schema.org – Markup Language Every Marketer Must Know

Google, Bing and Yahoo(duh!) finally get together and create a markup language for search engines. It is something thats been long overdue. Let’s discuss why its so important to the small business owner to take note.

  Google announced on Friday[ June 3 2011] that all 3 search engines were working together to make it easy for webmasters to classify the information on their pages.

What the information on schema.org does is to provide a clear easy way for search engines to understand (and more importantly;) categorize your information so that it can be shown correctly.

To see a full list of <a title=”schema.org classifications” href=”http://schema.org/docs/full.html” target=”_blank”>schema.org classifications</a>, go here.

Even if this makes no sense to you, you need to know of the availabilty of such classification so that the you can ask your programmer to make proper use of these tags!

Remember, the faster you move on this one, the better your results.

Happy Marketing,
Towards Greater Profits Everyday,

Deep ‘DJ’ Janardhanan
Founder, Noble River Marketing
(804) 277-9517
deep@nobleriver.com
DJ’s home page: www.nobleriver.com

If you are starting work on your site and have this incorporated, or if you have a pre-existing site, and wonder how you could backfit this into your site for better search engine results, contact us at <a title=”Noble River Marketing” href=”http://www.nobleriver.com/Services/Growth-Services.aspx” target=”_blank”>www.nobleriver.com</a>

Google Analytics Visits- A 5 minute primer

Google Analytics is a free tool available to webmasters everywhere who want to improve their web traffic stats. It helps you understand your traffic sources and user behavior. It thereby helps you increase your traffic by focussing more on what is working and reducing effort on what is not.

This article will deal with the visits tab of Google Analytics.

Unique Visits: How many people came to the website for the very first time. This shows the efficiency of any new marketing programs you have going on. When comparing over the previous periods, you can see if your new program is more effective or the previous ones.

Pageviews : How many pages in all during this period. The average pageviews is important as it shows how many pages did each user visit. If the user leaves from the same page as he visited, the bounce rate is bound to be high. This might mean that your content is not compelling enough. You might say that the user found what he was looking for and he left. This may be true if your site offers a specific solution to a specific problem(such as some coding solution sites). If the user likes the content on the entry page, he or she is bound to look for more interesting stuff in other pages. You might want to do something that will keep the user a while on your site.

While on this tab, also take a look at the browser profiles link under Visitor Segmentation. This is accessible by clicking browsers link. If you see that your users are coming from any one particular browser, you can format your content to look better in at least that one browser. For me Firefox pips Internet Explorer by 15%. Who would’ve thought?

Couple of other important points to note: Click the Flash link to see what version of Flash is installed on these browsers. Very important if you want users to see the funky flash display you have on your home page.
Screen resolutions link in Browser Profile: For me most of my users seem to be using 1200X800 resolution. The next highest is 1024×768. That means, I need to set my monitor to these resolutions before I put content out there. IF I don’t, things I see on my screen without scrolling may actually not show up on the users’ screen(unless he scrolls). Its very easy to change your resolutions setting if you are using Firefox or IE. I’ll show you how in one of the following posts.

For now, take a look at your Google Analytics account and make a note of the values above.

Happy marketing(and analysing),
To Greater Profits Everyday,

Deep ‘DJ’ Janardhanan
Founder, Noble River Marketing
(804) 277-9517
DJ@nobleriver.com

DJ’s home page: www.nobleriver.com

Certificate of Appreciation

This past weekend, my daughter attended one of her friend’s birthday party… They had lots to eat and lots to drink and played a lot of games just like any other 8 year old’s party she has attended in the past. It was great fun and she did great at darts. It was quite the same until the end.

Before she left, the birthday girl gave her a goody bag full of sweet treats. Plus, she  awarded my daughter with a “Certificate Of Appreciation” for doing great at darts! It was a paper printed in a certificate format with a picture of the beaming birthday girl. It was a very good keepsake and souvenir of the event.

Lets talk about your business!

Do you send Certificates Of Appreciation to your customers?  

How often do you appreciate the customers that choose to spend their money with you? Do you take the time to thank your customers? Do you tell them that their business means a lot to you?  Do you send them little thank you gifts in the mail?

Or do you just send freebies and other gifts to your prospects while completely ignoring existing customers?  

Do you consider retaining customers as a priority or are you only concerned with adding more people to your list?

Its been said many times before, but its worth mentioning again.

Its about 8 times more expensive to find a new customer than to get repeat business from an existing customer.

Its rather inexpensive to send a note in the mail to all your good customers. May be you could even add a discount offer in the letter.  Your customer will definitely appreciate you doing this.

Appreciating your customer properly has the highest ROI of any other marketing tool in your toolkit.  Try it and see your business explode.

Happy marketing,

Yours in greater profits everyday,

Dj.

http://nobleriver.com/Services/Growth-Services.aspx

The Johnson’s box. What is it and Where is it used?

A Johnson’s box is tool familiar to copywriters.  We use this to  effectively create initial curiosity in the letter and pull the customer in to reading the rest of the letter. 

  As opposed to other letter formats which start with an address, a Johnson’s box is a big bold box at the top of the letter set against a  dark background.

It may have different font, border colors, background colors as well as font sizes. Everything about the Johnson’s box is designed to make it stand out against the letter. It is nearly 100% sure that the reader will read the text in the box in its entirety.

When I use a Johnson’s box, I use to get an affirmation from the user and to get him agreeing with me. I also tell him to “Not Fear, since I have the solution for his problems.”

Use it wisely and the Johnson’s box can be your box of treasures!

Towards Greater Profits Daily,

Deej.

www.nobleriver.com

All Customers Are Not Treated Equal

This evening I was chatting with a friend who runs a travel web site.  He was explaining how he wanted to make changes to his web site to cater to big organizations along with his existing customer base(which was mostly individual travelers). It occurred to me that most businessmen still dont realize the importance of customer segregation.

I went on to explain to my friend how it was advantageous to have separate web sites for individual customers and organizations. The needs and ways of the two are different and you cannot do justice to either by combining the two.

The individual traveller is often a deal hunter and is geared towards cheap tickets and accommodation whereas the business is looking for convenience. The CEO who needs to travel could care less if he saved his organization $30/- by driving up to the travel agent to pick up his own tickets.

The individual often books his tickets months in advance to get cheaper rates, while the businessperson is looking for an urgent ticket to go meet his client/supplier etc.

The deals that my friend is able to offer the individual customer may not be valid for his big business client. When he sends the two to the same website, he is just asking for trouble; certainly down the line; if not now.

The marketing he does also depends on what the particular type of client is looking for; hence having a single web site is not advantageous. 

Hence, in your businesses, you must separate your customers into as many groups as may be practical. This will be based on the availability of resources to adequately service each group.

Towards Greater Profits,

Deej.

How do I find new customers to market to?

We have routine visits with our clients where we update them with what was accomplished in the previous period and what we have coming in the next. We also try to answer any questions the client has about the market, his marketing assets and their performance or planning the next strategic move.

In this context, one of the questions he asked was one of the very basic ones in marketing. Where do I find new customers to send my messages to?

Though this can be a very easy question to answer, or a tough one depending on what exactly your customer is looking for, the answer is all around you.

Just because the web has become a nice tool to market, the old ways of marketing are still going strong. Do not forget the trusty old newspaper ad, the magazine ( at least in my hometown we have scores of them) offering ad spots at very decent prices.

Then there are the collaborative mailers such as VALPAK. A few of my clients are regulars in such mailings. The returns may not be as great as some other media, but the cost for mailing is also negligible.

The lesson is this: Dont forget the old and the useful just because the shiny new thing has caught your eye!

To Ever Greater Profits ,

DJ.

Free Management Training

Starting your own business;  But dont know if you would be good at it?

Here is how you can be sure. Volunteer for a not-for-profit.

If you can get other volunteers to do what you want them to do for the organization, then you know that you are a person who can manage  employees in a business.

Volunteering also gives you the ability to understand many areas that you previously had no experience in.  You can learn about marketing, financial accounting, managing resources, customer service as well as fundraising. All very important aspects of running a business.

That your effort will help someone in need, just the cherry on the pie!

Who should you write a Sales Letter to?

When you sit down to write your sales letter, you first identify your best customer. You identify his or her age, marital status, location, income etc. Now you write the letter to him.

Wait, dont write with him in mind. Because if your customer is middle aged and carries a beer belly, he really doesnt exist. Write to the person your customer likes to be.

So write to the rugged, still young, making-the-girls-blush strapping young man who will benefit from your product. Write to the man who will without a moments notice realize that he is who your product is meant for. Write to the inner self and the outer self is pleased.

Getting your customer to be pleased with you is but the first step to making a sale.

And when you write to the man of his dreams, your customer will naturally, almost without noticing get your message and do what you ask him to do.