Sam’s Corner – Newsletter #2
Welcome to the October edition of the Think Big Online newsletter, we had lots of great feedback from our September edition so I’m excited to share with you this edition.
There have been a lot of changes over the last month in the online world, Facebook has introduced new advertising methods, Google’s done a minor update and Yahoo/Bing have rebranded their shared advertising platform.
Before we get into the changes and how they are going to affect your online business let me share with you some company news…
1. Amber Affair:
As you know we take great pride in our work and we often take on projects to help the local community. During September we built a brand new website for the Amber Affair which will be held on October 18th 2012. This is an event designed to raise funds for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. We’ll be attending the event and we’d love to see you there as well, you can get the full details here: https://thinkbigonline.com/amber-affair-supporting-sydney-childrens-hospital/
2. E-Commerce Design:
Recently, we’ve launched a specialized E-Commerce design service aimed at specifically helping businesses increase sales from their E-Commerce Stores. A recent report revealed that 63% of all online stores fail, considering the significant growth in online sales this should not be the case.
Our new-dedicated e-commerce design service will help online stores to reverse this trend and drive new sales for their business. If you’re considering bringing your products online and setting up an e-commerce store then you can get the full details on how we can help here: https://thinkbigonline.com/ecommerce-website-design/
Obviously there’s been a lot going on here at Think Big Online as we stay abreast of the latest changes and innovate our services to ensure our customers are delivered cutting edge solutions.
In fact this month one of our team has been in the US attending trade shows and events to ensure that we are staying up to date with the most recent technology changes.
Also, to those of you who I saw at the recent trade shows in Sydney or at one of my speaking engagement I thank you for your support and hopefully you enjoyed what I had to share.
It seems as if almost every week we are reading about Facebook changes, over the last few months they have been very active and the month of September was no different.
During this time though Google also made a few dramatic changes, which will affect businesses, especially e-commerce stores.
Keeping up with these changes would be a full time job for business owners, so as a shortcut for you here are the major changes, which you should be aware of, and how they are affecting your business:
GOOGLE UPDATES ALGORITHM AND REMOVES GOOGLE PRODUCT SEARCH
Towards the end of September two major announcements were made by Google which will affect all website owners, but will have the most dramatic affect on e-commerce stores.
Matt Cutts made the first announcement on his twitter account where he told followers that Google was updating the search algorithm aiming to remove exact match domain name sites with low quality from the search results. This change was expected after the recent updates targeting low quality content sites and as such we’re not expecting any affects on our clients sites.
The thing to take away from this change though is that Google are extremely serious about ensuring sites are delivering quality user experiences. You must re-focus your content and marketing efforts into delivering quality experiences to users if you wish to stay on the top of the search engine results.
The second announcement was a follow up announcement from a press release in May, which stated that Google Product Search was being removed on October 1st 2012. Google Product Search would be replaced with Google Shopping and would only show PAID search results not free search results any more.
In the announcement Google stated they were only showing paid results in an attempt to improve the quality of the products shown. The philosophy was if a business is paying for the placement then they are more likely to keep their products updated.
This change would have affected websites receiving traffic from Google Product Search, in most cases e-commerce stores. If you’ve experienced a dip in traffic then it may be worth paying for a Google Shopping product listing.
FACEBOOK PAGES A HIT WITH SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES
In a recent survey of 300 small businesses it was found that 52% of them were using Facebook Pages as a major driver of new business. In fact in the survey out of the top 7 marketing methods used, 6 of them were using online methods.
This survey was a great boost for Facebook, which is still struggling to win over major brand advertisers. This is not the case for small businesses though, it was reported throughout September that small to medium size businesses are seeing the best return from Facebook Campaigns.
It wasn’t all good news for Small to Medium Sized businesses though as the recently announced regulation of business Facebook Pages by the Advertising Standards Board claimed it’s first victim in September.
A company promoting underwear were cautioned over their Facebook Campaign which invited fans to post pictures of their selves and their friends in their underwear on the page. This was seen as being a breach of the advertising code of ethical conduct and as such the Facebook Page owner was warned.
This was the first time this has occurred since the Advertising Standard Board announced that the owner of a Facebook Page was responsible for the content they posted and their fans posted.
EMAIL MARKETING LIVES ON!
It’s easy in all the Social Media hype to forget about the traditional online marketing streams like email marketing. The American Direct Marketing Association states that email marketing ROI for 2012 is $47 for every $1 spent.
A strong reminder of this was delivered this month with Twitter activating numerous email marketing initiatives. The one which most online commentators are discussing is the activation of the Twitter “People You May Know” email.
Once a week Twitter, using it’s newly acquired email technology system RestEngine will email you a list of people that you may know on twitter. The feature is very similar to the people you may know function on Linked In.
It’s clear that Twitter sees it’s future growth to be email based and this new feature combined with other twitter email marketing campaigns is just the first steps in their road map forward.
This month I’d like to share with you a client learning rather than a personal learning as I think it will help you in growing your business:
Invest In Quality People!
Too often small businesses owners allow their budgets to constrain their business growth. They make decisions on the people they hire into their business, the contractors they work with and the service providers they engage based on what they can afford.
While I’m not advocating that you spend more than you make, often you’ll be better served to hold off making an investment and save for a quality provider. The number of business owners who we talk to on a monthly basis who’ve spent thousands of dollars on sites, which don’t return, is staggering.
The one thing they all say to us is that they wished they’d made a better decision about the company they worked with initially. Most of the time they chose the company as they had a good price, rather than a good reputation and proven results.
The old adage of you get what you paid for is true, so if you want to ensure that your business is growing, then invest in having the right people around you.
This month we’ve worked on a range of different clients and projects, so it was difficult to choose just one to case study. With that said though I decided to share a case study showing how powerful video is when used effectively.
THE 21 SECOND VIDEO TEASER
For a few months now we’ve been working with a UK based Chiropractor to help drive new patients to his door. The Chiropractor is quite savvy with his marketing and runs positive ROI newspaper ads.
When he engaged us to work on his campaign he was very strong about ensuring that the campaign returned quickly. As such we suggested to him that we build a landing page and sales page to drive new patient enquiries.
Simply put we created a short, to the point page, which captured the email, phone number and name of the person on the page. In return for these details we gave them access to a video where Peter (the Chiropractor) revealed some tips and strategies people could use to overcome back pain.
The page was converting well and driving new patients to his Bedford based Chiropractic clinic. To improve conversions and lower his cost per lead we set up a few split tests on his site.
A split test is where we change a single element on the page and then show 2 versions of the page. Half of the visitors see version 1 while the other half of the visitors see version 2.
The results of the split tests showed that by placing a 21 second teaser video on the landing page we could double conversions and decrease the cost of lead acquisition. Here are the major learning points the client took away from this campaign:
Target Market Segments
Instead of focusing his online marketing efforts on a range of market segments we created specific landing pages for each of the ailments and were able to drive most cost effective traffic and achieve a higher conversion rate.
The cost of creating the extra landing pages was quickly recovered in increased conversion rates and lowered lead costs.
EMAIL MARKETING LIVES ON!
By placing a 21 second teaser video on the landing page, which was just the first 21 seconds of the actual video we were able to spike conversions by over 50%.
This simple change took less than 1 hour to complete and the payoff was significant highlighting the importance of running split tests to improve conversion and profits.
If you’d like to have our team work with you on increasing conversions, driving new business or optimizing your online marketing campaigns then contact us at: https://thinkbigonline.com/internet-marketing-consultant/