Optimal iQ Blog

Posted by: Jason Smith on 12/13/2010 | 0 Comments

If I were to rank order the attention given to website marketing tasks by most companies, search engine optimization and website analytics would fall toward the bottom of the attention list.  Ironically,  almost everyone we talk to has good intentions of executing SEO and analytics reporting.  In fact, these are typically discussed with more zeal in meetings than other website marketing topics.  Why is this the case? 

Here are a few reasons to explain this phenomena and a suggested solution: 

First, many businesses don’t have a slot in their corporate structure that either SEO or analytics fall into.  These things didn’t exist five or ten years ago and still have not found a place at the table in the executive strategy meetings.

Second, they are things that happen behind the scenes.  Behind the scenes details often get cut out when budgets or timelines get squeezed.  If your CEO types in your sites URL and 10% of the pages are "Under Construction" that is bad.  If your CEO types in the url and everything looks great expect the Meta Data is not in place…she may not even know.  

Third, the pace a which many marketing departments are being asked to work doesn’t track at the same velocity as SEO and analytics.  SEO and analytics are most valuable at a methodical and steady pace of taking time to run, review, revise and test.  With tight budgets and timelines marketing departments are not often afforded the "luxury" of stopping and truly looking at the results of their work.  

Fourth, most marketing department budgets don’t have much allotted for search engine optimization or website analytics.  

So, my suggestion is to combine SEO and analytics into one job description and give a qualified individual freedom and responsibility to push forward with both.  Both SEO and website analytics require a knowledge of page structure, understanding web traffic patterns, interpretation of data and testing.  It also requires one person to bring two low profile marketing areas into plain view since that is all they will be judged on.     

Posted by: Jason Smith on 12/3/2010 | 0 Comments

One question that I get asked regularly about email marketing is "How do I use email marketing to its fullest potential without annoying my customers with too many emails?"

I decided this was a great blog topic right now as my inbox is filling up with emails from companies who want me to purchase from them for Christmas.  

Here are a few suggestions for using email marketing to its fullest without driving your customers to hit the unsubscribe button. 

1.  Make sure the messages you send are relevant.  Relevant doesn’t have to be a 20% off special.  It could be a valuable stat about the industry, a personal interest story that would resonate with your prospects, an announcement of things to come or even a request to get feedback on a topic.  

2.  If your email marketing tool has the capability you could ask your customers how often they would like to hear from you.  We have a client that sells used construction equipment; some customers want a message via email every time a new piece of used equipment becomes available and others would rather get one email with everything included at the end of the month.  It take a little more work to set up but you can satisfy both extremes in this way.  

3.  Finally, especially during the holidays you can use a traditional theme as an excuse to communicate daily.  For example, HP has created a Twelve Days of Christmas themed gift suggestion email.  They are counting down the days by revealing a different special offer for twelve days in a row.  This helps their emails stand out from the "Huge Percentage Off!" off crowd.  

As always, look at the analytics and then test, test, test.