Monthly Archives: June 2013

How to Drive Traffic with Facebook Apps

The odds are fairly good that if you are a regular reader of these pages, you already have a Facebook fan page. These pages form an essential part of any business engagement strategy and should be created soon after you create your first website.

In some cases, Facebook pages are little more than fronts for the website while in other cases, smart business owners turn the pages into mini store fronts all their own. However, what many business owners don’t consider is the idea of using custom made apps to drive traffic and sales. Here’s what you need to know:

What Are Custom Facebook Apps?

Facebook is much more than just a social networking site. It is also in many ways like an operating system. It has its own applications, many hundreds of thousands of them in fact. These apps can be very simple items which allow you to import HTML into your site (as seen below) or they can also be much more complex.

For example, McDonalds has a pretty nice Facebook app which involves answering trivia questions and then getting rewarded for them. Another example I liked was an app which involves fruit picking (from a fruit juice company). These are both game type apps. However, you are not limited to such apps.

You could also create apps which are useful for retirement planning or even for doing SEO. Bottom line, apps exist for pretty much anything you can think of sand they can be extremely popular with your potential users. Now, what you are probably asking yourself is, how do I capitalize on these apps?

Use Them to Drive Traffic from Other Facebook Pages

One thing that I love about apps is that they don’t have to live only on your own Facebook page. You can also use them on other people’s pages. A great example of this is the HTML app I mentioned above. It’s available for anyone to use and it can be installed on any page. Indeed, it is installed on tens of thousands of other pages.

So how does this help you? One word: affinity. In essence, when you create an app for Facebook, you can use it to push your own products by putting in a link back to your site or your Facebook page at the bottom of the app. Then, every time someone looks at the app on another page, you get free advertising from the affinity advertising.

Use Them to Drive Traffic Directly

Of course, you are not limited to using Facebook apps to drive traffic from other people’s Facebook pages. You can also use the apps to drive traffic either to your own page or to your website. The key is to make the apps useful and interesting so that your potential customers will want to use them and even tell their friends about them.

Use Them for Likes

Another great use of Facebook apps which can drive traffic is to use them to grab likes. As you can see, the fruit picker app actually requires people to like the page before they can use the app for anything at all.

You can also require people to tell five friends about the app before they can play or offer extra incentives within the app (i.e. If it’s a game, unlocking additional levels) to get people to tell their friends which turns the app into a viral marketing thing. The possibilities are endless.

But I Don’t Know How to Write an App

If you’re like me, writing an app is probably beyond your abilities. At least, writing a compelling app anyway. I can do some basic programming but I’m not a professional Facebook programmer by any means (or to put it another way, “Damnit Jim, I’m a writer, not a programmer” — and if you’re not a Trekkie, that went right over your head).

This used to be a problem but it’s not anymore. You can easily find someone to write the app for you by using any of the many services such as Elance  or GetaCoder to do the job. Often, you can have a custom app written for as little as $50 depending on how complex the app needs to be.

Just look for people who have some kind of feedback already and always use escrow to pay your contractors. This way, if there is ever a problem, you are protected and need not worry about your programmer walking away with your money without doing the job you hire them for.

 Finding App Ideas

Okay, so now you’re all set to have an app written. One problem. What should the app actually do? The answer is really up to you. Presumably, whatever business you happen to be in, you are an expert or at least well informed on the subject. What do your customers need?

For example, if you run an SEO company, you might want to create a Facebook app which can help people to find appropriate pages to build links from on Facebook. Or if you run a website on personal finance you could create an app which allows people to calculate how long it will take them to get out of debt.

If you still can’t think of something, the very best option is to check with your customers directly. Either send out a survey to your customers asking what they’d like to see or just check on forums devoted to your niche. Either way, you’ll inevitably find some great ideas for apps.

Then, it’s simply a matter of getting the word out there so that your potential customers know that the app exists and that it’s something worthwhile. That’s of course where a good SEO company like QuantumSEO Labs comes in…we can help you get the word out there…

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Split Testing

Okay, so maybe this isn’t going to be quite everything about split testing. I mean after all, in 1,000 words, there’s only so much I can talk about. However, I think that our readers will get quite a bit out of this examination of split testing. So, let’s get started.

What Is Split Testing Anyway?

If you already know what split testing is, feel free to skip this section. You probably won’t learn anything new. In essence, split testing means testing different versions of your advertising to see which one works best.

You do it by creating multiple versions of your advertising, sometimes with a single change, sometimes with lots of changes and then randomly assigning different visitors to the different pages. You then watch which one works best and voila, you know what to use for everyone.

Of course, split testing does have limitations. For one thing, if you change more than one thing on the advertising, you will never be certain as to whether or not the majority of customers picked one or the other for specific reasons.

In addition, there is a certain amount of variation which will naturally occur regardless of which version of your advertising customers see. This means that a small difference is probably not significant.

All that being said, split testing is one of the best and easiest methods to test advertising and it can be used for almost anything, from landing pages to e-mails and even adWords advertising. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working with this method of consumer testing:

Test Your Split Test Software

The first thing you should do before you start running a split test is to test your split test software. In essence, this means that you put the same version on all pages and watch what happens. If you see a wide variation with one ‘version’ of your page, you know that there is a problem with how the split test software is displaying pages.

Be Wary of Testing More than One Thing at a Time

As I noted above, split testing works best when you test just one thing at a time. This means that you test different versions of your headlines, different page layouts and other things one at a time. Yes, it’s time consuming but if you try to test too many things at once, you’ll never be able to zero in on which change is making the biggest difference.

You Can Test Price Too

Another thing that many people don’t consider is that they can test various price points through split testing. This allows you to see which one resonates best with your target audience. Oh and remember that a lower price isn’t always going to get you more customers. Sometimes, the higher price will make customers feel more confident about what you have to offer.

You Can Test Your AdWords Positioning

Here’s another neat trick that many people don’t think of when it comes to split testing: try different AdWords positions. You may realize that you can split test different copy on AdWords for example. However, it is also possible to test positions 1, 2 and 3.Google often displays multiple ads next to search results and the first position always commands a premium in the bidding. Even if you get a percent or two less in the number of clicks, if it ends up costing you half of what it would cost for the first position then it’s probably a good deal.

Don’t Be Afraid to Test Larger Blocks of Copy

While I don’t recommend completely redoing your landing page and then running a split test between the old and new versions, there is also nothing wrong with testing more than a single word or sentence. Yes, you can test whether the button labeled “order now” as opposed to “buy now” works best.

However, you can also test whole pieces of text and see which version works best. But when you do this, keep in mind:

You Can Perform Multiple Tests

The great thing about split testing is that you can perform multiple tests. This means for example that you could identify a particular piece of copy or splash page design that works best and then you can go on to test additional items. Perhaps one small change in the new copy will make things even better.

You Can Ignore Minor Changes In Conversion

A half percentage point or even one or two percentage point differences in split testing are pretty meaningless. There is a certain amount of randomness that needs to be considered when doing split testing. Sometimes, by simple luck of the draw, one version of your advertising will do slightly better than the other one.

On the other hand, when you do see more than a percent or two difference, you can be pretty safe in assuming that the difference is statistically significant.

Of course, it also depends on how many people saw the two versions of your ads. If you had a split test with 5 people seeing one version and 5 seeing another version, it’s not necessarily conclusive because your test group was so tiny.

Test the Most Important Thing In Your Headline

Think carefully about the headlines you test. One thing that almost never works is to make long winded headlines talking about lots of different things that your product can do for your customers. Instead, pick one feature and create multiple versions of your headline based on that.Alternatively, you ht=”322″ />Alternatively, you could also test whether Apple might run a split test where they test headlines advertising the ease of use of the Macintosh as well as headlines advertising the fact that Macintosh is not as crash prone as Windows is.

Bottom line, you can pretty much split test anything and the testing should be ongoing, to continue to refine your stuff. Not to mention that there will inevitably be changes in taste as time goes on meaning that split testing is always going to be an ongoing project.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Existing Customers Happy

Happy customersOne of the things that has always mystified me about internet marketers is that they seem to think that once they have found a customer, they don’t need to do anything in order to keep them. All too often, I see people who should know better deliberately destroying their e-mail lists either because they don’t know or don’t care what it takes to retain customers.

The fact is that while many people think they should just keep pumping out new products, your existing customers are going to be your bread and butter. This does not mean by the way that you spam them endlessly with one offer after another once they’ve purchased something from you. You need to cultivate them in order to make them into lifelong customers. Here are 6 strategies that the experts use in order to keep their customers happy:

Don’t Treat Them Like Lemmings

When you have a very large mailing list, it often seems as if you can just send out an e-mail to them and walk away with a pretty decent return. Even if you just get 1% of your customers to place an order, doing that with a very large mailing list means you still make a decent amount of money.

However, a smart Internet marketer realizes that his or her mailing list is made of actual, real people. These are all individuals and they are busy and have to balance budgets just the same way you do. Why not treat them as individuals? Get to know some of the people on your mailing list and find out what it is that they want from your company. Ask questions and listen to the feedback.

Often, you’ll find that your customers will reward that kind of attention with extra purchases and with referrals to their friends. This means more money for you without having to work so hard to constantly keep your list fresh.

It also helps to provide your customers with more than a barrage of spam e-mails. Even if you never get to know the people on your list, if you send them an occasional freebie they’re more likely to think of you as someone they want to listen to in the future.

Supply Your Customers with What They Need

I’m a big advocate of not trying to recreate or Walmart. Sure you could do that but you would need millions of dollars in venture capital funding and tons of advertising to even make a dent in the business of either of these entrenched companies. That said, you can be all things to your customers in your own niche.

What I mean by this is that within whatever niche you work, you could supply all the services your customers need. If you don’t do it, someone else will. A good example of this would be SEO. Sure an SEO company could provide nothing but automated backlinks and many people do that. However, that’s a business model based on a race to the bottom.

In essence, when you are so narrowly focused and do not provide a full service shop so to speak, you are competing against others who also want to do it and who will do it cheaper just to steal market share from you.

On the other hand, an SEO company which can provide you with automated backlinks, hand made backlinks, consulting on your website and pretty much everything to do with the world of SEO can cultivate customers who get to know the people they work with and actually build a relationship.

That’s actually our approach here at QuantumSEO Labs and I believe it’s the right approach — to ensure that our customers feel they have someone to talk with instead of just paying a fee without really seeing someone reporting to them and providing them with information.

Reward Your Best Customers

Ever notice how airlines often allow their most frequent flyers to use the lounge at the airport for free? They also often give these frequent flyers free upgrades to first or business class and or other extra perks. This is in spite of the fact that the airline industry is going through all kinds of shakeups these days. 

The reason that the airlines do this for those who have their top frequent flyer accounts and not for everyone else is that they want to keep these customers happy. People who fly hundreds of thousands of miles a year often will have preferred airlines and they will try to fly with them whenever possible. A smart airline will try to cultivate these people.

You can do the same. Your best customers might rate a personal phone call to check and see how they’re doing. Or maybe even a Christmas basket or some other unexpected perk just so that they know that you appreciate them. This sort of thing goes a long way toward ensuring that your customers will remain loyal and not jump ship because someone else offered a slightly better deal.

By the way, by the same token, it’s important to ensure that those same customers will have someone to talk with if they are offered a better deal elsewhere. Customer retention is important and should be treated seriously by your company.

Be a Follow Up Type of Person

Regardless of whether a customer is brand new or one of your best, they’ll almost invariably keep coming if you go the extra mile for them. This means that if you tell them you’ll look into something for them, you actually take the time to get back to them in a timely manner.

You should also remember that if you are going to be late on supplying something the customer ordered, they need to hear from you that this is an issue. Be prepared to offer them a little something extra as a perk to make up for being late by the way.

Stop Taking Your Existing Customers for a Ride

A while back, Sprint ran a series of commercials where a school teacher would give a nice big pack of brand new crayons to a new child in the class while everyone else had to make do with broken bits of crayon. When the other kids looked at her as if she was being unfair, she explained that this child was new and they were already here.

Yes, we all know that you need to give extra incentives to your new customers in order to get them to sign up with you. You need to provide them with a freebie or some extra special deal in order to get them in the door. However, you should not completely ignore your existing customers.

Remember that your competitors are lusting after your existing customers and they want to steal them from you. What’s going to stop them from jumping ship because someone else offered them a nice perk for signing up as a new customer there?

The answer is that you also reward your existing customers. You provide these people with something extra that will make them more likely to want to stick with you so that they’re not going to bolt and head elsewhere at the first good deal. This means offering them an occasional special just for being loyal customers who have stuck with you.

Oh and don’t think that everyone is going to take the time to call and say that they’re leaving unless you give them a better deal. Often, people just take the deal offered elsewhere and then leave.

Be Unique

Your customers are much more likely to stick with you if you have something to offer them that they can’t easily find elsewhere. Maybe it’s your unique style of writing (I know several of my writing clients stick with me because they really enjoy my writing). Maybe it’s the fact that you have some special feature in your product that others don’t have. 

The important thing here is that you want to ensure that whatever it is you have for sale is not going to end up being a commodity. Once there is essentially no difference between your offerings and those of the competition, you are competing exclusively on price and there’s nothing worse than that because there will inevitably be someone willing to be cheaper than you.

This was actually the genius of Apple Inc. under Steve Jobs. Sure there are other smartphones available and PC Magazine even recently declared Samsung’s Galaxy phone as the best on the market. However, Apple continues to succeed because they have a unique offering which simply is not matched by their competition.

Bottom line, give your customers a reason to stick with you and they likely will do so. Don’t do that and watch your customer base disappear.

by EricHammer, on       25 comments