10 Things Online
Marketers Should Consider for First Quarter 2008--Lisa Wehr, CEO and founder of Oneupweb
Oneupweb recently polled our people on the front
lines -- our project managers and their team leaders
-- to see where they will be helping clients focus
their attention during the first quarter of 2008.
We've assembled their results and organized them
into a Top 10 list that should prove helpful to any
1. Test your ads
Testing ad creative and placement is vital to your
ongoing success. Here's what needs to be done:
• Conduct focus groups and A/B testing of your ad
• Try freshening existing copy, changing headlines
and text. Then test.
• Try using short sentences and more keywords, and
2. Track offline conversions
The first quarter is a perfect time to re-examine
offline sales promotions with an online connection,
developing meaningful metrics that can lead to
greater integration and better overall sales and
• Collect online-generated sales data from call
centers and brick-and-mortar locations.
• Offer extra incentives for buyers who come from
the Web, and measure the results.
3. Add social media
In a few short months, social media marketing has
gone from a viral curiosity to a competitive
necessity. The first quarter is a good time to
develop or upgrade your social media marketing
strategy. Try these tactics:
• Add compelling video content to your Web site.
• Test podcasting. Or consider sponsoring an
• Look for vertical or micro social communities
reaching untapped markets.
4. Review usability
The holidays are over, so your Web site probably has
just experienced its greatest traffic of the year.
You undoubtedly have identified a long list of
complaints about how your site failed to work as
intended or as consumers wanted. This might be just
the tip of the iceberg. It's time to re-examine
• Test your checkout processes.
• Look at the complaints and suggestions you
received during the holidays.
• Consider an independent site usability check-up.
5. Examine local search
Local search engines are helping marketers eliminate
waste and pinpoint their audience geographically.
Initiate the following:
• Optimize your Web site for your town and/or
• Search relevant regional keywords to see if local
or outside competitors show up.
• Check popular online directories to see if and/or
how you're listed.
6. Assess your keywords
Look at your top-converting keywords for the fourth
quarter and consider the following:
• Support low-traffic, high-converting keywords with
more natural optimization and paid search.
• Analyze relevant landing pages to see if they need
7. Look at search engine results pages
Take a current look at where your company name and
your products are positioning on search engine
results pages. Specifically:
• Gauge your competition.
• See who is on the first results page for
variations of your company name.
• Look for natural links to negative publicity.
• Look for competitors bidding on paid search space
and possible trademark infringement.
8. Review return customer data
This is vital, particularly for business-to-consumer
sites, because loyal customers are much easier to
reach than new ones. A few things that are worth
examining right now:
• Determine how much of your business is being
generated by return customers.
• Build customer loyalty with non-purchase
• Offer returning customers an incentive to give
feedback on your site/products.
9. Ramp up pay-per-click spending
For business-to-business marketers, the first
quarter is a great time to ramp up paid online
advertising. In the case of seasonal marketers
particularly, rates are generally less expensive.
It's time to experiment.
• Try different search engines, including new
• Compare different promotions and messages.
10. Initiate intelligent integration
Finally, the first quarter is an excellent time to
assure that all your marketing activities work
together -- online and offline. Look at the
• Make sure you're using similar language across
• Try converting existing offline elements to online
• Make an effort to leverage all your online and
offline marketing initiatives to create a solid,
cohesive message that will reach a larger audience.
from eMarketingandCommerce Jan. 24, 2008 issue (www.emarketingandcommerce.com).
Lisa Wehr is CEO and founder of Oneupweb. Reach her