Posts Tagged ‘Web Marketing’

6 Key Website Updates to Make More Money

make more money website

There is no over-stressing how important it is for your company to have a great website, yet while some business owners do, many of them are not taking full advantage of its selling potential. Your company’s website nears the top of the list for the most important investments in your business, so you should know how to maximize its return and make it work for you. If you’re not yet ready for a complete website redesign, here are some key updates you can make now that will increase revenue, retain customers, and make you more relevant in your field.

1. Go Responsive

This year, mobile commerce sales are expected to top $100 billion due to the fact that an increasing amount of shoppers are making purchases from their mobile devices. That number is projected to hit 54% by 2018, according to Forrester. And if your company’s website isn’t functional on mobile devices, you can expect a lot of lost opportunities. Over half of mobile users will abandon a website if it doesn’t function on their device.

With the need for a responsive website growing, it’s smart to prepare for the future. New devices are emerging and the way consumers shop is evolving, so ensuring your company’s website has a responsive design is like having insurance for the future; no matter what new device comes next, your customers can access it with no problems. Responsive websites also rank higher in SEO so you can be found above your competitor, and make more money.

2. Implement WordPress

Have you ever thought about how much revenue you’re missing out on because you cannot easily manage your company’s website to post a simple event, store promotion, or new product? Website management systems are moving toward novice-friendly platforms and our favorite is WordPress. It allows for owners to easily learn how to make quick, simple changes to their websites so their latest promotion or event is relevant. No more relying on your developer to make these updates, which cost you the very money you’re trying to bring in. Posting new content engages customers and keeps them coming back. By implementing your site into WordPress, you are partnering with a powerful tool that helps increase sales through ease of use. Learn more about having a WordPress website.

3. Use Videos

Because people have different learning styles, you should have an array of content to capture your audience so they will stay engaged on your site. One of the most engaging methods is video content. Use it to show off your office through a tour, explain how your products work, relay customer testimonials, and offer expert tips and advice. People process visual information much faster than reading text, so adding video to your company’s website can be a great way to boost sales.

4. Scale Down Your Website

Website abandonment is a huge loss for company profits. The average online user expects your website to load in 2 seconds or less. After 3 seconds, nearly 60% of users will abandon your site. By making a key update to scale down the images, JavaScript and CSS files, you can dramatically decrease the load time and prevent customers from abandoning your company’s website, therefore increasing conversion. Here are some other tips for speeding up your load time.

5. Show Customer Reviews

Word of mouth continues to be the most trusted avenue for business referrals. By posting testimonials on your website, prospective customers develop a sense of trust from reading real-life experiences from their peers on what it’s like doing business with you. Even the negative feedback, if handled tactfully, will increase sales through your website by allowing customers to see their concerns are addressed and dealt with respect.

6. Add a “Buy Now” Button

make more money

Simple, right? But how many times have you searched a website, looking for a way to “check out”? Adding this handy little e-commerce tool makes it stupid simple for customers to quickly get what you’re advertising without having to go through a round-about process. Not to mention people like to push buttons, so why not give them a big, obvious one they can’t resist and improve your conversion rate at the same time?

Making updates like these can increase your sales exponentially and who doesn’t want to make more money? With all the effort and investment you put into your company’s website, it makes sense to squeeze it for everything it’s worth and maximize your return. Most importantly, it helps to keep in mind that any update you make to your website should center around customer usability. Keep it simple, quick, and engaging. What tweaks have you made to your company’s site that has increased sales? Share some of your success tips in the comments section below.

Branding Your Business To Stand Out

By now, we all should recognize our company needs it’s own unique image and personality in order to market with success. People are drawn to originality and will remember a company’s logo, mission phrase, or design theme (if it’s a good one). Modern marketing has wrapped this process up into a term called branding. Branding your business should include everything from your logo, your promise to your customer, the image of who you are, what your business is about, your website, your voice, etc. So how do you use these qualities to brand your business so that it stands out?

branding your business

Be Consistent

Consistency is probably the single most important tip for creating a strong branding strategy. Place your logo on everything from your website to your packaging, the sign on your store, company letterheads and email signatures. A uniform font and design theme should also be consistent. Steady branding develops a strong sense of value in a customer’s mind, allowing you to charge more for your products than the competitor without a branding strategy. Consistent branding builds trust and credibility by adding a perceived level of value that people will pay more for.

There’s also an intangible side of branding that many businesses miss. Once the company’s logo is slapped on every box and whitepaper, many businesses fail to back up their branding because the voice they portray doesn’t flow with who they are claiming to be. For example, could you imagine if McDonald’s, with their family-friendly branding strategy, posted an article on Twitter in support of China’s one child law? That would create a bit of distrust in their brand, being that McDonald’s prides itself on helping children, yet they would tweet a child bearing restriction article. So make sure your voice is consistent with your perceived brand through all intangible avenues such as social media, customer service calls and even what you wear to business meetings. It all speaks to others about who you are.

Ask Yourself Questions

As a business, ask yourself questions that your customers are going to ask such as, “What’s your purpose? Why did you create this business? What do you support? How can you help your customers?” By defining your purpose, knowing how to brand will become easier. Decide what you want your customers to know about you and be aware of any misconceptions they might already have about your field. Try to offer something different, and through clear description of the benefits you have to offer, invite customers to give your product or service a try. If you don’t have anything different to offer, try offering it in a unique way to gain that extra edge over your competitor.

Take our agency, Vegas Website Designs, for example. When we first started branding, we began as just another “website design and development” company with a good cause. There was nothing special or unique that made us stand out from our competitors. As time progressed, we settled into our niche of who we wanted to be and what we truly wanted to represent. We now brand ourselves as a digital marketing agency movement that helps launch organizations into 21st century web marketing and maximizes their online presence. We understand new customers can be found online by the boatload and business marketing has moved in that direction. It’s our passion to lead business owners to see the same and take advantage.

Branding by Association

It’s your job to get others to see what you see. If you are having trouble with that, joining a network of other businesses that support similar values and products might help. Becoming part of a network helps brand your business by referral. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing avenues and being associated with a highly referred business ups your credibility. Remember this works in reverse, too. The organization in which you choose to sponsor and support adds to your branding strategy, so choose the ones you would be proud to be associated with and that accurately portray what your business is interested in.

So, from a customer’s point of view, what does your image say about doing business with you? Is it clear? Do you offer something unique or in a unique way? Perhaps it’s time to stop thinking of your business as a product or service provider and start thinking of it as a means to educate, inform and engage people. Often times when you lead your branding strategy with the “Why?”, customers will naturally be interested in the “What”.

Tips For Launching Your Business On Social Media

Why Does My Business Need To Market on Social Media?

Social Media Tips

As an agency eager to support professional organizations, one of the first places we look to connect with them is through social media. Too often, we’re surprised to discover so many businesses either don’t have a presence on any social media platform, or their content has not been updated for months (sometimes years!). If you are a business planning for success beyond 2015, marketing on social media needs to become a priority. Already, marketing analysis is revealing 50% of marketers see improved sales from social media, and that number increases as the hours spent marketing on social media platforms increases. Take for example, the 74% of reported marketers that gained new business by spending over 40 hours each week promoting on social media, all according to this year’s social media tips report from the Social Media Examiner.

Encouragingly, it only takes as little as 6 hours per week of engagement to begin seeing lead generation benefits from social media. But if you’re not one of the businesses interacting and advertising on social media, you’re in the drowning minority. 83% of marketers report they have integrated social media into traditional marketing, with 94% of them using Facebook.

OK, So Which Platform Is Right For My Company?

So how do you know which platform on which to promote? That depends on whether your business targets business-to-business or business-to-consumer. The survey found Facebook as the most important platform for B2C, whereas LinkedIn is the most important for B2B. To gain any significant visibility on Facebook, your business needs a healthy advertising budget. The main goal here is to interact within your community, display your products and services in unique, appealing ways, and post content that interests your buyer. Twitter however, is more of a free-for-all. The more people you connect with, the better. Try to follow other experts in your field as well as prospective clients. Listening to others’ concerns and problems, then offering a solution is the key to marketing on Twitter. When marketing B2B, LinkedIn provides that professional, credible approach for networking.

How Do I Build Connections?

But most importantly, be sure to connect, follow, friend, like, comment, share and re-tweet other individual’s content to establish a natural relationship. Get to know them through their social media persona then from there, offer a solution to a problem of theirs once you have connected instead of immediately pitching a sale their way. Building relationships on social media outweighs generating leads.

Also be sure you’re not being self-serving. When you post, try to give your clients an idea of what it’s like doing business with you. Exclusively posting about your products or services turns clients away. It’s all about personal relationships on social media. In order to build on those relationships, it’s important for businesses to listen to feedback. Make your clients feel as though their voice is valued by responding to their comments and incorporating their ideas. Another way to remain generous and build relationships is by becoming an expert in your field. Offer free tips online to help your clients and build your credibility as the go-to source.

So, whatever social media platform you choose to promote your business, the important factor is to adopt a unique voice and approach that reflects your brand and keep it consistent across all platforms. And if you’re new to social media, just dive in! Create a profile, upload some images from your business and begin to post content. With over a billion users on social media, it’s proven to be simple.

3 Reasons Your Company Needs an Online Presence

online presence

A recent study conducted by Verisign discovered a sad majority of companies don’t realize the benefits of having a great online presence. Many times the business lacks the technical know-how to develop a web presence, while others fear that it’s just not affordable. But the truth, backed by this research, is that those implementing it are experiencing formidable profits.

It was also discovered the companies that do take advantage of online resources elect for social media instead of their own internet space. And those with e-commerce ability choose to establish themselves on sites such as eBay and Etsy. Though these avenues are tempting because of ease of use, companies are missing out on the value of possessing their own website.

1. Great Online Business Presence Builds Trust

A Weebly survey found 56% of consumers would not trust a business without a website. Developing a great online presence goes beyond purchasing a domain name and posting a picture of your business with contact information. It should reflect a digital version of your company. Establishing your business online heightens credibility. Those potential customers who check you out online and find a well maintained website will see you as an expert instead of an amateur mom-and-pop shop. Giving potential customers a positive impression of your business makes future sales more likely. Also, having branded email that advertises your company’s domain name boosts customer trust and business credibility, making you appear as a legitimate business.

2. Online Presence Builds a Greater Clientele.

With web-influenced predicted sales reaching $1.409 trillion in 2014, those without an online presence are at a clear disadvantage. Avoiding this crucial marketing avenue is like saying, “I don’t need any new business.” Even if you are already a well-established business, coupling that with an awesome online presence will set you apart. Your company’s website is not limited to the address at which your business stands. Your online presence stretches to the ends of the earth, reaching potential customers that word-of-mouth and newspaper ads never could.

3. Great Online Business Presence Makes Marketing Easier

No matter what your message is, why you are communicating it, or what it may look like, you will be unable to engage with customers without relevant technology. If you allow your website to work for you, potential buyers won’t feel pressured by a salesman. Posting great descriptions of your products or services online lets the customer make relaxed decisions. Online marketing is also faster than conventional printing and mailing, as it reaches a wider audience in less time. Remember that online, special preference is given to local business so take advantage of the opportunity to out-do big business competitors.

Verisign also found that prior to the creation of websites, the greatest perceived inhibitor of businesses was lack of technical knowledge and cost to develop the site. However, after developing a website, only 8% of company’s respondents found the investment to develop their website as a real barrier and technical know-how concern decreased from 45% to just 22%. Even though businesses  expressed several perceived and actual barriers to developing their own space online, more than three-fourths said they would recommend investment in a website to other businesses, concluding that the value of having one’s own website outweighs all feared or actual barriers. Some other obstacles included investment of time, security and ongoing website maintenance. Finding a digital marketing agency you can trust will ease those concerns.

Analyze Your Target Audience

As businesses try their hand at marketing techniques, a commonly made mistake is to promote their own company and get their message across. Usually, this technique results in lower conversion rates and leaves marketers scratching their heads.

Analyzing your audience will return your investment much more efficiently. Before marketing, do a little target audience research and keep the focus on them. I’ve listed some questions and avenues below to challenge your thinking and bring your marketing efforts full circle.

1) Who is your target audience?

The question may seem basic, but your target audience should be the foundation for any marketing strategy. Considering the following questions will help you narrow down your focus in order to keep your marketing campaign specific.

  • Are you targeting business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer?
  • What is the age group of your target audience?
  • Does the majority of your target audience live in rural or urban areas?
  • What is the income range of your target audience?
  • What is your audience’s ethnicity?
  • Is your target audience predominantly male or female?

Businesses reported over 30% improved sales when they focused their offers and marketing on their target audience.

target audience

2) What does your audience want?

This question can only be answered after you have discovered WHO your audience is. Different people want different things, so finding out what’s important to your target audience will help you negate which offers to promote and how.

For example, if you discover your audience is of a younger age group between 18-29, it’s more likely they will click play on a video to learn about your product rather than taking the time to read a few paragraphs describing the same thing. Or if you understand your target audience is largely composed of senior citizens, you can pour less marketing efforts into social media avenues, as 18-29 year olds retain the highest percentage of social media usage.

Regardless of age, gender or income, every customer is interested in how your product or service benefits them. Your audience wants to know what you offer and how it’s different. Make them aware of what they are missing and how your product can make their life better and easier.

Another quality every customer desires is trust. Many Americans fear something “bad” will happen while on the internet such as stolen identity or money scams. Countering their fears with a money back guarantee and a concise return policy is a great way to build trust and confidence. People also trust photos of real people rather than animations, so try using staff members or even CEOs of your own company on your website.

And remember to thank your customers. Responding to their input and purchases with a genuine “Thank you” reminds your customers they are dealing with humans rather than automated bots that lack manners.
If you are unsure the best route to take in order to research and discover your target audience, here are a few of the best existing avenues:

  • Social Media

    This is a great avenue to explore when discovering your target audience. Social media provides insight on what content your users respond to as well as revealing their age, gender, geographical region, ethnicity, and their active usage times. It also gives your customers an outlet to share their opinions and experiences, giving you insight to their interests. Connecting on social media will naturally build trust and confidence in your audience by making you more relatable, increasing customer loyalty, and heightening your credibility.

  • Google Keyword/Adwords

    The tools Google Adwords offers will enlighten you to the keywords, terms and phrases your target audience is searching for so you can speak the same language as your customers and connect with them through similar content.

  • Google Analytics

    How did visitors come to my website? Where are my visitors located? What do users do on my site? Where do users spend the most time on my site? What about my site is turning visitors away? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, turn to Google Analytics for the answers. This savvy tool gives you a head start in marketing, as if you are standing over your visitor’s shoulder, watching them navigate your page.

  • Surveys

    Too many businesses try to predict what their audience wants, but never take the times to ask them. Surveys in the form of emails, on-site questionnaires or comment boxes give you freedom from the guessing game and bullseye insight on how you can improve your product. They may even provide you with an idea you’ve never considered. Either way, they will appreciate your attempts to understand their interests.

It’s not unusual for businesses to re-evaluate their target audience especially if it was not clearly identified in the initial stages of business. You may have more than one audience and so targeting too specifically does not mean you have to exclude people that don’t fit your criteria from becoming customers.

Defining your target audience(s) will save you marketing dollars and provide a better return on investment. Feel free to share some of the ways in which you have discovered your business’ target audience and how it has helped improve your success.