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"Old School" stats may not make the grade

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by mdvaden, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    This is a new thread about stats of search engines versus flyers or brochures.

    I've been writing about "optimizing" flyers, cards, signs etc.. One figure that was tossed into the arena by someone, was 2% to 3% results from flyers. That's the old-school results we were accutomed to seeing about 15 years ago, when websites were in infancy. New school results are available now, for people who are willing to couple websites with printed advertising.

    In my case, our site has over 100 pages. And almost half of them are advice related. So on my larger printed material like brochures or flyers, I start right in the beginning with our website address, and mention the advice pages for people who are weekend warrior gardeners.

    That skyrockets the retention of our flyers. We are no longer looking at 3% (alone) What happens, is that non-potential customers - the 97% - start reading our website for information, and telling their friends and family about the content (those who are not weekend warriors). Unknowingly, they begin to do our sales work for us.

    If you don't have advice content - no big deal. It may not be the way to tailor your website. But that's just one example to show how a website can be tweaked and "optimized" to change the old-school way of thinking.

    Coupons and contests for drawings can be embedded within a website, and that can be clearly shown on brochures and flyers. Someone could offer "1 month" of free mowing valued up to $120, with a drawing date 2 months away. The announcement could be put in 20,000 flyers sent to homes or inserted in newspapers. The form can be available from within the website, possibly requiring a moment of exploration.

    There are probably a dozen different things that can be invented for flyers to multiply visitors to a website. Properly designed flyers, coordinated with a clean, informative website, can start a chain reaction of referrals, clients, visitors, etc..

    Of course, you don't have to use this kind of coordination between websites and bruchures or flyers. It's just one extra option.

    But I've formed an opinion, that most websites, should include at least one premium advice page. Maybe watering tips? Suggested schedule for landscape tasks during the year? Winterizing tips, etc.

    On most SEO forums I visited, the bulk of SEO professionals kept repeating over and over again "content", "content", "content". Good content, as one of the best things to do for a website.

    And if a website truly has good content, why not put road signs to that content on printed material?
  2. ccash

    ccash Banned
    Messages: 147

    that is pretty cool info.
  3. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    I know of one lady who tried a version of this stuff, but she went about it wrong. She quit her website, but utilized the Applegate Valley business association's website, since she was the editor for the website. She put a notice on the home page, that a form for a $500 give away, was in one of the website's pages.

    At a meeting, she said that hardly anybody had submitted the forms or took an interest. Well...what else should be expected. It was mainly promoted on a brand new website in a rural valley.

    Had she been mentioning it in an advertisement, or a sign in front of there feed and garden store, the results would have been a lot better.

    But I enjoyed the concept that she attempted. That's where I learned about the idea of embedding a give away into a website. After I move to north Oregon, I'm going to try embedding a give away for 4 hours free pruning - 15 feet and under. And post the announcement on my newspaper ads and flyers.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh yes, absolutely content is trump king, you're two cards away from the top Joker with a ton of good content, you can actually peak the server's traffic limits (and crash it lol), but the content has to be good, not just any content and in that sense it helps if it's your stuff.

    The only thing that beats content is paying for traffic, and with paid traffic you have to keep it up, once you stop paying, so does the traffic. With content, it never stops, it has to be the most powerful cost-effective traffic aphrodisiac around, the equivalent of what wind does for a sail boat.

    On the note of crashing the server, I wouldn't worry too much as you'll need upwards of 200,000 data requests / month on a virtual host (and at least a million but really 10-15m for the dedicated kind), but it can and has been done, time and again, with good and useful content. Content rules, unless you don't mind paying per click (and that gets expensive fast).

    Server tweaks help some but most are beyond our scope, but standardizing the code and optimizing graphics helps considerably as well.
  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Good, I guess I won't crash my server. I'm at 900 page views per day average, so that's still under 30,000 page views per month.

    Hits are about 400,000 per month, but I don't count hits since it doesn't mean anybody clicked to see a website.

    My site traffic this year, is twice what it was a year and a half ago, though. Some pages are self-propagating now. My stats page allows me to trace them to hyperlinks where people are listing them on various forums and sites where I am not a participant.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Lol, I guess it has to do a lot with what kind of pages you have, if it's mostly static (html) that consumes a lot less resources because the server simply uploads the code straight to the visitor's browser, php / asp is a different story. Images can hog the pipe but as a rule they don't use resources other than that. As for hits, welps, a hit is a data request but I was basing those figures on my own experience and our sites must have different resource consumption ratios (and I assumed it was all the same, guess I was wrong).

    But way I did it, I just kept doing what I was doing, if you've got that much traffic then why not, nothing you can do about the server's limits because there's no telling until you start seeing more than usual downtimes... If it's a dedicated server there exist a slew of tweaks you can do, same on virtual but it's up to that admin (and usually means upgrade for you). I found once a site crashes a type of server, it's better to upgrade to the next level vs. trying to find a better host, at least that was my experience, went through several hosts before it dawned on me, could've saved myself a headache (or 4). That is, once the tweaks are about exhausted.

    As for tweaks, on virtual there's not too much beyond code and image optimization, perhaps straightening things out a bit, sometimes odd things that affect loadtimes can help, but once a site is around 90% optimized the work load increases dramatically through the next 8 or so percent and I never can get 100% anyhow... On a dedicated, well that's for those who don't mind logging in as root, there usually exist support forums for this type of tweaking, and this would be in addition to having the code and image optimization. Some of the simpler stuff would be to turn off services that are not being used / not needed, and go from there.

    Good luck, you'll be fine.

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