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5 ways your business is costing you future business opportunities

5 ways your website is costing you new business

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 If your website is outdated, neglected, or just simply poorly designed this could potentially be costing you thousands in lost revenue every single month.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.

 

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7 Conversion Tricks To Engage Your Audience

7 Conversation Starters to Get Your Audience Talking

You can’t read anything about marketing these days without reading about engaging your customers. But what does that really mean?

Engaging means capturing someone’s attention – connecting – and having a conversation. Not easy to do on the internet, particularly when there are millions of other things clamoring for attention at the same time.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means you need to try harder.

The thing is, your customers want to talk to you. They want to know what you think, and most importantly, they want to believe that you care what they think.

It’s not as hard as you might think. Here are 7 simple conversation starters to get your audience talking to you.

#1: Express an Opinion about Industry News

You want to build authority within your industry or niche? One of the best ways to do that AND start a conversation with your followers is to express an opinion – particularly if it might be new or controversial. Of course, you should only do this if you can back up your opinion.

A good way to get started with this tactic is to follow relevant publishers and influencers in your industry. When you see them post a piece of news that’s relevant to your followers, read the article (or watch the video) and figure out what you can add to the conversation. Then share it – and make sure to include a call to action that encourages your followers to chime in with their own opinions.

#2: Ask for Stories and Experiences

Everybody has a story to tell – and when you’re speaking to an audience who all have something in common with you, then it’s easy to think of a topic that may inspire people to share their stories.

The key here is to share your own story and then ask your followers to share their best stories with you. For example, say you own a travel agency. You might tell a story of a trip you booked for yourself before you were a travel agent and how it went wrong. Then, you could ask your followers for their travel horror stories.

The benefit of this type of sharing is that it provides you with an opportunity to respond, express sympathy or amazement, and build a bond with potential customers online.

#3: Get Recommendations

People might love to tell stories, but do you know what else they like? Giving advice and making recommendations! And asking them for recommendations is a great way to get them talking.

What kind of recommendations should you ask for? Ideally, they should be relevant to your product or service. For example, I’m a marketing guy. I might ask:

  1. What are your favorite marketing podcasts?
  2. What publications do you follow on Facebook and Twitter?
  3. Which marketing technique is your favorite, and why?
  4. What marketing apps would you recommend?

You get the idea. The key is not to stray too far from your brand and product. Instead, keep a tight focus and encourage your followers to share their experiences and recommendations with you and each other.

#4: Promote Your Events and Your Community

Are you appearing at a local street fair or charity event? Sharing your involvement is a great way to remind people that you stand for something other than making money – and to underscore your involvement in your community and industry.

Even if you’re not appearing at an event, there’s a benefit to letting your followers know what’s going on in your community. Giving a nod to other businesses or to local charities can help you build trust and earn the admiration of your followers. You can encourage conversation by asking questions like these:

  1. Will you be attending the Fourth of July celebration?
  2. What the last community event you attended?

Another option is to include an open call to action at the end, something like “We hope you’ll stop by and check out our booth! There’s a free gift in it for you!”

#5: Ask about DIY Projects

Whatever industry or niche you’re in, the chances are good that your followers have some DIY experiences that are relevant. Asking about them is a great way to learn about potential customers and build a warm rapport with them by responding to what they share.

Ideally, a DIY project should be something that uses (or could use) your products. However, it doesn’t have to be. The key is to find a way to make what you post relevant to your brand – and then stand back and let your followers do the rest.

#6: Ask Open Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to get your followers talking. It’s especially helpful to you if you can get them talking in a way that helps you to learn more about them – because that’s information you can use to create future content.

For example, if you’re targeting small business owners, you could ask questions like:

  1. What’s your biggest challenge as a business owner?
  2. What problem do you wish someone would solve for you?
  3. What product or service has helped you the most?

The answers to these questions can help you write blog posts, create a social media strategy, or even develop new products that are ideal for your target audience.

#7: Ask for Testimonials

You already know that reviews and testimonials are hugely important in the world of marketing. What better way to get some new testimonials to share on your site than to ask your customers to provide them on social media?

Not only will asking for opinions help you get some positive testimonials, it may also help you discover potential issues and nip them in the bud before they become big problems. You should be prepared for some surprises – but if you approach the request with the right mindset, this technique can help you learn a lot about your customers.

Look who’s talking… 

The bottom line is that your audience wants to talk to you. They don’t read your blog or follow you on social media because they’re looking for a lecture. The key is to give them the encouragement they need to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions with you – and then, to stand back and listen to what they say.