I attended the Online Marketing Summit in Phoenix yesterday, and wanted to share a few insights & tips I learned. It was a great conference and it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces and learn some new things. Thanks to everyone that made it possible! We covered a wide range of topics including SEO, Social Media, Conversion Optimization, Content Strategy, and everything in between. In no particular order, here were my favorite takeaways:
#10: Create a Search & Social Media Center for Excellence: Create a central repository for best practices, keywords, social media engagement guidelines, etc, for all employees. This will benefit everyone involved by:
- Leveraging synergies across all of your digital channels – search, social, PR, web development, email marketing, and display.
- Getting PR & Social Media people the proper URLs and anchor text for Press Releases & Social Media messaging, as well as tips for optimal distribution
- Allowing more people to get involved with responding to complaints or questions via twitter & message boards by posting engagement guidelines. Phone support people can respond to complaints on twitter during downtime if they have training & knowledge base.
#9: A Cheaper Press Release – WebWire.com
- I submit a ton of online press releases for clients through PRNewswire, Marketwire, and PRWeb – but they cost several hundred bucks a pop. It doesn’t look like the distribution network is as robust for Webwire, but for $20, that’s a cheap backlink at the very least…thanks @fionnd of Elixir for this tip!
#8: Search your brand & competitors & Adwords Tool – See what suggestions Google has for your brand name, and your competitors brand names in the Google Keyword Tool and Google Search Suggest.
- This can be helpful to: find interesting keyword ideas for brand pages, find new content ideas & content gaps, and discover reputation management issues. Check out the image to the right for suggestions google had for the word “icrossing” – very on target!
#7: Some Cool Stats & Quotes
- #1 position on SERP gets 43% of the clicks – Arnie K of Vertical Measures, a link building company
- “Rankings are something you can influence, not something you can control” – Arnie K – good perspective
- If you have a website, you are a publisher – Mike Corak
- .The BEST time to post a blog is Tuesday morning, while the WORST is Friday afternoon. – Dan Tyre of hubspot
- “Brands must behave and enage like people do…” ~Brian Haven of iCrossing
- Blogs are the unsung heroes of SEO
- Do not neglect your blog child
- If you talk to people the way advertising talked to people they’d punch you in the face – Steve Groves
#6: Check out your backlink diversity – diversity of backlinks has increased in importance in the past year or so – those with unnatural backlink profiles do not get the same benefits they used to. Don’t overdo one method of link building (e.g. directory submissions) if you’re not going to do others.
#5: Use Social Media Profile Pages for Quick & Free Backlinks – it’s easy to get links on many social networking sites, and even if they’re nofollowed, it’s still a great tool for reputation management and probably still pass along some SEO value as well. Examples: Naymz, 123People, BusinessWeek.com, Google Profiles, LinkedIn…
#4: The Real SEO Value of a No Follow Link? There was some discussion that a rel=nofollow link has been shown to influence rankings and has SEO value. Something to consider – don’t dismiss a link just because it’s nofollowed! In my personal experience I’ve seen evidence that there is some SEO value here as well, although I haven’t seen any conclusive case studies to prove it.
The last three tips were from Jeff Eisenberg, a famous conversion optimization expert who wrote “A Call to Action” along with his brother Bryan. This was the best presentation of the whole summit in my opinion, the whole presentation was captivating and inspiring – check him and his brother out at: http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/
#3: Analyze Every Word & Image on your Money Pages
- When Dell changed “Learn More” to “Help Me Choose” on the computer configuration page, they saw an increase of MILLIONS of dollars. Why? When customers are ready to check out, they don’t want education (Learn More), but they do want help making sure they picked the right accessories & upgrades (Help Me Choose).
- Another Example: Overstock.com had horrible conversions on their DVD page, something that should sell well. Turns out an image talking about Childrens Movies turned off users, thinking they were on the wrong page. They changed the image to something generic, and generated a $25m sales jump
- The takeway? Understand the mindset of the customer, and talk in their language.
#2: Make your forms & check-out pages warm & fuzzy
- Filing in Credit Card info is the scariest moment for the consumer, and where abandonment most commonly occurs.
- Post your return policy, quality guarantees, etc, on this page and make the customer feel warm and fuzzy
- Examples – adding customer testimonials on check-out page, always display savings (if applicable), show quality/product guarantees
- Warren Buffet’s shoe company added a “Return-O-Meter” to their check out page showing how often a shoe is returned, and why (e.g. too wide, too small, etc). The result? Lower abandonment rate (higher confidence in purchase) plus fewer returns.
#1: Leverage Your Reviews!
- The Eisenberg Brothers have been very successful using reviews to increase conversions.
- With internal search on a website, allow users to search by Best Reviews/Most Reviews. When Customers Sort this way, there is a huge increase in conversions
- Run promotions like Top Reviewed under $50. These types of categories convert much higher.
- Another example: Vitacost – after a customer purchases something, Vitacost thanks them for the order and asks them to review – the result? Customers would go to Vitacost.com, review the product, and actually buy more products during that session!
- Reviews have the ability to turn worthless customer (who buys very little, very infrequently, usually on sale, but leaves a review) into a very valuable customer, as their review may sway the big buyers.
PS If I mentioned something you said and didn’t properly attribute it back to you, please leave a comment and let me know and I’ll be happy to include a link back to your website or twitter profile! I was scribbling furiously on a notepad and some of the details got lost or mixed up…