24 May 2010

Web Surfing Is Stagnating in Denmark

In previous years you might have experienced a growth in traffic on your website. Hence, you are confident that the KPI concerning an increase in traffic is running according to plan. But this might be a mistake. In Denmark years of growth in traffic halted in 2009 - and it is especially the younger age groups which have reached a saturation point, according to a survey by Jon Lund.

The study shows that in Denmark the growth in the total number of pages the Danes are reading online has declined since the first quarter of 2009. In 2009 the Internet activity increased by 27 per cent but in the first quarter of this year the number of pages is declining by 1 percent. The number of visits and hours spent online are also falling.

It is particularly the younger age groups, whose online activity are declining. The older age groups continue to spend more time online, however, the increase is not as rapidly as it was among the younger age groups.

In Denmark people visit around 100,000 different websites each month. Most of them having a very limited taget group. However, the 250 largest websites experienced an increase in the total share of traffic from 51 to 66 per cent from January 2008 to 2010.

You can buy the survey at Mediawatch.

17 May 2010

5 Pitfalls of Social Media and How to Avoid Them

Before you venture aimlessly into then world of Social Media, you'd ask yourself: "Have you thought it through?" Take a look at these 5 pitfalls and learn how to avoid the most common mistakes. If you want to know how to become a Social Media Champion you can read my earlier blogpost.

1. Interact with your vistors
The secret is in the two words: Social Media. Social meaning a kind of relationship or involvement and media meaning communication. So you have to interact with your users, members or visitors. You can't leave your page empty, You have to update it regularly and update it with content the visitors can use. Don't spam them. If you do they will disappear. Before you begin make sure you know: What you want? If you just want to be with hype, you probably will fail. Make a Social Media Strategy.

2. Be honest
You can't fool your visitors. If you commit yourselves to a dialogue you have to go all the way. You can't delete entries on your blog, Facebook page etc. You are in a dialogue and you don't censor in a dialogue. But when people complain or argue on your page - at lease you know. If they complained elsewhere you wouldn't know, hence you wouldn't be able to answer. Use that opportunity. You should also write about things you rather not write about eg write on Facebook if your website is down. Then you show you are honest and people respect that. Just like you respect your friends because they are honest.

3. Let everybody work with Social Media
The use of social media should be a common mindset in the entire organization. Let customer service answer questions adressed to them, the online department answer question about the website, HR department tell about vacancies and so on. Don't let the communications department be the only one to make entries. They don't always know what to answer - and people sense that. Naturally the entries should reflect your brand.

4. Keep doing what you do

Keep updating your website, keep your search marketing on track and distribute your newsletter. Who knows how long Facebook, Twitter etc. are going to be there. Remember a few years back where the corporate blog was the answer to everything. Today, this isn't the case. Use the specific media which can be used to obtain a particular goal or purpose. And be aware that different people prefer different media.

5. Measure the effort
Be sure to set a goal. How many members/fans do you want to have? How many referres from Facebook or Twitter do you want to have? How big a drop in calls to customer service do you want? It isn't easy to measure it but it can be done. So do it.

8 May 2010

A/B Testing Is a Goldmine

You think you know which banner will perform better on your site. But how do you know? You might be an experienced e-commerce marketer or you might listen to your gut feeling but you can never be sure. Do an A/B test (also called a split test) and you know which banner will sell more and improve your conversion. And you can document it. If you can't measure it my opinion will be as valid as your.

An A/B test is a test of two different versions of a headline, caption, picture, banner etc. or even page. You start with your original content and then create alternate versions of that content. The test is over when you have a statistically valid result and the two test versions have been exposed an equally number of times in the same time period. 

Below are two examples of A/B testings I have done with quite surprising result. Hopefully, they will inspire you to do your own A/B testing and get more transactions on your website.

Banner on a product page
These two banners were tested on a product page in Denmark. The only difference between the two banners are the pictures. The first banner having a USB modem used for mobile broadband also called a dongle.

And the other banner having a girl using the USB modem.

The A/B test showed a quite surprising result. There difference in sales between the two banners were 325 per cent. 325 per cent! This means that three times as many people choose to click on one banner and bought than the other.

Banner on the front page
An A/B test with banners on the front page also showed a quite impressive result. In this case we tested two banners during a sign on bonus campaign. The first banner basically being a banner saying bonus with a smaller explanation.

The other banner having the word bonus placed in the corner and having a larger text.

The difference was again quite surprising. The difference being more than 12 per cent between the two banners. Imagine what would happen if you could increase your sales with 12 per cent. I sure you'll get a new coffee mug or a parking space closer to the entrance - or whatever you'd like. Well, ideally you should.

There is a reason why I don't tell which banner performs the better. If I told you which is the better banner you might think you know why. But we don't know why. An A/B test only shows which banner performs better but not why. That's why we have to keep on testing.

Happy testing!

1 May 2010

Dialogue with Your Customers Increases Revenue

Engage in dialogue with your customers and you will sell more. This is the conclusion in the survey: “E-commerce, trust and social networking – the case of Danish online video game stores” made by Jon Lund. In other words if you engage in dialogue on Social Media with your customer or uses social networking elements on your website, you will increase your customers' satisfaction and they will shop more often in your online shop.

Social Media and trust-scores
The survey shows that the more a company uses Social Media, like Facebook, the higher trust-scores it receives on Trustpilot.com. This suggests that Social Media is a valuable asset in the quest for satisfied customers. There seems to be a connection between trust-scores and number of orders in the online shop: the higher trust-scores, the more frequent visit to the online shop. So keep your customers happy and they will shop more.

Social Media also helps customers to express themselves to other customers - and potential customers. And if they are satisfied they will tell other customers about it. Then you have a online success.

If you want to know how to become a Social Media Champion I have written a few basis rules you have to take into consideration in an earlier blog post. It seems to be worth it!

Read an excerpt and get the whole survey.