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  • 5 Quick Optimization Tips That Will Skyrocket Your Website’s Conversion Rate

    Thursday, March 31, 2016 by
    Increase Conversion Rate On Website How well is your website working to turn casual visitors into browsers, browsers into engaged visitors and ultimately, into paying clients? If you’re like most professionals, you’re probably wondering how you can best maximize your website's potential. The good news is that even small tweaks to better optimize your website can help boost your conversion rates, increasing your profits exponentially. To get started, here are five quick tips to skyrocket your website’s optimization:

    1. Utilize A/B (Split) Testing

    There are very few “successful accidents” when it comes to web optimization, meaning you almost never just stumble upon something that works incredibly well the first time. Instead, professional web designers, SEO experts, and content developers preach the virtues of constant split testing, also called A/B testing. By pitting two different headlines, pages, graphics, emails or ads, etc. against each other, they can quickly determine which has maximum effectiveness with their audience – and will produce the highest conversion rate. For that reason, most businesses should have at least one A/B test running on their website (and with the rest of your marketing) at all times and carefully track the results. But setting up too many splits or A/B tests at the same time can get overwhelming and hard to follow – defeating the purpose of identifying which version is most effective and why. There’s plenty of expensive software that will manage your A/B testing, but you really should have to spend too much to get a great website conversion benefit. Try Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer or even Google Content Experiments, which is built into Google Analytics.

    2. Make sure your website is simple, clear, and distraction free

    One of the biggest mistakes you can make is crowding your website with too much information, graphics, flashy functions and bells and whistles. I know it’s tempting to try to impress the website visitor (prospective client) with a host of information and options that demonstrate your unique value, but in fact, it’s counter-productive. One exception to this rule is if you’re using an info graphic that provides value to your customers for free. A prime example of this is this Ultimate Guide To Google Penalties info graphic I came across. If you take a look at the websites of the best brands and businesses in the world and you’ll notice they are all simple, clean, and follow the viewer through a very intuitive and easy path, including one call-to-action. Studies show that the more cluttered and the more options available on your website, the less effective your conversion rates will be. Stay away from stock images, unnecessary features, any text that is not one or two sentences long or in a bullet point format, menu bars with more than 4 or 5 items, and more than one big, bold call-to-action.

    3. Create urgency with incentive

    In 2016 and beyond, one of the most powerful tools to boost website conversions and drive consumer behavior is ephemerality - which is a fancy way to say that an offer, giveaway, sale, attendance at an event, etc. is fleeting or limited. This concept works so well because people’s fear of losing out is far greater than their perceived benefit of gain. Think about it – when you are looking at hotels online and the display shows that there are only two rooms left at a certain price, and ten people have looked at it in the last hour, you feel your pulse quicken and an urge to book it immediately. That’s also the whole premise behind Snapchat, which sold for $3 billion 2013 after only a handful of months in existence and now has 100 million active users daily. There are two forms of scarcity you can exhibit to ignite urgency with your web audience: showing that an item or service is only available in limited supply, or that it is only for sale or at a certain price for a limited time. You can even use both of these tools together to create a palpable sense of scarcity. So if you want to double or even triple your website conversion rates and spark your ROI, create urgency with fleeting incentives and limited offers on your site.

    4. Compare to your competition before the consumer does

    There is a certain psychological process a consumer goes through before they commit to buying your product or service, including familiarity, a belief in the benefits it will provide or problems it will solve in their life, trust, credibility, perceived value, etc. One of the last items on that “checklist” - even when consumers want to click BUY NOW is the impulse to shop around with your competitors to make sure they are getting a fair deal. Too often, that means they will leave your website and start “Googling” other products, services, companies, and options. That also means there is a very high chance they will use your website as a foundation for information on the road to making a purchase – from someone else. But the good news is that YOU can provide a cost or service comparison right on your website, filtering and presenting the information as you wish. Setting up a simple graphic spreadsheet to demonstrate the superior price, benefit, features and value of your product or service – and the shortcomings inherent with your competitors – will keep a significant percentage of “shoppers” from ever leaving your website, therefore boosting your conversion rate and sales exponentially.

    5. Focus on creating an airtight sales funnel

    Do you have a well defined and efficient sales funnel? Research shows that nothing plummets website conversion rates faster than not leading your audience through the logical sequence of the sales process or funnel. Of course, all sales funnels differ depending on what product/service you are offering, your audience, the cost and commitment you are asking for, and myriad other factors. But no matter what business you’re in, a well-planned sales funnel will lead the website visitor and potential client through the stages of familiarity, establishing trust, comfort, answering objections or questions, a demonstration or trial offer – all precursors to the sale. Generally people who practice SEO implement an airtight funnel as being crucial to their overall business. An efficient sales funnel needs to include a drip system of information, value, and problem-solving offers for those who don’t purchase right away, whether via email, social media, social affirmation, short video demonstrations, or other special offers. Consumer behavior studies show that most people need seven positive interactions with a brand, product, or service before they are psychologically ready to commit. But that can happen much more quickly - or all in one sitting, ideally, if you plan your sales funnel and integrate it into your website correctly.
  • 7 Best Free & Paid WordPress Plugins to Get More Email Subscribers

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 by
    Building Your Email List of Subscribers Building an email list is important for every online business. Often business owners get overwhelmed when trying to pick the best WordPress lead generation plugins. Why? Because there are hundreds of lead capture plugins available. But you don't have to worry about those. In this article, we will share the 7 best WordPress plugins to get more email subscribers and grow your email list.

    OptinMonster

    Use optinmonster to capture more emails OptinMonster is the most powerful lead generation plugin for WordPress. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers by giving you the ability to create and A/B test beautiful lead capture forms without hiring a developer or learning how to code. You can choose from a variety of form types including: lightbox popups, floating header and footer bars, scroll triggered slide-in boxes, full screen welcome gates, after post forms, inline-content forms, and sidebar forms, OptinMonster allows you to create highly targeted optin forms based on user behavior. You can show different forms based on specific posts, categories, tags, and even the traffic referrer source. Once you have created your forms, you can integrate with all popular email marketing services including Constant Contact, MailChimp, AWeber, and 20 others. Cost: Starting at $9 / mo. or $49 / yr

    WPForms

    Use WPFroms To Increase Your Email List WPForms is a drag & drop online form builder for WordPress. It allows you to create contact forms, subscription forms, payment forms, and all other type of online forms with just a few clicks. You can manage all entries from a single screen. You also have the option to connect your contact forms to your email newsletter. Lastly, you have the ability to redirect users to a thank you page where you can encourage people to join your email list. Cost: Free with paid upgrades starting at $39 / yr

    PlugMatter Feature Box

    Plug Matter Email Popup PlugMatter allows you to create a beautiful optin feature boxes for your site. A feature box is a high converting email subscription box that is placed right under the header of your WordPress site, but before the main content. This allows you get maximum subscribers. PlugMatter integrates with all popular email marketing service including ConstantContact, MailChimp, AWeber, and dozen others. Cost: Starting at $37 / year

    DreamGrow Scroll Triggered Box

    More subscribers with Scroll Triggered box DreamGrow Scroll Triggered Box is a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to add a slide-in optin box on your site. You can select the position of where the box displays on a page and how far the user has to scroll for them to see the slide-in box. If the user closes the box, then it stays hidden for a desired number of days. Scroll boxes are a great way to increase your subscribers. Cost: Free

    SeedProd Coming Soon & Maintenance Pages

    Seedprod Coming Soon Image SeedProd is the #1 coming soon, under construction, and maintenance mode plugin. Often people miss out on the opportunity to build email list from these key pages. When you're about to launch a new product, you should utilize the coming soon page to build your list. If your website is going through maintenance, then use the maintenance page to grow your email list and keep your subscribers updated. SeedProd works with any WordPress theme and is by far the best of it's kind. Cost: Free with paid upgrades starting at $29 / year

    Instapage

    Get more emails with Instapage Instapage is a premium landing page software that helps make your marketing better. Landing pages are crucial for any lead generation campaign. While there are several WordPress specific landing page builders, often it's better to use a more comprehensive solution like Instapage that's not limited to WordPress but works well with WordPress. You can choose from over 100 landing pages to get started with and connect Instapage to all popular email marketing services like Constant Contact, MailChimp, AWeber, and several others. Cost: Free to try, various pricing tiers.

    Comment Redirect

    Comment Redirect is a little known technique that you can use to grow your email list. This plugin allows you to redirect people who left a comment to a thank you page. On this page, you can encourage this already engaged user to subscribe to your email list by giving them a coupon, eBook, or another incentive. Building an email list is a long-term strategy, but the sooner you implement the better off you'll be in the future. The plugins mentioned in this article are the most popular amongst smart marketers and business owners.
  • The Importance Of Professional Photography On Your Company’s Website

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 by
    Why Your Products Need Great Photos Everything on your website should serve a purpose, from the design and navigation, to the photography. Far too often, companies fail to invest in the crucial elements that lead to business success. Sixty five percent of our entire population identifies as being a visual leaner; therefore, the majority of people who visit your site will have a strong inclination towards your visual elements. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, and you have outdated or poor photography, you're website may be telling the wrong story. Here's why having professional photography on your company’s website is so important.

    Create A Favorable Perception

    Like it or not, humans are incredibly conditioned to make snap judgments, sometimes only on a subconscious level. When it comes to the appearance of a business website, cleanliness and a professional appearance makes us feel like we can trust the company. As an example, think about searching for a restaurant in a town you've never been to. If the photos on their website are blurry and were clearly taken without effort, subconsciously we may think the restaurant doesn't value quality. Would you want to eat somewhere your perception is telling you is low-quality? Probably not. The same concept translates across any industry. The way people perceive your website through imagery can determine whether or not they commit to your service.

    Strong Photography Creates More Conversions

    Looking beyond the perception your photos create, good photography is also incredibly important on a practical level. Many of you may be running an ecommerce store, in which the only way a customer will be able to know what they're buying is by having high-quality photos that will make them feel confident in your items. If you've ever tried finding something on Craigslist that either didn't have enough photos, or you couldn't tell what was being pictured, then you've already experienced how bad photography can lead to lost customers. In order to convert the most sales, we recommend hiring a professional that can effectively capture your inventory. However, if you feel like you want to try the DIY approach, remember to do the following:
    • Capture Your Items At All Angles: Since online shoppers lack the ability to hold your products in their hand, take as many photos as possible, at all angles, close up and far away
    • Get Set-Up With The Right Equipment: In order to make your photos stunning, check out our post on Effective Product Photography.

    Improve Your Website's SEO

    Image searches on Google can be a major source of traffic for your website. According to an in-depth study of search traffic generated from image searches, results showed that up to 60% of web traffic can come directly from Internet users finding your images first. The trick to making that happen is having images which captivate potential visitors while they browse through hundreds of results. By stocking your website with only professional quality images, you'll greatly increase your odds of getting noticed. For further tips on how to properly optimize your images for the web, check out our post on optimization for the web. Does your business place a strong emphasis on photography? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!  
  • 6 Ways to Deal With Negative Reviews for Your Business

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016 by
    Flipping Negative Reviews of your business
    Criticism and feedback are an organic part of business growth. Dealing with negative reviews is something that every business owner will have to learn how to cope with. Things can get quite hectic when we start to take customer feedback personally, without considering the fact that perhaps the customer is just dissatisfied with their own understanding of the product, or are confusing one feature for another. We can learn to deal with negative feedback in an effective manner, and this post will discuss six simple ways to achieve a more balanced view of reviews and the way they affect our business. Many people find businesses thanks to reviews and what other people have said, it goes without saying that many people have avoided your business because of the kind of reviews you have received, but in order to battle this, we should stay on top of our support game and try to respond to each negative review in constructive and thorough manner.

    1. Where Are They Coming From?

    The most important thing in managing negative reviews is knowing where they originate from, which involves setting up things like Alerts, Social Media mentions, and using popular review services like Yelp and TripAdvisor to setup notifications as soon as reviews are being left about your business. No negative review should go unnoticed, and letting them sit for days at a time can seem even worse in front of potential new customers.

    2. Take The Chill Pill

    The initial response to a bad review can be quite emotional, and dissatisfied. It makes perfect sense, especially in the situations where you know that the customer is totally wrong and has misunderstood a part of your business. It's just how it is. Take a chill pill -- preferably a moment to yourself where you just take some deep breaths -- and think about what you are going to be writing back, and whether it is going to be helpful or spiteful, because there is nothing worse than adding more gasoline to an already existing fire.

    3. Let Customers Speak For You

    Trying to counter each point in a negative review is going to make you look incompetent, instead let your own customers speak on behalf of your business and the services you provide. The only thing you can do is point out the mistake if there is any, and offer the customer to have a better experience the next time.

    4. A Sincere Apology

    One of the best ways to deal with negative reviews without getting infuriated is by making a simple apology to the customer who feels like he had a bad experience, and offer them to come back with a promise that you will make up for whatever it was that caused them problems in the first place. Sometimes it's good to acknowledge our own mistakes and let others see that we are humble enough to let things go, even while the storm is still happening.

    5. How To Make It Better

    Don't get too carried away with writing long essays and explanation letters to your negative customer reviews, instead keep it nice, short, and sweet, and ask the customer himself what could be done to improve thing the next time around. And if necessary make a more private connection by reaching out to the dissatisfied customer personally.

    6. The Value of Reviews

    There's definitely a lot of good in negative reviews. It lets you portray yourself as a company that takes customer support seriously, and the kind of company that isn't afraid to respond to negative reviews and try to solve matters from the place they originated from. Other customers, upon seeing the kind of care you give to your existing customers (good and bad), will naturally feel attracted to your services because of your honesty. And not to mention that sometimes we can learn a lot about the way we do things, and the way things are working out for us when we start to notice reviews of similar nature; there's always room for improvement. Do you have any tips for handling negative reviews? Please share in the comments! Would love to know what you're doing.
  • 4 Free Tools For Making Amazing Infographics

    Thursday, March 17, 2016 by
    Create Infographics with these 4 tools In the last five years, infographics have become one of the most powerful marketing tools on the web. Mixing design, writing, and data analysis, infographics are a visually compelling communication medium that greatly assists your readers in understanding complex information by breaking down key points. Infographics are ideal for supplementing long-form studies, as they make the information significantly more digestible. Creating Free Infographics For many of you, infographics may look like they require a lot of work and design experience, which in the past they did. Today, however, remarkable tools exist online to walk you through the infographic process step-by-step, with no design experience required. In this post we'll be going over four free tools that can help your company start producing beautiful infographics for your marketing and presentation efforts.

    1. Canva

    Canva makes it incredibly efficient to whip out colorful designs in as little as five minutes. Their interface is built much like a website builder, in that what you see, is what you get. Each design stems from popular formats like social media photos, blog designs, presentations formats and more. Once you have the layout in place, you can sift through different 'elements' (grids, shapes, photos, charts) to add the overall infographic flare. The interface makes it easy to align different elements, while incorporating custom text and graphics. Cost: Free, available upgrade $9.95/month Using Canva To Make An Infographic

    2. Piktochart

    Piktochart is a little different in the sense that its formats focuses a lot more on business designs. With four primary starting points (Infographic (tall&skinny), Report, Poster, and presentation for slide decks), you can create your own from scratch, or start with one of their many templates. Much like Canva, once you have a template/format in place you can begin dragging different graphical elements and text to your canvas. Cost: Free, with upgrades starting at $15/month Use Piktochart to create an infographic

    3. Easel.ly

    Although Easel.ly doesn't have as many free templates as the prior two options, the ones they do provide are exceptionally well designed and incredibly easy to use. Make A Free Infographic with Easle.ly Within the dashboard you have all of your design options laid out in an intuitive interface that any beginner will be able to grasp in minutes. While there aren't as many free templates as some of the other sites I've mentioned, the ones they do give you have extraordinary design value.

    4. Venngage

    Very similar to Canva's interface, Venngage follows a three step process in which you 1. Choose a template 2. Add Charts, Visuals or Graphics 3. Customize your design with unique text and layout. Venngage for building infographics What I like most, is the diversity in particular topics and categories from which templates begin. With options like:
    • Statistical
    • Informational
    • Comparison
    • Process
    • Geographic
    • Timeline
    • Charts
    • Tutorial
    The flexible grids give you complete control over how the final layout looks, while still providing automatic alignment tools. Cost: Free, or upgrade to the premium account, which includes more templates for $15/month Infographic Source: http://www.freelancewriterdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/infographic-on-infographics-copy.jpg
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