All posts by Sam Gupta

About Sam Gupta

I am an entrepreneur and a believer of 'follow your heart' concept. I believe in truth & integrity and in doing the right thing. I believe in doing things for the greater good and in solving problems – great and small. My passion is to help businesses make the most of the web-technologies. I love helping organisations improve their revenue, save cost, automate business processes and improve productivity across the board. To discuss how your organisation can do better online, drop me a line and we can discuss over a call or a coffee. Have a great day! Sam

 

Social Media Impression vs Clicks

Don’t just buy impressions – make an impression!

Last week, a business owner who has been finding it hard to grow their business, told me that digital marketing does not work for them. When I hear people make such strong claims, I feel disappointed for two reasons – one, some digital agency did not do their job properly and two, this old established business is possibly giving business away on a silver platter to new competitors because of the lack of new opportunities.

Let’s dig on this a little deeper. In the marketing world, ‘Impressions’ basically means that your advert appeared in front of someone. Impressions have been one of the widely exploited statistics from time immemorial – be it newspapers, television or online. Just because your advert has had 20,000 impressions, doesn’t mean you actually made any impression on any of them. It doesn’t say anything about the type of audience, the effect of that impression or if it prompted anyone to take any action. It simply gives you an opportunity to put forward your message in front of someone. How to make it effective, is a much more important question.

Many people claim to know digital marketing but only a few really understand the art of making it work effectively. My advise to you is simple; focus on making an impression rather than just counting them. If you run a campaign with an objective of getting leads and you are getting the impressions but not the clicks, then you shouldn’t just assume that the medium doesn’t work for you. Take another look at your audience, your ad, your message, your landing page and your call-to-action. If your objective was to get clicks and it didn’t work as expected, there could be more than one reasons for it not working.

There has been many cases where I have taken over a campaign and it has almost doubled the conversion simply by taking a fresh look at various things. Few days ago, a client for whom we had setup an initial online campaign, which worked really well for them contacted me. After that campaign, they tried another digital agency (belonging to their friend) for 3 months, but their click-through-rate, conversion and many other statistics declined significantly as a result. They have asked me to re-look at their online marketing so that we can get them back to where they were before. I am not saying I have all the answers but we focus on continuous learning and work very hard to get results for our clients.

Getting impression may look like a simple task, but making an impression to your audience is an art. Don’t let your business suffer from growth deficiency. If you need help, feel free to claim your free discovery session with me.

 

Web design rules

9 Rules I follow when creating successful websites

 

If you are developing a new website, use these points to ensure you have a great website:

  1. Take the time to understand the business. Every business really is different. I feel it’s really important for me to decode the culture and the persona of a business before working out how we are going to represent it online.
  2. What are the short term and long term goals you want to achieve through the website and in general? Website needs to be aligned to the big picture as it is an integral part of any business.
  3. Next is products or service offerings. How they are offered online can significantly improve the chances of getting conversions.
  4. Understanding your customer is the key. Your website must be customer focused and should be able to connect itself with its audience. It doesn’t matter how good it looks to you or me. It must look good to the target audience. For this, you must take the time to dig deep into the behavioural profile of your customers.
  5. Branding comes at #5 for me. Some agencies put Branding as #1, but I need to have all above points checked-off first. Make sure the brand is represented well on the website. The website should help enhance the values and message of the brand.
  6. Now comes the design and layout. It’s not just the design that matters, it’s the User Interface & Experience that makes all the difference. The better you do at #4, the better you will do in this area. The idea is simple; even the most complex task should feel like a piece of cake to the user. Make your website super user-friendly.
  7. Once the design is done, the next focus should be on development. The small details during development can make a huge difference in the effectiveness and interactivity of the website. Good development also goes a long way in helping the website get higher Search Engine rankings as well longer shelf life.
  8. Next is content. Once all the efforts have gone into making the site, it’s the content that will prompt users to take any action on your website. From the main heading on the home page to the descriptions on the products/services or about page, good copy/content will help you jump through the hoops.
  9. Next is Call to action. Now that you have designed a user-friendly interface, you want users to interact with your website using Enquiry or Quote form or Call now or Add to Cart. Make it easy for customers to do business with you.

After 12 years and hundreds of websites later, I believe these golden rules help our clients attract, retain and convert more quality customers.

 

Online Marketing for Offline Businesses

Online marketing for offline businesses

Marketing in today’s world is confusing. There are traditional offline marketing mediums like print, TV, radio, outdoor advertisements and there are online options such as search engines, blogs and social media. Ideally, your marketing mix should have both offline and online mediums. In this article, let’s focus on the online bit and break it down into smaller chunks. Before we get down to the details, you still need to answer following questions:

Why?
Why do you want to do this digital marketing exercise? Branding? Is for any or all of the following: lead generation; sales conversion; repeat customers; new service offering or clearing stock? What are you really trying to achieve? Is that goal long term or short term? What’s the big picture look like? Be clear in about your reasoning. Some say, ‘to make more money’, well, that’s the overall result, not a clear purpose.

Who?
Who is your ideal customer? It’s a simple yet difficult question get right. Learn as much about your ideal customers as possible. Be clear about who you want to do business with.

What?
If you have answered the first two questions clearly, this will be an easy one. There are many marketing options available in the digital world. What you choose really comes down to where your ideal audience hangout for the objective you want to achieve. For example, if they are trying to find you via search engines, then you want to focus on Google SEO and SEM, if they are B2B customers, you should focus on LinkedIn or other B2B channels. You can choose a combination of channels to push your message to the right audience.

How?
Once you have decided on the channels, come-up with a series of campaigns reach your goals and allocate how much you want to spend on each one of these campaigns, how long will they go for and how will they communicate your message. You can use a combination of campaigns to complement each other. For example, if you are running a Facebook ad to promote a new product, you can use Google AdWords and online PR campaign for maximum impact. Each campaign should be designed to achieve certain objectives. More importantly, KPI’s for each campaign should be clearly defined.

Once you start a campaign, make sure you track it regularly so that you can make any necessary changes if it’s not working. Sometimes you will have to give it some time to really know the effectiveness of it. Other times, you may be able to spot the difference between various campaigns and allocate more budget to the one that’s performing better.

Just like the offline marketing, you need to try different things to see what works best for your business. Keep trying, keep experimenting, keep fine-tuning. Marketing (any kind) is one of the core functions of any growth focused organization. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just focus on the ROI.

 

Speed Optimisation

Speed kills the bottom line

Yes, speed kills – the difference is that it’s the other way around for the websites. A slow loading website is most likely reducing your conversion rate, hampering your search engine ranking and in essence affecting your business revenue and bottom line. In this article, let’s talk about the need for speed in the digital world.

1. Why is speed important? In today’s fast paced world, people just don’t like waiting for the website to load. This is specially applicable on the mobile devices. When it comes to user experience (UX), speed becomes one of the most important factors. When was the last time you waited patiently for someone else’s website to load? Page load time is one of the major factors in page abandonment. The longer the page time, the higher the bounce rate is likely to be. This will also turn into less average time spent on the website. So with lower speed, comes less customers, less average time spent on site and less conversions. Need I say more?

2. What affect does it have on SEO? Although, speed optimisation is only one of the factors affecting your ranking, I believe it’s an important one. Google, towards the end of last year, started using it’s mobile search engine as the primary index. For mobile devices, speed is very important due to the limitation of mobile network and device processing power. Now, Google’s primary index will most likely dictate the secondary/ desktop search results. This means, speed will become one of the most important ranking factors in the near future (if it’s not already the case).

3. How to optimise your website for speed? This is a topic by itself. I don’t want to get too technical on this. I will give you three tips that you can take to your web developers to help you optimise your website for speed.

  • Use Gzip compression to reduce the size of your webpage elements.
  • Make sure your website images are optimised for web to reduce the size of your webpage.
  • Where possible, use browser cache to carry the load of your webpage. (Please note, this may not suit every website. Discuss the pros and cons with your web developer first.)

In essence, what I am trying to say is; in short term speed may not be the most important factor in search engine ranking, but in long run, it could potentially become one of the most factors. Regardless of this, it can still affect your conversion rate and eventually affect the overall bottom line. The solution is simple. Keep your website light and fast.

 

Digital marketing landscape 2017

Digital marketing landscape 2017

Around 16 years ago, I gave an interview for an Assistant Marketing Manager’s job. The interviewer’s first question was, ‘Tell me, what is marketing?’. I said, ‘Well, I think everything is marketing.’ I saw a puzzled face, so I added; ‘…I believe, everything a business does, that involves the customer is actually marketing. It’s not just about branding and advertising.’ Well, he didn’t agree. Maybe he was looking for a textbook answer. Anyway, I think whenever you engage with a customer (directly or indirectly), it’s a part of marketing. It’s about educating your audience and building relationships. Digital marketing is basically marketing using digital technologies.

Next thing, what do I mean by ‘landscape’? It is important to understand what the playing field looks like, what it has to offer, what to look for and what to look-out for. You can also leverage the traditional marketing landscape that sits underneath the digital overlay. In 2016, over 85% of Australians were using Internet actively, that is about 20 out of 24 million population. We spent an average of 72 hours online in the month of November. This basically means that Australians were surfing the web for around 1.44 billion hours in a single month. Yup, that’s 1,440,000,000 hours of pure online surfing over 30 days. Canberra’s share of that would be around 22 million hours. How many of them were your potential customers?

How can your capitalize on these trends?

1. Search Engines: Google and other search engine advertisements and top rankings may seem like a pricey real estate, but it is still one of the most popular one. Use both paid and organic results to get in front of your customers.

2. Facebook: Facebook is the most popular social media website in Australia. It should be a part of your digital marketing mix. Refer to my previous article about difference between Google and Facebook advertising.

3. Website: Your website is one of the most powerful tools you have, to convey your message across to the potential customer. Be it content marketing or landing pages for your ads on Google or Facebook, a good web page can help you amplify your message and convert traffic into leads.

4. Mobile: Here is a device that is closest to your customer, pretty much all the time, even when they are on other devices. Look for creative ways to reach out to your customers via mobile.

5. Emails: Emails are still important. You just need to look for ways to make it more personal and less generic. Newsletters are boring but well personalised emails, not as much. Automate it, and you can turn them into a great relationship builder.

There is so much you can do to grow your business. I would love to hear from you, bounce some ideas around and discuss growth strategies. Give me a call or drop me an email. I wish you a very happy and digitally successful 2017.

 

 

The 7 deadly sins of SEO

The 7 deadly sins of SEO

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the science of adjusting and fine-tuning a website’s content and structure so that it can rank better on search engines for one or more keywords. The idea is simple. If your website ranks high on search engines such as Google, more people are likely to find you, contact you and eventually buy from you. So, it’s important to get this right. Yet, time and time again, I see people make silly SEO mistakes. Continue reading The 7 deadly sins of SEO