Archive for Websites

Video: How to Blog on WordPress for Exposure and SEO

This class shows you how easy it is to blog on a WordPress website. How to optimize each blog post for the search engines (SEO), add pictures, tags, categories and keywords. Learn how to blog effectively and save time!

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12 Website Mistakes You Need to Fix for 2017 Success

“My online marketing isn’t working! I have a website, but I’m not getting any sales! What am I doing wrong? I need to drive traffic to my website!”

I hear this all the time. As a small business owner, you know that having a website is important. Furthermore, it’s way more than an online brochure! Regardless of whether the business is B2B or B2C, as I review websites, I see the same mistakes over and over again.

Here are the TOP 12 Mistakes I see small businesses make on their Websites.

  1. Thinking that if you build it they will come — NOT! Having a website and not blogging or sharing on social media is like having a billboard out in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship may see it, but that’s not going to be enough. Moreover, you need to blog at least 2-3 times a week for the first couple of months especially if your site has been stagnant. It’s all so Google will notice you. Each blog post needs to be shared on all the major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (posted public it will be indexed in the search engine), Pinterest and LinkedIn. Yes, Pinterest! It takes the link with it helping with SEO. Once you’ve built some momentum and a following on social media, you can reduce your blogging to once or twice a week. However, check your analytics each month. If you see your monthly web traffic fall, go back to 2-3 times a week. Still, your analytics won’t lie.
    Blogger and copywriter service
  2. No lead generation strategy – or lead capturing on your website. You must have a clear call-to-action on your website for it to be effective. You need to convert visitors to leads then nurture them into sales. That’s where a good Marketing Automation campaign comes in. First, you need a good Call-to-Action. Something of value to your target market – an ebook, free course, webinar, whitepaper (if your business is more technical) or a coupon. Keep the form short. Ask only for their email address and first name. In addition, you can ask 1 or 2 questions to segment your email list, but no more than that. Once you’ve got their email address, put them in an email drip system. I use MailChimp (affiliate link). They have a basic automation service for only $30 a month and it works great. Think out your email messages strategically to direct your warm lead into a sale.
  3. Not optimizing each post or page for the search engines. The free WordPress plugin, SEO by Yoast is the best SEO plugin out there. It walks you through everything you need to do so your post/page will get noticed by Google. Besides, it helps with “readability”. You need to write for your target market. Remember, you’re the expert, they’re not. Write for the human reader with the search engine in mind.
  4. Think like your customers when you design your website. Not fully thinking out what you want to accomplish with the website. What are your goals and objectives? Who do you want to reach? Sure, your main objective is to increase sales, nevertheless, your site needs to walk the visitor from the landing on your page, to where you want them — the conversion. You want to convert a visitor into a warm lead and then you need to nurture that lead into a sale. (See #2 above) Having well-done market and keyword research along with a strategic marketing plan will work as a guide for you website and online marketing efforts.
  5. Having popups. They are extremely annoying. Don’t you remember that popup windows were blocked in browsers. Now they’ve made them plugins to WordPress so they can’t be blocked by browsers. My greatest pet peeve are the exit ones. I want to bookmark or share the blog post, I move the mouse to do so and the pop-up appears and I have to look for the “x” or “close” button. I don’t even read it. You do want to have a clear call-to-action in the top or right-hand side of the page. More discrete popups are the ones that appear at the bottom corners. They’re visible, but not obstructive. Additionally, as of Jan. 10, 2017, Googe is going to block sites with popups on MOBILE from their mobile search! Read this.
  6. Not using analytics. Analytics should be checked monthly. Which sites are driving the most traffic to your site? How long are visitors staying on your site? How many new visitors are you getting compared to returning visitor?
    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics
  7. Having social media follow buttons that either go nowhere or link to your networks and you haven’t posted anything since 2013. If you’re not active in social media, don’t put buttons on your site. What’s more, it makes you look stupid. You need to make it easy for people to follow you and to share your content with their friends. That said, don’t make people hunt for the social media links. Also, label them so people know which is a follow button and which is a share button. You need to have both social media share and follow buttons on your website
  8. Using a “website builder” or “drag-and-drop” sites. What makes these sometimes free sites easy to use is the “drag-and-drop” feature. However, that feature creates a lot of code in the background. The search engine doesn’t recognize code. It’s looking for text written for humans and links. All that code is like a brick wall. Also, you’re on their platform. Those platforms are created with proprietary software. That means it will only run on their system. If you want to move it, you can’t.
  9. Not investing in your own assets. Your own email list, blog, website, video, graphics, etc. On any other platform, whether a free blogging site or social media, you’re just borrowing the space there. You don’t own it. You have to follow their rules and they can change them at any time AND use your content as they wish.
  10. Not having a blog on your site. WordPress makes it easy to have a static website and a blog all in one. Also, without the blog, you don’t have the fresh content that Google is looking for and you don’t have content to draw people to your site. Google ignores static websites.
    Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
  11. Thinking a website built more than 5 years ago is still OK. It’s not. An outdated website affects your online image and SEO.
  12. Having a boring “Join our Newsletter List” call-to-action. The visitor is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Tell them. Give them a freebie – something useful to them – in exchange for their email address.

Believe it or not, when I combine these with others that I’ve seen as well as all the social media ones, there are over 200 common mistakes small businesses are making with their online marketing efforts.

No wonder you’re frustrated!

Download this free ebook to see what other blunders you may be making…..

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?
In conclusion, any mistakes are fixable. Some repairs are simple, some not much. Nonetheless, they you need to address them if you want your online marketing efforts to work. Let me take a look at what you’ve got and I’ll give you a truthful analysis and advise you on what you need to do to make 2017 a successful year for your business.

Free Phone Consult & Social Media Audit
Be fearless in the pursuit of a functioning website!

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3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces Results

What does an “effective website” or “results” mean to you?

  • Would you like more visitors to your site? That’s nice, but are they buying or converting — doing what you want them to do?
  • Increased conversions? That’s when a visitor to your site either buys something or downloads a freebie to be added to your email list.
  • More sales?

That’s it! The bottom line – more sales!

The bottom line is sales! Unfortunately, many small business owners only have a really nice online brochure that doesn’t come anywhere near being an effective website.

And, guess what? It’s not your fault. It’s another case of not knowing what you don’t know.

Usually when a small business owner hires someone to build a website for them, they want the best price around for what they think they need. You hired someone who told you that sure, they can build a WordPress website for you. Well, anyone can. That’s the beauty of WordPress. It’s fairly easy to construct a site, however, like when constructing a house you need 3 critical things:

  1. The foundation and walls – bricks, wood, paint, etc., aka the DESIGN.
  2. Functioning parts — plumbing, electrical, etc., aka the DEVELOPMENT.
  3. All the insides — furniture, appliances, decorations, etc., aka the COPY.

Each of these components, like in building a house, requires specific talents and skills to build a house that’s livable. Sometimes you find the perfect contractor or company who has all of the talents and skills needed. But, that’s rare and it may be expensive. Let’s break each one down….

A Web Designer

3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces ResultsA designer is a very creative person who can take your logo and color scheme and create a beautiful online brochure. The designer might be a very talented graphic artist and make your site “easy on the eyes”, but can they write? Do they know the mechanics of creating effective calls-to-action, back it up, create a shopping cart and secure it from hackers? Sure you want to help out your relative who just graduated from design school, but in the end, you’re not going to have a site that works for you.

For instance, a realtor contacted me and asked me if I could determine why their website wasn’t coming up on the first page of Google. (Isn’t that everyone’s wish?) Well, the site was gorgeous. It was promoting a new condo in downtown Phoenix. There was no blog with fresh content touting the benefits and fun of living downtown. There was no way to capture leads. Yes, they had a contact form to setup a tour, but it wasn’t compelling enough. It lacked good copy.

A Web Developer

web developerThis is a techier person. They can figure out all the mechanical parts of the website. The developer will build a secure shopping cart, install all the proper plugins to make it secure, back it up and make it search engine optimized. They’ll make it easy to navigate, mobile responsive, and install all the widgets needed to engage the visitor. A developer may not have a eye for design and they probably aren’t creative writers. They usually put up the information that you give them – but is it effective copy?

I was asked to review a website and in reading their “about us” section, ran into the phrase “grown slowly”. It stopped me cold. Slowly? That’s a negative connotation. That word doesn’t need to be there. Just having “grown” is sufficient. It implies logical growth — from a mom and pop outfit to a company with over 50 employees.

There was another site that listed in their “about us” page why they stock the products that they’re selling. All text, no pictures. A designer would have added graphics or videos to make it more attractive.

The Copywriter

Good copy helps a target find what they want. Good marketing copy walks the visitor through a logical progression to exactly where you want them to go. It’s compelling, enthralling, enchanting. (Don’t laugh, it’s what you need!) It captures the visitor’s attention with eye catching, curiosity-piquing headlines and sub-headlines. It keeps the reader going with bullet points (people don’t like reading long sentences or paragraphs) and bold and italics for emphasis.

So where does this leave you?

In conclusion, if you’re website is not effectively drawing potential customers in, then converting them, it’s nothing more than a really pretty online brochure. Don’t you think you should do something about it?

You need to educate yourself on how it all works, so when you do hire someone to do it for you, you don’t get “taken”. In Your Social Savvy Solution, the 24/7, full-access, online training center, you will find all the classes you need to really get a grip on your marketing.

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

 

 

 

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Does Your Website have what it Takes to be Successful? [Infographic]

With over 1 billion websites on the Internet and over 2 billion users, having your website stand out among the crowd is a challenge.

  • 89% of customers search the web before making a purchase
  • 60% of people go to the brand or product website to find relevant information
  • 75% of users admit they decide on a company’s credibility based on its website design

In other words, if your target market enters a search term in the Google search box,

  1. Your site better come up on the first page.
  2. Have sufficient information so that a potential customer could make a buying decision.
  3. Be visually appealing, easy to navigate, branded well, updated and functional.

You have 2.6 seconds that it takes a user’s eye to land on the website’s area that influences his or her first impression.

94% of First Impressions are Design-Related

This infographic courtesy of Crucial:

Does your website have what it takes to be successful? [Infographic]

Look at your website from the eyes of your potential target market. Step back. Look at it objectively. If you were your target, would you convert? (Buy, sign-up, request more info, etc.) If you feel that you should rebrand, reconsider your target, or even if you’re just starting out and you’re in the process of designing your website, then the Social Media Success Pack is for you!

Maybe your site is meets all the design criteria and you just need to drive more traffic to your site. What are you doing?

  1. Are you blogging at least once a week?
  2. Do you post and participate on social media daily?

If you’re not, then you need to get your act together. That’s what’s needed to drive traffic to your site and generate leads!

You need the Social Media Marketing Boot Camp.

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How to get SEO for a new Website?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – everyone with a website wants it. Yet, it can sometimes be elusive if not done properly.

Now, I am assuming that you have a finished website optimized for the search engine properly by a webmaster worth their salt.

So what do you do to have a brand new site get found on Google?

There are 3 Crucial Strategies to Obtain SEO on a new site:SEO is more than just an optimzed website

  1. Content: Your pages need to be optimized with the relevant keywords. Then you have to blog. And in the beginning, since you’re starting from scratch, you should blog daily if at all possible. Google wants fresh relevant content written for the human reader in natural language. The more often you blog, the happier you make Google in feeding it what it wants.
  2. Social Media: Set up keyword-optimzed business profiles in the 6 major networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Company Page, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. Each one of these will have a backlink to your website and every time you write a blog post, you must share it on all the networks.
  3. Have Patience and Perseverance: It doesn’t happen over night. Depending on your industry, competition, how often you blog, the quality of your content and your activity on the social networks, it may take from 1.5 – 6 months to start seeing results. Yeah. It takes work. But if you don’t have a budget to hire someone to do it for you, you have to learn how to do it yourself. It’s not that difficult if you have the right tools, understand how it all works together and plan your strategy and tactics.

Start with this free Social Media Marketing Mini-Course which explains the basics:

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Social Media & Your Website – Don’t Make Me Hunt!

Where are your social media buttons on your website? At the very bottom? Guess what? Visitors are not going to scroll down to the bottom to look for them! You have to make it easy for them follow you otherwise they’re just not going to do it!

Social Media Feather makes it easy to add follow buttons on your WordPress website.

Add the social media follow buttons to the bottom of each blog post with Social Media Feather a free WordPress plugin.

 

In this week’s Facebook Live Wednesdays with the Wiz video I talk about what business owners need to do about their websites to make it easy for people to do what you want them to do.

I bet the first thing you’re going to do is go to your website to see where you social media buttons are! The next thing you’re going to do is contact your webmaster if they’re not on top or easily accessible.

You want your website and social media to be effective. If you make it difficult for people to do something as easy as following you on the social networks, then you’re not going to get the results you expect. You’re going to say, “Social Media doesn’t work.” Yes it does — when done properly, well-planned out and executed. Both your website and social media channels are working for you 24/7. You don’t have to be online all the time. You CAN’T be online all time. You’re running your business! Doesn’t it make sense to have all this working at its best?

Download my free ebook: 216 Mistakes Small Businesses Make on Social Media and Online Marketing to see what other mistakes you’re making!

Have any questions? Please leave a comment below and it may be a topic for a future Live video.

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Nice new Features in Yoast SEO to help your Blogging

Yoast SEO is the best WordPress plugin for Search Engine Optimization.

They’ve added some new features. Check out this video which explains how to use the blog post control panel:

You want to make sure that our focus keyword is in your title, slug and meta tag. It’s recommended to write at a reading level of an 11-year-old. This is a mistake many bloggers make. They are experts in their field but they fail to realize that your target market is not. Avoid industry jargon. KISS: Keep it Stupid Simple and Don’t Over Think It!

You need to really understand your target market. Download the free Define Your Target Market Workbook.

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A Successful Company has a Website that is Useful

Everything revovles around your website

Your website & blog is the center of your marketing – learn how to do it right!

Everything revolves around your website. Is your website working for you 24/7? You can be emailing and posting in social media, but if your website isn’t set up right, if you’re NOT capturing leads somehow, all your efforts are for naught. You’re wasting your time.

Your website is more than an online brochure.

It’s a living, breathing, member of your team working to promote your business when you’re not. I recommend a WordPress website. It houses your company information in static web pages and it also houses your blog. Your blog is where you’re going to offer free advice, useful information, tips, something that your target market would be interested in. Solving a pain point of theirs or entertaining them.

The blog when shared on the social media networks, will drive visitors to your site. It’s up to your site to turn that visitor into a lead with a good call-to-action (CTA) to capture the lead. It’s where people give you their email address in return for joining your newsletter list and getting great tips once a month. Or you give them a free ebook, guide or whitepaper.

Give them something so they’ll give you their email address.

Once they do, you can market to them with blog posts, videos and special content to convert them into a sale. You can track what’s working and not working by your conversion rates and click-thru rates. Your site statistics and analytics tell you that.

Talk to your target market

Share your posts in groups and communities online. LinkedIn and Facebook have groups; Google+ has Communities. Read the group’s rules before joining and sharing. Respect them.

It’s about sharing not selling!

In your newsletter, share an excerpt of the blog post with “click here to read more” and that will get people back to your site.

The more time people spend on your site, the better the chances they’re going to do something!

If you’ve tried to create a website on your own and weren’t very successful, we can teach you how to do it right. You can build a WordPress site on your computer then upload it to your web host.

Even if you had someone create your WordPress site, you should really know how to update, manage and maintain it.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

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Website Planning 101: Important Things You Need to Think About

Website planning 101Website Planning 101 – you have to start somewhere. Might as well start it right!

Are you a start-up in the first stages of planning your marketing including your website and social media?

Do you have an old site that needs to be revamped?

Is your current site not working for you and you want to start from scratch?

Watch this video with Kerry Townsend of SonFisher Web Studios as he explains everything you need think in Website Planning 101:

Things to consider in website planning:

  • domain name/URL
  • branding, color scheme
  • WordPress
  • the visitor
  • navigation
  • calls-to-action (CTAs)
  • pages
  • blogging
  • social media
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • competition
  • products or services
  • contact form
  • and much more!

Where do you start?Social Media Marketing Start-up Package

Start here with our Social Media Success Startup Pack. It’ll get you going on the right foot. Even if you’ve been trying it for a while and are frustrated, this will help you get a fresh start.

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5 Tips for Getting Traffic to Your Website

You’ve built your website. It’s gorgeous. Now how do you get people to visit it? Better yet, how do you get potential customers to visit it? Getting traffic to your website takes effort including creating compelling content regularly, like blogs and videos, and being active in social media.

Clearly define your target marketFirst you need to clearly define your target market (Get a free Workbook here).

Picture your perfect customer. That’s who you want to attract. That’s who you’re going to write content for and who you want to please. What do they want to know? Answer their questions.

Next you have to plan out what type of content you’re going to create:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Graphics

Take into consideration, besides your target, you or your team’s talents and skills. The easiest and quickest form of content is blog posts. Blogging is the fresh, relevant content that the Google search engine is looking for. Videos take a bit more planning, but today with tools like Vine, Instagram and your cell phone, you can quickly create short marketing videos. (We have a class each month on how to do them. Check our schedule for the next one.) Podcasting is audio recordings. You need a channel to broadcast on. Graphics can be pictures or infographics with informative data. You should blog optimally 3x a week to really drive traffic to your site – no fewer than once a week!

You can easily share someone else content by embedding it into your blog post, which will also save time. You’re not stealing the content, but sharing it. Always give proper credit and attribution unless it’s a free-use, public-domain graphic. Site the source and link to it. (This actually helps with SEO as a relevant external link.)

Third, you need to distribute the content or promote it using social media.

Share your blog posts instantly with the free WordPress tool, JetPack. One of those should always be Google+. Everything shared publicly on G+ gets indexed in the Google search engine. Pin any pictures or videos from your blog page to Pinterest. The link to the page goes with it so when someone clicks twice on the pin, they go to your site (also helps with SEO). Share it more than once. Schedule it out with tools like HootSuite a week or so later.

Then, monitor and measure. Every month, you need to review your site statistics:

  • Which sites brought you the most visitors?
  • Monthly visitor count should be steadily increasing month after month if you are following the steps noted above. You’ll notice that if you skipped a week of blogging, your visits went down.
  • Which posts and pages were the most popular? Write more like those.
  • WordPress.com advanced sites stats or Google Analytics can give you even deeper statistics like how long visitors stayed on your site, the bounce rate – if they came and left immediately, and page views.

The longer a visitor stays on your site, the higher the chance they’ll take some action.

Always have some sort of Call-To-Action (CTA). The best thing is a freebie where they have to enter their email address to get it. This converts a visitor into a lead. This gives you a conversion rate – if 100 people came to your site, but only 10 clicked on the offer, then you have a 10% conversion rate.

Lastly, adjust your marketing plan – strategy and tactics – based on your analytics.

Doing this monthly helps you keep control your marketing. Look ahead to then next month. What’s coming up? What’s going to be trending, like awareness and observance days? Take advantage of this by spinning your marketing message to be relevant to what’s trending. (Check out the Calendar-at-a-Glance.)

Not sure what if you got everything set-up correctly? Not getting traffic to your website like you’d hope? Click here to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation and analysis.

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