Skip navigation
newsletter signup

High Rankings Advisor: SEO and the Bottom Line - Issue No. 052

April 23, 2003
________________________________________________________

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   Just an Intro

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->   SEO and the Bottom Line

*This Week's Sponsors:
---->   Jill's Atlanta SEO Seminar
---->   Copywriting Combo

*Guest Article:
---->   Motivating Your Web Site Visitors To Take Action

*Stuff You Might Like
---->   Take the Pain out of Newsletter Publishing

*Other SEO News:
---->   Pub Conference

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   Nothing Like Free Cocktails
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey everyone!  Today we're taking a little break from Kim's series on
usability, and instead have a guest article by Scottie Claiborne.  But
don't worry, Kim will be back next week with the latest installment.
Today's Q&A is about something that's on everyone's mind lately --
that is, can SEO really improve your bottom line?  Read on to find
out! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

++SEO and the Bottom Line++

From: Stephanie K.

Hello Jill:

Perhaps you can answer this question.  Whenever I have asked others in
the past, all I've gotten is a lot of technical babble that does not
relate to the bottom line.

Does improving the number of hits on a site actually relate to an
increase in sales?  For example, if I sell widgets on the net, will I
sell more if I optimize my site?  Are there statistics that prove
this?

Thanks,

Stephanie

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Stephanie,

This is a great question!  I can see why it's a tricky one for many to
answer, since there are so many factors involved.  I can't just give
you a yes or no answer.

For instance, if your site is *improperly* optimized, i.e., it's
optimized for keywords which nobody is searching for (the way many
unprofessional SEO companies optimize) it certainly won't help your
sales.  Of course, it won't help your traffic either.

Or how about this scenario: let's say you do increase your traffic,
but it's for words that are really general.  Like, say you sell real
estate in Boston, and you get a number-one ranking for the general
keyword "homes."  (It's probably not gonna happen, but just bear with
me for illustration purposes!)  You may certainly get lots of traffic
from that "great" ranking.  But how many of the people who type
"homes" into the search engines are actually searching for homes in
Boston?  Chances are, probably not too many.  Casting the widest net
in this manner is not usually the best way to approach things.

However, what if you optimize the same site for "Boston Real Estate"
or "New Homes Boston" and other highly specific keyword phrases that
relate to the business and exactly what the site offers.  Traffic
should go up compared to a site that is not optimized for those
phrases.  Plus, most of the traffic should come from a very targeted
segment of the population, i.e., those looking for information on
Boston real estate.

Assuming you have a great site that is professionally written, and you
also have great salespeople who give terrific customer service, the
end result should be more sales.  But again, there are too many
external factors to make this a "gimme."  What if you have a really
crappy site?  Perhaps it looks like your neighbor's nephew designed
it; or maybe there's no "About Us" info to help build trust and
credibility.  Or maybe the site is riddled with typos and poor
grammar.  You may get a huge increase in traffic from your search
engine optimization efforts, but no additional sales because your site
visitors surfed away in dismay.

So let's say you work real hard on your site to make it the best it
can be.  If the people that answer the phones are rude or ignorant --
again -- no sales increase.  Or perhaps you don't have enough phone
operators to handle the influx of business that your high rankings
suddenly bring you.  (I've had this happen with one client.)  Then
your SEO work is simply a waste of time and money.

So, I really can't answer your question other than to say that if you
do everything right, you bet your behind that a good SEO campaign will
bring more sales.  Absolutely, positively no question about it.  But
if you miss any of the important factors that go into creating a good
Web site and a good business in general, you may not see an increase
in sales.  This is why I've been spending so much time talking about
site usability issues lately.  High rankings are only as good as the
usability and overall effectiveness of your site, your employees, and
your business in general.

You may be interested in my article from a few years ago on this
subject.  It talks about some of my client successes, and how they
were able to realize huge increases in sales due to their search
engine optimization efforts.  You can read it here:
</seobottomline.htm>.

Hope this helps!

Jill

__________________________________________________adv.

Come to Atlanta on May 16th and Learn How To Get Listed
__________________________________________________

Have you signed up for Jill's seminar yet?  It's a fun half-day of
unraveling the mysteries of achieving high search engine rankings.

It's NOT about Meta tags, guys.  Learn exactly how Jill places her
clients at the top of Google, Yahoo & AOL, etc. each and every time!

All it costs is the price of the seminar.  Getting the high rankings
will come easily after that -- just implement what you learn!

Send your Webmaster, your site designer or your assistant.
You *need* to know this info. </seminar>
(This is the very last day to register early and save $50!)
__________________________________________________


~~~Guest Article~~~

++Motivating Your Web Site Visitors To Take Action++

Today's guest article is one from my forum-friend, Scottie Claiborne
(remember...the moonwalk lady?).  It's a good article for us today
because it ties in with our theme of making your site the best it can
be.  Speaking to your site visitors is all part of the selling
equation, and knowing who you’re speaking to makes it that much
easier!  So sit back and enjoy Scottie's common-sense approach to Web
marketing! - Jill

Guest Article
Motivating Your Web Site Visitors To Take Action:  Personality
Targeting
Scottie Claiborne

The theory that I'm presenting in this article is a based on a
variation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Kiersey Temperament
Sorters.  The idea behind personality targeting is that people are
generally motivated to different degrees by the following four
qualities:

Power / Status
Competition / Cutting Edge
Connectedness / Community
Money / Price

So how do you decide which type to target?  Well, you can either pick
one type and go after those customers or try to cover all the bases in
some way with your site. It's easier than you think.

Here's a rundown on the different personality types and some ideas on
how to appeal to your specific audience.

Power / Status:

People who fall into this category want to be seen as important
people.  They look for products and services that reinforce that
image. Targeting this group is great if you're selling high-value
items.  Try to position your product/service/message as an important,
prestigious thing. Celebrity endorsements are given a lot of weight
with this crowd. These people generally have newer computer equipment
and run the latest operating system versions, so you have a little
more leeway when using different technologies in your site design such
as JavaScript and DHTML.

A website designed to appeal to the power/status segment should be
very professional, and the copywriting should convey a tone of
exclusiveness. Prices may not be published; after all, if you have to
ask...! Examples would be high-end automobiles, wedding photographers,
fundraising balls, etc.

Competition / Cutting Edge:

People in this group are fashion-forward dressers, video-gamers and
technology enthusiasts.  They seek challenge and creativity.
High-ticket items are no problem for this crowd since they are willing
to pay a premium to get what they want before the rest of the market.
A sales message to these people should emphasize the latest, greatest,
fastest and the most unique features of the offering.

This group also has newer equipment and the latest browser. Your
website design might feature more "bells and whistles" such as flash
animation, DHTML/JavaScript mouseovers, demos and movies. Colors and
design may be slightly unsettling and cutting edge -- meant to be
noticed. Customization, personalization and "skins" appeal to these
customers. Examples of companies who would target this group would be
electronics sites, website designers, art galleries, etc.

Connectedness / Community:

Those that fall into this group are the caretakers of the world.  They
worry about the environment, community issues, friends and family.
They like familiar, accepted things. They are likely to wait until an
item becomes a commodity that is in wide use before adopting it.
Their browser and equipment are probably older, but still functional.
A website catering to this crowd should emphasize content and advice
and have simple navigation and a logical layout. The more information,
the better.  A comforting, simple color scheme is also important.

Recognition of events that affect our lives (e.g., 9-11, the Space
Shuttle disaster) is appropriate and appreciated by this group.
High-value items can be sold to this group if they are positioned
correctly.  They are glad to pay more for items that are
environmentally-friendly or family-friendly, for example. This group
likes it when you remember who they are the next time they visit, so
website personalization can be helpful when targeting them.  Some
companies who would target this group might be "Made in the USA"
products, Internet picture frame companies, chambers of commerce, etc.

Money / Price:

There are plenty of people in the world who shop by price alone, and
for them you need to offer specials and discounts. Make it easy for
them to buy so they don't wander off and find your products/services
cheaper elsewhere.  These people need to be grabbed and called to
action when they first visit your site.

For the price-conscious, limited-time offers are a good motivator.  A
site design for them should make it easy for them to find what they're
looking for, along with good information and prices.  Be sure to
include a site-search function and create the site so that it loads
quickly and without gimmicks.  Things like pop-up windows or
slow-loading animations irritate this group and will make them leave.
A huge plus for this group is a feature comparison chart.  They also
appreciate signing up for a newsletter that will notify them when
items are on sale.

A fancy design could put this crowd off because they don't want to pay
for *your* marketing. Bright, active colors work well. Examples of the
type of sites that might target these people are software companies,
printer ink sales, cell phones, etc.

It is easy to focus on one personality type with your design, layout
and copy, but with a little creativity you can actually build a site
that appeals to all four types.  When outlining the content for any
given page of your site, try writing a heading and a paragraph that
would appeal to each type. Better yet, try linking to a page where you
can write copy that specifically speaks to that particular personality
type.  This way, those interested can click to the exact information
they're looking for!

For more information on Myers-Briggs and the Keirsey Temperament
Sorter, you can look here: <http://keirsey.com/>.  You can find out
your own personality type here:
<http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm>.

Scottie Claiborne
Right Click Web Services
www.rightclickwebs.com

[P.S. I believe Scottie is planning to be at my Atlanta seminar in
May, and I'm sure she'll be happy to informally share her Web
marketing insights with all who attend! - J]


__________________________________________________adv.

Your site is only as good as its copywriting. You need the "write"
skills.
__________________________________________________

If your site is poorly written, your sales will be slow.  You *must*
speak to
your target audience with each and every word you write.  At the same
time, keeping your keywords featured prominently is a bit of a
juggling act.

Save $10 on the most powerful copywriting combo available today!

Step-By-Step Copywriting & Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search
Engines -
Click the "Buy Both" button:
</seo-writing.htm>.
__________________________________________________


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++Take the Pain out of Newsletter Publishing++

There are two things that are hot in Internet marketing right now.
Search engine optimization/marketing is one of them, and the other is
email newsletter publishing.  Both of these areas are big because they
give Web site owners the ability to cheaply and easily target people
who are already interested in what you have to offer.  Both forms of
Internet marketing can be used at very little cost -- IF you know what
you're doing.

You can spend the time to learn how to do these things through trial
and error just like I've done, or you can substantially cut down on
your learning curve by enrolling in a seminar that specifically shows
you everything you need to know.  My Atlanta seminar
</seminar> is a perfect choice if you're
trying to learn how to achieve high search engine rankings.  But what
if you want to learn how to run a successful email newsletter such as
the High Rankings Advisor?  I can tell you that without a doubt, this
newsletter has been *the best* form of marketing I've ever done.
Unfortunately, it's not easy to know all the ins and outs of
e-publishing when you first start.  It took me a good year or more to
learn all the "tricks of the trade."

If you've been thinking about starting an e-newsletter, or even if
you've already got one but are realizing that it's not very successful
for you, you may want to look into Debbie Weil's seminar on May 21st
in Virginia.

Debbie is the publisher of the award-winning WordBiz Report
e-newsletter and a widely-read columnist for ClickZ on e-newsletter
strategies and B2B email marketing.  Just as I "tell all" in my SEO
seminars, Debbie's planning to reveal her successful newsletter
formula in hers.

Learn more about how to take the pain out of newsletter publishing
here: <http://www.wordbiz.com/seminars.html>.  I have no affiliation
with this one, but it looks to me like it could save you the time and
aggravation I had to go through with my newsletter, and the price is
certainly right at only $199 (before May 1st).


~~~Other SEO News~~~

++Pub Conference This Weekend++

So who's going to the Pub Conference on Saturday in Boston?  I'll be
there, if I can figure out a good way to get there and back that
doesn't involve me driving under the influence!  It should definitely
be a good time.  I've never been to one of these before, but they
always sound like fun.  You can learn more and sign up here:
<http://www.pubconference.com/>.  It appears that there are still
spaces available.

See you then!


~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

That's all the biz stuff for today!  We had a nice time at the ranch
we visited this past weekend.  The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves
and got in plenty of horseback riding, swimming, miniature golf,
shuffleboard, bingo and other fun things.  The adults especially
enjoyed the free cocktail parties...

Catch you next time!

Jill

 
Email a FriendPrintRSS