Posts Tagged ‘Digital Marketing’

Website Redesign

// September 8th, 2012 // No Comments » // Digital Marketing, SEO

Can you imagine a business without a website in today’s world? Yes, there are not tens or hundreds but thousands of businesses in the old areas of any big city in India. Jam packed streets having array of shops, all with small entrances but when you get in you see a different world. These markets make millions of business everyday, I will not be surprised if someone tells me that it could be in billions. Anyway, here we are not considering those businesses coz they don’t really need a website. Reason is simple, these are old city markets and don’t need advertising.

We are going to talk about businesses that need advertising. So you have a website? A few reasons why would one need to redesign a website:

  • Your website looks like its made in the year 2000?
  • Your business has changed over a period and the website has not been updated?
  • Have got a lot of broken links on your site and visitors are lost when they land on your website?
  • Are you planning to shift to a content management system?
  • Is it just a part of rebranding exercise?
  • Or, is it just that you are bored with the current look and feel and now want to give it a fresh look?

Website-Redesign

Whatever may be the reason, your Inbound Marketing starts from Website Design or Redesign stage. As its a long and tedious process, there are few basic parameters of online marketing that you need to take care to make sure its a success and not really realize at the end of it that you have to do it again. To list down all in order:

  • Check your current SEO status – Number of total and unique visitors / bounce rate / keywords ranking / Average Visit Duration / Page Views / Page per Visit – This is to make sure you measure your success from the point where your new site comes up.
  • Take back up of all the live pages – To make sure you don’t lose out on the content.
  • Take back up of the pages that have most inbound links – To make sure you don’t lose out on visitors.

Above is about what is to keep from the old website. Now let’s talk about some preparatory tasks required before you go about structuring / designing your new website.

  • Customer behavior is evolving fast—and companies that don’t adapt are going the way dinosaurs once were gone. The hyper-connected consumers, Generation 3.0, are changing the way we do business and our society as a whole is changing as Global market. Start digging information about their browsing patterns, surfing time of the day, what they surf internet on, trends affecting their likes/dislikes, social connections, what are they looking for etc. You will get clear idea about your prospect’s persona.
  • Do a bit of research on your competition. This is not to get influenced by their design elements but to understand what they are doing and what you can do differently.

Now that you have all the required information in hand… start redesigning (aesthetic-driven) and realigning (purpose-driven) your website. A few technical stuff to be taken care:

  1. Page Size: Keep the average web page HTML size upto 33 kb. Pages heavier than this can lead to slower than average load times, lost visitors, and decreased revenue particularly if you do not use HTML compression. A few steps to reduce HTML size include using CSS layouts, external style sheets, and moving javascript to external files.
  2. Page Compression Status: You should compress your HTML to reduce your page size and page-load time – this is again for the same cause, help your site retain visitors and increase page views. Consider using GZIP to compress your HTML. If you were using compression, you could be compressing your HTML size to 8.64 kb, that is, by 75% to further reduce page loading time.
  3. Libwww-perl Access: Botnet scripts that automatically look for vulnerabilities in your software are sometimes identified as User-Agent libwww-perl. By blocking access from libwww-perl you can eliminate many simpler attacks.
  4. Page Caching Check: Cached pages serve up static html and avoid potentially time consuming queries to your database. It also helps lower server load by up to 80%. Caching most visibly benefits high traffic pages that access a database, but whose content does not change on every page view. Common caching methods include Alternative PHP Cache, Quickcache, and jpcache. Caching mechanisms also typically compress HTML, further reducing page size and load time.
  5. Inline Styles: Make sure you are not using inline styles. Repeated use of inline styles leads to unnecessary code bloat and slower page loading. Use an external CSS stylesheet instead.
  6. Inline Javascript: If you are using javascript repeatedly throughout your site, consider moving it to an external file to speed page loading. This will also make your code easier to maintain.

A few other important factors to keep in mind while you redesign your site:

  • Make sure your call to actions are in place
  • Make sure the site structure is per your business focus areas
  • Make sure that you’v got easy navigation for users to move around the site
  • Have 301 Redirection in place for you famous old pages
  • Have On-Page aspects of SEO taken care – Meta tags (Title/Description/Keywords) | Heading tags | Image – Title and Alt tags | Anchor texts

Wow, if all of the above is taken care, you have got a kickA$$ start to Inbound Marketing Journey…

SEO On Page Optimization Basics – Part1

// September 6th, 2012 // 1 Comment » // Digital Marketing, SEO

Search Engine Optimization of your website / product or service pages is the primary step in the Inbound Marketing Plan of Action. You got to start working on this right at the time of redesigning and restructuring your website. Am sure no marketer today has any doubt about why SEO is necessary at all. If you still have any, lets check out this latest Survey report from WebMarketing123.com. According the survey, SEO continues to be the most effective Lead Generation Channels for both B2B and B2C marketers. Taking the heads-up from the report on the objective of todays B2B and B2C marketers to further understand the importance of SEO among other Online Marketing channels:

  • For B2B marketers, lead generation is the top objective, and SEO is twice as effective as PPC (Pap-per-Click) or SMM (Social Media Marketing) for this purpose.
  • For B2C marketers, boosting awareness and reputation of their brands and products has doubled in importance since 2011, overtaking online sales as the top objective for digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Lead Generation Channels 2012

Click Image to get the enlarged View!

This makes it clear that for most marketers, SEO remains the primary source of traffic. As discussed in the last post, SEO starts from the very first step of inbound marketing plan, website design. You got to fix all the on-page SEO aspects when you are designing or re-designing your website. This might include:

  1. Page size and load time
  2. URL Analysis to check Broken Links if any
  3. Check redirects to be 301
  4. Custom 404 Page, to keep the audience in-site
  5. Remove Duplicate Content

Now that you have your new website live (or fixed your old website) per above parameters, there are other on-page SEO aspects that needs to be taken care. But before we get into that, we need to do something very important. We go back to the same approach of asking a few questions to self:

  1. Who is your target audience? (define and segregate them into different categories – age, gender, geographical location, education level and household income)
  2. What do these people search for? (come up with as many keywords, phrases and combinations of all that can be used by a prospect from a specific category, to search information related to your products/services. There are tools available that can be helpful in coming up with the Keyword list giving you relevant searches on a keyword. Brainstorm internally – Ask your team members and internal subject matter experts the same question and get a list from them.)
  3. Which are the best among the list of Keywords? (Once you have finalized the set of keywords, do the Keyword Analysis to find out – Impact Factor, Query Popularity and Query Competition Index check)
  4. Which search engines are preferred by the targeted audience?

By being able to answer all of the above you have equipped yourself with the most important arsenal required to win digital marketing war. You have already done one phase of this research about your target audience from specific category to understand their buying behavior, browsing patterns, surfing time of day, what they surf internet on, their likes, dislikes etc while re-designing the website… Important thing to do after the research is to make a list of KWs (One word, Two Words, Long tail Keywords, etc.)

With this chunk of info in hand, by now you will have clear understanding of your prospect’s persona. Next step is to understand how a search engine works, so that you will know how to get your website’s content plus codes to be written and placed to make sure you get the combination right. Combination? – what Prospects look for and how a search engine makes your and other’s business listed in front of them.

Check out my next post, when I tell you in and out of a search engine… :) till then let me know what you feel about the Inbound Marketing ABC, we are exploring…