A few things to take away from Internet Marketing

Monday, 3. December 2012

This blog post explores and analyzes what I have learned while taking MKTG 470 at James Madison University.

Google Analytics

I begin by analyzing the traffic on my website from Google Analytics. My website currently has a total of 153 visits and 111 unique visits. 72% are from new visitors and only 27% of visitors are returning visitors. I am pleased with the websites traffic sources because 23% from search traffic, 34% from referral traffic, and 42% from direct traffic which are pretty even. Finally, the content overview includes an impressive total of 664 pageviews. Overall, I was pleased with the visitors, traffic sources and content overviews of my website from Google Analytics.

Webmaster Tool

Now I will analyze my websites results on Google’s Webmaster Tool. The search queries page lists “JMU Marketing Major” as the number one query. The page that users clicked on most was my website’s homepage. The links to my site page includes 3 links from my twitter and my teacher, Theresa Clarke‘s home page. Another helpful tool is the Malware tool, which helps protect your website from potential problems with hacking and software issues. Although I discussed only three of the tools, there are numerous other extremely helpful tools. I would recommend for Marketers to utilize Google Webmaster Tools because of the helpful information it shows.

Overall Learnings

With the tools we used during MKTG 470, I have been able to strengthen my skills needed in internet marketing. The most helpful skill I have learned is how to create a website and successfully draw visitors to your website. WordPress is very easy to use and has the tools necessary for a successful website. The most important skill I have learned from this class is how to use SEO on your website. My biggest take away out of this class has been able to create my own website where I can blog and create pages about myself.

Takeaways

If could take Strategic Internet Marketing again, I would do many things differently. I would write more blog posts that include more discussions on current events and my experiences as a marketing student. I also would update my campaign more freqently on Google Adwords. This update includes editing your budget and changing your bid amount for certain keywords. Finally, I would use more SEO techniques throughout my website. Ultimately, I have gained the skills necessary to successfully use internet marketing.

SEO- strategic internet marketing

Strategic Internet Marketing using SEO

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SEO Strategy

Monday, 26. November 2012

I utilized specific on-page Search Engine Optimization Strategies for optimizing one of my pages on my website using the exact phrase “JMU marketing major“. I did this by adding the phrase into the permalink, in name of the page, and by using the phrase throughout the body of the page. Also, I uploaded an image and used the phrase within the descriptor of the image.

The off-page SEO strategies for building links to my webpage was to use links to the page in my twitter and other websites including my other personal website and LinkedIn. Adding links to my homepage on other websites increases my website performance.

Within MKTG 470, we were required to complete a SEO Diagnostic Tests A-D which tested my websites ranking on Google search. Diagnostic Tests A and B were performed before SEO strategies were utilized and were taken at the beginning of the semester. Diagnostic Tests C and D were taken after using SEO optimization strategies throughout the semester. They are used to compare the before and after SEO strategies. Within the tests, we used Crawler FX Report which asks for the webpage you want to optimize, and the keywords associated with optimizing the webpage. Crawler FX Report then gives you a scorecard after analyzing your webpage and the keyword and gives you a ranking from 1-100 score. The score is based on search traffic, keywords, estimated Google rank and other SEO strategies used. Ultimately, the score helps you understand what needs work on your website and which strategies are working well.

Some other strategies I plan to utilize in the future increase my links on other websites. This can be achieved simply by having a friend in this class add a link to my website in one of their blog posts. Also, while creating my own blog posts, I plan to include links back to my homepage within the post. By doing so will increase visitors to my homepage on my website.

 

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Plow & Hearth

Tuesday, 6. November 2012

Thursday, November 1st, two Guest Speakers from Plow & Hearth visited my class, MKTG 470 Strategic Internet Marketing, to discuss what their company is, how the industry is constantly changing, and what internet marketing actions, strategies and tools are used to remain a successful company.

Before I get into detail about a few insights I gained from our guest speaker’s presentation, here is a brief summary about their company. Plow & Hearth is a national retail, online and catalog company that specializes in quality built and unique home, hearth, yard and garden products. HearthSong, part of Plow & Hearth, sells child wholesome, quality toys. For more information on Plow & Hearth, visit their website or their Facebook. Jessica Baines, the guest speaker and representative of Plow & Hearth, is the Senior Manager for Online Marketing and works in Charlottesville, Virginia. One is able to contact Ms. Baines at her Linkedin.

Now that I have touched on what Plow & Hearth is and who our guest speaker was, I want to discuss a few points I gained from this presentation.

To begin with, Ms. Baines suggested that when you form a search engine marketing campaign, the following are important variables to take into consideration because they will influence your campaign: 1. Industry 2. Company Goals 3. Strategy 4. Method of Measurement 5. Budget and 6. Leadership. Knowing these will help your company create a successful, cost saving, strategic campaign.

Another insight I took from this presentation is that even though Ms. Baines has hundreds of campaigns running on Google Adwords, each is set up for a different medium. By setting up one campaign three times to reach the three different mediums, computer, mobile and tablet, a company can budget costs for each medium and is also able to see the success rate for each of the mediums.

The last insight I gained from this presentation was from my asking Ms. Baines a question. She mentioned that if an ad keyword has thousands of impressions, but little to no clicks, to then remove the keyword from the campaign. I then asked that if you have a keyword with many impressions, but no clicks, and has a very high (10/10) quality score, should you still remove that keyword from the campaign? She responded no, and further explained that a high quality score, given to you by Google Adwords ranking the relevance of your keyword based on the ad and the website, is more important.

I would like to thank Ms. Baines for taking the time out to James Madison University to speak to our class about her day to day internet marketing tasks at Plow & Hearth, and advice on some strategies for successful internet advertising, which applies exactly to the campaign my classmates and I are doing for MKTG 470 at JMU.

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Revamping my personal website to look more professional to viewers

Tuesday, 16. October 2012

I recently changed my website theme from Whitehouse layout, to cbOne website theme by Christopher Bergmann after browsing the themes WordPress offered. The layout captured my attention because of the sophisticated, simple yet contrasting theme. After the installation of this new theme, I did not find any drastic changes from the layout I had originally. The transform went smoothly.

The new theme shows a slick, 3D black strip at the top that contrasts with the rest of the white and gray page. The black strip ultimately directs the viewers attention to the title on the strip at the top left corner of the page, which happens to be my name, Lexi Bittinger. This is important to me because I would like viewers to associate my name with my writing and information. I am striving for viewers to remember me. Beneath the title area are my blog titles, which are bold and black with professional, easy to read font. The blog title is smaller than the website title, so this theme uses contrast and size to categorize the site for the viewer. Lastly, beneath the blog post is the actual blog, which is smaller than the title, not bold and is easy to read.

This theme is not distracting a reader, and the aesthetic is sharp, to the point and businesslike. This style emphasizes the purpose of this website, which is to market myself as a soon to be graduate, Marketing Major from JMU‘s College of Business.

 

 

 

 

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Miss Spelled

Wednesday, 10. October 2012

While taking notes in class recently, I noticed how I frequently second guessed myself when it came to spelling out some large words. Guess what I did to double check my spelling? I pulled out my phone and typed the word in, and no red squiggly line showed up. Congrats to me, I spelled the word correctly.

I realized this was not all my fault, that I was not the only one with this problem. The problem is that my generation relies on technology to solve problems; even a problem as simple as a misspelled word.

Growing up in the mid 90′s, I was surrounded by new technological innovations– one of which was World Wide Web becoming easy to use. My first use of the internet was to fit in at my school by using AIM and AOL instant messaging to communicate with my friends. With this first step into using technology, I began using the internet more and more not only for my social life, but also for my learning. Looking up terms in the dictionary took too long and was too tedious. Instead, I could look up definitions, synonyms and antonyms with ease. No sore hand and no misspelled words. Ultimately, I became negligent. Auto correct was instant gratification. Auto correct became my best friend.

Compare the fifth grader I was in the mid 90′s with the current, 2012 fifth grader. I had the internet, with an average webpage loading time of 20 seconds. Fifth graders now have “smart phones” and ipads with an average webpage loading time of 3 seconds. I believe that the internet was just the start of the reliance on technology. My reliance to use my phone to double check my misspelled word is a problem that will be hard to fix not just for me, but for future generations. People initially relied on computers. Now people rely on computers, “smart phones” and tablets like the ipad. What is next?

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My First MKTG 470 Blog Post

Tuesday, 25. September 2012

Welcome to my blog.  I am currently enrolled in Strategic Internet Marketing (MKTG 470) taught by Dr. Theresa B. Clarke at James Madison University.  

Each color represents the four categories of Strategic Internet Marketing: Trends, Technology, Strategy and Analytics

As one of the course requirements, all students will be completing some of the assignments as blog posts.  This is my first official blog post for Dr. Clarke’s course in the JMU Department of Marketing.

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