“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.
When deciding on web hosting you need to take 3 main factors into account.
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
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!
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!
ONE BUTTON RESTORE
We offer three plan sizes
We Have Just What You Need...
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.
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
- 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
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
- Uptime Monitoring
- One Button emergency restore
- Malware Protection/removal
- Staging Site For Development
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)
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.
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?
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
- 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
- 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.
- IMPROVE CLS – Fix layout shifts. Make sure all of your images have size attributes. Right-click on inspect tool to check these. Cache plugin.
- PROPERLY SIZE IMAGES IN WP – Wrong size images can cause issues on mobile devices.
- 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.
- 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.
.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.
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.
- What exactly is SEO?
- What does SEO optimization mean for you?
- Why is SEO so important?
- Being SEO Flexible.
- How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
- How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working.
- 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:
- image titles
- image descriptions
- 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.
Ellen is a food blogger and she uses these 4 keywords as her foundation.
Now using the previous considerations she might use these sentences or keywords.
- How To Keep Your Holiday Desserts Gluten-Free
- How to Bake The Ultimate Organic Holiday Meal.
- Baking Thanksgiving Desserts For The Dietary Challenged.
- Your Christmas Baking Taking To The Next Level With These Organic Recipes.
- 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
- Make sure that your URLs are clean:
- Think ahead
- Be consistent
- Use keywords
- Avoid any special characters. As they show up as “%20” which is unattractive.
- Length should be 50-60 characters
- Make sure your title is attractive:
- Start with keywords.
- Mind the length.
- Make it sell.
- Meta Descriptions:
- 150-160 characters.
- Don’t overstuff with keywords.
- Schema Markup: Structured data can do wonders for your SEO strategy.
- Use a Schema Markup Plugin
- You can also use Google’s, Markup Helper.
- How to check- use Rich Result Test.
- Optimized headings (h1-h6)
- H1 headings- Technically each of your pages has 2 titles.
- The title tag is displayed in search snippets.
- H1 tag benefit: Unlike title tag no character limitation. Use more keywords.
- H2 headings- Split page into high-level section mini titles within your content.
- H3-H6 headings- Used to mark further subsections within the content. Don’t overload keywords.
- Use keywords earlier in the copy. You should be using keywords within the first 100 words.
- Go beyond “exact matches” add more related keywords.
- 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
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”
As we’ve learned over these last three weeks there is so much information inside your Google Analytics account. We learned how to connect it to your website in Part 1 and in Part 2 we learned how to read those statistics and how to find what you need quickly. Today, we’re talking about Google Analytics integrations that will take your stats to the next level
GA is a robust tool that can help you not only read those statistics, but it gives you a snapshot of the health of your business. From your website to MailChimp or other email service providers and even Youtube!
Mailchimp (which is what I use on a daily basis and you should too!) is the most important integration to me and that’s because it gives me the answers I need quickly and I don’t have to go to other places to find it. I can access the information right from my MailChimp reports page! To set this up follow these instructions:
Google together with MailChimp can help you optimize your campaigns by giving your readers what they are most interested in.
Google Analytics & Youtube
You can also combine your Google Analytics account with your Youtube Channel. I found this great step-by-step video by ExtremeWebDesign.com
Google Analytics & Social Media
It’s very easy to track the amount of traffic that comes from different social media platforms. There is no integration, no coding!
This information is already there! Just sign in to your GA account and follow these intructions:
As you can see you can easily keep track of your statistics and therefore improve your content creation, campaign optimization, social media ads or posts, etc.
Knowledge = Power!
Starting next week I’m going to be starting a new series on MailChimp! I hope you’ll join me. Don’t want to miss out? Sign up below↓.
Get Ready For The Holidays With These Customizable Pinterest & Instagram templates!
Last week, I started this Google Analytics series by showing you how to connect it to your website. Once you do that it will take time to record the statistics. Google Analytics doesn’t go backward! You won’t be able to check statistics from the past, but in just a few days or weeks will give you a snapshot of how you’re website. The longer that you have it connected the clearer that snapshot will be.
I completely understand that for some just looking at the GA dashboard is stressful. It’s almost like a foreign language until you start to understand the amount of information that you can find about your website, your sales, your readers, or whatever you’d like to track. Today, I’m going to show you how to find that information quickly and explain things that you might not understand.
The Main Dashboard
The first thing you need to do is to go HERE & learn the terms that you’re going to have to know to make any sense of data. Some of the information that is in GA are things that you really don’t need. Unless you’re running a larger eCommerce site. This is for bloggers and small businesses who need valuable information about
- How many people come to the website?
- What they do when they get there?
- What they are interested in?
- What is working & what needs improvement?
This will allow you to create content that your readers want. For a small business, it could help you decide when and what to put on sale. Who to target you’re marketing toward and understand what it is they need and most importantly how you can help then achieve it.
My screenshot is a little blurry, but you can see there is a lot here. Let’s go over where to find the important facts.
- How many people come to your website?
- How long they stay there?
- How many are new visitors and how many are returning visitors?
Marketing has to be different depending on the audience.
You wouldn’t sell to a man the same way you sell to the women (just ask the creators of the tampon tax)! Unlike that example, there are reasons why you need to know your audience ages. Something that interests me at 50 would bore my daughter to death who is 28. My husband plays softball…me…not so much.
Learning how to read the language of analytics can help you drill down the best marketing approach for your individual readers. Next week, I’ll show you how to integrate GA and get even more information!
Do you still have questions? Comment down below!
Google analytics can be so confusing and then just when you get it figured out they change it! I hear this all of the time and you’re right. I think the whole system is harder than it has to be, but my brain isn’t big enough to figure out a better way so I’ll just leave it to Google and try to keep up.
Today, I’m going to show you some basic tips to set up your GA account so that you can understand the analytics that you’re looking at and know where to get the information needed to work with other companies.
What Is It?
First, of course, Google Analytics is a system set up to allow you to track statistics on your website. These statistics can help you improve your message, build your business or a bigger audience.
This blogpost HERE is a list of all of the important analytics terms that you need to understand before going into your analytics account.
How Do I Get It?
If you don’t already have an account you can go HERE and sign up for a free account. Once you have your account you need to connect it to your website. The easiest way to do this is to download a plugin. I recommend the MonsterInsights plugin but there are a lot of them. Make sure it has been updated recently, is compatible with your theme, and is being used by others.
You Can Have Analytics In Lot’s Of Places
Google Analytics is no longer just a website thing. You can GA to your MailChimp account (and I’m sure even more companies have this, but I’m a MC girl). You can also connect to your FB shop! But, today, we’re going to concentrate on the website – GA connection.
If you don’t want to use a plugin to connect your website you can do that as well. The plugin would be easier, but I am of the theory that less is more so the least amount of plugins I have to use the better. Most website problems come from plugin conflicts. I’m going to show you both ways.
Manually Connecting Your Google Analytics Account
You’re going to go into your GA account, but you should be signed into both your website and your GA account to make it easier. You need a code and to find that you need to:
- Look on the left side of your dashboard at the very bottom and choose *ADMIN*.
- You will see several columns of tabs. In the middle column it says *PROPERTY*.
- The 3rd choice says *TRACKING INFORMATION* Click on that.
- Click on *TRACKING CODE*
- You will see the code towards the bottom on the right. COPY CODE.
- Go back to your website and go to the head section of your website. You can usually find this under *THEME SETTING* or DIVI theme options or you may have to look it up for your particular theme. Save and you’ve done it! Check the images out below.
Using A Plugin
If you’d rather use a plugin I completely understand and I use MonsterInsights all of the time on websites. Go to PLUGINS>>ADD NEW in the search bar type in MonsterInsights. Hit INSTALL>>ACTIVATE.
Go to MonsterInsights on your dashboard and you will see a button that says SETUP WIZARD. Click the button and it will walk you through step by step with very simple instructions!
Whichever method you use, however, you get your statistics you need to know where to look and what you’re looking at. Next week, we’ll do just that!
*The tools and products below are used by me on a daily basis. However, I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE and I am not paid by these companies.
One question that I get asked quite often is, “What tools do you regularly use to do what you do”. I spend 90% of my time online and finding tools that are easy to use, easy to set up, and affordable could be a whole career in itself. If you’re not familiar with me I run three websites, three FB groups, spending time on social media platforms, plus I manage over 58 websites (not including my own).
If you missed part 1 you can find it HERE. Today we’re going to talk about a few more of the important tools that I use to run my business. There are so many tools out there and I have to admit I’ve been guilty of shiny object syndrome and I’ve gone down enough rabbit holes in my time, but I have found that less really is better when it comes to running your business.
There are things you need to do:
- Email service provider (newsletter vs rss feed)
- Keeping track of your statistics
- Creating content
These are just a few, but they are the ones we’re going to cover today.
Email Service Providers
I’ve worked with a lot of email service providers and I’ve even recommended a few, BUT I always come back to MailChimp. I hands down recommend this to everyone whether they are a blogger or have an eCommerce site. You cannot find better value then the paid version of MC and if you have under 2,000 you can use totally FREE!
Below are a comparison of the top three email service providers CONSTANT CONTACT, CONVERTKIT & MAILCHIMP:
You can see here that for $9.99 you can have up to 50,000 contacts with a MailChimp Essentials account. Under 2,000 is completely free.
ConvertKit charges $29 for 1,000 subscribers.
As you can see Constant Contact wants a whopping $45 a month!
I use MailChimp, I recommend MailChimp and if you look right over there →→→ ( in the sidebar) you will see the MailChimp logo. I’ve recently partnered with MailChimp and after weeks of testing, I am now an official MailChimp expert. I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE I DO NOT MAKE MONEY FROM YOU SIGNING UP. I just really love the service.
Have questions about what MailChimp can do for you? Just email me at Rena (at) theblogging911.com.
Tracking Your Statistics
You know I love me some statistics! So much so that I became a Certified Google Analyst. Also over there →→→ BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s the only tool I use. Sometimes you need comparing views especially when you’re trying to see if what you’re doing is working.
So of course, I turn to Google because let’s face it, they are the internet Gods. But I also like using JetPack’s statistics. You can get a lot of information by comparing the two. Jetpack has a free and a paid version and it does offer a lot of features but you can get the same information for free.
Google Analytics is free and very easy to set up these days and if you use the MonsterInsights plugin it gets even easier. I totally recommend all three of these products.
IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to filter out your own IP so that you aren’t counted in those statistics. I made a video showing exactly how to do that in this blog post.
Creating content is nonstop so anything you can find that will help you accomplish creating compelling content that people are actually wanting to read can be difficult some days. I usually write all of my content right in the WordPress post editor but when I’m working on ideas I like to open up a Google Doc. They are easy to use and easy to share. I do have Microsoft Word, but Google Docs is just easier sometimes and this especially true if you’re using Gmail.
I like to get inspiration from several places. It may be a newsletter I’ve read, a webinar I’ve watched or a podcast I’ve listened to. My favorite place to go for a little inspiration is Pinterest first. I am a visual learner and Pinterest is the eye candy of visual learners. I love to learn and I try to learn something new every single day even if it’s just about myself.
I also get a lot of inspiration from your questions, but lately, my most favorite way to create content is in my newsletter. I share a blog post every week, but I also like to have conversations with all of you. I love hearing your replies so please keep them coming! Also, if you have something that you’d like me to cover let me know.
I have to be totally for real here. I struggle with organization every single day of my life. I am not an organized person and I work hard, but don’t always accomplish my goals. My mind doesn’t work the way it used to and some of my struggles are memory issues, spatial judgment, and organization. That being said as a business owner I require a certain amount and the way I’ve found to deal with this is to try not to overcomplicate it. I have bought courses on time-blocking, organizational concepts, and automation and on and on. All a waste of money in hindsight.
No one thing works for me so I use a multitude of services to achieve the mediocre amount of organization I can actually stick with and here it goes.
I save all of my clients’ assets to a shared folder in Dropbox. This is also where I store all website backup copies. I also store most of my assets there as well, but historically I have used Google Drive for client files and One drive for mine, but recently decided to keep it all in one place. I spent a REALLY LONG weekend setting it all up, but I love it now.
I am very new to the Trello game and I cannot believe what I have been missing! I am still working out my system there because I did what I always did and ran around like a sugar addict in a candy store creating more and more boards, but I have created ONE BOARD that contains EVERYTHING I need in my daily business. Client info, passwords, subscriptions, and even a list of the many, many courses I’ve bought over the years.
Is also a great place to store graphics and pdfs etc. You can create folders to keep it all in order. This way when I’m making a graphic I have what I need to create it in the client folder. I love Canva so much (I have the business account) that I totally did away with Photoshop & Illustrator. I can do everything I need to do with Canva and $12.95 is a lot better than $53 monthly!
Is another place to store things. I create a secret board with every new design to pin inspiration, ideas, and branding pieces. I always have a few secret boards going for research purposes.
What tools do you depend on to do what you do?
Would it come as a surprise to you if I said we’re all salespeople? It’s true.
Every time you have a prospective client on a discovery call, you’re making a sales pitch. Every time you send an email or write a blog post with an offer, you’re making a sales pitch. Every time you write an opt-in page, you’re making a sales pitch.
And you’re probably pretty good at it, too, or you wouldn’t be where you are today, would you?
So why do we continue to think we’re so bad at sales?
Sales Feel “Icky”
I hear this one a lot. You feel pushy or uncomfortable when talk turns to money. You don’t want to force anyone into a decision. You secretly think your rates are too high.
I’m going to be honest with you. This is one of those things that only gets better with practice. But the good news is, you don’t have to be on the phone with a prospective client to get that practice time in.
Instead, use the technique self-help gurus have been advocating for years: Look in the mirror and talk to yourself. Practice saying your rates out loud. Practice your segue from discovery to sales pitch. The more you do it, the more natural it will sound, and the less uncomfortable you will feel when on a real call.
Fix Your Mindset
What if you weren’t selling anything, but instead were simply chatting with a friend about the incredible new product that was going to change her life? You’re helping your friend to improve herself by sharing your experience with this new product.
That’s exactly how you should think about selling your coaching programs, products, or even services. You’re not trying to get your prospective client to spend money. Instead, you’re offering a solution to her problems. You’re genuinely helping her to overcome some obstacles in her life or business.
When you can turn your thinking around from “sales” to “helping” you’ll find it’s much easier to have the sales talk.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Follow Up
Most clients won’t say yes with the first call, and maybe not even with the second. But good coaches know that many sales can be closed if you simply take the time to follow up. Send a quick email and invite your prospect to:
- Schedule a follow-up call to answer her questions
- Read some of your testimonials
- Review your coaching program outline or sales page
- Or even join a different program of yours that might be a better fit
Don’t let that old “I’m not good at sales” thinking get in the way of making a real difference in people’s lives, and in growing your business and your profits. With these easy tips, you can quickly turn your sales blocks into a system for landing new clients consistently.
SEO seems to be one thing that confuses most people and it really doesn’t have to be a great mystery. SEO stands for SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION which is simply making your website or blog post as appetizing to search engines as you possibly can. The easier it is to read, the higher your rankings. SEO is your website’s currency.
Keywords Are The Secret Sauce
There are several tools that can help you achieve this elusive mix of great content & relevant keywords. Keywords are the secret sauce in this recipe. From the very beginning, before you even build your website you probably had a niche. Maybe it’s food blogging, or building sales funnels or even dog grooming.
After deciding on your niche (even before naming your site) you should be thinking about 8 -10 important keywords that you know are the very basis of your website. Using the three examples above let’s see what we come up with.
Once you choose the top keywords in your niche you should start building the site with these words in mind. In your name, in your blog posts, in your social media posts every time you put something out there it should be with this strategy in mind.
Simple Strategies Already Provided
That’s not to say that these are the only words that you can use. On the contrary, it should be used as a guide to build on. WordPress is built on this system and by incorporating the use of correct headlines tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6), proper categories, and relevant tags consistently you will build a foundation that is search engine friendly.
A Well-Established Website Can Still Tighten It Up From Time To Time
Even if you have a well-established website you can still tighten it up from time to time and to use all of the options open to you to get the most bang for your buck. Go into your analytics and start with the top 10 posts and then just clean it up and I also suggest taking the bottom 10 and find ways to make them better. Do one a week, do them all at once whatever it’s just normal content maintenance. (it’s a thing!)
I use the SEO by Yoast plugin on any website that I build. It works, it’s easy to set up and it’s compatible with just anything. (plugin conflicts are the #1 reason for website troubles). BUT I don’t see people using it to its full potential and it confuses me. Why bother creating content if you’re not going to make it easy for search engines like Google, Pinterest, etc to find you?
It’s not just setting up the plugin, there are certain steps you need to take for every single blog post, page, etc. When I’m in the backend of a website I see these important bonuses left empty time after time so I thought I’d make a quick video showing you how to use your SEO by Yoast to its full potential.
Your readers have short attention spans.
I’m sure that’s no big surprise to you. In fact, you probably browse the Internet at light speed, too, scanning titles and subheads, skipping to the bottoms of sales pages, and fast-forwarding through videos just so you can get to the next thing.
The same is true for your readers, and if you want to capture their attention long enough to entice them to opt-in to your mailing list, then you have to keep that in mind.
A Tip From Newspaper Publishers
Have you ever noticed that everything you need to know about a news story is in the first paragraph? Journalists are trained to answer all the questions—who, what, where, when, why and how—in the first few sentences, just in case the story gets cut off when the paper goes to print.
In today’s online world, where column inches no longer matter, this type of story formatting isn’t quite so critical anymore, but it’s still a useful tip to use when you’re writing an opt-in page.
Think about it: If your readers are skimmers (as most of us are) then making sure you include the most important information right at the top of the page is going to greatly improve your conversion rates.
For opt-in pages, that means putting the biggest benefits in your subject line and following it up with two or three sentences that build on your headline. That’s it. Keep it short, sweet, and benefit-driven, and you’ll have greater success than you would with longer content.
Whether your opt-in incentive is an eBook, a video, or even a simple checklist, having a graphic representation of your offer is an important component of your landing page.
Typically, you’ll create (or have created) a digital book or CD cover. You can easily outsource this, but be sure you follow these strategies:
- Bold fonts and short titles make your cover more readable.
- Use high-contrast colors for more visibility.
- Be true to your brand. Stick with colors and fonts your readers expect.
Crafting a Compelling Call to Action
While it seems as if you can expect readers to know what to do when they land on your opt-in page, it’s just not true. You have to invite them to take the next step. Give them specific instructions and you’ll have higher conversion rates than if you just leave it to chance.
Your call to action should tell a reader exactly what to do, like this:
- Click here to download
- Enter your name and email for instant access
Watch the text on your form buttons, too. After all, “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” doesn’t exactly make you feel excited, does it? Consider using a phrase that matches your call to action instead, such as:
- Get the Checklist!
- Send the Video!
Take a look at your opt-in pages. Do they follow these strategies? If not, consider making some changes to your copy, your images, and your calls to action, then watch your results. You’ll more than likely see a boost in conversion rates if you do.
Confused about how exactly sales funnels work? You’re not alone. In fact, that’s the number one reason small business owners say they can’t get their funnels set up—they simply don’t know what to include where.
Here’s the easy answer: At the very least, your sales funnel needs three pages.
This one obviously comes first. You might call it a landing page, or in the case of a free opt-in, a squeeze page. It serves one purpose—to get the reader to take action. Whether that’s to buy a product or offer up their email address in exchange for a free gift, this is the gateway into your funnel. Everything that follows depends on this page, so you want to be sure you:
Include a clear call to action—“Buy Now” or “Click here to download this report for free”
Eliminate distractions—that means no links to other websites or even a navigation bar
Address the readers’ pain points and how your offer provides the solution
Here’s where we ask the reader to confirm their intent. For a sales funnel, this confirmation page might actually be your checkout page. It’s where they enter their payment details. For a free offer, it’s simply the page your email management system directs them to next. It’s a holding page, if you will, while you wait for them to confirm their email address.
If you’re setting up a free funnel, this page has great power—and you don’t want to waste it!
Here is where you can offer an upsell, remind people to follow you on social media, and give them a peek at your other products and services.
Remember, though, that they will only see this page once, so don’t put anything here that they will need to refer back to. That’s what the thank you page is for.
Thank You Page
This is where they actually collect their downloadable items or get information about how your product will be delivered.
Like the confirmation page, this is valuable real estate, so you want to be sure you use it wisely. In addition to the downloadable item your customer just purchased (or opted in for) you also want to showcase your other offers—especially those at a slightly higher price point. Here’s why: the person looking at this page is a hot prospect. He or she is in a buying mood. You want to be sure to take advantage of that by putting your most relevant offers on this page. To encourage buying, consider including:
A limited time offer—scarcity sells, so if you can legitimately limit sales to a few hours/days or number of units, then this is the place to do so.
A “no brainer” coupon offer—an insider’s only deal can be a powerful motivator, especially if it’s a fantastic price.
Extra bonuses—give them access to additional products/services if they buy through your link on that page. These should be bonuses that aren’t advertised on the public sales page for that product. Again—insider’s deals are motivating!
Putting together a sales funnel isn’t complicated—or at least it doesn’t have to be. As your business grows and you have more products to offer, you can expand your funnel to include more upsells and downsells, but for now, this simple setup is really all you need.
If a website has a high bounce rate, it is counted as a negative factor instead of a positive one. It means that people do visit the website but do not spend consistent time. This usually happens when there is lacking in one or many areas. Weak content is a major reason in this case. Serious visitors are conscious about the content they read particularly the information on the home page. At times, the content is not well researched or up to date. Having the right combination of keywords may attract visitors but this doesn’t last long. Once the users visit the website and figure out that there is nothing innovative in terms of content, quick exits will be made. As a result, the bounce rate of the website would be on the rise.
Providing readable content is essential
How can a website retain a visitor? Quality content is very important for maintaining a good rate of traffic. If people visit a website regularly, they would develop an interest in purchasing products / offered services. The readability level of content describes the flow and smoothness. It is important to refresh the information on web pages from time to time but this does not mean that junk content should be published. If there is no sequence between sentences and consequent paragraphs, readers would get bored and discontinue reading. A good tip to deal with this situation is checking the content readability before publishing it. This gives a clear idea about whether readers would be convinced about going through the provided information or not.
Searching for a quality readability checker is mandatory
Trusting a readability checker randomly is a big mistake. A lot of applications do not have properly programmed algorithms. As a result, the readability score is more of an estimate than an accurate calculation. There is always a question mark on the credibility of an application if a lot of people are not using it. A low user count gives the impression that either the tool is flawed or relatively new. In both cases, users can end up with incorrect results.
- Checking the user count is a good way to check the credibility level. If a readability checker is being used by several people, there is no need to search any further. However, it has to be ensured that the application does not have negative feedback on a major scale. It is obvious that every user may not have a positive experience with the tool but if most users are dissatisfied, there may be serious performance/reliability issues. In a nutshell, do not be hasty while opting for a tool. Take your time and view all important parameters before making the final choice.
- At times, when users are searching for these tools, they only consider free options and ignore everything else. It is not necessary that a free tool may be reliable as well. Similarly, there is no assurance that a paid one would deliver accurate results. Quality is an important factor and it should never be ignored. There is nothing wrong about opting for a free readability checking application if it is actually worth it.
Readability decides the interest level
Why do people lose interest in the written content? Lack of readability is one of the major reasons. Some blog writers only aim at completing the count of words. The quality factor is simply ignored. If content does not develop interest, the reader would not be encouraged to spend time on reading it. Hence, when it comes to getting a good response through a blog, readability matters a lot. It is important as well as helpful to check the readability score beforehand so that you have a clear idea about the response. There are proper tools available online to determine the content score.
Using a readability checker – steps used
Here are the steps you have to follow to determine the readability of content
Stage of content uploading
The first thing you have to do is upload the content. Most tools provide support for direct uploading of the file. If the content file has the PDF, TXT or DOC format, it can be directly uploaded. Writers do not have to select the text, copy it and paste it in the text box. However, one of the two options can be used.
Checking output in terms of readability
A good readability checker generates a complete report related to the uploaded content. For instance, you can know about the densities of prominent keywords used in the content. Similarly, the readability report will total number of sentences, characters per word and other related information. If there are any problems, you can make changes to the appropriate area. For instance, over usage of a particular word reduces the level of readability. The report would show the frequency of all keywords used. If the density is higher than normal, reduce the usage of the related word to produce readable content.
Quality readable content reduces the bounce rate
As it has been mentioned above, having a high bounce rate is a negative aspect of the reputation of a website. When related fresh content would be updated on a website from time to time, more people would pay consistent visits. As a result, the bounce rate of the website would be on the lower side.
What is the key difference between successful online brands and the ones which fail to deliver? Top-rated online sellers make every effort to engage and communicate with their buyers. This is done by delivering readable content every now and then. Let us consider a short example to see how readable content makes a quantifiable difference. Consider that a visitor browses a web page on a weekly basis. After three weeks, he witnesses that there is nothing new to offer in terms of content. This would give him the impression that the brand is concerned more about generating sales and not communicating with the customer. As a result, he would stop visiting the website. When a considerable sum of people would adopt the same approach, the bounce rate would increase.