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by Lucy Griffiths on 10th November 2009
Buying online is now very firmly in the mainstream and there are many businesses operating profitably online. Some of these have taken care of their own search engine marketing, whilst others have elected to use a specialist agency such as Koozai.
Whichever direction a business takes, it is vital that they recognise the marketing of their website is just one part of a complex model. With Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you can improve your online visibility in the natural search results and using Pay per Click (PPC), you can complement SEO by having your adverts shown when users perform a search.
Both of these are proven methods to drive more targeted visitors to a site and we at Koozai have helped many businesses to achieve more from their online marketing. However, Search Engine Marketing is certainly not the ‘be all and end all’ of running a successful business online.
Of course, the site itself has to perform well and engage with visitors in a positive fashion. There are many clues Webmasters can get from their log files and other reporting mechanisms. Google Analytics will show a Bounce Rate, this being a percentage of people that exit a site immediately. If your Bounce Rate (What Does Bounce Rate Mean?) is high, e.g. over 50%, for a page, then you need to understand why. Some suggestions could be:
1. Your pricing is not competitive (Tip – take a sampling of your products and compare with other online suppliers)
2. Your site design or navigation is poor (Tip – try usertesting.com for independent reviews)
3. Your payment processes are restrictive. (Tip – Provide as many methods as possible and don’t just rely on PayPal or Google Checkout)
Obviously, one of the advantages of the Internet for shoppers is the fact that they can visit a range of suppliers in minutes and carry out their own comparisons very quickly. For this reason, you need to ensure that your site is optimised for making online sales, not just receiving visitors (Tip – buy ‘Don’t Make Me Think‘ by Steve Krug. Also, whilst you’re buying it from Amazon, think about your own purchasing experience and how it compares to your own site)
It is vital that you review your analytics data and overall site performance. Just throwing money at Search Engine Marketing whilst ignoring the type of issues highlighted above is just not very sensible.