Saturday, June 20, 2009

Internet Marketing Academy - Internet Marketing for Business People

I was lucky enough to attend one of the Melbourne sessions of the Internet Marketing Academy last week. There were probably about 50 people there of varying backgrounds and degrees of expertise. No one walked out before the end of the 4 hour session so that shows you it had something for everyone!

What did I get out of it?

Well, for a start, I think these kinds of sessions are very useful for those about to plan any form on online marketing activity because of the broad overview of the whole online arena they provide. The guys from the Online Circle certainly don't push search engine marketing, or even search engine optimisation above good old fashioned marketing principles - understanding your customers and getting them to respond.

Amongst all the useful background to search engines, marketing, social media and PR and all the examples they gave of their client's experience there were probably two main things I had reinforced:

1. Users are like you and I - try to put yourself in their shoes. What would they search for to find your subject matter (what is their vernacular), what words resonate with customers about to make a purchasing decision (you'd prefer to attract people ready to buy rather than just general information seekers), how to people really interact with a website and find the material they want.

2. Don't presume to know what will work best for your visitors - you need to make an assumption and test it against another proposition to see if you can improve the appeal of each page. I'll write a bit more about this in subsequent posts. Basically this is about A/B testing key pages to get the copy, layout and atmosphere as close to perfect (as measured by customer's response) as you can. You need to keep performing these little tests on an ongoing basis to refine and improve.

In the course of the session I was also reminded of a whole number of hygiene issues that I probably haven't given enough attention to such as:
  • Making sure all variations of a websites name redirect a user (at the server) to the same page
  • Ensure your robots.txt file excludes all pages you don't want search spiders to index
  • Doing thorough keyword research and not just going for the most popular keywords
  • Setting Google Alerts for your website to monitor where it shows up online
Thanks again Jeff and Lucio and keep up the great work. They still have a number of training sessions planned for those in Victoria in August and September if you are interested.

People who read this post also read :

No comments:

Post a Comment