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The Power of Conversion: A Lesson in Targeted Email Marketing

Let’s do a little bit of basic math. Let’s say you’ve got a website, and for every 200 visitors that come to your site, you make a sale. (People spend a little time on your site, so you know they’re not just bouncing as soon as they land — there’s clearly something attractive about your copy that has them engaging, they just won’t buy.) You’ve got yourself a conversion rate of a meager 0.5%.

Let’s say you’re selling an ebook that doesn’t cost anything to produce, but you have to make at least $1200/month to pay your bills and whatnot. Every sale makes you $30. At this point, in order to make ends meet, you need 40 sales — or 8,000 visitors each month. Sound likely? Not unless you’ve got a lot of money and one hell of a PPC management team.

Solutions to the dilemma are obvious: get more visitors, or improve your conversion rate. Getting more visitors is going to get exponentially harder — but there’s an easy tool you can use to improve conversions; it’s called targeted Email marketing.

With targeted Email marketing, you collect Email addresses from the people who visit your site, and you send them Emails regarding the topic they visited about. For example, if your site sells a product designed to help them pick up men at a bar, you might send them Emails about common problems with bar patrons or how to drink without getting wasted.

At some point, you slip in a sales pitch for your product — and because they’ve had the chance to get to know you through your Emails, they’re a lot more likely to buy from you. The longer you wait to pitch them — and the higher-quality the material you send in the interim — the better it works.

The result, if done correctly, is a massive spike in conversions. Because after all, if you can convert a whopping 3% of your visitors through targeted Email marketing, you don’t need 8,000 visitors each month anymore — you only need 1,334. That’s an incredible decrease in the effort you need to put into marketing, all for just a little extra put into conversions.

Directory Submission: The Front Line of Backlink Building

When it comes time to get someone to do some basic website SEO work for you, there are a lot of different techniques that they could engage in order to get your website indexed and ranked quickly:

  • Article writing and distribution
  • Blog commenting
  • Directory submission
  • Forum posting
  • Video marketing
  • Social bookmarking
  • Custom blog creation
  • Web 2.0 properties
  • And those are just the most common…there are dozens more!

It’s important that SEO companies use a variety of these different kinds of methods. One thing that search engines hate is a monotonous link profile. In other words, if 80% of your links come from forum posts, the search engine isn’t going to give those links a lot of authority, because they’ll assume the same person is making all of those forum posts.

That said, there’s a pretty good logic behind doing at least one of those activities often and first: the directory submissions. The reasons are simple.

You Get Indexed
If you’re a brand-new site, you need Google to recognize your existence as a valid site before it will send you any traffic about any subject. Getting indexed can take weeks if you’re not smart about it — but when you submit your URL to a few dozen high-authority website directories, you virtually guarantee that you’ll be indexed within 24 hours.

You Get Authority
Website directories — at least, when they’re chosen well by your SEO people — have quite a bit of standing with the search engines. They tend to be old sites (that’s good), with pretty narrow categories, meaning your site is on a page with a bunch of closely related sites (that’s good), and the links are one-way rather than reciprocal (that’s good). All that goodness adds up to plenty of benefit for your website.

You Get Control
When you submit a link to most web directories, you get to control a few very important things. The first is the description of your site in the directory itself. That gives you control over the context your site is listed in. The second is the anchor text of your link — that lets you focus your site’s ranking impact on a particular search term.

With all of these benefits, a startup’s strategy should be obvious: start with the directory submission, move on to everything else. You’ll be glad you did.

Local Internet Marketing Is Good Small Business SEO

In the vast world of small business SEO, there are some practices that are obvious, and some that are overlooked by many small businesses. For example, it’s commonplace for small businesses to have a website and for that website to feature a blog. That’s just good SEO. But one thing that many businesses seem to completely overlook is the power of local internet marketing.

Local internet marketing is essentially the art of convincing Google and the other search engines that your business exists at a specific location. The result is that when people in your area search for a keyword related to your business, they see your website in the rankings. The second result is that when people someone else search for a keyword related to your business alongside a keyword related to your locale, they’ll get results that include your website.

The reason why local internet marketing is good small business SEO is simple: it’s easier to be a small fish if you’re in a small pond. A florist in remote Forks, Washington can reach the top of the local rankings with about twenty minutes of concentrated effort — compare that to the 55 million results for “floral delivery” without the location in mind. Even if you live in a big city like Los Angeles, local internet marketing can cut your competition by as much as 90% compared to the generic form of your chosen keyword.

Local internet marketing also has a bigger benefit to your business than generic internet marketing does. That’s because local internet marketing sends people through your front door. Broad-keyword internet marketing sends people to your website. The conversion rate from visitor-to-buyer on a website is excellent at about 5%. The conversion rate for visitor-to-buyer in a brick and mortar store is appalling at 5%; it’s average around 40%. So local internet marketing is easier to rank with and converts better.

If you own a small business, you have every reason in the world to look into local internet marketing — but just in case you need one more, here goes: most SEO companies charge less for local internet marketing than they do for broad-spectrum SEO work. Check it out for yourself, and jump on the bandwagon before someone else in your town takes the number one spot all for themselves!