Stop Wasting Money! 10 Ways Not to be a Dumbass

I read an interesting article the other day which discussed the importance of targeting and bounce rates and it got me to thinking about the clients that I have had, past and present and the buckets of money I have seen thrown away. So, I decided to put a list together of 10 ways you or your client may be wasting money they could be paying you:

  1. Stop sending paid traffic to your home!
    1. Your homepage is rarely the page your potential customers are looking for. If I am searching for buy sony flatscreen 1080p PLEASE send me to a page with sony flat screen tvs on it!
    2. Check your homepages bounce rate. It is 60% than you should only be sending people searching for to that page otherwise, you are throwing at least 60% of your money away. Why do I say at least? Because if you are sending all your paid traffic to your homepage than you probably havent optimized your paid search ads and are just looking for a high click through rate.
  2. Stop duplicating terms in your paid search accounts
    1. It never ceases to amaze me when clients are using the same keyword in multiple ad groups with the same geo-targeting and timing. Dont do this
  3. Have goals for your website
    1. Set goals for your website. I want to make money. Isnt a sufficient goal. Come up with trackable metrics to get you there so you can optimize your website to eventually make you some more money.
    2. Publishing sites – # of page views, repeat visitors, high CPM.
    3. Ecommerce lifetime value
    4. Lead-gen sites are a monster in and of themselves. If you generate leads so that they become sales then focusing on the lead only is going to inhibit you from making money. Remember, unless you are selling leads, they don t make you any money until they become a sale.
  4. Dont cut the long-tail
    1. If you arent tracking performance over-time, you are probably missing all of your long-tail terms. Dont cut terms that are attracting people in the educational phase of the sales-cycle. If you market to them differently you can increase your conversion rate over time. Dont cut them just because these phrases take a little longer to convert – MARKET TO THEM DIFFERENTLY. These are long sales cycle leads
  5. Use negative keywords in your paid search campaignsforexslut-300x122-9678855-1808475
    1. This may sound basic, but if you arent using negative keywords than you are paying for traffic that will NEVER make you a dollar, pound or euro. If you have paid-search clients or use paid search and using mostly broad match than you really need to spend some time investigating exactly what terms are being clicked on.
  6. Learn what terms lead to conversion and optimize your site accordingly
    1. Welcome to the beauty of the internet and web analytics. You can actually tell how people get to your site, what they do there and if they are making you money. Its brilliant. So why are you optimizing your site based on what you think will work well?
  7. Stop making creative decisions based on what your boss thinks is a good idea.
    1. See point 6. We have the ability to test and optimize, which means we can run multiple ad creatives (banner and search) and see what drives the greatest revenue rather than based on the CxOs affinity to the color blue. Back your decisions with data
  8. Test, test, test and SPLIT TEST!
    1. See point 7. Products like Google website optimizer and Omnitures Test and Target (formerly Offermatica) can optimize your landing pages based on conversions. There is no excuse for not testing your landing pages and assuming that your designers first try is always correct. In all likelihood it is not optimal and assuming it is will make an ass out you but not me because Im split testing
  9. Track how changes to your website affect your bottom line
    1. If designers, programmers, your kids or whomever are making website changes that affect your business especially your homepage you should be recording that this is being done and how this is affecting organic placement and conversions. If there is no tracking there is no accountability.
  10. Know what your users are clicking on
    1. Heatmaps and click analysis tools, like Crazy Egg are great at letting you know what your users are clicking on and responding to. Using this information to optimize page layout should help you to make the most of the traffic that you have.

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