the founder of http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need; instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

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Youtube Marketing

Vlogging and promoting your products and services though an interactive social media platform is really catching up these days. Why will it not be when the visitors can form conscious opinion about your brand and the products and services it is offering? Things like live demo of the product, live interview of users and your personal note to the real time visitors act as the ‘ingredients’ the make the curry ‘social media marketing’ gain attention and reliability! Creating a video is like providing a face to your organization!

Now we wish to remark here that Youtube marketing has become a household name these days in the arena of media marketing. Let us find out the reasons behind the same.

Cost free registration

The primary thing that gets YouTube marketing going is that you do not have to spend a single penny during the initial registration process. It is free and you just need to fill up the online sign-up form, click ‘submit’, check back your tagged mail ID for the registration link, and get started with your social media activities. And like any other social media platform, it provides flexibility to create your own niche and interact with like-minded people.

Convenient to use

Another major feature that makes YouTube an all user platform is that it is convenient to operate. You do not need any technical skills to upload videos and contents in your YouTube account and publish it for generating traffic. If you are aware of the search engine optimization (SEO) tricks then it will act as your added advantage in harnessing more out of this social media marketing platform. You can integrate your target keywords and audience through Video settings and your video description.

YouTube also provides you with smart video editing tools. You can use these tools after you have uploaded your video for those ‘final touches’!

Easy to create footprints

The next important thing that you need to do in order to boost your page ranking in search engines and generate more traffic is to create social footprints. WithYouTube marketingit is not at all an issue. This is because right below your uploaded video you will be able to locate tabs that read ‘share’, ‘like’, ‘comment’, ‘reply’. So, choose the tab that you need at that moment to generate more clicks in your page and make your media marketing a hit just by spending a couple of minutes once in a while!

YouTube provides the flexibility of sharing your video instantly with any other social media site. And if you want to boast of your video on your website or your email campaigns, then YouTube has a solution. It provides you a free video sharing service, so as soon as you upload your video and make all the changes, it provides an HTML code that you can embed on your site or email.

Alexa rating counts

You will appreciate it that YouTube has been identified as the second most traffic frequented social networking site. More than sixty million visitors come to YouTube every month, all of which can be yours if you consider YouTube marketing right now! YouTube has become so popular that many people consider it as the second most popular search engine after Google!

So if you have a marketing video, an ad campaign or a product review or presentation, then make sure that you upload it on your company’s YouTube channel, and share it through all the communication media available to your organization.

Know Your Guest Author

Roman is the CEO of Frozzo Social Media Marketing Company and Social Media antagonist. Practitioner, not a theorist. He enjoys spending his time with his wonderful wife and son.

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With generic TLDs becoming more popular for web developers, regular TLDs (mostly .com sites) are starting to have less influence on the internet.  As a result, digital brand teams are going to have to factor in generic TLD sites (.ca, .biz, .info, etc) into their new marketing strategies.  The infographic below, compliments of Wolfe Domain, demonstrates that this new form of internet is already affecting the market.  Check out how.

Specific to Generic TLD shift

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Preparing for Algorithm Updates

The world of SEO is constantly evolving with new rules to follow and changes to keep track of. Many search engines have carried out algorithm updates in the last few days, notable among them, Google and Bing. Google itself has gone through over 500 changes in the last few years. In light of the fact that new updates will be coming your way, here’s how you can prepare for future algorithm updates.

Maintain a high standard

SEO is not just about the clever placement of words to get ahead on page rankings. As a site or blog owner, you must take responsibility for maintaining a high standard of content. The information on your site must be ethical and genuine and this will help your business in ways you cannot imagine. Most search engines are wary of rank seeking players looking for shortcuts to get ahead. So make sure yours is a website that is content-rich and service-goal oriented.

Do your homework

While great content is a start, it’s not enough when changes are taking place. Do your homework and understand the need for the updates. Luckily, you can get help from the search engine creates themselves. Check out Bing’s Webmaster Center Blog or the Quality Guidelines on Google for more information on what to do and what not to. The Panda update affected 1.1% of the queries in English. The October update was about making a page more usable to viewers by affecting the page layout.  Having an idea of history will tell you a lot about the future.

Get some help

If you put all your eggs in the same basket, you run the risk of getting into trouble from all sides. So think about partners to take your SEO forward. Harness the power of social sites like Twitter and Facebook or go in for some good, old fashioned PR. Put a market research team to work and respond based on what your study throws up.

Check rates and engines

There are two rates you need to keep track of- conversion and engagement. This will give you an idea of how people react when they visit your website and whether they get what they are looking for. The engines are useful to find relevant information and will help users decide if they should trust a site and go further and make it suit their needs and requirements.

Stay in the loop

If SEO is your world, then you need to know about changes as soon as they happen. Work on your RSS and news feed, get connected to the right people and ensure that you stay on top of your game.

SEO is about giving relevant content to your users so keep a lookout and update your page periodically, ensuring that quality is maintained. Write for people not search engines, make your information crisp and one-of-a-kind, do not focus on advertisements at the cost of a good user experience, make your text interesting with images and videos and work on the length of your text so that you don’t lose out on the next future algorithm update.

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This guest post is brought to you by Nicole Wilson of cabletimenyc.com, a site that offers savings and current information on time warner cable nyc.

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Business Relationship Building

Starting and running a small business involves so many different tasks that people often get lost in the shuffle. But without the people involved in your business, such as employees, customers and vendors, you probably wouldn’t have a business to run. As you focus on business growth, be sure to relegate some of your attention to relationship-building. To maximize your relationship-building potential and the way it can help your business, follow these five rules.

  1. Focus on Quality.Quality is indeed more important than quantity. Obviously, you want to have a large number of customers, and it’s not possible to develop a relationship with each one personally. But you can take the time to engage customers in discussion on your blog or other social media venues, as well as in your store front. Likewise, take a few minutes to talk to your vendors and employees to make sure everything is running smoothly on their end. Because, when it’s not, it will eventually trickle down to you.
  2. Meet New People Every Day.Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t build a large amount of business relationships overnight, either. But you can make an effort to meet and get to know one new person each day. This could be a new employee, vendor, customer or other small business owner.
  3. Network in the Community.Don’t forget about the other small-business owners in your community. They can become very beneficial connections for you and vice versa. Many towns hold networking meetings where small-business owners can come together monthly to discuss local business, troubleshoot problems and get to know other business owners. Spending time with other business owners can help you learn as you establish a footing in the business world.
  4. Keep Communication Going.Meeting someone and introducing yourself is not the basis for a relationship. To turn an acquaintance into a business relationship, you have to continue your efforts with communication. Become the business owner who initiates conversations with customers, employees, vendors and community members. People will notice when you take a genuine interest in them and make the effort to stay in touch.
  5. Be Friendly, Professional and Personable On- and Offline. Keep a bad day to yourself and make a conscious effort to be professional and personable with everyone you come into contact with. This can be especially important on the internet where many people believe it’s acceptable to forget manners, friendliness and courteous behavior. Have an internet marketing agency help you with your business website to make sure it’s inviting and encourages visitors to follow your blog, contact you with questions or comments, or click through to make a purchase.

Excellent marketing strategies and a hard work ethic will only get you so far if you aren’t building relationships in and around your business. Whether your business is a brick and mortar or an internet business, it’s important to make an effort to establish and build relationships in your community and beyond. As these relationships are created, continue to nurture them, knowing that the time and effort you invest will provide a return of business growth and success.

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Mary Ylisela works for Touchpoint Digital, a UK-based internet marketing company & digital advertising agency. Visit us to find out more about our services or take a read of our blog for more on increasing your online sales.

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Addictive BlogThere are literally millions of blogs on the great wide web with more being started every day, but for every blog that is started only a few are able to successfully gain a substantial foothold in the competitive field. There is no guaranteed method for making an addictive blog that will attract a lot of readers, but there are proven techniques that can increase your odds.

Graffiti Artists are Professionals Too

There are blogs about everything (maybe) from Fortune 500 companies to criminal activities. Even if your blog topic doesn’t seem professional, it should still look like it. This doesn’t equal boring, the format and scheme of the blog should match its content but still look like a real website that someone took some time to develop. A lot of blog hosting sites like Word Press, Blog Spot, and Blogger offer packages that look clean and professional, and you can still personalize them if you don’t have the know-how for designing your own site. Professional also means submitting content that is free of errors and typos. Easy mistakes can ruin your credibility in a hurry, just look at Todd Akin’s political career if you need an example.

What Makes Halloween Awesome?

Mini candy! Your blog should mimic bite size candies by hosting bite sized paragraphs. The paragraph above is even too big for my liking and walls of text will just scare the average reader off. Try funneling information into some of the following:

  • Bulleted or numbered lists! Very easy to read and can convey a lot of information quickly. Do as I say, not as I do, and use more than one bullet – three is a good minimum.

Utilize Subheads: These breaks up your post and a reader can quickly scan to see what you’ll be covering. They don’t have to be stagnant and can try to grab attention like I am attempting.

For Every Post, a Page: Rather than pushing old posts underneath new ones until users have a millimeter tall scroll bar, give each new post its own page. Then you can link between relevant posts, sort by titles and topics, and start developing a functioning website. This makes it much easier for users to navigate and older posts will have a longer life since Google ranks by pages, not by a site.

Speaking of Google: learn some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques and keep those in mind when you’re coming up with titles and when you start networking. This will help get more traffic to your blog which will hopefully mean more dedicated readers.

Not Everyone Likes Sauerkraut

But those who do, love it! Your blog should cater to a niche rather than the masses because the cliché saying is right; you can’t please everybody. Targeting a specific group of people will actually increase your readership faster than trying to spread out. Plus, once you have a specific group following your blog you can begin to branch out.

Eat Plenty of Fiber

You want to be regular in all parts of your life, including your blog. Set a schedule, and stick to it! Your readers should know when to look for new posts, not just when you feel like it. Take the immensely popular YouTuber, Jenna Marbles, for example. Her subscribers KNOW that she’ll have a new video up every Wednesday. Even if that week’s content isn’t her best, she still gets millions of views by maintaining a strict schedule.

Stay Current

I swear, I am not trying to talk about bowel movements, but unless you are a history buff and blogging about the industrial revolution your blog should keep up with current affairs. This helps with SEO techniques as people search for breaking news items and will help to generate more traffic to your blog. Even if you are putting out creative pieces you should still try to tie them into current affairs that are relative to your niche.

There are plenty of more ways to make an addictive blog, but keeping it relevant, short, regular, and professional will set you up splendidly for success. Just remember that blogging is a labor of love and that it takes time. Many blogs out there aren’t even maintained anymore; don’t fall by the wayside like them.

Know the Guest Author

Carla Eaton has a B.A. in Mass Media and writes on the topics of business, technology, and design. She currently blogs for inkfarm.com, who specializes in Canon printer ink.

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Email marketing Conversion

Starting an email marketing campaign can help you with your leads and your business, as well as increasing your sales. Here are four of the most important metrics in email marketing, and how you can use each to your advantage to create the most successful email marketing campaigns you can.

Bounce Rate -

Bounce rate is classified two ways: soft bounce and hard bounce. Soft bounce describes any emails that were returned because of server errors or a full inbox – so outside sources for email errors. Hard bounce rate occurs when there is something wrong with your email addresses or your list.

Many analytics programs will give you both metrics,  but you should focus on your hard bounce rates. A high hard bounce rate might cause your address to be marked as a spam email. To fix this problem, try changing your subject lines, staying away from words that are typical “spam words”, or send the emails at different times.

It also helps to clean up your email list and remove any email address that is marked invalid.

Open Rate -

This metric can give you some great analytical data, but tread lightly – some of the numbers could be misleading. Email open rate is the number (often represented by a percentage) of people who received your email campaign and then opened it.  It’s important to track because this is the first step to email success (after all, people can’t act on an email they haven’t opened!)

Campaigns are tracked using a tiny pixel, and each time it’s loaded, that accounts as an “open”. Overall, studies have found that the average open rate is 20% for most email campaigns. However, open rate is a somewhat unreliable metric. Many email clients don’t’ consider the email “open” unless all the images are downloaded from the server, and if the recipient is behind a firewall or has images turned off from their email client, it could skew the numbers considerably.

Open rate in this fashion doesn’t take into considerations the individuals who have chosen a text-only email or are reading their email from their smartphone

Click through and Conversion Rate -

These metrics are arguably the most important email analytics you can have.  Click through rate tells you how many people clicked through from your email to your website or landing page. The conversion rate will tell you how many people are doing what you want them to do as a result of reading your email and clicking through.

Whether your goal is to drive traffic to a website, encourage readers to download a free eBook or take advantage of a special offer, its in your best interest to track the success of your conversion rate. The two stand side-by-side to give you a bigger picture of your email campaign’s success.

Your email’s goal should be very clear – use big, bold font or an eye-catching image and use a link to a landing page that you can track. Make sure the form or signup is easy to read and uncomplicated.  Improve your conversion rate by re-writing your action items, changing the font, adding content or removing content – the conversion rate performance will be the indicator to tell you if its’ working or not.

Also, take in to consideration the difference between the click through and the conversion rates – if there is a huge difference between the two, there may be a problem.

Historical Comparison -

Metrics on their own are great, but if you’re not comparing them to a previous campaign, you wont’ see where you need to improve.  Make sure you keep track of your previous campaigns in a spreadsheet or document to see the changes in your individual metrics. Choose a few key metrics to improve each time and take each campaign as they come.

Know Your Guest Author

Robert Woodford has been writing about email topics, including email campaign management, for more than 10 years. When not writing, you can find Robert at home with his family or practicing his jazz guitar skills.


 

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