Monthly Archives: January 2011

Bounce Rate – Aim Low

Are your web site visitors bouncing like Tigger?

As a small business owner it can be overwhelming trying to figure out the alphabet soup that goes along with web analytics. Understand key terms and their implications can dramatically improve the performance and value of your web site and web site traffic.

A critical measurement when looking at your website analytics is the bounce rate.

Bounce Rate: A visitor comes to your site, does not see what he or she is looking for and immediately leaves your site to go somewhere else. 

The good news:  Every web site has bounces.  Many times people stumble upon a site they did not intend to visit.

The bad news:  The higher the bounce rate the more likely there is a problem. Unfortunately a high bounce rate could represent any number of problems.

A high bounce rate could mean one or more of the following:

  1. The page your visitors first see (landing page) is poorly designed
  2. The landing page has too much copy
  3. The website has confusing navigation
  4. Technical issues with the landing page
  5. Poor keyword selection
  6. Poor quality traffic (there are several reasons this could occur)
  7. A handful of technical issues

As with any other metric bounce rate cannot be analyzed in a vacuum – it must be measured taking many other factors into account. The important thing to remember is that using a web analytics tool to measure the performance of your web site is a key element to its success. As always, review your metric and revise as necessary.

If you need help – please consult your marketing coach. They can help you navigate the terms and their implications so you can focus on your business.

Always working to bounce low…



The Significance of Follow-Up

Take the action!

Earlier this week I wrote a blog post (read it here) about the different types of people who attend networking events. One of the comments I received was about the necessity for follow-up. I could not agree more – it is a key element to making the investment of your time worthwhile.

Making a “connection” at a networking event is great but if you do not begin to cultivate that connection and turn it into a working relationship nothing will happen. Wherever you make your initial introduction – events, cold calling, direct marketing, etc. – it will be of little value unless you to continue to engage.

I think I will add a 5th group to my list of types of people at networking events:

The Winner – this person immediately followed up on the quick connections they made at the event. Why are they the winner? Because they are the ones turning those connections into relationships.

My Take:  A five minute discussion at a networking event will not land you a big contract.  Cultivating a relationship you started at a networking event just might. Take the action!

As a small business owner your time is so valuable.  You are trying to wear 20 different on any given day.  If you attend networking events one of your goals was to try and make more than one connection at a time.  Don’t waste the time you spent! Follow Up. Make the most of it. Some connections may turn out to be nothing but with a wasted follow-up opportunity you will never know.

Just a thought…


What’s Your Type?

Why do people attend networking events?

Usually because they are hoping to make some connections that can help their business.    

I’ll be honest. These types of events are not my favorite way to spend 90 minutes. When I first became serious about building my business I made a decision to get over myself and start attending networking events anyway. I know it works and as a marketing coach I will not ask my clients to do something I am not willing to do myself.  So with my apprehension in tow I jumped into the pool of networking.  Each event I attend gets a little easier and I definitely get more energized when I leave having made some great connections.

I have noticed four types of people at networking events:

The Wallflower – this person is either shy or may not be really sure what they are doing there in the first place. They will not make the first move to engage in conversation. 

My Take:  Some of the best conversations I have had are with wallflowers.  They are usually very interesting people with interesting careers – if only someone would draw them into conversation.

The Social Butterfly
– this person’s goal seems to be to talk to everyone in the room and they usually accomplish their goal.

My Take:  Since the purpose of a networking event is to meet people and make connections this can be an excellent approach.  You cannot go into any depth by doing this but networking events are about starting the conversation.

The Trainee
– this person is fairly new to the networking scene and is just learning how to concisely answer the question “what do you do?” Unless you are a totally polished and competent salesperson I think everyone goes through this phase – I know I did.

My Take:  Give them grace and let them practice on you.  You might just find a meaningful connection.

The Unapproachable
–This person stands against the wall with arms crossed or sitting at a table with their head down. Their body language says “don’t bother me – I’m in the zone”. 

My take:  If you want to get “in the zone” do it in your office and stop taking up space that could be filled by someone who really wants to make a connection.

What is your take on networking groups? I have several blog readers from networking groups I belong to – please chime in and share your experience!

Looking for new connections…


Email Signatures – A Hot Topic

Who Knew?

Over the post 30 days the top read my post on blog was about email signatures. Who knew this is such a hot topic?

I was prompted to write the post because I had been noticing several “over the top” email signatures and felt I just had to say something.

Since your email signature is truly a reflection of your brand you might want to review yours and revise it if necessary.  Ask these questions:

  1. Is my email signature “over the top?
  2. Is it too long or too short?
  3. Does my current signature reflect my brand?
  4. What do I want to convey?
  5. Am I conveying it?

Many people are obviously thinking about this topic as evidenced by the visits to my blog on this topic.  What is your viewpoint on email signatures – keep it simple or “over the top”?

Want me to critique at your email signature? I can arrange that – contact me.


LinkedIn Direct Ads – Test 2

Testing 1-2-3 – Again…

In November I began a test run of LinkedIn Direct Ads and wrote about it in this blog post. In the post I committed to posting an update. Here  it is…

The success of the campaign was not as desirable as I had hoped.  I was pleased with the number of impressions but the CTR was extremely low. On many levels I expected this because my audience size was very small (started with about 1000).  

If you read my blog you know that I believe in the Review and Revise philosophy.  You will not get the results you want unless you continually review campaign performance and make revisions to improve results.  I turned my LinkedIn campaign off for a month or so and recently turned it back on with the following significant changes.

  • Deactivated 2 out of 4 ad variations that did not get any results
  • Changed headline on one of the remaining ad variations
  • Created a new ad variation with a new headline and slightly revised copy
  • Increased my audience size from 1000 to 3300
  • Increased my bid (still deciding if I think leads from LinkedIn are worth the CPC rate)

I’ll post another update in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I will continue to review and revise the campaign to achieve optimal results. I would love to hear your experience with LinkedIn Direct Ads. Post your comments.

Looking for results…


5 Points for Paid Search Keyword Choice

As a small business owner running a paid search campaign on Google AdWords or AdSense, MS AdCenter or others it is critical to set up your accounts in the most strategic way possible.  A paid search campaign cannot be effective without ongoing reviews and revisions but you can set your campaigns up for success by doing your homework at the beginning.

Keyword/key phrase selection for paid search campaigns is a key element in driving qualified traffic to your web site.  Keep the following 5 points in mind when creating keyword lists for your paid search campaigns.

1) All traffic is not equal
Having 20,000 visits to your site means nothing if your bounce rate is high and your CTR is low. You are looking for qualified traffic – these are visitors get to your site and find relevant information relating to the search term that directed them to your site.

In order to get qualified traffic you must choose the right keywords/ key phrases.

2) Broader key phrases are not always best
They can be highly competitive and can drive unqualified traffic. Strike the right balance between specific and broader key terms. In some instances broad key terms are worth it but for most small business that will not be the case.

3) Brand names or product-related key terms are good
If you are looking to promote specific brand names that you sell then use those names in your keyword list. Note: make sure you are not infringing on TM for brands you carry.

4) Specific keywords/ phrases are great!
The more specific the key phrase the more qualified the traffic will be.  The more specific the keyword gets the less traffic it will generate but that can be a good thing.  Fewer clicks but higher quality will turn into leads/sales better than massive traffic

Example: If you sell widgets for the banking industry don’t use the term “widgets” – it is too broad. Use terms like “widgets for banking,” “banking widgets,” “custom banking widgets,” etc.

5) Review and Revise
Continually review your keyword performance to make sure you have the right keywords in place. Make revisions as necessary.  Managing paid search is part art and part science. Check out my previous post: Search Marketing – Review and Revise.

If you are unsure if a keyword is really benefitting you there are many ways to test this. You can find the information in Google AdWords, MS AdCenter or other paid search engines. 

Need help setting up a campaign?  Read this post and contact a marketing coach for help.  I’m available.


Apology Not Found

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post called The category of ‘without apology’. He stated that some companies produce their product without apology.  One of his examples “There are high margins in the business of high-end flatware, for people who don’t want to apologize for the lack of an asparagus fork when they have fancy company over.”

Whether your market segment is high-end asparagus forks, low-end furniture or moderately priced software you have a specific audience.  If you did not have an audience or buyers for your product you would not be producing it. So… continue producing it and marketing it – unapologetically.

If you need help in telling the story of your product “without apology” ask a marketing coach.


P.S. I subscribe to Seth Godin’s blog. Every day he makes me think about what I am doing.  He has written several business books that I believe are game changers for business including Linchpin. As a marketing and business coach I strongly suggest you subscribe to his blog (after you subscribe to mine of course).

Social Media is not…

Social media is not a stand-alone strategy

Having a social media component in your overall marketing strategy is a key element to success.  But if social media is your only strategy – at worst it is doomed to fail and at best you will just be spinning your wheels.

Marketing is about telling your story – the story of your product and your company. I coach my clients to use social media to help promote, educate and spark conversation about their story.  Social media helps us to get more personal with our clients and customers. Social media can extend our reach beyond what it can be without it.  Social media can help us make new connections.

If social media helps us promote our company story that means we must already be telling our story. As a small business owner you are living out your company story daily. The question becomes, are you communicating it effectively?

Don’t know the answer? Ask a marketing coach. I’m available.


Telling Your Story

Are you getting their attention?

If you are a small business owner you have a story to tell. It may be difficult for you to see because you are living out your story every day. Marketing is about telling your story – the story of your product and your company.

Effectively telling your company story can communicate many things:

  1. Your passion for your business
  2. What drives you to do what you do
  3. Why you are different
  4. The core values of your business
  5. The quality or dedication of your employees
  6. How your company has helped your clients
  7. The benefits of your product/service
  10. … 

Anyone can give information on the features / benefits of their product or where it is sold or what it looks like.  This information is not “news” and is rarely given a second thought.

Communicating your passion will get people’s attention. 

What else will telling your story communicate? You fill in the rest of the list.

Coaching with Passion,


The Importance of Cultivation

Merriam- Webster says to cultivate is “to foster the growth of…”

I was talking with a client of mine today about a new client she just brought on board. Her exact quote was “it takes time to cultivate these relationships.  I have been talking with this person for six months and just now he is sending business my way.”

Fostering the growth of (or cultivating) relationships not only with existing clients but with people who could become clients down the road is a key element to growing a sustainable business. As a small business owner it is almost impossible to find time to do the daily work you have to keep with and try to foster relationships that may or may not produce a new client down the road.

Consider this…

  • Set aside a specific amount of time each week to find and cultivate relationships outside of your current client base (an hour per day or lunch once per week or every Friday afternoon, etc.)
  • Continue to foster the relationships with the most potential (your time is valuable, spend it wisely)
  • Talk with a marketing coach for some creative ideas to foster the growth of new relationships

Don’t miss the importance of this one – if you fail to foster the growth of prospect relationships now you won’t have anyone to call on when your well dries up.

Fostering growth…


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