Monthly Archives: November 2011

Growing your Facebook fan base

We’ve all heard about how some business are growing their customer base and increasing revenue through their Facebook business pages. But how are they doing it?

Firstly, we need to differentiate between quality and quantity in regards to likes. Anyone can engage in one of the many, many
“silent tagging sessions” or “marches”. These allow you to link your business page on a big long list of pages, then like all the other pages in the hope they like you back.

This will give you lots of likes, and quickly, but you might find that one of two things happen – you get very little interaction on your
site (which probably means you’ve been hidden from newsfeeds), or your likes disappear nearly as quickly as they arrived (which means people are unliking your page).

So we will only talk about quality likes – which might take a little longer, but the payoffs will be greater.

There are basically three things to consider if you want more traffic (and likers) to your facebook page.

1/ Facebook advertising. You know those little ads on the right hand side of the page which seem to be targeted directly at you? Well, they are. You have put all sorts of things on your personal page – your favourite TV shows, bands, foods and more, so Facebook knows more about you than you think. And it’s a goldmine for any advertiser, who can embed keywords so that your ad only appears on the pages of people who may already be interested in your thing.  And, because it works on a pay-per-click basis you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, it’s cheap and effective. For less than $10 a day, you can drive hundreds of
visitors to your site. The ads should include an appealing photo, similar messages to your page, give a reason for people to do to your page, and, obviously, ask them to like the page.

2/ Add a like button to your website. Use a social plug-in to make it easy for people – they don’t even have to leave your site to like your Facebook page. If you use it properly, and then offer great advice, information, an incentives on you Facebook page, it can be as effective as an opt-in email marketing campaign – and much easy to get subscribers (or likers). This goes double if you are
blogging – you must have a like button on your blog. Why? Because when someone likes a post, they won’t just become a fan (if they are not already) but there will be a message on their wall – and their friends’ walls – letting people know Joe Blow liked your post – with a link to the post, which might send their friends you way. And make sure you have a Find us on Facebook link on emails
and other business correspondence.

3/ A custom landing tab that is fan-gated. This means non-fans will see a different welcome page than fans. And it must ask non-fans to click “like”. Some of the best uses of this include an incentive to like, such as “click like to get a free report on using Facebook for business” Or “click like to go into the draw for a family holiday”. There are many applications to create this landing page or save time and get Direct Sites Online to create your custom welcome tab.

Contact Direct Sites Online today at info@directsitesonline.com if you want to increase your Facebook likes.

Using LinkedIn to generate leads

Previous posts have talked about how to use Facebook and Twitter for generating leads and promoting your
business – now we will focus on LinkedIn.

Let’s face it, if you offer corporate legal services, or if you consult with big business on their governance requirements, your market is much more likely to be on LinkedIn than the alternatives.

But how do you find them?

Well the obvious first step is to create a profile – for you and your business. And make sure any staff members also have a profile. These need to reflect your and you company’s voice, be engaging and use strong
keywords so you’ll be found if people are searching for your talents. As for the level of detail in regards to previous work and experience, stick to the condensed version – this is not the place to include an extensive CV.

Next, you should actively seek people you know to connect with. And ask them for recommendations
LinkedIn’s own statistics show that relevant recommendations will help you get business.

As to the company profile, you can create this yourself, but only if one of the email addresses connected to your profile is from the same domain as the company website. Having a company profile will make you and your organisation seem more professional and ready for action.

Once you have set up your profile and connected with people you know, start looking for groups to join. You don’t want to join too many as that can become unmanageable, but joining a few – and getting involved in the conversations – can start to set you up as a subject matter expert. This, in turn, will lead to establishing trust and generating leads.

Another way of getting involved is to ask/answer questions. Again, people will see you as a subject matter expert, and may well turn to you when they are ready to pay for that expertise.

If you have done something noteworthy in a professional sense, then you can update your status on LinkedIn, similarly to Facebook. But use this strategically and wisely. LinkedIn is not the place to mention a new love interest, or your kid’s 7th birthday.

Once you are active on LinkedIn, the next step is to manage your time. You probably only need to log in once or twice a week for an hour or so, and participate as needed. It is not the fast-moving environment of
Twitter – or even Facebook.

And make sure you have you LinkedIn profile button on your website so people can follow you there.

Finally, the key is to stay relevant and make sure the details are updated as needed. Stale LinkedIn profiles, like any other inactive social media accounts, are the graveyard of the Internet.

Contact Direct Sites Online today on info@directsitesonline.com to see how we can help you with your LinkedIn profile.

 

Internet marketing: Google local listing

Even though the internet has shrunk the world, and your customer could potentially come from Timbuktu, but the fact is that research has shown that most customer will buy from businesses within 5-10 kilometres.

Which is why is it important to have a Google Places listing – and to make it work for you. After all, this is a free listing which just
might get you on Google’s front page for your keyword/s for local searches.
The first step is to claim a free listing here and get started. At this point, the main thing is to ensure your physical locality, web address and contact details are correct.
But there’s a little more to it than that and Direct Sites Online can help to optimise your listing.

1/ Positive description: Make sure your product/service description highlights your USP (unique selling point), but try not to duplicate your website content. Google is not a fan of duplicate content.

2/ List your business elsewhere: There are a number of free web listing service out there. Try to get into as many as possible. The more listings you have, the more Google will see your business on the web.

3/ Make your categories and keywords count: Like any search engine optimisation strategy, you need to ensure you have quality, relevant keywords. As with any other search, Google will list you in its local places only if you get this right.

4/ Ask for customer reviews: When you’ve given great service, you should already be asking fora testimonial. Go one step further and ask the customer to also put a review on Google places.

5/ Include extras: Stand out by including logos, videos, photos and more. This serves two purposes, firstly, it simply makes your listing more appealing than your competitors, and secondly, it makes it easier for Google to notice you.

If you want any help with your Google business listing, contact Direct Sites Online today on info@directsitesonline.com

Make the most of your landing page

We’ve already discussed the scary fact that you have less than 10 seconds to impress a first time visitor to your Web site, which is why landing pages are crucial.

Landing pages are the first page a visitor sees if they enter your website by typing in the URL. And when they do that, you need them to visit other pages and ultimately become a client or customer.

If your landing page is dull, takes too long to load and doesn’t entice the visitor to have a look around, then you have probably lost a potential client, maybe even for good.

Landing pages need to be welcoming, help your visitor find what they are looking for, include a call to action and be optimised for search engines.

Here are five tips to help you improve your website conversions through your landing page.

  1. Get rid of animated intros: These take ages to load on some older computers, or on dial up connections, and do nothing to improve your website. Every man and their dog wanted a Flash intro a decade or so ago, but nowadays they have become passé. A sure fire way to turn people off is to have a site that takes ages to load or doesn’t help them immediately find what they are looking for.  Not to mention that Flash doesn’t work on smart phones. Also, get rid of any music – there’s nothing worse than clicking on a website and getting aurally assaulted, especially if you happen to be at work.
  2. Top quality content: Not only should your content be optimised and error-free it should immediately tell the reader the benefits of your product or service. Make sure you stand out from your competitors by including your unique selling point (USP) and call to action that can’t be ignored. If you have a specific marketing campaign on the go then this needs to be on the landing page.
  3. Clean, professional design: Now you’ve followed tip 1 above and got rid of all that animation, the design needs to be fresh and professional. Use a light-coloured (preferably white) background, easy to read fonts, bullet points and stylish but subdued graphics. And please, no garish colour schemes.
  4. Easy navigation: When a visitor gets to your landing page, they need to be able to easily navigate through the rest of your content, without scrolling. So put page links high up, and maybe even include them on a side bar as well. You need to make sure that people browse the rest of your site – especially the area which leads to sales. If you have hard-to-find links, visitors will quickly “bounce” away
  5. Keep it current: Not only should current marketing campaigns be immediately included on your landing page, but you also need to ensure you have no broken links, or out of date events/special offers. If people see an out-of-date website, they’ll assume the rest of your product or service is “out-of-date”. Think of it like still having the Christmas ornaments out in April – or a window display that is broken or dusty.

If you follow these simple rules, your reward will be a drop in your bounce rate (the number of visitors who leave after seeing just one of your web pages) and an improvement in conversion rates. What’s not to like about that?

Contact Direct Sites Online today at info@directsitesonline.com to see if you are making the most of your landing pages – and how we can make them better.