eBusiness Blog

6 Website Must-Have’s for Small Businesses

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur and aren’t happy with your website’s performance?

This eTip is all about making the most of your website for your business. If you want to see more of a return from your website, then I’ve got 6 must-haves that are just for you!

So what are these 6 things you must have in order to have a high performing website? Keep watching!

6 Essentials For a High Performing Business Website

  1. Consistent & Professional Branding

    When people see your website, does it look consistent with your social media? Your website and social media should have consistent branding across all platforms.
     
    Consistency is the key here but it needs to look professional. An amateur looking website will not attract the right kinds of clients.
     
    First impressions are extremely important so it doesn’t matter how great you are if the way it’s presented looks cheap or unprofessional.
     
    Make sure you don’t design something that’s just for you. You might be a huge fan of a colour or design but if it’s not something that would appeal to your clients, then it shouldn’t be on your website.
     
    We use purple a lot ourselves but we know it’s good for our business so keep in mind you may be putting people off if you’re the only one who is a fan of a colour or design element.

  2. White Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    Don’t underestimate the power of good SEO.
     
    With SEO you are making sure your website is not only something search engines will index and (hopefully) display to users but that it’s done right.
     
    You are competing with other websites for the same key phrases users enter and your goal is to be at the top of those results when searched by your target market.
     

    Many people lack understanding of SEO even though it’s extremely important. You’re competing with many other websites. If you don’t have good white hat SEO, then no matter how good your website is, users won’t be able to find it.
     

    Look at essentials in onsite SEO like having your keyphase targets in things like the title tags, meta data and the url.
     
    A great example is if you’re selling a book. Many people will list the url pertaining to their book as www.example.com/book
    What you should do is have a url like this: www.example.com/title-of-book
     
    The title will likely be intuitively connected to your content with good keyphrases in it and Google will be able to read that.
     
    You can even add the keywords you want to rank for to elements like image naming and alt tags too.
     
    Make sure you have your desired key phases set and then include them in the onsite copy. All of this is the set up for SEO so Google knows what you want to rank for.
     
    This part of the industry is daunting so don’t be afraid to reach out for help from someone who does professional search engine optimization. But watch out for overseas scams, do your due diligence first, and only proceed once you’re comfortable.
     
    Look for someone who will understand your business and work with the branding, website development, and SEO together since these all work best when they are working together.

  3. Responsive Website

    A responsive website means your site will display well on phones and all smaller screens.
     
    Years ago websites only had to display well on desktop computers. Now that smart phones are common, it’s important to have a website that can display well on one.
     
    With responsive design your website will change its display while maintaining the same information, making it easily usable on a cell phone.
     
    Designers sometimes opted to have two separate websites that would be detected by the device and would display the appropriate one. With this though, there were two websites to maintain and update.
     
    With responsive design the template changes so you remove the redundancy of having to do everything twice. Google places a lot of importance on mobile usability so it’s a really good idea to get a responsive website if you don’t have one already.
     

    If you don’t know if your website is responsive or you need help making it that way please get in touch and our website developers will make sure your site displays properly and performs well on mobile devices.
     
    If you don’t think your potential clients use smart phones then think again. Over 50% of people are on smart phones when they’re searching online so please get in touch if yours isn’t optimized for mobile devices.

  4. List Building and Follow Up

    List building is in place because if a user comes to your website for the first time, there is a small chance they’ll convert right away. The odds are slightly better if you offer something in the way of e-commerce.
     
    Because users are more likely to convert after their first visit, you want to give them a way to find their way back. An email newsletter subscription is a great way to to that.
     
    To build your list you can try offering something for free like a download of a free how-to guide that requires the user to enter their email address in order to receive it.
     
    This could be anything: An audio file, video series, or PDF report. The point is to provide value in exchange for the user committing to giving you their email.
     
    Then stay in touch with your list to cultivate the know, like and trust factor with this, providing them good reasons to come back.

  5. Solid Marketing Message

    A lot of entrepreneurs make their website all about them. ‘I do this’ ‘this is me’ ‘this is what I do’.
     
    Unfortunately for a user this can leave them asking: what about me?
     
    A website has to reassure a visitor they’ve arrived in the right place. Your messaging should clearly state what problems you solve and that you are there to help.
     
    Use terms like “You” and “Your” rather than “Me” or “I”. Hiring a professional copywriter is a great idea because they understand the intentions of the visitor’s needs coming first and can make what you do exciting, which helps convert them into a paying customer.
     

    Creating excitement isn’t easy to do so a great copywriter is a essential to making sure you get your website visitors excited about you and what you provide.

  6. Make It Easy To Reach You

    Make the process of contacting you as easy as possible.
     

    If you have an online store you need a customer service phone number prominently displayed. It’s normally placed in the top right side of the page.
     
    Even if you don’t have an online store and you’re providing a service or something else with a “Buy Now” button, the service number reassures the user there is a real person behind the scene in case they need help.
     
    Establishing trust is key so providing them with ways to contact you if necessary is essential to establishing trust. You will get more site visitors to commit to you and your business once trust is established.
     

    Many entrepreneurs are worried about having their phone number out there but at the end of the day you need one so whatever you can do to provide one is a must.
     
    Also have a good contact form. This and a phone number are essential to establishing trust with your potential clients.
     
    Have a CTA (Call To Action) that leads users towards their destination. If your conversion is qualified by a contact then lead users on each page towards the contact page. Use buttons and text telling them to click and easily get in touch with you.

These are the must-haves for your website.

There are many more things to cover but these 6 are the essentials for success. You may think you have some of these covered but if you’re using a prefabricated template or an all-in-one solution, you may have something too bloated with excessive code to index well and it could actually be working against you.

Get in touch with us if your website is under-performing and we’ll look at why and provide you with a more professional option.

We design and develop sites that are custom built to achieve the goals we establish with you.

That’s it for this week and don’t forget if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our YouTube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week or leave a comment in the comments below!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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

Deck Out Your Business Website and Social Media in Holiday Style!

Deck Out Your Business Website and Social Media in Holiday Style!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; a time for celebration of the holiday season…

As we deck the halls with boughs of holly and trim the tree, it’s also time to get your business showcased for the holiday season.

This is the time to make sure your social media profiles and website are ready for the festive season.

Are your social media profiles and website decked out for the festive season?Click To Tweet

Here’s some ways to dress up your website and social media for the holidays:

Decorate Your Website Home Page

Place your best holiday deals front and center on your website.  Here’s a great example from retailer J Crew who held a “5 Days of Merry. 5 Surprise Sales” recently.

J. Crew 5 Days of Merry. 5 Surprise Sales

We’ve added a holiday banner to our site that provides holiday wishes from each of our team members: www.evisionmedia.ca

Design a Customized Christmas Logo

Why not create a fun holiday version of your logo for the holidays?  Google has been doing this for years.  Here is an example of a past Google holiday logo:

Google Christmas logo design

Host Holiday Gift Ideas

Tell your customers what to buy for the person who has everything.  When you make gift-giving easy they buy!

Target does a great example of this right on their home page with a gift ideas list. Listing gift ideas at different price points makes it convenient.  For example Target lists gifts under $25, under $5-, and over $50.

Target gift lists

Create Festive Holiday Content

Find fun ways to share your content with a holiday flair.  For example, All Business posted a great article on “The 12 Days of Christmas Retail

12 Days of Christmas Retail

Spruce up Your Social Media Account Too!

Design a special holiday Facebook Cover Image – Show customers your holiday spirit by designing a festive holiday cover image. Our eVision Media Facebook page incorporates our brand colours and logo into our Christmas banner.

eVision Media Facebook business page

Post Family Holiday Pictures

On my personal profile, I’ve posted a picture of our cat Taz by the Christmas tree.  Taz has formed min-celebrity status on Facebook. Moreover, a lot of people can relate to what it’s like having pets and hoping they don’t attack the Christmas tree.

It’s a fun image that helps us connect with our audience.

Taz sitting under the Christmas tree 2017

Use Holiday Hashtags

Make it easy for holiday enthusiasts to find you by creating holiday hashtags.  Some popular ones include #diy, #stockingstuffers, #holidays, #newyears and so on.

Display Holiday Hours

If you plan on taking time off for the holidays let your customers know.  A graphic for social media and your website is the perfect way to remind them.  Look at this example from The Comedy Spot.

See you soon! Closed for Christmas, back on December 26

So don’t be a Grinch.  Show your customers your holiday spirit!

Celebrate by sharing website and social media updates that you are decked out in holiday style.  ‘Tis the season. Set the mood for holiday shopping and you’ll be rewarded.

What has your business done to show Christmas spirit for the holidays? Post your examples below!

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:

Deck Out Your Business Website and Social Media in Holiday Style!Click To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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

How an Ideal Client Avatar Helps You Better Connect with Your Website Prospects

How an Ideal Client Avatar Helps You Better Connect with Prospects on Your Website

When visitors come to your website they want to know if you understand their issues and can help them.

I have found many businesses falter when it comes to connecting with potential customers. They write about their products and services but forget it’s really about the customer and what they are needing when they visit a website.

That’s why using your ideal client avatar to create a “who we help” page on your website is important. It helps your website visitors self identify if they are your ideal customer.

Using an ideal client avatar on a 'who we help' web page is great for client attractionClick To Tweet

Once you connect to someone on that deeper level it’s easy for them to take the leap to hiring you.

So how do you go about creating an ideal client avatar for your “who we help” page? There are 4 basic parts to this: who they are, what their issues tend to be, what they need right now, and what they should do.

Grab a piece of paper and let’s dig in.

Part 1: Their Identity

Sit down and picture your ideal client. The key to doing this effectively is to drill down to one perfect customer and go deep:

  • Who is your all time favourite ideal customer?
  • Who got tremendous value out of working with you and are incredibly grateful for it?
  • Who is more than happy to pay you?
  • Who often refers other people to you?
  • Who gives you a lot of joy when you work with them?

This is the kind of “A-list” ideal client you want to attract more of to your business.

It is often helpful to give them a full avatar identity, a fictitious profile that embodies the persona of your ideal client. Write a short paragraph describing all about this person. You want potential clients to read this and say, “wow that’s me!”

Itemize details such as:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Industry
  • Their passion
  • Their current state, whether in personal or professional life
  • Profession
  • Income level
  • Interests and passions

Example: I love working with clients like Jenna Anderson.  She is a 54-year-old owner of a small fashion boutique.  Her passion is helping women find clothing that celebrates their sense of style and helps them feel ageless. 

Her boutique is successful and she is working to open a new clothing line this fall to expand her offerings.

Part 2: Their Issues

Write a short paragraph describing the worries and issues keeping them up at night. Ask yourself what needs are unmet for them? Write a sentence that specifically shows how they feel about this.

Example: Her issues tend to be that she is so busy with the day-to-day needs of her business that she doesn’t have time to focus on creating the designs for her new line.  She needs to hire some new employees to help out but is having trouble finding women who are a fit.

Running the store and doing the bookwork keeps her so busy she doesn’t have time to work on next steps for her business. She needs some help hiring new help, delegating and creating a game plan.

Part 3: Their Pressing Needs

Give specific examples of what “the solution” would look like.  Say how they would feel about having that kind of relief in their life.

Example: What she needs most right now is someone to help her write effective job descriptions so she can hire a stronger sales team for the store.  She also needs to look at what is on her plate and how she can have her team members take some of that off her shoulders. 

She needs someone who is a coach and a cheerleader to push her to create her designs and get them into production.  It would be thrilling to finally see her visions come to life. She would love to have some go-getter employees who feel the same passion she does for empowering women with clothing that makes them feel confident and strong.

Part 4: Their Next Step

Now that we have their attention and have generated interest and desire, it’s time to have them take action.  Tell them how they can get started working with you.

Think about what their next step should be.  Is it a discovery call or initial consultation? What program offering would help them? Is there a product that would show them how to fix it themselves?  Or do you offer a done-for-you service to tackle this problem for them?

Example: You’re invited to have a free breakthrough session where we can look at where your business is at, what challenges you are facing, what opportunities you have, and how we can help you bridge the gap to achieve your desired goals. 

Click here to schedule your free breakthrough session now.

Defining Your Avatar Helps You Personalize Your Marketing

Now that you know who your ideal client is, what they need, and how you can help them, you can now create a “Who We Help” web page that directly speaks to them.  You could also sprinkle in some of your most impactful testimonials to further reinforce how you can help your ideal client.

The added bonus of defining your ideal client avatar is that it helps you write in a very personable way in your marketing. This enhances and escalates the “Know, Like and Trust” factor you want to achieve with your followers.

It completely transforms the impact of your writing when you make it personal and connective.  In my own marketing, I write a newsletter or email piece directly to my ideal client. I often have our email subscribers write back personally as if I had written directly to them.

If you need any help in identifying your ideal client, consider one of my mentoring packages to help with not only that, but also with your marketing and social media strategy on attracting those ideal clients to your business.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you needing guidance on how to define your niche market and how to position yourself in your industry? Having a mentor to help you through this process can save you time and costly mistakes.

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

How an Ideal Client Avatar Helps You Better Connect with Your Website ProspectsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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

Online Marketing Plan Essentials – 3 Ways to Drive Qualified Traffic to Your Website in Droves

Part Two: You Have a Website; Now How Do You Attract New Clients?

Online Marketing Plan Essentials – How to Drive Qualified Traffic to Your Website in Droves

In last week’s article, we talked about setting up the tools you’ll need to evaluate your website traffic in response to your online marketing efforts. And now it’s time to come up with an online marketing plan.

There are two broad categories to look at for your online marketing: Paid and Organic

An online marketing plan for website traffic comprises of 2 broad categories: Paid and OrganicClick To Tweet

Paid Website Traffic

This term refers to all instances of purchasing ads for buying ‘reach’ and/or by paying to promote a post on social media.

There are many different ways to buy visibility with an audience that it has become a massive industry unto itself. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and all others are worth what they are because of the paid component.

It’s an essential part of any marketing strategy and not something you should attempt yourself unless you want to study this fast-paced industry and essentially become an expert in this field. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time, money and energy with no guaranteed results.

Instead, hire an online marketing professional for help with this.

Organic Website Traffic

Organic traffic means visitors finding your website in a variety of ways that didn’t require you paying for that traffic to find you.

There are many ways to reach an audience through organic means. Before you begin any of the tactics described below, it’s important to first define who your target market is, what your brand positioning should be and also understand what your competitive advantage is.

Ensure you do your market research before implementing a marketing planClick To Tweet

Once those key planning strategies are in place, it’s time to implement the following to help drive qualified traffic to your website. Here are three online tactics to pursue:

  1. Content Marketing

    Content marketing is strategically creating website content that will appeal to your ideal target market so they can then get to know, like and trust you more and ultimately convert into a paying customer. Essentially, you’re looking to establish yourself as an authority, entertain your users, and educate them.
     
    Aside from creating compelling content, you also want to make sure that content is sending proper rank signals to Google by ensuring it is of value to the visitor as well as being unique. Content marketing is everywhere and nobody wants to read the same article for the hundredth time with a different voice saying the same thing.
     
    When content is great, it gets linked to by other websites. These links are a major part of how Google evaluates your website for rank so great content not only drives traffic back, it also sends a positive message to Google that your website is worth ranking higher for the terms you’re targeting with your content.
     
    Content marketing has been such a booming part of SEO it’s now harder than ever to be a voice in your industry so make your content count. 1 good piece of content is worth more than 1,000 bad ones.
     

    » For more information on Content Marketing, read: Service Professional’s “Newbie” Guide to Content Marketing.

  2. Local Business Listings

    Local business listings are easy to find and can be added by yourself via these local SEO tools listed here or your SEO marketer can also help with this. Some are paid but most are free.
     
    Of any of the DIY methods for SEO this is the advisable one since it’s an easy process and many SEO agencies will charge monthly fees for simply running the software.
     

    » Click here for more information on how you can optimize your website for local search.  

  3. Social Media Marketing

    This is the seemingly simplest method of driving traffic to your website and the one most done wrong. Many business owners don’t realize the purpose of using social media for business marketing is to drive traffic back to their website. This disconnect often causes a lot of wasted time and effort.
     
    Social media management without SEO strategy is simply a PR campaign. All social platform links are what’s called ‘nofollow’ links so they never factor into your rank without a strategy in place that makes use of them in spite of the links being nofollow.
     
    When you pay for a social media marketing expert, you are getting the know-how to make your social media efforts count. Simply posting a lot is not going to do it. And hashtag spamming is a sure sign you’ve hired someone who doesn’t know how social media marketing or even hashtags work.
     
    Your social media is your way of connecting to your audience and Google observes that when traffic is sent through from a disconnected service. Your audience can grow much faster by reaching the right people but your content has to be unique and enjoyable to have an impact.
     

    » For more information on Social Media Marketing, read: 13 of the Best Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media.

Feeling overwhelmed at the volume of effort needed to market your business? Find an online marketing agency who can work with you and your expertise so your input and knowledge of your industry is the guide when creating content that is presented as being from your company.

Both users and Google will respond better to something of substance than anyone simply pumping out content for the sake of having something online.

Also remember the point from earlier about the value of social media and make sure you’re leveraging the paid component or you’re missing out on a lot of your reach opportunity.

As you can see there is much more to cover here than we can expect to review in a few blog posts so if you’re interested in learning more about gaining valuable traffic to your website, then hiring a professional online marketing agency like eVision Media is a great next step.

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 our free website guide plus weekly newsletter for entrepreneurs and small business owners today.
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P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Online Marketing Plan Essentials – How to Drive Qualified Traffic to Your Website in DrovesClick 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.


7 key Website Considerations to Attract and Convert Leads

Today’s eTip focuses on 7 steps you can take when setting up your new website so it attracts paying clients.

 

Seven Essential steps to ensure your website is set up to succeed.

Every website owner and/or business wants traffic to their site but what they really want is qualified traffic. To make sure you’re getting the right eyes on your website my focus today is on what steps you need to take so your website is successful.

Step 1: Why are they there?

The first essential step of your website is copy(text) that makes it clear to a user why they should buy from, or contact you.

Feature your unique selling position and hone in on what makes you distinct in your industry from your competition.

Step 2: What exactly do you do?

Make sure you are explicitly clear with what it is you do. We’re often stuck with tunnel vision when it comes to what we’re offering because we’re so familiar with our industry and business.

To a user who has never been to your website or who doesn’t know your company, some language you know well can confuse them so make sure you’re writing for your user and not yourself when outlining who you are and what you do.

It’s amazing how often I see a lack of clarity on websites. I ask the owner about it and the answers are as expected. The business owner has clouded their judgement by writing as though the site was being marketed to them rather than someone who doesn’t know the business.

Define who you work with on your website so visitors better identify they're in the right placeClick To Tweet

Step 3: Describe your client.

Who do you work with? What is your client list like? By stating the type of client you work with demonstrates your ability to identify their specific problems and challenges that your visitors will resonate with.

This lets users know that they’ll encounter little difficulty in trusting you because you’ve provided the service or product before to someone just like them.

Step 4: What questions does your company answer?

This builds off of step 2: what do you do. Now ask yourself what question can be asked where the answer is your business?

The reason for this is often users will find their way to your website by way of trying to solve a problem. By positioning yourself as the solution, you are showing them that by contacting you or making a purchase they’ll have their question answered and problem solved.

Statistically first time website visitors don't make a purchase and rarely returnClick To Tweet

Step 5: Always lead the user to a conversion

End each page’s content with a CTA, which stands for “Call To Action”.

Once you’ve outlined your value you need to end with a way for the user to either buy from you, get into your newsletter list, or contact you. You’ve told them why so now just show them how.

It can be a simple “Contact Us Here” message, a buy now button, or better yet, a newsletter sign up form that offers a free giveaway that will entice your users to sign up.

Step 6: Give something away for free

The statistical probability of someone coming to your website for the first time and converting is lower than if you can continue some sort of communication with them.

A free giveaway is like a virtual leave behind. Rather than physically giving them a calendar to put on their desk, you’re providing a free product such as a survey, PDF report, or something else that shows you have credible knowledge.

This way you now have a chance to continue a virtual dialog with them and the next time they have a problem, they remember the value you’ve demonstrated and will come back with a vastly increased chance of converting.

Step 7: Do a follow up

Follow up with all users via your mailing list or any other point of contact established.

Whether it’s a newsletter or other means you need to make sure the dialogue doesn’t end when they leave your website.

If they downloaded your free giveaway chances are you included an option to sign up for a mailing list. Use that list to make sure you stay in front of your user’s eyes and they don’t forget you.

Those are the 7 things you can do to get the right users to your website and to encourage them to come back and become paying customers.

If you have your own tips on what you’ve done to secure great traffic and convert leads please go ahead and leave a comment below and also subscribe to our YouTube channel or newsletter so you get weekly tips and strategies like these.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY
 

 

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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

Key Steps Before Implementing an Online Marketing Plan

Part One: You Have a Website; Now How Do You Attract New Clients?

Key Steps Before Implementing an Online Marketing Plan

Having a website doesn’t do much for your business if no one visits it. Try these initial steps to marketing your website online.

In 2018 not having a website would be strange for almost any business. Whether a big corporation or a solo-entrepreneurship, there is likelihood some form of online presence is necessary. And for anyone dealing in the business to consumer (B2C) space, a website can even be the business.

So you get a new website built, but what about getting qualified potential customers to it?

The truth is, traffic is the life blood of any business website and not having any can be very harmful to the bottom line.

Traffic is the life blood of a website and not having any can harm the business bottom lineClick To Tweet

This is where on-site SEO, off-site SEO, paid efforts, content marketing and social marketing can all work together (and should) for a complete online marketing approach.

What makes one component necessary is often the ability of the business owner to perform it. That can mean hiring marketing professionals, taking the time to attempt it themselves, or having a solid budget for paid methods and experts to navigate them for you.

Ideally you want it all so all bases are covered. Many businesses have none of these tactics in place, or have them done wrong and as a result are struggling to gain qualified leads and traffic.

This article covers what you need to gain traffic to your website and next week we’ll get into more specifics of what to do once these preliminary steps are done.

Do These Three Things Before You Start Marketing

Before you start creating your marketing strategy there are three things you, or your marketing firm should do first:

  1. Install Google Analytics
  2. Set up Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools)
  3. Within Google Analytics (GA) set up a conversion (or conversions if you have more than 1 way to measure the success of a user’s experience on your website)

These three components are free and by having them set up, you can now measure how effective your marketing is.

These tools are great for showing you what is happening with your website traffic. While there are thousands of third party tools promising to give more insight and help you gain traffic, they are all simply more in-depth diagnostic tools who’s relevance is the promised importance of providing an edge over the competition by way of the deeper level of insight.

The argument against using them (aside from the often astronomical cost) is that Google is the one providing the tools listed above so it’s best to stick to what they have deemed of importance to your efforts with their free methods of analyzing user experience and website performance.

Another thing to do before you start is test your website’s speed. Also make sure it’s going to work well on mobile devices. Google has seen sharp and rapidly escalating mobile usage over the years and since late 2015 even have Accelerated Mobile Pages. Mobile is key to the success of your site so make sure your website loads well on mobile devices.

Key Phrases Are Your Business’s Best Friend

The next thing you will need is a key phrase list. This will be a guide on the terms you want your website to show up in the results for when searched. In the past, these lists were much firmer but since Google has grown, it can infer meaning behind words or even groups of words that lead to an implied purpose.

How to define keywords and phrases:

  • Use the Search Console to check your existing traffic and see what has been searched for in the past that was clicked on.
  • Check your competitor’s websites to see what kind of terms and phrases are coming up often (this shows you what they’re trying to rank for).
  • Use a keyword tool to check volume of the phrases such as Google’s keyword tool.
  • The best thing is to ask yourself and your team honestly what it is you do that provides value to your clients.

Your key phrases you want to rank for should all then be associated with a relevant page on your website. They should appear in the website copy (and in other on-site SEO signal spaces like Meta tags etc.).

Once you have these key components in place, you are now ready to create a marketing plan and start driving traffic to your website so your business can start reaping the rewards of your efforts.

And whether you’re focusing your business marketing on local SEO, SEO with content marketing, Adwords, or usability assistance, it’s best to employ trustworthy online marketing professionals than to attempt it yourself. Be wary of tricks or anyone unable to demonstrate the efficacy of their efforts.

If you have any questions at all or comments please leave them below and if you want help with your marketing plan for your business get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.

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 our free website guide plus weekly newsletter for entrepreneurs and small business owners today.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

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

Key Steps Before Implementing an Online Marketing PlanClick 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.


Should you Purchase a WordPress Theme or get a Custom Site Created?

Today’s eTip is about what to do now that you have your business and marketing plan in place and you need a new website.

 

How do you get your website built?

Is WordPress your answer? Should you hire a website developer to build you a custom website?

Should you spend the money now or just go cheap so you have something online?

I’m going to review both options so you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The WordPress Solution

WordPress is great and if you’re brand new and still figuring out your business and what you want your website to accomplish for you then it’s a very easy solution to move forward with.

If you’re in a position where you’re still looking at things like who your target market is, then it isn’t worth your money to invest in a custom solution.

With WordPress you’re not wasting much money and you’ll get something up that is professional looking.

Many WordPress themes can do the trick and the newer ones are getting better all the time. Using a purchased theme can save money and your website will be up; however, there are drawbacks such as not being able to customize the theme very much and often they are not built very well, so lack in search engine optimization.

If you have no desire to grow into being a big business then WordPress may also be ideal for you.

The Custom Solution

By hiring a professional firm you get a custom site that is tailored to your business goals. You also get a team who can offer you things like assistance with upgrading your business plan, online marketing help, and they can show you how social media factors into your website’s success.

The custom solution is best for those looking to make a big splash in their market. You don’t want to waste time, so you need a site that puts you in a position to compete with competitors in your niche.

Your website is an online representation of your business and a full custom site is the best option to display your branding and business identity properly online. If you want to make sure you resonate with your target market right off the bat, then custom is for you.

Another reason for choosing custom is rebranding. You have a site and a business but it’s not performing as well as it could. Hiring a professional firm is your key to taking your business to the next level.

Any business needs some form of investment. So rather than expend your time and effort trying to be a jack of all trades and master web development and corporate branding while running your company, it’s best to hire seasoned professionals to help.

A solid team of professionals will help you grow your business and should be considered an investment rather than a cost. You’re paying for expertise from people who have already learned many lessons anyone new to web development will need to fumble through, and those missteps can be costly and aggravating.

Properly growing a professional business requires professionals like the eVision Media team so if you are in a position where custom is your option, then please get in touch.

If you have any questions about web development or design or branding then please post your comment or question in the comment section below.

Go ahead and leave a comment below and also subscribe to our YouTube channel or newsletter so you get weekly tips and strategies like these.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY
 

 

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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

3 Telltale Indicators Your Website is an Epic Failure

3 Telltale Indicators Your Website is An Epic Fail

Glaring Red Flags Your Website is Under Performing and What to Do About it

Do you know how well your website is really performing? While a great website can help bring in business; a bad one may be costing you sales.

And just because you have a sharp-looking website doesn’t mean it’s an effective one. 

The sad part is that even though you may have spent a ton of money on a site redesign it doesn’t guarantee it will increase sales.

Here’s three glaring red flags indicating your website is not performing as well as it should and what to do about it.

Having a website is meaningless if no-one knows about it, visits it or sticks around long enough to see what you have to offer.

A Website is meaningless if no-one knows about it, visits it, or sticks aroundClick To Tweet

Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Low Volume of Website Visitors

    Since your website is the primary marketing piece for your business, sending qualified visitors to it is fundamental for success. Here’s some tips to boost your site traffic and get more visitors to see your offerings:

  2. Sending qualified visitors to your website is fundamental for business successClick To Tweet
    • Advertise using Google Ad and other browser paid search, social media advertising and display advertising.
    • Get actively involved in Social media. These efforts can build a following and drive loyal fans to your website.
    • Implement content marketing strategies by frequently adding search engine optimized content to your blog. Writing informative articles and posting value-driven videos will not only attract visitors but also showcase your expertise in your industry.
    • Enlist in an SEO expert who can boost qualified website traffic and also improve your search engine rankings.
  3. High Bounce Rate

    A bounce rate measures the percentage of many visitors leave your website without browsing any further after that first page they land on.  If people visit your home page and click away, that’s a sign changes are needed to keep their interest.

    Quickly leaving website visitors indicate several potential problemsClick To Tweet

    Here’s some reasons why people are leaving your site before exploring any further:

    • Your home page should be compelling and appeal to your ideal target market. Ensure your brand messaging matches what your visitors are expecting to see so they are drawn in and want to learn more. It’s also important to review where you are promoting your business and ensure your offerings are highly relevant for them. Be sure the call to action is clearly prominent for them to take a next step.
    • People can be very impatient. If your website is slow to load, they will leave long before they have a chance to see your offerings. Your site’s load time must be fast to capture (and hold) your visitor’s attention.
    • Users can get frustrated easily if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly. Similarly if they encounter broken links, spelling and grammar errors and have a general bad user experience while trying to navigate your site.
    • Sadly, just having a website is not enough.  It’s critical to have your website display properly on smart phones and mobile devices too.  Today, 1.2 billion people are accessing the Internet from mobile devices. Of those users, up to 80% of them browse using a smartphone.
       
      In other words, if your website is not mobile friendly, you are missing out on a lot of potential business.
  4. No Conversions

    You can have all the traffic in the world, but if they don’t buy, it does you no good. Fortunately, if you aren’t happy with the conversion rate, there are ways to improve your site to improve the number of visitors who convert into paying customers.

    Non-converting website visitors are not good for businessClick To Tweet
    • Most visitors won’t buy after their first exposure to your website.  So it’s really important to capture those leads and follow up with them.  Offering a free giveaway is an effective way to get contact information and build your marketing list.
       
      But if people aren’t signing up for your freebie, then it’s time to make some changes.  You may need a more enticing offering or improve your call to action for the sign up.  Using a popup or exit popup can help boost sign up rates.  Having a more attractive graphic image of your freebie can boost conversions as well.
    • The best way to follow up with these leads is through an auto-responder series that is triggered immediately after they sign up for your free giveaway. Additionally, sending out consistent newsletters to your list is also very effective at staying top of mind for them, increasing your chances greatly of them eventually converting into a paying customer.

If you’re not sure where to find these three valuable metrics, the best way to analyze them is to check your website’s Google Analytics and monitor your website’s performance there.

Ready to Increase Your Website Performance and Get More Sales?

Does your website have high bounce rates? Are you getting minimal interactions on your social media? Do you have a low repeat visitor rate?  An experienced digital marketing agency can review, identify and recommend actions to remedy your website’s “profit holes” where you are losing sales.

The marketing experts here at eVision Media we can quickly boost your website sales and conversion rates. We’ve been increasing website conversions and sales for years with some fantastic results for our clients. Schedule a free consultation today about your website!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

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

3 Telltale Indicators Your Website is An Epic FailClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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

Web Design: Understanding the Process to Avoid Disasters

Today’s eTip is about how to properly convey your desired results when working with a website designer.

 

What can you do to prevent your web design project from going sideways?

Being a website design and development agency ourselves we know the pitfalls and costs that come with misunderstandings during the development process.

It often seems like you need to be a mind reader.

This happened to us recently, and we got to experience the other side of the equation and it ended up being a great learning experience for us.

Our project turned out to be a wonderful success and in the process we gained valuable insight into the design process from a customer perspective.

How does a project derail?

What happens normally is miscommunication.

The designer may not understand your goals and has probably not asked you enough questions.

Some good questions that should be asked before the project begins are:

  1. What do you want this website to accomplish for you?
  2. What is your brand positioning?
  3. How do you want to be presented to the public so that they see you as you’d like to be seen?
  4. What message do you want to portray to your audience in order to get them to respond to your site?
  5. Who is your audience and who do you want to visit the site?
  6. What about your site then entices that desired audience?

I should state here that I am referring to a qualified web designer and not someone who can draw something up in Photoshop but doesn’t understand how to create a website that actually performs for you.

Give yourself and your designer enough time to perform the due diligence expressed above. Asking those questions will ensure the project is to your expectations.

By asking the right questions your designer will understand your vision and how to interpret your goals so you wind up with a website that you’re in love with and proud to show off to friends, family, associates, and most of all your desired clients.

Go ahead and leave a comment below and please subscribe to our YouTube channel or newsletter so you get weekly tips and strategies like these.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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

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.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

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

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.