After reading through the show preview for the E-commerce Expo North 2010 (27th May 2010), I had decided that the two talks by Google speakers were going to be my top priority to attend that day. Not only was this a chance to be one of the lucky few to attend a lecture by ‘celebrities’ of the SEO world, but the things I learnt would benefit me in my work placement and help me to understand the importance in what Kent House does.
At E-commerce Expo North, Google University were holding two sessions;
Google University AdWords – This session’s aim was to layout the groundwork for a successful AdWords campaign. It was aimed at people who wanted to get started with AdWords, or just simply wanted a refresher in the basics of online advertising.
The session aims to teach you;
- How the AdWords system works
- How campaigns should be structured
- How keyword lists and ads are developed
- How to optimise campaign for maximum performance
- Q&A with Google AdWords experts
Google University Analytics – This session’s aims are to give you an overview of how Google Analytics can help your business. As well as learning where your site visitors come from and how they interact with your site, Analytics will also give you information to write better ads and strengthen your marketing initiatives.
The session aims to teach you;
- How to set up an Analytics account
- The various different report types
- How the data shown can influence your business decisions
- Q&A with Google Analytics experts
Due to the nature of my work placement and having already being involved with using Google AdWords, I had initially planned to attend both of the talks during the E-commerce expo – with the talk on AdWords being slightly higher in my priority list. However, after the successful 1st talk on AdWords proving to be very popular, I was unable to attend the 2nd talk on Analytics due to the large amount of people queuing.
Regardless of not being able to see the session about Analytics, I thoroughly enjoyed the talk on AdWords and found it extremely useful. I met people who had only just heard about this type of marketing campaign, and like myself, were there to simply learn the basics. It was explained very well and useful examples were given to help the audience relate AdWords to their business.
You did it. You got yourself a website because prospects and customers kept asking for your web address. And you’d heard how much business small companies could generate from a website. So, you paid a Web developer handsomely for a beautiful site with the latest Flash animations, or had your brother-in-law build it on the cheap.
But your site’s been up for a while and it hasn’t brought you any business. What’s gone wrong? Here are the six things you can do for maximum results.
1 Make it part of your marketing strategy
Be clear what you want the website to do for you and then make sure it’s designed to do that well, whether reaching new customers, providing new services to improve customer relationships or improve cross-selling and repeat orders.
As with any marketing medium, your site must focus on your customers’ interests – not yours. Your site should be easy to use and tell customers exactly what they need to know.
2 Promote a positive image and user experience
Get the basics right so you don’t alienate users. Ensure the site looks professional, works properly, doesn’t oblige the user to install extra software and is user friendly. Websites that are too slow, crash in the middle of the transaction or ask for unnecessary information will alienate users.
3 Embrace Internet marketing
Google currently indexes billions of web pages. For your site to be found by customers and prospects you need to get your Internet marketing right.
The site itself should be optimised to get the best possible results in the search engines for your target keywords. A competent web developer can make sure the site is designed and built optimally. But, you also need to make sure that the text is well written for optimisation and is regularly updated. Use a web-savvy copywriter for best effect.
Get links to your website included on other relevant sites. Done correctly, this will improve your results in the search engines. You might even consider temporarily buying links on premium sites to get a quick initial boost.
Done properly, pay-per-click advertising is easily the most focused, cost-effective, and measurable marketing tool in history. You can easily dip a toe in the water through a small-budget Google AdWords campaign.
4 Reach out – use email
Websites only work when a user goes to them (the ‘pull’ effect). Get better results by combining the ‘push’ approach of using email to reach out to customers and prospects. It’s easy and cheap to reach people through email, and especially email newsletters.
5 Be sticky
'Stickiness’ is a measure of how well a website encourages users to keep coming back. There are some tried-and-tested ways of building stickiness:
- Regularly give things for free (maybe a downloadable briefing paper or promotional offer). The cost to you can be small with online delivery.
- Provide an online customer helpdesk
- Build an area for customers only where they can get access to premium resources
- Add new and relevant information
6 Stay fresh
Make sure you have good content management facilities so it is quick and easy to update the content and structure of your site without having to pay – and wait for – your web developer to do it for you. Then have a plan to ensure you make at least monthly updates.
Kent House offers a free no-strings appraisal of your site with recommendations for improvement. If you’d like some advice on how to get more from your web investment, give us a call on 0845 638 0700 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is just a very quick check in to give you the latest update on Search Engine Market Share.
Google is still number one with a share of 73.32% of the search market. Yahoo! comes in distant second with 15.78%. Ask, MSN and Live are at 3.93%, 3.52% and 2.11% respectively.
Although Google has the largest share, it is important to remember that 16% of the world’s internet surfers is a HUGE number and one which could make you millions – moral of the story, don’t forget the little guys when thinking about search marketing. The almost frenzied need to get to page one and number one on Google should not overshadow the fact that Yahoo!, Ask, MSN and Live are equally as important and worthy of a certain percentage (maybe 16%?) of your time!
Last week I passed my Google AdWords exam and have to admit that it was an unwelcome return to my university days of blind panic and “have I done enough??”. However, panic was unnecessary, I passed and I have the logo to prove it.
There is remarkably little online outside of Google itself that can help you towards acquiring the accreditation and this really surprised me, surely with the number of people out there working in SEO and PPC someone would have written something, a cheat sheet some detailed help but no! One thing did seem to crop up time and again on forums and blogs– a general consensus that the questions are vague and open to interpretation. I could not agree more and this increases the difficulty of the exam considerably.
However drawing on my experience and the fact that I had swotted up on all things AdWords related in the AdWords Learning Centre, I passed and am safely among the ranks of the qualified for another two years.
If you have any PPC or SEO questions, give me a call or send me an email, I am always happy to help.