Before I started this degree program for Internet marketing, I did not think much of landing pages. Honestly, any time I hit a landing page I figured it was some sales pitch and left the page thinking that simple, stripped down pages could not possibly work and were just a waste of money. Boy was I wrong. In my current job I help manage an inbound sales call floor and the lead generation company that we use to generate inbound calls uses landing pages to drive calls to us and it is one of the most effective marketing methods that we use. Mastering landing pages seems to be a good skill to have and one I am trying to learn.
In doing some studying for school as well as for my own marketing projects I have learned a few things about landing pages and have had some success with them already. In reading for this weeks studying I learned a few more things.
In the article “Optimizing Your PPC Campaign Landing Pages” by Julie Batten she states “Strip out any unnecessary site navigation, menus, or links. Users intuitively want to click on them, so they will only distract from the goal you want them to complete.” Normally marketers use the old “Look Over Here” tactic to distract people while they buy something, but with landing pages focusing the site visitor gets better results.
In the article “101 Landing Page Optimization Tip” by Oli Gardner we learn landing pages basics. One of the points that I found to be lacking in most landing pages that I have seen is that of social sharing. Landing pages are all about getting the word out and what better way than social media? This is a basic idea that I am going to put to use for sure. Social media is a great way to spread the word fast and cheap.
One of the other tidbits that I picked up from the article was that of adding extra value to the consumer by having a “Thank You” page after they respond to your Call To Action. One of the things that I have learned over the years in business is to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack. A great way to do that is to do what the others don’t and “Thank You” seems to have gone out of style for company’s to say even though consumers still like to hear it. Again I loved this basic skill and will be using it in my landing pages.
Both of these articles are a good read and are a great place to start with when building your own landing page.
Affiliate Marketing is not something new to me. I have done a little bit of it, been to a few seminars on the topic, have helped a couple friends with affiliate programs and have even used affiliate programs to market for a short term loan program. For the most part my experience has been that you sign up with an affiliate program, let’s say Credit Card applications, drive traffic to a cookie cutter website and when someone fills out an application or gets approved the affiliate partner gets paid a small amount. I know a few guys that are making decent money doing that type of affiliate program. I had never thought of any other way to use affiliate marketing, but am starting to see more use for them.
So, let’s say I am working with a business for an online marketing campaign that sells computers. How can I use affiliate programs to help that business? I could join a network that uses affiliate programs to drive traffic to each network members website. Another thing I could do is have links on my website to affiliate programs that my customers might find of interest based on the products or services they received from me, thus helping pay for my marketing costs. Also, having a relationship with these affiliate programs could be used both ways and help drive traffic to my site as well.
In choosing affiliates to work with for a company offering computers, I would want to stay away from direct competitors and would want to partner with programs that offer a complimentary product that helps my customer and my pocketbook at the same time. I have found a few different Affiliate Programs that I thought would work well for my computer company scenario.
IObit (http://www.iobit.com/partnersolutions.php) IObit focuses on providing end-users with innovative and comprehensive utilities and security software for the best PC security and performance available. With this company you can earn up to 60% commissions
T3 Wi-Fi (http://t3wifi.com/affiliate.htm) T3Wifi provides Mobile Internet Connection for home or office or even walking down a street. Commissions are monthly so every month that the customer pays, the affiliate gets paid.
Print Place (http://www.printplace.com/affiliates.htm) Print Place specializes in high quality, fast turn around and full color 100% offset printing.
SafetyWeb (http://www.safetyweb.com/affiliates.htm) SafetyWeb offers software to help parents keep their kids safe online.
I recently read a post on PPC Hero on guess what? Pay-Per Click (PPC). The post was from 2010, however the information is still relevant and the mistakes are ones that many online marketers still make. The post was entitled “36 Myths of PPC” by Jessica Niver. PPC has been the heart of many a companies online activity over the years. That being said, it seems that PPC is still a mystery to many and with 36 myths from just this one post it would seem there is plenty of opportunity for improvement in the area still.
The first myth that caught my eye was “Turn off your account at night, no one is searching or buying then.” I found this more funny than surprising that anyone would think that. I personally use the Internet at night and do a lot or researching of products at night and so do a lot of people I know based on how many of them hit me us via social media in the evenings. The beauty of the Internet is that it does not have a bedtime and can stay up all night and e-commerce makes it possible to shop anytime.
The next myth I found insightful was “Dump as many keywords into your PPC account as possible to get the most traffic.” In talking with website owners of late I can’t believe how many of them try to get as big a keyword list as they can. I know many experts talk about making use of the long tail, however when you are paying for it, it only makes sense to be wise with the budget and make sure the keywords you use relate to your product and are not just a list of everything one can think up. In short test words, use keywords that relate to your site and use the ones that get you the ROI (return on investment) you are looking for.
Another myth I found somewhat shocking was “With PPC you can set it and forget it”. Now I would not classify myself as a penny-pincher, however if I am going to pay for marketing I want to make sure it works. Also I know for a fact that I can’t pick the best keywords or write the perfect ad the first time out so I know I will need to test and rework any campaign until all the kinks get worked out. Never forget when the bottom line is in question. It only makes sense that if something is worth spending money to market then it is worth putting the time in to make sure it works.
I have recently been reading the book “Your Game Plan for Success” by Joe Teixeria. The book is about Pay-Per-Click marketing strategies. Pay-Per-Click is still a heavily used tool of Internet marketers and thus is something that anyone marketing online should become good at.
One of the Things from Chapter 3 of the book that I was not aware of was the Quality Score. It makes sense that factors like click through rates, landing page quality and other performance items would affect this quality score and I like that performance is a factor, however I did find it interesting that “Account History” was a major factor in calculating ones score. I guess one way to look at account history would be to compare it to frequent flyer miles with an airline, the more you use it the more discounts one can get. Loyalty programs are a good way to build a brand, however account history in this instant seems more like taking care of friends over the new guy. It really comes down to the simple fact that if you want to do Pay-Per-Click marketing with Google you need to have a good Quality Score to get the best pricing so you do what ever you can to build your score.
Other ways to improve your quality score include, have targeted marketing goals, target ads and testing for best click through rates but organizing your AdWords account is one of the over most overlooked things to do to build your score. The better you organize your campaign by topic, the more targeted your campaign and that builds your score. Also, most people seem to overlook this task thus creating room for better performance vs. the competition.
The chapter also talked about Key Word Types such as “ Board Match”, “ Phrase Match” and “Exact Match”. It also talked about the debate of which type of keyword is the best. To me this seem like a silly thing to debate about. I mean, why put all your eggs in one keyword type basket when you never know which one will be the one to get the all important conversation? Pay-Per-Click is like any other investment–the more you can diversify, the better your odds at having stable growth. It is important to understand keyword types and know when to use all of them to achieve the desired ROI.
These were just a few of the things I learned from just that one chapter. If you are looking to build traffic to your website then this book is a great way to learn the basics of PPC and AdWords for Google.
Your Google Game Plan for Success : Increasing Your Web Presence with Google AdWords, Analytics and Website Optimizer
Author: Teixeira, Joe