How to Grow Your Business Through Online Marketing


Through Search Engine Optimization and Website Design Optimization


In today’s economy, a marketing plan that’s not performing is unacceptable. No longer can you afford to leave any aspect of your budget unexamined. If you’re spending any money whatsoever on online marketing vehicles such as: your website, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC or paid search) or email marketing, it is absolutely vital that your sales team and more importantly, your bottomline, are seeing results. The following are 5 must-read online marketing secrets that are 100% guaranteed to radically increase your sales funnel, revenue and profitability.

Behind every great business is a strong business plan. Equally true, behind every great online marketing campaign is a strong marketing plan and performance metrics. Establish your baseline with regular monthly analytic reports from your marketing dept. or vendor.

Websites: Setup a Google Analytics account (free) to measure and analyze site traffic. Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Review reports from your Google Adwords account (free) to measure campaign performance. Email Marketing: Request reports from your email dashboard (free) to review click thru and open rates. Use the information to optimize your online efforts and ensure your marketing dollars are working hard for you.

Challenge: Your website analytics show a bounce rate higher than 50%. Visitors are leaving (aka bounce-ing) because they are not finding what they need. Solution: Rewrite your content or alter your website design to ensure they find exactly what they are looking for…immediately.

Challenge: Your keyword traffic or terms don’t make sense and you are repeating the wrong words over and over on your site. Solution: Align keywords with the pages visitors are visiting the most. Determine new keywords based on relevant terms and rewrite that page’s content.

Challenge: Your email newsletters are not delivering (aka going through) at least 90% of the time. You’re likely using an email provider that is blacklisted because they allow other clients to send spam. Solution: Switch email service providers. Make sure they are whitelisted and can send your emails in html and text versions to guarantee a much higher delivery rate.

Challenge: Your website is not converting (prospects are not contacting you). Solution: Determine a measurable conversion point (what does sales need as a signal that a viewer is a qualified prospect) and make sure it’s easy to find – request a demo, download a white paper, etc.

Challenge: Sales prospects are not contacting you. Solution: Look at ways to redesign your site, check to make sure relevant content falls into a “Z” or “F” pattern – it has been scientifically proven that this is how visitors interact with sites. Integrate a strong call to action – 800#, request a quote, etc. on every page.

Challenge: Potential prospects are not qualified appropriately before contacting you. Solution: Develop optimized landing pages (a hybrid between: about, features/benefits and your contact form). Perform A-B testing (different variations) based on design, content and time of day to discover the best performers and tie them to your PPC campaign to increase conversions.

Maximize your online efforts by determining your cost per customer acquisition (how much you’re willing to pay for a sales lead from your site). When you optimize this expense, you can actually predict performance and determine which variables need to be modified for optimal efficiency.

Radical sales growth begins when you factor in your cost per customer acquisition with your sales team’s close rate and your pay-per-click campaign to generate incredible results within 6 months or less.

How does it work? Review Company Z case study for the formula.

By inputting your own variables, you can accurately project the amount of revenue you will generate from your online sales efforts. (Results may vary.)

Calculating Your Cost of Customer Acquisition

After all of the steps are complete, go back to Step #1 and begin again. Through careful evaluation, like a car’s engine, you can tune-up your online marketing efforts to guarantee that they are producing optimal results.

If your acquisition cost is too high simply because your keywords are expensive or your site is not converting, then it is absolutely vital to re-assess your online marketing efforts and push your marketing department or vendors to improve results. Use your monthly reports as a means to drive that discussion and find budget leaks.

Lastly, remember the golden rule: If prospects are not buying from you or your competitors online, then don’t waste your money on online marketing. Save it for whatever vehicle works best for you – tradeshows, advertising, brochures, pr, etc. to ensure your sales team is converting every prospect and building long-term revenue.

For the past 17 years, Angela Hill has worked with global business and consumer brands. Today, as president of the award-winning graphic design and branding agency Incitrio, she partners with clients to build and grow strong, innovative brands that consistently outperform their competition.

740 Lomas Santa Fe, Suite 205,
Solana Beach, CA 92075

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This article was originally written for Smart Business magazine in April 2009.
Click here to request the PDF version of this article.

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