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Author Archives: Mike Fleming

What is PPC and Why Should You Use It?

what is ppcWhat does PPC stand for?

In the realm of online advertising, “PPC” stands for “pay-per-click.” This means just what it says . . . you pay the owner of the real estate where your ad is placed (search engine, website, app, etc.) a fee for each click your ad receives. In the offline world, advertisers traditionally pay owners of advertising space based on impressions (typically cost per thousand impressions). This is because it is much harder to tie direct customer actions to specific ads, like if a billboard or TV ad caused someone to go to the store and purchase your product. But since clicks on online ads can be tracked and analyzed, paying per click is a much easier system. Therefore, you will find most ad platforms offering this bidding option as the default (although there are other options to choose from).

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9 Easy Steps to Maximizing Your PPC Search Query Report

Maximizing PPC Search Query Report

PPC Search Query Report. Snore. I know, I know, but bear with me. I’m about to make it a lot less complex and yes, even interesting.

For anyone that has a stake in the performance of a PPC account, the PPC Search Query Report is anything but boring.  That’s because they know how properly handling this animal can affect performance.  Ask any PPC manager what they look at first when optimizing or auditing an account. This report will always be at or near the top of the list because search queries are the lifeblood of search advertising.  They’re what makes the whole system go and are a big part of deciding how it goes for you.

Ignoring these reports can cost you dearly and even convince you that PPC “doesn’t work” for you.  On the flip side, properly managing this report can be a major part of why you succeed.  Therefore, learning to work with it efficiently is very important, and I’m going to show you how to do just that.

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What is the ROI of Branding?

roi of branding

“What is the ROI?” That is the question on the tips of everyone’s tongues when it comes to investing in any type of marketing strategy. In today’s environment of hype measurement and accountability, if you don’t have a solid answer to that question, there is no budget for that strategy. But the ROI of certain online marketing tactics, such as branding and social media, go beyond what can be directly measured. I provide proof and a different way for looking at your marketing budget in my latest article for Search Engine Guide.

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7 Magic Product Tricks That Improve Website Conversion Rates

product tricks for conversion magic

What may be the biggest obstacle to a person buying anything is the pain they experience during the consideration phase of the buying process. If the perceived pain of purchasing is smaller than the perceived reward of purchasing, the purchase will be made. If it’s the opposite, the purchase will not be made. But the key word here is “perceived.”

In my childhood, gas prices hovered in the $1 – 2 range in the U.S. As we all know, that is no longer the case. For the most part, it now hovers in the $3 – 4 range. When gas first hit $3, people felt the pain. Some altered their vacation plans. Some visited distant family less. We cursed under our breath as big oil companies reported record revenue quarters. Continue Reading

Planning a New Website? Don’t Launch It Until You Do This

Planning a New Website? Don’t Launch It Until You Do This

Planning a Website?

Can you imagine how happy your website users would be if they were always able to complete the tasks they came for easily and efficiently? Can you imagine how your bottom line would be affected?

A major problem with the way a website is planned and built is that it typically starts with decision makers and web developers/designers looking around at industry & competitor’s websites – reacting favorably or unfavorably, creating their own version, suggesting changes and repeating until all decision makers are happy. Then comes site launch. This seems reasonable and normal.

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5 Website User Experience Mistakes That Hurt Your Bank Account

Most business owners and executives want their businesses to grow. In order to do that, (let’s talk basic accounting) the total amount of deposits has to consistently exceed the total amount of withdrawals, or else the business is just treading water; or maybe even drowning. In this day and age, websites are one of the tools that can ultimately determine which direction your business goes. While it may not make or break all businesses at this point in time, it’s certainly critical for most.

Profit Loss Sheet

What I’d like you to do for the next few minutes is to think about your website like you do your balance sheet. But, don’t just think about the numbers or how much the website costs to maintain versus how much revenue you can directly tie to it. Take it back a step. Take it all the way back to the user experience, because this is where it starts. Think about how a user’s experience with your website affects their relationship with your brand. Because when it comes to the numbers, the user experience is the cause. The numbers are just the effect.

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Avoiding Website Navigation That Makes Users Never Want to Come Back

In my experience, grocery stores are one of the most frustrating places I go. I really try to avoid going at all costs. Why?  Because when I go, I’m usually looking for unusual ingredients for something special my wife is planning to make. She sends me there for things like ground red pepper, evaporated chicken broth, rare beans or chopped green chiles.

If I were going there for some milk, then no problem, because I know they always put the milk in the back corner of the store. But when I (the non-frequent grocery store user) go for unusual items, I have no idea where these random things are located (the frequent shopper who’s been up and down the aisles hundreds of times might). Anybody with me?! Can I get an amen?!

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Improve Your Website By Getting Beyond Who’s Right and Wrong

In my efforts to help businesses improve the conversion rates on their websites, I hear objections ALL the time. Behind the objections, I have observed fear (about how the changes will perform), offense (because they think I’m implying their work isn’t up to snuff) and procrastination (because they want to avoid the scary world of testing).

A few factors that I’ve seen contribute to this include:

  • Stakeholder’s opinions about what will work best for a particular site or page within a site are usually strongly held, whether it’s because it’s what they like themselves or what they believe as a professional.
  • Stakeholders are emotionally attached to their work.
  • There’s a lot at stake for everyone when it comes to the performance of the website.

The resulting situation can get messy. It typically involves arguments over opinions about what to do with the site in an attempt at improvement. But this kind of activity can be damaging to your team’s relationships.

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Less Is More When Writing for Landing Pages

Yes, I know why you include so many words on your marketing landing pages. It’s because you really, really, REALLY want your visitors to get it. You want them to understand all that it is you have to offer them and how choosing to do business with you is really going to change their lives. You want to use all of the information you can to persuade them to stick with you, to continue on the journey to being your customer. Problem is—they don’t read them. I know you worked hard on it, and I’m sorry.

So, what do you do now? Throw it all away? Doesn’t there need to be some explanation about the page and how the user will benefit from continuing on? Why, certainly yes. Your pages must still persuade users to work through the conversion process. But, they must do so in ways that fit with how people use the web. It’s time to get out that “red pen” and make a couple of changes; namely employing a less-is-more approach.

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