Category Archives: Web Site

Mobile Web Sites

Should I optimize my web site for mobile devises?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

There are 42.7 million smart phone users in the United States and 98 percent of them are accessing their favorite web site on their mobile phone according to Information Week. Based on these statistics, developing a web site that is viewable on mobile devises is a good investment if your target audience – consumer or business-to-business – is using smart phones.

Accomplishing the task of creating a mobile site is not as complicated as it sounds.  If you have an internal IT department or dedicated web site developer, you can discuss with him or her about creating a sub-domain or a .mobi.  A sub-domain or .mobi will be the best option if you want to create a custom mobile site.

A sub-domain is fairly easy to implement and can be added to your current content management system.  Or you can develop a .mobi, which is developed specifically for a mobile platform.  According to dotMobi, search engine optimization is a key benefit of using a .mobil domain.

“Every .mobi domain registered gets its own entry in the Internet Zone File — the files that search engines use to start their crawls — your site will automatically perform better than any other naming convention. Additionally, search engines detect when searches are being made from mobile devices and prioritize their results accordingly. Because .mobi sites are high quality and made for mobile, they are automatically brought to the top of the mobile search results.”

If you are not familiar with code or simply want to make your current site mobile friendly, a second option is to use a third-party code translator.  There are a number of free and paid sites that allow you to simply copy and paste content from your current site into a mobile version.  Following are a few options:  MoFuse, Mippin, Mobilize by Mippin and Wirenode.

You can always opt to develop your mobile site using a third-party translator and monitor your web site analytics to see if your web traffic using mobile devises increases.  If so, you can always take the next step to develop a custom mobile web site.

Looking to create a mobile version of your site and not sure where to start?  Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

Importance of Web Landing Pages

Why are web site landing pages important, and when do I need to create one?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

By definition, a landing page is a web site that a visitor “lands” on when he or she clicks on an online banner advertisement, a search-engine result, an email or a pay-per-click advertisement.  The purpose is threefold.

First, the landing page is logical content that is an extension of the ad, email or search-engine result that keeps the visitor engaged.  For example, if a person sees a banner ad for a new cookie and clicks it, he or she expects to see a page about that specific cookie and perhaps a coupon that encourages a purchase, not the manufacturer’s home page.

Second, a landing page allows a company or individual to track the results of a specific campaign.  This allows you to see how many people clicked through the ad or email and what they did when they arrived at the landing page.  Based on the traffic patterns, the landing page can be improved to enhance the results.  For example, if visitors are going to the landing page and immediately leaving or are not taking the desired action (e.g. completing a form, purchasing a product, downloading a coupon, etc.), there is a problem that must be addressed.

Finally, you can also create several landing pages for an advertising or email campaign to see which landing page achieves the best results.

Each time you conduct an online banner ad campaign, pay-per-click campaign, organic search engine optimization or email campaign, you should consider if a landing page needs to be created.  Sometimes a page on the existing web site might already be relevant, and there is no need to create a new landing page.

For example, if you are promoting a special Valentine’s Day cookie and there is a web page already created that provides information on this special cookie and allows visitors to order it, a landing page might not be a worthwhile investment.  However, if this is a seasonal cookie and your web site doesn’t include a specific page about it, a landing page will be necessary.  You never want to drive potential customer to a generic page, or even worse, your homepage.  You will likely achieve a high bounce rate if consumers have to search for information that should be immediately available.

Ask yourself this question:  Will a landing page help explain the content in the advertisement or email better, and does it have the potential to increase conversions?  If yes, then create a landing page.  If you are already investing in an advertising, search engine optimization or an email campaign, why fall short and risk below average results?

Need to create a landing page or want to learn more about the benefits, please contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

Importance of Web Site Bounce Rates

What is a web site “bounce rate”?  And should I be paying attention to these numbers?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

According to Google, “a bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visit or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.”  In other words, it is the percentage of visitors who “bounce” away to a different web site rather than continue on to other pages on your site.  In the real world, this would be like people stepping into a department store, scanning what they can see from the entrance and leaving without further browsing or shopping.

Bounce rates are definitely important when analyzing web site statistics. While there are no industry standards for a good or bad bounce rate, a high bounce rate indicates that the landing page is not connecting with the people coming to your site.

There are some general explanations as to why people will bounce.

1.  It could be your site is just not effective in engaging visitors and retaining them.

2.  Online advertising (paid search, banner ads, sponsorship, etc.) or email marketing could be sending people to a page on your site that doesn’t fulfill the advertising message.

3.  Online advertising or email marketing could be targeting the wrong audiences.

If a high percentage of visitors are bouncing upon arrival at your web site you are losing your audience before you have the opportunity to engage with them.  Examine landing pages with high bounce rates, determine possible causes – conduct research if necessary – and take action to change that behavior.

Have questions about your web site analytics or how to improve your bounce rate, contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

Increasing Traffic to Your Web Site

What are the most popular, yet inexpensive, methods for promoting a web site?

David

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By Jim Sweeney

If by popular you mean “effective,” and if by effective you mean “drive traffic to your site,” there are many ways – online and offline – to achieve this goal.

Of course, there is a critical presumption here that your site is worthy of visiting, that it delivers what your target audiences are looking for – education, engagement, sales. There is also the equally critical presumption that you have done everything possible to optimize your web site for search; SEO and SEM are essential. But let’s just set those issues aside for now.

Here are some things you can and should do to promote your site. Some of them (especially the “no cost” items) are pretty elementary and others are a little more advanced, but all of them should be standard practice:

  1. Publicity: Every news release you distribute should incorporate your web address in the body of the release.
  2. Blogger Relations: Every blogger communication, whether to a single blog or a network/group of bloggers should incorporate your web address.  Better still, your communication should require blog fans to go to your web site for exclusive information, discounts or samples.
  3. E-Mail: Incorporate your web address into your e-mail signature.
  4. E-Mail Marketing: E-newsletters or promotional mailings should all link directly or through a landing page to your web site.
  5. Stationery: If you haven’t done so yet, add your web address to your business cards and stationery.
  6. Advertising: Radio, print, billboard and TV advertising should all incorporate your web address.  And all online advertising should link directly to your web site or to a specific landing page on your site.
  7. Literature: Same as stationery; add it now… and this especially includes newsletters and magazines (does anyone print newsletters and magazines anymore?)
  8. Merchandise: Got company shirts, jackets, pens, coffee mugs, signage, etc.? Incorporate your web address on all of them.
  9. Links: Wherever it makes sense and is possible, establish links from other web sites to yours.
  10. Direct Mail: From post cards to multi-part mailings, wherever there is space and it makes sense, incorporate your web address.
  11. Blogging: If you blog, make sure your blog is on your web site and incorporate links to various pages on your site whenever it is reasonable within a post.
  12. Twittering: Assuming you’ve got some valuable content on your web site (such as your blog), you can use your Twitter account – whether being proactive or responsive – to send followers to your site.
  13. Comments: If you comment on other blogs or online articles, be sure to include a link to your site whenever it makes sense.
  14. Message Boards: Same as comments; if you are sharing your thoughts or expertise on a message board and the opportunity presents itself to link back to your web site, do it.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the virtual world really isn’t virtual; it’s real. And just like in the physical world, you have to be involved.  You wouldn’t open up a storefront on Main Street and just wait to see if traffic showed up. Well, your web site is your storefront, and you want traffic, so make the investment of time and money, and you will likely see an equitable return.

Have questions about increasing quality traffic to your web site, contact me at 440.333.0001 ext. 101 or jim@sweeneypr.com.

Benefits of Creating a Web Site in Spanish

Is it worth the investment to make our web site available in Spanish?

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By Jennifer Manocchio

There are two key considerations that will help determine if it is beneficial to translate your web site into Spanish or another language.  First, what is the market potential?  If you could potentially increase your market share, the cost associated with translating your web site could be worth the investment.

Considering the growth of the Hispanic population in the United States – 15.1% of the U.S. population is Hispanic according to the U.S. Census Bureau – there could be an excellent opportunity to increase your market share.  However, this does not mean the entire U.S. Hispanic population is Spanish-speaking by any means.

The second consideration is branding.  If you are sensitive to the Spanish-speaking community, will that create credibility for your brand among that target audience?  The long-term branding benefits might even outweigh any short-term financial investment.

However, regardless of why you do it, how you do it is equally important.  It is imperative you use professional translation services that can pick up the subtleties of the language and culture.  If you do not show respect and sensitivity, it could have a negative effect on your sales and brand.

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