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Spider
01-22-2010, 12:17 PM
I have an odd problem - at least, it's odd to me. Perhaps it's obvious to someone else.

The most popular entry page on my coaching site is COACHING METHODS, COACHING STYLES (http://frederickpearce.com/coachstyle.html) - being two and a half times more popular than the home page.

The most common keywords are 'Coaching styles,' 'Coaching methods' and variations, accounting for 40% of the search terms. That is probably because I get top placing in Google and first page placing in other SEs like Bing, Yahoo, AOL, etc.

These are not awfully competitve terms, there being, according to Google, only 770,000 pages answering to those terms and only 2,000 - 4,000 searches per month for them.

The two pages in question are not central to selling my services - I created them as information about coaching in general and I didn't expect them to take over the site. I thought to add e-books on the subject, and while some visitors are clicking the affiliate links, none seem to be buying.

I have tried to lure the visitors to the main site, tried to sell them various things, invited them to e-mail me - all with no results.

I could just remove the pages, for all the good they are doing, but I don't want to throw away a #1 or #2 Google spot without trying to benefit from it. Obviously, people are coming for some reason and probably not finding what they are looking for. But what are they looking for?

There are a few thousand people every month looking for something that I could possibly sell them. What?

nealrm
01-22-2010, 12:42 PM
Frederick,
First - Google appears to be using your meta-description for the description text in the SERP. I would change that text to better describe what you are offering. What appears now can easily be confused with athletic coaching. That should help those doing the search to determine what your site is offering.

For your first page, I would look at your SEO work. What anchor text are you using in your links. Also is the anchor text found exactly somewhere on landing page for the link. If not adjust on or the other. For example the link in your sig - You might do better to split that into 2 link. One using "Business Mentor" and a second using "Personal Coach".

vangogh
01-22-2010, 12:45 PM
It's not that odd for a page other than your home page to pull in the majority of search traffic. I know on my site it's a handful of individual posts that pull most of the traffic with the home page maybe the 10th most popular entry point.

The real question seems to be what to do with the traffic. I agree with you that you want to keep the page.

Try your best to determine the intent behind the searches sending traffic to the page. My first thought is people are looking for information when they type those queries and are not necessarily looking to buy something at that moment. You may have more luck providing links to other informational articles on your site than trying to sell something.

See these people as potential sales down the line if you can keep them interacting with and coming back to the site for more information. They may not buy now, but they may buy later or recommend you to others.

You may also want to check your stats to see if people stay on the page awhile. Are they reading or are they leaving right away. If the latter then the page isn't matching what they want and maybe it needs to change. If people are staying then you will have a greater chance to direct them elsewhere on the site. You could try making one or two links very obvious and then rotating what you link to in order to see what gets clicked most often.

Another thought is to provide something free (a short white paper or article) to see what people are interested in. Maybe you could even offer the freebie for filling out a quick survey.

Ultimately I think you want to do what you can to understand what people are looking for on the page and then do what you can to offer it to them. Just remember that what they want might not be something you can directly sell to them right away.

Harold Mansfield
01-22-2010, 08:08 PM
I could just remove the pages, for all the good they are doing, but I don't want to throw away a #1 or #2 Google spot without trying to benefit from it. Obviously, people are coming for some reason and probably not finding what they are looking for. But what are they looking for?

There are a few thousand people every month looking for something that I could possibly sell them. What?

My friend, that is the question. What are they looking for and why don't you have it ?

Just because they are landing doesn't mean that they want to buy anything. when people are ready to purchase, they search for exactly what they want.
Unless they are landing on your page after searching for "Coaching Books", or "Books on Business Coaching" then they are probably not in the market to purchase a book and any success with conversions would have to come from a page specifically targeted to sell books.

"Oh, by the way" links don't work well. If you reviewed some of the top Business coaching books and attracted traffic to read your reviews, then you may have a chance of getting that click through to the books sale page.

Form what you have described, it seems as if people are landing because they are looking for information about "Coaching" and you provide it. Just because they don't purchase from your residual links that just happen to be there doesn't mean that you don't have what they are looking for..they told you what they are looking for by the terms that they used to find you and none of them said anything about buying books.

( basically everything that VG just said:))

Spider
01-22-2010, 10:39 PM
Thanks, guys. It seems I do have what some of them are searching for, at least - information. They took what they came for and left. That won't add to my bank account, though!

But what of the majority that don't even click through to the second page, where they will find the information they are apparently seeking?

Perhaps they are the ones I need to focus on - the ones that click away without getting what they asked for. They seem to have deduced from the first page that information about coaching styles and methods is not what they really want. They were searching for something else. They thought "coaching styles" would produce something different. What could that be?

Ach! I'm going round in circles....

I guess I'll just have to keep changing the links I have up on the first page and see if one of them takes their fancy!

Harold Mansfield
01-23-2010, 12:28 AM
Thanks, guys. It seems I do have what some of them are searching for, at least - information. They took what they came for and left. That won't add to my bank account, though!

But what of the majority that don't even click through to the second page, where they will find the information they are apparently seeking?

Perhaps they are the ones I need to focus on - the ones that click away without getting what they asked for. They seem to have deduced from the first page that information about coaching styles and methods is not what they really want. They were searching for something else. They thought "coaching styles" would produce something different. What could that be?

Ach! I'm going round in circles....

I guess I'll just have to keep changing the links I have up on the first page and see if one of them takes their fancy!

Ha, Ha ! Welcome to the wonderful world wide web. It's full of scavengers that consume bits of information like grasshoppers in a corn field, and then move to the next field to consume for free.

You can learn a lot by tracking your outgoing links and also by tacking where the users are coming from.
If you believe that you have the correct information based on the way readers are finding you...yet they aren't getting to that information...then maybe you should evaluate the organization and navigation of your site.

If you have it..and they aren't finding it....then something on the page isn't right.

You should also be clear in what your purpose is. Do you want people to buy books ? Or do you want them to hire you as a business coach ?

Business Attorney
01-23-2010, 02:10 AM
I'd like to repeat what nealrm said - the snippet of description in the Google search results does not make it clear that your site deals with business coaching. If people coming to your site are looking for athletic coaching styles, then that traffic is going to be worth very little to you. They will see that your site is not what they are looking for and will leave. It probably doesn't hurt you (though I read a long time ago that a high bounce rate could conceivably be a negative factor in Google's algorithm), but the traffic from people who think your site may be for athletic coaching is not going to do anything positive for you either.

Harold Mansfield
01-23-2010, 11:19 AM
I'd like to repeat what nealrm said - the snippet of description in the Google search results does not make it clear that your site deals with business coaching. If people coming to your site are looking for athletic coaching styles, then that traffic is going to be worth very little to you. They will see that your site is not what they are looking for and will leave. It probably doesn't hurt you (though I read a long time ago that a high bounce rate could conceivably be a negative factor in Google's algorithm), but the traffic from people who think your site may be for athletic coaching is not going to do anything positive for you either.
I was thinking that earlier until I looked and saw that others were ranking for "coaching" as well.
Seems to me that you could narrow in on your target audience a little more by refining your Keywords and phrases.

"Coaching" definitely could be either and when I hear the term I think athletics. If people were finding you for the term "Business Coaching" (for instance) there would be no doubt what they are looking for...but with your current target keywords, you have no idea if they want athletics or business...the high bounce rate would seem to indicated they were looking for athletics, since you have business coaching on your site.

Sure, it's nice to rank for such a broad term, but is it really doing you any good if it's not your target audience ?

Spider
01-23-2010, 12:21 PM
Yes, I realise that people searching for 'coaching styles' and 'coaching methods' appear not to be a target audience for my business coaching. Hardly any of them click through to the home page, or any business coaching page. About two-thirds leave immediately and one-third of arrivals venture to the second page where the coaching styles and methods information is located. The few who click on the ebooks' links are clicking on business coaching ebooks rather than the one or two sports coaching e-books that are displayed.

So, I'm not really sure the visitors are generally looking for sports coaching information. Especially as the last word of my title attribute to make it to Google's title line is "Business."

I'm afraid any changes to the SEO, title or description of this page will reduce my serps positioning. My point is, I have traffic - not a lot but probably a good portion of those searching for these obscure terms. The traffic is serving no use for my coaching/mentoring business, but it is consistent traffic. People are coming to me for something and, unless all they want is information, they aren't getting it.

If you have a corner shop in your town and everyday 10 people walk, in look around and walk out, without buying anything, you would (if you are half a business person) stop them and ask them what you can add to your inventory for them.

That's what I need to do here. I have hit upon a small demographic and I want to sell them something. What I am currently selling is not of interest to them. I want to find out what is.

nealrm
01-23-2010, 12:42 PM
If you have a corner shop in your town and everyday 10 people walk, in look around and walk out, without buying anything, you would (if you are half a business person) stop them and ask them what you can add to your inventory for them.

To extend the metiphor. If you had a corner store with a huge banner stating "Rolls for sale". Everyday 10 people walked in, looked around and walked out, without buying anything. After asking them what they are looking for you find out they are looking for dinner rolls. The problem is you are selling rolls of paper. Now the question is - Do you want to change the store or the sign?

Traffic to a website is good only if they find what they expect or want at the site. Otherwise it is just junk traffic.

Harold Mansfield
01-23-2010, 02:12 PM
I'm afraid any changes to the SEO, title or description of this page will reduce my serps positioning. My point is, I have traffic - not a lot but probably a good portion of those searching for these obscure terms. The traffic is serving no use for my coaching/mentoring business, but it is consistent traffic. People are coming to me for something and, unless all they want is information, they aren't getting it.

This is an age old problem that many webmasters go through. You are getting traffic, but it's pretty much worthless.
You have to accept that fact that you need to narrow in on your target audience to ever have a chance at capitalizing on them.

If I were to guess off of the top of my head just based on what you have posted here is...that you need to capture people that are specifically looking for your service, not an overview of the industry.
Your main goal is not to provide an overview of Business Coaching Methods...it's to present your services as a Business Coach and you are for hire.

If you optimize yourself as an information site, then that is the traffic that you will get...people looking for information about coaching styles, not people looking to hire a coach.

When I look at your site, it is not immediately clear to me that you are for hire...If I landed on any other page than your home page...it seems more as if you are trying to present your business philosophy and sell books.

Something every services website should have in the menu (because the menu is seen from all pages no matter where they land) is:

"About Me"- Your qualifications
"Services"- What you do and you are for hire
"Contact Me" - Get in touch to find out how much.

People look up top for the navigation. It is the easiest place to capture their attention no matter where they are on the site...given that, I would say that you have some content management issues to deal with. You have a lot of information about business coaching, but not a lot about the services you provide as a professional coach for hire (or at least it's not clear)...which should be your main focus.

Now combine that with the general terms that you have optimized for and we begin to narrow in on the problem of why you aren't converting your traffic into clients. It's the wrong traffic and you need to make your navigation clearer and manage and organize the content that is on the site.

It looks as if you are using what should be the main navigation area to promote articles. They aren't labeled as services, so you are lucky if anyone looking for services would click them to figure it out.

Not that I'm any great example, but I am very clear about what I do. I don't market myself as a web designer, because I don't want that traffic.
I specifically state that I work with Wordpress, build and customize wp websites, and will build an entire business suite including Twitter, Facebook, Website, blog and Forum.
I have maybe one or two articles about the actual platforms, why you should use them and a couple of general tips...that's it!

Everything else is about the services I provide and how to contact me.

If you have too much information, you ( as a service provider) get lost in the site.

You have to be direct and to the point on your first page, above the fold. Most people will not instigate further and start looking through pages to find out if you have what they want if you haven't indicated immediately what this site and you are about.

I also noticed that you have a lot of navigation links spread all over the first page..across the top, down the sidebar, and in the footer. It's too much. You will confuse your visitors with so much informational links spread all over the place without crystal clear headings and labels of what to find there.

I see a lot of titles and headlines with links to other areas of the site, but out of all of the information you have linked from the home page, I don't see one simple phrase: "Business Coaching Services" or "Professional Coaching Services".

I see "Building Business" and "Building Lives" but why not just plain old "Business Coaching Services" and "Life Coaching Services"? Make it clear and direct for everyone.

All this is just my opinion, but if people visit your site for 30 seconds and can't immediately recall what it is you do, then something needs to change.
I'm not saying to rip everything apart and start from scratch, that would just be silly, but I am saying that a few subtle changes and clarity can make all the difference in the world.

Spider
01-23-2010, 02:15 PM
...Traffic to a website is good only if they find what they expect or want at the site. Otherwise it is just junk traffic.
Certainly it is junk traffic -- at the moment. With perseverence I might find providing the rolls they want is more lucrative than the rolls I am currently selling. When I first read your post, I though of Rolls Royces. Selling 10 Rolls Royces per day would surely make more profit than all the paper rolls I could possibly handle!

I don't subscribe to the either/or situation proposed. Why do I have to change the store to satisfy your prospective customers? Why can I not sell paper rolls AND bread rolls?

Spider
01-23-2010, 02:23 PM
Very useful post, Harold - much appreciated. I will study the many fine points and report back.

vangogh
01-25-2010, 12:35 PM
Just a couple more thoughts for you. You mentioned about 2/3 of the people landing on that page leave. Do you know if they leave immediately or do they stay on the page long enough to read it? It's possible you are providing exactly what a certain number of people are looking for right on that page.

With the people who do look at another page can you tell if they tend to view certain pages more than others? Does that 1/3 click to your home page for example or are they all clicking random pages. Knowing where those people click could give some clue about what they were looking for after landing on the one page.

It might be that this page is good at generating people looking for specific information and not to buy something at that moment. If that's the case then what other information might they be interested in. One of the reasons I like blogs is because they do give you a way to keep people coming back who are mostly interested in information. Some of those people do eventually buy something from you and many more will recommend your services to others.

Spider
01-25-2010, 02:01 PM
This is an age old problem that many webmasters go through. You are getting traffic, but it's pretty much worthless.
You have to accept that fact that you need to narrow in on your target audience to ever have a chance at capitalizing on them.
If I were to guess off of the top of my head just based on what you have posted here is...that you need to capture people that are specifically looking for your service, not an overview of the industry....That was true several years ago, when everyone focussed on drawing traffic to the home page. Once Google broke that mold and started deep linking, we now had to deal with various audiences who searched for different things. No longer must I focus on people who want to hire a coach, I must focus on small business people who want a coach, those who call the person they want a mentor and those who call him a consultant; and the employee who wants to start his own business and the employee who wants to stay an employee and calls a career coach a business coach. And so on.


...Your main goal is not to provide an overview of Business Coaching Methods...it's to present your services as a Business Coach and you are for hire...Agreed. But having got those people visiting, should I just abandon them by removing the pages? I think that would be a waste. Why would someone want an overview of the industry? Perhaps to figure out what type of coach they want to hire. As soon as we use the phrase "want to hire," they belong on my site.


...If you optimize yourself as an information site, then that is the traffic that you will get...people looking for information about coaching styles, not people looking to hire a coach.Ref above - The search industry now links deep into every site. The general rule to optimize each page for different keywords leads to one providing information to the info-seekers and hiring capabilities to the hirers, on different pages. In many services - including coaching - a prospect wants to know your capabilities and the providing of that information is information to an information seeker who will (hopefully) become a hirer. IOW, I don't think you can separate the two anymore.

I will address the site-specific comments in a separate post.

Dan Furman
01-25-2010, 03:06 PM
I think you might be reading too much into this and thinking "well, I have to do something with this"

I would guess that these people really don't want what you are offering. I'd bet that most are looking for sports coaching styles / philosophies for whatever reason. Probably just to read up on them or whatnot. This is the nature of the web - the store analogy is not valid, as people go into a store with at least an expecation that there could be a purchase either now or in the future. Not true with the web - people land on sites all the time that had nothing to do at all with their intentions. It's very possible that there are 2,000 people searching per month for information on a report they're writing on football coaching styles... can you look deeper into the web log and find where they are coming from, search terms used, etc?

One of my more popular landing pages is my "writing testimonials" page. I mean "writing" as a noun (as in "testimonials for my writing"). However, I am certain that most come to learn how to write testimonials. In fact, the search terms used definitely make me think that. Yea, I could write a little booklet offering them something, but I am against phony testimonials, so I ignore it. No biggie.

Spider
01-25-2010, 04:06 PM
Just a couple more thoughts for you. You mentioned about 2/3 of the people landing on that page leave. Do you know if they leave immediately or do they stay on the page long enough to read it? It's possible you are providing exactly what a certain number of people are looking for right on that page...Under discussion is a two-page set, the first page discusses the subject and tells about what I do, with links to other pages of the site, and the second page containing the information being sought - a list with explanation of 30 different coaching styles. This second page is meta-tagged "robots, noindex, nofollow" because I want people to at least learn about me and have the opportunity to see what I can do for them, before they get the information they came for and leave. I don't know how long the firstpage leavers stay.


...With the people who do look at another page can you tell if they tend to view certain pages more than others? Does that 1/3 click to your home page for example or are they all clicking random pages. Knowing where those people click could give some clue about what they were looking for after landing on the one page...95% of those those that go to another page from the first page go to the second page of the set. That lot get what they came for - information about coaching styles. It's the other two/thirds that don't get what they came for that I am trying to figure out. A few of them visit other pages of the site - that's a step in the right direction. It's the ones - the majority - who exit even thought they came looking for "coaching styles" or similar, and don't get the information they wanted that I feel I could do something for. They are looking for something and apparently not getting it.

Harold Mansfield
01-25-2010, 04:08 PM
Ref above - The search industry now links deep into every site. The general rule to optimize each page for different keywords leads to one providing information to the info-seekers and hiring capabilities to the hirers, on different pages. In many services - including coaching - a prospect wants to know your capabilities and the providing of that information is information to an information seeker who will (hopefully) become a hirer. IOW, I don't think you can separate the two anymore.


I know where you are coming from, but I have to reiterate where I think Dan is coming from.
There is nothing wrong with providing extra information to attract people to your site, but you site needs to have a specific purpose if you want to convert visitors into clients/sales.
I don't think that you should scrap anything..you have good content, I just think that it should be organized a little better to get the point across that you are a professional for hire.

I agree with some of wanting to attract people that are looking for certain things or bits of information, but you seem to be coming from the stand point that "If I attract them this way, then maybe I'll convert them into buyers"...that is a big "maybe" and it doesn't convert as well as attracting them specifically because they are ready to buy.

It would be different if you have a blog about different coaching styles and placed ads along with the information on coaching books and services..but since you are the service, your information needs to organized so that you are the service that you are promoting...not just "coaching philosophies, and information" in general.

Right now, you have traffic that got there for one thing, and you want to know how to convert them into something else.

Yes you should optimize for different keywords and phrases, but only the ones that will do you the most good.

One of the things I like about WP is that you can easily optimize each page and post for it's own individual keywords, phrases and descriptions.

Every page can't be optimized for everything. You have to optimize each one for the words and phrases that best represent the content and it will attract it's own visitors separately...but they should all be speaking the same language..."I am for hire", or be organized properly for easy navigation.

Personally, I think you would benefit from WP because you can organize your site as a "For hire" site with all the information about what you do, how you do it and how to hire you and then have a separate blog section, almost totally separate from that, and optimized for each post to put down your thoughts and words of wisdom. That way you can attract them in different ways (for hire, and Information), but the purpose of the site remains the same and consistent.

You say that 2/3's of the visitors aren't getting what they came for, that's because you put out different bait. They got there because you told Google you have one thing and when they got there it wasn't what they were looking for.

People search specifically these days. You have to get specific with them. long tail keywords and phrases work well when trying to narrow in on specific searchers.

The main thing is to keep the main, the main thing.

Spider
01-25-2010, 04:27 PM
... It's very possible that there are 2,000 people searching per month for information on a report they're writing on football coaching styles... can you look deeper into the web log and find where they are coming from, search terms used, etc? ... Yes, I can. Pretty near all of them come from Google for the term, "Coaching Styles," fewer for "Coaching methods." Others include "different coaching styles," "coaching styles and methods," "coaching styles in business" and "styles of coaching."

If you mean, where in the world? they come from all over - USA, UK, Germany, India, Hong Kong, Russia, a few recently from South Africa.

I don't really mind if they are looking for sports coaching information and wouldn't hire me anyway. I have stumbled upon a segment of my industry that doesn't appear to be getting what they want. "Identify a need and satisfy it!" - of such things huge empires are made!!!!

Harold Mansfield
01-25-2010, 06:47 PM
Yes, I can. Pretty near all of them come from Google for the term, "Coaching Styles," fewer for "Coaching methods." Others include "different coaching styles," "coaching styles and methods," "coaching styles in business" and "styles of coaching."


All of these terms are people looking for information. None of them say "I'm looking to hire a business coach or mentor." or "I'm looking for books on Coaching styles".

So you have accomplished your mission if that's what you optimized for, but that won't get you the targeted group that is looking to hire someone...or at least check out some options for hiring someone....or even to buy a book.

If you want that kind of traffic, you need to be optimizing for "Business Coaches", "Business Mentors", "Business Consultants", "Business Consultants and Mentors", "Professional Business Coaches", "Business Coaches for hire"..or..."Books on Coaching Styles", "Business Coaching Books"...you see the difference ?
It may be less traffic, but at least it will exactly what you want.

Rather have 10 people come to my site and call or fill out the contact form, than 1000 people that just look around and leave.

Spider
01-25-2010, 07:07 PM
...When I look at your site, it is not immediately clear to me that you are for hire...If I landed on any other page than your home page...it seems more as if you are trying to present your business philosophy and sell books...On the first page of the Business section, within 3 paragraphs, I say,
"That's what my mentoring will give you.
May I mentor you? (Yes, Frederick. I'm ready to play a bigger game!)"

On the first page of the Life section I have a link, "Find out if Frederick is the right coach for you," amongst other things that I thought indicated that I am for hire. Etc.

In fact, throughout the dialog on every page I have one or two in-line text links to the services page (entitled "Mentoring Options"), following the question, "May I mentor you?" or something similar. Plus, at the foot of every page is a text link, "OK, Frederick. I'm ready. I want you to mentor me, NOW!" or something similar. And, the top link of the menu (under HOME) on every page is, "OK, Frederick. I want to skip to the end. I want you to mentor me, NOW!"

I was worried that I had too many links saying I-am-for-hire-click-here! Do you really think I need more?


...Something every services website should have in the menu (because the menu is seen from all pages no matter where they land) is:
"About Me"- Your qualifications
"Services"- What you do and you are for hire
"Contact Me" - Get in touch to find out how much.I have "About Us" in the top menu on every page. I have "Mentoring Options" in the lefthand menu, being a description of the services, on every page. And the link, "So, Who is Frederick Pearce, really?" in the menu of every page to several pages including my résumé. My e-mail address is clear on these and other pages.


...People look up top for the navigation. It is the easiest place to capture their attention no matter where they are on the site...given that, I would say that you have some content management issues to deal with. You have a lot of information about business coaching, but not a lot about the services you provide as a professional coach for hire (or at least it's not clear)...which should be your main focus...All the section pages are about what I do, what I've done and what I will do, including specific stories of working with various clients. I'm really not sure what more I should do here.


...Now combine that with the general terms that you have optimized for and we begin to narrow in on the problem of why you aren't converting your traffic into clients. It's the wrong traffic and you need to make your navigation clearer and manage and organize the content that is on the site...You lost me, again.

Every page is optimized for a different search term - business coach, business coaching, life coach, life coaching, personal mentor, etc, etc. - a different term for every page. I don't have any general terms as I understand it. It's true, the rest of the site hasn't been converting well and I'm hoping recent modifications will change that. The problem being discussed in this thread, though, is about one two-page segment, not the whole site. I don't think the problem on that little piece translates to the whole site. Do you?


...It looks as if you are using what should be the main navigation area to promote articles. They aren't labeled as services, so you are lucky if anyone looking for services would click them to figure it out...Really? Let's take the menu link, "Service Companies" in the section titled "Building Businesses." If you were a coffee shop and you searched for "Business Coach" and landed on my home page, would a menu item, "Service Companies," not come across as where you would find what I offer to service companies like a coffee shop, an auto repair shop, a printer, a house painter, etc?

You get to that page and after three paragraphs about mentoring including reference to some books about other service companies, you see the phrase, "If you are having difficulty staying on track, or your life or your business is stuck in a rut, we can solve that," doesn't that say "I-am-for-hire, Mr.Small-service-company-operator?"

Again, I am at a loss to understand your points, Harold. I feel as if I am doing what you seem to be telling me.


...If you have too much information, you ( as a service provider) get lost in the site...Is this the nub off what you are saying?


...You have to be direct and to the point on your first page, above the fold. Most people will not instigate further and start looking through pages to find out if you have what they want if you haven't indicated immediately what this site and you are about.

I also noticed that you have a lot of navigation links spread all over the first page..across the top, down the sidebar, and in the footer. It's too much. You will confuse your visitors with so much informational links spread all over the place without crystal clear headings and labels of what to find there.

I see a lot of titles and headlines with links to other areas of the site, but out of all of the information you have linked from the home page, I don't see one simple phrase: "Business Coaching Services" or "Professional Coaching Services".

I see "Building Business" and "Building Lives" but why not just plain old "Business Coaching Services" and "Life Coaching Services"? Make it clear and direct for everyone.

All this is just my opinion, but if people visit your site for 30 seconds and can't immediately recall what it is you do, then something needs to change.
I'm not saying to rip everything apart and start from scratch, that would just be silly, but I am saying that a few subtle changes and clarity can make all the difference in the world.This is making sense to me. You are getting through, Harold. I will pause here and contemplate how I should take on board your suggestions.

Spider
01-25-2010, 07:15 PM
All of these terms are people looking for information. None of them say "I'm looking to hire a business coach or mentor." or "I'm looking for books on Coaching styles".
So you have accomplished your mission if that's what you optimized for, but that won't get you the targeted group that is looking to hire someone...or at least check out some options for hiring someone....or even to buy a book.
If you want that kind of traffic, you need to be optimizing for "Business Coaches", "Business Mentors", "Business Consultants", "Business Consultants and Mentors", "Professional Business Coaches", "Business Coaches for hire"..or..."Books on Coaching Styles", "Business Coaching Books"...you see the difference ?
It may be less traffic, but at least it will exactly what you want.
Rather have 10 people come to my site and call or fill out the contact form, than 1000 people that just look around and leave.Perfectly true, Harold. Other pages on my site are optimized for "Business Coaches", "Business Mentors", etc. I am wondering what to do with the information-seekers. I have them. They come. I am not preferring them over people who search for "I want to hire a coach." It is a different segment of the market.

I'm trying to figure out how to benefit from the information-seekers now that they have found me. They want coaching information, I give it to them. Now....before they leave, what else might they want that I can sell to them?

Harold Mansfield
01-26-2010, 12:32 PM
Perfectly true, Harold. Other pages on my site are optimized for "Business Coaches", "Business Mentors", etc. I am wondering what to do with the information-seekers. I have them. They come. I am not preferring them over people who search for "I want to hire a coach." It is a different segment of the market.

I'm trying to figure out how to benefit from the information-seekers now that they have found me. They want coaching information, I give it to them. Now....before they leave, what else might they want that I can sell to them?

I couldn't begin to answer that with any certainty because I don't know that niche. The only thing that comes to mind is books, but you really don't make a whole lot selling books through Amazon unless you have a large amount of targeted traffic.
The other possibility would be to sign them up for an informational newsletter, or get them to subscribe via RSS to try and build some kind of list. Like was mentioned before, you may not sell them today, but you may tomorrow.

vangogh
01-26-2010, 01:25 PM
get them to subscribe via RSS

I was thinking along the same lines. Why not add a blog to the site and house all your informational content there? If these are people that are interested in your informational articles, but not anything else, then why not give them more informational articles. Setting it up on a blog would let people know more content is coming. There's a good chance you could then build a community around your site.

They may not buy anything today, but reading over time they will come to trust you and be more likely to buy from you. That could easily lead to more sales for your services down the line. It could also open up opportunities to sell other things. Maybe you sell an ebook or turn what could be an ebook into a membership site. If your blog gains enough popularity you could sell ads f you choose.

These people are visiting your site looking for information. At the moment you're not sure exactly what information they want, so present them something similar and continue to provide new information. Where the money will come from may not be obvious at the moment, but you would be creating an asset. A community of loyal readers around your site is definitely an asset for your business.

Spider
01-26-2010, 01:25 PM
Harold, I'm pursuing this in detail because I think you have touched on some very important points and I want to learn from them. Also, I think others reading this later might learn something for their websites, too.


...You have to be direct and to the point on your first page, above the fold. Most people will not instigate further and start looking through pages to find out if you have what they want if you haven't indicated immediately what this site and you are about...So, have I been direct and to the point on my first page, above the fold? In addition to the header (which I think is quite specific), the content title reads, "Be Satisfied, Happy and Profitable!" The second paragraph begins, "Hi! I am Frederick Pearce. I am a Business Mentor and I'd like to be your Business mentor." So, yes, I think I have been direct and to the point as to what the site is about and what I am about. Do you agree or not? Should it be cranked up or toned down?


...I also noticed that you have a lot of navigation links spread all over the first page..across the top, down the sidebar, and in the footer. It's too much. You will confuse your visitors with so much informational links spread all over the place without crystal clear headings and labels of what to find there....I am of the view that some visitors will prefer top navigation, some will prefer sidebar navigation, and some will prefer bottom navigation. I am catering to all. Besides they are different -- top = section heads, side = section contents, and bottom = newsletter sign up, some specific on-site subjects plus some relevant off-site links. I don't think visitors will be confused because I think most will just use the navigation model that best suits their style. Does that make sense?


...I see a lot of titles and headlines with links to other areas of the site, but out of all of the information you have linked from the home page, I don't see one simple phrase: "Business Coaching Services" or "Professional Coaching Services"....That's what "Building Businesses," "Building Lives," and "Building Wealth" is supposed to cover. I am going with the thought that "Coaching Services" is about me, and visitors are not really concerned about me, they are concerned about themselves - they want to build their business, or build their life, or build their wealth.


...I see "Building Business" and "Building Lives" but why not just plain old "Business Coaching Services" and "Life Coaching Services"? Make it clear and direct for everyone....I feel the "Building xxx" terms are more meaningful to a potential client, as stated above, and they play on my construction industry background. I do admit that "Xxxx Coaching Services" are more obvious terms and I shall make changes to try them out.


...All this is just my opinion, but if people visit your site for 30 seconds and can't immediately recall what it is you do, then something needs to change.
I'm not saying to rip everything apart and start from scratch, that would just be silly, but I am saying that a few subtle changes and clarity can make all the difference in the world.I shall also look at other internal pages to be more clear for visitors landing there, as opposed to visitors navigating there. That will be a bit of a balancing act, though - between being more clear to an arriving visitor and not being repetitive for a navigating visitor.

I'll let you know when I have made "a few subtle changes" to solicit your opinion. Thanks for your input.

Harold Mansfield
01-26-2010, 01:51 PM
So, have I been direct and to the point on my first page, above the fold? In addition to the header (which I think is quite specific), the content title reads, "Be Satisfied, Happy and Profitable!" The second paragraph begins, "Hi! I am Frederick Pearce. I am a Business Mentor and I'd like to be your Business mentor." So, yes, I think I have been direct and to the point as to what the site is about and what I am about. Do you agree or not? Should it be cranked up or toned down?
I like things a little more direct in the initial statements: "Frederick Pierce is a professional business coach and mentor with over 30 years experience teaching businesses of all sizes to realize their true potential, growth and profitability".

With something like that as your opener, the rest of the site takes on a completely different tone.


I am of the view that some visitors will prefer top navigation, some will prefer sidebar navigation, and some will prefer bottom navigation. I am catering to all. Besides they are different -- top = section heads, side = section contents, and bottom = newsletter sign up, some specific on-site subjects plus some relevant off-site links. I don't think visitors will be confused because I think most will just use the navigation model that best suits their style. Does that make sense?
I don't think that at all. I think readers want simple and easy navigation, and they want it all in one place.
You can't be all things to all people, or you run the risk of not being anything to anyone.

I agree with having more than one navigation point, but, usually they are the same to ensure that they are easily accessible.
I think 3 different navigation menus, all with different directions can be confusing.



That's what "Building Businesses," "Building Lives," and "Building Wealth" is supposed to cover. I am going with the thought that "Coaching Services" is about me, and visitors are not really concerned about me, they are concerned about themselves - they want to build their business, or build their life, or build their wealth.
But your site is about you. At least that's what I thought was the goal. Yes people are concerned about themselves, but they want to know how you can get them there. If they knew how to do it for themselves they wouldn't be searching for answers or someone to do it for them.

I prefer to let them go elsewhere for general information, and try and attract people that need service. I do give them some information, I don't assume that everyone knows what WP is, but I'm not trying to teach them how to use WP or else why would they call me ?

If you go back to the stages of buying, you have to decide at what stage you are trying to attract people...at the 'Looking for information stage' ? If so, try and sell them books.
or at the 'Ready to buy and looking for the best deal or service provider" stage. That would be looking to hire someone like you.



I feel the "Building xxx" terms are more meaningful to a potential client, as stated above, and they play on my construction industry background. I do admit that "Xxxx Coaching Services" are more obvious terms and I shall make changes to try them out.

That was just an example. You would know this industry and it's potential clients better than me, but as an outsider, it's just not very clear to me..especially if I had never heard of a Business Coach before, or what they do.



I shall also look at other internal pages to be more clear for visitors landing there, as opposed to visitors navigating there. That will be a bit of a balancing act, though - between being more clear to an arriving visitor and not being repetitive for a navigating visitor.
This is where a blog would come in handy. You could direct regulars to the new information and optimize your site for first timers and potential paying clients.

I see that you are trying to cover all of your bases, and you have a lot of good information...IMO I just think it needs to be organized a little better and you will see a vast improvement with your visitors taking some kind of action or at least clicking something.

Dan Furman and Kristine probably have a lot more insight into the actual copy writing and how it can influence or set the stage for people to take action better than I do, but I used to "beat around the bush" a lot. It was when I started being direct that I started seeing some success.

Dan Furman
01-27-2010, 01:25 AM
You have too much "stuff" on your site, Spider. I have no idea where to look, then something else grabs my attention, etc etc. And too many links... goodness, WAY too many links.

You also (may) have a pretty big error hanging right out there in the front:

Hi! I am Frederick Pearce. I am a Business Mentor and I'd like to be your Business mentor — I am Life Coach to happy, satisfied, profitable clients.

I'm not an English major, so I don't know if that's technically right, but I do know the bolded part just "sounds" wrong. And it's not flowing or the like - the whole thing is a little clumsy.

Another problem is... I know this is going to drive you nuts, but I really don't have a good sense of what you do without extensive reading or some clicking. Your message is very soft. Yes, yes, I know you're being direct and saying "I want to be your mentor", but it doesn't pop out at me. (and what does that really mean? anyway? Again, it's really soft.)

I think you would be better served with a simple, direct 5-6 page site, and a blog / articles for all the other stuff.

I know you didn't ask for the above, but I'm offering it up anyway.

Harold Mansfield
01-27-2010, 11:37 AM
One of the things that I noticed about the way your site is written is that it is written by you, from you.
While personalization is a good thing, you almost need to come at it from an outsiders view and speak of yourself in the 3rd person and speak as if your are an entity.

You have to make it idiot proof and assume that people won't know anything about your business or what it does and lay it out specifically.

Think of it like you are on a job interview and you only have 1 minute to make your point to the interviewer. If that were the case, you would get straight to the point and be as direct as possible with your main talking points to impress your experience and knowledge quickly.

To go along with what Dan said, instead of "I want to be your business coach", I would be direct and assertive..."I am a professional business coach...".

If I were to hire a business mentor, I would expect them to be self assured, and direct.

One thing I learned on my telemarketing job a while back was...I used to ask people things like "So, does that sound like something you'd be interested in..?"..and I would rarely get the sale.

Then someone taught me to just ask for the Credit Card...and at the end of my pitch I went to "So, what card do you want to put that on today, MC, Visa, Amex, or Discover ?"..and my sales jumped.

Not saying it's directly applicable, but a little bit of confidence in the pitch goes a long way.
You are asking for the sale, instead of assuming it.
There is away to do it without coming off as arrogant, while looking self assured that you know what you are doing and are the man for the job.

Spider
01-27-2010, 02:39 PM
Great stuff, guys! Thank you for taking the time. Fresh eyes are a great help.

Under the argument of not changing everything at once, I have targetted the sidebar menu. I have eliminated the entire sidebar menu from my home page. (It's still there on other pages but it serves a different purpose there.) In its place is the direct, third-person "in-yer-face" statement that hopefully clarifies what this site is about. Short of the phrase, "Please hire me!" I think I have been obvious that I am for hire and why prospects should hire me.

I have eliminated the phrase that troubled you, Dan. I'm quite sure it was grammatically correct, but if it was cumbersome, it had to go. I also made a few minor word changes to the main body to maintain the dimensional layout.

What do you think so far?

I see lots of other things that can be changed and I'll tackle them in due course. I'll watch my stats to see if this translates into a bunch of new hirings!

Patrysha
01-27-2010, 02:51 PM
Just checking to make sure...You know about the split testing that you can do with Google Analytics, right?

Spider
01-28-2010, 01:11 PM
...To go along with what Dan said, instead of "I want to be your business coach", I would be direct and assertive..."I am a professional business coach...".
If I were to hire a business mentor, I would expect them to be self assured, and direct....I think I have done that. The phrase that Dan referred to, reads, in full -

"Hi! I am Frederick Pearce. I am a Business Mentor and I'd like to be your Business mentor."

It says, as you suggest, "I am a Business Mentor," as well as "I want to be your business mentor." Which, seems to me, to be saying, "I am for hire." Is that not how you read it?

And in the very next line ...

"After seventeen years in the corporate world, I started my own company and, within ten years, had grown it into a multi-million dollar business. I liquidated my investment, retired on the proceeds, and now help other people do what I did."

... not self-assured and direct? I am a little worried that I am beginning to sound arrogant and cocky! If not now, turning up the temperature must surely take me into that realm, don't you think?

Gosh, I find this stuff way too inprecise. Dan says my message is too soft. You, Harold, want me to be more assertive, and I worry that I am not already sound cocky! Phew!

Harold Mansfield
01-29-2010, 01:47 PM
I think I have done that. The phrase that Dan referred to, reads, in full -

"Hi! I am Frederick Pearce. I am a Business Mentor and I'd like to be your Business mentor."

It says, as you suggest, "I am a Business Mentor," as well as "I want to be your business mentor." Which, seems to me, to be saying, "I am for hire." Is that not how you read it?

And in the very next line ...

"After seventeen years in the corporate world, I started my own company and, within ten years, had grown it into a multi-million dollar business. I liquidated my investment, retired on the proceeds, and now help other people do what I did."

... not self-assured and direct? I am a little worried that I am beginning to sound arrogant and cocky! If not now, turning up the temperature must surely take me into that realm, don't you think?

Gosh, I find this stuff way too inprecise. Dan says my message is too soft. You, Harold, want me to be more assertive, and I worry that I am not already sound cocky! Phew!

Take a deep breath. First of all, I see that you changed the sidebar and now have sort of a profile/about statement under your picture...that looks 100% better than the way it was before with all the links and stuff.

The suggestions in this thread are just that, suggestions. You have to be comfortable with the language on your site, after all it is a direct reflection of you and your business.
Much of it is based on how we do things. That doesn't mean that you should , or have to do them. You are going to know far more than us about your niche and target audience and what they respond to. We are merely telling you what we (as outsiders) see when we go to your site.

The SEO stuff...that's almost gospel. You are attracting the wrong type of traffic because that is what you have targeted.

Spider
01-29-2010, 05:54 PM
Yes, Harold, I get that suggestions have been made, and I feel I would be stupid to solicit everyone's suggestions and then ignore them. I will try each and every idea and watch what happens.

I haven't consciously rejected any suggestion, although I have questioned some of them because I feel I have already done some of the things suggested. That left me a little confused, perhaps I was not understanding what was being suggested.

As a matter of fact, I don't really agree that I have to be comfortable with the language. My prospects have to respond to the language in the way I want them to respond, whether I like the words or not. Van Gogh (the real one) could paint what he wanted regardless of his audience. You and I have to "paint our pictures" the way our audience wants, if they are to respond the way we want them to respond. So, I will happily sound like a braggard or an idiot to myself, if others comprehend it differently and respond how I want them to. Which all goes to say, I will try upping the temperature, if I haven't misunderstood the suggestions being made.

Harold Mansfield
01-29-2010, 06:33 PM
Yes, Harold, I get that suggestions have been made, and I feel I would be stupid to solicit everyone's suggestions and then ignore them. I will try each and every idea and watch what happens.

I haven't consciously rejected any suggestion, although I have questioned some of them because I feel I have already done some of the things suggested. That left me a little confused, perhaps I was not understanding what was being suggested.

As a matter of fact, I don't really agree that I have to be comfortable with the language. My prospects have to respond to the language in the way I want them to respond, whether I like the words or not. Van Gogh (the real one) could paint what he wanted regardless of his audience. You and I have to "paint our pictures" the way our audience wants, if they are to respond the way we want them to respond. So, I will happily sound like a braggard or an idiot to myself, if others comprehend it differently and respond how I want them to. Which all goes to say, I will try upping the temperature, if I haven't misunderstood the suggestions being made.
Well, I would add a caveat to this and say, Don't change anything that is working.
Any changes that you do make, be prepared to commit to them over the long haul. It makes no sense to change something for a few weeks and then give up and change it back.

Little things like "I want to be your business coach" as opposed to just leaving it at "I am a professional business coach and mentor" is not big enough to fret over.
It's not sounding like a braggart to get your point and experience across..that's what people want to know about you.

Worry about the things that aren't working. Cleaning up the navigation is a big step in the right direction.
Just remember to design for strangers...people you have never met before and don't know you...not friends. Friends won't give you an honest opinion if they like you, and especially if they don't run their own websites or know anything about SE's and SEO.

I/we could give you tips all day long, but inevitably it's you that needs to be comfortable with it.

vangogh
02-01-2010, 12:23 PM
Frederick I like the idea of the bio information in the sidebar too. However I have a suggestion about it. Instead of having 3 paragraphs in the sidebar, why not one paragraph with a link to your about page? I think that would work better, especially when it comes to getting people to click around the site more.

If you want to stick with 3 paragraphs I'd add a space between each paragraph. It's a little hard to read as it is and I would still add the link to the about page.

Speaking of your about page why is it called About Us? Isn't there just one of you? One is not an us. Since on the rest of the site you're clearly letting people know the business is you I'd change the About Us to About Me or About Frederick or simply About.

Spider
02-01-2010, 06:26 PM
I like the suggestions for the sidebar bio, VG, and will test them when the current test has time to tell me something. I'll add the link and a para.spacing now as that's an enhancement of what's there now, rather than something different. Must give changes a chance to have an effect.

Re: About Us - I remember pondering that when I set it up. It's true, there is no "us," but "About Me" sounded concieted, "About" sounds like something is missing, and "About Frederick" was loo long AND conceited. I opted for "About Us" because it is a common phrase that people recognize, people know what it means, and is what people will look for when looking for more information about the site. I really wonder if anyone will stop and think, "Who else is involved?" --- Don't you agree? Or have you found it causing problems?

vangogh
02-01-2010, 06:31 PM
Makes sense about testing the bio. Are you familiar with Google's Website Optimizer by chance. Makes it much easier to do A/B and multivariate testing. Basically you would be able to show different variations of the page to different people and Google will collect all the stats for you to decide which variation works better.

I had a feeling that's how you ended up choosing About Us. I don't think it will cause any major problems. To me it's more subtle. It sends one message where other parts of the site send a different one. I think using About by itself is fine. Many sites use the single word and I don't think it sounds like something is missing. I'm not everyone of course, but I think it's common enough that it won't confuse anyone.

Harold Mansfield
02-02-2010, 01:54 PM
I get a better response not using the "us" thing. I used to think it made me look like a big company, which I mistakenly thought would give people confidence that I could handle all of their needs.

I noticed that when I started just being me, that my communications took on more of a personal connection. People address me by name in first contact emails and I discovered that it made them feel more comfortable knowing that there was a definite "face" behind the "company name" that would be handling them. One person that they could depend on and I think I like that better than being an entity.

My emails went from a reluctant:
"Not sure if I have the right person, but I saw your company online and was interested in learning more about getting a wordpress site set up."

To:
"Hi Harold,
I saw your website and I want you to do some work for me. I need a ..."

Big difference !

Spider
02-03-2010, 11:59 AM
I see you using "About" on one of your sigged sites, Harold, and "About me" on the other. How do the results differ, if at all?

vangogh
02-03-2010, 01:04 PM
I noticed that when I started just being me, that my communications took on more of a personal connection. People address me by name in first contact emails and I discovered that it made them feel more comfortable knowing that there was a definite "face" behind the "company name" that would be handling them. One person that they could depend on and I think I like that better than being an entity.

Same for me. My first site tried to make me look bigger than I was. More we and us than I and me and most of the time if I was talking about myself I used the company name.

What I noticed was I would get contacted by businesses looking for a larger business to work with, however I wasn't really prepared to work for those kind of businesses. They wanted me to work a certain way that's different from how I usually work. Ultimately I was attracting businesses that weren't a good fit for my business.

When I changed to being me and being more personal I started attracting clients who were a good fit for me and my business and as a result my business has grown.

For some targeting larger business makes sense. Just be prepared to work with larger businesses and understand it's not the same as working with smaller business.

Harold Mansfield
02-03-2010, 02:12 PM
I see you using "About" on one of your sigged sites, Harold, and "About me" on the other. How do the results differ, if at all?

No difference really. Both sites are completely different. The people that contact me on the music site are all promoters and managers that want their press up, and most I have had a relationship with for over a year, so my email is on their contact list or in their address book.

"About" and "About Me" aren't different enough to fret over. "About"/"About Me" compared to "About Us" is different.

The difference is in the way people respond. I get more responses directed at me personally and ready for action when using "About Me" and writing in first person, than I do using "About Us" and writing in 3rd person.

I can honestly say, I don't get a lot of traffic to either of my service sites, maybe 1 or 2 emails and phone calls a week that come from one of the 2 Wordpress Services sites.
But, I have landed every single one of them (of those that I actually got on the phone) since late December.

My other site (4thinternet.com) is written more as a "company" and produces no results..part of that may be that I have done absolutely no SEO on it at all. The other is there is no personalization...( and I have changed my DBA to 1st Internet Media..so that was a waste of $10 and a lot of time and effort)

The haroldmansfield.com site, amazingly enough is the worst designed but generates all of the calls. But I think it's because it ranks well for some obscure phrase about "Wordpress Specialists" or something...I haven't even looked...but I intend on beefing it up some.

That was a long winded way of saying "About Me' works the best for my situation and I (now) think, that if you are the main or only service provider ( even if you outsource or have part timers) people like knowing who they are talking to, can contact, and will be paying.

Also, ( and I have no documentation to prove this) I think that being a 'one man show' gives the illusion that the pricing will be fair because there is not a lot of overhead that needs to be covered...I think that is attractive to small and medium sized businesses..especially now.

Spider
02-03-2010, 06:17 PM
Okay. Thanks for the explanation. Actually, I am a great believer in the power of words and - unless the results say otherwise - believe there can be a considerable difference between seemingly minor changes. To me there is quite a difference in attitude between "About" and "About me." But if that doesn't make any difference to the results, so be it. I see VG is using "About." I have changed my navigation to "About" and am ready to change it again, if necessary. (I've been playing with "About Frederick" which seems to be a fairly common approach by other coaches. Not many coaches used "About me.")

Regarding the change of the Home page sidebar - replacing nav links with a brief bio - I can discern no change in visitor response at this stage. It's only been a few days so the benefit may be subtle rather than significant. However, I do like it and will keep it.

Taking a more aggresive approach in the body of the "Coaching Styles" page (which is where this thread began) does seem to have improved clickthrus to other pages of the site. So, we are gaining ground.

Thanks again, everyone, for your concern and encouragement.

I'll report as to the effect of the About change.

vangogh
02-04-2010, 02:13 AM
It's hard to know after only a few days. Do let us know what you find out about the About page. It may not make a huge difference on its own, but you never know. When I changed my site so it wasn't trying to make me look bigger than I was, the changes were across the entire site. I redesigned the site and rewrite all the content so I can't really say if any one thing made the difference.

Harold Mansfield
02-04-2010, 02:58 AM
Also, you can't micro manage every little aspect of your site in such fine detail that something as little as the difference between "About" and "About Me" is worthy of a study...it's what's on that page that is most important.

...I don't think there's a reader out there that doesn't know that this is the page to find out more information about the person or company.

The overall tone of the site, design, ease of use and navigation, content/information, SEO (targeting the right traffic), grammar and professionalism....it's all of those things together, working in harmony with each other and speaking to the reader in the language that he/she responds to that's makes a site convert a reluctant visitor into a phone call or an email.

Spider
02-04-2010, 12:02 PM
It's hard to know after only a few days... Was a time when changes to a company's persona - ie advertising - took a long time to have an effect. A week to create the ad, another week to write the copy, lead time at the newspaper - a month, at least before it's in front of a consumer. With a magazine you have several weeks lead time, a month production, another month before all readers have recieved it, and - if you want the consumer to see the change 3 or 4 times, 3 or 4 months implementation -- you are talking 6-9 months before any real effect can be discerned.

The internet has changed all that. It's now much more about measuring what happens at first viewing. I change my site today and after four days I have the same result that took 8 months in the old days. That's as good as calling it Instant Response!

Any changes in the response over weeks or months is now about changes in the consumer - the economy, unemployment,, consumer confidence, the stock market, politics, elections, etc. - rather than changes in the ad. Changes in response due to the ad itself are noticeable in days, if the ad/content is on the internet.

Spider
02-04-2010, 12:31 PM
Also, you can't micro manage every little aspect of your site in such fine detail ....This, too, is a carried over belief from "the old days" of print media. When one word in a headline can make or break an advertising campaign, I believe one word anywhere in the message can make a difference. Not every time, of course, but how can you tell when a single word will have an effect and when it won't?

VG pointed out the inconsistency of "About Us" and then no "us" appearing on the rest of the site. Most visitors will absorb that incongruity and the weight of the message will outshine the slight discomfort the inconsistency produced. But some might be slightly troubled by this and slightly troubled by something else we haven't spotted yet, and by something else, and will leave before completion without really understanding why they just didn't believe my story.

It might be hit-and-miss and a bit of guesswork, but I believe this is how excellence is achieved - a little bit at a time.

Harold Mansfield
02-04-2010, 04:13 PM
It might be hit-and-miss and a bit of guesswork, but I believe this is how excellence is achieved - a little bit at a time.

Yep, you definitely got that right. Unfortunately for us, being self employed- one man shows, we have to be everything that larger companies, or companies 'back in the day' had people for.
It does make things challenging to have to be your own Webmaster, Marketer, SEO guy, Copywriter, Accountant, Secretary, and so on...so much to get right and so many areas where you can drop the ball.

vangogh
02-04-2010, 04:31 PM
Good point about how the internet changed the speed in which we can measure things. In fact one way some people use AdWords is to drive a ton of traffic to their site in a short amount of time, just to get enough visits to make any measurement statistically significant.


Also, you can't micro manage every little aspect of your site...

I'm going to agree with Frederick on this one. I think you can test changes in a word or two and measure the response. You can run an A/B test showing some people About and some people About Us and see which does a better job helping with your overall goals.

What's harder to quantify is the affect of everything working together, though even that can be tested to a degree.

Spider
02-04-2010, 07:31 PM
Oh! [naughty words!] Only had 25 visitors to my site today and all but 3 were one-page wonders! And here I was congratulating myself how the nunber of visitors was gradually improving, page views increasing, and visitors staying longer. Maybe that was why the stockmarket took such a hit, too! =:|

Harold Mansfield
02-04-2010, 09:07 PM
Oh! [naughty words!] Only had 25 visitors to my site today and all but 3 were one-page wonders! And here I was congratulating myself how the nunber of visitors was gradually improving, page views increasing, and visitors staying longer. Maybe that was why the stockmarket took such a hit, too! =:|

With all of this instant information, you can't get caught up on daily stats..they are going to fluctuate.

You don't have the kind of site that needs monitoring by the hour like a You Tube or an Amazon.

Some days my stats on my music blog are through the roof with tons of referral links and click throughs and other days it looks like a brand new site with only 3 or 4 links clicked.

I take the monthly average, that's the only way to judge if you have any consistency or growth.
I also read my stats right from the server logs to get an accurate reading, 3rd party programs have margins of error, even Google analytics.

Spider
02-04-2010, 11:38 PM
Sure, but when you go expecting to be cheered up by continuation of the improvement and it's not there - right after checking how much you lost on a bad day at the stockmarket - it's not pretty.

Don't worry - I'll get over it.

vangogh
02-05-2010, 02:18 AM
So are you saying anytime you're feeling down all we have to do to cheer you up is send lots of traffic your way and make your stats look good :)

I know the feeling about watching traffic go down or even not doing anything. You really do have to look at it over longer periods of time and look for the growth. If you're specifically promoting something you may want to check in more often to keep an eye on how the promotion is doing, but most of the time you don't need to check it all the time.

Then again I can't really say anything since I'll often check to see how traffic is for the day.

Spider
02-05-2010, 09:22 AM
So are you saying anytime you're feeling down all we have to do to cheer you up is send lots of traffic your way and make your stats look good :)

No, but a donation to my stockmarket account will help.

Harold Mansfield
02-05-2010, 04:23 PM
No, but a donation to my stockmarket account will help.

Sure, while we're at it, how about a donation to my "Harold wants a new 52" Sony T.V. for his new place" fund. :)

Spider
02-13-2010, 02:07 PM
It has been 10 or 12 days since I made those small changes -

About - without actually counting, I cannot see any greater use of this link as a result of changing to 'About'

Replacing left col. menu with a brief bio on the home page - no noticeable change in visitor navigation. This is positive, as I would have expected a drop in visitor clickthru to other pages due to loss of nav.links.

Duration (the length of time a visitor stays on the site) - has improved slightly but has reached a plateau, which I'm not happy with.

Coaching Styles - although visitors are clicking through more, it is not resulting in any of them reaching the "sign-up" page, and no increase in traffic to the e-books page.

Harold Mansfield
02-13-2010, 04:12 PM
It has been 10 or 12 days since I made those small changes -

About - without actually counting, I cannot see any greater use of this link as a result of changing to 'About'

Replacing left col. menu with a brief bio on the home page - no noticeable change in visitor navigation. This is positive, as I would have expected a drop in visitor clickthru to other pages due to loss of nav.links.

Duration (the length of time a visitor stays on the site) - has improved slightly but has reached a plateau, which I'm not happy with.

Coaching Styles - although visitors are clicking through more, it is not resulting in any of them reaching the "sign-up" page, and no increase in traffic to the e-books page.

Well...that's not all bad news...it actually tells you a lot.

1. That people may not be finding what they are looking for based on the keywords that you have optimized for.
2. That maybe your keywords and phrases should be a little more targeted to directly match the content on the site.

For instance (#2).."Coaching Styles" will target people looking for information. "Books on Coaching Styles" will target people specifically looking to buy a book on the subject matter.

By using the general term, you can't be sure what they are really looking for, so you really can't expect to make a sale...it's a crap shoot.

By targeting the specifics of what that page has to offer, sure, you may get less visitors, but of the ones that you do get...you can be assured that they are looking for a book (because they have asked for it)...after that it's up to your page to make the sale.

vangogh
02-13-2010, 06:21 PM
I wouldn't think changing About Us to About would increase how many people click. Overall I think that simple change isn't going to result in a huge difference on its own. Where I think it would make a difference is that it fits better with you being an individual on the site as opposed to a lager organization. Changing the link is subtle in that regard, but it fits in better with the rest of the site where you are telling people you're a single person operation. Ideally that will mean someone who's looking to work with an individual won't mistake you for a larger business. The one change won't do that by itself though.

Spider
02-14-2010, 10:31 AM
Well...that's not all bad news...it actually tells you a lot....I don't see any of it as bad news and didn't mean to report it as such - it's all good information gathered or lessons learned.


,.."Coaching Styles" will target people looking for information. "Books on Coaching Styles" will target people specifically looking to buy a book on the subject matter...True, but it's going to be a little more complicated than that. I already place high for "Books on Coaching Styles." I landed #3 on Google, #6 on Yahoo and #14 on Bing.

As for "ebooks on coaching styles" I placed #1 or #2 on Google, Bing and Yahoo, and pulled this thread into #3 spot on Google!

It's a funny business this seo!



I wouldn't think changing About Us to About would increase how many people click... I wasn't really expecting any major change, either, VG, but you never know until you try it. I was merely reporting the result. I like 'About' better for the reason you stated so it will remain.

Harold Mansfield
02-14-2010, 07:09 PM
True, but it's going to be a little more complicated than that. I already place high for "Books on Coaching Styles." I landed #3 on Google, #6 on Yahoo and #14 on Bing.

As for "ebooks on coaching styles" I placed #1 or #2 on Google, Bing and Yahoo, and pulled this thread into #3 spot on Google!

It's a funny business this seo!


I know where you're coming from. You hate to make adjustments and throw away what seems to be a good thing...but it really not a good thing.
Unless you come up with a way to convert those "Looky Loo's" you don't have anything going...just stats and numbers..but that's not sales...which means it's not money.

I wouldn't deliberately try and sabotage what you have going..I would just concentrate more on what you actually need.

Right now, you are describing it as the equivalent of a convenience store next to a middle school...lots of foot traffic, but no sales. I'm sure that same store would do a lot better next to a Hospital or Factory.

(..and right now you are saying, "Yeah, but how do I get it next to a factory?")

Online...put up a sign in the window that say's you have 'Miller Beer on special at quittin' time'..instead of just 'Open for Business'.

That same store could be next to the Ford Plant for months without anyone noticing, but the minute you put a sign in the window that caters to their needs, you will need 2 employees everyday at 5 p.m. to handle the daily rush.

Ranking for stuff that you don't have means nothing unless you start stocking the shelves with the reason that they found you...but it's hard to guess the needs on such a general term, especially one that can be confused with something completely different.

I'm not saying change what you are doing..what I am saying is start optimizing for what you actually want.

If you want a page on your site to sell books on "Coaching Styles" , then stop trying to get traffic for "Coaching Styles" ( you will never get a sale) and start attracting traffic for "Books on Coaching Styles", and "Books on Business Coaching" and I'm sure that there are a lot of other terms that people use frequently to describe what you have.

SEO is funny ( and believe me, I think it sucks that we have to do this) but if you think about it, it's very specific in what it asks of you. But most people want to be known for a larger term hoping for residual sales, instead of concentrating on what they do best.

If all you sell is "Used BMW's, then don't optimize for simply "Used Cars"..too much competition and you haven't described your business....it 2 different markets...and you will waste a lot of time.
Sure...ranking for "Used Cars" would be coveted ( and for that term...lucrative) but what you really want is to rank for "Used BMW's"...target your audience, describe your service...in specifics.

Spider
02-14-2010, 11:22 PM
...I'm not saying change what you are doing..what I am saying is start optimizing for what you actually want...

...Sure...ranking for "Used Cars" would be coveted ( and for that term...lucrative) but what you really want is to rank for "Used BMW's"...target your audience, describe your service...in specifics.The thing is, Harold, I am optimized for what I want - my ranking for "eBooks about Coaching Styles" is as high if not higher than for "Coaching Styles." I mean, you can't get higher than #1 on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

I could understand what you were saying if I was #1 for "Coaching Styles" and #100 for "ebooks about coaching styles." I would have to stop optimizing for Coaching styles and optimize instead for "ebooks about coaching styles." But that's not the case. I am optimized for "ebooks about coaching styles," if #1 in Google, Yahoo and Bing is anything to go by (and I cannot think of anything else but the serps to go by.)

I'm at #1 and ebooks.com is at #5. How can I possibly optimize better than that? What I'm getting at is, further optimizing is clearly not the answer - unless I'm not understanding something here.


But, let me backtrack a little. The original intent for the page was not to win sales for ebooks on coaching - it was to bring in people looking for information about coaching who would be potential clients for my coaching service. Well, the first part has been accomplished, as you identified earlier - the page is bringing in people looking for information. Results show that these information-seekers are not interested in my coaching service, or not interested in what I said about my coaching service, and they haven't clicked through. I've tried changing what I said with no improvement in results.

So, then I began to focus on providing more information to these information-seekers by focussing on ebooks, and that hasn't produced any better results - the information-seekers have not sought more information than I am supplying on the page (actually 2 pages.)

As I see it, I can

1. abandon this traffic as unproductive and delete this section of my site,
2. keep improving my copy until I hit on something that these information-seekers find tempting about my coaching, or
3. find something else, other than ebooks that these information-seekers want to buy.

I really don't see how further optimizing is going to get me any better placing than I already have, unless #1 is not the best place to be and second- or third-page placement is more lucrative (and I've never heard anyone proclaim that before.)

Harold Mansfield
02-15-2010, 12:15 AM
Frederick, you know far more about business than I do and you already know the answer.

If you are getting eyes on the page, and you are sure it's the eyes that you need, then the next link in the chain is the pitch..the presentation.

What would you tell someone who has curious traffic into their store, yet don't make many sales ?

I looked at your site through the eyes of someone who searched for "E books about coaching styles" and sure enough there you were..and I clicked the link and you know what I didn't see ? BOOKS.

Having seen your site before, I assumed I would be landing on this page:
http://www.frederickpearce.com/products.html...and I didn't. Now I knew that page was there because I have seen it before, but do you really think that strangers will know it's there, or will even bother to look ?

I know you need content for optimization, but if you take the term that brought the visitors there, and the actual presentation of the page, it doesn't exactly match.

People on the web are lazy (it's actually more like have short attention spans), they don't read, and they are quick to back out and go to the next site because it's too easy to just re-search or jump to the next listing. You almost have to make it shiny with large buttons to catch their attention.

If I (the average knucklehead on the web) type in "books"...I want to see book covers, prices, reviews, and excerpts. Your page that is optimized for "ebooks about coaching styles" doesn't have that. Actually what I saw was a pitch for me to hire your services....



When I started my construction company, I hired three business colleagues to coach me, each with a different style. This was one of the wisest decisions I ever made. Over the next six years, we grew my company from nothing into a multi-million dollar business. I am retired now and have been a business coach for the past ten years. I can help you do what I did.
Are you ready for that?
(Yes, Frederick! Show me how!! Show me my options now!)

If your business or career is only doing "okay," perhaps it's time for you to hire me. Because, doing "okay" isn't good enough anymore! The next ten years will be highly competitive. Today, people hire a coach only when they have a problem, as a consultant. People, in future, will win by treating their coaches as a sports team does – as an essential and permanent member of their organization.

that's not what I (the average knucklehead on the web) searched for.
Where are the books ?

Your page description say's


We also have some coaching e-books that may help you. I have noticed 30 coaching methods or styles in current use. My mentoring style will help you achieve ...
Conflicting information...first of all you said "We also have some coaching e-books that may help you. I have noticed 30 coaching methods or styles in current use"...and then you said "My mentoring style will help you achieve...."

Which is it ? Do you have books, or are you pitching your own product?
If you have a book, then pitch that and show me the cover so I know I'm in the right place.

Look at your competition on the same search results page....Ebooks.com, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Everyone knows they have books, so how are you going to get people to buy from you when major books sellers are right next door ?

The first step is to show some books, or pitch your own. Not pitch your services...that's not what they were looking for when they clicked that page or else they would have searched for "Business Coaches" or a similar term.

You have to tackle them like 2 different things because they are.

If someone finds my site looking for Wordpress work, I don't try and sell them a V-Bulletin installation on the same page. You assume that people actually read, and go from top to bottom on the web. They don't. Not when they are searching. They skim to see phrases that catch their attention...to let them know they have found what they need...and they look at the pretty pictures. That's why they call it "surfing" iinstead of "reading".

If I search for something tangible..a product of some sort...even if it's digital...if I don't see an image of it, I assume that this site doesn't have what I need.

People on the web don't know you, and they are not going to investigate and click around to see if you have what they are looking for.

If the page doesn't match what I searched for...I'm outa there and I don't care where it was ranked....I'm on to the next one to see some books.

Spider
02-15-2010, 09:48 AM
Great post, Harold. Thanks. Why is it so difficult to see the forest when you are one of the trees?! I guess I haven't let go of the original concept that some of the information-seekers are prospects for my service.

A complete re-think is in order.

Harold Mansfield
02-15-2010, 10:08 AM
I guess I haven't let go of the original concept that some of the information-seekers are prospects for my service.
.

Some or many of them may be at some point. But don't try and sell them on every page, or a page that has other business....that's why you have clearly labeled navigation...because you don't know who will find you, or for what reason or search term.

If you are going to be dong 2 different things on the site (selling you and selling books) Let each page have it's own purpose, yet still keep the general message of the site as a whole, that you are a professional and people pay you for this.

I have maybe 5 articles on my site..they are just for information...tips and such. I don't pitch myself in those articles...they are on my site, if they are interested in services they will surely see where they have landed and notice the menu that tells more about who wrote the articles.

From what I see, you have am e- book...(looks like more than one). Why aren't you pitching it on that page?

Example:
The Weight Loss Surgery Connection | Weight Loss Surgery Connection (http://www.connectionwls.com/helpful-tips-and-resources/the-weight-loss-surgery-connection/)

...and then if you want to link to that other page with a simple banner of "see more books about...",,or something to that effect, you have covered all of your bases, given the people what they were looking for, pitched your own product and given them choices for others.

Every bird, one stone.



Why is it so difficult to see the forest when you are one of the trees?!

Because when you build your own site, it is really hard to separate what you mean in your mind with what is actually on the page and what other people see.
Also...you're an educated guy and pretty smart...so you assume that everyone "Should know"..but the reality is, they don't. it doesn't mean that they are not smart...it just means that they don't think like you.

You have to step outside of yourself and think of your site like what it is..A tool. Promotional/Marketing tool like a business card, or brochure. It's not (exactly) a personal reflection, but it is a reflection of how you manage your business ( which I guess there is some personality in that).

the trick is to be able to take what's in your head, or what you mean and translate that into your site so that others see it the same way.
You almost have to act as if you are building the site for someone else, but remember to write for people who have no idea what a "Business Coach" is or what it is you do.

If you knew that all of your visitors don't have a clue about your industry or services, would you write it the same way ? Or do you make the assumption that "If they search for it, they must know what it is"?

I always assume that they searched for it because they don't know what it is and it's my job to tell them, and sell them.

Spider
02-16-2010, 02:20 PM
Okay. I've tried to take that into account. Here is my latest rendition.

COACHING METHODS, COACHING STYLES - Frederick Pearce, Business Coach and Mentor (http://frederickpearce.com/coachstyle.html)

How did I do?

Harold Mansfield
02-16-2010, 03:35 PM
Okay. I've tried to take that into account. Here is my latest rendition.

COACHING METHODS, COACHING STYLES - Frederick Pearce, Business Coach and Mentor (http://frederickpearce.com/coachstyle.html)

How did I do?

Now all of the chain links connect :)
Since there is not much content on the page, make sure you make use of your image tags, and get the word "e-books" in there, both top and bottom.

I would probably put some kind of description with each as well...but that's all SEO stuff...the bottom line is, the page matches the Search Result.

Spider
02-16-2010, 06:11 PM
Thanks, Harold - I forgot the alt attributes(!) on the new images so added them. I'll check it in a few days to see if there's anything to report.

Harold Mansfield
02-16-2010, 06:56 PM
Thanks, Harold - I forgot the alt attributes(!) on the new images so added them. I'll check it in a few days to see if there's anything to report.

Hold on there 'Nelly', you ain't done yet:rolleyes:. Did you check your follow through ?

I clicked on a couple of the links and they went to a dead page
Time Out (http://www.audible.com/timeout.html), you can't measure any success if the action cannot be completed.

Also, you may want to think about adding some descriptions to those areas to differentiate what they are (an opportunity for some SEO) since they all go to different areas , how much they cost (if applicable)...at least give them some additional information so they know which one they should click.

You may want to use some sell words like "Instant Download", or action words like "Click here to Download".

You have to guide the transaction from landing through sale (in as few steps as possible) and make sure everything is functioning properly.

Spider
02-17-2010, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the headsup, Harold! One company seems to have changed something - Audible.com. Everything else seems to be funtioning properly, though.

Harold Mansfield
02-17-2010, 07:47 PM
Thanks for the headsup, Harold! One company seems to have changed something - Audible.com. Everything else seems to be funtioning properly, though.

Happens to me all the time. I'll go into a site I haven't looked at in weeks and click some links and they are dead...like when Hydroxycut was taken off of the market.
It's then that you think back to that email from the company that you were supposed to get back to later.
"Oh, that's what that was about!":eek:

Harold Mansfield
02-18-2010, 12:20 AM
Fredrick, you've been a real sport. You'll be going "Ah Ha!' in no time :)
Then you'll really realize what a pain in the butt it is.

Spider
02-25-2010, 07:22 PM
It has been 10 days since I made the changes to the 'Coaching Styles' page. There has been a definite increase in clickthrus to other parts of the site.

No new clients, but at least some of the 'styles' searchers are going beyond the 'styles' page. Some have visited the ebooks page and clicked on an ebook or two(haven't checked yet if any purchases have been made) and several made some very lengthy excursions into the main body of the site, which never happened before.

I am pleased with the results. I shall leave it like this for now to see how this works over the longer term.

Thanks to Harold and everyone for your help and suggestions. Much appreciated.

Harold Mansfield
02-25-2010, 07:57 PM
It has been 10 days since I made the changes to the 'Coaching Styles' page. There has been a definite increase in clickthrus to other parts of the site.

No new clients, but at least some of the 'styles' searchers are going beyond the 'styles' page. Some have visited the ebooks page and clicked on an ebook or two(haven't checked yet if any purchases have been made) and several made some very lengthy excursions into the main body of the site, which never happened before.

I am pleased with the results. I shall leave it like this for now to see how this works over the longer term.

Thanks to Harold and everyone for your help and suggestions. Much appreciated.

That's good to hear. It can only get better as you go.


("Whew ! At least I didn't come off looking like an idiot..that would have sucked", he thought to himself.) :)

Spider
02-25-2010, 09:32 PM
I don't know if it is because of making the other changes to the site - not that they were very extensive, really - but I'm getting some very good SERP placings recently.

Searches over the past few days include:-

personal mentor (Googel #1)
personal development coach (Google #1)
business mentoring companies (Google #1)
financial potential (Google #1)
personal life coach houston texas (Yahoo #1 after Local Listings)
mentor personal goals (Google #3)
program development coach (Google #3)
prospecting for new clients (Google #7)

Now, if we could get people to hang around long enough to be impressed enough to hire me....!

vangogh
02-26-2010, 03:07 AM
That's great Frederick. The true secret of building a great site and business for that matter is to keep making incremental improvements.

For now you've pulled in a little more traffic and some people are moving past the one page and checking out others. A few more improvements and maybe both get even better and then it transitions into those leads you want.

Spider
02-26-2010, 10:32 AM
We hope. Thanks, VG.

Dan Furman
02-26-2010, 12:27 PM
It has been 10 days since I made the changes to the 'Coaching Styles' page. There has been a definite increase in clickthrus to other parts of the site.

No new clients, but at least some of the 'styles' searchers are going beyond the 'styles' page. Some have visited the ebooks page and clicked on an ebook or two(haven't checked yet if any purchases have been made) and several made some very lengthy excursions into the main body of the site, which never happened before.

I am pleased with the results. I shall leave it like this for now to see how this works over the longer term.

Thanks to Harold and everyone for your help and suggestions. Much appreciated.

Excellent!! It's kind of neat (and exciting) to see changes to the website = changes in visitor behaviour, isn't it?

Spider
02-26-2010, 05:55 PM
It is, Dan - and a bit mysterious, too!

Harold Mansfield
02-26-2010, 06:03 PM
It's really all about "giving the people what they want"..it holds true online. Give people exactly what they are searching for and they will come.

I think the changes you've made a a positive step in the right direction and you are learning the difference between attracting people and then trying to sell them something, and selling to people who were already looking to buy.

There is a big difference online, unlike the physical world where a rack of gum and magazines by the checkout stand can make some sales...doesn't work like that on the web.

It's an ongoing process. you will always tweak things here and there to get better over time.

vangogh
02-26-2010, 07:57 PM
Even offline it's on ongoing process. Some people will walk into your store, know exactly what they want and buy it. Many though will want to ask some questions and you'll be directing them toward a purchase with your conversation attempting to overcome their objections to buying.

The main difference online is you can't really talk to potential clients and customers so you have to be prepared for their questions and objections and figure out how to lead them through your sales process.

Patrysha
02-26-2010, 09:27 PM
Not to mention the amazing differences you can see in the offline world with changes there too. Moving fixtures for walk through, adjusting signage so it takes advantage of natural sight lines...little things can make a big difference in conversions and sales in the physical world too :-)

vangogh
02-27-2010, 02:13 AM
All good points. You really do have to try different things and see what works and know that what works today may not work tomorrow.