The Smarter Marketing Blog
The perennial question, and usually met with the frustrating response: “It depends...”
So in this post I will give you some hard figures about what you can pay or not pay to get your business online.
Firstly, you can get great websites for free or you can do what Australian retailer David Jones has done and spend $160 million with IBM to get your website up.
And while the new DJ’s website is impressive, I know there are some smart developers out there who could have got the same result for a fraction of the price.
So where does that leave the average business when it comes to building or upgrading their web presence?read more...
May 20, 2013
Adobe has just released a report that shows very clearly what works in online marketing. Rather tellingly, 86% of online marketers aren’t doing it.
The Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey presents compelling evidence of what marketers and online businesses need to do in order to succeed.
Incredibly, and rather damningly it also reveals that most of them aren’t doing what’s needed and have no plans to do so.Learn more... read more...
May 09, 2013
Conversion rate optimisation won’t work for most online businesses; at least not straight away and there’s a very obvious reason for that.
You’ve left it too late.
There’s an old saying in horticulture: The best time to plant a fruit tree was 10 years ago, the second best time is right now.
And so it is with conversion rate optimisation. The sites that are doing it really well have been doing it for a very long time.
Consider a site like Amazon, started in the early 1990’s and has been testing and optimising ever since. All through the nineties, into the noughties and now we’re well into the noughty teens.
That’s actually three consecutive decades of online testing and optimisation improvement (and some of you thought online business was a relatively new phenomena.)Time to catch up... read more...
Apr 23, 2013
Social media sharing buttons are one of the biggest drags on any website’s performance, so removing them altogether may significantly increase your business.
Many sensible online marketers know that speed (fast loading web pages) has a direct correlation to conversion rates and revenue. Even Google penalizes slow loading sites in the search rankings.
Yet whenever you start looking at what’s slowing down your site, inevitably it’s all those third party plugins and scripts, especially the social media sharing scripts that are the biggest offenders.
So should you just do away with them altogether?read more...
Apr 12, 2013
- $20k a Month
Seriously? Neil Patel who writes a great blog at QuickSprout recently listed how much it costs him to blog every month and be successful.
(And I thoroughly recommend you subscribe to Neil's blog, he writes a lot of very informative how to articles.)
At over $20,000 a month Neil's costs might cause most of us to gulp an say: ”Get outta here.” but when looking at Neil's figures they are pretty conservative.
Which begs the question: How much is your business, any business, prepared to spend on its blogging strategy to make it actually work, as in generate leads and business?read more...
Apr 05, 2013
- How to Write Accessible Web Content Part 4
Titles, headlines and headings cause more confusion and consternation for online writers, designers and developers than perhaps anything else.
Get them right, and you'll get more traffic, reader engagement and conversions; get them wrong and you'll get nothing.
But first let's make one thing clear: Titles are not headlines or headings. They may be the same, but they are two different parts of any online document.
I'll discuss headings and headlines in the next post, but for now you need to understand that Titles are their own dog.Learn how to avoid title crimes... read more...
Mar 21, 2013
- Are You Ready or Already Endangered?
While there's been a lot of talk recently about big data, structured data and the NBN, how many businesses really know what it means for them, or are even ready for it?
As I discussed in a previous post, Jim Wyatt, General Manager, Digital Economy, Department of Commerce, and Government of Western Australia.gave an eye opening presentation at the Spacecubed Morning Startup event in Perth recently to some of the smartest digital minds in the city.
And even they were surprised at just how paradigm shifting the NBN will be for business.
In particular more and more businesses are going to become publishers and broadcasters of their own content, streaming it directly into their customers' homes and pockets via a range of devices.read more...
Mar 18, 2013
Australia's National Broadband Network is much more than a glorified internet connection, a fact not understood by most people including business.
This was one of the many highlights from a fascinating presentation given by Jim Wyatt, General Manager, Digital Economy, Department of Commerce, and Government of Western Australia.
Jim covered a lot of ground but the thing that struck me was how the NBN may completely bypass the web.
As Jim put it, the NBN will allow businesses and organisations to push their services directly into people's homes in ways we can't even imagine yet.Learn how to avoid becoming NBN roadkill... read more...
Mar 13, 2013
How to Write Accessible Content - Part 3
Search engine friendly urls and folder names are often overlooked when building and maintaining a website, yet they are important for many reasons.
Apart from some organic search engine benefits they also help with accessibility, usability, social media sharing, marketing and conversion rates.
Otherwise known as FURLs (friendly URLs) or "pretty links", they simply mean that what's in your web page address (URL) can be understood by human beings.Learn how to write better names... read more...
Mar 12, 2013
- 9 Tips for Better Business Decisions
Too many bad decisions are being made as the result of testing.
The proliferation of online testing tools have made it easy for anyone to test different elements of their websites and marketing campaigns.
However that doesn't mean most of them know what they are doing.
As a result plenty of bad decisions are being made that are costing businesses lost revenue and leads.Here are nine tips and tricks to make you a better tester: read more...
Mar 07, 2013
White type on a black background is 10 times harder to read than the usual black type on white.
Recently this issue of reverse type reared its head in a presentation I was doing for Perth online business owners at Smarter Digital Roadmaps for Retailers.
Some were unaware of the concept and its consequences and quizzed me further on it, so here are some more facts, tests and links to demonstrate the difference.read more...
Feb 28, 2013
- Get more bookings, signups, registrations etc
Shopatron recently released an infographic that perfectly highlights the four key areas that all online business owners should be concentrating on to increase sales.
It encapsulates what I and many conversion rate optimisation consultants have been saying for years:
- Be Fast
- Be Simple
- Be Friendly
- And Be Trustworthy
Feb 19, 2013
Check Your Profile Now!
Linkedin has deleted many members’ website and blog links from their contact info profiles.
On the weekend I was tweaking my profile when alarmingly I noticed all of my site links were gone.
This has only happened recently and is not a result of the new interface design that happened last year.read more...
Feb 18, 2013
If you really want to get more leads, newsletter signups, bookings etc from your online forms, then here’s a baker’s dozen of tips to increase your results.
Some of the old school marketers among you will have a hard time accepting the recommendations, but if you want more leads then read on.read more...
Feb 15, 2013
Conversion Optimisation Tip 8
The average text size on most websites is costing site owners money because it’s too small and hard to read.
Text size (font size, type size) is one of the most over looked aspects of increasing results from your online marketing efforts.
Yet it is obviously one of the easiest changes you can make (if you can live with your web designer’s screams of abuse.)
Unfortunately, most web text is around 12px or less, which is far too small to be effective. The text has been made small in order to fit all the other elements onto the page.
However sacrificing text size for looks is short-sighted.read more...
Dec 13, 2012
Choose the Right Platform
If you don’t have the right platform (CMS, Cart, Blog), or have it set up correctly, then any accessibility improvements you want to make will be pointless.
So choosing the right platform at the start and making sure your IT staff or developers have the knowledge to set it up correctly is critical.
Get it wrong and you can be in for years of pain.
These days most modern Content Management Systems (CMS), ecommerce shopping carts and blogging platforms are more than capable of producing accessible, standards compliant content.
That is most, though not all.
Even so, sadly in my experience almost all content, ecommerce and blogging installations I’ve come across in the past 15 years have not been correctly set up.
Usually this is because the IT and development staff simply don’t know what is required, or they simply haven’t been briefed correctly.
Often they make arbitrary setup decisions that prevent the system from being able to comply with accessibility and standards guidelines.read more...
Dec 12, 2012
Why You Need to Know How to Write for the Web
There are three crucial reasons any business and its staff need to know how to write for the web:
- You can be sued if you do it wrong
- It will get you more business if you do it right
- It helps people find you and share your content
Unfortunately far too many Australian websites fail to meet the basic accessibility and standards compliant requirements.
Writing for the web is more than just dashing off a quick post and finding an attractive image to go with it.
Even hiring a professional PR consultant or copy writer to produce your content probably won’t keep you out of trouble.read more...
Nov 28, 2012
Speeding up your site is one of the simplest ways to improve your online business and conversion rates.
Research by Microsoft, Google, Amazon and many others has consistently proved that slow loading web sites and web pages (ie: takes more than two seconds to load) costs billions of dollars in lost revenue. 1 Second Delay Costs $1.68 Billion a Yearread more...
Nov 27, 2012
Slow site speed kills your online revenue. Latest research shows online retailers are worse than ever at understanding this simple revenue boosting concept.
Amazon recently calculated that for every second delay in loading its web pages it loses $1.68 billion a year.
I’ve demonstrated the profound impact site speed has on website revenue over the years but the message just isn’t getting through. (Blink and You’ll Lose a Customer, 55% of Shoppers Abandon Poor Performing Sites)
Speeding up your website is one of the simplest things a business can do to increase its online revenue.
It delivers a permanent and perpetual increase in online business.
Nov 26, 2012
One third of Australian businesses are facing substantial disruption from digital technologies in the immediate future according to Deloitte Australia.
And all businesses are facing some form of digital disruption.
In its latest report Digital disruption Short fuse big bang? Deloitte analyses the impact of new digital technologies on Australian business.
It also looks at which industries are at risk in the short term and long term.read more...
Oct 24, 2012
The infographic below from Bestedsites shows the remarkable changes of the web over the past decade.
- 2002 - 569 million (9% of the global population)
- 2012 - 2.27 Billion (33% of the population)
Time Online (Daily Usage)
- 2002 - 46 minutes
- 2012 - 4 Hours
Number of Websites
- 2002 - 3 million
- 2012 - 555 million
Oct 18, 2012
See all your social life visually
If you haven't come across RebelMouse yet you are in for a treat.
It can take all of your social activity and display it as a highly engaging visual page of your online life. See mine below, or click here to see the full blown version.
You can add as many of your social services and websites as you like and it all comes together to give others a great picture of your online activity.
Rebel Mouse has a host of other features which are best discovered by playing with it. Best of all it's completely free. Just sign in with Twitter, Facebook etc, add a few networks and hey presto you have a very cool looking webpage of yourself.read more...
Oct 13, 2012
New research from leading accountancy firm PwC reveals that nearly 10 million Australians will buy something online in 2012.
It estimates that online sales currently make up just 6.3% of the retail spend, and tip it to grow to 9% in the next four years.
That's a compound annual growth rate of 14.1%.
The research also sheds some light on how much is being spent locally vs overseas.
But perhaps the most relevant statistic is that 55% of shoppers are buying online because of lower prices. We all love a bargain.read more...
Oct 11, 2012
Get the message right and win the customer
This viral YouTube sensation shows how to communicate and engage with an audience without using English.
Interestingly it also helps demonstrates some of the issues facing business and marketing today.
Short, pudgy and middle aged, this Korean rapper is the antithesis of everything big western business tries to feed its consumers.
Psy (as he’s known) is what corporately manufactured pop stars like Justin Bieber aren’t,
Bieber was created by the mainstream music industry as a response to what they thought the public wanted.
Psy, on the other hand is what the global public responded to.read more...
Sep 29, 2012
Australians prefer to engage with brands via email far more than any other medium, according to the Digital Down Under report from Exact Target.
While social media continues to hog the spotlight, email marketing continues to deliver the results.
As an online marketing strategy for a business engaging with fans, email can’t be beat. Email remains the preferred medium for contact between customers and brands across all age groups.
In total, 96% of email users will engage with a brand, while only 55% will do so on Facebook and a paltry 6% will do so on Twitter.read more...
Sep 27, 2012
Why it’s important for your online business
Google is getting more and more serious about quality content. Recently it quietly introduced a new feature in Webmaster Tool– the Structured Data report – which has implications for all web content producers and site owners.
Google announced the new report last Friday on its blog.
But Just What is Structured Data?
Structured data gets technical, but basically it is a way of marking up the content on your website in a way that search engines and all sorts of other services and devices can use it in better and more useful ways.read more...
Sep 25, 2012
Online business may be growing dramatically, but it’s still only scratched the surface.
More explosive growth is still to come.
Mainstream Australian business has been notoriously slow to join the online party, especially retail, yet the growth in online revenue has still been dramatic.
Once the majority gets onboard, online shopping and business is likely to explode in ways we haven’t imagined yet.read more...
Sep 20, 2012
The explosion of digital marketing means that the marketing department is taking more and more control of a company’s IT spending, implementation and decision making.
It’s a trend that is only going to get bigger.
For so long marketers and business operators just got on with selling their wares and pressing the flesh and left the technical stuff to the backroom boys.
Now however, as we all know, technology is front and centre of everyone’s lives, especially business.read more...
Sep 18, 2012
Australian consumers’ attitude has changed dramatically in ways that have serious threats to professional service providers.
Doctors, lawyers, dentists, architects, accountants and even marketers are all at risk.
More and more Australians are going overseas for new boobs and teeth in a trend that perfectly illustrates the threat facing all local professionals.
A recent Channel 7’s Sunday Night program followed a group of Australian women as they went to Thailand for new boobs, teeth and a tan all at a fraction of what it would have cost them here and in far, far quicker time.read more...
Sep 17, 2012
Two recent reports show the huge disconnect between what shoppers are doing and where local retailers are at in the online business space, especially in Western Australia.
In a nutshell:
- WA Shoppers are Online
- But WA Business isn’t
The recent National Australia Bank (NAB) Online Retail Sales Index July 2012 confirmed an ongoing trend of West Australian consumers leading the nation in the use online shopping.
Spending online by West Aussies grew by a staggering 34% compaerd to the previous period.read more...
Sep 14, 2012
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