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SEO Website Audit

High Rankings Advisor: SEO Client Expectations - Issue No. 140

May 25, 2005
~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->   SEO Client Expectations

*This Week's Sponsors:
---->   Dan Thies' SEM Kit
---->   SEO Copywriting Combo

*Guest Article:
---->   7 Tips for Converting Search Engine Traffic

*Stuff You Might Like:
---->   Eyeballs: The Now & Future of Search
---->   Copywriting for Your Website

*High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week:
---->   Buying a Dmoz-listed Domain from an Owner

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   Freezing in Mass.
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey everyone!  I've got a couple of new articles for you today.  The
first is one I wrote based on some client questions I recently
received, and the second is a guest article on converting your website
traffic into sales.

Let's get straight to the good stuff! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

++SEO Client Expectations++

The other day a new client of mine wrote to say how busy they were,
and although they wanted to proceed with an SEO campaign, they weren't
sure how much time they could personally invest in it.  They asked me
to spell out what we'd be expecting from them and how much time it
might take.  This client knew that a professional SEO campaign is a
team effort and wanted to be sure that they would be able to do their
part.

It was really a great question to ask.

Many clients never think about that aspect until the campaign has
already been kicked off and we start nagging them for things we'll
need to get started.  For instance, there's some essential information
that needs to be provided by the company before any SEO work can get
off the ground. This includes target audience information, keyword
phrase ideas, recent statistics and reports, and info regarding the
overall goals of the campaign.  It also helps to be provided with an
overview of any SEO work that may have been previously been done to
the site.

Once the campaign gets underway, there is some additional client
involvement needed.  For example, during the keyword research phase,
the client will need to review the keyword lists and remove irrelevant
phrases, then order the relevant ones in terms of importance to their
business.  It's critical to have the client involved in this phase,
because as much as we know the SEO side of things, the client will
always know their business better than we could.

We'd also need to run any copyediting and/or copywriting by the client
for their approval. Once these are approved, and HTML tags are
created, we'd need someone to create the HTML files or templates, and
then upload them to the client's server.  This normally falls under
their Webmaster's jurisdiction, as many clients don't like to provide
full server access to anyone outside of their company.

The bottom line is that in the end, it is the client's site, and
therefore it's imperative to keep the lines of communication open at
all times -- especially where changes are being made to the visible
content on the site.  At the beginning of any project, there will
generally be more client involvement necessary than later on in the
game.  Once things kick into high gear, the approval process should be
much easier and less time-consuming.

In addition, we've found that clients appreciate it when we provide
them with our info in manageable chunks, instead of a ton of stuff to
approve at once.  It also helps to have one point of contact and a
smart Webmaster on the client's side who can quickly and easily make
the recommended changes.

This info should help both SEOs and potential SEO clients understand
what might be expected of them during the SEO process.  Getting it out
in the open before a contract is signed, and in fact, adding it to all
proposals, should avoid many problems and lag time once the campaign
begins.

Jill


(P.S. If you'd like to republish the above article, please email me
your request and where it will reside, and I'll send you a short bio
you can use with it for your site.)


_________SEM Kit For Search Engine Marketers____________adv.

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__________________________________________________

Dan Thies' new SEM Kit from SitePoint provides you with a book &
CD-ROM that includes a client-management form, SEM sales
presentation, SEM process flowchart, keyword-research worksheet,
sample agreement, proposal, pricing calculator and a whole lot more.

And that's just the CD! The book is chock-full of SEO/SEM strategies.

Order now for $197.00 with free shipping for a limited time.
__________________________________________________


~~~Guest Article~~~

++7 Tips for Converting Search Engine Traffic++

Today's guest article was written by Bryan Eisenberg, the co-founder
of Future Now, Inc., a marketing boutique focused on improving
conversion rates. He is a regular speaker at Search Engine Strategies,
a writer for ClickZ, and the publisher of the GrokDotCom newsletter.
Bryan is also the author of "Persuasive Online Copywriting," and his latest top-selling
release is "Call to Action."  (Those are my Amazon affiliate links.)

Welcome Bryan! - Jill

7 Tips for Converting Search Engine Traffic
By Bryan Eisenberg

Search engine marketing is like inviting folks to play a game of
catch.  You put the ball in motion with a relevant strategy that
motivates folks to click through to your Web site.  Your visitors'
click-throughs mean they're taking up the game and throwing the ball
back to you.  The last thing you want to do is drop the ball!

So what do you do after you've fueled your audience's propensity to
buy?  How do you sustain and build upon the momentum that brought
those visitors to you in the first place?  Here are seven tactics
culled from "Call to Action," our new anthology on conversion-rate
marketing, that will help you keep the ball in play.

Make Sure the Link Will Work

A no-brainer, you say?  It's amazing how many times the link for a
pay-per-click or search engine result doesn't go through.  The
enthusiastic person clicking on the link gets a big error message
proclaiming the connection couldn't be made or the site couldn't be
located.  That person doesn't understand what goes on behind the
scenes; she just knows the business behind that link isn't reliably
available to her.  So she decides to go play catch with someone else.
You're stuck with the ball and wasted marketing expenses.

Show Them the Bathroom Door

In one of the many industry specialist contributions to our book,
Tamara Adlin pleads, "For heaven's sake, let them pee!"  Imagine your
visitors desperately need to use the facilities.  You've been there,
right?  How interested in distractions are you when this sort of
urgency rules?  Now, apply this perspective to your SEM scenarios.
The very first thing you do is show those goal-driven folks the
bathroom door.  Don't make them find it from your home page; put the
doorknob in their hands!

Create Specific Landing Pages

Don't adopt a one-size-fits-all approach for directing traffic to your
site.  Creating specific landing pages that address the implicit
promise and sustain the message of your SEM link is mandatory.

Keywords Must Rule

The very words your audience types into the search engine must also be
the words that appear in the message on your landing pages.  This not
only improves your ranking in the search engines, it satisfies your
visitors and validates their action.  The most effective and
persuasive ways to use keywords is to place them in your
call-to-action and points-of-resolution hyperlinks.

Reinforce and Expand on Your Value Proposition

Even after the first back and forth of catch, your visitors are still
not fully committed to the game.  The page to which you take them must
reinforce the value proposition of the link that brought them there.
And it must take the next step as well:  expand on the value
proposition, develop rapport appropriate to the exchange, build
confidence, and offer an opportunity to further qualify their needs.

Provide Assurances

We call them Point of Action Assurances.  These little phrases are
invaluable to persuading action:  We value your privacy; Shop with
confidence; You can always remove it later; Exchanges are easy.  It
isn't enough that you express these somewhere on your site.  They must
appear in the places where visitors are going to take the action.  Ask
yourself what reassurances your visitors might need when they arrive
on your SEM landing page, then reassure away!

Be Available

Post offline contact options for your visitors -- make sure those
landing pages offer your visitors a toll-free phone number through
which they can reach you.  Consider it your anti-bail lifeline.  And
if you'd like to track the effectiveness of the offline option, make
it a discrete number associated only with the landing page or
marketing campaign.

Search engine marketing is an excellent way to direct qualified
traffic to your site, but it fulfills its promise only when your site
is able to convert the people who come.  They're there to play ball
with you.  Are you prepared to orchestrate a satisfying game of catch?

Bryan Eisenberg
Future Now, Inc.



_________Powerful SEO Copywriting Combo______________

Your site's only as good as its writing. 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!

Karon Thackston's Step-By-Step Copywriting Course & Jill Whalen's
Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines
.
__________________________________________________


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++Eyeballs: The Now & Future of Search++

On June 16th, 2005 from 6:30-9:00 PM I'll be moderating an event for
the Boston Interactive Media Association (BIMA) entitled "Eyeballs:
The Now & Future of Search."

Discussion will include:

    * Aligning organic and PPC searches
    * MSN advanced search - Is it real?
    * New niche engines and dynamically adjustable results pages
    * Click fraud - Is it a real problem or self-regulating?
    * International search - Is it manageable on a large scale?
    * RSS and social sharing - Does it have an impact on search and
consumer behavior?

This will be a dynamic event and active audience participation is
desired, so come armed with your ideas, questions, and reservations
about SEM now and in the future.

For more information, please visit the BIMA site here:
<http://www.bima.org/events/index.cfm?ART=38>.


++Copywriting for Your Website++

Karon and I had a lot of fun with our online radio interview last
week. If you missed it live, you can still hear it in the archives
here: <http://www.worldtalkradio.com/archive.asp?aid=3885>.


~~~High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week~~~

++Buying a Dmoz-listed Domain from an Owner++

Frustrated with not getting listed in DMOZ, forum member Opcis asks
the forum if it might be worthwhile for him to purchase a site that is
in the category he was hoping to be listed in.  See what the High
Rankings forum members tell him here:
</forum/index.php?showtopic=14421>.



~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

That's about it for today!

School is winding down, but it doesn't feel like it with the miserably
cold weather we've been having here.  At least it keeps the kids'
minds focused on their work instead of dreaming about being outside.
And I sure don't mind working when it's this icky out.  No spring
fever in these parts this year.  Of course, as usual, I imagine we'll
just go straight to summer all of a sudden one day. Let's just hope
it's sooner, rather than later.

Catch you in a few...
 
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