Archive for Website

Video: How do I Know if my Marketing Efforts are Successful?

Wouldn’t it be nice if as soon as you posted something on social media or wrote a great blog post that you would get dozens of new customers coming through your door or visiting your website immediately? Maybe in an alternate universe. I wish today’s marketing were easier instead of getting more complicated every day. However, if you want new customers and if you want your business to grow, then you need to get your marketing efforts into full gear — done properly and effectively. Yes, it can be done!

For you, the small business owner, it makes no sense to simply post content on Facebook, without a plan expecting that it will entice people to take some action. How do you know if that’s what someone saw and then went to your site? How do you know if they Googled, “How do I _______?” and found your blog post that answered their question? How do you know if that person found your website by accident or someone recommended it?

You need to know!

In this Q&A video, I answer the pressing question, “How do I Know if my Marketing Efforts are Successful?”

Unless you have a way to monitor and measure your marketing efforts, how are you going to know what’s working?

Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity. You’re not insane. You just need a little guidance and training so can get grip on your online marketing and actually measure results as they roll in.

Joining the Social Savvy Solution Members Only Club will provide you with the necessary training so you can get those results.

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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.
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  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.

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Be fearless in the pursuit of a functioning website!

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Q&A Video Realtor: How Do I Increase My Sales?

A Realtor asked, “How can I increase my sales satisfactorily?” He then elaborated: “I have been dealing in the Real Estate business for 20 years. Three years ago I launched my Website, but I did not notice a big difference since then. How can I improve my sales?” Without knowing where he’s located or looking at his site, I’m assuming that all he has is a glorified online brochure – aka a stagnant website. That, by itself, is like having a billboard in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship MAY see it, but it’ll be few and far between.

In this installment of Q&A with the Wiz, I answer his question. It’s a good lesson on how to do it right in today’s marketing world.

Here’s Q&A Realtor: How Do I Increase My Sales?

The Real Estate industry is highly competitive and very saturated. That is there are too many Realtors out there for the number of potential customers.

What makes him or her different from the other Realtors in their office or down the street? How do you stand out? What’s your passion?

People buy from whom they know and trust. Building trust and credibility online is more than just saying “I’ve been in the Real Estate business for 20 years.”

Today’s Inbound Marketing is like a 3-legged stool. You must have a website properly optimized for the search engine, along with fresh content in the form of a blog (at least weekly) and then you have to share your blog posts in the social media networks as well as actively participating and engaging with followers. You can’t have one without the other 2 and expect results.

The content, when shared on social media, will drive people to the website. It’s up to the website, with a clear call to action, to capture that lead. You’re converting a visitor into a lead – a warm lead! You need to give them something. Maybe a guide to living in your city. A free downloadable ebook that the visitor to your site, if interested, will give you their email address in return.

Once you have their email address, they’re put into a drip marketing automation system. They first get a thank you for downloading with a link to the ebook. Then in a day or two, you might send them an email asking them when they’re planning on moving and offer a free phone consultation. If they don’t respond in a few days, you may then send them a video of you in front of one of your listings. And so on….. Even having a monthly newsletter with excerpts from your blog as well as your current listings will keep you “top of mind”. And if they’re still interested, they may take action.Book your free 30-minute phone consult

When I ask a Realtor, “Who’s your target market?” They almost always say, “Anyone who wants to buy or sell a house.” Then I “Say narrow that down.” Then they’ll say, “Hispanics” or “Snowbirds” or some other category. Narrow it down a little more. “Retirees living in Canada and the Northwest U.S. who want to move to Phoenix.” OK, now we have a target!

You have to write a blog post at least once a week. 2-3 times a week is optimal. Start with every frequently asked question you can think of that you’ve been asked in your career as a Realtor! Write about the neighborhoods, the arts and cultural events, things to do, etc. Show off your knowledge of the area. The idea is that you’re building that trust and credibility and you’re sharing information that your target market wants.

Use social media to not just connect with pFree Download: Define Your Target Market Workbookotential clients, but also referral sources. It’s not who you know it’s who your friends know. You’ll want to be on LinkedIn for professional connections, Facebook and Pinterest to reach the consumers, Google+ and Twitter for exposure.

It will take a lot of time and effort, but if you diligently blog 2-3 times a week and spend a few minutes a day on social media (once you have a social media following built), you should start seeing results in 2-3 months. Figure it’s going to take about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following on the social networks, if you’re starting from scratch — beside blogging 3 times a week. And if you’ve never blogged, the more content you put out there, the faster Google will take notice.

Increasing sales, though it’s the bottom line of what you want, is the end goal. Set a monetary goal for the year. Break it down in to monthly goals starting modestly in the beginning then increasing as you get better at marketing.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

 

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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?

Do you have a beautiful website that’s not working for you? FEAR NOT! It can be fixed! Even if you attempted to build it yourself, it’s OK to admit you’re not a designer, developer or a copywriter. You know your business! And that’s what you should focus on.

First, let’s start with a free 30-minute phone consult. I’ll also do an SEO check up for you! Click here to BOOK NOW!

Blogger and copywriter service
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?

If you built it yourself and you want to still do it yourself, we can have a coaching session and I can walk you through the steps to improve your WordPress website. (If it doesn’t require the skills of a developer. In that case, I’ve got a few techies I can recommend.)

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

Ready for a rewrite? Or would you like to focus on your business and leave the writing to me? Not Sure? Here are details…

 

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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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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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Using Social Media to Generate Quality Leads [Infographic]

What’s the purpose of all this social media hubbub?

Social Media, when done properly, can be a very effective tool for driving traffic to your website and generate quality leads which can be nurtured into sales.

What good is any type of marketing if it doesn’t generate quality leads for you business? Paid or free, if you are not meeting your business goals, you are wasting your time and money.

Now that it’s the end of the year, you need to set your income goals for 2016.

  1. How much do you want to make next year? Let’s take a nice round number like $120,000
  2. Take that number and divide it by 12. That will give you $10,000 a month.
  3. How many new customers do you need to be able to reach that number each month? Let’s say 10.
  4. How many LEADS do you need to get to attain 10 customers a month? Let’s say 100 if you have a conversion rate of 10%. 1 out of 10 leads become a paying customer.
  5. How many visitors to your website do you need to attract before you get 100 leads? Let’s say 1000.

OK. You need to attract 1000 visitors to your website each month so you can get 10 paying customers and reach your income goal of $120,000. How do you do that? 

  1. Really get to know your target market so you know what type of content to provide on your blog so that they will come to your site.
  2. Learn how to blog to generate leads!Write a blog post 3 times a week and share it on the social networks.
  3. Have a way to capture the leads on your website with a clear call-to-action – give them something like a free ebook or coupon.
  4. Nurture those leads into sales. (Related: 3 Tips to Convert Leads into Sales)

The folks at HubSpot created this “marketing funnel” graphic to show how strangers are attracted to your site, converted into visitors, then leads, then customers and at last advocates.

Hubspot Marketing Funnel how to leads convert into sales. When done properly, social media along with blogging generate quality leads that can be nurtured into sales. Need help? We’ve got classes so you can learn how this all works or we can do it for you!

If you’re not getting the results you want, click here to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation and analysis of your current efforts.

 

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Should I have a Blog on my Website?

You can word this question however you want: Should you have a blog on your website? It’s asked hundreds of times. My answer?

Absolutely!

SEO- Search Engine Optimization is best with a blog on your websiteIf you don’t have a blog on your website, you’re missing out on the main means of keeping the Google search engine happy. The more fresh, original content that you create on your website, the more the Google spider will come and index it.

The spider looks for text and links. It doesn’t see pictures or videos.

Each and every blog post on your website must contain:

  1. Title with your focus keyword in it. It could be one word or a phrase that is the main topic of what that blog post is about. The title needs to be enticing enough for the visitor or social media follower’s curiosity to be piqued so they click on it to read it. This drives the visitor to your site.
  2. At least 300 words (if the main content feature is not a video). The blog article needs to deliver on the title.
  3. At least a featured image or picture with text wrapped around it. Make sure you describe the picture by filling out the Alt Text area when uploading it. The text is what the search engine spider sees. Having the title or focus keyword helps. Also, if your picture is pinned on Pinterest, that’s the description that will show on the pin.
  4. Internal links to related content on your website – either other blog posts or pages.
  5. External links to relevant content – you can site a source of a quote, picture or video.
  6. A call-to-action at the end of the article. What do you want the reader to do once they’ve finished reading the post? Download a free ebook? Contact you? Schedule a free consult? Here’s where you capture the lead that the blog post generated.
  7. Relevant keyword tags – here you choose all the keywords or phrases that pertain to the post. You can choose several, but don’t go crazy. These appear at the end of the post so people can click on a word to see more articles on that topic.

Blog on your website at least 3 times a week.

It’s been proven that 3 times a week is the charm. Use an editorial calendar to plan your posts ahead of time. If an idea comes to mind, use your phone’s reminders or voice memo to “jot” down the idea so you don’t forget it.

What about a free blog on another site?

Why do you want to send traffic to someone else’s site?

It’s not that expensive to have your own WordPress website with the blog incorporated into it. We offer a class on how to build your own WordPress site for just $75. You can’t find someone worth their salt to build one for you for less than $500.

Here’s a video Overview of WordPress and Why I Use WordPress.

We offer a free analysis and 30-minute phone consultation. Click here to schedule yours.

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Website Builder

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