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Diagnosing Lost Website Traffic

IN: SEO/Google|Training

As a website owner you must have witnessed a sudden drop in traffic sometimes. There can be a lot of reasoning to it. Given below are some steps that will help you identify some of the reasons behind this drop and also throw some tips on how to combat it:

Confirm that there has been a traffic loss – There could be a possibility that you/your developer has accidently removed the analytics tracking code from some of the pages/sections of your website OR some pages/section of your website have started showing a 404 error (which is not tracked) due to which the right traffic figures are not recorded. Checking and rectifying (in case of an error) this will help you determine whether there has been any actual loss in traffic.Traffic Loss Analysis

Extent of traffic loss – Check your analytics data to know the extent of traffic loss. This will let you know about the severity of the issue.

Seasonal Traffic – Some businesses might have a huge spike in traffic during a particular festival, event, or season. For example an online greetings card/gift store might have remarkably high traffic during Christmas and New Year eve. An online tutorial site might have very high traffic when the final exams are approaching. Such sites are bound to observe a decrease in traffic as soon as the relevant events get over. So it cannot be actually termed as a traffic loss.

Type of traffic loss – If all parts of your website are working fine and you have confirmed that there has indeed been a traffic loss then your next step should be to identify what kind of traffic loss it has suffered. Is it the loss in number of direct visitors, or from referring sites, or from search engines? You can easily find that out using your analytics tools.

  • The loss in direct visitors would imply that the problem most likely is either temporary or related to your online reputation. It could also result from a decrease in your online marketing and/or advertising efforts. Your PR team should be informed at the earliest to take remedial action.
  • A loss in traffic from referring sites would indicate that your marketing efforts have faced a setback. Some of your online in-links may have gone dead. You can generate a referring sites traffic report from your analytics account and personally contact the partner sites where your links have expired. Once you replace the dead links, things should be back on track.
  • Search engine traffic loss – It is the most severe type of traffic loss and might require a very thorough analysis of your analytics data, website, search engines guidelines adherence status, and even your server logs. You can start by finding which keyword/keyword phrases have a significant decrease in visitors. Can you spot any obvious reasons for the same?  How many keywords have faced a decrease in visitors, just a few or almost all? Generate a report for landing pages associated with the keywords which have faced a dip in traffic/rankings. Have these landing pages undergone a major update recently? Validate the individual pages code and confirm that these pages are still accessible to users as well as search engines. Check Google webmasters account for any html, http, or robots.txt errors or malware warnings. Confirm that your landing pages follow search engines guidelines.

Long tail keywords traffic – If you still don’t have any clue about the possible reasons for the traffic loss, check for your long tail traffic. It’s worth mentioning that this is generally applicable to large websites only. This will constitute of keywords that individually bring only a few (or even 1) visitor to your website but in aggregate they made a big part of total website traffic. If this is the case with you, it would simply mean that Google is finding some other pages more relevant for those keywords and hence, sending traffic elsewhere. You’ll need to add more valuable content and/or optimize your website further.

Find out if it’s a search engine penalty - If none of the above mentioned possibilities seem to help you then it’s very likely that you are dealing with a search engine penalty. Check in your webmasters tools account for any notification for penalty. Make sure your entire website adheres to the search engines quality guidelines. If you find the reason, fix it at the earliest and drop a detailed reconsideration request to the search engine team explaining your position related to the penalty along with the remedial action you have taken to correct the situation. Giving them an assurance of the situation not re-occurring in future would help.

After having a close look at all the points mentioned above, we find that it apparently becomes very important for us to keep a strict vigil in terms of website traffic and take remedial steps before it is too late. Even better would be to be proactive and keep devising new strategies for website marketing and fixing any technical glitch before it starts to hamper your website performance.

Building Your On-page SEO Framework

IN: SEO/Google|Web Design and usability

Search Engine Optimization/SEO is the process of creating new web pages or editing/modifying existing ones so that they rank higher in search results for keywords which are supposed to carry relevant traffic/visitors for the given pages. There are various aspects of improving web pages including -

  • Accessibility – Your website has to be accessible to search engines as well as human visitors. There should be no 404 errors (page not found) or dead links. Make sure search engine spiders are given access to the pages intended to rank in the search results. Adhere to search engine quality guidelines. All technical and coding issues are covered under this step.
  • Visual appeal (Look and Feel) – The overall look of the website has to be eye catching. The use of colors, design layout, choice of font, variety in font size, and use of graphics etc. should be paid close attention to. Pages have to look balanced and various sections must be highlighted in order of their importance. If needed hire an SEO-friendly website design company.
  • Conveying your business message – In addition to a website being visually attractive, it should be able to convey its business message very explicitly. If a website is about tips for managing money, it has to represent that idea in its theme. You may think of a single word that carries the essence your business theme while ensuring that design also reflects the same. The word should be fitting enough to be thought of generally, if someone were to take a glimpse of your website. The use of colors and graphics must be appropriate to that theme.
  • Usefulness – Your website must offer some value to the visitors. It could be the wealth of textual information on your website. Content is considered most important in SEO. Make sure your text copy is original, unique and rich in information. If a visitor lands at your website, he must find it useful or at least relevant to what he intends to look for. You can use this opportunity to generate further interest in your products or services and prompt the visitors to go further in the sales cycle. You might want to hire professional SEO copy-writing services to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  • User friendliness – It refers to making visitors stay on your website a pleasant one. You can do a number of things to improve their experience viz. structuring your website/content logically , web pages must load almost immediately, navigational easiness, a good feedback mechanism, proving tools to share the information with relevant people, and making most of things self explanatory. Remember: the visitors have limited time, search engines have limited bandwidth and so have you.
  • Call to action – This is your chance to tell them about your products or services and sell them. However, you must do it at the right time and in the right way. It is said that graphics convey a message better than words so use any graphics wisely. Think of the questions/doubts which can prevent visitors to become clients and answer some of those questions beforehand. Ask for the relevant information from the visitors while assuring them of the security and privacy of their personal information. If possible, offer live online support for addressing the important questions/doubts immediately.
  • Trustworthiness – This could prove to be the last nail in the coffin. It’s all about generating trust for your product and services, and building your reputation in the business you operate in. You can do this by being transparent in your working, providing links to your policies, sharing your past client experiences and case studies with the visitors. Any awards and accolades received can also be shared at this point.

Overall, the above mentioned key points may significantly help you to build your On-page SEO/Search Engine Optimization framework more robust and subsequently attract more visitors by helping you cater to their intended search topics.

Working Magic on your Business with Affiliate Marketing

IN: E-commerce|Online Marketing

The internet has been instrumental in bringing together people from diverse geographic regions, businesses and preferences. It has been a platform for people to operate and transact, and the business that can be generated from the internet is really beyond one’s imagination. There is scope for innovation and improvisation at every stage. One of the best examples of this is affiliate marketing.

Before actually looking at the scope of affiliate marketing, it is important to understand the basics of it. This is an understanding between two parties – one who lends out space, and the other who utilizes the space to advertise the product or service. There is a lot to be benefitted by both parties.

The owner of the website usually lends out his space to the client. This is extremely profitable, since there is money which is paid for no extra work which is being done. Normally, the owner receives a certain amount of money as commission for every sale, click, or lead which is generated by his site. With very little or no additional effort, you are bound to make more money on a sustained basis.

The client is responsible for taking his advertisement to various owners and getting it on their site. The client benefits by getting more visibility and increased revenue from it thereafter. Although there is a price to be paid for placing the advertisement on the site, the benefits are far greater.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to publicize your product. If the client is able to pick the sites where he chooses to advertise carefully, the benefits of affiliate marketing can be felt almost immediately. The exposure that your product has to the public is increased, as is its visibility. You can advertise your product across geographic confines, and there is bound to be incremental business generated from this attempt. Once you have started to generate sufficient profits through affiliate marketing, you can begin to advertise on more sites and contact more owners to augment your sales. Once you are set, there is very little selling that you have to do by yourself – your marketing strategy will be able to see you through on its own.

There must be care exercised by both parties. For one, you must make sure you have established the credibility of the company who is advertising before you have given out your space. Ensure that your payments can be received and that they are trustworthy. The client should also look into the owner’s profile and make sure they have found a suitable match for their product. Ensure that the owner’s site is related to your product. The owner should be able to generate traffic to the site, and should also give you a fair share of space.  Make sure you have the visibility that you have been promised by the owner.

All in all, affiliate marketing has enough benefits for everyone involved. The client is guaranteed more visibility, and a voice on the internet. The owner has the advantage of using his space productively and generates more money by allowing clients to use his space for advertisements. The public also stands to gain by becoming more aware about products that were once beyond their reach. Affiliate marketing has been a blessing for everyone.

Benefits that Email Marketing Can Bring to your Business

IN: Online Marketing

The dynamics of business today is nothing like it was a few decades ago. Methods were conventional, the approach was conservative and results were slow to manifest. Today’s world has changed the complete face of business as we see it. There is a more bullish approach, and the results are almost instant.

Information technology has revolutionized the way business is carried out. The ability to reach out to people all over the world and to integrate practices seamlessly no matter where you are located makes the scope of business almost limitless. Emails or electronic mails make it possible to connect instantly with clients everywhere. The ease and scope of the email is not confined to communication alone. Emails have also become an avenue for marketing your business today.

The principle of email marketing is to reach out to your target audience and send them messages with a view to increase your scope of business. The emails could use updated information about your company or products which need to be communicated to your market, or even content which can induce your audience to use more of your product or start to buy it.

The key to email marketing is to reach out to two different kinds of target audience. Reaching out to your existing buyers helps retain them and increases the volumes of business which is generated from them. The second dimension is to reach out to new prospective clients who can broaden the customer base and thereby generate additional revenue for the company.

There are a few important objectives which are achieved through email marketing, all of which help generate additional revenue. Firstly, email marketing helps reach out to more people than any other form. This is direct, and personal. Email marketing helps increase visibility and thereby aids recall of the brand better. This is another factor which influences buying behavior. Moreover, email marketing helps inform and influence buying patterns.

Email marketing is highly effective. People check mails on a virtually daily basis, and you are sure to get your share of time and attention from the audience. The database of people active on the internet is vast, and you can access many more people through email marketing than you could from most other channels. You can use text and literature which you would like your audience to read, and also employ audio and visual aids to help improve the effectiveness of the message. Email marketing is a complete tool as far as communication is concerned.

The most remarkable feature of email marketing is that you can actually calculate the returns that have registered and pit them against the investment that has been made on the campaign. It is also noticed that this form, when compared to all other forms of marketing carried out online has yielded the highest returns.

It is important to structure your email marketing campaign properly to ensure its success. If you have been able to draw up and effective message, the scope of email marketing can help multiply your business opportunity manifold.

10 Good Tips on E-commerce

IN: E-commerce|SEO/Google|Web Design and usability

There has been serious boom in online sales in recent years, and if you are running a business of any kind, its time for you to push it online. Making and maintaining your own E-commerce web site might be tedious, but the results are rewarding. Once you have your web site setup, you can start off with small improvements to complex ones and gradually you will see a perfect e-commerce web site matching your business requirements. Let’s see these 10 tips which will help you optimize your e-commerce web site:

1. Design it for Every User

E-commerce Tips

E-commerce Tips

There are varieties in users who will visit your web site and you may not know which stage they belong to in the whole purchasing process. While some of them might be collecting information on your web site for future purchase, some may be looking for an instant purchase. So keeping these factors in mind, you need to design it so that it acknowledges requirements of every customer.

2. Utilize Compelling Copy

The customers are on a hunt when they are looking for their product on e-commerce web site. If they do not find what they are looking for, the search for their product goes off track. If the keyword research is displaying top web sites endorsing “Headlight assembly kits”, you must ensure the similar page on your web site has this same keyword.

3. Exclamatory Headings

The heading on a web page is what attracts the user and push them to read first few lines of your web page. If it’s not likable, you are going to lose a potential customer. Use short yet revealing detailed information headings rather than long one which will make anyone sleepy.

4. Use Good Calls to Action

Give a reason to your user to click on something you would like them to. For example, “Click here to find lowest prices on health magazine” is more convincing than “Click here” or “Proceed here”.

5. Pasting Product Images from Every Angle

If you visiting a local store to buy a cell phone, you would like to take it in hand, feel and see it from every angle. Likewise, customer expects and loves to see images of their product they want to buy on your web site. Its always a good idea to upload multiple images of same product may be in different environment.

6. Give Option to Read and Write Reviews

Maximum users buy their product from the web site which allows them to go through the reviews and write one, a bad or good one. Don’t worry about a bad review, study shows that it proves to a user that the product is for sure real and the product has a little flaw. While you also have advantage to take off a product from your web site if it is getting a trail of bad reviews.

7. Giving Them an Overview of the Checkout Process

It’s satisfying for a user to see a small pictorial view of the entire checkout process when they are going to buy it. It tells them which stage they stand and how many steps they need to complete to get what they wanted. Please do not try to sell a product while they are in-between the checkout process, its distracting and you might lose a sale.

8. Be Simple on Forms

Make a form which is neat and clean rather than asking a user to input information that is not necessary at all. You can keep these points in mind while making one for you:

  • Your form should ask only for required information strictly.
  • Tell them that their data is in safe hands.
  • Use explanatory buttons like, “Continue to Billing” instead of “Submit”.
  • Display clear error messages explaining about the incomplete or incorrect fields.

9. Providing Support Options

Even before a customer purchases anything from your web site, he would look for various support options available with that product. One phone number for all will give confidence to your customer. Mentioning information about privacy, return policy, shipping details will assure they are buying a genuine product.

10. Perform Repeated Test

Gone are those days when testing used to be expensive, today tools like Google’s Web site Optimizer or SEO Analysis services can help you running a test on website in one hour. Jot down points on paper which you are concerned about and which you think need to be improved. Test your web site on those points, and according to results, repeat the cycle again.