ID-100265396 (2)Google is not just a search engine; it’s much more than that. YouTube, gmail, and google drive are just the surface. One of Google’s most recent products is Google Analytics. It allows businesses to get a better understanding of their online visitors, and how they are using websites, apps, and social media.

This in turn gives vital data to businesses which can be used in online marketing to the greatest effect and allows businesses to offer the best online services to existing and new customers.

Here are three reasons why Google Analytics is a really useful tool for any businesses using digital marketing…

1. Get To Know Your Audience

It is always useful to know who your audience is. By understanding the people who are interested in your product or business, you can target advertising campaigns and general marketing specifically to that audience. It also allows businesses to spend their time talking to people who may be interested instead of wasting their time trying to talk to people who aren’t and will never be interested.

The Google Analytics Audience Reports give a whole range of information about who is visiting a website. A series of reports offer great detail about those visiting, such as; age, gender, user behaviours defined by affinity and marketing categories, user languages, locations, comparisons of new and returning visitors, how long they spend on the site, how often they return, networks, visitors’ operating systems and browser details, what devices being used to access the site (e.g. PC, smartphone), and how the visitors navigate throughout the site.

This information is perfect for ensuring that a website is working effectively. By understanding how people use the website, errors can be ironed out and important information easy to be seen. A website can, for example be translated into French, if for example there is a lot of traffic from France. The general look of the website can be changed according to the audience age and gender for example.
Marketing strategies can also be designed specifically for those who are visiting a website. A relatively young audience may, for example be more responsive to social media marketing campaigns, or may respond well to a Smartphone app, whereas an older audience may prefer direct email marketing or simple contact form.
There is much of value in understanding the device which is being used. Online adverts can be made to fit the smaller screen of a Smartphone and the navigation of websites can be made easier.

2. Where Are They Coming From, Where Are They Going To?

The Google Traffic Sources function helps website owners to understand where their visitors are coming from and going to. This is vital information for marketers as they can see where the most effective marketing is happening (and the least effective!). Sources could be search engines (e.g. Google), social media (e.g. Facebook), a website or advert link, or the website address directly typed in. By understanding these details, marketing campaigns can be fine-tuned or completely re-vamped to get the maximum traffic to a website.

3. In-Page Analysis

Google In-Page Analysis explains on what links people are clicking on the website. This will help websites to maximise the effect of links, by putting them in the best places. It gives a visual report of how visitors are interacting with the website which will give an overall much better understanding of its effectiveness.

Google Analytics is a really powerful tool for anyone with a website which they want to use to maximise their online impact and digital marketing. By having a better understanding of their audience, marketers can target specifically the right people for the best effect.

Many thanks,

Jenny

Jenny Verman

Jenny Verman
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

Social Media Coverage - Frame AngelYour social media accounts serve as the face of your business, and it’s important to always put your best face forward. Part of accomplishing this is ensuring that your social media accounts are a reputable a source of information. When your followers feel that they can trust the information that you portray on your social media accounts, they also feel that they can trust you – something that can be crucial when it comes to your marketing efforts.

Even minor missteps can be enough to tarnish your social media reputation. Big missteps can force you to take part in major damage control efforts, which can be costly and time consuming. Fortunately, just keeping a few things in mind can help ensure that your reputation stays pristine, regardless of your business and what you’re posting.

Practice Consistency

The personality that you portray through your social media accounts should be as consistent as possible. Being professional one moment and casual the next can lead followers to be uncertain about what to expect. In addition, remember to post consistently as well. Additionally, remember to post updates about special offers, contests, and sweepstakes and ensure that all the information on your account is consistently up to date.

Be More Than A Salesperson

Your followers know that you’re using your social media accounts to sell, but that doesn’t mean they want to feel like you’re forcing your message on them. Inundating followers with a message of “Buy, Buy, Buy” can lead potential customers to ignore your messages, or even lead them to stop following you. Focus instead on building up relationships with customers. Encourage conversation on your page, offer interesting and insightful content, and let the selling happen naturally.

Fact Check Everything

Everything that is posted on your account, from current news stories to quotes, should be fully fact-checked. Posting misinformation, even if you are unaware it’s misinformation, can lead to a major dent in your online reputation. Be sure to get your information from reliable sources, and if you do end up posting misinformation remember to offer a correction later – even if it is a seemingly minor detail.

Be Responsive – And Responsible

When customers ask questions or voice their concerns on your social media page, be sure to respond in a timely fashion. Not only will those customers see that you care enough to respond, but other customers will as well. Additionally, when you receive criticism through your social media page, remember to respond – but do so in a professional manner. Seeing that you are taking steps to address, and potentially correct, any concerns that a customer may have can play a big role in giving your business a social media reputation that will be a major boon to your marketing efforts.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image by Frame Angel at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Small business owners face numerous challenges. In short, you must do it all: manage employees, serve customers, deal with suppliers, pay the bills on time, and you have to do all of that with a smile on your face.

On top of everything you must have a beautiful, fully functioning website. Most small businesses can’t afford to hire an expensive web development company. Some aspects of your website are more important that others. Below is a checklist of areas where you should concentrate your effort in order to have a successful online presence.

Navigation

When a visitor arrives at your website, her or she should meet with seamless process for making their way around and locating what they want. It’s standard for navigation links to run across the top of the screen and for there to be a search box. In naming your links, don’t try to be clever. Use standard terms, such as “About,” “Products,” and “Cart.”

Contact Information

There are two ways that you will establish contact with your customers through your website: a contact form and your contact page. A contact form will allow a visitor to enter his or her name and contact information (don’t ask for personal information, such as birthdates) and submit it to you, which then allows you to get in touch with them via text or email. This is an invaluable marketing tool. Add it to your site and you’ll be glad you did. Also, be sure that your own contact information is easy for visitors to find on your site. Typically, the contact link appears at the top-right of the home page and at the bottom of every page, and the link takes visitors directly to a page that provides this information.

About

Pay special attention to developing a good “About” page. First-time visitors often go there to learn more about a company, and if your “About” page is lacking, you may lose out on a valuable customer. At a minimum, this page should include your background, your credentials, one or more photos, and a few details about what makes your business unique. This is your chance to introduce yourself, so make the most of it.

Reviews

Online shoppers pay a great deal of attention to what other people who have bought a product they’re interested in say about the product. Honest feedback from previous customers is an invaluable resource in your online marketing efforts. Make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and solicit feedback from satisfied customers by sending them an email request with a link to the feedback form.

Of course, you want a website that looks good and functions well, too, but it’s important to at least have the basics covered. By paying attention to these four simple areas, you will help your website to flourish and you’ll ensure that your online presence reflects your business goals. Do you have a website success story? Share it in the comments section.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 (Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

It is no secret that consumers turn to social media networks to connect with the brands they love. The face of customer service has changed drastically as consumers take their comments, request and complaints to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Due to this high volume of activity, it is extremely important to evaluate our social media efforts on a regular basis. This is the only way to determine if your social media efforts are working in your favor.

Mark Your Calendar

If you can’t remember the last time you looked the analytics of your social media networks, you are behind schedule. Grab your calendar and schedule social media evaluation meetings on a regular basis. The minimum should be once every month.

Many of us get caught up in looking at our numbers on a daily basis but if we schedule a time to look at our numbers in timely intervals, we can see what is working and what is not working. Successful social media strategy does take some time. You cannot start a new campaign on Facebook and expect it to show extremely dramatic increases in sales overnight. Mark your calendars once a month to check your metrics and you will quickly see the big picture.

Current Strategy

When you began your social media efforts, did you have a clear cut strategy or did you wing it? Either way, make some notes of what your strategy was and take a look to see if it’s working. By examining your social insights and metrics, you will see if your current strategy holds water. You will also be able to see if you need to try a different approach.

Your strategy should be based on the actions of your current audience. What works for one brand does not automatically mean it will work for all brands. Each demographic is different. Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing and don’t be afraid to shake things up. Try something new. You won’t know what works or doesn’t work unless you try. This is a great way to avoid a stagnant social media strategy.

Open Communication

We don’t always see our social media strategy efforts clearly. If you work with a team of individuals, keep the communication open. By brainstorming and asking for suggestions, comments and opinions, you will discover some great ideas that can be used. Asking lots of questions and having an open mind will always benefit your business. You will be surprised at how an outside opinion can quickly become the best idea for success.

Thanks!

Sean

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Are you using email campaigns to reach individuals on your list of leads and having limited success? When you check the numbers, are you faced with only a small percentage of your list actually opening the email? Perhaps they are opening the emails but not clicking through? Email marketing is a great way to provide your list with great content and to stay in touch. We are all told about the importance of building a list and email campaigns are a great way to foster your list. However, if your email campaign is executed poorly the result can be disastrous.  How can you make email marketing campaigns work for you?

Be Brief

When you are composing your email, please keep it as brief as possible. You don’t have to include everything, plus the kitchen sink, in every email that you send. Keep it simple. A great rule of thumb is to read your email out loud prior to sending. If your email can be read in less than 2-3 minutes, you will have a better chance of people actually reading the email. If your list members open up your email and see a small novel, trust me, they will not read it.

Call To Action

What is the one call to action that you want the reader of your email to perform? One of the worst mistakes that you can make with your email marketing is trying to send the reader in too many different directions. The best rule to use is to only have one call to action and it needs to be a great call to action. One of the worst things that you can do is to try to send the reader to multiple pages where they can purchase something. They will not click on every link you send so make sure you know exactly where you want them to go.

 

Add Value

Not every email that you send out needs to involve a push for the reader to buy. Individuals will quickly hit ‘spam’ or ‘unsubscribe’ if they feel you are abusing your right to use their email. People opt-in to receive more information and great offers. They do not opt-in to be badgered with emails attempting a hard sell multiple times a week. Be conservative in your approach to sending out emails. Only send out emails when you have something great to offer, regardless if that is a call-to-action to buy.

Email marketing can be a great asset to your marketing strategy. Make sure you provide great value, that you don’t abuse your list by sending out too many emails and have only one clear call to action.

Thanks!

Sean

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Internet Marketing Academy

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If you aren’t using Twitter for your business, you should be. Out of all of the different social networking sites, Twitter is the one that is the most fast moving. Each ‘tweet’ is comprised of 140 characters. The key is to make the most out of each word that you choose. How can Twitter be used for your business?

Keeps You Connected

Twitter is extremely fast-paced. Once you get your streams going, you will see hundreds of tweets throughout the course of a day. Twitter helps you stay connected with a large population of consumers all at one time. While this may seem confusing at first, this is the best channel to see what everyone is talking about. You will quickly see what’s buzzing and what consumers want. Try doing a simple Twitter search on words that describe your business. You will see what your potential consumers are asking for.

Creates Traffic

Twitter makes it extremely simple to drive traffic to the destination of your choice. With your tweets you can drive people to your blog and to your website. One of the easiest ways to do this is by sending a tweet out when you make an update on your blog. Remember that everyone who is following you sees tweets. It is also important to note that if you use the right keywords, individuals that are searching for those specific terms will see your tweet as well.

Increase Your Reach

One of the best things about Twitter is that you can reach millions of people that you don’t directly know. This is a great way to build your brand and your business. Your tweets will be read by many individuals who, given traditional methods, would never have heard of you and your business.

Quick & Easy

Twitter takes very little time and energy. Once you get in the habit of sending out a handful of tweets a day, you can easily accomplish this task in about a half an hour per workday. In truth, sending a tweet takes less time than sending a text. You can communicate with your peers, your potential customers and your existing customers with ease. You won’t have to spend the time writing emails or making as many phone calls. Twitter can make your life a lot easier.

While Twitter may seem confusing and too fast-paced for many business individuals, it is an important marketing tool. Along with gaining new business and driving traffic to your blog or website, Twitter is fantastic at seeing what people are saying about you and your brand. Twitter empowers you to be very pro-active about your business. If you haven’t entered the Twitter-verse yet, I suggest you try so today!

Happy Marketing!

Sean

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Internet Marketing Academy

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The increasing market penetration of the smart phone has once again totally changed the way that consumers interact with the market place.  Online marketing has always represented an opportunity, but the mobile phone has made it more important than ever.  Mobile browsers are more common than ever, and the way they use mobile browsing is also transforming.  Where once mobile browsing was a strictly business tool, today it is also a shopping and socialising tool.  Mobile browsers use cell phones to look for local stores.  Where the Internet has historically been used to advertise businesses that predominantly sell online, it must now be used by small local businesses as well.

Use the Internet to Stay Visible

A display window is a good start when marketing to the general public; however, it is no longer enough.  With more people using the Internet to pre-shop than ever it is crucial that you maintain a visible presence online.  Most businesses gain 80% of their total sales from repeat business, which still leaves plenty of room for expansion with new customers.  To bring new consumers through the door you will need to be visible to them.  Locals may walk by your shop and see your display window, but that limits your opportunities with people further afield.  A careful maximisation of your online presence can be the difference between expanding your new business and relying only on existing customers.  There are several ways to make online advertising effective for your local business.

  • Update local listings, so that your business will show up when searched online.  The more listings you keep updated, the easier it will be for consumers to find your business when they are looking for items you sell.
  • Choose thoughtful keywords.  Keywords are what will drive business to your site.  Make sure that your keywords are an accurate representation of what you sell, so that consumers come back again and again.
  • Post your sales.  Many consumers comparison shop online before buying in store.  This means that failing to post your sale prices could send consumers to a competitor, even when you have the lowest price.
  • Maintain your website.  If you fail to update your website on a regular basis you lose customers.  People shop for new things, and when your website does not put up new items people stop checking and move onto something else.

How Mobile Users Browse

To make the most of the online opportunity it is crucial that you list your company in every possible location.  Many people will run searches on their phones to find a location that is convenient to make their purchases.  Mobile users are often in a hurry and place convenience over price.  If you are not advertising online you risk losing out on that business.  Unlike other internet searches, mobile browsers convert to purchasers almost two thirds of the time.  No other marketing method has that kind of turnaround.

Thanks!

 

Sean

Internet Marketing Academy

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Many people lose sight of the fact that online marketing and regular day to day marketing are the same.  The only difference is the medium that you are using.  The goal of generating conversions is the same.  However, many small business owners do not immediately understand that the basic strategies remain the same, even if the implementation changes.  For example, businesses ramp up advertising during the winter holiday season, regardless whether they are marketing online or using traditional methods.  Christmas sales are the most marketed item of the year for many businesses, online or in-store.  All businesses are competing for sales all of the time and online businesses must apply the basics of marketing to create successful campaigns.

Broaden your Demographic

Standard Internet marketing strategies call for you to market to the niche and avoid broadly targeted marketing campaigns.  However, that only works if your company is highly targeted.  If you offer products and services that are designed to appeal to many people, then you need marketing campaigns that will do so as well.  You may want to target specific demographics for particular products, but overall you should be designing a campaign that will maximise your visibility and appeal to the widest possible audience.

Use Multiple Methods

The more types of marketing you implement, the more success you will have.  When you restrict your marketing to only SEO or social media, you miss out on many other opportunities that could drive customers your way.  Make sure to use as many types of marketing as you can to gain maximum visibility.  Use SEO techniques to gain visibility on search engines, but also post regularly on a variety of social media.  Write on point articles that are industry specific and timely.  Include your site on a variety of listing services and comparison shopping websites.

Quality Always Sells

At the end of the day the most important thing is to offer value to your customers.  If you offer quality products at reasonable prices, you will reap the rewards.  Word of mouth marketing is still some of the most effective.  Give your customers a reason to talk about your company.  Provide excellent service and top of the line products at very competitive prices and you will enjoy a response to your holiday advertising that is out of this world.

Communication is Key

The more you communicate with your marketing campaigns, the more responsive consumers will be.  Consumers tend to make purchases based on emotional responses.  Make sure that your company is not a faceless member of the crowd. Stand out with unique offerings and hip slogans that push your company as an industry leader.

Thanks!

 

Sean

Internet Marketing Academy

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If you have not yet begun your holiday sales promotions, you are already running late.  Many businesses start putting together their holiday promotional material no later than September.  The reason for this is that the earlier you start with certain advertising methods, the best options are available.  For example, many websites often offers the best display slots on a first come first served basis.  The price is often similar, but the best slots go first.  However, even if you have not yet begun your holiday push there are some great strategies you can still pursue.

Banner Ad Campaigns

Determine your big sale items now, so you can send the information out to as many people as possible.  You may or may not have the lowest possible prices on some items, but that will not matter.  The lowest prices will sell out quickly, leaving people looking for reasonable.  As long as your sales price is moderately competitive, early web banner advertising on well trafficked sites can have some real benefits.  Try to either generate one huge advertisement that covers all of your sales items, or do a weekly sales ad that shows off different items.  Weekly banner ads leading up to Christmas can be a great way to maximise potential sales.  The slow release for sales information keeps customers coming back, time after time.

Slow Build to Maximum Coverage

Another basic technique is to start small, and slowly build your advertising coverage.  Few businesses can afford to advertise at full strength for long.  The alternative is to start with a sprinkle of advertising.  An online video ad promotion here or there combined with a gradual increase in the number of ads, peaking in the last two weeks before Christmas.   This method can be highly effective.  It also helps keep advertising costs as low as possible. The truly expensive part of the campaign only lasts for two weeks, with the more moderate pricing before that.  If you can not afford online video advertising, consider using local sites or social media as an option.  In either case, gradual escalation is a great way to get extensive market penetration on a limited budget.

Cross Promote with other Shops

Do not limit your business to direct promotions. There are great opportunities to combine your marketing budget with another store.  For example, a shoe shop might partner up with an outwear seller to maximise both locations advertising budgets.  Since neither store has a large budget individually, combining the two budgets to purchase the most popular advertising is a great way to effectively reach out to consumers during the winter holiday season.  Cross promotions can be effective in all types of media from email to SEO, and even for direct referrals.

 

Thanks!

 

Sean

Internet Marketing Academy

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Successfully marketing on social media requires just as much planning as any other marketing tool.  If you simply jumped in and started trying to build a large Facebook fan base with no foundation, it is no wonder that you have simply been spinning your wheels.  There are several things to remember about marketing your company on Facebook, and the first is that Facebook is all about making genuine connections with other people.  Below are the top five ways to connect to the right people on a social media forum.

1.  Determine Your Demographic. To create a successful social media marketing strategy, you must know who your target clients are.  Successful campaigns are highly targeted and very specific.  Online marketing is all about marketing to the niche.  Facebook allows your company to target a very specific niche of people to get the best possible results for your company.  Know who your target market is, before you begin your Facebook marketing campaign to achieve maximum success.  There are over 500 million Facebook users, and if you do not target your marketing efforts you wind up wasting a considerable amount of time.

2.   Find and Connect with Your Demographic on Facebook.   Once you have decided upon your target demographic, every succeeding action needs to be focused on connecting you with your target demographic.  No matter what the action is, it should be highly targeted, regardless whether you are creating  business page, posting a status update, sharing industry tips, or sending friend requests, keep in mind how to use each of these actions to best reach your target demographic.

3.   Maintain Facebook Activity Levels. Facebook will only work as a marketing tool, if your page remains current and regularly updated.  It takes considerable dedication to ensure that you are keeping your Facebook activity levels high.  If you cease posting, or interacting with others on Facebook, you wind up losing their interest and failing to grow your connections.  Unlike general marketing efforts, Facebook allows you to focus on only those who are most likely to be interested in your company.  Thus, your response rates will be significantly increased using this marketing effort.

4.   Establish your Expertise. Facebook marketing is more about direct interaction with consumers than any other type of marketing.  To be successful, you need to convince consumers of your company’s expertise within its industry.  Offer helpful tips and how-to information to teach customers about the industry and establish your expertise.

5.    Create a Business Page. Profile pages are the foundation of Facebook marketing.  Originally, all pages were personal, so if your company has a long standing personal page, it is time to switch to a business page.  If you have not yet created your business page, do so immediately.  You can not effectively drive sales without a link to your company site, and your business page will help drive traffic back and forth.

Thanks!

 

Sean

Internet Marketing Academy

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