Our strategic view of websites and online marketing
Of itself, a website is simply a tool. Unfortunately, a large proportion of websites stay “in the toolbox” – making little or no difference to the owner’s business.
There are three components to generating meaningful business from a website: traffic, conversion, and retention.
The #1 myth in online marketing is “If I build it, they will come”. With more than a million new websites being launched every day, this is (unfortunately) far from the truth. Building a website without promoting it (bringing traffic to it) is like putting a billboard at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, or printing beautiful brochures and leaving them all in the box. Nothing will happen!
The three main methods for bringing traffic to a website are: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, and other online advertising.
The second element of website success, conversion, occurs when the visitor to your site takes the action you desire them to take – such as sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, etc. The visitor will do this if you have created a compelling reason to do so – by convincing them of a benefit that they will receive from taking this action. To this end, the site must not only be well-designed and easy to navigate, it must also contain powerful, compelling copy which communicates your benefits to your audience in a way that truly addresses their needs, concerns and desires. Too many websites look good, but don’t say much – and because of this they don’t achieve the conversion you need in order to reach your marketing objective.
At FP² , we have veteran copywriters on our team, who craft copy that is convincing, compelling, and creates action. This is one of the most important aspects of your website.
Finally, retention means you have a customer or client who is a source of repeat business for your business. Large direct marketing organizations often pay thousands of dollars simply to acquire a customer – because they know that, if kept happy, that customer will be a source of great revenue for them – for years, or even decades – to come.
At FP² , all of our websites are designed, written, and built with these three critical marketing concepts in mind – so that the website actually works for your business, rather than just sitting there looking beautiful!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search marketing is arguably the most cost-effective online marketing strategy available to any business. It is, however, both an art and a science, and overblown claims about its effectiveness abound.
At FP² , we pride ourselves on having one of the best SEO teams in the nation. To back this up, we would be happy to provide you with client references in this arena.
Search Engine Optimization Basics – The Top Ten Tips of SEO “Hygiene”
1. Make sure your website is built right so that it’s easy for search engines to read. Sites built using Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, are best for this purpose.
2. Look for the best search marketing opportunities. Don’t rely on intuition or guesswork – do the research (or have someone do it for you) on what keywords people are actually using for searches in your business arena. Then look at keywords where there are reasonable number of searches, and where the number of competing websites is relatively low. The best marketing opportunities are not always the most heavily searched keywords, since they will also have the greatest competition.
3. Relevance is key. Make sure that your site’s copy is written so that it has a high degree of relevance to your chosen keywords. But avoid “seeding” your copy with too many keywords, since the search engines will penalize you for this. It also won’t be compelling copy for a human visitor. A good range is roughly 2-6% keyword density – meaning that 2 to 6 percent of the words in your copy are keywords.
4. Don’t use graphics for headlines, subheads and navigation links. Search engines don’t read graphics, so this will really hurt you.
5. Always use your main keywords in headlines, subheads, and page titles.
6. Make sure page URLs have keyword relevance.
7. Select a URL (website address) that’s as close as possible to your primary keyword or phrase. Many small businesses hurt themselves by thinking that their URL has to match their business name. It doesn’t.
8. Focus on incoming, relevant links. Search engines assign a high value to non-reciprocating inbound links (sites that link to you, but which you don’t link back to). There are now so many directories on the web that there is a good chance that you will be able to find many that are relevant to your product or service, and will be willing to give you (or sell you) a listing with a link.
9. Blog regularly, using relevant keywords.
10. Write articles and post them on the site. The more relevant text on your site, the better
The following describes our SEO methodology:
Before we do anything, we will first ascertain the true search engine market for particular keyphrases that directly apply to your business. This represents “market demand” as it pertains to “real-world” search engine traffic.
Whereas the first step ascertains “market demand,” the second step conversely ascertains “market supply”, or in other words, your competition as it relates to keyphrases identified in the keyword research phase.
Based on the above research, FP² optimizes your websites pages in alignment with the market opportunities identified in order to provide optimal “market reach” to the organic search market. This effort requires …
- Ensuring all headlines for a given page includes the primary keyphrase for that page.
- Ensuring that the primary page title is an H1 meta tag.
- Ensuring the Title Tag for a given page includes the primary keyphrase for that page.
- Ensuring the Description Tag for a given page includes the primary keyphrase for that page, and also is concise and compelling enough for the searcher to click on (so they land on your site)
- Ensuring the actual url is also aligned with the primary keyphrase Ensuring that page copy also weaves in the primary keyphrase
Today, off-page factors have become arguably more important than the on-page factors just discussed. This is due to the ever-increasing sophistication of both SEO professionals and the search engine’s need to keep pace with innovations. As such, Google, et al., have taken a more inferential attitude toward SEO. By this we mean that they no longer trust a site is about what the pages say they are about as a given.
In effect, Google, et al. looks for “proof” about a website’s claim. It does this primarily by looking at “raw popularity,” i.e., number of other sites that link to it. It then qualifies these incoming links by ascertaining the subject-matter between the two, including the actual anchor text (a fancy word for a hyperlink). In other words, what Google, et al. wants to see is several websites linking to your home page that is optimized for its primary keyphrase.
FP² will secure hundreds of additional incoming links as just outlined for your home page, plus several dozens more for its secondary pages. This strategy has the net effect of affording you to fully participate in the search engine market, instead of relying on one or two keyphrases.
Create an XML site map
Another change in the SEO landscape is the use of XML sitemaps, which both Google and Yahoo fully support, but do not require. However, our experience has shown better rankings when sites utilize this feature. FP² not only creates two sitemaps: one for Google, and one for Yahoo, we also register them to their respective search engines, which often reduces “crawl time” so your changes are realized (or added) to the search engine index faster.
Strategic use of website video
The search engines are now assigning a greater weight to relevant video content than ever before. Not only does this benefit your search engine rankings, but sites with excellent video content show conversion rates many times higher than those without it.
We offer the ability to script, shoot, edit and place high-quality effective video on your website, as well as on key online video portals such as YouTube.