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Archive for January, 2009

Online Marketing Services at the Search Clinic

January 28, 2009 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Online Marketing Services at the Search Clinic. Online Marketing Services

Imagine if your product landing page were the only web page visitors could read about your products. You would want to provide them with comprehensive subject matter, creating an almost portal like environment where they can learn everything they need to know without hopping all over your corporate domain. This focuses visitors into the selling path.

The product landing page uses simple copy and a clean design to help users find the product most closely matching their interests.

To accomplish this, there are several key pieces of content that should appear in a product listing. Depending on the complexity of a company’s offerings, some of these might be more feasible than others, but all will add value to the customer experience:

* Retain a specific description of the displayed product line: If a page describes only one product line, ensure that the content discusses what is being shown on the page, not the greater family of products.

* Include a product-specific search feature: If the catalog is deep or old, or contains many variations of pieces, it will help users find the perfect product faster if you give them a dedicated search feature where they can query model numbers, dimensions, keywords, and more. Traversing even the most elegantly designed hierarchy is slower than the type-click-find speed of a search engine.

* Make sure the depth of the section’s architecture is accurately demonstrated: In other words, make sure all product categories are represented and any subcategories are within easy clicking distance.

* Include a way of highlighting particular products: These products might be on sale, or recently released, or coming soon, but users love “featured products” because they often take the guesswork out of where to go from the landing page.

As with the corporate website’s homepage, these elements have to be carefully arranged to help users find their way around the product catalogue. The goal is to direct users. If done well, visitors will rely on the design and copy of the product landing page to guide them.

Once your reader has found your website and navigated through the product landing page, they will arrive on a singular web page dedicated to the product in which they are (hopefully) most interested.

This is where web design and copywriting skills come into full play, and where simple messages have to work in tandem with technical descriptions.

An individual product page should offer a comprehensive overview of the product, including photos, testimonials and reviews, dimensions, availability, and technical specifications- as well as price.

Anything and everything about that specific product should be present and accounted for. The last thing your visitors want is information about the product scattered around the site, so make sure every detail is centralised, focused, and accessible.

The following are some key attributes that should be included in a product page.

Description. The length of a product description is subject to just about every variable out there: how much there is to actually say, the products, the prices, the positioning, teh benefits, delivery, the buying process.

Many companies have printed brochures that describe their products at great length with copious, flowery detail. While it’s simple to grab the brochure copy and duplicate it inside HTML, this path of least resistance is usually not appropriate.

Text is not consumed equally between the mediums. Web copy thrives in brevity and punctual statements—bullets and two-sentence paragraphs are the norm; long-winded prose is ignored.

Some product descriptions take only a paragraph. Others require pages. The description of the product should be as long as it needs to be, and no more. As long as the text follows best practices in writing for the Web, people will consume what they want before making a decision.

Photos, images, and diagrams. People love pictures. It doesn’t matter if they’re professional photos or poorly lit Polaroids, glossy diagrams or low-resolution screenshots—when people shop digitally, they want to see some substantial evidence that the product that has caught their interest actually exists.

Smart companies understand this, and put their best foot forward to make available the best images possible. They make sure that their product pages contain high-resolution, professional images that give a very good sense of the products’ look and feel.

At a minimum, users should see a thumbnail of the product. This does not have to be elaborate. To avoid forcing users to squint, make sure that the image is at least 150 pixels wide. Providing a larger image when the thumbnail is clicked is almost always a good idea.

This higher resolution version should appear in a new browser window, not because this constitutes better usability, but because people expect and accept this functionality that has been perpetuated by thousands of other websites.

For more information about promoting your own digital business, please contact us NOW!

Online Marketing Solution at the Search Clinic

January 20, 2009 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Online Marketing Solution at the Search Clinic. Online Marketing Solution
Websites have become the main medium for casual information gathering. Google, Wikipedia, Technorati, and other massive information harvesters offer the world near infinite information at near instant speeds. When people hear about a company, they type in the URL.

Because of this, providing as much information about the business and its offerings is a critical ingredient in successful websites when content is available, people will consume it.

Most users who go through the trouble of finding a particular company are likely going to click on the Products or Services link in the main menu. They should be rewarded with a landing page that focuses on actual offerings, and doesn’t display large, Flash-based introductory animations, wander down tangents talking about company history, or do anything else that detracts from the carefully crafted sales message. In other words, do not deviate from the selling path.

Few sections benefit more from building content than the products or services. Not only does it inform your audience, which is very likely the customer base, but it presents an ideal busines platform and selling opportunity. If people are already on your site, why not push them into action?

The Products and Services pages should be built with a selling path in mind. A selling path is an easily followed- a short series of actions that leads people to initiate the sales process. Ideally, this should be three tangible steps:

1. Landing page: People will find the products or services landing page, be enamored with all the wondrous things you sells, or offers about, and click on an item for deeper exploration.
2. Individual description: Prospects will find themselves on a singular page that describes in no uncertain detail all of the salient selling points of the product or service. This page guides them toward the final stage of the selling path: the sales process.
3. Call to Action: After readers consume everything about the product or service that catches their eye, they will effortlessly find themselves on a page that (politely) asks them to finish what they started, either by making a purchase or becoming a qualified lead by making contact with the company.

The selling path is the second half of this; it captures a user’s attention midway through the conversion process and acts as the catalyst for achieving the goal. Because of this, this three-step selling path should be nearly thoughtless for the user—they should find themselves moving down the conversion funnel with about as much resistance as a greased bowling ball encounters rolling across an alley.

Streamlining this process is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it requires careful design and copywriting, explored in the next section.

A company whose primary line of business is selling tangible products will find its catalogue of items falling into three fairly distinct categories:

1. Products that can be sold on the web: Just about anything that can be shipped and delivered cost-effectively can be sold via a shopping cart, from fruit baskets to furniture to cars. These products do not need the help of a sales force. Customers can make a purchase without interacting with the company.
2. Products that could be sold via the web but are not: Many corporate websites describe products that could feasibly be sold digitally but are not because the company chooses to distribute them in other ways. Many food manufacturers do not sell their products digitally because they have exclusive distribution deals with grocery stores and other retail outlets.
3. Products that cannot realistically be sold through a shopping cart: These products simply can’t be delivered without a huge expense (such as a luxury fishing boat) or without intense customization (enterprise-grade software).

While they are still tangible things, the last two types of products have to be treated like services because either the customer has to seek out the product beyond the Web, or the customer and vendor have to engage in a human interaction for the sale to be made. As with services, a website can only go so far in promoting and selling these types of products, which is why this section will focus on the first category, or those that are sold over the Internet.

When designing and writing web pages for these products, you should always make the selling path prominent, because it leads customers right to the store where they can make a purchase. It doesn’t have to overwhelm the reader—half-page, seizure inducing billboards are probably overkill—but it always has to be brainlessly accessible.

Imagine if the product landing page were the only web page visitors could read about the products. You would want to provide them with comprehensive subject matter, creating an almost portal-like environment where they can learn everything they need to know without hopping all over to your corporate domain.

Please contact us NOW!

Managed Online Marketing at the Search Clinic

January 14, 2009 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Managed Online Marketing at the Search Clinic is the one reason you found this page. Managed Online Marketing

Some search engines use meta tags although some now ignore these. Some use the description tag and some even use what is called ‘alt text’, the text you see when your cursor is over an image on a page. It is most common for the search engines to use a combination of all these and many other factors too.

The rules are constantly changing – which is why we work full-time on them.

What sort of site can be promoted in the search engines?

Well the short answer is almost any. There are some types of programming language that search engines have trouble reading and there are some practices that make it harder for a search engine spider to follow, these should be avoided.

But with so many different subjects being discussed on the internet from the charity efforts of charity Christmas cards to information and help in organising guided tours of India the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

High ranking on search engines

Apart from the conventional search engine optimisation techniques, there are various ways of getting your site to show up well on search engines. Hook pages (NOT doorway pages) can be a good idea. They are pages related to your site through a topic, rather than the main subject – Rockbase, the definitive music database, has a ‘UK Radio Station’ list which introduces potential customers.

One development has been for many search engines – especially the minor ones – to insist on paid submissions. A word of caution though, some are more effective than others! We know which ones are worth paying for and how to make the best use of the free ones too.

If you were looking to get your website redesigned and you lived in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire then you may look for a search such as web design Cotswold. If you got results back related to website design and building in London you would be disappointed, however this is the sort of thing you may get if you use a paid for search engine.

Many companies that are located in one part of the country like to use 0845 numbers to advertise there service as these telephone numbers are priced at the same rate from all over the UK so an 0845 number called in Manchester will connect you with the office in Leeds but cost you the same price as the call from Dorset.

Staying at the Top

It’s all too easy to relax when you’re high but if you do, you are likely to fall. If you believe that the work is done once the summit is in site, there are plenty of others eager to knock you off the pinnacle.

We offer a Ranking monitoring and Position Maintenance service to make sure all the hard work of the climb is not lost and to ensure your online marketing remains the most cost effective marketing money you will ever invest.

Some deals are too good to be true – be aware

You may see adverts from people offering what look to be great deals. “We’ll submit your site to 3000 search engines for £49.95!!” Why is that a bad deal?

For starters, there aren’t 3000, or even 300, search engines that are worth submitting to. The top six search engines get 90+ percent of the hits. Time is much better spent figuring out how to maximise your results in the important search engines and in specialised directories.

The cheapies aren’t going to do that for £49.95. In fact, all they’re going to do is to plug your URL into an automated program that submits it to a list of search engines and ‘link farms’ with the click of a button. However, search engine submissions do not always take on the first attempt, and many engines deliberately exclude automated submissions. So your £49.95 is gone, and your site will see no benefit.

I could do that for a monkey, if you’re still tempted- but things have moved on. Many search engines now discriminate against this type of software so we submit manually to selected engines & directories. You would be better off buying some charity Christmas cards and helping someone this Christmas as the money you would have spent on this 3000 search engine submision is like throwing your money away, at least with the charity cards you can help someone.

What to do next

Well if you have reached this far down the page you are either board and killing time or interested in promoting your website in the search engines, I hop
e it is the latter and that you will give us the oprtunity to help you with this.

The next step is to either call us on 01242 521967 and ask for Simon or please complete the contact form NOW.

Online Marketing UK at Search Clinic

January 05, 2009 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Online marketing UK at the Search Clinic.Online Marketing UK

Since retailers in Britain typically operate nationally and deliver purchases anywhere in the country, searches often lead directly to sales, said Andrew Edwards, European president of Arc, a digital agency affiliated with Leo Burnett. About 3.9 percent of visits to British digital retailers’ sites yield purchases, compared with 2.5 percent of American site visits, according to Coremetrics, an ecommerce tracking service.

In Britain, analysts predict that it will not be long until Internet advertising catches up with TV advertising. Group M, for instance, says the Internet could account for 25 percent of British ad spending by 2010. That would place it ahead of television, which accounts for just more than 20 percent now.

Hardest hit has been Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV. Analysts at Numis Securities estimate that ITV’s advertising revenue will fall 13 percent for 2006. Weakened by its loss of advertising, ITV has become a takeover target.

On average, Britons spend 23 hours a week on the Internet, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. The Internet accounts for about a quarter of Britons’ time spent with all media, according to Citigroup, nearly double the percentage in the United States. Americans use their computers an average of 14 hours a week, according to Nielsen Media Research.

TV advertising has held strong in the United States, where about $72.56 billion will be spent on TV ads in 2008, according to Universal McCann, which is part of the Interpublic Group. That represents a quarter of all ad spending, and that proportion has held roughly steady since 2000.

Local advertisers in the United States have been slow to move money digitaly. In 2008, for example, local spending on digital ads in the United States will be $1.3 billion — or 8 percent of all Internet spending, according to eMarketer. But local ads make up a little more than a third of overall ad sales in the United States.

Ad executives said American TV networks were unlikely to lose as much ground as British networks had. “TV’s just too important for our society,” said Martin Reidy, president of Modem Media, which is part of Digitas. “I don’t think the Internet will ever surpass it here.”

In Britain, the growth of Internet ads seems to be bringing down the amount of money spent in the overall advertising market as well. Growth in spending on advertising services is set to slow to 0.3 percent in 2008, according to Group M, after growth of 4.3 percent last year and 6.7 percent in 2004. To many ad executives, this makes sense: digital ads are generally much cheaper.

“Every Pound withdrawn from traditional media either to be saved or spent digitally, where supply is in handsome surplus, exerts more deflationary pressure on the total market,” said Group M in a recent report on the British ad market. “And if digital proves more productive, advertisers have the option of investing less.”

There’s no doubt that, done properly, Search Engine Optimisation and professional digital advertsing can send many more visitors to your site.

With over a trillion billion pages in the search engines it is vital that your site gets found at the top of the search engine listings for the phrases that relate to your business.

If you are serious about your search engine optimisation strategy then you should find a company that you are happy to work with on the devlopment of your website, a company that has the experience and proven track record to help you achieve your goals for your website.

When deciding on the company you want to work with, you should consider the following points:

* Have they got good results for people in the past?
* Can they show you testimonials?
* Will they let you call and talk to customers?
* Do they use ethical SEO techniques?
* Do they do the work themselves or outsource it?

Remember if the Search Engine Optimisation is not done properly it can harm rather than help your website in the search engines.

So employ an expert Search Engine Optimiser, a specialist who makes sure that the relevant words and phrases appear in the best positions on the pages. There are many other considerations, complicated by the engines modifying their preferences on a regular basis.

The trick is knowledge and experience. Do not trick the search engines- work with them.

There are those who try to fool search engines. If they are detected, the site will probably be penalised, either shifted down the rankings or, in many cases, removed from their listings completely. It’s worth noting, search engines all use different means to look for sites. Most read the text on the page.

Don’t forget relevant links in from related sites. Many don’t like frames or dynamic pages. They can’t follow the content properly so they don’t index frames and dynamic sites deeply.

For help, please contact us NOW!

Search Clinic- cures your online marketing ailments in 2009

January 02, 2009 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Search Clinic wishes you a profitable 2009.

Looking to improve your online sales and income? We can help you NOW!.

Please just ask us on Search Clinic what help you need.