Ever been in situation where you shopped online and were presented with an item of something you need? You’re first inclination might be to drop it in your cart since you’ll be using it along with the rest of your items. These affords you the convenience of not having to dig through a massive site to find it on your own, while the retailer picks up a sale they might not have made otherwise.
This situation is the result of behavioral targeting and is frequently used by businesses you want to optimize their website for the customer.
(Courtesy of Flickr User: StockMonkeys.com)
The Definition of Behavioral Targeting
What is behavioral targeting exactly? It’s a set of techniques that are utilized by advertising networks, online publishers, and content providers to display relevant and targeted information to their site visitors.
When a user first visits a website that uses behavioral targeting technologies, information such as the pages they visit, the time they spend on each page, and the links they click on are recorded. Also of note are the user’s interactions with others online and how they respond to content. Based on this data, a user profile is then generated.
Behavioral Targeting in Action
Behavioral targeting is most commonly used on eCommerce websites and online retailers for product recommendations. Blogs also employ this optimization strategy in the form of recommended articles that will interest the viewer into exploring the website further.
For example, after reading articles about “how to chose the right job prospect,” more articles that containing recruiting advice will be displayed to the user on his or her succeeding visits.
Behavioral Targeting and Improving Conversions
Behavioral targeting increases conversions by giving your site visitors more of what they want to see or read about. Blogs, news sites, and online stores have layouts where areas are reserved for dynamic content. This space is where highly targeted content is displayed—be it product suggestions, a list of article recommendations, or a relevant ad.
Onsite Behavioral Targeting
There are two ways that behavioral targeting can be applied: onsite behavioral targeting and network behavioral targeting. eCommerce sites and online retailers commonly use onsite network targeting. If your goal is to increase site conversions or enhance the user experience, this technique is also beneficial. The first phase of the process involves the creation of generalized user profiles from information that has been pulled from the site’s visitors. Each profile will have a set of preferences and specifications associated with it. Once users arrive at the site they will be placed into one of the profiles and have targeted content displayed for the duration of their site visit.
The technique can also be applied the other way around with the use of self-learning behavioral targeting engines, which provide relevant content in real time as the user browses through the site.
Network Behavioral Targeting
The second type of behavioral targeting is network behavioral targeting. This type is often employed by those who deal with larger groups of people, such as ad servers. Because of the massive size of their user base, they are able to generate an approximate demographic makeup for the users on the sites in their network. Only ads that are relevant to the site’s audience will be displayed once the makeup is determined.
Finally, it’s important to mention that everyone may think that high traffic means that you’ll have the income coming in, but it goes without saying that these tools at your disposal are highly critical. The final step to any form of internet marketing should always be testing. What may work right may not work anywhere between 3-6 months. So it’s always important to keep an eye out for the amount of traffic coming, whether your websites are ranking and most importantly, whether your traffic is even converting to sales. So never forget, testing is not only crucial, but also an ongoing process that should never end. You can learn more about these tools like behavioral targeting at Maxymiser.com
Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.
A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:
- World News
These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.
Benefitting From Your Own subreddits
Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.
The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.
Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.
Online entrepreneurs need to obtain several tools that can help their businesses thrive in the World Wide Web and ensure a good return of investment. AB testing is one of the most effective devices that can help businessmen gauge the soundness of their marketing strategy. As a result, they can maximize their income and avoid possible pitfalls along the way.
(Courtesy of Mil8)
Programs that can Rev up AB Testing
Prior to the test, it is imperative for the proprietors to determine which aspects of the site need to be tested. This may include the viability of one product to outsell the competition, or the feasibility of the targeted sales for a certain period.
The setting of the test should then be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the calculated results will be precise and accurate. There’s a plethora of testing programs available for this purpose.
Other options include Test & target, SiteSpect and Vertser, which are currently the top notch programs. They are guaranteed by experts to be user-friendly and expedient. It has to be noted, though, that each of these programs adopts distinct method of calculation.
How these AB Testing Tools Work
In deciding about the programs to be used, it is imperative for Internet-based entrepreneurs to know about the procedure at which the results from the AB testing are calculated. Two of the most common methods include:
- Element Replacement
This involves the creation of multiple versions of an element by using HTML on the testing tool. The process can be done before a page loads. When the entrepreneurs reach the beta stage, or once the procedure goes live, the alternatives of the elements will be randomly shown in a screen that is not yet viewed by the website visitors.
As such, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to decide on the page layouts and designs that bets reflect the theme of their website. This erases the need to create numerous dummy sites which can both be costly and time consuming.
- Redirection to alternative links
In cases when the whole page needs to be tested, users may go for the creation and uploading a new page to the website. This will serve as a variant that can automatically function by redirecting the audiences to an alternative page. If a certain URL can’t be accessed, for example, visitors can be taken to a backup site containing slight variations. Doing so can be beneficial to businessmen as they can freely create numerous versions of their website to check its dynamism and aesthetics.
Here are easy to follow steps for AB testing:
- Select a page to be assessed.
- Determine the elements that needed testing.
- Add tags to the main page and versions made for faster tracking of results.
- Enter the URL in the tool window before the tests.
- Test the A and B versions simultaneously to achieve consistent results.
- Make sure that each audience sees only one of the variants.
- Check back for test results displayed in the dialogue box after each run.
Tips in AB Testing
In order to get to maximize the test, users should run the process long enough. It is a must to amass ample traffic volume to get noteworthy results. It may also help to master the codes and incorporate the alterations subtly to avoid blunders. Remember to maintain a consistent layout.
The prevailing question among marketing professionals and businessmen right now is how to effectively market their products to their target consumers through the internet. Both Organic SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) give companies the opportunity to advertise their brand and products online. In this article, we will discuss whether SEO, PPC, or a fusion of both will be most appropriate for your business requirements.
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is basically the practice of improving website traffic through White-hat SEO techniques, which allow your website to figure prominently whenever search engines turn-in the search results made by internet users. Some White-hat SEO techniques include putting more meat on content and placing more quality backlinks on the website. All of these tactics are done without violating the terms of service that the search engine has set.
One of the most popular forms of marketing done on the internet today is called Pay-Per-Click (PPC). It is an advertising model wherein companies pay website owners a specific amount of money for every click that their advertisement gets from internet users who visit the website. Advertisers would craft their own set of keywords that reflect their target market and the products that they offer. Whenever internet users would key-in words similar or related to those keywords, the website and the advertisement would most likely come up in the search results. PPC can also be used to increase traffic for a website.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Both
An inherent advantage of the use of SEO is that it comes at a lesser cost, or even at no costs at all, compared with PPC. Unlike PPC, the success of SEO fully lies on the effective implementation and execution of SEO techniques and methods to improve a website’s visibility. Furthermore, another advantage of SEO is that it becomes more beneficial as time passes. Over time, a website can continue to accumulate quality backlinks. These will have positively affect website visibility significantly and the effect would remain so long as the links are there.
However, the use of SEO also has its own disadvantages. First, it takes time for your website to become visible. A day or two may improve the ranking of a website, but such a short period of time is insufficient to push its ranking to the top spots. There is no guarantee of how long it will take for a website to become really visible to internet users, but it usually takes six months to one year. Second, there is risk in SEO. The internet is a world full of different kinds of SEO practioners and some of them use black-hat and unethical SEO techniques. You never know when they will strike, but these people have the potential to destroy your brand and credibility to consumers.
As for PPC, results and progress come in pretty fast. Rankings improve quickly. It is also pretty easy to start a PPC campaign online. Moreover, the better positions your ad gets from search engine results increases the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Typically, ads are put on top, the right side, or below the search engine results. In addition to these, another advantage of PPC is that it allows you to focus your campaign on certain regions, countries and regions. Furthermore, PPC gives you the freedom to manage and edit the keywords you have previously set any time.
The most alarming disadvantage of PPC is that it comes at a great cost. Overtime, the costs will begin to pile up and your company may end up spending too much money on PPC. Furthermore, traffic is totally reliant on the money you pour into PPC. Once funding stops, traffic disappears into thin air almost instantly.
A thorough examination of the qualities and advantages and disadvantages of PPC would lead to the conclusion that a mixture of both would be best. Starting with PPC, then slowly switching to Organic SEO would help you maximize the results that you can achieve. Timing is always an important factor in advertising. When you need to send an important message to your consumers, it might be best to use PPC for a short period of time instead of relying completely on the slower Organic SEO. But, complete reliance on PPC may hurt your company’s resources. The use of both advertising methods also allows you to effectively manage and lessen the costs that you will incur without sacrificing the quality of the results.
Overall, internet marketing is an art. It requires crafty manipulation and employment of advertising frameworks such as Organic PPC and SEO to reach your target consumers and maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.
We want what we want when we want it. This on demand nature can impact the success of your website and your business. From website speed to free downloads, there are a few things you can do today that can live up to the on demand requirements of today’s society.
Nothing frustrates savvy online users more than a slow website (pop-ups are certainly up there on the list too!). Increasing the speed of your website will help users download content faster, view photos with ease, watch videos quickly too and of course buy products.
A few areas you can increase speed today:
- Compress images and specify image dimensions in HTML code
- Minify HTML
- Test your host – upgrade if necessary
- 10PoundGorilla.com provides a few more tips here
Have you ever asked your sales people, customer service agents, or other employees what the number one question they’re asked is? Find out what it is and make sure the answer is on your site. Seems simple enough but is often overlooked. And for those on demand folks they won’t wait to find the answer and many won’t even call – they’ll just go onto the next site that has the answers.
While an often debated premise, putting prices up on your site for your services and products can bode well for your bottom line. Certainly it depends on your services and industry, but many experts suggest adding prices to your website. For an on demand society they don’t want to wait to see what your prices are, or fill out a form just to get directed to a sales person. Give them what they want – prices!
Using free guides or white papers as a way to bring visitors to your site is a great concept. Where some businesses may slip up is by making their content only accessible after a lead form is filled out. Check out these 9 epic free eBooks. Quite a few of them from large content marketing agencies aren’t opt-in. Before you automatically assume you should have an opt-in form think about making it 100% free to your visitors.
When I happen to land on a site that allows me to login with Facebook or Twitter I usually do. One less form for me to fill out? Yes please! Using the login button for Facebook or for Twitter promotes a more engaged user base and makes the process of signing into your site much easier too. If a user wants to log in then let them do it quickly and easily by integrating these buttons onto your site.
Creating the easiest possible shopping process is ideal for eCommerce sites. Easy to access add to cart buttons, personalization options, ship-to-store availability, quick browsing, and reviews at the ready are all parts of making the shopping process easier on your site.
Sharing a new purchase with a friend or getting feedback from a family member on a possible purchase is a regular occurrence these days. Make it easier for prospective customers by adding share buttons to each of your product pages and thank you pages as well.
How do you deal with marketing to an on demand demographic? Let us know, in the comments below!
This is a guest post from Melvin Dichoso. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
In general, there’s just one thing that you need to be really good at, in order for you to make money or simply just succeed in your online business. This one thing is called ‘internet marketing’, and its really nothing new. But internet marketing is a very big subject that keeps on constantly moving and a lot of people can easily get confused with it. With that in mind, in this post I will be discussing why you should utilize the best internet marketing asset that you might already have – your blog.
Why Your Blog Is Your Best Asset
Blog is your best asset for the sole reason that it covers most of the things that you need in order to market what you have competitively. Also, everyone loves blogging so it shouldn’t be really hard for you to do this. You’re not going to do blogging lividly since its not really burdensome, you know what I mean?
If you’re still not convinced, here are some of the things that should nail it down for you:
It covers relationship building
Blogging covers the most important aspect of business which is relationship building. Because you’re writing mostly free stuff, it allows your popularity to grow but at the same time it helps you establish your expertise.
This is good because over time your adding more and more people to your blog which should then help you know more about your audience. It’s also inherently obvious that people start to buy what you have when you offer them good value continuously and in blogging, the good value that you provide is free.
SEO becomes nuts
While most people are going to work hard with search engine optimization for their business, you don’t have to because blogging will take care of that.
I worked with businesses that have their blog as the main driver of their traffic and also their main weapon for boosting search rankings. You probably have seen some companies use their blogs as well to increase exposure to their sites. Also, its not hard to rank at all really. You install a wordpress blog, grab all the necessary plugins, write good content and that should be it. The best thing about blogs is that they have what search engines crave for which is content.
Recently, a friend asked me to take a quick look at his site. My friend wanted to know if there was any way he could speed up his site.
Before logging into his WordPress Dashboard to browse around, I used Who.is to look up what company is hosting his site. Although I discovered it’s a hosting company with a reputation for being slow, I knew he didn’t want to deal with moving to a new host.
I used WebSitePulse to run an initial speed test. After verifying his site’s response time was on the slower end of the spectrum, I logged into his WP Dashboard.
I decided to see how many plugins he was running. I was shocked to discover he had over 40 active plugins!
At first, I couldn’t even imagine how he had taken the time to install and activate this many plugins. However, a quick email to him revealed that his website had been built by a “professional WP development company.”
In reality, this company justified jacking up its price by doing a mass installation and activation of a bunch of unnecessary plugins.
Since I was helping my friend as a quick favor, it didn’t make sense for me to manually review each and every plugin. Instead, I decided to go for the low hanging fruit.
How to Use Firebug to Identify Slow WordPress Plugins
To identify the main culprits, I fired up Firebug in Firefox. I proceeded to:
- Click the Net tab
- Load his website
- Because no data showed up, I reloaded his website
Reloading the website gave me a visual breakdown of how long each element of his site took to load.
As I expected, there were several elements that took a significant amount of time to load. Specifically, I was able to match each of the three slowest elements to a plugin.
After deactivating those plugins, I ran a second speed test. The result? My friend’s site loaded twice as fast.
If you’re wondering which plugins were responsible, they were:
If you think one or more plugins are bogging down your site, you can use this method to test and resolve your issue in less than ten minutes.
This is a guest post from Mark Thompson. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Expectations, Expectations, Expectations…I just can’t say it enough. No matter how many times I try to provide realistic expectations to my clients or myself for that matter, I need to keep reinforcing those expectations. For anyone who is managing Internet Marketing clients or is working on trying to market their website via the web, it is imperative that expectations are discussed on a regular basis. Everything from expected goals/objectives, traffic growth, roles and responsibilities (client & agency), marketing budget, communication frequency…the list goes on.
So the following list is not meant to be a scare tactic to anyone, but I will say this, if you are able to communicate these crucial truths to your client/company, you will be trusted, respected, and be able to maintain your strategy for the long haul.
1. Internet Marketing is Not a Silver Bullet
So many people, especially smaller business owners are under the impression that Internet Marketing is a silver bullet to increased traffic, viability, and sales. There seems to be something about Internet Marketing that because its a new form of marketing and there is a lot of BUZZ words surrounding it, that is must be a magical source to sales. Unfortunately that is not the case. Yes, Internet Marketing is probably the best form of advertising you can do (little bias), has the best ROI if done properly, and can yield some outstanding results, however there are no guarantees.
2. It Takes Two to Tango
I know many clients feel that because they don’t understand Internet Marketing that they can’t help or think they can hire an agency and they are completely hands-off. Yes, to some degree that is true, but to see the BEST results, you need both parties involved.
Here is Why:
- Content Development: In order to create really valuable content, it really needs to come from someone within the company that has the knowledge and expertise. If you are looking to outsource the content creation, I would strongly recommend finding someone in the industry that is an expert. This will prove to be a big part in creating content that is not just the same re-written stuff that everybody does. It will make your blog/site stand out!
- Link Acquisition: The agency should definitely be the driving force behind the link building strategy, however with the help of the client you may be able to gain some high value links just by reaching out to their partners, organizations, and groups that they are affiliated with.
- Off-Line Engagements: Yes, off-line marketing is still a great way to build your brand and credibility, so having the client attend conferences, local meetups, and other events can in-turn help your online strategy. A plus would be if they are able to speak or sponsor certain industry events.
- Specials/Offers: As an agency, they can provide suggestions and examples of specials/offers that they feel would entice more people to take action. However, the client needs to have some input since ultimately it is there business. Gaining some feedback on what has worked in the past, their margins on their products/services, and what are their “bread and butter” products/services will help to create a well crafted offer.
- Industry News: Let’s face it, even if a client hires an agency to help with their marketing, the agency is not necessarily going to be keeping up with the industry on a daily basis. Hopefully the client is already doing that, so it should be their responsibility to let the agency know of any upcoming events, industry news/buzz, or anything that could affect their marketing strategy.
3. Your Company Has to Buy Into It
So this has happened a few times from my experiences. Where you start working with a marketing department on an Internet Marketing strategy, then the CEO of the company comes in and is wondering what this charge is for 3rd party internet marketing services. Not to stereotype older CEOs, but they are typically fans of “old school marketing”, so when they find out they are spending thousands of dollars on a Facebook Campaign, they freak out because its out of their comfort zone.
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