Ive worked in online marketing for over a decade and a lots changed since 2008. Back then, search engine had only been widely used for a few years and many people still used the AOL portal and hyperlinks almost exclusively to find new sites. There was no social media, no site acceleration, and banner ad placements were often the result of bilateral negotiations between the publisher and the advertisers marketing department. The result was highly targeted ads directed at niche demographics who were already interested in the product, and this has continued today but with even more specific targeting.
As a result, online marketers have continued to have trouble getting people who haven’t even heard of their product to progress down the sales cycle even though they’ve continued to do a great job at converting leads who’ve progressed pretty far down the sales funnel into sales. That’s why I’m sharing a few techniques that online marketers can use to generate more potential leads and also funnel those early potential leads into leads and sales.
SEO: Make sure people can find you on a search engine
SEO, or search engine optimization, is optimizing your website for ranking highly on Google and other search engines. Its a big part of almost every online marketing campaign since about 3/4ths of landings begin with a search engine query.
This involves creating text content for your website and writing it in a way so that it shows up high on search engine results. For example, if you want to make a landing page about “cheap travel coupons”, then you should make a page with “cheap travel coupons” in the URL and the title, and then use the phrase “cheap travel coupons” (you can break it up a few times if the words are nearby each other) four or five times within the first two hundred words of your page. Make the landing page around a thousand words. However, its still unlikely to show up high on Google unless you do some off-site SEO.
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This is basically building links to your pages, since search engines rank sites with lots links higher than sites without many links. If you have a page about “cheap travel coupons” then you want to build links to your landing page using the anchor text “cheap travel coupons” and make sure that the links aren’t nofollow. A “nofollow” rel attribute tells search engines to not follow a link and therefore not count it as a backlink for the purposes of search engine rankings.
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Many inexperienced marketers make the mistake of hiring an outsourced SEO company to build backlinks for them because they offer cheaper rates. However, most of the writers are usually poor English speakers and thus can only get backlinks on low-quality spam blogs and forums. They also usually have good initial results since they can pump out links pretty fast, but eventually Google catches on and removes your site from its search index because you have too many links from low-quality spam sites. Your site will stay hidden from Google results until you remove the shoddy links, which could take months. How many potential leads are you going to get if nobody can find your site on Google?
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Once you’ve hired a good SEO company that gets you high-quality links on good websites, you can start focusing on how to keep people who’ve found your site there long enough. One of the most overlooked aspects in determining whether or not people leave your site shortly after landing is how fast it loads. Most potential leads are lost within eight seconds of landing so a fast-loading site can be the difference between whether your marketing site flounders or shines.
Load faster with multiple local servers
Normal websites are hosted on one server, which means that somebody in New York has to wait for a server in San Francisco to send them the websites content across the entire United States, where there’s many points of failure that could cause your site to load slowly. However, accelerated sites are hosted on multiple servers so that people in New York receive your website from a server in New York, and people in San Francisco receive it from a server in the Bay Area.
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Site acceleration also helps your site show up high on search engine results because Google and other search engines favor sites that load quickly. Video loading times can be a particularly big problem for many websites, so good site acceleration services like CDN inject the videos into your website from separate high-speed local servers so that they don’t weigh down your load time.
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