Archive for the ‘Chris Cardell’ Category

Pay per Click in 2009 – Chris Cardell

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Until now, I’ve actually been quite guarded in my comments about Pay per Click Advertising (Google Adwords)

(If you’re new to Pay per Click or PPC, it’s paying to appear at or near the top of Google’s listings when people search for words and phrases related to your business.)

The reason I’ve been guarded is that Pay per Click has been so successful in the accounts that I’ve worked on, I’ve hesitated in just assuming that everyone else will experience the same success. But I’ve seen a clear trend emerging over the last year that can no longer be ignored.

Virtually every business owner I meet who is defying the Recession and doing extremely well (and there are many of them) is doing PPC and has become an expert at it.

At a recent meeting of my Platinum Group in Florida (Platinum is a small group of elite business owners who I work with personally throughout the year) only one person in the room was not using PPC – and the only reason for that was, he’s doing so well he could not cope at the moment with the flood of extra customers that Adwords will bring.

So this month’s Internet Profit Strategies has a simple message but a profoundly important one.

If you’re not currently doing PPC, or you’ve tried before with no success, please make this year the year you get serious about it. It seems to be the most important development in Marketing for many decades – and for those willing to master it, it also seems to be offering the potential for stunning profits.

And the Recession offers another golden PPC opportunity. Because most business owners have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to internet marketing, many are pulling back from their online Advertising. Which means you can get better positions for less money.

There is an art and a science to PPC and this year it’s going to become an increasingly important focus in the VIP Inner Circle. I hope that by the end of the year, you will become one of the success stories and one of the increasing number of smart Entrepreneurs I meet who are using PPC to just shrug off the recession

2008 – Website Checklist – Chris Cardell

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

In the year ahead, I’m going to be keeping you continually updated on the ever changing world of Internet Marketing, to ensure that your website attracts the maximum number of visitors and converts those visitors to lifelong customers. Here’s a checklist, to make sure you’re up to speed on the Internet Marketing basics.

1 Domain Name. Do you have an easy to use domain name, ideally without hyphens and a domain that people will easily understand when they hear it as well as when they see it? If you’re uncertain about your domain name, now may be the time to change it and deal with it once and for all.

2 Are you measuring visitors to your website and the actions they take? When you set up a new website, it’s as important to have this in place as it is to have a good design. Google analytics enables you to do this free.

3 Are the titles of your pages optimized for the Search Engines? The page title is very important. HINT: If the page title is currently the name of your business, you should consider changing it to the keywords your customers use to search for your product or service.

4 Does your home page have an immediate, clear, compelling message for your visitors?

5 Is your site designed to get your visitors to take a specific action? Is this an action that you can measure (so that you can measure visitors against conversions and track the effectiveness of any changes you make.)

6 Have you tested Pay per Click Advertising? If you haven’t, make 2008 the year you become familiar with the tool that has revolutionized the world of marketing and advertising. If you’ve tried Pay per Click without success, use the seminars on the VIP Inner Circle website to improve your results.

7 Do you have an ongoing link campaign to help your free listings in the Search Engines?

8 Do you have an autoresponder, enabling you to automatically collect email addresses from your website 24/7 and send personalised email sequences to your customers?

9 Does your website have a sitemap? This will enable Google and the other search engines to register all of your pages.

10 Do you control your website designers or do they control you? As a VIP Inner Circle member you already know more about internet marketing than most web designers. Make sure you’re the one who makes the key decisions about your online strategy.

SEO Basics Part II – Chris Cardell

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

As we discussed last month, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about getting your pages ranked well and helping you profit from search engines.

SEO: -Brings traffic – this means more eyeballs on your business

-Increases visibility so you can be found

-Is usually a necessary step to marketing your business online

I’m going to take a fictional business and show you some of the basic steps to SEO, so you can do the same for your business.

Fictional business – Townsends Carpet Cleaning Service Location – Nationwide Franchise Typical Customer – Homeowner who uses the service twice a year Goal – To optimise webpages to attract more business

Website Domain – www.TownsendsCarpetCleaning.com – the domain contains the keyword ‘Carpet Cleaning’, making it easier for the search engines to find.

Keywords – Carpet cleaning, carpet cleaning service, carpet shampoo, carpet cleaning tips. After extensive research using keyword tools, these are some of the most profitable keywords for the business, ie: most likely to be used in a search. Knowing your best keywords is the essential first step to good SEO.

Page Titles -Carpet Cleaning Coupons, Carpet Cleaning for Spring. Google sorts by pages, not websites, so each page has a keyword title. This is very important as it tells the search engines what each page is about.

Metatags -Same as the keywords. These are not as important as they used to be, but they still help along with a brief description of each page.

Content – Articles, tips and testimonials about carpet cleaning, plus a FAQ. All of these contain optimised keywords that are carefully placed and balanced

Link Building – This is the big one. Google is obsessed with incoming links. This business gets good incoming links from quality sites by writing articles, commenting on forums, writing a blog, commenting on related blogs, registering with directories and using social media to promote all the above marketing efforts. Search engines reward good quality incoming links by giving the site a higher page rank.

If this seems like a lot to do – welcome to SEO – and this is just the beginning. Good SEO takes time. It’s not a race (and if you try to do it too fast, Google can penalise you.) We’ll be coming back to SEO frequently in the months ahead. For now, focus on optimising your pages for relevant keywords and building incoming links each month. Then you’ll be well on your way to increasing your search engine listing and attracting more business.

Stop Trying to Mind-Read your Customers – Chris Cardell

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

As businesses grow, a hidden menace develops.

Once a business becomes really large, the menace gets out of control and starts wreaking havoc.
The name of that menace – ‘Meetings’
I used to do a great deal of business consultancy. One of the reasons I stopped was that I could not
tolerate the long meetings that most clients insisted on having.

Most meetings in companies are a complete waste of time. Even when they’re not, 80% of what’s
discussed is irrelevant. Meetings are a highly effective way for employees to waste time – simple as that.
Anyway, of all the nonsense discussed in most business meetings, Internet Marketing has to be the favourite time waster.

Here’s how it normally goes: Someone proposes a change to the website. So a discussion (ideally a really long one) has to follow. In that discussion everyone gives their opinion on the proposed changes.
Fred thinks it’s a good idea. Sharon thinks it’s a good idea but there should be more blue on the page because that’s her favourite colour.
Steve thinks the website lacks graphics Julie thinks the whole website is too sales oriented and ‘pushy.’ (You can guarantee that Julie does not
own this business) Pete thinks the website isn’t the problem. The real problem is the lack of a corporate growth strategy.
Nobody else in the meeting really knows what a corporate growth strategy is (actually neither does Pete)
so they all agree with him.
And so it goes on…..
Now hopefully your Entrepreneurial business will never have these types of meetings – but the problem
remains. People are obsessed with trying to decide if a change to a website is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
Please don’t fall into this trap. It is a horrible waste of your time.
I promise you this: In 90% of cases, you or I or your colleagues will have absolutely no idea if a proposed website change is right or wrong. The only people who can tell you are your customers and
they will ALWAYS surprise you
.
So stop trying to mind-read what your customers will like or dislike. When I suggest a new Internet
Marketing approach to you, don’t waste a moment debating it – just TEST it. If it works, great. If it
doesn’t work, move on and immediately test something else.

I’m serious when I tell you that many corporations have MONTHS of meetings to decide on a website change. Take advantage of their incompetence. While they’re busy talking, you get Testing. The results of continually testing new online methods (many of which we cover on the VIP Inner Circle website) will almost certainly astound you.

Is your Homepage Helping or Hindering your Online Sales? – Chris Cardell

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

The homepage (front page) of your website plays a key role in your online strategy. Get it right and it will entice visitors in and encourage them to stay and build a relationship with you. Get it wrong and they will be gone forever. Here are some key homepage tips to make sure that the entrance to your site helps, rather than hinders your online performance:

1 What’s it for? Many people (particularly web designers) concentrate on the visual elements of the homepage. But before you begin playing with design, you need to be very clear what you want visitors to do when they arrive at your homepage. Do you want them to buy from you immediately, make contact with you, give you their email address or just browse your site. Whatever it is, you want your entire homepage and the words and graphics on it to lead people to your desired action.

2 What’s the Headline? The headline is the first thing that captures the visitor’s attention when they arrive on your homepage. Ideally your headline will be words – an actual headline. But if the first thing visitors see is your company logo or a huge photo of your office building, that is still the equivalent of a headline. It’s your headline that will determine whether people stay on your site or go surfing somewhere else. This is extremely important. Research shows that 50% of people leave a typical website within 8 seconds. So the first thing people see on your homepage is proportionally significantly more important than anything else.

3 Make it easy to Read It may seem obvious but many Entrepreneurs are still sabotaging their online strategy by making their pages hard to read.

As a general principle, black writing on a white background works best and you need to be very careful when veering away from that. If your page is at all hard to read, a proportion of your visitors will give up.

We end up with strange, multi coloured websites because we feel that our site needs to be different. This is a dangerous myth. Different does not sell online. There’s absolutely no need for you to be different. Go look at how pages are designed on some of the world’s most popular websites, BBC, CNN etc. They’re simple, basic and they work.

4 A Compelling Offer As you know, I’m a strong advocate for encouraging visitors to your site to sign up for some type of free information, in exchange for their contact details, primarily their email address. You need to give this serious thought when planning your homepage. It can seem counter intuitive but you may want to actively discourage people from browsing your site, because the more they browse, the more likely they are to leave without doing anything. Make sure that you have a big, bold enticing offer on your homepage that encourages people to sign up to something of value.

Why More (not Less) is More on Your Web-Pages – Chris Cardell

Monday, July 12th, 2010

If you sit down and have a conversation with your average website-designer, you’ll hear phrases like “creative design”, “eye-catching” and “state of the art”.

They’ll tell you that the use of lots of whitespace, fancy graphics, and all the latest technology is going to turn your website into a money-making machine.

They’re probably well intentioned. They probably believe this themselves. But they’re wrong.

The truth is that most web-designers are really graphic designer, often with some software-programming thrown in. Don’t get me wrong: they do an important job and they do have a place in the business world.

However, that place is not as marketers, even if that’s how they position themselves.

And you can always tell when a web-page has been designed by a web-designer and not a marketer because it looks fabulous but does nothing to move the visitor into taking any action, whether it be buying something, submitting their email address, or some other response.

Every single page on your website must have a purpose and at the end of your message, you must have a call to action. You need to be saying to the visitor, in effect, “This is what you need to do to get the benefits I’ve showed you, and I want you to do it now”

For the call to action to work, for your visitor to want to take action and get their hands on whatever you’re offering them, you’ve got to sell them on the idea. You’ve got to get as close as you can to giving them a direct experience of what you’re offering. You have to tell them everything they need to know to make that decision. You’re not going to achieve that with a couple of lines of copy and some smart graphics.

On a web-page, whether you’re doing it in writing or with a video, you’ve got to tell the whole story because you can’t know in advance what each visitor is going to want to know.

And that takes time – and more content than your average website-designer is going to be happy with. They’ll be telling you to keep it brief, spaced out, and uncluttered.

But the truth is, the more you tell, the more you’ll sell. And the real truth, which will have your web designer reeling in horror (one of my favourite activities) is that ugly web pages normally work better than smart ones.

Remember: your marketing is too important to be left in the hands of people who don’t understand it. And (unless you’re one of the fortunate ones) that probably includes your web designer.

The One Thing Every Web Page Must Have, and Almost Every Single One is Missing! – Chris Cardell

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

You might not realise it yet, but every page on your website is — or should be — a selling tool.

After all, if it’s not… why do you have it up there?

Now, you might think I’m contradicting myself here because I am so adamant about yougiving genuine value before asking for a sale; but I’m not.

The fundamental point is that every page on your website must have a purpose. And interms of your business, that purpose MUST be to move the website visitor towards the sale even if it’s not directly asking for the sale itself.

This is a really important point, because it’s so easy to miss if you’re going down the (entirely correct) route of beginning the relationship by giving and offering free information – andeducating your future customers in why they need to be doing business with you instead ofsomeone else.

So, whether you’re writing an autoresponder email, a free report, an informational page onan item, an article for article marketing, a blog post or even a humble paper newsletter… you must always have at the back of your mind the ACTION you next want the reader to take.

Remember the AIDA principle: Attention, Interest, Desire and ACTION!

And every web page page you write must have your desired action in it somewhere(sometimes this is called your Most Desired Response).

You can make it as blatant as a literal call to action (e.g. “click the button below”), orsomething more subtle (e.g. “fill out the short survey below and tell me 3 ways I can serve you better”).

But no matter what it is, EVERY page MUST have a purpose, and ultimately that purpose MUST be to drive sales.

The harsh truth is that nearly all websites have been created with not attention paid to the purpose of each page. And most web designers still regard them as ‘websites’ while smartinternet marketers look at a site as a series of pages – and each page exists for a reason.

So some ACTION for you to take that WILL impact your profits: Look at every page on yourwebsite and ask the question: “What’s the purpose of this page?” If it’s not immediately clearand if the visitor is not immediately directed to take that action, change the copy on the page immediately.

Maximising Your Pay Per Click Profits – Chris Cardell

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Last time, we looked at why Pay per Click (PPC) has been the source of Google’s Billions – and why business owners are happy to pay Google those billions, because of PPC’s ability to drive an endless stream of qualified customers to our websites. Today, some tips on maximising your campaigns, once your Pay per Click account is set up:

1 Separate Ads for your main Keywords Success with PPC is all about relevancy. The more relevant your ad is for the word/phrase the person is searching for, the more likely they are to click on your ad. Don’t make the mistake of putting dozens of keywords into one ad group (under the same ad) It’s well worth the effort of writing separate ads for each main keyword.

2 Headline You don’t have to come up with a clever headline. Jut use your keyword as the headline in the ad and it will nearly always improve your Click through Rate (CTR)

3 Split Test Ads Google lets you test two ads against each other at the same time. This is a Marketer’s dream. It means you can continually increase the number of people clicking on your ad. Test two ads, when you have a top performer, delete the under-performing ad and come up with an alternative to hopefully beat the good ad. Over time, it’s not unusual for this process to double or triple the visitors to your site.

4 Understand the Importance of Click Through Rate (CTR) Your CTR is the proportion of people who see the page who click on your ad. There are two important reasons that you want to use the strategies above to improve your Click Through Rate. The first, obvious one is that it will bring you more visitors to your site. But the second is that Google rewards you for a high CTR. Here’s how it works: The amount you are willing to pay per click is only part of what determines your position on the page. Another important element is your CTR. The higher your CTR, the higher your ad will appear on the page. Once you understand the power of this, it’s possible for your ad to appear above your competitors, even though you may be paying considerably less than they are per click.

5 Avoid Battles for First Position While the top position will generally produce more clicks than the lower positions, you should avoid costly battles for first place. It’s not worth paying £1:50 per click for first position and 100 clicks, if you can be in third position for 75p per click and get 80 clicks. Of course, you won’t know what the numbers are for your particular market until you do some testing – but as a rule it makes far more sense to bid on a wider range of keywords than battle it out for top position on just one or two.

For more information on Pay per Click, check out the three part seminar on the VIP Inner circle site at www.ChrisCardellVIP.co.uk

How To Make The Most Of Your Email List (apart from just sending more emails!) – Chris Cardell

Monday, June 28th, 2010

One of the first strategies I recommend to everyone I come into contact with is to start building a list they can begin emailing to. This usually demands a fundamental change in their initial approach to their prospects, clients, and customers.

The aim is to begin the relationship by giving – and then to maximise profits by email-marketing to them, realising our profits over time. This is in direct contrast with the traditional strategy whereby the aim is simply to make a sale right off the bat.

The question now is how do we make best use of our email list, other than simply mailing them more often (which is obvious, but still worth mentioning because it’s virtually certain you aren’t emailing YOUR list often enough).

The key is segmentation. It’s actually easier and more straightforward than it seems, but it does demand you do a little bit more work than simply writing emails and sending them.

When you send an offer to your list you’ll come to know in advance approximately what kind of response you’re going to get. That’s the whole point of doing direct response marketing in the first place.

But what’s not immediately obvious is the 80/20 rule is going to apply: over time you’re going to find the same names keep cropping up, responding to your offers.

Roughly 80% of your sales are going to come from just 20% of your list. What’s more you’re going to find a percentage of these 20% are going to be hyper-responders; that is, they’ll buy the de-luxe version of everything you sell, every time you ask.

This point is crucial: because it’s like they’re waiting to give you money but won’t do it unless you ask them to!

So your first job is to identify these people. It’s not hard and there are several ways you can do it:

Manually tick off names against shipped orders. Only really feasible for small numbers and physically-shipped items.

Use spreadsheets and do some fancy work with data sorting. This is often going to be the easiest way to do it in the short term.

Use the facilities in your email autoresponder to track clicks within the messages. This is useful when it works, but be aware the presence of these links themselves can themselves affect response. So test (as always!).

Now, assuming you have the data, what you’re looking for are those top 20% and the real cream, those incredibly profitable hyper-responders.

Once you’ve identified them, you put them into a new email list, one which you keep exclusively for these highly-profitable names, and then start marketing to it with specially designed high-price offers exclusive to that group only.

What’s more, you should tell them they’re in this special group, and why. People love to belong, and once you’ve given them an elevated status, most of them will work to keep it – by giving you even more money.

By doing this you’ll not only make maximum profits, but you’ll also gather around you a loyal group of raving “fans”.

How To Boost Your Credibility by Chris Cardell

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Your profits are tied ultimately to how much your target market trusts you – not just how much they trust you not to rip them off, but more how much they trust what you say about your experience, skills and level of service.

The trouble is, most businesses don’t actually say very much. If you look around you’ll see the same claims cropping up all the time: “we give great service”, “We won’t be beaten on price”, “the biggest selection of widgets in the town”.

All of these might be true, but there are several problems with them:

They’re profoundly boring. In the case of the second one it’s also potentially business suicide because price-wars yield nothing but severe (and self-inflicted) wounds.

They don’t give you any reason to choose one supplier over another, because…

Everyone’s saying the same thing. And not only do you get the same results if you repeat the same actions, but if you copy others’ actions you’ll get broadly the same results they do.

An easy way to break out of this “me-too” philosophy is to be very specific about your claims. Not only does it make you stand out from your competitors, but it also immediately increases your credibility and thus makes you more trustworthy.

Let’s see it in action with an example. Compare these two statements:

“We give great service”

And

“Last year, 97.21% of our patients sat down for their eye-test within 3 minutes of their appointment time. We guarantee if you’ve not been seen by your optician within 3 minutes of YOUR appointed time, your eye-test is FREE”

Or these two:

“The biggest selection of Widgets in the town”

And

“We’ve got 13,431 Widgets in 23 different sizes, 17 colours, 7 different materials… and if we don’t have what you want in stock, we’ll get it within 24 hours, delivered direct to your door, post-paid” Obviously, the second claim in each case is far more compelling than the first.

Why? Because you’re aiming to influence your customer’s brain to the point that they make the decision to buy from you. The details in the second claim are specific enough to give the person a clear picture in their mind’s eye of what you can do for them. The first claim is too fluffy. It doesn’t tick the buy box.

So get specific. It may look like just adding a few words – and it is – but they’re words that can have a dramatic impact on your sales.