19 Experts Explain Why Your Website Isn’t Bringing in Customers

They told you to build a website, so you did. They told you’d you get customers if you had a website, but that hasn’t happened.

I’ve been involved in building and marketing thousands of websites since 1999, but I realize it’s easy to get in a bubble. So I turned to 19 friends — experts at web design, SEO, copywriting, marketing and usability — to get their explanations why some websites succeed while others fail.

Their advice creates a clear plan for anyone looking to launch a site or improve existing pages.

1. Solve problems.

“Most websites are written around how great you are and not what problem you solve,” says Chris BroganNew York Times best-selling author of nine marketing and business books. ” ‘You want better skills and strategies for business? We’re here to help.’ See? “That’s the challenge. Make your buyer the hero.”

2. Focus on results, not features.

So says Jacob Cass, who runs the popular design blog JUST Creative. “Instead, tell your potential customers the benefits that your product or service will do for them,” Cass says. “A classic example of this is a drill. Customers don’t want a drill, they want a hole in the wall. So focus on the quality of the holes and how easy it was to create those holes — not the actual drill itself.”

3. Focus on your customers, not yourself.

“Your website isn’t bringing in customers because it’s focused on you and not your customers,” says Ann Handley, author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content” and Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. “Instead of focusing on what you do or what you sell or why you’re awesome, instead focus on why your customers should care. How do you help them? How do you shoulder their burdens? Ease their pain? Make their lives better/richer/smarter? That is your story.”

4. Build your brand.

“People are more likely to buy from you if the quality of what you sell is matched or surpassed by the quality of your brand identity,” says David Airey, author of branding best-seller “Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities.” In other words, build a reputation around your company, products and services, that is bigger than any of those things. That reputation will pull you toward greatness.

5. Get to know your customers before they need you.

“People don’t randomly click on stuff and buy stuff,” says Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, the world’s largest pay-per-click software company. “They favor the brands they know and love. Repeat visitors (people who have heard of you) have two to three times higher click-through rates than new visitors (people who are just getting to know you),” Kim says. “So figure out ways to get in front of your target market before they decide they need to buy your products/services.” Doing so will dramatically bias outcomes in your favor.

6. Help people to know, like and trust you.

“Your homepage covers only the ‘know’ part,” says Lior Frenkel, whose e-book “Value For Money” explains why that’s not enough. And Frenkel knows plenty as New World Early Adopter at FRNKL. “Trying to sell your services/products too early won’t get you great results. You first need them to like and trust you. You can do that by having an awesome ‘About Me’ page, by having them follow you on social or through getting them to subscribe to your newsletter.”

7. Give them a reason to come back.

“Your website isn’t bringing in customers because you have given them no reason to come back,” says Kelsey Meyer, cofounder of Influence & Co. 

“If your company blog is updated just once per month and consists only of employee updates, why would a potential customer care about returning to your site?” Meyer asks. “You convert leads into customers by earning their trust and educating them on why they need your services. Focus on producing content on your site that educates and engages your prospective customers so they keep coming back to learn more.”

8. Attract the right crowd.

“If the wrong people are hitting your website, it’s all for nothing,” says Paul Jarvis, who writes about the intersection of creativity and commerce for Fast CompanyNewsweekForbes, LifeHacker and BuzzFeed. “For example, if you sell surfboards and your traffic is mostly llama herders, no amount of conversion tactics will pay off.”

9. Get conversion-friendly.

To help turn visitors into customers, Courtright Design Founder Kyle Courtright recommends optimizing your website’s design by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is there enough space to let the design breathe?
  • Is your navigation paired-down enough?
  • Are your call to actions strategic?
  • Do your call-to-action buttons contrast against the background?
  • Do you have (relevant) imagery to break up heavy content?
  • Are testimonials prominent?

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Conversions on Your Website

10. Improve the user experience.

“One of the biggest challenges websites face today when trying to bring in and retain customers is the user experience on the site,” says Jacob Gube, who founded the all-about-web-development blog Six Revisions. He’s also cofounder of the Design Instruct online publication and author of “MooTools 1.2 Beginner’s Guide.” 

“The user-experience problem could be something as simple as having a slow website that discourages visitors from spending any time on your site, and improving it can have big results,” Gube says. “For example, Amazon increased its revenue by 1 percent after it reduced the website’s load time by 0.1 second. Amazon earned $43.7 billion in the last quarter of 2016. Imagine what a one-second increase in website load time could do for Amazon? More importantly, what could it do for you?”

Related: For Web Developers, Speed Is the New SEO

11. Provide real value, right now.

Maybe it’s not your website. Maybe it’s your product. “Companies spend far too much time trying to make their site ‘pop’ and stand out — and often forget that they still need to build a solid product or service offering in order to provide something of true value to the customer,” Pippin Williamson says. He founded Sandhills Development, the company behind products such as Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP and Restrict Content Pro. “Forget the parallax banners and flashy, over-the-top ads and just build it,” he says. “Ship it before you forget it.”

12. Know your audience.

“Maybe you designed your website to satisfy your board of directors instead of your customers,” says Jeffrey Zeldman, founder of studio.zeldman and A List Apart. Don’t trust your board. Trust research, data and the trial-and-error approach. “Effective design begins with research. And continues with more research. And never finishes researching and iterating.”

13. Make it usable first, then beautiful.

Julie Joyce owns Link Fish Media and is a columnist for Search Engine Land. She says: “It’s fairly easy to get eyes on your website. It’s not easy to keep them there longer than a few seconds. The main issue I see with this is when design seems more important than usability. I’ve seen some beautiful sites that look unique and like a lot of time has been put into them, but I can’t even figure out how to find the restaurant’s menu or the contact us page.”

14. Connect the words.

Ian Paget, a brand-identity designer and founder of Logo Geek, gives common-sense advice that’s all-too-uncommonly followed. “As the human brain is visually led, words take longer to process,” Paget says. “To help the user flow through the website seamlessly, use a technique called ‘word-connect’ to avoid interrupting the flow. As an example, if a banner or call to action states, ‘View our buy-one, get-one-free offers,’ the user would expect to see a matching page titled ‘Buy-one, get-one-free offers’. If the page title instead reads, ‘Selected Discounts,’ the words do not connect and could potentially confuse the user.”

15. Get your message across — fast.

Unbounce cofounder Oli Gardner likely has seen more landing pages than anyone alive or dead. “When I search Google for stuff I need, I hold the Control + Command buttons down and click the top five links to open them in tabs,” Gardner says. “Then I go comparison-shopping. If your landing page/homepage doesn’t explain what you do immediately, you’re done. I close the tab and delete you from my world forever. This is happening millions of times every day. Fix the clarity of your value proposition immediately, or you lose.”

16. Track the right metrics.

Tom Ross is CEO at Design Cuts — a community of graphic designers — and cohosts the Honest Designers Podcast. He says: “People tend to focus on the wrong metrics, such as traffic, presuming this translates to customers.” The things you really need are a truly valuable product and the right quality of potential leads.

“Ignore the ego boost of 100,000 freebie seekers hitting your site, and focus instead on attracting solid, laser-targeted potential leads,” Ross says. “If you offer the leading gardening fork on the market, and 100 gardeners who have just broken their gardening fork land on your page, you’ll get customers.”

17. Appeal to customers who are informed, afflicted and oblivious.

“The informed know, like and trust you,” says Derek Halpern. He founded Social Triggers and created the Sales Page That Converts training program. “The afflicted are people who have a problem and need a solution. The oblivious’are people who don’t even realize that they’re suffering from a fixable problem. And the No. 1 reason why most websites fail to make as many sales as they thought they should make is because they only appeal to one of these people when they should appeal to all three.”

18. Just focus.

“The No. 1 reason I see websites fail to bring in customers is due to a lack of focus,” says Preston Lee, founder of Millo. “When potential customers land on your site, you want to push them toward your most important objective, which is usually selling them something. So stop inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on Twitter or read your blog. Those can all be secondary goals, but they should be eclipsed by your primary goal: turning site visitors into paying customers.”

19. Get mobile.

“Your site doesn’t work on mobile. Everyone’s on mobile,” says Dann Petty, a web and app designer who created Freelance.TV. Petty was a goldmine of tips, offering up gems that answer why your website may be failing:

  • You’re too focused on cliche words. 
  • You’re not focused on free advertising: a social-media presence.
  • You forgot to build a brand.
  • No one knows how to find your site.

“Did you tweet about it this morning?” Petty asks. “Did you post something to Instagram last night? Are you keeping up with your Facebook page? If you answer no to even one of those, it’s likely a reason why.”

7 Ways to Help Ensure Your Business Succeeds

The following is an edited excerpt from Successfully Navigating the Downturn by Donald Todrin from Entrepreneur Press.

The darkest days of the Great Recession are over, so we are told, but I’m finding that sales have increased only slightly for some small-business owners, while revenue remains deeply depressed for many. While some customers are loosening up their wallets a little, it is clear purchasing habits have changed.

Deep economic changes have occurred, and business will never be the same.ADVERTISING

Entrepreneurs — whether they’re an unemployed person striking out on their own or a seasoned veteran trying to get the mojo back again — must do things differently in order to survive. Everyone must change, especially small-business owners.

Luckily, what have not changed are the business fundamentals, those management traits that successful entrepreneurs almost all possess: tenacity, commitment and vision, and basic business skills.

New strategies are required, however, strategies designed to work in a changing business climate.

I’ve had a chance to develop and implement these strategies first-hand during the recession and its aftermath — and have employed them myself. Not only have I consulted with many businesses over the years, but I’ve had a hand in running over 57 businesses of my own. I have a good idea of what works and doesn’t work today, learned in the front lines of hand-to-hand small-business combat. 

Here are seven tips that will help to ensure your business is a success:

1. Have a written plan. Without a plan, it is merely a dream. It doesn’t have to be a book, but you need a few pages outlining specific objectives, strategies, financing, a sales and marketing plan, and a determination of the cash you need to get things done. Writing it all down is a crucial first step.

2. Don’t marry your plan. Every great military general in history has known that even the best-laid plan sometimes has to be thrown in the fire when the bullets start flying. Adjust, confront and conquer.

3. Keep your ego in check and listen to others. Advisors are crucial because you need people to bounce ideas off, inspect what you’re doing, and push you to greater accomplishments, holding you accountable for what you are committing to do. Always be good to your word and follow through on commitments, even when difficult and challenging. This isn’t about you; it’s about the business. Don’t take things personally and stay out of emotion. Do not let your ego take control.

4. Keep track of everything, and manage by the numbers. Create written systems for everything, because you will reap benefits from them later on. This is how you train your employees and retain consistency. Know your numbers and check them daily and make all decisions based on what they tell you. One of the most important calculations is cash flow pro forma. Determine how much cash you need to do the business, and do not start without the required cash on hand.

5. Delegate to employees and avoid micromanaging them. A manager’s job is to delegate and then inspect progress. So don’t be a control freak. Keep business organization flat. If you delegate effectively, you will get more and better then you expect. Have an actual written training and orientation plan so your employees know what is required of them. Use an incentive-based rewards system, and maintain a no-problem attitude about issues that crop up.

6. Use the Internet. It is incredibly powerful and very cost efficient, but it takes time and some skill. It is about creating a community, using social media networking such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blogging to build rapport with your market. You need to get on the train and do it, because your competitors are.

7. Reinvent your business. It is net profit, not gross revenue, that you want to focus on. Separate yourself from your history and create a new competitive advantage, be it a focused niche or super service, but not by discounting.

Above all, have fun. Being an entrepreneur is your choice, so make it work. It can be done. You can survive, emerge and succeed in this downsized economy, if you follow the right path.

9 proven strategies to improve your small business’ sales on a tight budget

It’s a simple truth every startup has to face sooner or later: to grow your business, you need to maximize your sales. The thing is, improving your sales efforts can cost quite a bit of money — and this isn’t easy to do when you’re a young company operating on a tight budget.

So what can you do to improve sales results when your own financial resources are limited? Here are some key strategies that will help you achieve your desired outcomes without breaking the bank.

1) Start blogging

You don’t need to hire an ad agency to start producing your own blog content. A blog is a great way to share news about your product and company, industry insights and more.

When you produce content that engages your target audience, you’ll be able to generate SEO backlinks and keep users coming back to your website. Don’t be afraid to reach out as a guest blogger, either — this can be a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise, while simultaneously generating positive press for your company.

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2) Join networking groups

Joining professional organizations and networking groups is a great way to make valuable contacts and spread the word about your company. The people you meet in these organizations could help you forge valuable partnerships, provide services your business needs to succeed or even become clients.

The Netherlands is home to many of these groups, including organizations for women and groups that help Dutch entrepreneurs build relationships with international businesses.

3) Give good gifts

One of the best ways to increase interest for your product or service is to give something away for free. Whether it’s an e-book sharing valuable industry information or a 30-day free trial of your software, these types of giveaways are a great way to generate sales leads and collect valuable contact information. Getting potential customers into the sales funnel will make it that much easier to learn more about their buying habits.

4) Incentivize referrals

As valuable as your own marketing efforts may be, nothing is more persuasive than word of mouth. Your current customers can be your greatest advocates, but sometimes, they need a little extra motivation. Creating a referral program is a great way to get your customers to do your marketing for you.

Best of all, you can ensure that you only provide your “reward” when a new customer is brought onboard, keeping your marketing budget from going to waste. Whether it’s a discount on future purchases, a free month of service or a special gift, you’ll be surprised what your customers will do with a little extra incentive.

5) Join social media groups

You can’t talk about low-cost methods for improving your sales without mentioning social media. However, the most successful entrepreneurs don’t just set up Facebook and Twitter profiles for their business.

Joining industry-related groups on Facebook and LinkedIn offers many of the same benefits of an in-person networking organization. As you share genuine insights, others in your niche will become more interested in what you have to offer. If you’re feeling extra bold, you could even create your own industry-targeted group.

6) Build your email list

Regardless of whether you run a B2B or B2C business, a quality email list can play a big role in driving sales and retaining current customers — in one survey, 80% of marketers said email played a direct role in customer retention.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to build your email list. For example, MailChimp is completely free for users with less than 2,000 email subscribers. Many email services offer tiered pricing that only increases in relation to your business’ subscriber list, making it easy to stay on budget.

7) Automate

Sales and marketing tasks can take up a lot of time — and unfortunately, many of these necessary responsibilities can prove quite redundant. While not all automation tools are free, they will help you save time with tasks like social media scheduling, analytics reporting, lead nurturing and more.

With better data and less time spent on mundane or complicated tasks, you will be better positioned to make smarter business decisions that will grow your sales numbers.

8) Create public relations (PR) opportunities

Any kind of media coverage — even from local outlets — can help increase awareness for your brand. To do this, you need to create “event” opportunities that will get journalists and bloggers talking about your company.

This could include providing free community seminars, hosting or sponsoring a charity event or simply highlighting how your company creates local opportunities for economic growth. While this does require you to be bold in reaching out to reporters, the results can be well worth it.

Low-cost resources like Help a Reporter Out can also serve as a great way to connect with journalists and get your insights published in major media stories.

9) Fine-tune your sales pitch

All the previously mentioned strategies won’t do your company much good if you haven’t mastered your sales pitch. This is especially true of B2B professionals, who often need to make in-person presentations.

Learn how to make your presentation relevant to each sales lead so you can better connect your offer to their needs. Focus on benefits rather than features, and don’t be afraid to use enthusiasm and showmanship in your pitch. As you perfect your elevator pitch, you’ll be better equipped to sell your product or service anytime, anywhere and using any available method.

A small budget isn’t a bad thing

While a limited budget certainly adds its fair share of challenges to your growth efforts, working within a set of constraints and limitations can ultimately be highly beneficial for your company.

As you learn to achieve more with less, your team will be able to continue budgeting and selling effectively as your business starts to grow.

How to Increase Online Sales Fast this October (Guide)

In just the final quarter of 2018, consumers spent nearly $100 billion dollars in the retail e-commerce market alone. No wonder you want to learn how to increase online sales.

You want a chunk of that $100 billion pie.

U.S. e-commerce sales aren’t stagnant, either. They continue to grow year over year.

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Writing for Digital Commerce 360 about U.S. e-commerce retail growth, director of research and consumer insights Stefany Zaroban reveals that “e-commerce represented roughly 49.4% of all retail sales growth in 2017 (versus 41.6% in 2016).” 

Clearly, there are customers who want to spend money online. So, how do you increase online sales for your own business?

How to Increase Online Sales Fast – The Best Ways

I’ve worked with all kinds of companies — major retail, SaaS, service businesses, and more — and I’ve learned a few things about how to increase online sales fast.

You need an effective strategy that evolves over time as your business and your customers change.

Growth is not always consistent. Even if consumers are spending more money online, they’re not necessarily spending more money with your business. Even an industry giant like Target sees huge peaks and valleys.

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If you want more peaks than valleys, you have to pay attention to research and data. You also have to focus on the needs of your customers over the needs of your business.

That’s why I give away tons of free content. It’s not because I have nothing else to do with my time. I give away content to establish my brand, spread brand awareness, gain trust, and build relationships with potential customers.

Plus, I’m encouraging reciprocity. If I’m generous with my time and knowledge, customers often become generous with their cash. They want me to help them achieve the same results I’ve gotten from my strategies.

Seth Godin, a remarkable contributor to marketing worldwide, famously said, “Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.”

When I give away free content, I’m connecting with people who really want to hear what I’m saying.

You can do the same with your own content. It’s just one way to get more online sales fast. I’ve also gathered a list of other techniques you can try.

Reap trust

If you don’t believe that trust matters in business, consider the number of companies that have experienced huge financial losses subsequent to data breaches. The average data breach costs a company about $3.6 million.

CSO contributor Michelle Drolet notes, “Breaches will happen, but how you act to mitigate them has a very real impact on the bottom line.” If you can rebuild trust after it’s broken, you won’t suffer the same financial loss.

The same goes for any breach of trust. When you break promises to your customers, provide false information, or fail to publish credible content, you lose trust.

How do you build trust? There are a few best practices to follow.

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  • Keep your word: Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
  • Post trust badges: Use SSL certificate badges and similar signs of trust.
  • Remain transparent: Provide insights into your company’s inner workings.
  • Respond to customers: Answer help requests and customer support questions.
  • Admit mistakes: Don’t try to cover things up. Tell people how you’ll fix it.
  • Publish case studies: Show how you’ve achieved great things.
  • Cite sources in content: Give credit where it’s due.

Focus on these best practices to forge trust between you and your customers. You might see your revenue climb as a result.

Focus on your target audience

Figuring out how to make more sales online requires understanding exactly what your target market needs and wants.

Have you created a buyer persona yet? If not, it’s time to start. A buyer persona identifies a target consumer based on demographics, income, likes, dislikes, and other personal details.

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The more information you include in a buyer persona, the better, because you can target your audience more accurately. For instance, if you know that your target customer is a single mother with between one and three children, you can speak directly to her through marketing and advertising.

The content begins to feel more personal.

Let’s say that you sell cooking utensils. A single mom might have many pain points in the kitchen, such as a lack of room for storage. If you have smaller tools built for smaller kitchens, or combination tools that take up less space, you could easily market to that buyer persona.

Incorporate product videos

Product photos are great, especially if they’re professionally shot. However, product videos can encourage customers to put even more merchandise in their virtual baskets.

According to one case study, incorporating product videos increased the likelihood of a purchase by 144 percent. The company, Stacksandstacks.com, reveals that it’s close to a 10-to-1 ROI.

You don’t have to create a video for every product you sell. You could focus on your one or two bestsellers.

Additionally, depending on whether you’re a product- or service-oriented business, you could create explainer, demo, how-to, or testimonial videos.

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According to Switch Video, you shouldn’t just confine your videos to your website or YouTube.

In fact, incorporating video in emails can drive click-through rates up by as much as 300 percent, and 70 percent of marketers who responded to one survey cited video as the number-one factor attributed to increased conversions.

You don’t need movie-production-quality equipment. In fact, you can create a product video using nothing more than a white sheet as a backdrop and your smartphone’s camera.

However, if you want better quality, you can find a local studio in which to record. You can also find video editors on sites like Fiverr who can perfect your video at a low price.

Deploy live chat

Live chat allows your customers to converse directly with you or a chat bot. Either way, they can ask pressing questions about your products or services and get answers in real time.

Most live chat boxes look just like the instant messenger interfaces of old. They allow back-and-forth conversations, but between brands and consumers rather than friends.

When it comes to customer preference, live chat leads the field. A J.D. Power survey revealed that consumers overwhelmingly prefer live chat over email and social media communication.

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According to a study by FurstPerson, nearly 80 percent of customers won’t buy products from a company online if the brand doesn’t have live chat.

If you offer live chat with trained professionals behind the screens, your business can nurture customers as if they were talking over the phone. Each interaction becomes an opportunity to convert the customer.

Offer a guarantee

Satisfaction guaranteed — it’s not just a power ballad. Many online businesses use guarantees to help generate more sales.

Land’s End, a major online retailer, names its satisfaction guarantee as one of its core values. That’s how important the guarantee is to how the company does business.

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There’s a reason for this.

When you guarantee your product or service, you eliminate at least part of the risk in purchasing the item. Your customer doesn’t have to worry about common objections, such as whether or not they’ll like it or if it will hold up.

However, it goes further than than.

First, a guarantee sends the strong message that you stand behind your product or service. You’re willing to guarantee it because you believe in its efficacy.

Second, customers often don’t return products even if they’re dissatisfied. It takes time and effort to box up a product, buy a shipping label, arrange for the return, and check the Visa bill for the chargeback.

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Even if someone does return the product, you’ve created goodwill. And besides, nearly 70 percent of consumers won’t buy a product before looking at the returns page. If you have a guarantee, you’ll generate immediate trust.

In the video below, I share three insider tips to help you offer a money-back guarantee without having to process tons of returns.

Improve your website’s user experience

The way a potential customer understands and navigates your website can be influenced by many aspects like page layout, mobile responsiveness, and form design.

If you can’t afford a good UX developer, you can improve your website’s user experience on your own.

Start by running heat maps and scroll maps through Crazy Egg. They’ll identify the parts of your website where people are most likely to engage.

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You can make decisions about call-to-action placement, content length, sidebar inclusion, and navigation placement, among many other things. When you understand how people interpret and interact with your site, you can make more informed decisions.

Start using Crazy Egg tools!

Remove friction-creating elements on checkout pages

When a customer gets to the checkout page, you don’t want anything to get in his or her way. If the customer gets distracted, irritated, or confused, you might lose a sale.

For instance, many sites force you to create an account before you can purchase a product. For an e-commerce store, this might result in cart abandonment.

Writing for Shopify, Paul Boag succinctly states that:

“Users didn’t come to your site to create an account. They came to buy something.”

He suggests picking a better time to suggest creating an account, using Module as an example.

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Wait until after the sale, then invite the customer to create an account.

Other elements of friction can include navigation menus, sidebars, and extraneous calls to action.

If you require too many form fields, your customers might click away because they simply don’t have time to fill out every one of them. According to e-commerce research giant Baymard Institute, the average form-field total for checkout pages is 14.88, which is two times more than necessary.

Author Christian Holst says, “a fully optimized checkout flow can be as short as 7 form fields.” See if you can’t eliminate a few fields on your checkout form.

Streamline your checkout pages to reduce friction and distraction. If the page works without a particular element, remove it so the user stays focused on buying what he or she wants.

Nurture your email list with unique content

Marketers often stuff their emails full of advertising-type content, links to blog posts, and information about upcoming sales. That’s all fine and good, but adding unique content and value to your email marketing strategy might be better.

I recently received a marketing email from The Mission. It included a section with entirely new content that many subscribers would find valuable.

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There’s a link to a longer article on the topic, but the content here is almost entirely original. It stands alone as valuable information.

Consider writing unique content for your email marketing campaign instead of regurgitating old content. You can mix it up, but if you occasionally share something that’s meant only for your subscribers, you might drum up more sales.

Educational content isn’t the only way to provide value. According to the most recent research I could find, about 23 percent of consumers subscribe to email newsletters so they can get deals.

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Don’t be stingy with discounts, free trials, coupon codes, and offers of free shipping. Even if you only offer them once a month, you’ll likely see an uptick in sales.

Respond to your followers on all channels

Engagement is one of the most important metrics to track when it comes to online marketing. Your engagement is the amount of interaction you get from your subscribers, followers, and fans.

Examples of engagement could include the following:

  • Facebook likes
  • Retweets
  • Blog comments
  • Responses to social media posts
  • Email replies
  • Answers to polls and surveys

It’s easy to track engagement on social media channels. Facebook Insights, for instance, will let you track engagement by post.

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While tracking your followers’ engagement with you matters, so does your engagement with others. How often do you comment on blogs in your industry? When people leave comments on your Facebook posts, do you respond?

Simply answering, “Thanks, glad you enjoyed it,” to a comment that praises your latest blog post can spawn conversions. People know you appreciate them, so they become fans. Eventually, they might become customers.

Referring to a Salesforce report, Jon Suarez-Davis writes in AdWeek:

“Nearly 80 percent of consumers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services”

If you provide a positive experience, you’ll boost the online sales.

Try Crazy Egg Testing Tools to Increase Your Online Sales

I know that you’d love to learn how to increase online sales overnight, but although you can hasten the process with some of these tips, you also have to look at the long-haul view. When you collect accurate data, you can make better decisions for your business’s future.

With Crazy Egg, you can analyze many aspects of your website, including UX. Heat maps, for instance, will tell you where a customer clicked on a link, such as a CTA. You’ll also see where visitors stopped scrolling.

Using this information, you can deduce the reasoning behind specific visitor behaviors. If most users only scroll down half the page, maybe they’re bored by the content, or perhaps they prefer shorter content.

Once you’ve come to conclusions about user behavior, conduct A/B tests. Create two versions of a landing page, for instance, and change one element. It might be the positioning or the content of the CTA.

When the A/B test is finished, set up another test. You’re testing just one variable at a time so you can perfect every aspect of the page.

Conclusion

Figuring out how to increase online sales is simply a matter of getting to know your audience and building rapport with them. If you have a great product or service and you provide commendable customer service, you can boost your sales.

I’ve provided you with several great techniques with which to grow your sales.

Create and post product videos, use live chat, offer a guarantee, and make sure your website’s user experience is as smooth and frictionless as possible.

It also helps to nurture your email list by providing unique incentives. Test popups to see how they impact your conversion levels, and respond to your followers any time they reach out to you.

Most importantly, collect and analyze as much data as possible.

Create heatmaps, scroll maps, and confetti maps with Crazy Egg. Figure out how website visitors behave on your site so you know where to put the most important information, such as calls to action.

After you’ve run your tests and compiled the data, make changes based on what you’ve learned. You can then create two versions of each page and A/B test their elements one by one. A/B testing only works when you have data to back up your decisions in the first place.

If you’re consistent with these techniques, you can increase online sales consistently.

A Quick Guide to Developing a Social Media Strategy

The internet has opened up multiple opportunities for business to reach millions of potential followers to buy/use their specific product or service. Social Media has changed the way we interact, with it not only being a great way to keep in touch with friends and family but to view and purchase a multitude of different things. If you are a small business that cannot afford a full social media team, then here are a few quick steps to get you effectively sharing content that will keep your users engaged and ultimately grow your brand.

Define Your Goals

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are – Builder, Dentists, Restaurant Owner or a small eCommerce store – you need to have defined achievable goals that reflect your brand. If you are a new business, increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers may be in your 0-3 month checklist. For those more established brands, generating X amount of sales per week through ads generated on social platforms converting through highly targeted landing pages may be the specific goal. Whatever it is for your channel, make sure you determine the right one. Do your research and figure out how you should be promoting your brand along each stage of the sales funnel

Do Your Research

There are so many aspects here that will help you strategise appropriately for each channel;

  1. Who are your competitors?
  2. What channels are they using?
  3. What messaging is interacting well with their audience?
  4. Demographics of your audience – age, income, gender, interests, hobbies.
  5. Geographics of your audience – location, state, country. 
  6. Your audience’s pain points/goals
  7. Why your target audience would desire your services/goods in order to solve their problem.

Select Appropriate Channels

There is no point setting goals, creating amazing content and then posting it to the wrong channel. Figure out where your ideal audience is spending most of its time instead of posting across the main platforms just because of their popularity. For example, although you may favour Facebook over Instagram, your audience may spend an extra 4 hours on Instagram a week. Try specialising in your most active platform, build, nurture and sustain your online community before testing and wasting your time on another one that your community may not even be on. 

Understand Your Audience

This step is crucial! If you are sending the wrong message to your audience, then this can cause people to unfollow and lose complete trust in your brand. Have you created your audience personas – their demographics, wants, needs and pain points? You need to get into their head to figure out why they want your product or service and focus your messaging around that. If you have figured out your audience and are targeting them the right way, expand on their pain points by getting them to interact with specific brand/consumer surveys. This will help guide you on how to improve your product and service.

Define Your Brand

Following your brand guidelines could never be more important. Have you ever spent time trying to find a brand on one social platform but they have changed their name or tag line? This can be extremely frustrating for those that are at the purchasing stage of the funnel and are wanting to instantly buy something – but cannot actually find you. Keeping your colours, tone, voice and brand consistent across all your channels is a must. Your followers will engage, trust and be loyal to you. Take Nike and McDonalds for an example – their branding is extremely recognisable and not much has changed over the many years of being in the market. People understand who they are, what they do and their logo can be instantly recognised. Once you have established a strong and recognisable brand, then your audience is more likely to feel comfortable with you, that you are providing a great reliable and consistent product or service. 

Never Stop Learning

By understanding all of the above steps, you will determine what is the best way to reach, engage and convert your target consumers. Although all this research will see you through the short term, never stop researching and following your users around to see how, what, when and why they are purchasing. Set quarterly goals to revisit your strategy to see if it’s still relevant and timely. If you need to change a few things up, then go for it. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but just make sure you are watching the reactions of those you are testing on. If they are not engaging, try something different and if they are, see how deep or far you can take it – you may have opened up a window of opportunity that you never thought possible. 

Content: digitaldoughnut.com

7 Reasons why social media will boost your business and increase sales

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. And if you are not applying this profitable source, you are missing out an incredible marketing opportunity, as it makes it easy to spread the word about your product and mission.

Improved brand awareness

Social media is one of the most stress-free and profitable digital marketing platforms that can be used to increase your business visibility. To get started, create social media profiles for your business and start networking with others. By applying a social media strategy, it will help you significantly increase your brand recognition. By spending only a few hours per week, over 91% marketers claimed that their social marketing efforts greatly increased their brand visibility and heightened user experience. Undoubtedly, having a social media page for your brand will benefit your business and with a regular use, it can also produce a wide audience for your business in no time.

Cost-effective

For an advertising strategy, social media marketing is possibly the most cost-effective way. Creating an account and signing up is free for almost all social networking platforms. But if you decide to use paid advertising on social media, always start small to see what you should expect. Being cost-effective is important as it helps you attain a greater return on investment and hold a bigger budget for other marketing and business payments. Just by investing a little money and time, you can significantly increase your conversion rates and ultimately get a return on investment on the money that you primarily invested.

Engage with your customers

Social media is a good way for engaging and interacting customers. The more you communicate with the audience, the more chances you have of conversion. Set up a two-way communication with your target audience so that their wishes are known and their interest is catered with ease. Moreover, communication and engagement with customers is one the ways to win their attention and convey them your brand message. Thus, your brand will reach more audience in real terms and gets itself established without any hassle.

Improved brand loyalty

When you have a social media presence, you make it easier for your customers to find you and connect with you. By connecting with your customers through social media, you are more probable to upsurge customer retention and customer loyalty. Since developing a loyal customer base is one of the main goals of almost any business. Customer satisfaction and brand loyalty typically go hand in hand. It is essential to often engage with your customers and start developing a bond with them. Social media is not just limited to introducing your product, it is also a leading platform for promotional campaigns. A customer sees these platforms as service channels where they can directly communicate with the business. 

Healthier customer satisfaction

Social media plays a vital role in networking and communication platform. With the help of these platforms, creating a voice for your company is important in improving the overall brand image. Customers appreciate the fact that when they post comments on your page, they receive a modified reply rather than a computerized message. A brand that values its customers, takes the time to compose a personal message, which is perceived naturally in a positive light.

Marketplace awareness

One of the best ways to find the needs and wants of your customers instead of directly communicating with them is Marketplace awareness. It is also considered as the most valuable advantage of social media. By observing the activities on your profile, you can see customers’ interest and opinions that you might not know otherwise if you didn’t have a social media presence. As a complementary research tool, social media can help you get information and a better understanding of your industry. Once you get a large following, you can then use additional tools to examine other demographics of your consumers.

More brand authority

For making your business more powerful, brand loyalty and customer satisfaction both play a major role, but it all comes down to communication. When customers see your company posting on social media, especially replying to their queries and posting original content, it helps them build a positive image in their minds. Regularly interacting with your customers proves that you and your business care about them. Once you get a few satisfied customers, who are vocal about their positive purchase experience, you can let the advertising be done for you by genuine customers who appreciated your product or service.

Increased traffic

One of the other benefits of Social Media is that it also helps increase your website traffic. By sharing your content on social media, you are giving users a reason to click-through to your website. On your social account, the more quality content you share, the more inbound traffic you will generate while making conversion opportunities.

Enhanced SEO rankings

Social media presence is becoming a vital factor in calculating rankings. These days, to secure a successful ranking, SEO requirements are continuously varying. Therefore, it is no longer enough to simply optimize your website and regularly update your blog. Businesses sharing their content on social media are sending out a brand signal to search engine that speaks to your brand validity, integrity, and constancy.

Final words

There is no denying that Social media marketing has many advantages for startups and established brands. By regular updating the right social media marketing strategy, it will lead to increased traffic, better SEO, improved brand loyalty, healthier customer satisfaction and much more. Your competition is already increasing on social media day by day, so don’t let your competitors take your probable customers. The earlier you start, the faster you see the growth in your business.

5 Must-Have Website Features for Small Business

Every small business needs a website in today’s digitally connected world. Without a website, clients and customers will struggle to find you, resulting in drastically reduced sales and missed opportunities. It takes more than just a generic site with little-to-no content to succeed, however. To strengthen your small business’s digital footprint on the web, make sure your website is equipped with the five following features.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a must-have feature for all business websites. Using this free tool, you can track channels for data analytics purposes, monitor bounce rate, exit rate, unique page views, total page views, average time spent per page and more. Using this information, you can then create custom-tailored content designed for your site’s audience.

Site Search Analytics

Google Analytics can give you useful information about how people are getting to your site and what they’re doing there, but information about whythey’re behaving that way needs to be inferred from the data.

Responsive Design

Responsive web design is an important feature that can increase your website’s traffic and authority. As explained by Google, responsive sites automatically adjust viewport sizes based on the device on which they are viewed. When a user visits your site on a mobile device, it changes the design to create the best possible viewing experience. There are several ways to create a mobile-friendly website, but responsive web design is the only method recommended by Google.

Brand Elements

Don’t forget to include your business’s brand elements on your site. When users visit your website, you want them to immediately associate it with your company. Therefore, you should include your business’s brand elements like your logo, slogan and color scheme. Incorporating these elements into your site will reinforce your business’s brand.

Social Media Links

Finally, include links to your business’s social media accounts and profiles on your site. Each Facebook like or Twitter tweet is a signal of trust. And the more trust signals your site has, the higher the chance of converting visitors into customers or clients.

These are just a few must-have features for your small business’s website. I understand that you have limited time, so I’d like to be part of the solution that implements these features and more with minimal time suck. Help me help you

NNPC debunks Fuel Scarcity Rumours: “Over 1bn Ltrs of petrol in stock”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has quelled rumours of impending fuel scarcity across the country.

This was revealed in a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation’s General Manager in charge of Public Affairs.

The statement added that the Group has over 1 billion litres of petrol in stock “while imports of 48 vessels of 50mln ltrs each have been committed for April 2019 alone”.

See statement below:

@NNPCgroup has once again appealed to Nigerians to disregard trending social media report of an impending fuel scarcity due to purported refusal by some oil marketers to lift products from depots.

The @NNPCgroup in a release this evening by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, @NduUghamadu, explained that the tale was fabricated by mischief makers with intent to create undue panic in the prevailing sanity in the fuel supply and distribution matrix across the country.

@NNPCgroup informed that it has over 1bln litres of petrol in stock while imports of 48 vessels of 50mln ltrs each have been committed for April 2019 alone, noting that there was no need for panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products in anticipation of a phantom scarcity.

The @NNPCgroup Spokesman said the pump price of petrol remains N145 per litre.

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