Traditional marketing is all about improving three variables: the number of qualified buyers, the average transaction value, and the number of repeated purchases. Online marketing is no different. I’ve distilled the different online marketing techniques into a simple TACE (traffic-analysis-conversion-engagement) model:
There are only two ways to get more web traffic: buy it, or attract it.
Buying traffic means buying clicks from an advertising network either through a PPC (pay-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-thousands) model. Potential networks include Google Adwords, Facebook, MSN Adcenter, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Adbrite. I’d recommend getting good at the most popular one, Google Adwords, before trying out other networks.
Attracting traffic means using content marketing and applying search-engine-optimization best practices to your site:
1. Proper meta-tags: Have unique meta titles, keywords, and descriptions for each page on your site. Check your Google Webmaster Tools account for duplicate errors.
2. Google Places page: Fill out your Google Places profile with many reviews and citations so that your business will appear in the local results for your city.
3. Review sites and directories: Submit your site to as many local directories and industry review sites as possible.
4. Blogging: Create and promote great content on your blog so that other sites will link back to you.
5. Blog commenting: Provide insightful and relevant blog comments on industry blogs that link back to your site.
The great thing about online marketing is that everything can be measured and analyzed. Look at your Google Analytics account at least once or twice a week. Each time you do, ask yourself:
1. Are there any new trends to pay attention to?
2. What are your most profitable keywords?
3. Which keywords could become your most profitable keywords if your rankings were higher?
4. Which pay-per-click keywords should be cut?
5. What kind of content are your visitors looking for?
6. What are your most profitable (and least profitable) campaigns, both online and offline?
7. Where and why are your visitors dropping out?
Once you have enough traffic coming to your site, it’s time to start performing conversion testing to improve your bottom line. Upping your sales conversion rate from two to four percent will double your online sales! Here are a few ideas for conversion testing:
1. Your homepage’s main call to action: Identify the main call to action on your homepage (example: request a quote), and try a different ad copy, colour, or even placement. I’ve doubled sales for some clients by doing this one thing.
2. Checkout process: Look at your funnel analytics – that is, the analysis of the step-by-step path your prospects take through your site – and see where they are dropping out during the buying process.
3. Product or service bundles: Are there any opportunities for cross-selling or up-selling? Can you play around with the pricing and take advantage of techniques such as monthly fees or micropayments?
Finally, keep engaging your customers to encourage repeat purchases. This is the cheapest way to improve your online sales.
1. E-mail marketing: Send out a monthly newsletter and include special offers or promotions.
2. Re-marketing: Serve banner ads to existing prospects and customers so they remember to come back and make additional purchases. You can do this on Google’s Display Network.
3. Social media updates: Feature cool products and send out special promotions or coupon codes.
By following the TACE model, you will make incremental improvements that may not seem like a lot on their own, but will double or triple your sales cumulatively over time.
Martin Wong is a partner at Smartt (www.marketingsmartt.com), a consulting agency. With over 10 years’ experience in Online Marketing, Martin combines his extensive abilities and Google certifications to provide informed and testable business solutions. Martin can be reached at 604-473-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.