WEBSITE ANALYSIS WORKSHOP

When people embark on a new website project they do it for a couple of reasons. Its been a few years since their last re-development so their site is looking tired and in need of a bit of love or because its reached the end of its life, having had lots of elements bolted on over time and is now becoming cumbersome and clunky. "I know" someone says, "let's get a new website". The journey begins. 

The problem then is that the people tasked at client side with this are not usually web experts. They may have created a few sites in their time but they are not experts in user experience, persona development, analytics analysis or search engine optimisation. Its quite unfair to ask them to come up with a spec for a new site that will blow the competition away. How should they know what to specify? Sadly the answer is that in 90% of cases they don't and this will lead to one thing only – a site that doesn't perform for their business. 

In order to know what you should build you need to look at what data you have currently. How people use your site at the moment, where do you rank in search engines, where do you want to rank in search engines., who are your target audience and what makes them tick. As an agency we buy in lots of tools as well as using free ones (like Google Analytics) to measure the effectiveness of a site before looking at redesigning or building it. We ask lots of questions up front and don't resort to guess work before putting mouse to mouse mat. 

We're looking to share some of that knowledge with forward thinking businesses that want to know more about the performance of their online presence. This brings me on to our new event: Website Analysis Workshop. We want to teach and explain to organisations how to learn from their existing site, how to find out where its working and where it’s not, to find out what needs changing and why, all of which can then be used in their next website build. This event will teach you how to use the industry leading tools to find out exactly how your customers use your website and what improvements are needed. 

If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, if you want to take the next step to learning about click and heat maps, scroll depths & user journeys then you should book on today. There are limited spaces and we're keen to make this a dynamic and working session so will be looking at your sites on the day. We look forward to seeing you at Optix HQ and getting geeky with data. 

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5 things you can do as a site owner

Of all the areas covered where people can have the most impact and input, SEO is the one where time can be spent to maximum benefit.

This list contains 5 simple things you as a site owner can do yourself, to easily help your site rank well without needing a drop of technical knowledge. All it will cost is a little of your time, and you might even enjoy it!

1) Go to Yahoo Answers and answer as many simple questions as you can. Cite your website as the source.

2) Sign up to forums in your niche area. Provide information to users, be charming, answer their questions and put a link in the footer to your site.

3) Submit your site to niche directories, add your link and information to them.

4) Write, write and write some more. You are an expert in your field and the web is full of people looking for knowledge. Build it and they will come (and buy).

5) Promote that content via Social Media and by contacting people to let them know it’s there. Having good content is not enough. Make it easy for people to share this info by posting it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other platforms you use.

Conclusion

The beauty of these techniques is you do not need to be a genius programmer to take action on them. All you need is to get into gear and do them. Then you can sit back and see the rewards as your site ranks higher, your reputation becomes more credible and you increase your sales.

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PPC Advertising Services – Instant Web Advertising

Google has made itself fantastically wealthy by selling advertising space on its search engine results pages. The model for their business is basic, they have millions of users and you can put an advert in front of them at a price.

The genius of the advertising platform only becomes clear when you look a little closer. They beat the traditional marketing channels by offering you a promise; “you only pay if someone clicks on your adverts”, hence pay per click. Not only that, but they also will only show your adverts to people who are probably interested in them anyway!

Targeted Online Marketing

Gone are the days of blanket marketing where you force your message onto anyone and everyone and hope that it sticks. Now you can target, and market to, granular and specific groups of people and even then only pay if they click on your ad. Fantastic!

It isn’t only Google offering these services; everyone is in on the act. Websites like Facebook, YouTube and Bing! all sell advertising space on a pay per click basis. And you can also list your adverts on peoples who choose to show adverts for a cut of the pay per click revenue.

Measuring success

All of this information leads us onto talking about the final piece in the paid search puzzle, the tracking. In this digital age, the advertising platforms now all offer amazing levels of information about users who search. You can find out how many people found you for a particular keyword, how many went on to buy a product or fill out a form and much, much more.

This analytic data is incredibly powerful if you know how to use it. This is where Optix PPC management services come in. We can build and refine your campaigns using this information and get the most for your advertising budget. We have been creating advertising campaigns like this for years and have accredited and qualified consultants who will maximise your ROI from online advertising.

We tie Pay Per Click marketing in with a holistic online marketing approach including, social media, email marketing and more. In online advertising you can create an advertising campaign that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Contact Us to talk to our experienced and friendly team about your online marketing and website needs. We like to think we don’t have clients but rather that we have friends and business partners.

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An introduction to our Online Marketing team

Ever since our inception over ten years ago, we at Optix have sought to stand out from our competitors by bringing a business-orientated approach to everything we do.

We see our job as creating web presences for businesses that are not seen as a cost but a guaranteed investment, an investment that can be individually crafted to generate sales and brand awareness; to boost profits rather than eat into them.

If we don’t think something will be effective, we’ll show you something we think will be and always tailor our online solutions to match specific customer requirements.

We provide Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) and Email Marketing, Social Media strategies, Online PR and Conversion Optimisation on a both service only and monthly contract basis to a wide range of differing companies and organisations. It’s like having your own outsourced Online Marketing Department.

This all requires a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating technical, creative and marketing expertise, and as we thrive on establishing close relationships with our customers and don’t believe in skulking in the shadows, we thought that over the next few months we’d introduce you to our specialist teams and put faces to the names of the people behind Optix.

Our Online Marketing Team

Among those you may well find yourselves working closely with are online-marketing consultants Paul Collins and Dan Cave.

Paul and Dan work in tandem with the customer and account managers Alastair Banks, Alistair Gleave and Kristen Sousa to identify the client’s precise objectives and build online marketing strategies.

Paul joined Optix almost three years ago to develop the potential of our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) service for an increasing number of clients.

Paul now oversees all Online Marketing for Optix. In 2008, he was awarded coveted Qualified Google Advertising Professional status in recognition of his ability to use AdWords to improve conversion rates on ads while at the same time driving more targeted traffic to a website.

Dan is a new addition, having joined Optix at the beginning of the year.

An experienced Online Marketing Consultant, his many talents also include SEO and PPC, usability and A/B testing in design, ensuring sites are supported across different browsers and comply with the latest web access standards and regulations.

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Ink2Paper – A Search Engine Optimisation success story

Exeter-based Ink2Paper.com’s continued growth is based on three central tenets; unrivaled customer services, extraordinary product quality and a web presence that that is not just easy for people to navigate and use but that also keeps them engaged throughout their visit.

As an internet-based business, it goes without saying that Ink2Paper’s website is its lifeblood and principal means of creating new business, and in the summer of 2008 it invited Optix Solutions to redevelop their entire site and work on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

In essence SEO means enabling a company to squeeze every last possible benefit out of their web presence, adjusting and optimizing a site so it is search engine-friendly as possible.

Making sure the content of the site is both targeted and relevant increases the number of visitors who end up clicking the ‘confirm payment’ option.

SEO is a multi-disciplinary process and includes: data analysis, making refinements and adjustments to the site geography and content, introducing new technology, developing online marketing strategies, building databases and reawakening leads.

Ink2Paper and Optix both understand that simply increasing the number of visitors to a site is only the beginning; it is what they do once they are there that really counts. That’s why the new site was designed specifically to make the most of every new potential new lead.

Among the improvements introduced were:

  • A simplified, easy to follow four-step checkout process and built in discount and promotion facilities tailored specifically to appeal to individual customers.
  • A blog that keeps visitors up to date with what is going on at the company and highlights new products and services while encouraging them to give direct feedback on their experiences as a customer

The results were that:

  • Sales have grown by almost 40% year on year
  • Visits in the six months between July 2009 and December 2009 were up nine percent when compared with July 2008 to December 2008
  • Over the same period, the number of pages viewed – that visitors actually spent time on – jumped by no less that 75.81%, representing an average growth of 60.81% in pages viewed
  • The bounce rate – the number of people who left the site shortly after arrival – fell by 19.66%, with the average visitor spending 19% more time on the site than previously.

The results are proof positive that effective, intelligently targeted SEO really does work, helping to retain existing clients while generating new business.

For more information on how we can help you achieve similar success, call us today on 01392 667766.

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Conversion Optimisation

Conversion Optimisation

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the goal of all e-commerce professionals and their clients, and the latest online market figures make it easy to understand just why.

2008 saw a single year increase in online sales of 16% across the market. Since 2000, Internet sales have risen by 3,500% to £42bn and it’s expected that by 2010 this figure will have climbed to a staggering £72bn.

However, this is about more than an increased willingness to buy online. It marks a seismic shift in consumer habits on the back of an ever more sophisticated online culture. Our confidence in, and dependence on, online technologies, from desktop computers to mobiles and handhelds, is greater than it has ever been before.

You should never assume your site is generating all the sales it can just because it looks good and everything works. All its elements must interconnect smoothly and effectively and this needs to be regularly put to the test. The mantra should be; measure, analyse and build.

The Optix team’s innovative CRO consultancy service can help you do just that. We believe CRO is best achieved by a constant process of site-wide performance analysis, not just confined to the final sales process itself.

One of the keys to CRO is to make your online store ‘intelligent’. There are an ever increasing number of excellent analytic tools that can provide data and insights on customer habits. With Optix’s analytics we can review the performance and effectiveness of your site, including the online store, and highlight weaknesses to be corrected and strengths that can be built on as part of ongoing optimisation strategies.

This regular reviewing of the journey between an initial visit and a completed sale yields insights into a wide range of information about your customers such as where they came from, their likes and dislikes and ultimately what their experience of engaging with your business online is like.

A truly customer-driven site is vital in building brand loyalty and staying ahead of the competition. The bottom line is that those who engage in the changing dynamics of selling online will generate more revenue than those who do not.

In a large competitive market, just a fractional increase in market share can represent a significant boost to profits.

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P2P – The New Way to do Business

The impact of social media and social networking has gone far beyond enabling individuals to share information quickly and easily with friends and colleagues.

Social Media is having a fundamental influence on the way new and forward-thinking companies actually find and conduct business. After Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Company (B2C), we now have a new business culture emerging, Person to Person or (P2P).

In a nutshell, a P2P business is one that embeds social media (social networking, blogs etc..) at the heart of its internal and external activity. Using and participating in social media enables far closer engagement with clients and partners and can revolutionize the way a business promotes its brand in a rapidly-evolving online market place.

P2P business is not just another piece of corporate jargon. Its principles of using social media to promote greater communication and dialogue, and so understanding, across traditional boundaries are simple and make perfect sense.

Firstly, the new technology allows businesses to establish a far more dynamic and visible presence online. It enables them to engage in an ongoing conversation with customers or potential customers to find out what they actually want and what they are talking about.

The early stages of this business culture shift are already apparent. How much more dynamic, for instance, to learn about a new product or service by watching a video demonstration on YouTube (with a link to the company website, of course) than reading reams of text beside a static picture?

Google increasingly now includes links to the latest Tweets directly relating to its search results.

P2P is about being proactive rather than creating a brand and presence and then sitting back and waiting for things to happen. Social media dialogue can throw up new sales leads and opportunities for partnerships and collaborations that traditional business models and structures are often too cumbersome to identify.

Optix’s social media consultancy service is geared up to helping customers understand how they can best exploit the power of social networking and apply it to improve sales and marketing.

We can customise your website to support the likes of Twitter and Facebook and show you how to establish a presence beyond your own website and on other sites and browsers.

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Site developed for: Just Another Baby

If doing business online was as simple as putting up a nifty looking website and an online shop then we would all be dotcom millionaires.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple, as many businesses, especially in highly competitive marketplaces, have discovered to their cost.

Intelligent online marketing focuses not just on providing product information and the means to buy, but building the sort of relationship with existing and potential customers that creates brand loyalty and leads to that almost priceless commodity – an ever growing word of mouth following.

Just Another Baby started last year as a company run by parents for parents. Its founders wanted to start a business that offered the highest quality products, both old favourites and latest innovations, that take the stress out of parenting and leave mums and dads free to enjoy the rewards of family life.

Optix Solutions were brought in by Just Another Baby to work on two fronts. The first, and key to any online-based business, is an easy to navigate and fully comprehensive online store to meet all their customers’ needs.

But there is no reason for the business to sit on its hands while the ecommerce side of the site is being built and fine tuned, so Optix have also created what is known as a ‘buzz’ site to maximise awareness of the Just Another Baby brand in the meantime.

As its name suggests, the site is specifically designed to create interest around the new business.

It is crammed with news and information on new products and latest company developments, features regular blogs and polls to keep site visitors engaged and actively encourages existing and new customers to keep up with, and spread the word on, the company through Facebook and Twitter.

“The buzz site has really helped us to make sure we get it right by asking our customers to get involved and let us know what they think about what we are doing. Its helping us spread the word on the company, our products and our commitment and values,” says John Williams, Director of Just Another Baby.

Fellow Director Rob Pascoe, added: “We’ve been working really hard with Optix setting up our new online shop and getting it just right, where you will be able to buy quality baby essentials and browse our great selection of hassle-free parenting products and it’s looking great.”

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