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Posts Tagged 'website'

Finding Blog Topic Inspirations

Posted in: Blogging Tips

Finding Blog Topic Inspirations

I know my website needs a blog. But what to write about?

This question is repeated to me time and again by clients. I even asked the same question when I began blogging. Then one day it hit me … I spend several hours a week answering clients questions over the phone and via email why not leverage this work?

This approach has proved invaluable to me as a blogger. By posting blogs inspired by client questions I accomplish many things.

  • First, I know my posts are relevant to my readers. As the saying goes, “If you have a question ask it. You are not the only person in the room who is wondering the same thing”.
  • Second, my posts are related to my work and thus on topic with the rest of my website. This translates into an increase in relevant content for my website, a powerful component of SEO.
  • Third, it gives me an opportunity to extend conversations beyond one person. Where an e-mail only connects me with one person, a blog opens up the conversation to the world.

So that is where I find my inspiration. Where do you find yours?

Online Shopping & Building Customer Relationships

Posted in: Connecting with Your Customers

Online Shopping & Building Customer Relationships website web page web business visitor testimonials site sense of security reliability product descriptions page Marketing lasting impression good first impression good business form familiarity doing business Design dedicated customer service customer business relationship business owners business owner business building trust building customer loyalty Interacting with visitors in a virtual store and making the connection isn’t as hard as you think.

Shopping online is becoming increasingly popular and many enterprises are doing business through the Internet. However, a traditional store instills a greater sense of security and reliability for the customer as compared to an online store.

Online stores cannot ensure the physical assurance but they can develop their relationship with the customers by building trust and familiarity through their websites.

  1. A well designed website will create a good first impression
    The one principle that is common to both traditional and online stores is that business owners must think like their customers. This helps to get to know the customers better and anticipate their needs. Traditionally, methods for building customer loyalty ranged from offering dedicated customer service to conveniently placing the goods in the store. Similar methods can be extended to an online store/web business in the form of a well designed website that is easy to navigate and provide customer service that includes prompt shipping of the goods.
  2. Familiarity builds trust
    In order to make a lasting impression on the first time visitor the webpage must convey a feeling of familiarity when he/she views the homepage. A website that sells clothes should have pictures of the items of clothing being marketed by it. A website selling garden supplies can be designed to look like a garden shed in order to incorporate the familiar concept of a garden store that the customer is used to. Retaining the visitor’s interest is the beginning of a good business relationship.
  3. Customers appreciate assistance while shopping
    In case of an online store, you must have a web page where customers can get information on the products you are marketing. This may be in the form of an FAQ page or you could provide the product descriptions along with a picture of the product. You may also place testimonials received from your customers at strategic locations on your site so that visitors are assured of the reliability of your goods or services.
    Assure the customer that your financial transactions are performed on a 128-bit encryption system. This can be done by displaying the fact prominently on the sales confirmation page so that customers are aware of this security measure.
  4. Make efforts to improve on the relationship that your website has created
    Once the visitor makes the first purchase, you must make sure that he returns to your site for more. You may do this by offering helpful tips and helpful material on the relevant subject. Offering perks and discounts on purchases made can be other options. You may invite visitors to subscribe to your newsletter and interact with them on issues related to your business and products.

Building customer relationships in the online world may be a difficult task, but by letting your website speak for itself, you can build up trust among your users.

What’s your best online shopping experience? Did you change the way you interacted with online shoppers that made a big difference? Share your story.

Understanding Website Traffic with Google Analytics

Posted in: Increase Traffic to your Website

Understanding Website Traffic with Google Analytics

Often people come to me frustrated and saying:

“My website’s not working!”

Ok, but what does that mean?

“My website is not getting enough business.”

Got it!

However, before we can begin “fixing” your website we need to understand what aspects are working and which are not.

This is where Google Analytics is a key component to the successful growth of your business. If you don’t have Google Analytics, you won’t know where your online sales process is failing you and where in the chain you’re doing well.

Google Analytics tells you:

  1. How people are finding your website
  2. What your visitors are doing on your site

Today we are going to look at #1:  How people are finding your website

Customers may come to your website from several different sources.

They may arrive at your website by: 

  1. Direct path. 
    Meaning, they have typed in your specific URL. For example, from your business card.
  2. Referral link. 
    They clicked on a link from somewhere outside of your website domain that brought them to your website. For example, perhaps an article or piece of information you wrote that was published outside of your website’s domain which contained a link to your website. Maybe you mentioned something on Facebook, wrote an article on Biznik or you were featured as a guest blogger.
  3. Search Engine. 
    The user typed keywords and phrases for the product or service they are searching for. Your website was listed in the search results with a high enough ranking that you could be seen. The user clicked on this link to get to your site.
  4. Direct email marketing. 
    People who have signed up to receive email updates from you click on a link within the email that directs the user to your site.

Google Analytics allows you to clearly see which paths are effective in getting people to your website and which ones are not. By understanding the paths of how people find your website, you will be able to manage your time and advertising dollars more effectively.

Which referral links brought in the most visitors? 

  • For example, if you are getting more traffic from LinkedIn and zero traffic from Twitter you can now analyze why your are not getting results from Twitter. More than likely it’s because you’re not doing a great job presenting yourself on Twitter or your target audience doesn’t hang out on Twitter. By using Google Analytics you’ll be able to see which social media mediums are working the hardest for your business.
  • If you’re a writer, take a look at your featured articles and guest blog posts. Maybe an article on Biznik drives a good amount of traffic, but alternatively a blog post featured on “X” website didn’t drive any traffic to your site. Alternatively a blog post on “X” site drove a great deal of traffic to your site while your “Y” post on a different website had zero click through results. With Google Analytics you’ll be able to determine which referral links are effective to driving traffic to your website.
  • Say you spend money to get yourself listed in a directory and leads (click-throughs to your site) are not generated from this listing, you know this isn’t a good investment for your business and you won’t list with them the following year. Analytics gives you tools to make wiser investment decisions.

Which pages of your site gets the most traffic? 

  • It will be clear to see what links (and in turn what topics and keywords) are most effective and found most frequently used by visitors. You’ll find there are some referral links that will have more impact than others. Certain blog posts are considered really hot from the search engine perspective. When this happens you’ll want to be sure to link this back to your website and comments on your products.

What keywords are being used to find you? 

  • Being able to see what repeat phrases people are using to find you will help create greater visibility in the future if you use these keywords in your blog posts and web pages. Incorporate keywords into your website. Being seen by search engines greatly increases your chances of being seen by a human visitor.

Utilizing the internet to generate business is a two part process. We’ve covered the first step, which is figuring out which path your user takes to get to your website. Next we need to look at what visitors do once they get to your website

If Google Analytics sounds like it would be useful to you and your business, check out the video I made on How to Install Google Analytics on your WordPress Website

Mobile Website Tips: Plugins vs Responsive Design

Posted in: Effective Website Design, Increase Traffic to your Website

Mobile Website Tips: Plugins vs Responsive Design


Recent studies reveal that as much of 40% of mobile users turn to competitors sites, after having a bad mobile experience.

You can’t afford a bad mobile site! 

  

If you’re a WordPress user, when it comes to ensuring that your website is mobile user friendly, you have two ways to go about it:

  1. Choose a WordPress theme that has a responsive design built in. This mean that your website will be displayed correctly, including images and everything on your website will adjust to accommodate screens of different sizes, using different media queries. 

  2. Choose a plugin that instantly creates a mobile version of your site.

Now the questions is: Which option is better? 

Do I go with a responsive design or a plugin? Let’s look at each option in turn.

1. Responsive Themes 

Responsive themes are becoming more and more common these days, especially as we move into an age where almost half of mobile users are smartphone users. Where in the last year the number of individuals who have accessed web information has more than doubled worldwide.

By having a responsive design, this takes one less step out of creating a functional website for any user, mobile or not – creating less work for you. You will only have one theme to keep up to date and no matter who is visiting your site, you have one look and feel, creating a strong, consistent brand image, which is incredibly important when marketing. 

If you’re not sure where to start, start by reading reviews about responsive themes on websites such as TripWire Magazine or WPThemeLabs. And for more a more in depth look at responsive themes and how they function, you should check out articles by Josh Byeres’s at StudioPress.  

2. Mobile Plugins

If you already have put a lot of time and energy into your website and you didn’t use a responsive theme, you may be thinking, “Isn’t there a plugin that can eliminate the work of having to choose a new theme and redesign my entire website? I just don’t have the time!”. Although this isn’t ideal, you have a few options.

WP Touch Pro is a well designed and supported mobile plugin.  It works by detecting devices like iPhones, iPads, Android & and more, and displaying its mobile theme instead of your regular desktop theme.

While this may sound wonderful, it is important to realize that it does have some limitations. First, some of the custom functions that your current theme has that might not be supported. This will result in part of your page not being displayed or being displayed incorrectly.

Also, mobile plugins are geared more to blogs than business websites. As a result, they often strip away most of the website design leaving only the core page content displayed to the viewer. While this works well for a blog whose job is to communicate content it is less effective for a business website who also cares about controlling the full user experience on their website.

My Suggestion:

If you have a small business - invest in a theme that is responsive. It will save you time and money in the long run. 

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