Sharing personal thoughts and information is a part of life. People want to share important things in their lives with people they know. That is why you get a lot of business talk during parties.
As a host or hostess, you may be getting sick of people talking business at your party. However, it shows that the people you invite want to share a part of themselves with those around them.
In the past few years, social media has become a way that people share their thoughts and opinions. Often those thoughts and opinions extend to business. Businesses are playing a part in many of these conversations, whether they know it or not.
Many companies are faking their way through social media. That is a fact that most will not admit since many do not realize it. Bad use of social media can actually backfire and hurt your company. To avoid this, your company needs to use social media the right way to make the most of it.
How do you promote your business in social media without "selling"?
When putting together your company website, the mantra you hear today is "content, content, content." That is what drives search engines to websites these days. Well, you need to offer the same thing on social media.
Let's say you sell small kitchen appliances. You have a crock pot in stock you want to promote. Here are some ways to sell that crock pot without actually "selling' it:
You get the picture. You need to give quality information while linking your product or service into the message subtly.
What are people saying about you?
Most business experts will tell you the best advertisement is word of mouth. That is as true today as it was a century ago. The biggest difference is that much of that conversation is happening in the virtual world instead of face-to-face. Do you know what people are saying about you and your company?
Look at what people are saying about your company online.
if you have never done this before. You may get a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, you may get a shock. Listening to what people are saying is actually a way to figure out how best to market your company.
You can use vicarious marketing to increase your revenue streams. Listen to what others are saying about you. You can begin to influence that talk with positive content and positive comments from happy customers. Give it some time and you will see any negative comments going away like a light breeze. It will be a distance memory as your customers sing your praises.
Stop faking your way through social media and start taking charge of your company's public image.
Are you throwing away money on your website? Measuring just how much value you are getting from your website is difficult for some businesses.
They may get plenty of traffic through their website, but cannot track how much is actually providing revenue to the business. It is important to track the ROI to make sure you are getting the most out of your website.
The equation for ROI (return on investment) is simple enough.
Return on investment is not all based on numbers. There are intangible benefits you need to keep in mind when thinking about your website.
Think about what a first time visitor takes from your website. If you present a professional website with informative content, the visitor will have a positive impression. If you present an ill-designed website with very little content, the visitor will have a negative impression. A good website will give visitors that critical positive first impression. It makes them more likely to trust your brand. That is the first step towards becoming a lead or a paying customer.
When someone visits your site, they come with certain expectations. They want to find the information they are looking for without hassle. They want to see a professional website with high quality content. If you are not meeting those expectations, you have a bad website. A bad website loses you money every day. Instead of visitors staying around and signing up to become a lead, they are leaving as soon as they see the first page of your website.
What is your website missing? Many first time websites are basic. They do not have a lot of functionality. Businesses learn to work around these deficiencies because they have no other immediate choice. With only a basic website, you are leaving plenty of revenue off the table. When doing a redesign, plan on adding the functionality you need. The extra investment will pay off in better leads and increased revenue.
When you pull up your website analytics, how many people have signed up to become leads? This is something you need to check at least a couple times a week. It is important to maximize your lead generation in order to increase your revenue opportunities. So, how many leads do you get every week? How many do you want to get? If those numbers are not the same, then you need a website redesign.
Once you look at the ROI numbers and the intangible benefits, you can make an informed decision on whether a website redesign or major update is in your website's near future. The reality is that you need a fresh and dynamic website to capture visitors' attention. Making the investment will payoff in many ways that you calculate and that you cannot.
When was the last time you redesigned your website? You may make occasional updates on prices or posts to your company blog. But, when was the last time you did a major redesign or update?
You might be saying, "I don’t have time to update my website." The reality is that if you have not made a major redesign or update in the past couple of years, you are making a big mistake.
This mistake could be costing you in lost leads and revenue potential. With advancing technology and emerging marketing techniques, it is important to keep your website up to date and focused on leading visitors into your sales funnel.
Here are some questions you need to ask:
Answering these questions can take you on a journey to update your website and start to take advantage of the opportunities that are currently slipping you buy. Increase your business revenues by bringing more visitors to your site with a website redesign.
If you are asking the question "Do I really need to invest in a mobile ready site?" you already know the answer. In today's increasingly mobile world, more and more people are using mobile devices to view your website. You are losing web traffic and potential revenue if your website is not ready for those visitors and their devices.
Remember your website is a tool that your business uses to attract people, turn them into leads, and entice them into becoming paying customers. If your website is not mobile friendly, it is actually costing you money instead of making you money. That is not what you need from such a critical marketing tool.
Why is your old website costing you money?
Every couple of years most websites need a major update or redesign. If yours is due or overdue for an update, it is the perfect time to revamp your site and make it mobile friendly. You will make those critical first impressions and turn lost opportunities into increasing revenue streams.
Responsive Web Design
The best option for most websites is a technique known as responsive web design. In the past, web designers focused on how the website will look on a desktop or a laptop. With responsive web design, the designer focuses on making the web pages transform based on the size of the browser window.
For a laptop or desktop, the website would look like most others. But, when you view it on the smaller screens of a smart phone or a tablet, the website will change formats. Graphics will shrink, in some cases. Buttons may actually grow to accommodate touch screen use. The designer selects which elements are most important and makes those most prominent on smaller screens. Other elements go further down the page. The best thing about this website design option is that the same graphics and theme show up on all screen sizes.
Give your website the redesign it needs. With a mobile friendly design, you can catch people where they are looking. That will increase website traffic, lead generation, and revenue streams. Your website needs to generate revenue, not cost you money. Make the investment and make it mobile friendly.
A decade ago, a blog was somewhere people put down their thoughts and opinions about every subject under the sun. It was basically an online diary. Most did not realize how important blogging would become in the modern marketplace.
Today, it is almost impossible for a company to succeed online without a blog. Yet, some companies have avoided creating one. Some only update their blogs once a month or so. The reality is they are missing out on a great marketing opportunity.
Here are six blog myths uncovered:
Myth #1- Blogging takes too much time, without any return for the effort.
If you are not an experienced writer and try to write your own blog posts, it can take a long time. But, no one says you have to write your own posts . You can outsource your blog to a ghost writer or an employee. You can ask other bloggers to do guest blogs occasionally. When you plan your blog content and execute that plan, the efforts are worth it.
Myth #2 - Posting a couple of times a month should do the trick.
A few years ago, posting to your company blog a couple of times a month might work. That is not so these days. Your competition is making posts at least once or twice a week. Their content is fresher. The search engines prefer fresh content. It brings the rank of the entire site upsignificantly.
Myth #3 - Getting someone to blog for you is expensive.
When it comes to your company's website, content rules. If you do not have the skills or time to update your blog, you need to pay someone else to do it. You may think it costs too much. However, you can find freelance writers willing to create a blog entry at an affordable price. You can invite other bloggers to guest blog for you on occasion and that content is usually free. You can get the blog done and not pay too much in the process.
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Myth #4 - Blogging is a fad.
A fad is an extensively shared enthusiasm for something that lasts for a short period. The first burst of enthusiasm may have waned on blogging, but this "fad" has lasted well over a decade. Blogs are here to stay. Your company needs to come into the 21st century and create a blog that represents your company.
Myth #5 - My customers don't read blogs anyway.
How do you know? Unless you ask every one of your customers point-blank about their browsing activities, you do not know. If you browse around, you will find blogs on just about any subject out there somewhere. Unless all your customers hate computers and prefer a landline to a mobile phone, at least some of them are reading blogs. You are missing out on becoming one of your customers' stops on their blog browsing list.
Myth #6 - People will leave negative comments.
People will be people. Some will make negative comments. But, there are blog management tools that will help you eliminate or manage that problem. You can approve any comments that appear on your blog. You can turn off commenting. You can delete comments. You can filter comments that have certain words and put them in a queue for future review. There is no need to fear negative comments since you have the ultimate control.
As you can see, the reality and facts about blogs shows the power of blogging for your company. Invest the time and effort to use this powerful tool to your company's advantage. The investment will bring your traffic, leads, and sales numbers up considerably if you do it right.
Building a website is not a one time thing. Many companies make the mistake of thinking of their website is something they create and forget about. Even if you make periodic updates to the content, the design remains the same. But, you may not realize it, but, if you have not done a redesign to your company's website in the last couple of years, you are losing money.
The ultimate goal of any business website is to generate sales. If your website is out of date, non-functional, or just lost, you will not get the sales you expect. In fact, you may find your traffic, lead, and sales numbers decreasing over time.
Here are five reasons why you need to make a website redesign your top priority:
Investing in a website redesign will pay off. A good way to track this is to take metrics before you launch the redesign and then take several sets afterwards. You will start to see traffic numbers increasing. Your lead count and sales conversions will also improve. That is why prioritizing your redesign should be in this year's business activities.
If you are a small business owner, you need to know how to use marketing analytics. Using this data allows you to measure the effectiveness of and to optimize the return on investment for your company's marketing efforts. There is a ton of valuable information held in those numbers. However, if you fail to look at the data from the right perspective, you may miss valuable information.
Here are five common mistakes businesses make when viewing marketing analytics:
Mistake #1 - Looking at traffic volume instead of qualified visitors.
High traffic numbers look great on paper. But, when you look deeper at that number, how many of these visitors are qualified? A qualified visitor is someone who visits your website with a particular interest in your products or services. For example, if you sell car parts, a visitor looking for brake pads is qualified. But, someone looking for a book on dolls is not.
Mistake #2 - Not understanding organic traffic.
Organic traffic happens when visitors come to your site through unpaid sources, like search engines. The visitor was looking for a particular item or topic and your website came up in the results. Understanding what drives this type of traffic to your website is crucial. It is a great source for low-cost, highly qualified traffic.
Mistake #3 - Believing your company name or industry is a keyword.
Most people look for products or services on the Internet, not the name of a particular company or industry. For example, if someone was looking for a local plumber in Atlanta, they might search for "plumber in Atlanta" or something similar. They would not search for "FGH Plumbers" unless they knew the owner personally.
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Mistake #4 - Ignoring long-tail keywords in favor of short-tail keywords.
It is important to look at all the keywords you are using. Many people focus on the hottest search words and fail to look at the traffic coming from the less popular ones. One fact many overlook is that many long-tail keywords offer steady highly qualified traffic, even if the numbers are not so high. On the other side of the coin, the shorter keywords may be highly contested and produce low-quality traffic for the most part.
Mistake #5 - Thinking fast results are a good thing.
Slow and steady produces better results. Many business owners want results and they want them now. The problem is that marketing analytics is a lot like going on a diet. Slow & steady will produce better results in the long-term than fast & furious. Fast and furious is often low quality traffic that generates few leads and almost no sales. Slow and steady shows a growing amount of organic traffic. That is usually highly qualified visitors who become paying customers.
If you can avoid these common mistakes, you can gain plenty of valuable information from your marketing analytics. This information allows you to adjust your digital marketing strategy to capture more of your target market. It makes a big difference in a successful website redesign strategy and a mediocre one.
When was the last time you told a customer what to do?
The thought of directing a customer to perform an action may seem the opposite of good sales practices. In traditional marketing, telling your client what to do would be a bad practice.
But, the reality of modern inbound marketing is you need to bring your customers to your website and instruct them on what you want them to do. When you are going through a corporate website redesign, you need to merge this idea into your entire design strategy.
Here is how you tell your visitors what to do, in a way that will not turn them away:
Calls to action will let you direct your customers to the action you want them to perform. It will not always be successful.
But, it will get a significant number to do what you ask. When you are doing a corporate website redesign, you need to put thought into what you want a customer to do and how to make it happen.
When you have a product or service to offer, you need to know your target market. For example, a plumber's target market consists of home owners, property owners, and businesses with plumbing needs. Focusing on a teen age boy who likes to play video games and does not own a home would make no sense for a plumber.
Using personas is a strong marketing tool every business should adopt. A persona is an imaginary version of your ideal customer. That persona embraces the needs, desires, environment, and skills of your target market. When defining a persona, a great deal of information comes together including age, socioeconomic factors, career goals, along with their need, their expectations, the skills they apply towards, and any personal biases they have for or against the product or service. Your personas are critical in a corporate website redesign.
Once you know your target customers, you need to develop ways of communicating and attracting them to your website. A number of options are out there including social media, e-mail marketing, webinars, and special offers. Quality content is a major player in this effort as well. All of these present opportunities to build trust with your customer base. All of this needs to be part of your marketing plan.Create a Marketing Budget
Restated, how much does it cost you to get a single person to come to your website. This number embraces the costs of sales and marketing and divides it by the number of customers acquired by those efforts. Ideally, the cost of acquisition is low. But, knowing that number is critical for success.
Many entrepreneurs do not know the amount of sales they will need to reach the profitable point. That number is critical in marketing because it helps decide how much you put towards the effort to get more customers. No one says you have to make that barely profitable number your sales target. But, it is a starting point.
How much of your sales do you put into your sales and marketing effort? If you said 3 percent, the numbers is low. If you said 5 percent, your company is about average. If you said 10 percent, you are at the aggressive level. You can adjust this percentage at any point if you are spending too much or too little. But setting a percentage will give you your budget for the upcoming period.Part of the planning you put into your corporate website redesign needs to include your marketing strategy. Making everything a success begins with a plan and a realistic budget. You can take your business to the next level with the right marketing strategy and launch.
You can find plenty of tactics on the Internet on how to attract people to your website. But, tactics are only as good as the strategy behind them. Tactics are actions you take to handle specific issues. Strategy is the guiding force that helps you know what tactics you need to use. Without a good strategy, your website and online presence will never meet your goals. A website redesign offers the perfect opportunity to create a strong, effective strategy. If you are going to focus on either strategy or tactics, you need to invest your efforts on first instead of second.
Here are four ways you can invest in your digital strategy during your website redesign:
This is something many companies fail to do. They will go to great lengths to design a website with all the bells and whistles. They will create elaborate graphics and web presentations. But, when it comes to the basic strategy of identifying the ideal customer, it doesn't seem to happen.
Identifying your ideal customer allows you to focus your efforts on meeting their needs and creating a destination they will want to visit and return to multiple times.
After identifying your ideal customer, you need to get to know what they need. In today's inbound marketing world, customers are coming to your website based on what they want to find. You need to know what they are trying to find.
When you do that, you can attract them to your website and present your products as a solution to their needs. That is the core of a modern digital strategy.
Every company needs to differentiate itself from its competition. Whether you are facing local competitors or Internet competition, your company needs to know its identity first.
You may offer the same products or services as your competition, but you can differentiate your company with things like excellent customer service, unique offerings, and custom combinations. Knowing what makes your company different allows you to build a strategy with that knowledge built-in.
If you do not have traffic analytic tools running on your site, you are missing out on the kind of information that is priceless for marketing strategy. If you have these tools, take time to look at past traffic analytics.
This information is priceless for building a smart strategy.
- You will learn if people are coming to your website from search engines, direct links, or their bookmarks.
- You will learn whether users are coming from desktop/laptops, smart phones, or tablets.
- You will see which of your web pages are most popular and which are not.
- You will find out where your customers live, down to the city level.
Investing in your digital strategy will lay the ground work for a successful digital marketing campaign. Tactics will give you the edge in particular situations. Your website redesign and new digital strategy will help you become the top company in your particular market.