Helping Business Get Digital

5 Ways Your Website Could be Costing You Money

Modern technology has improved at an alarming rate over the last decade, with the internet at the forefront of each and every single one of these advancements. Smart phones and tablet devices are now a part of everyday life, and you can even now use them to do your banking and to pay for items and services. You can even pay for items and services using digital currency, namely the bit coin. Yes, technology is most certainly king and for that reason, if you want to stand any chance of succeeding within the business world, you need to embrace it and get with the times.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small your business may be, the simple fact of the matter is that if you want to stand any chance of succeeding, you will need to own a website for your business, and if you want your business to flourish in these new times, your website will need to do more than the days of old. It will need to work for you. If your website is outdated, neglected, or just simply poorly designed this could potentially be costing you thousands in lost revenue every single month.

If your business is suffering and you’re not quite sure why, maybe, just maybe, your website could be to blame? Here’s a look at 5 ways in which your website could potentially be costing you new business.

Your site does NOT have a clear call to action – One of the best ways of actually getting what you want is to ask for it, and in simple terms, that is essentially exactly what a “call to action” is. On your site it is your job to encourage, or even to direct your customers towards exactly what it is that you would like them to do once they’ve finished browsing your services and/or products.

Exactly what you require them to do will of course depend on what your business is all about. Do you want them to sign up for a free trial? If so, a simple hyperlink linking to the “free trial” page, with the text ‘Click here for your free trial” is all that you need to do. Do you want them to browse your service or products? If so, ‘Click here to browse our full range of products/services’ etc. Place these clickable links strategically throughout your website’s content, ensuring you don’t overwhelm the customers with too much text or content.

It’s essentially the same as using bait while fishing. A few carefully placed links with simple call to action text will bait customers into clicking them, seeing your products, seeing something they like the look of, and purchasing it whilst making you a tidy profit in return.

Your site layout sucks – On average, a new visitor to your website only spends six seconds evaluating whether to stay on your site or to click the back button and go somewhere else. If your website’s most important information is buried under the fold, then there is a pretty good chance it’s not being seen. The layout of your website is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when creating a new site for your business. Although there are a number of “create your own” websites out there that cost little to nothing at all, it is advisable to always hire professional web designers to create and design your website for you.

You should think about what you want each page to say, and then look for ways of saying it using as minimal text as possible. Hey, if you have a knack for writing, that’s great that’s what your blog is for.

But most our potential customers will be visiting your website to browse your products and services, not to read long walls of text. They want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly and as easily as possible. Make sure you keep the text to a minimum, don’t try to include too many images, and make sure each page is well balanced.

Your design is outdated – A great website design can validate to consumers that your business is a legit, professional business that they want to patronage. It can either boost your reputation or turn potential consumers away.

If you’re trying to save money by doing it yourself, you could actually be losing potential customers, and in the end, losing money. By taking design into their own hands, small business owners cause themselves more headaches and risk by ending up with a poorly designed and planned out website. Not surprisingly, 41% of small business owners who are unhappy with their current website say design/aesthetic is one of their top priorities

So do it right the first time. Hire a professional web design service and make sure your website looks contemporary, attractive, and allows customers to easily engage with your business.

You don’t have any social networking links – Social networking is now a part of everyday life, and whether you like it or not, it looks set to stay that way for the foreseeable future. First off, if you don’t have several social networking pages created for your business, you need to consider getting them set up ASAP. Social networking is ideal as it’s a great source of free, or very cheap marketing and advertising, millions upon millions of people use these pages, and it’s an ideal way of potentially drumming up more business.

Once you do have several social networking pages created, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest etc, you will then need to ensure that you provide links to each page from your website. Linking to social networking pages is ideal because it allows you a way of keeping in touch with potential customers, and keeping them up to date with what’s going on. So let’s say you are having a sale. People love sales right? By promoting this sale through social networking sites, you have a direct line of communication to people who are already interested in what you’re selling.

Your friends, fans and followers then see the amazing deal your offering and will likely take advantage of it because you’re speaking directly to your target audience. We spoke about calls to action earlier and social networking links are prime examples of how effective a call to action can be. Simple text such as “Stay Informed by liking us on Facebook” with a direct link to your Facebook page is all that is required, and it’s proven to be extremely effective.

Your site is not mobile-friendly – As mentioned previously, smart phones and tablet devices are now extremely common, with close to 50% of all US citizens actually owning at least one of these devices. For that reason, more and more people are using these devices to browse the web, rather than laptops or computers. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then you need to rectify this issue as soon as possible, as again, you could be losing out on a lot of customers.

Websites that aren’t user friendly show up incredibly small on the screens of smart phones, forcing the user to have to enlarge the text and to then scroll left, right, up, and down, every few sentences. If there are any clickable tabs or links on the page, they often inadvertently get clicked by accident, which is extremely frustrating for the user. Rather than spending 10 times as long as normal to simply read a few paragraphs, the user will instead search for a much simpler alternative, namely one of your competitors with a mobile friendly website.

Mobile friendly websites recognize when a user is browsing via a smart phone and will display the text in the perfect size for your device’s screen. This means you won’t need to enlarge the text, you won’t accidently click on the wrong page, and you won’t need to scroll left and right every few words. You simply read the text and scroll down as you go. It’s simple but it works and works so much better than the non-friendly alternative.

Your contact information is hard to find– Studies and expert research have both found that including your contact information on every single page of your website is the most effective way of maximizing your potential to increase and boost your sales.

Many businesses make the mistake of placing their contact information solely on their ‘contact us’ page, or sometimes not at all. Visitors don’t want to navigate through different pages just to find a telephone number or email address. Visitors want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. You can easily eliminate any frustration by listing your business phone number, your operating hours and business email address situated at the top and bottom of every page.

For further benefit make sure to include links to your social networking pages with your contact information. The easier you are to get hold of, the more likely you will be to land yourself extra leads, and sales. You get the results you want, as does the customer as they easily get to find exactly what it is they’re looking for without wasting time by navigating through page after page.

How to Get Your YouTube Viewers To Take Action

A common mistake business owners make in video marketing is to make a great video, upload it and then do nothing, and yet wonder why they never sell anything. The truth of the matter is that any self-respecting local business wants to ring up sales not just to entertain or inform people.

The problem is that we are often reluctant to pinpoint exactly what we want to accomplish. So as a business owner, ask yourself: what exactly do I want the viewer to do after seeing this video?

Do I want them to opt-in to my email list?
Do I want them to buy a product?
Do I want them to visit my blog?
Do I want them to join my Facebook fanpage?’
Do I want them to Tweet me?

Once you know the specific action you want your potential viewer to take, then tell them to do just that. Craft your copy to include your call -to -action message in these three areas of your video:
Within your video content
Within your annotation text
Within your description

Here are a few call- to- action sentences you may use:
This video shows just one-way to use our product. Get more free tips when you purchase this amazing product by visiting my blog at abc.com/blog
Click here to watch more cosmetic surgery videos
Sign up for our free newsletter on interior decoration by clicking this link

By doing this, you will be able to see tangible results from your video marketing. Better yet, you will be able to accurately measure how effective a particular video campaign helping you to know what works and what doesn’t work. For example you will know which copy works better, which videos bring in more sales conversions, which videos generate more opt-ins and so on.

 

Visit my You Tube channel to see samples of our Videos that we can customise for YOUR BUSINESS

Local business video marketing success stories

Here are four stories of local business owners who have profited greatly from the viral nature of video marketing after using YouTube to market their businesses. I hope these stories will inspire you to think creatively about how you can promote your local business on YouTube and to actually believe that it can be done in any niche.

1. Charles Smith. YouTube channel: smithpots
Since Charles Smith of Atlanta, Georgia started marketing his pottery business using videos on YouTube, he no longer needs to go on long and expensive drives from town to town, hoping to get orders from art fairs and galleries. His videos attract more buyers from around the world and better yet it’s free. Viewers are amazed to watch him create works of art from scratch and then shatter them to pieces at the end of the video.

This video has had 17,353 views

 

2. Blendtec. YouTube channel: blendtec
This Utah based company has had great success marketing it industrial strength blenders on YouTube, generating almost five million views on some of its videos. It’s unusual but highly entertaining videos dubbed “Will it blend?” show its blenders attempt to blend just about any object imaginable from iphones to marbles. Retail sales grew from$2million to$10million in 2 years which is a very good return on the $50 it cost to produce the original 5 videos that generated over 35million views.

This video has 18,414,148views. Do you remember the will it blend series

 

 

3. Gdiapers YouTube channel: gdiapers
This company distributes eco-friendly diapers and realized videos were the right medium to educate its customers on how to use and dispose the diapers and to know a little something about the founders of the company. The company has seen its revenues grow in leaps and its videos become the most popular feature on its website.

This video has had 30,031 views


4. Front Point Security YouTube channel: secureyourhome
This Virginia home security company struggled to explain the benefits of its user-friendly security system through the conventional way using sales personnel and so turned to producing short 2 minute instructional videos. Those worked like a charm, increasing sales from its website by 250 % and generating thousand of views.

 

As you can see videos can bring your business lots of traffic.

Need a video for your Business Contact us now 

 

Important Twitter tools for local business to use.

People have mixed views about twitter and there are certain ways you can use it. What you need to remember is that you only have 144 characters so you need your message to be concise. Below are a number of tools you can use to use Twitter effectively

Link Shorteners
These shorten your urls and some also help track your click-through rates. Examples include bit.ly, tinyurl, tr.im and ow.ly

Tweeting tools
Tweetdeck: helps you arrange your business tweets by topic, message and keywords
Hootsuite: a free tool to use if you require multiple accounts with different users and profiles
Cotweet- allows your employees to all tweet your customers through a single account.
Twitpic, TwitGoo, yfrog, img.ly – take pictures with your phone and post directly to Twitter

Marketing tools
Tweetmeme- enables your followers to retweet your tweets and spread word about your business. This tool can also tell you how many times your tweet has been retweeted across the site.
TwtQpon-helps you create exclusive deals and tweet them to your followers
Twitterhawk –allows you to send a customized response to people within your locale who are tweeting about your products and services
Twitbacks.com and Twittergallery.com – helps you improve the design of your business Twitter page
TweepSearch or TwitSeeker –these tools help you search users in your city and state.

Directories
Twellow- considered the Yellow Pages of Twitter enabling your business to find categories or groups of users and to be found by them too.
Just tweet it: alerts you of new tweeters in your industry
Friendorfellow.com- this tool shows you which of your followers reciprocates tweets to your business and which ones don’t.
Twitoria- this tool shows you the activity trends over time of your followers
Wefollow.com- a directory of Twitter users arranged by keywords you wish your local business to be known for.

Tracking tools
Twittercounter- runs a count of your followers over time
Twitalyzer- offer in-depth analytic data about your business’s Twitter operations.

Monitoring tools
Search.twitter.com- a free tool that provides RSS feeds on keywords that are of interest to your local business
Tweetbeep.com- alerts you whenever your desired keywords are mentioned on Twitter like the name of your local business, products and services or whatever keywords you provide.

Get More User Engagement with Captivating Videos

Whether you are just starting to make marketing videos or have been doing it for a while, you may wonder which forms of video promotion are most likely to get you the results you want.

 

You know your business better than anyone else does; so part of deciding what format to use will be thinking about your customers and deciding what type of video will do the best job of promoting your product or service.

 

However, it’s also important to know which formats garner the most user engagement.

 

  • 2-D Animation. 2-D animation is a great (and creative) way to promote your business or explain your product. Animation is always popular. The downside of this kind of video is that you will need to hire a professional animator to do it for you.

 

  • 3-D Animation. Like 2-D animation, 3-D animation is enormously popular. It has a depth and complexity that 2-D animation doesn’t have. It is also quite a bit more expensive to produce. However, if your budget allows for it, 3-D animation can be hugely effective.

 

  • Live Action. Whether you are casting yourself, professional actors, or employees, live action video is always popular. Customers want to see themselves in the products they buy, and it’s a lot easier for them to do that when there are real people in a marketing video. If you hire professional actors the costs can add up, but the increased production value can make a big difference in terms of user engagement and sharability.

 

  • Infographics. If you sell a very technical product or service, producing a video infographic might be the best way to explain what you do – and to convince viewers to contact you. Infographics help viewers absorb information by presenting it visually. Infographics can also be a great tool for B2B marketing. A professional graphic designer can help you put together a compelling infographic – all you need to do is provide the data. Infographics are frequently a type of 2-D or 3-D animation, so keep that in mind.

 

  • Screencast. A screencast video is the best way to demonstrate tips, ideas, demos, and other valuable information. If showing viewers the functionality of a technical product is what you’re trying to do, then you should strongly consider a screencast. Another benefit to this format is that it’s one of the least expensive to produce. You could do it yourself using software you can find online.

 

  • Whiteboard videos. If the idea of your product or service is sketchable, you might consider doing a whiteboard video. Basically, this type of video consists of a hand drawing an illustration of a product, service, or story on a whiteboard. These videos are played at a higher speed to keep your audience glued until the end.

 

In order to convert viewers into new customers, your videos need to be grab – and hold – attention with a captivating style, smooth animations, and overall professional delivery; this is exactly what these types of videos can accomplish for you.

Tips for Creating a Great “How-To” Video

“How to” Explainer videos are one of the most effective ways to use video to promote your business. For the most part, customers are not going to watch a long sales pitch. They might sit through a 30 second pitch if you make it entertaining or interesting enough, but if you want to keep them engaged for a longer period of time you will have to offer them something relevant and useful.

A well-produced how-to video can sell your product or business more effectively than a traditional commercial – without actually “selling.”

 

There are several different things you can do with a how-to video. For example, you can:

 

  • Demonstrate a product
  • Show different ways to use a product
  • Give customers a behind-the-scenes look at how you make a product
  • Introduce your services

 

Any one of these can make for an entertaining and informative video. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you make a how-to video that your customers will love.

 

  1. Research the competition.

Do some YouTube searches to see what other how-to videos are there, and try to find a unique way to present your information.

 

  1. Plan out your video by breaking it down into steps. Even if your demonstration is going to be largely visual, you need to write down step-by-step instructions to make sure you are not missing anything.

 

  1. Get somebody who has never seen your product or service to read the steps and see if they can understand them and they are clear. As you are probably very familiar with your subject it can be easy to skip over important steps or explanations because you take them for granted. Incorporate your reader’s questions into your written explanation. Keep refining it until you have it exactly right.

 

  1. Think about the best way to visually demonstrate what you have written. Brainstorm some ways to make it interesting or entertaining.

 

  1. If you are demonstrating a product, focus less on its features and more on the benefits it will provide to your customers. Remember, the emphasis of all online marketing should be on providing value to your customers, not on talking about yourself.

 

  1. Write a script (or hire someone to write it) incorporating your instructions and the visual ways you will demonstrate them.

 

  1. Invest in good production. Having great video and sound quality will keep people watching. A poorly-produced video may have the opposite effect from the one you intended.

 

  1. Optimize your video for search engines. Use a target keyword in the file name of your video and in the meta description when you post it on video-sharing sites.
  2. Write a transcript of the video to include on your page or video description box. People have different learning methods so it is good to include the written instructions or transcript as well as the video

 

  1. Plan where and when you will release your video so you reach all areas. Figure out where and when you are going to share it. For example, you might share it on your website, post it on YouTube, and share it on your social media sites.

 

A well-produced how-to video will increase your authority status, educate your target audience, and boost your bottom line as a result.