Making a good living online can be a daunting task but certainly not impossible. To accomplish this goal you need a strong foundation, which in this case would be a well-structured, productive website. A website should be designed to suit your business purpose and to draw in and capture your target market. There are many elements to consider when planning your website.
One favorable factor in building websites is that you can change any part of your website for greater effectiveness. As websites evolve and change, you can fairly easily adapt your website to those changes.
Below is a list of some of the most important pages your website should include for maximum results and prosperity:
1. Home – Your homepage, also called the landing page, is most often where your potential customer will land when coming to your website. You have just seconds to grab and retain that person before they decide to leave. Your homepage needs an attention grabbing headline and compelling copy. You want to pull-in and lead your visitor through the rest of your site. Be clear, concise and simple. Explain what you can do for the customer and why they should buy from you. Be sure to include benefits.
The brain retains visual images more than text so use images and/or a video. Make sure the customer knows exactly what to do next and show them a clear path through the buying process. Navigation is key to reduce your bounce rate. Never load up your homepage with banners, flash ads, and other distracting features.
2. About – The about page is where your customer will learn all about you and your business. This is how your potential clients will get to know you. Consumers want to buy from people they know. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Let people know the person behind the website. Adding a picture of yourself will go a long way in making people feel they can trust you. Share your experience and expertise. Explain what they can expect from and how they can benefit from your business. What makes your company better than the rest? What will the experience be like when doing business with you? Add a link to your mailing list so they can get to know you and your business even better. Some people will say that the customer only wants to know about your business and how it can solve their problems but in my experience they also want to know the person behind the business.
3. FAQ – A frequently asked question or FAQ page is important to your website because it can give people the information they are seeking in order to do business with you. A well-written FAQ page can be an effective marketing tool. Most people do not want to take the time to email and then wait for the answers. Providing the answers now is much more effective. Place most commonly asked questions on top and keep them flowing. Organizing and grouping questions by category works very well. Adding images or screenshots can add value and usability to your page. Be sure to answer the questions from the consumer’s point of view. Do not try to impress people with technical or difficult to understand words. Read More→
Content marketing involves the creating and sharing of relevant and useful content such as articles, videos, infographics and more for the purpose of gaining customers and making sales.
Content marketing has been around for a number of years and like all aspects of internet marketing, it is forever changing and evolving. Keeping up with these changes is crucial for your content marketing campaign. However, one thing that does not change is that “Content is King”.
Below are some new ideas for increasing the productivity of your content marketing efforts:
1. Engagement – Content marketing is no longer just submitting articles to some article directories. It has evolved into a much more detailed and powerful tool. You want to engage people, get a buzz going about your content. Be sure to participate with your readers to keep the interaction going. Show a real interest in your readers’ questions, comments or feedback. Providing useful relevant content is one sure way to create interest and involvement.
2. Upcycle Old Content – If you have some old content that has done well for you in the past, make it happen again. Revive that old content by updating the facts, adding visuals, making it appropriate for now. You have a new audience now with new information to present so upcycling can produce results.
3. Identify with Readers – When creating your content, be sure to put yourself in your readers’ place. Become one of your readers and identify with them on what information they need, how to present it and how you would interact with it. Read your content as if you were a visitor to your site and see how you would react to it. If you find your content informative and helpful, chances are your readers will too. Do not hold yourself above your readers because they will sense this and find other content providers.
4. Visual Matters – Visuals have quickly become a crucial part of content marketing. Our brains react to and process visual stimulation much more than mere text so using effective visuals is critical. There are many places to get free stock photos but you may want to rise above that. Find quality photos or create your own. Infographics and videos are also a very effective way to grab your readers and increase the chances of turning them into customers. People are more likely to watch a short video or scan an infographic then read a text-only article.
5. Use a CMS (Content Management System) – A CMS is a computer application that helps you create, edit, publish, and organize your content. Using such an application will increase your workflow and allow you to better manage your content for more successful marketing efforts. Examples of such tools are My Content Management System Plugin from WordPress, MojoPortal, MediaCore for videos and podcasts and many, many more. Read More→
The internet allows many of us an opportunity at success that we may otherwise never have had. There are countless ways to make money online but there is a lot to learn as well. Unfortunately many of us will fail because we just get lost in all the information and aspects of running an online business. Below are some quick tips to give you a head start on your way to success!
Build Relationships – Take the time to establish a connection with your potential customers. People need to know and trust you before they will buy from you.
Get More Involved with Social Media – Using social media is a great way to connect with people and start building the relationship. Choose a few good social sites and start participating and sharing information, resources, etc. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Write Guest Posts and Articles – Content is very important for your marketing campaign. Write blog posts and submit them to various blogs that target your business idea. For instance, if you sell furniture you don’t want to post on blogs that teach people how to paint. You want targeted traffic so go where people looking for furniture would go.
Build Backlinks – Backlinks can help get you a higher ranking in the search engines as well as getting you more direct traffic. Be sure to watch where you get your link posted. The search engines go by the rule, “guilty by association,” so stick with quality sites with no “questionable” content.
Publish a Newsletter – Newsletters are a good way to form relationships with people so they will buy from you. Offer quality information, interaction and be consistent. Try adding a little fun as well. A trivia game or something similar with a prize for the winner can work well.
Optimize Your SEO – Research keywords, write good headlines and titles, read up on SEO and optimize your site for those search engine spiders.
Use Google Analytics – Using Google Analytics is a good way to study your traffic. Learn where they come from, when they come, how long they stay, which pages make them leave, etc. All this information will help you maximize your site’s effectiveness.
Call-to-Action – Order Now, Sign-Up Here, Click Here, Call Now… these are all calls to action. Be sure yours is prominent and really urges your visitor to take action. Colorful well-designed buttons can make your call-to-action much more effective.
Exit Ads – Exit ads or floating ads or ads with other similar names can grab your visitor at the last minute. Make sure the offer in the ad will compel them to sign-up or follow the call-to-action. In that last second as they are leaving your site, you have one last chance to capture them.
Offer Incentives – Sometimes people just need a reason to get them to take action. Offering a free gift or valuable information can get them to sign-up or take the next step. Read More→
For anyone wanting an e-commerce website, WordPress is an excellent tool with which to launch your new business. WordPress is an open source website building program using PHP. It is one of the easiest ways to produce a professional profit producing website or blog.
WordPress may have started out as a simple blogging platform but it has evolved into much more. With plugins and widgets the features you can add to your site are endless. There is no cost to use WordPress. You can install it and modify it however you choose and it is fairly easy to learn.
Hundreds of different themes provide a wide array of designs you can choose for your website. Some themes are free and some require a fee. Although WP is not extremely difficult to use there are some things a beginner should know to make the experience flow more smoothly.
1. WordPress Folder – When you create your WP site you do not want to use a WordPress folder so it shows up in your url. I have seen sites that do this and end up with urls like mysite.com/WordPress. Install the WP in your main directory or use a subdomain.
2. Plugin Overload – Plugins are a wonderful thing. They have one for everything from changing your font size and color to sharing your posts to your social media accounts. Although they are a great tool to use, be careful not to use too many. When I first went to the plugin directory at wordpress.org I was like a kid at Christmas. I was downloading just about all of them. I have since learned to only use the plugins I actually need and to be sure they all get along. Sometimes you do get plugins that don’t play nice together. If you notice a problem on your site after installing a new plugin, just deactivate the plugin and see if it fixes the problem. Read More→
The product pages of your website are your showroom and they must be displayed properly to achieve maximum results. This does not mean that all product pages should look alike. There are many ways to be creative yet effective.
Many of us focus our attention on our homepage (which is also important) and then just paste up a cookie cutter product page. Taking the time to plan and strategize your product pages is also essential. Cart abandonment is a serious issue for online business owners but there are ways to decrease your abandonment stats.
As we go from website to website, we do not want to see clone product pages but there are aspects that should be included in all product pages. Below is a checklist for some of these important elements that will help your product page be more profitable.
1. Product Description – Do not try to write a one size fits all product description. Focus on your targeted buyer and write to them personally. Be sure to include all the benefits the product provides. Try to avoid clone phrases such as best deal in town or superior quality. Your prospect will tend to blur over these types of statements. Read More→
Since 2004 social media has been booming and there is no indication of any lapse in its strength. If for some reason you are not yet taking advantage of the intense growth and popularity of social media for your business, now is the time to get started.
Over 72 million people use Pinterest and many of them can become your customers. Businesses make money from Pinterest users and you can too. But learning and building an effective social media network takes time and a lot of work. As much as you should learn what to do, you need to learn what NOT to do. Below are 10 mistakes you might be making on Pinterest.
1. Dead or Broken Links – Be sure to check all of your posts to make sure the links are working and actually lead to the intended information. Sending your followers to dead or non-existent pages is a good way to lose them.
2. Ineffective Images – Images are everything on Pinterest. Images without human faces get liked and repined much more than images with faces. You also want to have multiple colors in your images. Images with red, orange and brown get repined many more times than blue. You do not want a lot of background or whitespace in your image. The less background, the more repins. Less than 30% will get the most repins. Smooth texture gets repinned much more often than a rough texture. Medium lightness does the best as opposed to very light or very dark images. Details matter and paying attention to your image details could make all the difference. Read More→
Owning an online business entails more than just putting up a pretty website. Besides social media, marketing and promoting, you need to learn the inner structure of your website and how well it is accomplishing its purpose. This means you need to know the details of what people do when they visit your site, how long they stay and which pages interest them the most.
The more you know about what people do when they visit your site, the more you can specify and analyze the details of your site and optimize its performance. Google Analytics provides the means to attaining this very important goal.
Listed below are some of the features provided by Google Analytics and the reasons you should be utilizing them.
1. It’s Free – We have all heard the saying, “You don’t get anything for nothing”. In this case, that is not true. Google Analytics provides you with critical information, numbers and stats needed for you to maximize your website’s performance.
2. Customizable – With GA you can customize the information for your reports. Using an easy drag n drop, you can set up the reports how you want to receive them for easier analyzing. Read More→