While Alf and the team work on the new website, I decided to put in place a Search Engine Optimisation and traffic generation strategy. So I find myself now dusting off my Market Samurai license, logging back into Adwords, scouring for good content writers and beginning to have a really great time.

In the series of posts to follow, I will try to share some of my experiences and learnings. And to kick off this series on SEO, heres a list of the tools I will be using during my SEO adventure.

Getting back on the SEO Path – Some great SEO Tools | The Constructivists Speak

Creately Blog » Is your online Sales Funnel leaking

posted21/07/10

Is your online Sales Funnel leaking?

diagrams, flowchart, Marketing, sitemap, understanding users

Leaking Sales Funnel

You’ve got traffic?

We normally use funnel diagrams to understand the flow of a user through our website, to the application, and then onto the purchase pages (or not). Some great tools are out there and just last week @Indu blogged about using Funnels & Goals in Google Analytics to better understand your funnel and conversion rates.

This week, we went and applied the same to our traffic funnel in three steps.

  • Identify how our potential customers find out about Creately. The ‘trigger’ to visit the site.
  • What their motivations are. Why are they here?
  • Identify the pages they land on, and craft a message that resonates with the visitor’s intent and motivations. This will achieve lower bounce rates and far better conversions in a funnel.

Ok, again: Being relevant is key. but how do we know what’s relevant unless we know what you want?

Map it out!

It’s easier to map this out in a diagram, and here’s ours - How People Discover Creately. Some of the bounce rates are guesstimates though.

We first identified the source for them to come to Creately, then we break them down by their motivations and where they would go on the site to what landing pages.

The next phase is to make sure the landing pages speak to them well and address their questions. That’s another post for another day ;-)

Before I go back to more diagramming and numbers, do you find this approach useful? How do you look at your traffic funnel?

@Chandika

Image By: vrogy / CC3.0

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Creately Blog » Google Analytics for Small Businesses [Series 2]

posted17/07/10

Google Analytics for Small Businesses [Series 2]

google, Marketing, startup, Statistics, tips

Finally time for the next post in this series. I know its been two months since the first one, and sorry for taking this long! Better late than never, and here we go! If you’ve missed the first one on Visitors Map Overlay, stop right here, and go read it.

We’ve mentioned the importance of Map Overlay in the first post, and this time its all about Goals in Google Analytics! Lets see what Goals are, why they’re important and how we set them.

What are Goals in Google Analytics?

goals1

Goals describe the completion of a desired task that you’d like your visitors to do!

By setting up Goals in Google Analytics, you can measure how often the desired tasks are completed, and this is called the conversion rate.

Before implementing Goals, identify what your website’s objectives are, and what visitor actions they correspond to. A goal can be anything from completing a contact form for generating leads to completing a purchase for driving revenue.

For example, in Creately, one of the Goals is a visitor signing up for our online diagramming service.

There are multiple ways to define goals, and here’s a great article written by Ian Spencer that gives more tips on Goals in Google Analytics.

And now, the Goal Funnel?

Accomplishing a Goal involves a sequence of steps. The sequence that leads up to the completion of a Goal make up the Goal Funnel. For each Goal, you will need to setup a Goal Funnel and like the Goal itself, each of these steps must correspond to a measurable action on a specific page.

funnel_goal2

For example, Creately visitors go through a sequence of steps before finally performing the desired Sign Up action. Assume that you land on the Creately UML Landing page (the first step towards the Goal), where you might choose to Try Creately Now without signing up, and then from the Creately application you could opt to Sign Up ‘cos you’re convinced.

This would direct you to the Plans & Pricing page, where you’d be expected to choose a preferred plan, then click on Sign Up to make the purchase. Once you complete the purchase, you’d be sent to the Thank you page (this marks the Goal). Now, this means the desired task is performed and the Goal is accomplished.

However, on the other hand if the website visitor only goes up to the plans page, and opts to leave without signing up. Then the Goal is not met and it’s considered to be abandoned! Thus, Goals and Conversion rates are important to measure the performance of a website.

We refer to the whole sequential process as a funnel - many people start at the top and fewer end up coming out to the bottom by accomplishing the Goal.

Check out the flowchart below to see the steps that correspond to a measurable action on different pages -

funnel_flow2How to Set up Goals

Setting a goal is very simple. If you have administrative access, you can sign in to your Google Analytics. Then go to Analytics Settings and select a profile, click on edit, choose an unused goal ’slot’, and click on edit again.

You’ll need to then follow the steps and decide what your goal is and how you’ll be declaring a goal, then click to finish and you’ll start measuring the performance for your website.

Check out this video for more details on Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics

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So you’ve built a killer web application (lets call it “Killer App A”) and you’re ready to take over the world with it. Now what?

How exactly do you get the rest of this planet excited or even aware of your new whiz-bang Killer App? How do you get it out there and build an audience for your product with a bootstrapped startup’s budget?

Growing Traffic for your Web Startup

posted03/03/10

Growing Traffic for your Web Startup

Marketing, startup, tips, traffic

traffic-cars

So you’ve built a killer web application (lets call it “Killer App A”) and you’re ready to take over the world with it. Now what?

How exactly do you get the rest of this planet excited or even aware of your new whizz-bang Killer App A? How do you get it out there and build an audience for your product with a bootstrapped startup’s budget?

Just like conventional offline marketing, every startup marketer needs to understand the basic marketing tenets of Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning if you’re to succeed. Once you’ve identified your target segment and customer - you’ll need to find the best way to reach these target customers.

Unfortunately, simply knowing who your target customer is - isn’t going to be good enough because you don’t have the budget to hire marketing suits to help you reach these customers. Fortunately for all of us, the Internet today offers a host of options to get Killer App A out to the people who matter - it just takes a little work and a healthy dose of creativity to succeed.

3 Questions to ask about your target Customers?

Once you’ve identified your target customer - you’ll need to know where to find your target customer, or more specifically, where on the Internet your potential customers are spending their time and attention - so you can get “Killer App A” in front of them.

Typically you need to be able to answer the following questions about your target customers:
1) Which websites or blogs does a typical customer visit?
2) Who are the influencers or mover and shakers that your target customers are paying attention to?
3) Are there online Communities, Forums or Social Networks that your customers congregate at?

Answering these basic questions will help you formulate the most cost effective strategy for customer acquisition - allowing you to channel your limited resources towards the most relevant customer sources.

Start Here… Google Alerts

The first thing I’d recommend for anyone trying to reach their customers is to create a set of Google Alerts. Google Alerts are a great way to keep up to date with the latest on any topic on the Internet, and thats exactly what you want to do for the keywords (topics) that matter to you and your customers. You can set it up to recieve daily alerts and once you’ve found a site thats relevant - you’ll want to Engage, Engage, Engage.

Here at Creately.com - we’re interested in customers who draw technical and business diagrams - so we’ve set up Google Alerts which point us to sites, blogs and online conversations where these are being discussed.
Then we engage in the blogs and forums that discuss these topics - initially by offering to help and providing useful information and resources to gain credibility in the community. And finally introducing your product/service where appropriate (Note: Posting about your product without engagement can be counter-productive). This is a great way to reach out! Once you’re known within the community, you can also send out direct emails to bloggers requesting them to review your startup - this sure beats a standardized email from an unknown startup.

Where are your competitors reaching customers?
Another nifty trick is to set up Google Alerts for you competitor’s product or brand. If someone’s talking about your competitor on a website or blog - that probably means there’s a keen interest from the Blog’s author and readers in your particular space or product. As long as your product can add value to the discussion, there is no reason why you shouldn’t engage with this blog/site to put forward Killer App A.

Start-up Blogs

Another great source for potential customers is getting featured on one of the leading Technology blogs like TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb or Mashable. These sites can drive a lot of traffic to your website but simply relying on these tech blogs is not good enough to grow your startup’s web-presence (Read more about the Techcrunch bump here).

Here are some good tips to help you get featured.

Besides these high traffic blogs there are a host of very useful niche blogs that may be relevant to your target customer base. But, how will you find these niche blogs? Marshall Kirkpatrick (from RWW fame) has a good post on finding the right sites on his blog.

Directories (Google Loves them)

Now, just as how review sites are paramount to any startup it is equally important to get listed in Directories. DMOZ is one such prestigious directory, and so is MakeUseOf.com, and KillerStartups.com. Bookmark these URLs and read these posts for useful tips for getting Killer App A listed on them:

Good backlinks from these reputable Tech Blogs and Directories help build your business’s reach and gain credibility in a very competitive startup environment. Besides being a great way of acquiring initial traffic, these listings improve your site’s Google Page Rank by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to your pages.

Content is King

Reviews and listings will drive good traffic, but to convert the traffic into customers there’s a lot more work to be done - we’ll discuss some strategies for conversion in another post. In the meantime, you need to be constantly engaging with the communities that will drive customers your way. Write blog posts that appeal to your target customer, always using appropriate titles to capture the attention of readers. The goals of your blog posts should be to educate, inform and to generate comments.

Social Media is your Friend

You’ve written your posts and published them - now its time to make sure you get the maximum leverage from your effort. Social media plays a key role here, so make sure you have profiles on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg and loads more. Submit your blog posts with a back link to your blog or site. Remember to make your interactions with members on social networks a 2-way dialogue by answering their questions and helping the community where possible.

And Yes, at Cinergix we do a lot of hardwork to create a buzz about Creately! We aim at having as many reviews, listings and social media presence as possible. These tips may not work all the time, but keep at it and I assure you it will pay off.

Here’s a simple diagram featuring Creately’s Reviews from 10 review sites.

top-10-reviews

We hope you’ve found this post useful for your own Killer App - we’d love to hear of other innovative things you do to get your product out to the world.

@Charan & @Indu

Image by: Intherough/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Try Creately Now

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