The Difference Between Web Marketing Channels and Destinations

Sometimes within web marketing, we can be guilty of placing all of our hopes on our favourite web marketing channels, be that SEO, social media, PPC or another latest technique for overnight success. Any method of sending visitors to our website is a “marketing” channel”. Web marketing however isn’t just about generating traffic, it’s also about enticing that traffic to act. Equally as important as our marketing channels are our marketing destinations. In simple words, “channels” are how we entice people to our site, “destinations” are the places we send them to within our website and/or web properties. This article looks at why we need to consider our marketing channels and destinations as individual parts of an overall online marketing strategy.

People often come into web marketing with an excited focus on one, or more, marketing channels. They have recently read an article outlining why LinkedIn can unlock the true potential of any B2B business, or how the latest changes in Google AdWords allow them to follow their B2C customers around the web. Often, people come into web marketing with the belief that if they can simply get traffic from whatever popular web marketing channel people are talking about today, they will be instantly successful. The truth is that NO web marketing channel can be the sole solution to all of your business dreams. Marketing channels are great at generating traffic, but once we have traffic, we then have to make it as easy as possible for our traffic to find what they are looking for and act.

I Get Traffic But No Customers From My Website

One of the most common statements within web marketing is “I get traffic to my site, but hardly ever any leads or new customers. Web Marketing doesn’t work for me.” If we are getting lots of visitors from any web marketing channel, but not in turn getting at least a handful of new enquiries, then something has to be wrong with the relevance of our web pages with what people are looking for when they find us? The most common reason for lack of conversion is the “destination” we send people to from our chosen web marketing channels. For example, if we “tweet” about white chocolate, but then send people from that tweet via a link to our website homepage that shows many kinds of chocolate, then we are asking our website visitor to do some work in order to find what they were interested in.

So what should I do?

Let’s look at another example. Let’s suppose you let holiday homes in some wonderful seaside, holiday town. Let’s also suppose that some of your homes are dog friendly. Let’s say that you currently run ads via PPC for dog friendly holiday homes in your seaside town. If everyone who clicks on one of your ads lands on your generic website homepage that’s simply shows images of random holiday homes, then we are asking our website visitor to filter out the dog friendly homes from the others. They have to so some work to find what they are looking for.

Alternatively, with a little more work on our part, we could send people clicking on our PPC ads to a dedicated page that only shows your dog friendly homes. Maybe we also show a few great reviews for each one and perhaps even include some images of happy dogs spending time at our pet friendly holiday homes? Our website visitor has landed on a much more enticing and relevant page. We have both given the website visitor less to do and, more importantly, shown them exactly what they were searching for. It’s easier for that website visitor to now act.

In this second instance, our web marketing channel (PPC) and website destination (dedicated dog friendly holiday homes page) work in tandem to promote our holiday properties much more effectively. You may have read/heard the phrase “Landing Page”? A landing page is the most commonly used phrase to describe a website destination used online. I prefer the term “destination” because it helps me envisage an exciting place we send our website visitors to where we help them to “do” something they are interested in.

So, channels and destinations? Anything more?

Last week we went over that the difference between “connect” and “buy”. We can also apply this principle to our work on web marketing channels and destinations. Let’s suppose that a good number of our website visitors to our holiday homes page are not quite ready to purchase their holiday today. Maybe they are unsure where to go on holiday? Maybe they even want to know what would be the best destination for a dog friendly holiday? At present, if they land on our dog friendly holiday homes page, we currently only have a call to action for people ready to buy now. What can we do to “connect” with all those people currently researching where they want to go on holiday with their dog?

What if we offered a free downloadable guide to “Great Dog Walks In and Around Our Wonderful Seaside Town”? If we offer this guide in return for our website visitor’s email address, we have given them an action they can take today that will help them decide whether our seaside town is the place for their holiday, or not. We also gain the ability to continue communicating with that website visitor beyond this initial visit to our webpage. Perhaps some of our website visitors won’t book this time but will next? Perhaps some might book another destination that we offer holiday homes in? Perhaps they were even researching on behalf of someone else? Whatever their reason may be, by giving them an action to take and “connecting” with them (via our free dog walks guide), we have the ability to communicate with them continually about dog friendly holidays. The onus is, of course, on us to communicate well.

Web marketing has never been just about channels. SEO, social media or even PPC are never a sole answer to your online success. To be truly successful, we need to think about where we send people to and how relevant that is to their point of interest. We also need to think about what we offer people as a next action to take. If people are ready to buy great, if however they want to learn more, then we want to help them do that too. Business is a path of customer care, when people come to us we need to look after them every step of the way.

Small And Midsized Company Marketing And Marketing Communications – A Lesson From Large Agencies

Over the past few years, rapidly developing technologies have changed the way marketers think about marketing and marketing communications strategies, plans and tactics. However, somewhat quietly but perhaps more importantly, a significant change has occurred with the world’s largest communications agencies – the dramatic growth of consulting companies at the expense of traditional advertising agencies.

Management and accounting consulting companies with new services are now ranking sixth through tenth among the world’s biggest communications companies. The specialized divisions of Accenture Interactive, PwC Digital Services, Deloitte Digital, Cognizant Interactive and IBMix had total global revenue of over $20 billion in 2017, with an eye-popping 32 percent growth in US revenue versus a year ago.

While traditional advertising industry giants WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Interpublic and Dentsu are ranked as the top five, with global revenue of nearly $62 billion, US revenue barely increased at 0.3 percent (Advertising Age).

Why is this change happening and what can small and midsized marketers learn from it?

Consulting Companies Focus On ROI

There are many reasons for the growth of consulting companies – in B2B, B2C and nonprofit marketing and marketing communications areas – but the top reasons are:

  1. Consulting companies already have deep ties, experience and credibility helping organizations improve their profitability, because of a sharp focus on ROI;
  2. Their existing familiarity with digital technologies, along with the financial resources to acquire specialized digital companies for expansion;
  3. Maintaining a data-based strategy with clients and prospects – not creative alone – which means they are focused on understanding customer wants and needs, as well as customer experiences at all pre- and post- customer purchase points;
  4. A focus on marketing and marketing communications effectiveness and not just efficiency, resulting in a very big difference to a brand’s profitability.

In short, a history and vision of focusing on and improving a brand’s profitability and its ROI. Keeping an eye on the bottom line – cost per customer, not just media cpm efficiency.

ROI Focused Marketing And Marketing Communications Consultants

As a small of midsized marketer, what can be learned from this dramatic shift of larger marketers? With only a small (sometimes inexperienced) staff, limited financial resources and time constraints, what should be considered?

Start with established marketing and marketing communications consultants who are clearly focused on a brand’s profitability and ROI, and not just “likes” or “clicks”. They should have significant experience across industries and brands, both for profit and nonprofit, and have a broad understanding of customer, prospect (and employee) motivations to purchase and repurchase, regardless of the business environment.

But, above all, they must be media neutral and not selling “one size fits all” solutions. As Tom Bradley, former head of marketing at Nestle said, “The best source of marketing communications leverage is the quality of the message… not the media vehicle, new or traditional, that does or does not deliver.” And that also means you must be sure that your consultants have the ability to cultivate and manage the creative process.

Selecting A Consultant

Unsure of how to select a consultant, much less what type of professional to look for? If your business is floundering and in serious need of overall repair, along with financing, you probably would be better served by either a management or accounting consultant.

If, however, your primary need is to establish or improve a weak marketing or marketing communications program for the short and long term your selection should be apparent. You should be looking for rigorous and objective counsel on the entire scope of traditional marketing and marketing communications opportunities available to you (traditional vs. new media; conventional vs. digital; etc.).

Beyond the qualities of the consultants previously mentioned, be sure to look for:

  1. Someone who is disciplined, apolitical, down to earth, and willing to be part of your team; consultants who will promote candor across all levels, who will listen and explain what needs to be done to everyone’s satisfaction; teaching, not lecturing, is very important’;
  2. Professionals with the ability to develop successful strategies, plans and executions with your team or, if necessary, who can provide outside specialists to improve part or all of the program;
  3. People who have strong convictions to use research and measure not only what has been done but also what is proposed to be done; measurement is key to evaluating success or the need to modify a plan;
  4. A flexible organization that can bring in marketing and marketing communications specialists when and as needed so that overhead isn’t an on-going expense.

Most small and midsized companies find themselves with not enough time, skill or financial resources to develop and execute a profitable marketing and marketing communications program. These challenges are growing exponentially, and consultants can be of great value in navigating this complex environment and adding value to your brand.

Hopefully, these ideas will give you food for thought, but as Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Internet Marketing Services Principles For Everyone For Free

Internet marketing services consists of so many things that can be done to make a website top on Google that with some due diligence and research, it can be done for free. How is this possible? Internet marketing services implements systems which affect the two major elements of website marketing which are Google ranking and unique visitors, i.e; traffic.

The most important is Google rankings and are for the keywords selected for a website therefore, the keywords selected must be exactly related to the content within the website. A good practice is to choose a minimum of 3 keywords up to an average of 9 each. The keywords can be a single word or what is called a long tailed keyword, meaning a string of words commonly used in search engines to search for the website. Research is necessary to choose keywords that are ‘reachable’ but yet have enough monthly traffic that the positions within the top 10 bring the site unique visitors. Unique visitors are visitors who are definitely interested in the content of the site and not someone just surfing the internet for something to do.

It is a good practice to research the monthly traffic for keywords before even choosing a name for a website because if you choose a name with the keyword as part of the name, you have already made progress towards your goal of being top for that keyword. Secondly, your keyword should appear in your meta tag title, description and keyword list for your website. Researching the monthly traffic for a keyword has never been easier. Wordtracker and Google itself both supply a quality service for webmasters. Wordtracker has a trial service to do so and Google is, of course, free.

The meta tags are tags used by search engines to display information about your website. The meta tags are not necessarily viewable by visitors on your Website unless the visitor right clicks on your site and views the ‘view source’. Since search engines use this information to display and give visitors a very brief summary of your site, it is therefore necessary to ensure that they are very descriptive of exactly what is contained on your website. When working with meta tags, the words within the title, description and keywords are considered keywords and various variations so when at all possible, do not use un-necessary words such as the, is, at, here, where, etc., as the search engines will consider them keywords. This is due to search engines using long tailed keywords also in their rankings. Many webmasters do not understand this as it is not information published somewhere for a webmaster to follow as a guideline to creating quality meta tags.

Generally, search engines prefer long tailed keywords as 3 words maximum. You may find a keyword in your research that consists of 4, 5, or even 6 words long. These words are all right within the context of your website but not a good strategy to choose them as one of your beginning optimization goals. Quality meta tags are part of the necessary internet marketing services search engine optimization strategies.

The other part of internet marketing services search engine optimization is called density which consists of how many times a keyword appears in your content, meta tags, alt tags and anchor tags compared to how many total words are on the page. Each page of your website should have it’s own optimization for internet marketing services and it’s own keywords, meta tags, etc. There are a few websites on the internet which will give you the density for a keyword on your site. Just search within the Google toolbar for keyword density and find a free service which supplies this. Density is computed by a percentage which would be, 1 keyword per every 100 words is 1% density, etc. If you had a density of 4.46%, then, over 4 words per 100 are keywords and if you have 5 keywords per 100 total words, then the density would be higher than 4.46%.

Keywords within your content of your site should be bolded and/or underlined to show the search engines that this word is important to the site. All words bolded or, sometimes webmasters use the HTML word strong instead, are considered by search engines to be keywords so when you bold the ‘click here’, you need to realize that this has now became a potential keyword.

Your description meta tag for your website should encompass your keywords. If you have selected about 9 keywords, you can many times, turn this into a logical statement for your site. The first keyword in your title should be your most important for your website. This same keyword should be the first keyword in your description and in your content of your site. By doing this, you are telling search engines that this keyword is your most important keyword for your internet marketing services strategies.

The meta keyword tag is used less often now because according to popular belief, Google doesn’t give any credence to this meta tag. However, wouldn’t it be nice to have a top ranking on yahoo or MSN? They use this meta tag and therefore it is still a good practice to implement this into your website. There are also many, many other search engines on the internet, and most of them still use the meta keyword tag.

Within your internet marketing services strategies, not only do you need to study your density for a specific keyword, but you should also be concerned about the placement of the keyword. A good practice but not necessarily a rule, is to place a keyword in each paragraph of your site and if the paragraph is longer than 3 sentences, then place the keyword twice in that paragraph.

To ensure you are in a position to reach top on Google, it is a good principle to study your competitors for this keyword. Go to the Google search bar and enter in the keyword you are optimizing your site for. The first couple of sites on Google are usually sites which have paid to be shown to you and they are irrelevant in your research. Generally there is a line between those and the ‘natural’ high ranking keyword websites. The first website under this line is your competitor.

Study your competitors website. First view their meta tags. Are you going to be as good or better with your meta title, meta description and meta keywords? If not, what changes do you need to make to compete with them. Do not copy them or Google will definitely catch you and your site could become banned with Google. Employ solid business practices without copying anyone else on the internet. Quality internet marketing services practices ensures your site doesn’t become search engine banned nor get in trouble somehow.

Next study your competitors density for the keyword. In this case, it is generally good to view the top 3 websites as the density for the whole website might not be from only the index/home page. You may need to view the inner page of the website to obtain a total story about a website.

You also need to ensure you have some anchor tags on your page. Anchor tags are clickable links on the website. The content that is showing on the page that can be clicked on is considered the anchor tag. These are just about as important to your keyword ranking as your meta title on the page. These are called hyper links as when a visitor hovers over them, they can click on them and either go to another page on your website or even someone else’s website.

The anchor text can read whatever you want it to read so try to blend in your main keyword within the content that becomes the clickable link. Again, do not use words such as the, as, is, it, at, here, where, etc. These will be considered as keywords by search engines. In order to make these keywords more important, it is good to create a page with the keyword as the name of the page so not only is the anchor text clickable, but the page name is also the same.

Anchor tags to other websites should be used sparingly due to the impact on your site. The first rule, of course, is that the other site should have the same content or be so closely related to your content that your keyword appears on that website or preferably within their clickable links as anchor tags. Also, it is very important to link your site to websites which have a Google ranking of 4/10 or better as a lower ranking website, can, affect the overall ranking you receive from Google for your website.

Alt tags are tags used for images. Years ago when the internet was somewhat young, alt tags for images were used to show the name of an image when it was assumed that the browser of other computers may not show the image. Nowadays with most computers having updated browsers and systems, this would rarely happen so search engines have now seen this as a way for webmasters to input their keywords instead within the alt tag since they have been doing this anyway for a long time. This does not add a lot of importance to your keyword but every little bit helps. If you view optimization as if you are going to school and you are receiving quarterly grades, then your final grade will be your overall ranking for your keyword.

Do you think that once this is done you now are within the top 10 on Google for your keyword? No. Now, you need to show Google that your site is important by links to your site and by traffic to your site. There are various systems to use to accomplish this and most of them can be for free if you are willing to put some time into doing them.

Using your meta tags as your foundation for your internet marketing services plans, list your site on search engines. There are many free services on the internet to help you with this.

The next thing you should do, is set up a link trading system so that other webmasters will come to you to trade links. Do not make this your exclusive way to market your site as you will be considered as having a link farm and Google frowns on these but using this regularly along with other systems, helps your site grow and you will receive visitors over time from doing this plus these are long term links where your link to your website stays on the other site until that site might be removed from the internet. The reason you want a system is to keep the information organized and the linking an easy thing to do but not time consuming.

Next, you should then seek to list your site on link directories. Many of these are free and again these are long term links where your link will stay on their site for most directories. You can use all the free systems and benefit greatly by doing so.

Some of them will charge for a featured listing or even to list on the site but it is not necessary to do this if you have a small or non-existent budget. If you have a budget at all, there are a couple of softwares that are worth buying which help automate a part of your listings to save time. One such software that we use contains 3700 directories. We have found that using this system, we can submit to 2500 directories in about 6 weeks if we work every waking moment on them. This helps greatly.

You now should be ready for the next step which is writing and submitting articles. The goal of writing an article is to have other webmasters publish your article on their website which could consist of a blog, or other high traffic sites. Therefore, the article you write should have content related to the content of your site however, the rule is that you cannot use this as a sales tool or your article will be rejected. There are many article directories on the internet for you to research so you can get some ideas on what to write and how to create an article. A good rule of thumb is to create an article of at least 500 words as some directories have limits.

There are variables between various article directories. All articles should have your main keyword in them as well as within the title. Within the article itself, it is a good practice to include the keyword as many times as once per paragraph and the paragraphs should average about 3 sentences in length. Some directories allow one or two hyper links within the article so you should use your keyword as your anchor text for these. Again, within the resource box and/or author box, use your keyword as a hyper link to your website.

Make a summary of your information for your article separate from the article but summarizes your article. Generally 3 sentences are acceptable and be sure to again include your main keyword although most sites do not allow the summaries to include hyper links.

Your resource box gives you the opportunity to add more information about your site, i.e; free giveaways, benefit of purchasing from your site, reasons for the reader to come to your site and any type of internet marketing services ‘hook’ you can think of that will work for you. Articles should be submitted once a week but if you can do more, of course, you will also receive more unique visitors. Once the article is read, the visitors interested will ‘click through’ to your site to view products or see more information.

The step that should take you over the final hurdle is creating a press release. This is probably the hardest job for you as now you cannot sell anything but find something newsworthy about you or your Website to announce to the world. There are many rules to writing press releases and these are mostly available at the places you will submit it to. Once you have created your press release, you can then submit it to the free submission services you can find on the internet. This takes some time to find as there are many services but a lot of them aren’t free.

The time spent is worth it due to the amount of unique visitors you will receive and the backlinks you will receive. Press releases impact a website within 2-3 days of submissions and are a must for any website as part of their internet marketing services arsenal.

Basically following the above instructions will put you on top of search engines over time. You will need to continue to implement more backlinks for your site as your competitor may have more than you, which you can discover by visiting the link popularity website, and so you should continue to add your site to as many sites as you can on the internet. If you have spare time now, you could now implement a system called Web 2.0 as part of your internet marketing services plans, which will then snowball the amount of visitors you receive but more complicated to use than the included systems herein. Hope to see you at the top.

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