For a long time I have thought of marketing and sales as the same thing. I thought the two words were intertwined and replaceable with each other. To be honest, I have always hated sales. When I think about sales I think about pressure, selfishness, everyone being out for themselves, cutthroat, backstabbing…and it only gets more gruesome from there. Car shopping is probably one of my least favorite things to do. Sure, the idea of getting a new car is really exciting, but the torture I have to go through to get it…is it really worth it? I feel like I need to cling tight to my purse, and then rinse my mouth out, wash my hands, and then take a sanitizing shower after the deal is done. And maybe I’m being a little dramatic but I’m pretty sure you can all relate.
Google Analytics is Your Best Friend
One of my favorite web tools to use is Google Analytics. I love statistics! Not in a nerdy math way but in a scientific “what is the information telling me?” kind of way. And maybe that’s nerdy too but that’s besides the point.
If you have a website, you should be using Google Analytics. There’s really no if, and, or but about it. Why? Because I said so. Just kidding. You should be using Google Analytics because it’s the ultimate tell-all of what your website is doing and how it’s performing. If you want to improve your website in any way, invest in a marketing campaign, build up your SEO, rank for specific keywords, or anything else website related you should always always always start with your Analytics. You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your website as it stands before being able to strategize a game plan on how to improve it.
The internet has taken over and is a part of our everyday life. It’s an integral part of how we stay connected, how we find information, how we enjoy entertainment, and how we do business. The web can be used as a powerful and effective business building tool but only if we understand how to use it.
One of the most crucial tools your business can benefit from is a mobile friendly website. 2/3rds of the American population now own smart phones and 80% use their smartphones to access the internet. People are using their phones to access information quickly and easily. As a business it’s imperative to efficiently offer your customers what they’re looking for.
Want your website to be one of the first sites listed in a Google search? Make sure it’s mobile friendly!
Google’s Major Announcement That Affects You
On April 21, 2015 Google will officially change is search engine algorithms to factor in mobile friendly websites. Basically this means that a mobile friendly website will outrank a website that isn’t mobile friendly. This is because with more and more people conducting searches from their mobile phones and tablets it is important that websites be adaptable to the users screen and easy to use.
You recently just paid to have your website redesigned. It’s beautiful, responsive, cross browser compatible, mobile friendly, has CMS, and all the other latest features your web developer recommended it needed. There’s one problem…nothing is happening. You haven’t seen increased traffic, business sales aren’t boosting, and your social media following hasn’t improved. What the heck?
There’s no reason to blame your web developer, your website, or yourself just yet. The number one reason why you haven’t seen any change isn’t because your website isn’t good enough…it’s because it’s not being found. Just because you recently had a redesign doesn’t automatically mean your website is now going to be the first search result that appears in a Search Engine. Having a website redesigned is a brilliant idea…but it’s only the first step.
As a business owner there are some website etiquette rules that are important to keep in mind. Your website is potentially your customers’ first impression of your business. Don’t lose a new customer due to these common mistakes.
1. Flashy Design. Consider how long your content will take to load on any type of screen, especially a mobile screen. The more animation, flash, and high resolution images are used, the longer it will take for your website to load. Most people are impatient and if the load screen is longer than 5 seconds, you may have just lost a potential customer.
2. Overcrowding. Keep your website clean, simple, and professional. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with a bunch of content screaming in their face. Information is good but too much is a turn off.
3. Pop-Up Screens. They’re about as welcome as someone just walking right into your house. It’s an invasion of personal choice. Let your customers decide what they want to see and when. If they’re interested then they will click and if not then it’s your job to respect their choice. Your website is an invitation not an interrogation.
Social Media marketing is a very important part of growing your online web presence. Social Media platforms are great avenues to connect with your audience and direct more traffic to your website. You absolutely should be using social media…but not every platform.
It’s hard to be the best at everything. Actually, it’s impossible to be the best at everything. Consider Russell Wilson, quarter back of the Seattle Seahawks, he had the talent to pursue professional baseball or professional football. He chose football because there was just no way he would be able to be completely committed, focused, and excellent to both at the same time. So while we may not all have what it takes to get into the NFL, the same rule still applies to social media marketing.
Choose one platform and focus all your time, energy, content, comments, and “socializing” on that one platform. Become an expert on how the platform works, build a loyal and interactive audience, and effectively direct traffic to your website. You don’t have to write off all other platforms all together, but one platform should receive 100% of everything you have to give.
How Mobile Friendly Is Your Website?
Mobile Friendly design is now the status quo in the world of website design. If you’re wondering how your website performs on mobile devices you can use Googles new tool.
Google just launched an awesome and very easy to use new tool. It’s called The Mobile Friendly Test and can be found at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
The test is simple. All you need to do is enter in your website URL and the tool analyzes your website within seconds.
Keeping your website content fresh and up to date is one of the most important aspects of your website, and small businesses websites are no exception to this rule.
It’s a common misconception that website content should only be maintained if your business is in a specific type of industry like a magazine, newspaper, or retail store. The reality is if your business has a web site then it needs to have fresh content, no matter your business industry.
Maintaining fresh content is so crucial because it establishes a relationship with your customers and gives them a reason to come back, sets the precedent that you are a growing, active, and innovative company, and ensures that your site is indexed regularly by search engines. This all leads to increased traffic, website growth, and ultimately increased business success.
Your website is a business tool… use it.
The other day I was grabbing a coffee from a local coffee shop here in town and I asked them if they had a website. Sure they did! What business owner today doesn’t, right? So out of curiosity I quickly pulled up their site on my phone and was disappointed. Not because their website sucked or wasn’t pleasing to the eye….it was a good site, just not on a mobile screen.
I’ve found that most business owners understand the fact that their business needs a website. Great! But the internet is always changing and now you not only need a website, you need a responsive web site.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of re-sizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices. A responsive website responds to the screen size it is being viewed on and adapts to it accordingly. Read More