small business owners

Majority of business owners in the UK don’t comprehend affiliate marketing

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A research that was conducted by the Optimus Performance Marketing has established that two thirds of medium to small business owners in the United Kingdom do not understand what affiliate marketing is. In the research, only a third of the respondents who were interviewed gave an accurate description. This comes despite a research that was conducted by PWC and Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and published at the start of the year and revealed that the industry’s performance is worth 9 billion pounds.

Optimus Performance MarketingHelen Southgate, the United Kingdom managing director at affilinet says that in the past, the small businesses have had a tendency to shy away from affiliate marketing due to the perception that it is complicated. She however differs with this saying it is everything else but complicated and all you just need to have the right information on how to manage the program in the best way. She adds that affiliate marketing is a very efficient and quantifiable way of increasing the sales in order to grow your business in a sustainable manner.

Tradedoubler regional director, Dan Cohen, says he is still surprised that even with the proven affiliate marketing sector’s power, there still exist some business owners who do not take advantage of the method to increase their sales. Tradedoubler made over €3.5 billion in additional revenue for the clients in 2012. This is proof that the method indeed works. Cohen says that the statistics reveal that the industry needs more education within the SMEs. Eleanor Pickering, who is the advertising development’s head at Commission Junction in UK, also echoes this view saying that just like the other areas in the online marketing industry, there is need to continue educating the businesses, particularly the SMEs, so as to ensure that they become aware of the benefits they can reap from affiliate marketing. She says that if the survey conducted is accurate, it shows that the market has still a long way to go. She however adds that the affiliate networks and the IAB Affiliate Marketing Council were working to ensure that the industry is easier to fund and it is more recognizable.

John Weeks, Ve Interactive’s senior partnership manager, says that the findings of the survey are not surprising as the continued growth of the performance channels has led to questions from the highest organization levels. According to him, the lack of knowledge on the matter of affiliate marketing comes from the senior management and it may be as a result of an offline background among these people. He however adds that even some people in the management who have online experience do not understand affiliate marketing. As a remedy, he recommends that businesses start including affiliate marketing in their digital marketing strategies, particularly if they are seeking to expand their business globally.

The affiliate manager for DigitasLBI, Rachael Spowart, says that it would be hard to dispute the findings of Optimus with regards to affiliate marketing saying that the lack of understanding is something they also face as an agency. She says that the research emphasizes the need to educate leaders of businesses about the performance model’s benefits and the nature of the affiliate marketing industry.

Analyzing Website Traffic- A Dire Necessity of Small and Medium Businesses

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The online marketing arena is one arena where there is no distinction between small business and a large corporate, both compete equally and have equal chances of attaining success, which is quite contrary to the real world.

The ultimate objective of small business owners is to generate maximum traffic, and out of that traffic produce a sale. Like in website link building, there are lots of ways in which the traffic to a website can be generated. However, the need is to keep an eye on how and from where the traffic is generated. For this purpose, the need is to have a strong grip on analytics.

Using Analytics:

The analytics can be used for two purposes primarily.

  • Firstly, to segment the traffic generated.
  • Secondly, to monitor the traffic generated by social media.

1. Traffic Segmentation:

A small business needs to know the source of its traffic so that the area from which the traffic is received could be targeted affectively. Therefore, to get the data about the visitors, small businesses need to divide their traffic into segments.

A small business can segment the traffic on two basis:

  • Region
  • City

The setting can be done in Google Analytics by following the below given steps:

  • Under the Standard Reporting Tab click on the tab of Advanced Segments.
  • In the Advancement Segments tab, you can apply the geographic filter of city or region.

If the business is of medium scale, then region wise traffic segmentation would be suitable as city is a minute figure compared to a region. However, if the business operates at a very low level, then even a city-based filter would also suffice.

This segmentation could help in better monitoring of the email marketing, social media, and offline advertising campaigns.

2. Monitoring Social Media:

There is no denying the importance of social media for an online marketing campaign. The traffic on social media is analyzed by keeping two factors in mind.

  • The location of all the people who receive your message and are in your sharing line
  • The action taken by aforementioned people when they visit your website

However, social media is like a web, where another person further shares the sharing of one person and so the cycle goes on. This is where the analyzing of social media traffic facilitates. By analyzing the traffic, one could measure the effectiveness of the campaign in the target area or location.

Situational Tips:

The lines below give a few of the situations, which you might be facing pertaining to traffic, and tips to resolve them.

  • If the traffic received by your website is dispersed around the globe, then you need to bring in an SEO who could specify your target market to your locality.
  • A business can use services of a social media marketing firm, to target the audience of the local area on Facebook, and track the behavior of the traffic.
  • If the traffic received by your website s minimal, than the thing you need to do is to get localized web services such as Google Places and other, where you would get enlisted in the local searches.
  • Most importantly, don’t just go on storing the web analytics data, rather review it on regular basis to stay in touch with the latest happenings.

Conclusion:

In short, for small business owners, keeping track, and analyzing there web traffic is an utmost necessity. This could help them understand the behavior and buying pattern of the customers, which ultimately would lead to business growth.