Split test. Split test. Split test.
If you want to become a true success in your online marketing efforts and create real wealth then you need to know your numbers and you need to know how to split test – EVERYTHING.
Split test. Split test. Split test.
If you want to become a true success in your online marketing efforts and create real wealth then you need to know your numbers and you need to know how to split test – EVERYTHING.
The “thank you” page that comes after a prospect has made a purchase or becomes a lead is the most underused page on every site throughout the internet.
Are you making the same mistakes?
If you have an online business, are thinking about taking your brick and mortar business online, or even if you are brand new and want to make money on the internet – understanding lead magnets is essential.
Whether you are trying to get your message notice across social media, want your website to be clicked on in Google’s search results, or need a better return on your adverts – killer headlines make all the difference.
Native advertising has been around for a while, and it’s made quite an impact to the way that we do marketing.
In this post, we are going to be taking a look at the key reason why it is so important and how it has changed the way
To understand why native advertising is such a powerful tool, we first need to realise that nobody likes ads, and nobody likes being sold to.
Let me explain.
Whenever a new marketing tool comes out, its effectiveness often slowly depreciates from the moment the first advertiser uses it.
When the first television advert came out, everybody watching it was fascinated and highly likely to make a purchase simply because it is something they have never seen before. Now, most people quickly dash to the kitchen or change channel whenever the adverts come on.
When we saw the first billboards around our cities, we would slow down to take a look and be amazed at the new fancy artwork. Now, nobody even gives it a second glance.
What is happening here is we become accustomed to the new way that businesses are marketing to us, and we begin to ignore it.
The same thing has happened on the Internet, and it is often referred to as ‘banner blindness’.
The difference with native advertising is that the ads are created in a way that matches the content and theme of what the prospect is already looking at.
If in Facebook, sponsored posts look like ordinary posts. An unsuspecting consumer would not assume that he was being sold to, and would therefore pay it a lot more attention.
The same occurs in Twitter. Sponsored tweets look like the rest of the tweets that his twitter peers are making- giving him no reason to develop banner blindness.
So with that said, when you want to market with ninja-like efficiency, native advertising is the way forward.
I’m going to take the roof off a certain aspect of our business today. I’m hoping it will provide you with some insights as to how you can make better use of technology.
If you take these concepts and apply them to your business, I guarantee it will free you up to work on bigger things.
In short, we have taken the part of our business that took up the most of our time, and we have made it work on autopilot…
…We are getting our leads on autopilot.
…We are then nurturing those leads with amazing content, on autopilot.
…And then, we are selling to those leads on autopilot.
All of this happens within 2 hours of a cold lead first encountering us.
You may or may not have already heard of our product: Red Hot Web Leads. It’s a coaching programme that teaches people everything they need to know about Google AdWords to turn a profit.
We used to sell the product through live webinars. We would get a few hundred people on to a webinar on a weekly basis. We would give them incredible value for over an hour, and then pitch the product at the end of it.
It worked really well. But having to host a live webinar every week was a big time constraint. So we decided to automate it.
We took the best version of the live webinar, put it into automated webinar software called Stealth Seminar, and now we don’t have to worry about hosting the webinar every week. They are watching a repeat that appears as if it is live.
Now, every single hour of the day, we have people watching that same webinar and converting without our input. The leads come in from facebook ads like clockwork.
But we decided to take this a step further. Different leads would react differently to our marketing process. They could be put into these three categories:
Missed webinar: If they missed the webinar, we wanted to make sure we sent them the replay, and some information about the product that they missed.
Saw webinar but missed pitch: If they were on the webinar but left too soon and didn’t see anything about the product, we needed to tell them about it.
Saw webinar and saw pitch: If they saw the webinar and the pitch, we wanted to hard sell them onto buying the product.
Now we had our 3 categories, we wanted to send them an email sequence based on which category they fell under.
To do this, we used infusionsoft. Leads were tagged inside Stealth Seminar based on which category they fell under. We could then set up a campaign that would automatically send the correct email sequence to the correct category of lead.
So in a nutshell: We now have facebook ads sucking in leads 24/7. Those leads watch an automated webinar. And based on how much or how little of the webinar they watched, they are sent a tailored email follow-up sequence that pushes them towards the sale.
It’s making us a couple of thousand a week on autopilot, completely scalable. When we find more traffic sources, we can just fire them toward this funnel and build it up.
I’m hoping that this short explanation of the most important aspect of our business provided you with some insight into how you could do something similar.
Just remember how far technology and the Internet has come.
You don’t necessarily have to do the work yourself. Just set up a system to do it for you.
Paid advertising has long been a powerful method for businesses to substantially increase the amount of revenue that their business generates.
But it has one fatal flaw- we know that it is advertising, so we start to ignore it. The majority of people vaguely understand how the internet works.
At least, they understand how paid ads work enough to ignore them, the same way that we ignore billboards and television ads, simply because we see them so often.
So, the big problem is that everybody is becoming blind to our ads…
And that is where native advertising comes in…
What is Native Advertising?
Native Advertising definition– “a form of advertising where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.”
Essentially, native advertising is a form of paid media that is integrated into the site itself. Examples include sponsored stories on Facebook and sponsored tweets on twitter.
The ad becomes part of the content and features of the site itself: so much so that it feel completely natural to users to want to click on them.
It feels like you are just looking at your average tweet or facebook update.
Pretty smart, right?
Research done by IPG media lab suggests that native ads are viewed for the same amount of time as editorial content. On top of that, they are far more likely to be shared in comparison to banner ads. (32% compared to 19% of people said they would share)
So, it’s already clear that native ads are much more respected than banner ads. So that leaves us with one question…
Are you using them yet?
Back on November 2012, I wrote an exclusive post for Social Media Today that outlined the importance of Google authorship, and explained why everyone should take advantage of it.
Since then, authorship has come a long way. Anybody that is slightly involved in online marketing and understood the value of it has claimed their authorship. But it has led to a problem…
..So many people have their picture appearing in the SERPs, that it is starting to look a bit overcrowded.
When Google launched authorship, they intended it to be somewhat exclusive. They wanted it to be a way for Google to distinguish between popular authors. But with every man and his dog’s face appearing, they have had to make a change.
And now, Google has cut the number of authorships that appear in the SERPs by 20%-40%. After study, Google found that if they cut out about 15 percent of the lesser quality authors, it increased the number of decent authors that appeared. (go figure…)
This is the statement released by Google:
“We made some minor updates. We had been showing author information whenever we could based on authorship markup, email verification, and other signals of authorship on the web. In mid-December, we rolled out new algorithms designed to show author photos when they’re more likely to be relevant and interesting. (For example, the algorithms now try to estimate the quality of documents an author typically writes).”
Basically, authorship is focusing on authors that produce quality content- the reason why it was created in the first place.
So what does that mean for us?
Well, go and check to see if your image is still appearing in the SERPs. If it isn’t, I’m afraid there aren’t any actionable tips that I can offer to try and get it in there.
[Tweet “Here’s why your Google authorship may have disappeared”]
Since the main focus is on recognising the very best content, make sure you are only claiming authorship on your very best content. You could try removing ownership if you have any blogs out there that weren’t your best, or didn’t get much attention.
Is your authorship still there?
Want to learn more Internet Marketing techniques and tactics? We run regular live free training webinars – book now!
You want your users to stay and interact with your site. The more engaged your users are, the more likely they are to buy from you, sign up to your email list, or simply return to the site in the future.
If you have a high bounce rate, it normally means your users are not interacting with the site as they should be.
A 50% bounce rate is considered to be pretty normal. If it’s over 70%, you probably have a serious problem.
For the most part, bounce rate is an indicator of how well your site is performing. A site that has a high bounce rate will normally generate little revenue, as it is offering a poor user experience.
There is an exception to this rule. Websites that solve problems or answer questions (think yahoo answers) are clearly going to have a ridiculously high bounce rate. People come to the page, get the answer they were looking for, and leave.
I expect that the majority of you are not running a site that merely answers questions though. You probably want to encourage your visitors to engage more with your site, bounce less and buy more, right?
So, let’s get into some things that may be increasing your bounce rate, and look into ways to counter them. Note that not all of the following pointers are absolute- you don’t need to follow all of them exactly.
Certain points are essential though, I’m sure you will know by the way I explain them.
Site Design Is More Important Than Ever
Everybody is becoming less tolerable with sites that have bad designs, as the general standard for site design has increased dramatically over the years.
People want to see attractive colours that work well together and interesting pictures that compliment well-written content.
If your visitors don’t see the attractive site design that has become the general standard across the web, they will bounce.
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s so essential that it needed to be included. We are all becoming so accustomed to instantaneous problem solving that if anything takes too long, we quickly become frustrated.
Fast food, the internet, and quick travel- it has all led to an impatient society. And if your site is slow, be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
With the number of people using their mobiles to search the web increasing, it is becoming essential that people are able to interact with your site from their phone.
You don’t need to go overboard with this one. Just make sure the majority of your content and your site’s overall message is understood from people using a tablet or mobile.
Sort Out Your Navigation
Nothing distracts a visitor more than a site that make is difficult for them to find what they are looking for. Don’t confuse your visitors with a site that doesn’t navigate smoothly or allow them to find what they are looking for quickly.
Consider Removing Annoying Pop-ups
There are some cases where a pop up might be performing so well that removing it would cause your site’s performance to dip. But for the most part, pop-ups annoy visitors and often cause them to bounce.
Don’t go Overboard With Ads
Ad placement is a balancing act that confuses many webmasters. You don’t want them to be so intrusive that users become frustrated, and you don’t want them to be somewhere that doesn’t get seen.
Consider swapping and changing your ads out, split testing different sizes or positioning against each other to find out works best for your site.
Split Content Up Into Readable Chunks
Nobody will send your visitors running faster than massively long chunks of text. They are hard to read, and remind us all of those painful days of studying back at school.
[Tweet “Here are 8 Ways to reduce Bounce Rate & Increase engagement”]
Split the text up into readable chunks, just like I have done throughout this post.
Focus On User Intent
Whether your visitors are coming through paid methods, social media or from the search engines, you need to focus on two things:
If the page that they land on doesn’t make it abundantly clear that they are in the right place; they will immediately leave. Make it clear to your visitors that they have found what they came here for.
That’s all folks.
Good luck countering those bounces!
Need more help? We run regular free online training webinars
When Google released the Panda update back in February 2011, we all became extremely paranoid about having duplicate content on our sites. And rightfully so, countless sites saw dramatic ranking losses as a result of too much duplicate or thin content.
But what most of us don’t realise is that Google has to allow duplicate content in some cases, and we may be worrying about it a little too much.
Matt Cutts, the Head of Google’s web spam team recently released a video which can be found at the bottom of this post. But I have summed his point up below:
“It’s important to realize that if you look at content on the web, something like 25 or 30 percent of all of the web’s content is duplicate content. … People will quote a paragraph of a blog and then link to the blog, that sort of thing. So it’s not the case that every single time there’s duplicate content it’s spam, and if we made that assumption the changes that happened as a result would end up probably hurting our search quality rather than helping our search quality.”
So unless you are copying and pasting all of the content from one site to another, you should be fine.
Matt then goes on to say the following:
“Google looks for duplicate content and where we can find it, we often try to group it all together and treat it as of it’s just one piece of content. So most of the time, suppose we’re starting to return a set of search results and we’ve got two pages that are actually kind of identical. Typically we would say, “OK, rather than show both of those pages since they’re duplicates, let’s just show one of those pages and we’ll crowd the other result out,” and then if you get to the bottom of the search results and you really want to do an exhaustive search, you can change the filtering so that you can say, “OK, I want to see every single page” and then you’d see that other page. But for the most part, duplicate content isn’t really treated as spam. It’s just treated as something we need to cluster appropriately and we need to make sure that it ranks correctly, but duplicate content does happen.”
This is a really interesting insight, and I had no idea that Google would cluster duplicate content like that. It seems that the most authoritative site would show up for the duplicate content though.
And Google would often give priority in the SERPS to the site that has more authority, rather than the site where the content was found originally.
He then says:
“It’s certainly the case that if you do nothing but duplicate content, and you are doing in an abusive, deceptive, malicious, or a manipulative way, we do reserve the right to take action on spam. So someone on Twitter was asking a question about “how can I do an RSS auto blog to a blog site and not have that be viewed as spam,” and the problem is that if you are automatically generating stuff that is coming from nothing but an RSS feed, you’re not adding a lot of value, so that duplicate content might be a little bit more likely to be viewed as spam.”
“But if you’re just making a regular website and you’re worried about whether you’d have something on the .com and the .co.uk, or you might have two versions of your terms and conditions, an older version and a newer version, that sort of duplicate content happens all the time on the web and I really wouldn’t get stressed out about the notion that you might have a little bit of duplicate content.”
So maybe we have been fretting about duplicate content a little too much, I know I definitely have. In a nutshell, if your content is the same as content elsewhere, but it has a good reason for being copied, it should be fine.
Here’s the original video from Matt Cutts:
Thanks for reading,
It doesn’t really matter what you are selling, the principles always remain the same. Everybody looks for the same signs of trust when looking at a sales page, whether they realise it or not.
Want to triple conversion rates on your sales pages with 5 small tweaks?
Let’s get started.
Headline Promising Results
Let’s face it; the end result is all anybody cares about. They want to know what they are going to get if they buy your product, and they want to know it immediately.
So don’t be too misleading and don’t hold anything back. You can even exaggerate a bit as long as you are not downright lying.
Now for an example; the following is a headline for a bestselling SEO product that broke records on Jvzoo.com.
Millionaire SEO Reveals How To Rank For Huge (Tough) Keywords In Days With 2 Min Copy And Paste Sites
(Proof, live sites, and free report all in this video)
The great thing about this headline is the first thing anybody thinks when they read this is: “What a scam”. “How can I possibly rank for tough keywords with copy and pasted sites?”
Underneath, the promise to provide proof appeals to our curiosity, and we feel compelled to carry on to the video underneath to see the proof for ourselves.
For those of you that have been sitting on the fence when it comes to video, I’m afraid it’s time to bite the bullet and just get it done. Video sells. It’s a great way to build trust and rapport, which are essential to successful selling. People like to buy from people that they know, like and trust.
It also makes it much easier to explain your product in more detail, as people prefer watching videos to reading massive blocks of text.
If you are ridiculously camera shy then you could outsource the video creation to a professional. But it’s better to create your own to build your personal brand, which will make it easier to upsell other products as well.
Proof & Testimonials
Now that they know what your product is about, you need to show them the proof. An easy way to do this is to find somebody that loves your product, and get them to send you a testimonial over facebook. You can grab that and put it onto your sales page, and it looks genuine because everybody recognises facebook.
You could also cover this stage in the video explanation, by getting video testimonials and putting them in the video itself.
Explain The Features With Text & Pictures
People like to know exactly what they are getting for their money. So it’s really important that every last feature of the product is explained through attractive pictures and text.
However, the key thing to do here is to explain the benefits not the features. People couldn’t really care less about what your product does. They want to know how it will help them. Which problem will it solve? How will it make them more money?
Lay everything out clearly and emphasise the main benefits that they will be receiving.
Use Scarcity Well
Lastly, give people a reason to buy right now. Everybody’s desire to buy is at its highest after they have watched the video, seen the proof and understood the benefits.
If they feel like they can go away for a couple of days and think about it, that desire to buy will slowly decrease.
So take away that option. Don’t let them feel like they have a couple of days to make their minds ups. Sounds a bit mean right? But hey, you told me you wanted to triple your conversion rates, and that’s how it’s done.
Use phrases like “only 10 spots available” or “Trial Price- Price Increases in 2 days”. It doesn’t matter if you tell a complete lie when trying to build scarcity. The internet police aren’t going to hunt you down and throw your computer out the window. And if your product is truly beneficial, the customers will forget all about it.
So that’s everything. Hopefully you took some value out of it. Let me know how you get on with your sales pages in the comments below.
Until next week,
Google have recently decided to update their link schemes. One of these updates is the decision that links contained in online press releases should from now on be ‘no follow’ meaning engines will not crawl these links. Any press releases containing links that do not fit these guidelines will result in punishment from Google causing negative impact on rankings.
Why Has This Decision Been Made?
There has always been some scepticism around the benefits of using press releases for SEO but those who have used them in the past could now be facing problems. Google have decided to go ahead and punish any sites using follow links in press releases, and the reason behind this- Google say that a press release is similar to an advertisement for your company and therefore should not be used for linking.
In many cases online press releases are paid for, so Google sees them as being much the same as paid links which go against their guidelines. As far as Google is concerned it isn’t particularly difficult to attain a link via a press release you have paid to have published online and because of this have deemed links from press releases unfit.
Google are continuing to crack down on the quality of the content being published for SEO purposes and just like other various methods that previously worked wonders, press releases have now also been outlined as bad links that will only cause negative results for the site.
Are Press Releases Still Of Value?
Whilst this latest update now means press releases are no longer useful or beneficial when it comes to SEO this doesn’t mean you should forget about them all together.
Although of course it is better if you can acquire a link through your content marketing efforts, press releases can still be beneficial.
Press releases are a great way of promoting your services and products. They are considered news worthy and if you can get them published in the right places it could mean a large audience of readers increasing your brand awareness and the traffic to your site. You may also find through press releases a few of those reading up on your piece may then do a write up themselves including a link to your site which of course is allowed and a link that has been attained by genuine means. For some link building through press releases may still be successful, just in a different way.
They are not worth forgetting about all together, just be aware that from now on press releases will not be beneficial when it comes to link building and if you are going against the latest guidelines from Google in publishing releases with ‘do follow’ links, you could be causing more trouble for yourself than good.
If you do chose to still publish press releases on line there is no harm as long as you ensure you do not keyword stuff and make all links no follow to keep Google happy and avoid any punishments.
Online press releases are not dead, you just might want to revise your strategy if you are currently using them for link building purposes.
If you are selling your own products, or promoting other people’s products as an affiliate or in network marketing, there are 3 tools that make life easier. These tools make up the perfect sales funnel to drive traffic through, and substantially increase the amount of money that you make.
Here is how the three tools can be combined to work together in a sales funnel:
Your website visitors click on a lead capture page, they enter their email, at which point they are directed to a sales video. From there, if they don’t purchase, they are sent emails consistently, offering them a mixture of value and further incentive to purchase the product.
Throughout this post, I will be referring back to this sales funnel, but I will often talk about how you can use these tools in other areas of your online business.
Let’s take a look at each of these tools individually.
Lead Capture Page
The process starts when a visitor enters their email into your capture page, and you acquire a new lead. You have probably heard it a thousand times already, but I will say it again.
The money is in the list.
If you want to build a long-term presence on the internet that you can use to make money consistently, you need to be building your list.
There is a massive difference between the amount of trust that we have with the people that email us, and the people that we see during the time we browse on the internet.
If you have done your job correctly, and offered your list enough value and enough reason to open your emails and connect with you, you have branded yourself. At this point, your email list will trust you.
It’s really easy to sell things to people that trust you.
This is where the relationship starts.
A compelling sales video can often make the difference between successful and broke internet marketers. Whilst it’s not actually essential to have one, it does help a great deal.
There are many people that make decent money without using sales videos. However, in the typical sales funnel that we are talking about, it is a fundamental part of the system.
After your lead has been captured, we use the sales video as an opportunity to properly present our lead with the product that we are offering.
From here, if the sales video has done a good job, you will make a sale. But the vast majority of the time, we won’t. That’s just how it is.
However, giving up at this point makes no sense whatsoever. We captured the lead’s email address for a reason, and we will use it to offer further value, and expose that product, or different products further down the line.
A recent study revealed that an average person needs to be exposed to a product around 6 or 7 times before they are ready to buy.
This is where the email auto responder comes in.
An autoresponder is an excellent way to develop an ongoing relationship with your leads on complete autopilot. It can be used in a number of different circumstances, not just the sales funnel that we are talking about.
In this funnel, we use it to present out product time and time again, and give them more and more reason to purchase.
Your ability to keep your open rates and click rates high, and your unsubscribe rates low will be determined by the amount of value that you give.
In the sales funnel that we are talking about, we want to push our product strongly. This means sacrificing the relationship that we can build, by giving our list more opportunity to buy. You can alternate your approach as you see fit, to either build a more responsive and trusting list, or make more sales quickly.
If you are currently building a list of any kind, I highly recommend that you write out a minimum of two weeks’ worth of autoresponsder emails immediately.
It doesn’t matter if you have anything to sell to them or not. Just identify the type of people that you have on your email list, and offer two weeks’ worth of value tailored to them. In doing so, you will build a deeper connection with your list, and you will find it easier to sell things to them further down the line.
So that’s a typical sales funnel in action. This is an extremely aggressive way of selling, but it can be extremely rewarding if you have the right product and the right visitors. It will rely heavily on the quality of the three tools that we discussed.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.
It’s the reason why the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferriss saw such success and sold more than 1,350,000 copies.
It’s also the reason why Pat Flynn over at SmartPassiveIncome.com earns over 50k a month from his affiliate websites.
One wrote a book, one is an affiliate marketer.
They are different.
Tim Ferriss bucked the trend by telling everyone that you don’t have to overwork yourself to succeed. His advice gave people their lives back; it showed them the route to success and financial freedom, without long 18 hour days of work. This advice was welcomed by everyone.
Pat Flynn is different because he doesn’t over sell anything.
Pat doesn’t shove links to his affiliate products in your face. Instead, he shows you how a product is making him money. He only recommends products that he is using himself. His website is virtually ad free. His monthly income reports tell everyone exactly where his income is coming from. He doesn’t hide a thing.
They both offer something completely new and refreshing. Their entire approach overturned an overcrowded marketplace that was filled with shady marketers and false promises.
Standing Out in an Overcrowded Marketplace
There are countless ways to be different in your marketplace, small or large. Take a look at your competitors and find out what they are doing. Find a common trend that everybody seems to be following, and do the complete opposite.
Of course, this has to be within reason. There may be a common component of your competitors businesses that is essential to their success. It is your job to find out what is essential, and what isn’t.
Your main focus within your business should be in gaining people’s trust, so base your approach around that.
If nobody else is offering detailed case studies, do that. You will be able to emphasise your skills and capabilities, whilst gaining people’s trust at the same time.
If nobody else is being transparent, be transparent.
Identify a common trend that everybody else is following, and think of ways that you can do the complete opposite, and offer better value in doing so.
Lead with value. Show your worth. Gain people’s trust.
Now go out there and be different.
Overturn your marketplace and you will be rewarded for it.
We are all the same really, bloggers, affiliate marketers, SEO specialists, or online marketers.
We all share one common characteristic- we want to make money on the internet.
In order to succeed, you need to develop an audience through the content you produce. We need to develop online assets.
Here are three assets we should all be building to succeed online.
Targeted Email List
Social media and mobile marketing are getting all the attention at the moment and everybody seems to be forgetting email marketing.
Despite advances in other lead generating methods, email remains a powerful tool, and it will always be that way.
Build you list through smart content and nurture it through well-written auto responders. It will maintain the relationship you have with your audience, making it easier to sell.
It moves the conversation to the inbox, which is far more personal. Your email audience will grow to love you and your content, making it easier to drive traffic, promote products, and make money.
Strong Social Media Presence
A strong social media presence has the potential to drive insane amounts of traffic to anything you promote.
It takes time, dedication and smart promotion but your presence will remain a powerful tool for as long as the sites remain popular- which seems like forever at the minute.
Can you picture a world without Twitter or Facebook? I can’t!
Communicate well with your peers, promote yours and other people’s content, and grow your following.
Eventually, your presence will be capable of propelling anything you promote to newfound levels of success.
Your Own Domain
It’s essential that your time online is not wasted. Developing something that you personally own is the way to do this. The way to guarantee a long term asset that you own is to create your own domain and host your own website.
The longer it exists and the more content you produce for it, the more powerful it will become.
It doesn’t really matter what your website is about, whether it is a blog or just a means to promote your services.
The only thing that matters is that you are building a long term audience that you can use to profit from. Further down the line, you can use it to promote affiliate schemes or products, or your own informational products and services.
Daniel Blinman is a blogger and SEO professional; hear more from him over at his Empower Network Blog. Get questions like “what can I blog about to make money” answered, and learn about the online income system he uses to make money through blogging.