How Web Design Affects Your Online Sales

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Here’s something many business owners are not aware of: their website is more than just their online identity. While also considered by many as a virtual representation of their physical store or office, it is so much more. Apart from being your online business card, your website is also a powerful selling tool.

Here’s another fact many might find surprising: your website’s design has a massive impact on your online sales. For starters, your website’s architecture can impact consumer trust and the length of time they remain on your site. Both factors can translate to revenue (or loss) depending on how they are handled.

While it’s important to know the right website trends to incorporate in your design, knowing how your web design affects your online sales is just as crucial.

Let’s start by looking at some interesting facts that highlight the impact of web design on your online sales:

A staggering 75% of visitors will base the credibility of your website on your design. When visitors don’t find your site trustworthy, they will stay away from your site and look for information elsewhere. Understandably, this can result in a loss of sales for your business.

An enhanced design can improve your site’s credibility. A polished, clean, and modern website can make it very convenient for your visitors to browse or shop on your site. When it’s easy to transact on your site, they are more likely to patronize what you have to offer.

A great web design can increase customer loyalty. A whopping 89% of people turn to a competitor after a bad customer experience. If you want to generate more sales and improve customer loyalty, your web design is one of the things you should look into.

Web Design Elements That Can Help Boost Your Online Sales

Now that you know how your web design affects your online sales, here are some web design elements that can help you generate more revenue:

Integrate responsive design.

Once you know the impact of web design on your online sales, it’s easier for you to understand the impact of having a functional site. One of the first things you need to integrate to increase sales is a responsive design. A responsive design can help ensure your website can be accessed by anyone regardless of the device they use.

Make your call to action (CTA) page stand out.

Creating a superb CTA page is another effective way you can boost your online sales. When visitors want to purchase the products or services you offer, they look to your CTA for guidance. If your CTA page won’t be able to successfully guide your visitors on how to proceed, you can lose substantial revenue in the process.

Use high-quality visuals.

To help increase sales, use only high-quality visuals on your site. Avoid using graphics or stock photos as they can seem impersonal. It is also likely that your visitors will see them on other sites. Also, adding top-quality visuals can make your site stand out and make your products and services more enticing to your target audience.

Ensure you have organized navigation.

Another important web design aspect you should look into is your navigation. Ideally, you need to have organized and easy-to-use navigation. It is easier for you to sell your products and services to your visitors with organized navigation. You need to also ensure your site has all the relevant information your prospects will look for.

Use white space accordingly.

Many brands make the mistake of filling every inch of their website with visuals or information. However, overloading your website can be counterproductive as it can overwhelm and distract your visitors. This might not be common knowledge, but white space is key to good design so use it to your advantage.

Speed up your site.

If your site does not load fast, your visitors can leave without even checking the products or services you are offering. To determine your site’s current load time, you can use Google

PageSpeed Insights. If you don’t have the time to implement changes that can improve your page speed, investing in the help of experts would be a good idea.

Final Thoughts

Various factors can impact your online sales, and web design is one of them. If you are not where you want to be in terms of online sales, it is recommended that you carry out a website audit. If you need any help improving any aspects of your website, don’t hesitate to invest in the help of experts. If anything, it is an investment that will yield lucrative returns in the long run.

About The Author, Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of My Biz Niche, Arizona-based digital marketing, and web design company that has achieved superior results for its clients. Before My Biz Niche, Shawn worked for Venture Capitalists where he built a private portfolio of e-commerce and informational websites that generate revenue through various digital marketing strategies.

5 Benefits of Email Marketing For Small Businesses

round colored ball with envelopes

So, you have a small business. You are wondering how to market your product or service without spending a lot of money. If that sounds like you, then email marketing might be the answer. While large companies spend millions on advertising campaigns, TV commercials, and billboards, most small businesses can’t afford this type of promotion.

Instead, they rely more heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers and their social networks – but there’s still room for improvement. Email marketing proves to be an efficient way for small business owners to get their name out there while doing the work themselves. While SEO digital marketing agency plays a vital role in enhancing digital businesses, one of their strategies is email marketing.

If you have decided to become a part of the email marketing world and expand your business reach far and wide by sending emails to your customers. Congratulations! But before you jump right in, here are five benefits of email marketing for small businesses that should help motivate you even more:

#1. Email Marketing Is Affordable

You may think that email marketing is only affordable for large companies with vast resources, but it’s quite the opposite. The cost of running an email marketing campaign is very cheap and affordable for most small businesses. It costs only $2-$3 per thousand emails sent out, and that price can go even lower if you run a re-occurring promotion through the popular automation service.

#2. Email Marketing Is Targeted

There is no way to target your specific target audience with other popular forms of marketing, such as print ads or TV commercials. With this in mind, these types of advertising are rarely an effective use of time or money when attempting to promote a small business. In comparison, email marketing allows you to laser-focus your efforts on one demographic – whether they be B2C or B2B.

#3. Email Marketing Is Measurable

Traditional forms of advertising don’t offer the ability to track the success of a campaign because it all happens offline, namely in print format. In other words, there is no way to determine if your investment was worth it – until now. Email marketing allows you to see how many people opened your email and clicked through to various pages on your website and who they are and where they came from. These tools allow you to build a list of hyper-targeted leads that have been exposed to your brand, which can then be used for future outreach efforts – that’s priceless!

#4. Email Marketing Builds Trust With Your Audience

It has been mentioned before, but it’s worth repeating: with almost every other form of advertising, you cannot track who saw it and how they felt about what your company had to say. In turn, this makes it very difficult for small business owners to build a level of trust with their audience – until now.

With email marketing, you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of your messaging by seeing which subject lines generate the most opens and which content inside the email generates the most clicks through to your website or landing page. This insight is invaluable in understanding what resonates with your audience so that you can continue doing more of it!

#5. Email Marketing Is Extremely Engaging & Low-Cost

While spending money on traditional forms of advertising such as print ads or TV commercials is fun for creatives, many small businesses can’t afford it. And with no way of tracking its effectiveness, they risk throwing money away on an ad campaign that does nothing to promote their brand or business.

With email marketing, not only are you able to track the success of your campaigns, but each message sent is also engaging and cost-effective. Furthermore, most automation software allows you to schedule your email marketing efforts weeks in advance at the swipe of a finger. It removes the need for outside agencies, which helps you save even more time and money.

email app showing 2 emails

Wrapping Up!

Email marketing is the modern way to reach out to current/future customers. While SEO brings in branding, email helps support SEO efforts by providing high-quality content that’s interesting and informative to your target audience. However, there are many ways you can target your audience, such as you can consult a conversion optimization agency to increase the ratio of visitors who perform a specified action on-site and using email marketing to gain their interest.

The mentioned above are five benefits of email marketing for small businesses which you can integrate into your SEO strategy.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits associated with email marketing. However, how well it works depends on whether your audience responds positively to what you have to say and if your email is engaging enough for them to take action.

This informative post was brought to you by Daviesls

 

How To Choose The Right Photo Editing Tool For Your Needs

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Do you get overloaded with the tools you use to create your content? It seems there are so many and if you’re not careful you can waste a lot of money by not know what you need and sticking to it.

Those monthly subscriptions seem like nothing at first until they start adding up and before you know it you’re paying out more than you’re bringing in.

One thing my clients know about me is I try to find the most economical ways to do business. I’ve been guilty of “shiny object syndrome” a time or two myself and I’ve had to reign myself in.

$4.99 here, $12.99 there, and before you know it you’re paying more to run a side hustle or even full-time business than you could ever bring in.

Think of the tools that you pay for. If you’re a content creator you probably have the following:

  • Website
    • Domain $
    • Web Hosting $$
    • Premium Plugins $$$
  • Social media scheduling tools $$$
  • Asset storage (like Dropbox or Google) $$
  • Graphics tool $

You have to weigh the price vs what you will gain and sometimes you have to make some hard decisions.

EXAMPLE:

I used paid for Photoshop for years. I didn’t like it because it was so hard to use and it was very expensive $30 a month. $30 for three years and I probably used it a total of 25 times.

That’s $1080 I paid to make a couple of logos and fix some errant photos. Crazy!!!!

I learned a valuable lesson. You could say a $1080 mistake. Now, most of you would probably say, “it’s only $1,000, Rena, get over it“.

Then think about this: IT’S ONLY ONE OF THE TOOLS I USE!

Photoshop pricing

The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what you need:

What do you need to be able to do and you do and how much is it worth to you?

Do you create

  • social media graphics
  • blog post templates
  • are you a photographer who may need all of those bells and whistles
  • print materials
  • marketing
Different people have different needs.

I am definitely not a photographer so I won’t need to be able to manipulate imagery as others may.

I do need to create graphics to:

  • Website creation
  • Content creation
  • Social Media

Today, I’m going to compare three other options that could be viable for your business.

CANVA

You’ve probably heard of CANVA. Canva is a tool that I have been using weekly since 2016. Once I cut the cord with Photoshop I went with Canva’s paid plan and you can save your branding assets and up to 100 fonts to save you time. I fell in love with the ease of using Canva. They have a robust free version that works for every budget and their paid plans aren’t crazy expensive;

With a paid account you are able to save your branding assets and also up to 100 fonts that you own. That comes in very handy as a designer.

Here is the pricing as of today 8/31

Canva pricing

CARTOONIZE.NET By ColorCinch

This tool is somewhat new to me but I really like what I see. Number one is the pricing. I also love that you’re not charged more for say images etc. CARTOONIZE is a “one price for everything tool: which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

I hate working on something and then find that one exact perfect image only to find out it’s not in “my plan” and required to pay extra. Cartoonize doesn’t do this. Below is a list of their pricing and features.

I’ve sent along a couple of questions about whether or not you can upload and save your branding assets and your own fonts. I have learned that “YES” you can save projects, but unfortunately you cannot save fonts although that have hundreds available.

Might that be a future addition? Let’s hope but until then it’s still a great deal.

Cartoonize features and pricing chart

DESYGNER.COM

The third on my list I have mixed feelings about. They do have a free plan but when I was looking around I saw very few images in the free version, but I also understand that they also have to make money.

Their pricing is comparable to the other’s to and I did enjoy using it.

I can see myself using it again at times for certain projects.

With the paid version you do have access to hundreds of thousands of images based on your subscription by Shutterstock which does impress me and when you consider the price of the pro+ plan that’s a great deal in itself. 

Desynger pricing and features

**This post contains affiliate links. If you subscribe to any of these services I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your pricing.

 

How Can They Hack You? Let Me Count The Ways

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Website Security Is Fluid

It’s definitely not just installing a plugin and then forgetting about it. It’s a constant battle to outwit those who would like to gain access to vulnerable information. There are different areas of your site that can be vulnerable if not secured.

Today, we’re going talk about those different areas and why and how you need to keep them locked uptight.

Insecure Webhosting –

WordPress sites are hosted on a web server. Some hosts do no properly secure their hosting platforms. This makes all websites hosted on their server vulnerable to hacking attempts.

Using those bargain web hosting companies who don’t have the assets to protect your property can really hurt you in the long run!

screenshot of hostgator web hosting pricing

Using Weak Passwords

You have different passwords for different parts of your site and all of them need to be kept secure. Below is a list of passwords that need to be checked and possibly changed.

  • Your WordPress Admin
  • Web Hosting Control Panel
  • FTP Accounts
  • MySQL Database used for your site.
  • Email Accounts are used for WordPress admin or hosting accounts.

WordPress login page

 

Unprotected Access To WordPress Admin (WP-ADMIN DIRECTORY)

This gives a user access to perform different actions on your site. It is the most commonly attached area of a WP site.

12 tips to secure your wp-admin section

Incorrect File Permissions

Are a set of rules used by your web server. These rules s help your server control access to files on your site. Incorrect rules can give a hacker access to write and change those rules. Here’s a great article on WP BEGINNER on how to change these!

changing your file permissions in WordPress

Not Updating WordPress

Each new version fixes bugs and security vulnerabilities. If you don’t update you leave those vulnerabilities.

screenshot of a wordpress update screen

Not Updating Plugins & Themes

Same as updating WordPress. Not updating plugins and themes is dangerous can leave your site weak.

screenshot of a wp plugin update page

Using Plain FTP Instead Of SFTP/SSH

You should always choose SFTP access instead of FTP it is much more secure.

The key difference between FTP vs SFTP is that SFTP uses a secure channel to transfer files while FTP doesn’t. With SFTP, your connection is always secured and the data that moves between your FTP client and your web server is encrypted.

Using “Admin” As A WordPress Username

Never use “ADMIN” you should always use something unique. Enough said!

Nulled Themes & Plugins

Never use plugins and themes from unreliable sources. Malicious code can be put into either that can give a hacker access.

HERE’S WHY:

  • You Don’t Know What Else Is in the Code
  • Developers Need Money To Continue Improving Their Products
  • You Won’t Get Any Support From The Developer
  • You Won’t Get Any Automatic Updates

Not Securing WordPress Configuration WP_Config .PHP File

Wp_config contains your database login credentials. To keep that from happening add this piece of code.

The WordPress wp-config. php file contains very sensitive information about your WordPress installation, such as the WordPress security keys and the WordPress database connection details. You certainly do not want the content of this file to fall in the wrong hands, so WordPress wp-config. Here is a great article on how to secure these important files.

Not Changing WP Table Prefix

Change the wp_ prefix. Here’s a link that will take you to a blog post that will explain how to do this if interested.

The most important part of my job is to make sure your website stays safe, secure and user friendly and I take that very personally. If you’d like to have one person to go to with all of your website issues then let’s talk! Schedule a free consultation today!

LET’S TALK!

 

Why Your Bargain Web Hosting Could Cost You More Than You Think

“We’ve all heard the old saying,

Time is money“,

well, it’s true and if you have “bargain” web hosting it could be costing you a fortune!

 

I’m sure you’ve seen those ads on Facebook, while you’re shopping, even when you’re trying to relax with a mindless game. $2.95 hosting! Save money!

Yes, it’s true you can get hosting from some companies for “VERY LOW PRICES“, but there’s another saying that I’m reminded of.

You get what you pay for”. Cheap isn’t always good especially when it comes to running your business or blog. 

 

First, it’s NEVER just $2.95 a month.

 

 Here is what you’re paying for an SSL Certificate if you have GoDaddy!

Can you say, “Ouch!”

An SSL is a necessary investment and if you can get it for free? Hello?!?

You’re Probably Asking, “Who Cares!”

 

This is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your business. Web Hosting is the necessary foundation and just like with everything else some foundations are stronger than others.

A 1-second delay in page load time can lead to:

  • a 7% loss in conversions
  • 11% fewer pageviews
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

 

graphic showing losses in dollars amount

When deciding on web hosting you need to take 3 main factors into account.

 

  • SPEED

  • SECURITY

  • SUPPORT

SPEED

As I said above even a fraction of a second adds up to $$ and as a small business owner, we need to get as much bang for our bucks as possible.

 

Like my husband always says, “the proof is in the pudding”.

Below are 6 of my web hosting clients who have agreed to let me share these stats with you.

As you can also see, every single one of them passed the tests with flying colors and it’s because of the foundation that the sites are hosted on.

HOW DO THEY DO THAT?


 

  • PROVIDING A CDN
  • UTILIZES FLYCACHE
  • INSTANT REFRESH

SAFETY

EVERY PLAN COMES WITH A FREE SSL CERTIFICATE

 

Every plan comes with a FREE SSL which was mentioned above (definitely worth mentioning again).
 

EACH PLAN COMES WITH MALWARE PROTECTION & MALWARE REMOVAL IF NEEDED!

SUPPORT

 

Last but certainly not last in this list of pros!

TRUE LIVE 24/7 SUPPORT

 

THEY DON’T “WALK YOU THROUGH” DIFFICULT SITUATIONS.

 

YOU ASK, THEY PERFORM…
THAT’S REALLY IT!

 

  • AUTOHEALING TECHNOLOGY

  • DAILY BACKUPS

  • ONE BUTTON RESTORE

 

 

We offer three plan sizes

We Have Just What You Need...

Website Maintenance

Website Maintenance is like an insurance policy for your business. Keeping your site maintained is an important responsibility. We take care of it so you don't have to.

What it includes:

  • Website backups w/ offsite storage
  • WordPress Update 2 x
  • Theme updates 2 x
  • Plugin updates 2 x
  • Database Optimization  2x
  • Malware Scan 2 x
  • Speed test 1 x
  • Site Performance Report 1x
  • "Eyes On" site checks
  • Discounted hourly rate
  • MailChimp support
  • Google Analytics support
  • 25% Discount on any services.
$199.99 Annually



Premium Website Management

With Premium Website Management you get the best of both worlds plus even more. This is for the girl who has everything and no time for anything.

What it includes:

  • Premium hosting
  • CDN
  • Server-side daily backups
  • Offsite backups 2x monthly
  • WordPress core updates
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Uptime monitoring
  • One-button emergency restore
  • Malware protection
  • Staging site for development
  • Theme & plugin updates 2 x
  • Spam removal 2 x
  • Database optimization 2 x
  • "Eyes-On" site check 2 x
  • Speed check 1 x
  • Access to Genesis Framework
  • Access to StudioPress themes
  • Website performance Report 1 x
  • Integration Monitoring (MailChimp, Paypal, or Google Analytics.
  • Unlimited Tech Support


Save By Paying Annually. Get two months FREE!



Website Hosting

By partnering with Flywheel we offer a feature-rich plan that will keep your website secure & running its best. Unlike other hosts, you don't pay extra for the necessities needed to run an online business.

What it includes:

  • Onsite daily backups
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • CDN
  • Uptime Monitoring
  • One Button emergency restore
  • Malware Protection/removal
  • Staging Site For Development

 


 

 

Save By Paying Annually



Why Is Your Brand Forgettable?

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Creating a memorable identity for your business won’t happen overnight. All the best entrepreneurs know it’s a long game — one in which you must consistently connect with your audience over and over again.

 

Does your brand feel forgettable?

If so, here are two possibilities for how you’re unintentionally making your business easy to forget:

1. Not communicating what makes you distinct:

Whether your industry is gluten-free baked goods or corporate accounting services, you must answer the question: Why should someone choose your business over the competition? This is why a unique sales proposition (USP) is so vital.
 
What’s great about your business? What convinces customers to choose you? However you answer these questions, you want to weave it into your entire marketing campaign from your tagline to your social media posts. This ensures your customers understand who you are and what you offer, encouraging them to choose you.
 

2. Having an inconsistent personality and/or message:

 
Let’s face it, it’s hard to remember every brand of car or toothpaste or cereal. It gets even harder if the brand is changing all the time. Was that business the one with the red and white logo or a black and white logo? Did they say they were known for down-home hospitality or sophisticated style?
 
Obviously, in terms of memorability, consistency is king. If you’ve gone through several iterations of messaging already, you can assume it’s been hard on your brand and your customers. For a stronger identity, pick a strategic name, logo, value proposition, etc., and then stick to it.
 
Interested in learning more reasons customers may be forgetting your brand? Take a look at the attached resource. In it, you’ll find not only factors that can harm your messaging, but also eight tips for what to do about it.
 
AUTHOR BIO: Kacie Stoll is a project expeditor at Golden Rule Signs, an LED sign company. Her professional experiences range from marketing and public relations to sales and customer support. Stoll enjoys working with customers and vendors all over the country to execute with speed and accuracy.
 

This infographic was created by Golden Rule Signs, a commercial sign company

Free Branding and Promotional Tips For Small Business

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Branding, marketing, and promoting your small business can be challenging. 

Mainly because there’s a wealth of information both on and offline telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. 

And while you think this would be a good thing, the variety of information out there can often be confusing and overwhelming for small business owners and managers. 

Fortunately, we’ve put together the following guide on free promotional tricks that you can use to grow your small business, perfect for those with a limited budget!

 

Google My Business

Creating a Google My Business profile is a beneficial and free marketing strategy, particularly for local businesses that want to tap into their local markets. 

This free listing will allow your company to appear on Google Maps, displaying a variety of relevant information about who your business is, what areas you serve, and how to get in contact with you. 

It’s also a place where you can cultivate reviews and testimonials from your existing customers, which can serve as a great marketing strategy on its own.

Not to mention the fact that having a Google My Business listing simply makes your business appear more professional to prospective customers! 

 

Social Media Marketing

Increasing social media interaction and creating an online community is a cost-free way to expand your small business while also sharing your brand’s personality, graphics and logo, and gaining confidence from your audience. 

Create company profiles on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube, etc. and then get active on those platforms to increase your brand awareness. 

Whatever your inspiration, make sure you’re involved and constructive on the social media pages you build. 

Consistency and portraying your true personality are critical to having a successful social media presence.

 

Using Hashtags

Incorporating hashtags into your social media posts is another free and highly effective marketing technique that can help you expand your scope and reach new audiences.

Although broad or trending hashtags can help you strengthen your brand awareness, they shouldn’t be your only option. These hashtags are often highly competitive, which means that they might not help all that much for a small business. 

Therefore, when you’re sharing resources or tips in your posts, descriptive and relevant hashtags are often more helpful than using the most popular hashtags. 

If you’re a local business, you should also use various hashtags specific to your location. 

Just make sure that you’re using various popular, relevant, and location-specific hashtags in your posts to ensure they reach your intended audience.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a fantastic social media platform that is often underutilized, especially for B2B businesses looking to grow their brands.

In fact, for B2B brands, LinkedIn is more important than the other social platforms we’ve mentioned. 

But don’t just make network connections and then disappear; engage in conversation with them, share your blog posts and business deals, join and contribute to existing discussions, and share others’ high-quality material.

You will develop your brand and gain confidence and respect in your industry by educating your potential customers and helping other professionals to grow. 

Furthermore, it would help if you encouraged all of your staff to participate in the platform, leading to more interactions, testimonials, and referrals for your business. 

 

Local SEO

The best thing about Google’s algorithm is that it’s designed to provide the most reliable, high-quality, and appropriate results for any given search query. 

So in terms of SEO, aiming to rank for local search results is often easier than aiming for industry-wide results. 

For instance, if you’re a marketing agency, you’ll often have better luck ranking for terms such as “content marketing Oklahoma” rather than simply trying to rank for the keyword term “content marketing,” which will be a far more competitive keyword. 

Remember that SEO takes time, so get started now and keep working at it; the rewards can be substantial over time. 

To rank locally, the most critical thing to do is to add location-based keywords to your website’s meta descriptions, tags, blog posts, headings, etc.

 

Free Branding And Promotional Tips

Branding and promoting your business doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars! 

In fact, by listing your business on Google, being active on social media, using the right hashtags, and optimizing your website for local search results, you’ll be well on your way to building a popular and successful small business!

What Do You Have to Consider to Build Your Brand and Promote Your Business Online?

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It’s been a while since businesses could avoid being online; today’s businesses live or die primarily by their online presence. However, there’s a big gap between knowing that and knowing exactly how to build your brand. Even if your business isn’t web-based, building your online presence can help you promote your business and drive new customers through your doors. Here are some considerations when trying to build your brand and promote your services in an online setting.
Graphics Library

If you’re going to be promoting your business online, you’ll need a decent amount of graphics and visual content to support it. This starts with a logo that you own and can use wherever you need; this logo should match anything your business uses physically to avoid confusion. If you don’t have a logo, head over to LogoCreator, where you can design your own professional logo for absolutely free. 

Besides a logo, other content you’ll want to have is pictures from your business, promotional or marketing graphics for use in online marketing or video content you have of your business in action. All of this content helps you engage people with your marketing, rather than relying solely on long text-based content. Building this library and using it often can help promote your business online.

Use Google My Business

If there’s one place online you want to have your business registered, it’s on Google My Business. The most important benefit this free registration provides is people’s ability to see and find your business on Google Maps. People everywhere depend on Google Maps not only to help them get where they’re going but also to explore their local area and see what’s available. Your business is listed on Google Maps gives you a great promotional tool with a minimal cost associated.

 

Social Media Marketing

It’s hard to avoid social media, and as a business owner, you’d be ill-advised to do so. Social media offers an instant and constant way for people to interact with their favorite businesses, post reviews, and find local services. They often filter information by someone’s precise geolocation. People often ask for local suggestions for different services or products they need.  

You can target people in your area with relevant advertisements using the various social media platforms, which makes your marketing dollars stretch farther as well. It’s generally free to create a profile, although you may want to use paid advertising. The point is, social media gives you a chance to get your business in front of a lot of people who are in your local area and are most likely to use your service.

Email Marketing

Even if you aren’t inclined to build a website, you can get customers signed up for email newsletters after their visit. With a list of people who’ve already bought from you, you can send out periodic newsletters to let them know what you’re up to and all about the great deals you’ve been having. Email marketing is a very effective and reliable form of direct-to-consumer marketing, so you should really consider using it. Benchmark is a highly-rated email marketing service that automates many more mundane tasks, giving you the ability to create professional emails that get your customers to respond. 

Even if your business isn’t web-based, you should seriously consider building a robust online presence. People spend so much time on the internet and social media that by relying on more traditional promotion methods, you’re missing out on a lot of potential clients. Harness the reach possible online by keeping these considerations in mind when deciding how you want to promote your company.

Are You Struggling? Easily Create Or Improve Your Own SEO Strategy

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SEO is never a one-and-done idea, more it’s a type of philosophy that you must adapt to be successful in your endeavors. Everything you do, every sentence you write, every graphic you create and every content marketing plan you follow should ALL start with SEO.

  1. What exactly is SEO?
  2. What does SEO optimization mean for you?
  3. Why is SEO so important?
  4. Being SEO Flexible.
  5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
  6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working.
  7. Your Own SEO Planner.

1. What Is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization is the science of making your content rank high in the search engines of today.

The official definition is this:

According to this piece of MOZ SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What goes into SEO?

To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:

Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

2. What Does SEO Optimization Mean For You?

It’s a strategy or plan that you create that will continue to build on SEO as you go along, by using:

  • Title
  • keywords
  • headlines
  • image titles
  • image descriptions
  • categories
  • tags
  • Cornerstone Content
  • social media posts

to consistently rank higher in search engines. This strategy works best when created at the very beginning, but can be improved along any step in the process.

3. Why Is SEO So Important?

SEO is important because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate these results as much as possible so that the sites appearing for each search are there because they deserve to be there. Hard work and a website that appeals to visitors correlate with high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the results.

Users trust search engines and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. According to this piece on WEBFX.

4. Being SEO Flexible

What does being SEO flexible mean? It means that you take several key factors into consideration when making your SEO plan. Such as:

  • Current Events
  • Special Dates
  • Longtail keywords
  • Pivoting when things aren’t working.

No one ever sits down and creates the “perfect SEO plan” because honestly, it doesn’t exist. Being SEO optimized is an ongoing strategy and taking in these other key factors will only improve your rankings.

Taking into account the keywords you have chosen for your brand messaging you should also find ways to create with these four ideas in mind.

EXAMPLE:

Ellen is a food blogger and she uses these 4 keywords as her foundation.

  • Baking
  • Desserts
  • Organic
  • Gluten-free

Now using the previous considerations she might use these sentences or keywords.

  1. How To Keep Your Holiday Desserts Gluten-Free
  2. How to Bake The Ultimate Organic Holiday Meal.
  3. Baking Thanksgiving Desserts For The Dietary Challenged.
  4. Your Christmas Baking Taking To The Next Level With These Organic Recipes.
  5. Ten Things That You Could Be Doing To Completely Ruin Your Easter Baked Goods.

5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.

Now comes the easy part, because I’ve actually done the hard work for you. I created the FREE SEO PLANNER STRATEGY PLANNER and it’s a step by step guide to build a strong SEO foundation and to scale that plan as you grow.

On-Page SEO Tips

  1. Make sure that your URLs are clean:
    1. Think ahead
    2. Be consistent
    3. Use keywords
    4. Avoid any special characters. As they show up as “%20” which is unattractive.
    5. Length should be 50-60 characters
  2. Make sure your title is attractive:
    1. Start with keywords.
    2. Mind the length.
    3. Make it sell.
  3. Meta Descriptions:
    1. 150-160 characters.
    2. Don’t overstuff with keywords.
  4. Schema Markup: Structured data can do wonders for your SEO strategy.
    1. Use a Schema Markup Plugin
    2. You can also use Google’s, Markup Helper.
    3. How to check- use Rich Result Test.
  5. Optimized headings (h1-h6)
    1. H1 headings- Technically each of your pages has 2 titles.
      1. The title tag is displayed in search snippets.
      2. H1 tag benefit: Unlike title tag no character limitation. Use more keywords.
    2. H2 headings- Split page into high-level section mini titles within your content.
    3. H3-H6 headings- Used to mark further subsections within the content. Don’t overload keywords.

A.Keyword Saturation:

  • Use keywords earlier in the copy. You should be using keywords within the first 100 words.
  • Go beyond “exact matches” add more related keywords.

B.Content Length:

  • Content length changes from year to year and is currently around 2,000-word posts do best.
  • Want to make your content more compelling? Check out this piece from MostlyBlogging.com

C. Visual Aids:

  • Fill in your “alt” tags.
  • Compress your files.
  • Use descriptive filenames.

D. Above The Fold Content:

The top part of the page visual when it’s first loaded.

  • Remove distractions.
  • Optimize For Core Web Values
    • How fast it loads
    • How stable it is while loading.
    • How soon it becomes interactive

E. Mobile Friendliness:

You should check your site on all mobile search engines and make changes based on your results.

F. Internal Links:

  • Should flow from one link to another.
  • Pass authority from popular pages to less popular ones.
  • Move users down a funnel.
  • You need to always consider this: Whenever you create a piece of content you should always consider where the reader should go next.

G. Outgoing Links:

  • Link to larger, more established sites.
  • Each piece of content should have relevant links.

H. The Comment Section:

Make sure that your comments are set up as “no follow”. If you use popular comment plugins they take care of this for you.

6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working:

If you see that your backlinks are on the rise, your SEO efforts are working properly. If you see that the number of organic keywords on your website are also increasing, it’s safe to assume that you are targeting the correct keywords for your industry and using them successfully in your content. WebFX

7. Your Own SEO Planner:

 I’ve created your very own SEO Planner to help you keep your brand message on point. Sign up for my weekly newsletter (Sunday mornings) to get a copy for your very own, plus you’ll get full access to the Resource Library, deep discounts, and amazing tips to help you succeed in your online business or blog.

FLAT LAY BLUE WITH TEXT

It’s Coming, Are You Ready For Google Web Core Vitals?

flat lay desktop

Google is making a major update to the way they rank websites.

 

It’s a new set of website performance metrics that will affect your SEO rankings

 

I’m sure you’ve seen that term floating around the internet. If it’s new to you, you may in for a big shock come May of this year when your rankings tank and your SEO plan go down the tubes!

 

You do have an SEO plan, don’t you?. If you don’t have a successful SEO plan in place I suggest subscribing and you will receive your very own SEO Strategy Planner for FREE!

 

Google uses 3 tests (Web Vitals)

  • Largest Content Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

LCP

This metric measures how quickly the main content becomes visible to the user.

This can be an image, article, or description, etc.

EX: You may have a fast load speed, but the larger content takes longer.

 

SPEED TESTS TOOLS WILL GIVE YOU A HIGH SCHOOL BUT PROVIDING A POOR USER EXPERIENCE MAY BE WORSE.

These tests are meant to give you a clearer picture of your website’s performance.

 

FID

Measures the time it takes a user’s browser to actually be able to begin processing event handlers in response to a user’s interaction. 

Are you sensing a theme here?

This can be as contact form, comment, share button, opt-ins, etc.. How long does it take when they are able to click that link?

CLS

Measures the time it takes for a website to become visibly stable.

As a website loads, some elements take more time to load than others.

During this time, your website’s content may keep moving on the screen.

EX: A reader is reading a paragraph on a mobile phone and a video embedded loads above it, this makes the entire content move down.

Frustrating if a user is trying to accomplish an action such as adding a product to a cart.

These metrics should be

  • LCP     2.5 seconds
  • FID      <100 milliseconds
  • CLS     <.01

 

  • You can also access your Core Vitals report in your Google console. This allows you to see how many URLs need improvement, passed, or have a poor score.
  • You can also obtain this by using your Chrome browser by right-clicking on the page and choose Inspect Element, look at the top and you’ll see LIGHTHOUSE by clicking on the arrows where it says ELEMENT, CONSOLE SOURCE>> hit those arrows to see it. MUST BE IN THE INCOGNITO MODE FOR THIS TO WORK (in your Chrome Browser click those three dots and the very top right-hand side and click NEW INCOGNITO WINDOW.

Google has already announced that search algorithms update will include page experience as one of its ranking factors  5/21

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WEB CORE VITALS

  1. OPTIMIZE YOUR WEB HOSTING – Having good web hosting is becoming a necessity these days and the core web vitals are no different. This is an important part of your score. Bargain hosting is no longer adequate when you worried about rankings. Premium hosting can be a lifesaver. By providing security, SSLs and a CDN is the way that websites are being hosted these days. I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS
  2. IMPROVE LCP SCORE – Optimize your images! Make sure that you are using a caching plugin if possible that includes image optimization. You can also use tools like Imagify, Smush, etc. (I recommend WP Rocket (make sure it’s compatible with your theme). Also, I find a lot that clients are using several of these thinking perhaps the more the better when in fact the opposite is true. I prefer to use caching in my premium web hosting instead of adding a weighty plugin. An example of LCP would be the featured image in a blog post. If it exceptionally large that could cause problems.
  3. IMPROVE FID –  Again a caching plugin will help with this. Changing the way you load your Javascript and CSS can also be a big help. Always, minify your CSS.
  4. IMPROVE CLS – Fix layout shifts. Make sure all of your images have size attributes. Right-click on inspect tool to check these. Cache plugin.
  5. ELIMINATE RENDER BLOCKING ELEMENTS (Elements that are slower to load). These are usually: Javascript & CSS that is added by plugins like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, etc.
  6. PROPERLY SIZE IMAGES IN WP – Wrong size images can cause issues on mobile devices.
  7. USE A CDN – I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS. A CDN allows you to serve static content on your website from multiple servers around the globe which drastically decreases load times.
  8. IMAGES – When you upload an image to your WordPress media library three copies are automatically created. These sizes are THUMBNAILS, MEDIUM, LARGE. You can set these under SETTINGS>>MEDIA. If you put a “0” in that box it will skip that size if you aren’t using them. Also, if you’d like your thumbnails to be rectangular you could change the thumbnail size to something like WIDTH: 450px  HEIGHT: 200px. such as for food blogs.Larger images provide a clearer image but take up more storage space. Check the “Organize my uploads by month and year.

NEED MORE HELP WITH RENDER BLOCKING TEXT?

As I said, this is inserted by your plugins. If you’re using

  • WP Rocket uses the FILE OPTIMIZATION TAB.
  • Minify & combine your Javascript and CSS ** Make sure to check because this can cause some minor design changes.
  • Javascript deferred – Save mode for JQuery.

 

.WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

A 1-second delay in page load time can lead to:

  • a 7% loss in conversions
  • 11% fewer pageviews
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

 

graphic showing losses in dollars amount

 

 

 

 

The Must-Have Guide To WordPress Website Maintenance That Every Entrepreneur & Blogger Needs In Their Arsenal

flatlay desktop in pink and seafoam green

“Why Should I Care About Website Maintenance?”

 

First, let’s look at the numbers:

 

  • 60 Million websites are created with WordPress.
  •  

  • 39% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress.
  •  

  • 500 + WordPress sites every single day are created.

 

Website maintenance addresses every single part of your website. and each part is just as important as the next. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to break it down into three sections.

  1. SECURITY
  2.  

  3. PERFORMANCE
  4.  

  5. HOW TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN YOUR SITE, PLUS A LITTLE EXTRA

 

HACKING:

 

  • 49% of hacked WordPress sites are caused by vulnerabilities on your hosting platform.
  •  

  • 52% of WordPress vulnerabilities come from plugins.
  •  

  • 44% of hacking was caused by outdated WordPress sites.

 

**INTERESTING FACT**:

 

In 2011, 18 million users were compromised due to a hack!

 

I. MAINTENANCE: HOSTING:

 

Let’s cover those:

 

Hosting platforms:

 

  1. Shared Hosting (GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc.) This is where your website shares a server with a bunch of other websites.
     

    1. Service overload is the #1 reason your site is slow, your getting site suspensions or 500 errors. Your website is sitting there with 200+ other websites. These packages run anywhere from $3-$5, but like with anything else you get what you pay for.
    2. Pay for extra features like necessary SSL certificates.
    3.  

  2.  

  3. DIY VPS
     

    1. More for developers & bootstrap startups. Can cause lots of problems if a mistake is made.
    2. Great if you’re smart, savvy, and need to save money.
    3.  

  4. Managed WordPress Hosting (Flywheel, WP Engine)
     

    1. Hosts handle all of the backend-related tasks plus offer support when you need it.
    2. Saves you time and hassle.
    3. $25 – $150 monthly for these plans (but they cover things like SSL’s that most shared hosting charges extra for.

 

II. MAINTENANCE: PHP ISSUES

 

PHP – PHP is an open-source server-side scripting & programming language that’s primarily used for web development.

  • The build of the core WordPress is written in PHP along with your themes & plugins.
  • Should be 7.0 or higher.
  • Faster speeds improved security.

BEWARE OF HOSTS OFFERING HHVM AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO PHP. HHVM IS NO LONGER A SUITABLE SOLUTION.

 

III. MAINTENANCE: THEMES

 

It’s very important to choose the right theme from the very beginning.

Every element in a theme has some impact on your overall speed!

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A THEME:

  • Start with a fast, lightweight theme that is built with only the features that you need. OR
  • A more feature-rich theme but you can disable features that aren’t in use:

THINGS LIKE:

  1. Google fonts.
  2. Font Awesome
  3. Icons
  4. Sliders
  5. Galleries
  6. Videos
  7. Parallax Scripts

BEWARE OF PAGE BUILDERS AS THEY CAN INCREASE LOAD TIMES. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO TURN OFF.

 

IV. MAINTENANCE: PLUGINS

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • Too many can slow down your site.
  • Quality is as important as quantity.

MOST POPULAR:

  1. SEO By Yoast
  2. Akismet
  3. JetPack
  4. Wordfence
  5. Contact Form 7.

 

V. OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

 

Here is a list of settings and other tweaks you should or can make to your websites.

 

  • Change your WordPress login. By this, I’m not talking about changing your username and password. In this instance, I’m talking about changing the /wp-admin/ to something else. Think about it almost every website uses this same login extension. By changing this you make it nearly impossible to sign in to your website because only you would know the new extension. You can use anything you want. This can be accomplished with a plugin.
  •  

  • Disable, remove or tweak your plugins. A simple setting can mean the difference between a slow website and fast website.
  •  

  • Disable Pingbacks from other sites, (Disable all both from you and from other sites).
  •  

  • Limit the number of posts in your feed. No more than 10 is best.
  •  

  • Caching is the most important and easiest way to speed up your website. BENEFITS: Your server uses fewer resources. Can easily reduce your page speed by over 33%!
  •  

  • Image Optimization can significantly impact your overall page speeds. More important than Javascript, CSS & Fonts. Images make up on average 34% of a web page’s overall weight. The trick is to find that delicate balance between load times and acceptable image quality.
  •  

  • Important to also consider when thinking about the images on your site is the format type of file. Compression can reduce your image size by as much as 5 times!
     

    • PNG – Higher quality images – larger file size
    • JPEG – Good quality and size.
    • Compression types for JPEG | LOSSY COMPRESSION MEANS: Eliminating some of the data (may come out pixelated). LOSSLESS COMPRESSION: Doesn’t decrease quality by removing unnecessary metadata. ** Choose one that compresses and optimizes images externally.
    • GIFS – Kill your website performance.
    • Delete the number of revisions in both drafts and updated versions. To limit the number of revisions you can use a plugin like Optimize Database & Delete Revisions plugin or you can add this code to your .php function files. define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS, 10’); YOU CAN CHANGE THE NUMBER TO ANY AMOUNT YOU WANT. You can also disable revisions altogether.
    • Clean up your WP_OPTIONS TABLE & Autoloaded data.
      • Here you will find things like; Site URL, Home URL, admin email, default categories, posts per page, time format, etc.
      • Settings for plugins, themes, widgets (remove old deactivated).
      • Temporarily cached data.
      • 4 – Field columns:
        • option_id
        • option_name
        • option_value
        • option_autoload These you can change, but be careful.

 

MY MAINTENANCE ROUTINE:

 

  1. Create a clean backup of your site before making any changes whether it’s updating a theme or changing a plugin. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The sites I manage are backed up every single day.
  2.  

  3. Check sites for updates starting with WordPress, moving on to themes, and then plugins. Twice every month.
  4.  

  5. Optimize databases (I use the Optimize Database While Deleting Revisions or the WP-Optimize plugins to accomplish this. Most of the above settings above can be done here). Twice every month.
  6.  

  7. Scan for malware using Wordfence or another Security plugin of your choice. TIP: Make sure your hosting isn’t doing this already! Twice every month.
  8.  

  9. Check your site speed with GT Metrix. (free) I do this once a month.
  10.  

  11. Do a font-end visual check. Sometimes updates can make small changes to your site. It’s good to take a good look at this time. Check that email opt-in to make sure it’s working, social media buttons, or other important parts of your site. Twice monthly or after any changes.

 

IF YOU THINKING

“THERE’S NO WAY I HAVE TIME FOR ALL OF THIS”

I GET IT. LIFE IS CRAZY, BUSY THESE DAYS.

MONEY IS TIGHT 

YOUR PLATE IS JUST TOO FULL

THEN I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR YOU!

 

Not sure what kind of help you need?

 

I offer a FREE 30 MINUTE DISCOVERY CALL! 

 

I’ve worked with Rena on all kinds of techy type projects and I can say with full confidence that she is responsible, timely, affordable, knowledgeable willing to take initiative, able to learn on the fly, and has a knack for all those server maintenances and WordPress issues that flouncy designers don’t want to deal with. I would recommend her highly!

Julie Stoian

JulieStoian.com

GO CALL HER RIGHT NOW! SHE IS AWESOME!
She answers emails in a very TIMELY manner. She is quick and gets the job done even if she’s never done it before.

I find her a joy. There is always an email shot back to me to say job completed. Stop dragging your feet and sign up for her services. Money well spent!

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick

TheVintageContessa.net

get the plan button

Start 2021 With A Clean Slate By Organizing Your Website

There are several times a year when cleaning up and starting fresh seem to be at the top of everyone’s mind, but none more than a new year. This year, I think in particular, we want to start off 2021 on better footing and wipe 2020 completely off of the slate. This year as you see, I’ve taken that to a whole new level with the creation of Technology-Therapist.com. Formerly, The Blogging 911. As The Blogging 911, I was a web designer/maintainer/troubleshooter but it takes a lot more than a website to run a successful online business and I want to help with the whole picture from beginning to end.  My maintenance packages come in three different sizes depending on how much help you want or need. I hope you will check them out HERE! This year unlike any other we all need that fresh start don’t we? Last year was a shit show of the highest level and I for one am thrilled it is gone. One of the most important parts of running a successful business or blog is maintaining it and doing it in a way that doesn’t hurt your SEO strategy (you do have a plan don’t you? If not next week’s post is just for you!) or your analytics. There’s never a better time than a fresh new year!  The first thing I always do is study the numbers and ask myself several questions. What worked in 2020 & what didn’t. I track everything much like a company does inventory you should do the same thing. Some of the things I look at are:

  • Most successful post of 2020 & of all time.
  • Least successful post of 2020 & of all time.
  • Products that were the most successful.
  • Products there aren’t selling.
  • Which pages are getting the most attention?
  • Take stock of your sidebar, is it still relevant?
  • Do a site audit. Does your contact form work? Are your products set up correctly? Does your op-tin go to the right place?

Once you’ve taken stock of all of this study the numbers and see what was the most successful. Update those posts. Maybe add some new images, some newer data. This is very important for your SEO to keep your content relevant. It will also provide your readers with a better user experience. I’m going to use my The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver site as a case study so that you can get the full picture of what it means to clean up your website for 2021! A little background: This site was established in 2014 and posts new content weekly.  MOST SUCCESSFUL POSTS (TOP 5)

  1. Amazing Benefits of Massage For Alz Disease Patients.
  2. 6 Signs Of Dementia In Elderly Women
  3. Mom With Dementia – What To Gift Her On Mother’s Day
  4. 5 Tips For A Healthy Aging & A Active Lifestyle
  5. 6 Ways To Ease Your Parents’ Transition From Assisted Living To Memory Care

Make any updates to those posts. Add new graphics, check links, and update any research. LEAST SUCCESSFUL POSTS (TOP 5)

  1. Respite Care From Caregivers Is A Necessity.
  2. Why Should You Stay Physically Active As A Senior
  3. How To Survive Senior Caregiving.
  4. What It Looks Like To Be An Alzheimer’s Caregiver
  5. Keeping Our Seniors Safe From Scammers.

Since this isn’t an eCommerce product stats aren’t necessary. I also like to see what the numbers were the year before and compare them to this year to get a clear picture of how the site is doing. I have to admit I was surprised by the changes from 2019 to 2020. As you can see from the image below from one year to the next my pageviews increased by 67.84% (or 11,694). WEBSITE AUDIT SIDEBAR

  • Check your social media buttons to make sure they lead to the correct profile.
  • Check your search button to make sure it’s working.
  • Does your opt-in go to the right place?
  • Check any links

OTHER

  • Check to make sure that your copyright is up to date.
  • Check any links.
  • Check for widgets.
  • Check to make sure that your contact form is working properly and goes to the correct email address.

MENU

  • Check to make sure your menu makes sense.
  • Is easily navigated.
  • Provides the right information.

Read this post by Yoast about cleaning up your site structure. Does your site:

  • What’s my most important content according to my mission?
  • Is that the content my audience is looking for too? (What does the data say?)
  • Can my users find it in the menu or on the homepage?
  • If I look at my goals, is there anything essential missing on my site?
  • Do I have content in my menu or high up in the hierarchy that isn’t essential after all, or doesn’t perform well?

Once you’ve completed this you’ll have a better understanding of not only your website but also if you’re creating relevant content or maybe it needs a few tweaks. It will become clear through the data what it is your readers want from you & the best way for you to provide that information. CONCLUSION While this is a great way to start off 2021 on the right foot it’s also not a one & done process. It’s a strategy or plan that is a constant work in progress. Next week, we’re going to work on updating or deleting! That’s always the big question, isn’t it? Have more questions? Let me know in the comments below or head over to the Technology-Therapist Facebook page & ask your questions there!

Top Design Tips to Boost Your Sales in 2020

flatlay desktop with blue/white office supplies

Effective Design Tips to Improve Your Sales in 2020

Running a business can be challenging, and 2020, the year of the COVID-19, has been especially trying.  You find that you are struggling to make sales, and you’re starting to worry that you may have to shut down. With the right design tips, you can boost your sales and keep your doors open, even in these challenging times.

the word create written in pencil

2020 has proved to be a very challenging year for everyone. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the business landscape leading to the closure of many companies.  Those that have managed to survive have had to implement cutbacks and other cost-saving measures. 

In the same breath, they are looking for ways to increase their sales to remain afloat. Platforms such as Mr.Bet have excellent tools for those operating online casinos and are looking for tips to design a game. But what tips can help boost sales for other businesses?

We will show you the top design tips to boost your sales in 2020 below.

1. Have a professional website built

What are web design tips?  Simply put, it is any techniques you will apply to increase traffic to your website.  One of the best design tips for websites is not to have sliders on your homepage. They can confuse people whatever you want to tell your audiences.

Other things you need to incorporate in your web design include:

  •       A strong call-to-action
  •       Visible contact information that works
  •       Aligning your website to any advertisements 
  •       Developing design tips by understanding exactly who you are talking to and their point of need
  •       Having trust icons such as social proof, security measures, and safe shopping guarantees, among others
  •       Creating a sense of urgency around your promotions or products
  •       Making the checkout process easy
  •       Simplifying the checkout process and removing the navigation bar from the page. You do not want to present customers with the option of abandoning their carts.
  •       Incorporating customers voice in your copy

2. Put the Customer First

With the pandemic being such a painful reality in 2020, business owners must put the health and safety of customers first.  If you’re operating a brick-and-mortar store, ensure you have proper sanitization and social distancing rules.  

Communicate with the customers via your website, email, social media, or even mobile apps.  Information around the pandemic and staying safe is especially welcome at this time.

One of the best design tips in marketing you will get is to go over and beyond customer expectations. When customers see that you care for them, they will remain loyal and even send some referrals your way.

Invest in training staff members to build passion around the brand and give customers the same experience.

woman holding her head in front of her laptop

3. Design and Optimize Your Gaming Website

Online gaming is on the rise. If you are a new developer, here is what you need to know.

  •       When designing, think of the end-user by having an easy-to-use interface
  •       Hook your players with your characters
  •       Provide quality sound to enhance the mood
  •       Provide consistency and balance in gameplay
  •       Unique designs will ensure you stand out

Optimizing your website is so much more than having the right keywords to attract visitors. The use of graphics and video will help reduce bounce rates.  There are some fantastic design tips graphics you will find online to help with the process. 

Design tips in Photoshop will help you customize photos or even create virtual tours for your visitors.

Customize your website to make it accessible on smart devices such as tablets or mobiles. A large percentage of visitors will browse it via such devices. 

4. Offer Money-Back Guarantee

Have you ever wondered why companies offer money-back guarantees? Not only is it a very effective marketing tactic, but it shows that you have faith in your product. 

When customers know they can return a purchase they are not happy with, it’s likely they’ll trust you with their money. Just be sure to offer a guarantee that you can live up to it.

5. Don’t Forget Your Existing Customers

If you have existing customers, repurposing your marketing content to mitigate them is a good move.  By developing messaging that directly talks to them, you increase the likelihood of return purchases.

Think about promotions that target them directly. It could be a way of saying thank you to them for their loyalty.  In return, they will stick by you and continue to be faithful customers.

Conclusion

We have shared what we consider top design tips to boost sales in 2020.  Everything you do should be about the customer. Safety and information during this pandemic period are critical. 

Pay attention to your website design and take advantage of smart devices so that you can reach those who shop via their smart devices. Most importantly, pay attention to your existing customers through promotions and exclusive offers, where possible.

What other tips would you have for a business that wants to stay afloat in 2020?  Head over to the comment section to share your feedback.  

 

Author’s Bio 

 

Alex has many irons in many fires, including starting an eCommerce store and his own marketing company. He is very busy, but the work is rewarding, and freedom has allowed him to fish, see friends more regularly.

The Ultimate Resource Guide & Planner To Improve Or Create Your SEO Strategy Plan

cellphone mockup with flowers and keyboard

SEO is never a one-and-done idea, more it’s a type of philosophy that you must adapt to be successful in your endeavors. Everything you do, every sentence you write, every graphic you create and every content marketing plan you follow should ALL start with SEO.

  1. What exactly is SEO?
  2. What does SEO optimization mean for you?
  3. Why is SEO so important?
  4. Being SEO Flexible.
  5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
  6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working.
  7. Your Own SEO Planner.

1. What Is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization is the science of making your content rank high in the search engines of today. 

The official definition is this: 

According to this piece of MOZ SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What goes into SEO?

To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:

Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

2. What Does SEO Optimization Mean For You?

It’s a strategy or plan that you create that will continue to build on SEO as you go along, by using: 

  • Title
  • keywords
  • headlines
  • image titles
  • image descriptions
  • categories
  • tags
  • Cornerstone Content
  • social media posts

to consistently rank higher in search engines. This strategy works best when created at the very beginning, but can be improved along any step in the process.

3. Why Is SEO So Important?

SEO is important because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate these results as much as possible so that the sites appearing for each search are there because they deserve to be there. Hard work and a website that appeals to visitors correlate with high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the results.

Users trust search engines and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. According to this piece on WEBFX.

4. Being SEO Flexible

What does being SEO flexible mean? It means that you take several key factors into consideration when making your SEO plan. Such as:

  • Current Events
  • Special Dates
  • Longtail keywords
  • Pivoting when things aren’t working.

No one ever sits down and creates the “perfect SEO plan” because honestly, it doesn’t exist. Being SEO optimized is an ongoing strategy and taking in these other key factors will only improve your rankings.

Taking into account the keywords you have chosen for your brand messaging you should also find ways to create with these four ideas in mind. 

EXAMPLE:

Ellen is a food blogger and she uses these 4 keywords as her foundation.

  • Baking
  • Desserts
  • Organic
  • Gluten-free

 

Now using the previous considerations she might use these sentences or keywords.

 

  1. How To Keep Your Holiday Desserts Gluten-Free
  2. How to Bake The Ultimate Organic Holiday Meal.
  3. Baking Thanksgiving Desserts For The Dietary Challenged.
  4. Your Christmas Baking Taking To The Next Level With These Organic Recipes.
  5. Ten Things That You Could Be Doing To Completely Ruin Your Easter Baked Goods.

 

5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.

Now comes the easy part, because I’ve actually done the hard work for you. I created the FREE SEO PLANNER STRATEGY PLANNER and it’s a step by step guide to build a strong SEO foundation and to scale that plan as you grow.

 

On-Page SEO Tips

  1. Make sure that your URLs are clean: 
    1. Think ahead
    2. Be consistent
    3. Use keywords
    4. Avoid any special characters. As they show up as “%20” which is unattractive.
    5. Length should be 50-60 characters
  2. Make sure your title is attractive:
    1. Start with keywords.
    2. Mind the length.
    3. Make it sell.
  3. Meta Descriptions:
    1. 150-160 characters.
    2. Don’t overstuff with keywords.
  4. Schema Markup: Structured data can do wonders for your SEO strategy.
    1. Use a Schema Markup Plugin
    2. You can also use Google’s, Markup Helper.
    3. How to check- use Rich Result Test.
  5. Optimized headings (h1-h6)
    1. H1 headings- Technically each of your pages has 2 titles.
      1. The title tag is displayed in search snippets. 
      2. H1 tag benefit: Unlike title tag no character limitation. Use more keywords.
    2. H2 headings- Split page into high-level section mini titles within your content.
    3. H3-H6 headings- Used to mark further subsections within the content. Don’t overload keywords.

 

A.Keyword Saturation:

  • Use keywords earlier in the copy. You should be using keywords within the first 100 words. 
  • Go beyond “exact matches” add more related keywords.

 

B.Content Length:

  • Content length changes from year to year and is currently around 2,000-word posts do best.
  • Want to make your content more compelling? Check out this piece from MostlyBlogging.com

 

C. Visual Aids:

  • Fill in your “alt” tags.
  • Compress your files.
  • Use descriptive filenames.

 

D. Above The Fold Content:

The top part of the page visual when it’s first loaded.

  • Remove distractions.
  • Optimize For Core Web Values 
    • How fast it loads
    • How stable it is while loading.
    • How soon it becomes interactive

 

E. Mobile Friendliness:

You should check your site on all mobile search engines and make changes based on your results.

 

F. Internal Links:

  • Should flow from one link to another.
  • Pass authority from popular pages to less popular ones.
  • Move users down a funnel.
  • You need to always consider this: Whenever you create a piece of content you should always consider where the reader should go next.

 

G. Outgoing Links:

  • Link to larger, more established sites.
  • Each piece of content should have relevant links.

 

H. The Comment Section:

Make sure that your comments are set up as “no follow”. If you use popular comment plugins they take care of this for you. 

 

6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working:

If you see that your backlinks are on the rise, your SEO efforts are working properly. If you see that the number of organic keywords on your website are also increasing, it’s safe to assume that you are targeting the correct keywords for your industry and using them successfully in your content. WebFX

 

7. Your Own SEO Planner:

 I’ve created your very own SEO Planner to help you keep your brand message on point. Sign up for my weekly newsletter (Sunday morning’s) to get a copy for your very own, plus you’ll get full access to the Resource Library, deep discounts, and amazing tips to help you succeed in your online business or blog.

 

You might also like these other resources:

What You Don’t Know About SEO Could Hurt You

Simple SEO Practices You Can Establish To Be Search Engine Attractive

How To Improve SEO & Increase Pageviews In 2020