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7 Frustrating Things Your Visitors Hate About Your Website

Why Your Business Can’t Ignore the Importance of Providing a Positive User Experience (UX)

7 Frustrating Things Your Visitors Hate About Your Website User Experience

Does your site provide the best user experience?

Bad website usability is not only bad for your users; it’s bad for your business too.

What exactly is website usability? It’s definitely one of those industry jargon terms that many entrepreneurs and business owners might not be familiar with. But should!

Website usability means: how easy is it to use your website?

If you’re unsure of what that is, then chances are you may need some help building a strategy for your website.

Your website’s use is how well it accomplishes the reason you built it. Is it to generate leads? Get someone to make a purchase? Direct people to something else? Each page of your website needs a purpose and if that purpose isn’t clear, then the usability is diminished.

A website's usability is gauged by how well it accomplishes your site's goalsClick To Tweet

When web marketers look at usability they’re looking to see whether or not a user can complete a defined task with little to no confusion or frustration.

So how do you know if your customers are finding your website easy to use?

Measuring User Experience and Usability

There are many services that have come and gone when it comes to measuring user activity and a site’s usability.

Heatmap services such as Hotjar or Crazyegg have been semi successful though woefully abused in the hands of those who don’t know what to do with the information. These types of services give the website owner a birds-eye view at where their website visitors are focusing their attention.

Testing groups can be a great asset but at the same time these are closed, controlled groups so they often inadvertently present misinformation by way of not being an accurate representation of the site’s actual target market.

The best way to check your website’s usability is your Google Analytics. Google offers its analytic web-based software for free for many reasons. One is so you can make your website better.

Within Google Analytics site owners can check things like how long someone is on a page, where they entered the page from, what they did on the page, and when they left.

If someone lands on your page and leaves nearly right away you have what is called a Bounce. If the majority of your users are bouncing (called a high bounce rate) then you have a usability issue and are offering up a bad user experience where they have left too quickly to take any action.

Another way to check is to set a conversion measurement. This is when you input information into Google Analytics that triggers a signal when someone completes a task as defined in there. You can even assign monetary values to the conversion if you want to measure the revenue generated through the conversion.

This type of analysis is best left to professionals so get in touch with my team if you need any help.

But Google doesn’t stop there with its free offerings! Try checking things like your site’s speed or mobile usability using these free tools:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Find helpful tools to assist in your website's usability hereClick To Tweet

Measuring usability is as complicated or as easy as your website is. Larger projects with many types of users and conversion types will have more complicated ways to measure usability but the overall message here is: does your website accomplish your business goals set for it?

Are Your Users Having A Bad Website Experience?

If you’re looking at the overall stats and the numbers are not good then it’s time to look at why your users are having a bad website experience.

Here’s 7 questions to ask yourself about your website to avoid frustrating your users:

  1. Have you clearly defined what your business does and is it appealing to the right audience?
  2. Did you make it as easy as possible for users to find the information they’re looking for? Typically there should be no more than 3 steps between landing on the site and finding what the user wants.
  3. Can a customer contact you easily if they are stuck or have any questions?
  4. Do you have any broken links on your site that will lead users to a dead end?
  5. How fast does the site load (see test above)?
  6. Is your website mobile responsive?
  7. How transparent is your About page?

Nothing can be more frustrating than a dead end so make sure you don’t have any. Users need to have trust established by a website if they’re going to commit their time, money, or both to it.

This is where user test groups can come in handy. Universal website staples that often get forgotten are there so someone who has never been to your website before can have a good experience on it.

Check the few points listed above and if there are areas you haven’t covered or you need help with then get in touch and we’ll be able to break it all down for you.

Is User Experience Really The Same As Usability?

The experience and expectations will vary greatly between websites depending and their purpose.

For large scale big businesses, user experience transcends platforms and current award winners are melding online with offline in attempts to boost both point of sale ‘conversions’ on site and web conversions.

For anyone working in small to medium sized businesses usability is your website’s user experience so focus on that. Make sure when someone lands on your website searching for something, they find what they were needing as quickly and easily as possible.

And don’t forget your user experience doesn’t end there!

A Conversion Is Not the End of the Road for Good Website User Experience

Provide Great Support

Your user experience doesn’t stop when the conversion does.

Think about the process of your conversion from the perspective of someone performing the conversion.

Once you’re done, are you coming back to the website? If you do, are you going to be able to get the support you need right away?

Not having a support channel or any indication of one is a big negative for any user. They likely won’t buy from you if they don’t think they can contact you afterwards regarding any problems.

Refine Your Website Based on Feedback

Make sure you respond to negative feedback with more than dismissive apologies or a canned ‘thanks for the feedback we’ll work on it’ email. Users who have a bad experience during a conversion but a great experience with support can be recovered customers who will likely buy again.

Accept negative feedback as an opportunity to improve even if you disagree with it.

Take what you learn from the feedback as a gift. If a user takes the time to complain about something, treat it seriously and remedy the situation (within reason).

Maybe they completed their task but have feedback on how easy (or not) it was?

In addition to analyzing your Google Analytics, you can follow up with surveys for customers (if they opt in for having one sent to their email of course) to help refine your user experience.

If you need help drafting a survey try this list of some basic website experience survey questions to ask.

I hope you found this all helpful in ensuring your website provides a great user experience. If you have any questions about user experience and usability please post them in the comments below or on our social media or of course feel free to reach out and contact us at any time.

Thanks for reading,
Mark Hare

P.S. For more tips on how to make your website get you the results you’re looking for, sign up for my free website guide plus weekly newsletter for entrepreneurs and small business owners today.
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7 Frustrating Things Your Visitors Hate About Your Website User ExperienceClick To Tweet

About the Author, Mark Hare

Mark Hare

Mark has been working in search engine optimization, paid online advertising, content marketing, and usability since 2005.

He has worked with hundreds of clients on a wide range of web based projects and is a strong proponent of white hat SEO techniques and link earning over building.


Website Planning: Why Strategy Beats Design Every Time

Website Planning: Why Strategy Beats Design Every Time

What to Do First Before Designing Your Business Website

I see it all the time.  People are excited about their business.  They set out to hire a web designer.  They share their vision for their website and excitedly wait for the big reveal.

Then, disaster strikes.  “You got it all wrong.”  they say.

Design dollars are wasted.  Revisions begin.  Everyone scratches their heads and wonders where it all went wrong. And before you know it what should have been a simple project becomes a nightmare.

This doesn’t have to happen to you. 

Without a map, it’s easy to get lost in unfamiliar territory.  The same is true of website development. Before you begin you really need to have a solid plan in place.

Avoid website design disaster by having a plan in place firstClick To Tweet

That’s the real difference between working with a full-service marketing firm or a solo website developer.  A marketing firm can help you do the proper due diligence and analysis needed to make sure the website designed for you truly meets your business needs.

Much of the design process breaks down to a few simple steps:

MESSAGING

Who do you serve? Defining your ideal client is one of the most important steps before building a website. The more specific you are about who your ideal client is, the better you’ll be able to speak to their needs when they visit your site.

Here are some questions to ask yourself while doing an ideal client analysis:

  • Who do you have a passion for serving?
  • What are their biggest pains?
  • Are they men or women?
  • What level at they in their business or situation: newbies, established, or experts?
  • What are their values?
  • What are their biggest goals?
  • What is their personality?

This clarity helps you laser-focus your messaging to speak directly to their needs.

Being clear on your ideal target market will ensure your website messaging speaks directly to themClick To Tweet

Everyone has the same basic human needs.  Knowing and understanding the pains of your target market is critical.  Tell them how you will help them overcome their challenges or how your products will alleviate their concerns.

Having credibility is also important.  Most prospects haven’t heard about you upon their first encounter with your website.  So it’s your job to build trust that you have knowledge and experience and proven results.

Credibility comes through testimonials, media clippings, blog articles and sharing results you have achieved with clients. Showcasing the education, training and credentials you achieved also shows prospects you have expertise in what you do.

FUNCTION

Another critical part of the web design and development process is being clear on the website’s function.  The layout for your website will vary greatly depending on your business goals.

  • What is the goal of your website?
  • Will it be an online store?
  • Do you want to build a list and online community?
  • Will it serve as a free information site where you gain revenues on advertising and affiliate sales?
  • Are you selling services?
  • Is your website an online brochure?

Once armed with this clarity, your designer will know if you need a landing page, chat tool, email list management software, online booking tool, or other special features in order to support your vision.

Knowing the path you want visitors to go and take the desired action helps your designer put the right elements in place to accomplish that.

LOOK AND FEEL

If you have ever gone shopping in a store with a friend you have probably experienced that we all have very different tastes.  The same is true when you design a website.

Even though you have described what you envision, the web designer may have something entirely different in mind. The goal for both of you is to create a visual brand that is appealing to your target market. It needs to immediately say to them they are in the right place.

Before sending your designer a bunch of colour swatches and other websites you want your site to look like, the better approach is to create a brand standards guide first that encompasses the colours, fonts and style of your overall business brand. This process should be done at the time of designing your logo since your logo functions as the basepoint of your brand.

The key is to remember you are designing a website for your target audience in relation to your business, not for you personally.  Yes, for many entrepreneurs, your personality is directly infused into your brand but it is possible the look and feel could be quite different from your personal taste.  It all depends on who you are trying to attract to your business.

Website design is for appealing to your ideal target market, not for your personal tasteClick To Tweet

In saying that, it doesn’t hurt to still send your designer sample websites that you like and be specific about what exactly you like about them. That kind of feedback is very valuable especially with the layout and overall messaging of the site.

THE DO IT YOURSELF DILEMEA

It’s easy to think when you start out doing it all yourself is a better way to save money.

But how much is your time worth?  How much do you know about copywriting or effective marketing strategy or design?

How much more revenue could you create if you focused on business building and outsourced your web design and marketing?

Finally, you can’t put a value on the insights and expertise that a marketing team brings to the table.  It’s well worth investing in a polished website that converts clients.

Whether you are building your first website or redesigning your existing one, taking time to carefully plan it will save you time, headaches and money.

If you’re looking for a qualified web design and marketing team to help you with your website development project, let us know and we’ll go through the above process with you.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Website Planning: Why Strategy Beats Design Every TimeClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

5 Useful Decision-Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an Event

5 Useful Decision-Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an Event

How to Avoid Making Impulsive Purchases from Success-Promising Gurus

I recently attended a 3-day business conference in Vancouver. There were about 500 people in attendance, all business owners and entrepreneurs who where there to network, learn and be inspired.

All in all, it was a great event that resulted in my meeting new people and gaining valuable insights that I brought home with me to infuse into my business.

The conference boasted nine high-profile speakers including thought leaders like Jack Canfield, Dr. John Gray and James Malinchak. Their talks were entertaining, insightful, informative and motivating.

They certainly learned the craft of being an influential presence on the stage well.

But make no mistake, each of these speakers were there with the sole purpose of promoting their wares and influencing the audience to purchase their key strategies, programs and courses that promised business success.

And they succeeded.

The volume of people that ran to the back of the room to grab their limited-time, extraordinary low-cost offering before it was sold out was mind boggling.

As a member of that audience, I was fascinated by what I was witnessing. Perhaps it was my state of mind or the confidence I already felt in my capabilities of achieving further business success, but I was not at all tempted to be a part of the crowd to run to the back of the room and grab a purchase.

I looked around and saw men and women who were involved in a variety of different businesses and industries. Many of whom where desperate to get that SECRET FORMULA that would transform their struggles into riches.

And the speakers on the stage knew this and played right into their hands.

Throughout the 3 days, the audience was presented with lots of solutions, advanced systems and formulas on how to achieve success in their business. But the problem is, not all proposed solutions were ideal for everyone.

But what is a business owner and entrepreneur to do?

They are attending such events to help them with their business so are naturally attracted to the offers made up on the stage.

To help you avoid making irrational and emotionally-based decisions when faced with the pressure of live event and even free webinar offers I have put together 5 steps on what to think about first before jumping in with the crowd and grabbing your purchase:

  1. Think things through first.

    Ask yourself if this opportunity is truly going to get you a return on your investment if you make the purchase. What are you willing to commit to in order to get the most out of that investment?

    The key here is to understanding success is not just going to happen by signing up but actually doing the work. Are you realistically willing to do the work? Are you going to be 100% committed to this or will you get home, set it aside, and promise to get to it when you get a chance?

    None of these programs will get you the results these presenters are talking about if you’re not committed enough to follow through on every single step provided.

  2. Be objectively critical.

    When these speakers are on the stage, they are sharing their best success stories possible – the cream of the crop. Often this reflects only a minor percentage of those who have taken the program.

    Be objective. And don’t make emotionally-based decisions that compel you run to the back of the room and purchase. This is exactly what they are counting on.

  3. Decide if your business can truly benefit from what you will learn.

    Just because they are telling you this on stage doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit for you, your business model, and your goals.

    As an example, if you have the gift of service and support, then more than likely you will not do well learning to be a speaker on stage despite that presenter saying “anyone can do this using my system and processes”.

    If you have the gift of, say, music, then being a published author is probably not something you should pursue despite being provided with a “fool-proof, iron-clad method that will get you on the Amazon best seller list”.

    Ask yourself if what this presenter is offering is exactly what you need to learn in order to reach your business goals or is there something better suited for you available elsewhere? Do you really need to learn all of this yourself or is hiring someone who is an expert in that area a better decision that will help reach your goals quicker without having to become an expert in that field first?

  4. Recognize the emotional manipulation that’s happening.

    We see this all the time. Whether you’re attending conferences or online webinars there’s always a “limited time offer” that makes it irresistible to pass up.

    Don’t let these “one-time-only” offers lead you into thinking this is the only chance you’ll ever get to take advantage of what’s being offered. It simply isn’t true. It’s a sales tactic that preys on people who make emotional decisions and don’t want to be left out or miss out on an incredible opportunity.

    These programs will all still be offered after the hype ends. Even if that means paying $50 more, so be it. Give yourself time to objectively work through the pros and cons and decide whether it’s worth your investment or not.

    Don’t let your emotions be triggered by the slick sales speech or written sales copy on a page.

  5. Do your research.

    This may not necessarily be the case for headliner speakers we see on the stage, but sadly, there are a lot of very smooth-talking “gurus” out there who are nothing but smoke and mirrors. They offer a lot of hype but little substance.

    Do your pocketbook a favour; before investing in any kind of program or product, research the person selling it first. Do a Google search and see if any bad reviews come up. Ask people in your social media groups if they’ve had any experience with that person and what were the results.

    Your goal is to make an informed decision, not an emotional one based on the promises of the sales copy. And if you do encounter negative reviews – listen to your gut. So many times wrong decisions are still made because, as human beings, we’re highly influenced by emotions and we can easily justify our actions based on those promises despite finding evidence to the contrary.

After reading this, you might think I’m against purchasing programs and courses all together but that’s not the case at all. I’m not saying not to invest in business growth strategies, but instead to make informed, objective decisions on which investments to make in the first place.

The sad fact is that marketing can be a very manipulative process that is meant to create fear- and lack-based, emotional responses. The people we see on stage, as well as those that do highly visible free webinars, are masters at pulling these emotional triggers.

Simply be aware of that manipulation and follow the guide I outlined above to help you decide whether or not your business can truly benefit from that investment you’re being asked to make.

Do you have any stories of acting on impulse and regretting the purchase later?

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

5 Useful Decision-Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an EventClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Yes or No: The Sharing Prices on Your Website Debate

Why displaying fees on your website may provide an advantage over your competition

Yes or No: The Sharing Prices on Your Website Debate

Many small businesses use their web presence to generate leads to feed into their sales process. Each page has a purpose with variations on the intended users the business hopes to appeal to.

Each piece of content has its purpose but overall the reason is to entice users to get in touch. In keeping with that, it seems reasonable to display your price structure so your leads are qualified before they get in touch.

Or does it?

Not all visitors to your website will be leads.

Not all industries are alike.

Competitors may be surfing your site to see what you charge with the intention of undercutting your rates. If they know you are consistently trying to attract leads from the same base, then having lower prices displayed can give them an advantage over you when bidding on projects or submitting proposals.

Prices in your industry could vary based on many other variables.

Understanding why or why not requires a little bit of elbow grease and a balanced perspective of the issue.

How to Know if You Should Display Your Prices

While this Moz article referencing website pricing is dated, it does makes some very good points about why you should display pricing.

If you display pricing you should also convey value. A value proposition including a pricing tier can address variables related to your business that can actually set you above the competition.

If you display pricing on your website you should also convey valueClick To Tweet

Listing pricing without context or with only a few lines to convey value won’t draw in a user reviewing multiple options. You may be more expensive than your competitor but you might also be offering a lot more for what you charge. Make sure your leads know!

This could also be a reason to not display pricing as well. If you have already evaluated your competitors and they have tiered pricing that beats the value of what you offer, then take the time to assess how they’re able to provide more at a lower cost.

If you’re feeling ambitious you can even call them to clarify what they’re offering and ask for examples of it in practice. Sometimes the value stated on the site is misleading so don’t take your competitor’s claims at face value.

What if Your Competitors Aren’t Displaying Pricing?

Your competitors may not be showing how much they charge but that doesn’t mean you can’t.

A money-focused business can sometimes be more focused on its own bottom line than servicing its customers. Your competition isn’t just related to price so if you’re up against established pros in your industry you can overcome the hurdle of their online presence being much stronger (more reviews, more activity) by doing what they won’t.

State the reason for listing the different pricing tiers. Each should have a unique reason for being there beyond just profitability.

Since you already developed the pricing for a reason you should know why. It could be who you’ve serviced in the past or based on your own research. Be up front and honest about why you charge what you do since eventually that conversation will happen anyway.

You can leave prices off site and save that until you’ve spoken with the lead with the hopes of selling them past any objection to your pricing or you can remove that step by stating the sales points with the price on your website.

Your competitors are a guide but not a rule. If you feel as though they’ve left their prices off their site for a reason that doesn’t apply to you then don’t hold yourself back from showing your own prices.

What if Your Competitors are Displaying Their Prices?

If your competitors are up front about their prices but you feel as though doing so would put you at a disadvantage then the same question you should ask yourself is the obvious one your leads will want the answer to: why?

A bad experience could have put you off or just the anticipation of leads getting sticker shock.

Maybe you don’t want the competition being educated on your prices? Sometimes your reasons will be very valid but be prepared to have an answer if your lead is shopping around and the question comes up: I saw on XYZ’z website they offer A for $XX and you’re now saying you also offer A for $XX. How come you don’t put that on your website?

Have an answer and a good one. Include an anecdote if the reason is a bad experience or you will be stuck stammering to explain why and risk looking like you’re being dishonest before you’ve even started any sort of business relationship with your lead.

Displaying Prices Is Up to You

At the end of the day, displaying prices on your website is your choice. There is no absolute rule of thumb to follow. Assess all factors involved and make the right decision for your potential customers.

If you are withholding pricing with good reason you can even state it on your site but if not then you may want to rethink the decision.

Keeping an eye on your website stats can play a significant role in helping you decide whether displaying prices is working or not. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can place all pricing on one page and then check your Google Analytics to see if that’s where the trail ends.

Analyzing website stats will help determine if you should display prices or notClick To Tweet

If users are getting as far as the price page and not contacting you then it could be that your price page isn’t conveying enough value to justify the prices.

If you need help with taking that kind of action or just need help evaluating the decision then please comment below or get in touch. We’d be glad to help!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Yes or No: The Sharing Prices on Your Website DebateClick To Tweet

About the Author, Mark Hare

Mark Hare

Mark has been working in search engine optimization, paid online advertising, content marketing, and usability since 2005.

He has worked with hundreds of clients on a wide range of web based projects and is a strong proponent of white hat SEO techniques and link earning over building.


How to Incorporate Content Marketing into Twitter

Today we’re going to look at how to use content marketing to drive traffic to your website from Twitter.

 

Make Sure You Have the Right Content

The first thing to cover is that when doing content marketing be sure to have unique content that is applicable to your target market.

Make sure you take into account demographic information when creating your content so you make and share the right information for your desired audience.

Using Twitter to Promote Your Content

This video is about driving traffic to your blog with a focus on using Twitter for content marketing.

Post about your blog/content on Twitter often because it drives users towards your content.

Try 10 – 15 Tweets per day about your content spread throughout the day.

Don’t worry about how recent the content has been produced ad instead focus on its relevance to your users. If it’s still relevant then keep sharing!

Even if its 2- 3 years old you can keep sharing it. Users may have forgotten they saw it the first time or it may not have been relevant to them before but is now.

Share other user’s content as well if it is useful to your users and compatible with your content and brand.

Get yourself a tool like Hootsuite that allows you to schedule your tweets throughout the day.

Schedule your tweets so they appear when you know your followers are going to be online.

Hootsuite has a great auto-schedule tool you can use for this.

When you have a new article on your blog you can share that 2 -3 times per day right up until you post your next new blog post.

Try varying the title/tweets though so it’s not repetitious.

Add hashtags that are relevant to the content you’re sharing. For my video eTips I use #eTip.

You can even ask for a retweet. Try Please RT and sometimes people will share it!

Try the paid reach options. It will help get your content and brand out to many more people.

The more who see it the more chances you have of someone signing up or purchasing from you or signing up for your newsletter.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly tips on marketing online for entrepreneurs!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

Social Blast for Entrepreneurs

What If You Could Learn Social Media and Online Marketing Each Month With Ease?

If you are new to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing, my monthly group coaching program, Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs is a perfect way for you to incrementally learn the best strategies and tactics to help you grow your business online.

  • Uncover what it takes to execute a successful, revenue-driving social media strategy
  • Learn how to build relationships, trust, and brand awareness with your ideal customer
  • Discover actionable strategies to engage followers online
  • Master creating compelling content that’s always on target
  • Discern how to authentically differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace
  • Find out the best times to post for higher readership
  • Stay abreast with the latest prospecting techniques to grow your list, groups and more…
  • Learn ways to engage through social media monitoring and listening

It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.

› CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Twitter Ads Boost Business & How to Create Them

How to create Twitter ads

An Insider’s Guide to Increasing followers, gaining website traffic, and much more with Twitter advertising

Last week we showed you all the basic elements of setting up and using Twitter.

Now that we’ve looked at how you can market locally with hashtags and how to set up your profile and start tweeting, we’re going to review how you make use of the paid side of Twitter to help grow your business online.

Why use Twitter Advertising?

Twitter ads are a great way to really expand your business reach and get your content in front of your ideal target market.

Twitter has enticed business owners into taking the plunge by making their platform one of the best of the majors when it comes to targeting the right users.

There was a time when Twitter offered much better organic reach as most social media giants have.

They did this to gain market advantage; however, once their user base was established, they monetised their platform by restricting the organic reach, forcing users to make use of their paid option.

So by selected the right interests, key phrases, and demographics you have a very low-cost per click method of reaching qualified leads.

How to Set Up Twitter Advertising

Let’s run through the steps in setting up an ad on Twitter.

First post and schedule your regular tweets and then begin your campaign creation after since your tweets are what you’ll be using in the promotional campaign.

After logging in Twitter click on your profile photo and:

  1. Select Twitter Ads
  2. This will open a new tab that looks like this:

    how to use twitter ads

  3. At the top right you can see where it says Create Campaign
  4. Select Create Campaign
  5. Now you can pick which kind of paid campaign you’d like to try.

    how to use twitter for business

  6. If you’re building up your Twitter account try the Followers campaign type.

    If you’re looking to drive people towards your site and you have the content to reflect that then select Website clicks or conversions.

  7. There are other options for more advanced users such as video promotion and app promotion but we’re going to stick with the most used options noted above.
  8. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll see your campaign budget information.
  9. Pay close attention to this. Twitter (like most social giants) tends to assume we all have money to burn and will have some big numbers pre-filled. I believe the current pre-filled number is a daily budget of $127.50.

    Set yours to something much lower while you test Twitter Ads out. I suggest $5 a day and a total budget of $25 for a one work week campaign.

  10. Next select your Date Range. Twitter tends to auto-populate this with about a month timeline. For your first trial let’s stick with a 5-day work week as noted above.
  11. After you click through you’ll get to select your “creatives”. These are the tweets you’ve posted that will be used for your campaign.
  12. Select the tweets you posted with the intent of either driving users towards content or your website.
  13. Now you’ll get to start targeting.
  14. When targeting get as specific as you can with what you want in your preferred audience. As stated in point 12, you should select targeting parameters that align with the original intention of your tweet.
  15. Pick locations where you know your content will resonate with users. If you deal locally then promote locally.
  16. Pick the gender of the preferred audience for your campaign.
  17. In the bottom field, you want to spend most of your time.

    Pick interests and key phrases that best identify your preferred audience.

    If your business sells doorknobs then type in doorknobs to start your search. Find interests related to doors. Select any key phrase you know to be relevant to your content on Twitter regarding the sale of doorknobs.

  18. You want to align your audience target with your actual target for the content. If your tweets direct back to your site then be general about your business. Ads targeting a blog or video should be targeted at users who have expressed interest in that precise niche.

    To continue with our established analogy this could mean targeting users interested in brass door handles because you have content you’re promoting that is specifically about brass door handles.

  19. Now click next and you’ll be taken to your ad group bid. If running a lot of ad groups with separate purposes you can set new ad group budget totals here. For now you can leave this as is.

    The second option for target bid vs. automatic bid is more advanced and doesn’t really factor into the success much. Leaving it as Automatic bid is fine.

  20. Now click next and you’re ready to launch!

Use Your Twitter Advertising Metrics for Future Campaigns

Once the campaign has completed its run you can review the performance in this same Twitter ads section.

Look at Impressions but more so Clicks and your Cost Per Click. With Twitter it’s normally very low compared to other services.

If you want to peak at the performance even further please get in touch with us as we can analyse the data and make suggestions to help future campaigns perform better for you.

Thanks for reading,

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Why Twitter Ads Boost Business & How to Create ThemClick To Tweet

About the Author, Mark Hare

Mark Hare

Mark has been working in search engine optimization, paid online advertising, content marketing, and usability since 2005.

He has worked with hundreds of clients on a wide range of web based projects and is a strong proponent of white hat SEO techniques and link earning over building.


Getting Started on Twitter for Your Business

Getting Started on Twitter for Your Business

How to Set Your Profile, Make Connections, and Start Expanding Your Business Exposure Through Twitter

July is Twitter Month for us at eVision Media so for those already using Twitter for their business stay tuned for more ‘how tos’ and tips on using Twitter for business!

For those of you who haven’t braved the Twitter social media waters quite yet, this article will provide compelling reasons why you should use Twitter for business and then dive into how to set up your profile and how to get started building your following on Twitter.

Why Use Twitter For Your Business?

Twitter is a major player in online social media. In January of this year Google purchased Twitter Fabric (A Twitter development arm for apps) for an undisclosed sum for good reason. With 328 million + active Twitter accounts it’s a big audience to exist within.

Your ability to reach your target audience is amplified by using Twitter as it allows your users to see the latest news on your business in real time and provides a window into your company by way of what you share and promote.

Your ability to reach your target audience is amplified by using TwitterClick To Tweet

Almost 25% of verified Twitter users count themselves as journalists and often news hits Twitter before the other platforms have a chance to draft a report.

Whether you’re local or national or even international following journalists and making connections is a great way to have your own content shared with a large audience with the intention of course that some turn into paying customers.

It’s no surprise the current estimate is 93% of businesses use Twitter with over half using it daily.

Another big plus is how Twitter (and social media in general) has replaced traditional PR. Companies who use Twitter report a 20% improvement in customer relations!

How to Set Up Your Twitter Account

Let’s break down just how easy it is to set up a Twitter account. Then we’ll review how to use it.

Step one in setting up Twitter:

  1. Sign up
    • That linked text above will take you to Twitter’s signup page. This is a simple step.You can pick your username, sign up with your email address, and then confirm the account in your email (* It’s good to have your email already open in a new tab when doing this).
  2. Edit your profile

    Here you’ll be adding your Twitter profile image and your header along with your bio text:

    • In order to access this in your new account you’ll need to click on the top right next to where you see the word Tweet.
    • This will open a menu.
    • Select the top part where you see the username you entered when signing up.
    • This will take you to your Twitter profile page.
    • Now select Edit Profile as indicated on the page.
    • Now you can enter your bio (limited to 160 alpha numeric characters)
       
      *When drafting your bio start with what your business does or share what your followers can expect from you and end with something more personal about you.
       
      Example 1: A certified fitness coach who’s passion is health, wellness & eating Vegan sharing tips and recipes to help you on your health journey. Wife & Mom who loves the outdoors
       
      Example 2: (This is mine): I share tips on Digital Marketing, Websites, Branding & Social Media. An experienced & passionate Web Developer, eBusiness Consultant, Wife, Mother & Chocoholic
  3. Update your professional profile photo (image size: 400 X 400)
  4. Update your header image (image size: 1500 X 500)
  5. Enter your location
  6. Add in your website address
  7. Choose your theme colours – ideally have them match your business brand colours
  8. Then click “Save changes”!

Now that you’ve got your profile it’s time to look for followers.

Finding Followers on Twitter

This part is both very easy and very hard. Let me explain!

It’s easy to secure followers from anyone looking to turn you into a customer. It’s much harder in the reverse order.

Some accounts have hundreds of thousands of followers but nearly all are other people looking for clients. It can be easy to get sucked into a sinkhole of marketers so be very wary of any suspicious accounts.

It's easy to get sucked into a sinkhole of marketers on Twitter; be wary of suspicious accountsClick To Tweet

Instead look for people you know. Not just personally but brand personalities you trust. There is a very easy search function at the top right. Just type in a name and start checking.

You can also use Twitter’s Advanced search to narrow down your efforts further.

People with high numbers of ‘Following’ and low numbers of ‘Followers’ indicates they’re not securing good connections with their content so watch out. Even if they are following you, it only means they are watching to see if you follow back and as soon as you do, they will unfollow you. A practice I do not condone at all.

Any accounts with near even numbers of ‘Following’ and ‘Followers’ could simply be people in a niche who follow each other but aren’t reaching anyone outside that sphere. They’re okay to add but make sure that’s not ALL you add.

You can use Twitter’s email tool as well to farm your email for possible connections held within your emails records of people you’ve emailed with in the past.

If you’re still stuck: try writing down a list of brands like yours and add them. Following your competition not only shows you what’s popular in your industry, it also gets your name in front of their followers if you ever feel compelled to reply.

Another easy trick we covered recently during our Twitter month is using hashtags to find local businesses on Twitter.

Many of us deal locally so make sure to check out that post linked above.

Don’t worry about your Follower count too much and focus on quality over quantity.

Keep Tweeting

Now it’s time to start tweeting! This is your 140 character opportunity to market yourself in your own voice.

Try some tweets out that link to your site’s pages but don’t overdo it. Focus on building out an identity that establishes trust in your followers.

Look for voices in your industry with trust where you can retweet and like their content.

When retweeting look for opportunities to tie their point back to your business. If they share X and you build awareness around X then retweet and add a link back to your relevant page whether it’s a static product page or a blog post. The goal is to reach both them and your users in a way that connects you to the trusted authority.

Seek trustworthy industry leaders to retweet and like their content & relate to your contentClick To Tweet

A great way to increase the viability of your tweeting is to add an image to your tweet.  This is really easy and recently Twitter made it even easier with their addition of a GIF function. You can search for funny and/or relevant GIFs right within your Tweet. Just click below the text box where it says GIF.

Make it fun and share content you love. Don’t get into a trap of only using Twitter for self promotion.

The biggest problem with Twitter is losing steam. Don’t be discouraged and if you want more help with Twitter and all social media you can sign up for our Social Blast linked below!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Getting Started on Twitter for Your BusinessClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How to Use Twitter Social Videos to Boost Your Business Visibility

How to Use Twitter Social Videos to Boost Your Business Visibility

Why Incorporating Video on Your Twitter Account is Good For Social Marketing

Last month I shared several articles and video eTips on the use of video marketing for your business, especially in the realm of social media marketing.

But an often overlooked video marketing option is using video on Twitter.  

Using videos on your Twitter channel can provide a much richer experience for your followers than by simply posting images or text. Plus videos allow your followers an opportunity to get to know, like and trust you all that much quicker and easier.

The fact of the matter is: Twitter users embrace video.

This infographic from ADWEEK shows Twitter stats, trends and suggestions on how businesses can drive engagement using videos on Twitter.  

ADWEEK Twitter Stats 2016 Infographic

Notice how 82% of Twitter users interact with brands and businesses. Since there’s over 800 million monthly visitors on this platform, this number is one that can’t be ignored and should be capitalized on.

Live Video Streaming on Twitter

Just because Facebook is the Belle of the Ball right now, that doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t alive and kicking!

On May 2, 2017, Twitter announced its Live Streaming capabilities that involves 16 live streaming content deals in the areas of sports, news and entertainment.

The great news is, anyone can now post a live video on Twitter!

People love to come to Twitter to see and discuss the latest news and events so why not use a live Twitter video to showcase your expertise and provide insights on industry trends your followers would be interested in hearing about?

Twitter Video Ads

Twitter Video Ads are also a serious option to consider for any sized business.

According to several recent Nielsen Brand Effect Studies, people who saw videos ads on Twitter were 50% more likely to be aware of that business and became 14% more favourable towards that brand.

This then translates to an 18% higher purchase intention, which is achieving the ultimate goal all businesses have in their advertising efforts.

How to Post a Video to Twitter

Twitter allows you to record and post videos up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds in length. So before hitting the record button, plan out what you are going to say and focus on being concise, informative and/or entertaining.

How to share your video on Twitter from an iPhone or Android:

  1. Using your iPhone or Android, you can record, edit and share videos straight from your Twitter app by first tapping the Tweet icon and then tapping the Photo
  2. Twitter Video Screen ShotNext tap the Video icon, or if you wish to do a Live video, tap on that option as seen in this image.
  3. If you wish to reverse the camera so you can speak to your followers and show everyone what you are seeing, tap the reverse camera icon.
  4. If you need more light, press the lighting icon at the top of your screen to enable the camera’s light.
  5. Press and hold down the Record icon to record. You can pause and add more to your video by pressing down the record button again.
  6. You have the option to do some editing to your video before posting by holding and dragging any snippet upwards to delete it. You can hold and drag sideways to rearrange your clips as well.
  7. When done, tap on the Done button or you can preview your video before posting it to see if any further edits are needed.
  8. Tap Tweet to share your video!

You can also use a pre-recorded video that’s either on your phone or computer by simply tapping/clicking the Image icon and selecting the video from your device you wish to share.

A cool option you can take advantage of in your content marketing efforts is to embed your video tweets into your blog for extra exposure.

What to Post in Your Twitter Videos

Strapped for ideas on what kind of content you could use for your Twitter videos? In a previous video eTip I provided 5 social media video marketing strategies you can use to help showcase your business that can give you some inspiration.

Keep in mind Twitter followers are coming to this platform with a “discovery” point of view. With Twitter being more focused on what’s happening in the current moment, capitalize on that by posting videos based on what is trending.

They can be your own personal opinion about news related to your industry or ask your followers to join in on the discussion to see how they are impacted by something that has happened in your industry.

Respond to someone’s tweet with a video. Doing this provides you with a great opportunity to have your followers get to know you more on a personal level.

How about asking your followers to share their own video of using your product in action? You could run a contest that would encourage this kind of user-generated content.

Get Busy Using Video for Twitter Content

No matter how you look at it, video is where it’s at with online marketing trends so why not use video on Twitter to help gain bigger and more exposure for your business?

Give it a try and test out some videos to see what works and doesn’t work for you. Be sure to keep an eye out on your Twitter stats to get the full scope of your efforts.

Marketing online is not easy and there is a lot to learn. If you are ready to start but not sure where or how then sign up for our Social Media Membership Program. It’s a cost effective and easy way to work with an industry professional while you study the in’s and out’s of social media, video, and online marketing.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How to Use Twitter Social Videos to Boost Your Business VisibilityClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

2 Pro Tips for Shooting Professional Looking Social Media Videos

In continuation with our article last week about video marketing strategies to help showcase your business, today’s video eTip is to help you improve the quality of your videos.

 

Of course, if you’re going to display a video on your homepage you would want to hire a professional videographer to assist you with that project. The intention of this blog is to assist you with creating videos for your social media accounts to engage with your potential customers and build your professional-looking brand exposure.

How to improve how your video looks

Have you ever clicked on a video and it just didn’t look right? For example, the colour was a little too yellow, or the footage was too grainy, or the quality just wasn’t up to industry standard? The main reason for this is usually lighting.

Poor lighting can potentially be a big distraction for your viewers, because instead of focusing on the content you’re providing they are being distracted by the quality, or lack thereof in your video.

Earlier in my career I was fortunate enough to work as the first paid Master Control Operator for our local cable vision studio, MSA Cable 3. While employed there I was able to learn a lot about video production, lighting, audio, directing and editing video.

Typically, in a studio set-up they use a lighting setup called three-point lighting. The three main light sources are:

  1. 3 light video shoot set upBacklight

     
    A backlight is a spotlight that shines on the back of your head, behind your head. The reason for this lighting is to remove all the shadows from the background of your shot.

  2. Fill Light

     
    A fill light usually has a broader spectrum which creates wider range of softer diffused light. Usually a fill light will be off to the side of the camera and it fills the whole space.

  3. Key Light

     
    A key light is more of a spotlight that is focused directly on and more in front of the subject.

With these principals of studio lighting in mind there are a couple of ways you can emulate them and improve the quality of your video.

Window Light

Have you ever heard a photographer mention they are running out of daylight? That is because natural light is often the best light for lighting your subject.

You can take advantage of natural light by getting in front of a window and using it as your fill light.

If you’re shooting outside try not to stand in direct sunlight because this can light your subject too much and over expose the video. The reason this doesn’t happen in front of the window is because the window naturally diffuses the light and makes it softer.

Lamps

It’s going to be tricky to get a back light unless you have an overhead light. However, you can utilize lamps to add more fill lights or even a key light to your video setup. In my video above I am using several lamps as well as window light to improve the lighting of my video.

How to improve how your video sounds

Audio may not be the first thing you think about when you’re creating a video however it is vital to the quality of your video. For instance, if someone watching your video can’t hear what you’re saying then they won’t take away any value you’re providing.

In the video above, you’ll probably notice that I’m using a lapel mic. These mics are generally cost efficient, will raise the quality of your video and are compatible with your smartphone.

Previously I have used a headset microphone while recording video on my webcam at my computer. While this works just fine, the down side to a headset mic is a lack of mobility.

Another option to consider is purchasing a handheld microphone. However, for creating social media content that may be a little too over the top.

And finally, you can always use the internal microphone on your phone. While this is the least expensive option, there are some hurdles you will encounter when using your phone’s mic. The best use for this mic is within proximity to you, for example a selfie. If the phone is too far away that’ll create sound reflections and cause room noise to compromise the quality of the audio in your video.

If you have any questions about improving your video quality to strengthen your online marketing, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

2 Pro Tips for Shooting Professional Looking Social Media VideosClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Do Your Users Interact With Your Videos?

video marketing tips

Beyond Engagement: How interactive video marketing brings another dimension to the user experience

We’ve been talking about video marketing a lot lately. It’s important and increasingly so. What you make, where the user views the video, the story you tell, and where the user ends up are all important.

Another step you can take to make the most of your efforts is to make the video interactive.

This may seem daunting and the idea intimidates a lot of people but there are ways to go about it that are often easier and more cost effective than you’d think.

Here are some excellent tools that can help you turn your videos into an interactive experience:

Adventr

Adventr is a free tool though it has tiered pricing options for those looking for more. This system allows the user to choose based on selection offered during the video putting the user in a position to enjoy more than one outcome and more than one story.

The drag and drop administration puts you in control of the narrative you create. When the video pauses at certain points you offer the user choices that then determine the outcome!

For those looking to draw the user in or convey a message that requires interactive elements this tool is ideal and you can try it free before committing to anything.

Feeling ambitious? Try these video marketing tools that can make your video interactiveClick To Tweet

Klynt

Klynt is another great tool that makes interactive video making easy. They also offer drag and drop video creation that offers up neat opportunities such as adding in specific paths the user can take from or from within the video as well as adding clickable icons that link to pages within your website that may provide further insight into the subject matter for your user. It’s like linking from within your video!

There are more great ways to use this service as seen in this demo example of a dynamic landing page menu to start your video. Now you just have to get creative.

Not sure what kind of video style is for you? Try our previous post: 7 Video Marketing Methods for Greater Business Exposure

Pageflow

A somewhat more advanced tool this one will take you a few hours to toy with but if you’re interested telling stories in your videos then this is ideal.

This system allows for inserting everything from audio tracks to adding fade in text effects and more. If you have a certain point in your video you want linked to a url within your site just add it as a hotspot linked by either text or an image.

Add a map and make it interactive to allow the user to choose where to go and when they get there have a video about that section or locality.

It depends on how much time and effort you’re willing to put in but if you want to really make a splash and excite your users this could be a great way to do it.

Odyssey

Odyssey is much simpler than the rest. Though you might be intimidated by words like documentation and .js this one is in fact quite easy to use with 3 options to tell your story with.

Slides, scrolling, and torque are the 3 types of videos you can make with this system. By taking your time and reading the documentation you can use this one quite easily to make your videos a journey for your users.

While mostly map based this system does offer options on how to get your user to engage with your content and if you’re stuck that same documentation is there for easy reference.

Creating videos can be a lot of fun. If you’re running into obstacles or need help getting started then please sign up for our Social Media Membership Program. We have great lively discussion and learning sessions designed to help you grow your business by making the most out of your online efforts and social marketing.

Thanks for reading,
Mark H

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for our newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

About the Author, Mark Hare

Mark Hare

Mark has been working in search engine optimization, paid online advertising, content marketing, and usability since 2005.

He has worked with hundreds of clients on a wide range of web based projects and is a strong proponent of white hat SEO techniques and link earning over building.


If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Do Your Users Interact With Your Videos?Click To Tweet