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5 Sales Mistakes to Avoid in the New Digital Environment

Now that everything and everyone is online, we live in a world of information overload. Getting people’s attention is harder than ever. With so much access to choice and knowledge, customers are taking their purchase journey online, where the influence of salespeople matters less and less.

The good news is there’s still a way to sell online. It takes a new approach and great tact. The online environment has a short attention span but a long memory, so making certain mistakes will cost you dearly. Make sure you avoid these five selling mistakes:

1. Regurgitating obvious information – Before we all went online, prospects needed someone to explain products or services. Now they can find this information online by themselves. Salespeople have to provide something more, giving new insight that sparks that Aha! moment in a prospect’s mind. That’s the best way to avoid being seen as just an opportunist, an order-taker, or entirely unnecessary to the buying process.

2. Looking for leads behind a door – We still need to go where the customers are. But gone are the days of knocking on a door and being welcomed for your information. Same with cold calls. Customers are not waiting for the phone to ring. They’re online, doing their own searches and spending time on social media. To nurture prospects as response rates dwindle, forget doors and phones — and head online. It’s a different allocation of time and energy, but vital to selling in the digital arena.

3. Using an antique selling model – The traditional purchase funnel is 120 years old. It was widest on top to fit in an enormous volume of prospects, tapered down through the attention phase, and then out popped enough sales to make the effort worthwhile. The digital sales funnel is altogether different. It’s not funnel-shaped, but widest in the middle. Attention is today’s rare commodity, so the longer we can contain it, with insights and other added value, the better the chance of influencing people’s buying decisions.

Waiting for face-to-face to build a reputation – Time together in a room is unlikely with everyone online, but we all get to be media personalities. No one waits for an introduction to check someone out, and opinions are formed quickly. Salespeople should craft their own online reputation, connecting with influencers by interviewing them, collaborating on a joint webinar or trading guest posts on each others’ blogs. Testimonials and online feedback from satisfied customers are great ways to build credibility, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Producing meaningless content – What makes a platform compelling is its content. Given shorter attention spans and abundant information, content must provide value. No one is going to stay online staring at a “Buy Now!” button for long. Salespeople need to understand what will reach their prospects. What material will engage people and lead them to a purchase? It should be visually appealing, and speak powerfully to a customer’s core buying motivations. Otherwise, you’re a step away from obsolescence, as attention jumps to a more captivating channel.

Selling online takes time, but it’s time spent differently. There are terrific tools, apps and platforms to help — and salespeople should take full advantage. There are apps to manage a social media presence and create content, and tools for monitoring attention and online effectiveness. The digital selling arena is an entirely new environment, filled with opportunity — as long as you can make the most of it.


Reproduced here for Toucan Internet’s readership with the kind permission of the author Grant Leboff

Grant Leboff is a leading expert on digital marketing. Based in the UK, he is the founder of Sticky Marketing Club Ltd., a strategic global consultancy that is transforming how we sell in the digital environment.

Your New Website – Have you failed at the last hurdle?

search engine marketing

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools – Job Done!

No, more like Journey Started to greater ROI.

During the build of your site, you’d have commissioned a design that was in line with your brand and visual identity, you’d have research the most effective keywords used for your market and then worked with the SEO team and the copywriter to maximise the search engine results, then you’ll have launched the site, normally to a fanfare and great accolades.

The final hurdle is seeing how it fares out in the big wide world as despite doing everything according to the rule book there are still pot holes to avoid. Avoid these and turn your great website into a star performer.

“You really don’t want to be scratching your heads in six months from the website launch
wondering why it’s not performing and regretting the investment.”

Consider:

  • Spotting and disavowing toxic backlinks that will damage your site’s reputation
  • Mapping missing landing pages from valuable legacy backlinks to new pages
  • Spotting and correcting tags and titles with insufficient or poor content
  • Correcting blacklisting by association with a tainted server
  • Correcting missing or incorrect site maps
  • Removing false Google reporting due to bots
  • Advising Google of remedial work on items completed that it flagged up as needing attention
  • Spotting trends in:
    • Falling Smartphone audiences
    • Poor social media engagements once on the site is published
    • Backlinking sites
    • Internal cross linking on new pages
  • Search terms that are performing well and those missing the mark so you can apply more suitable content and pages
  • Security issues
  • Changes in Google’s SERP’s algorithm – playing fair and by the rules is important!

“playing fair and by the rules is important!”

There’s a raft of checks and feedback to be done periodically to make sure you’re getting the best from your investment. This analytical work is not normally the domain of your marketing company, they normally do a great job with content provision, and inbound marketing with blog articles and social media strategy, but do not major on the mechanics that underpin the entire site.

Google Analytics example

Universal Analytics example

The above are just a few of the many review items website owners who are earnest about being the best that they can be online should be actively monitoring and acting upon. Post launch of your website, just one or two of these items can seriously impair a website’s performance. It’s such a shame to see website failure or significant underperformance when such blocking errors are not spotted and the owners are unaware of how much they could get from their investment.

“be the best that you can be online”

The business message here is find someone to look after the health of your website and manage its performance.


About the Author

Simon Thomas is the lead partner at Toucan Internet LLP who have provided progressive web development and online marketing resources to clients since 1997. Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

 

Search Engine Marketing

Fundamental health check and opportunity spotting for your website

Introduction

Keywords

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools; it is now ready to be promoted.

This doesn’t necessarily mean engaging a dedicated search engine optimisation and marketing team, though the results from such programs are normally very effective. It does mean making certain that the world is accepting your new web site as you expected and making sure that nothing that could impede its success remains undiscovered.

“We really don’t want to be scratching our heads in six months from the launch wondering why it’s not performing and regretting the investment.”

You want to be celebrating the website meeting the objectives you set for it.

Don’t for one minute think that building a great website with quality content will work on its own. Your website is part of a bigger marketing ecosystem and needs to be linked in accordingly; linking typically with Social Media programs, the wider marketing activities of the enterprise, the blog, the traditional marketing, your legacy backlinks etc.

It’s at this stage where so many websites of great potential fail as there is a need to watch how a website is accepted or not by the search engines and optimise accordingly.

The Search Engine Marketing (SEM) performed by Toucan Internet is a mix of promotion, monitoring and feedback. The feedback is provided to you with the sole objective of improving your website performance and is focussed on specific outbound and inbound improvements in line with your performance goals.

We provide feedback in the form of basic reports and a commentary that you can act upon as you feel appropriate. It does give you the professional test and monitoring essential to any business activity where performance is critical. Search Engine Optimisation and SEM are essential and inseparable partners, each one feeding the other in a loop of continuous improvement.

Promote, Monitor and Feedback

www.ebusiness-cards.co.uk

Our mission is to see our clients get greater results and we promote to the search engines (SE) and directories in a number of ways. Since Google is the prime referrer nationally and internationally for b2b and b2c, this search engine is the prime focus of activity as it will return the highest rewards once successful. Google performance and feedback is reviewed manually every session in some depth. You will be asked to include a Google verification code in your website so we can gain access to Google’s valuable activity and performance data held for your website in their webmaster section. We will also need you to add a Google tracking code so we can access the visitor data captured by them and therefore provide qualified feedback.

We promote to the prime SE’s manually and the rest using automatic submission software.  We manually verify your listing on Google, Yahoo UK, Bing and DMOZ – The Open Directory Project.

We manually submit the site to local and individual referrers such as UFindUs and Hotfrog and subsequently check for a positive listing.

Once the promotion is complete, reports are compiled including one for all the automatic submissions and a more detailed one for the manual SE including a comprehensive analysis of Google’s take on your site.

We analyse these results in line with your goals and will feed back our recommendations. The recommendations should be considered for your SEO activities and will likely involve updates to the website so the site will play a stronger hand to the search engines, particularly Google.

The Typical Routine
For most clients we perform this comprehensive SEM routine on a cyclical basis with most clients having such a review every three months

After the first registration session the next recommended session is at the six-week point and then three monthly thereafter. This programme can be tailored to specific needs.

After each session you will receive submission and analysis reports. After the second session the results will normally start to appear and we can see clear indicators as to how to improve the results, if need be.

Whilst there is no firm guarantee of a search engine position without paying for it by a Pay Per Click campaign (PPC), Toucan does gain good results for its clients who understand that we have to work together to get the results over a period of time. We will of course also help you establish PPC campaigns if required.

Our Promise

  • We agree the goals for the website in the form of key terms & phrases under which the site is to be found in line with your website optimisation
  • We manually promote to the key search engines and monitor accordingly
  • We manually monitor in-depth Google activity
  • We manually promote to emerging directories and local search type websites
  • We provide a report of manual monitoring and promotional activity
  • We provide an online report of automatic submissions with history
  • We provide you an online Ranking report for Key engines and with history and graphs for multiple key terms
  • We provide you a list of recommendations in summary for future SEO of the site

As Toucan needs to keep up to date with the ever changing requirements of SEO and SEM this programme is subject to change as new practices, search tools and requirements evolve.

If you have any special requirements or would like to discuss these programmes in more detail, please contact us at:

Toucan Internet LLP

t: 01279 871 694

e: info@toucanweb.co.uk