Achieve Your Business Goals With These Essential Website Ingredients

Essential Website Ingredients

Creating a website is often the first place that businesses start to build their online presence. A web site an invaluable marketing tool, but you do need to design strategically. We understand the world wide web and its infinite opportunities can seem daunting, so let’s keep it simple. Here are the essential website ingredients that can help you achieve your business goals. 

Figuring out essential website ingredients

The perfect website will marry your business goals with the needs of your customers. It should be a bit of tit for tat; you scratch their backs, they’ll scratch yours. Before we can start to design and organize your website, we’ll need to: 

  • Understand your ideal clients 
  • Understand your business goals

Understanding your ideal clients

If you’re going to design a website that speaks to your ideal clients and provides them with the resources and information they are looking for, we need to know who they are, how they think, and what they are searching for. 

Understanding your clients will help you find the right tone and communication style for your site. Knowing why your clients might need your services can help you figure out what type of content to include. Think like your clients. If you were a client looking for your products and services, what would you be searching for online? What terminology would you use? 

Achieving Business Goals
Before we understand which essential website ingredients are needed to achieve your goals, we need to understand your business goals.

Knowing the language and terminology your clients use is crucial. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make online is to talk in industry jargon. Remember that most of your clients aren’t experts, so take a minute to familiarize yourself with how your clients refer to your business so that you can speak to them in their language, not your industry insider language. 

Now, let’s look at how your website can help you achieve your business goals. As we said, this is not a one-sided relationship. 

Classic business goals

Let’s go through a few classic business goals and what types of essential website ingredients to include to help you achieve those goals. You’ll be amazed at how simple they are, yet, oh, so effective. 

Reaching a larger audience is a classic business goal that most businesses will have on their list. Simply having a website will automatically open the door to many more clients. With a website, all of a sudden, you become much more accessible.

Getting more clients to walk through your door is another common goal. When customers find you online and like what you’re selling, the next obvious question is how to find you. Be sure to include an address, map, and driving directions. 

If you’re waiting for that phone to ring? You guessed it. Put your phone number on every webpage!

Connecting with customers and building a larger client base is something many clients want. Building connections with customers leads to loyalty, trust, and referrals. Include a way for customers to ask questions or leave reviews. Be sure to advertise other reviews and testimonials. Finally, your about page is a wonderful tool to connect with clients and tell them your story. 

See, it’s that simple. Of course, there are many other elements and ingredients to a dynamic website, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. We can walk you through it, organize your site, simplify the user experience, and helping you achieve your business goals by including the essential website ingredients that are right for your site. 

Let’s get started!

Three Reasons to Outsource Digital Marketing

Outsource Digital Marketing

Sometimes the smartest thing you can do as a business owner is to recognize that you can’t do everything yourself. As the boss, you need to acknowledge everyone’s skill set and apply it the best way possible. In short, you want to work smarter, not harder, to improve efficiency, productivity and cut operational costs. Anytime you can lower the cost of doing business, you raise your profit margins. An area where many companies falter is digital marketing, begging the question: should you outsource digital marketing?

Why you should outsource digital marketing

We believe there are three undeniable reasons for a company to outsource digital marketing:

Outsource Digital Marketing
Time is money. Outsource digital marketing to free up your time.
  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Resources & Expertise

Time

There’s never enough time in the day to get things done; every boss will tell you that. Time management is one of the pillars of a successful business. Outsourcing your digital marketing allows you to free up time for your employees to focus on more important things. Putting together a successful digital marketing strategy and then implementing that strategy takes time. Unless you can afford to have someone on staff who can execute your digital marketing in-house, the best thing you can do from a time management perspective is to get this off your schedule and over to a third party. 

Money

Handing over your digital marketing to a digital marketing company will cost you some money, but the time you save will allow you to make up the cost by selling more products or signing new clients. Think of how much more you could be earning if you didn’t have to waste time on Facebook and writing a blog?! As you start to see success from your digital marketing, you’ll need all the time you can get to deal with clients and sales. 

Resources & Expertise

Finding the best person for every job is good for business. If you don’t have an expert in digital marketing on your staff, outsource to a third party with the resources and the expertise to create and execute your digital marketing strategy. Why waste your time learning the importance of SEO, building an online profile, or setting up a Pay-Per-Click campaign on Facebook when three are cost-effective and result-driven companies who can handle all that for you? When you outsource your digital marketing, you are getting a full team of experts and access to their entire knowledge base and resources. 

Your time is best spent elsewhere; leave the digital marketing solutions to us. Let’s get started!

Engaging Authentically With Consumers on Social and Environmental Issues

Engaging Authentically With Consumers

Consumers want to support companies that share their core values. It’s no longer enough to have a great product or service. An increasingly effective way to engage and attract your target audience and to connect with consumers is by highlighting your social and environmental initiatives and efforts. Younger generations, in particular, are looking to companies and corporations to lead the charge for change. When it comes to engaging authentically with consumers, don’t be afraid to take a stand and share your social and environmental issues. 

Why engaging authentically with consumers will help to grow your brand

While almost all consumers care about a company’s core values, they are just as skeptical about companies flaunting their efforts publicly. If your company takes a stand on social and environmental issues or makes donations to charities, it has to be authentic. Consumers can smell inauthenticity a mile away. Your participation shouldn’t be performative; it should come from the heart. Never support an issue because you believe that it will give you access to a certain demographic; supporting issues because you believe in those issues will lead to engaging authentically with consumers who share your values. Your priority should be to do good, not to increase business. Increasing business is simply a bonus. 

Connect with consumers
When you engage authentically with consumers and share your core values you’ll build stronger bonds based on trust, confidence, respect, and integrity.

Community involvement engages local customers

National and global corporations have big platforms to share their efforts and promote their corporate social responsibility globally. For small local companies, taking the initiative and being involved in community efforts will make a strong impression on local consumers. Companies driven to make a positive impact locally or globally are more attractive to consumers and inspire confidence and loyalty. A purpose-driven company will have an easier time engaging authentically with consumers who are increasingly looking to companies to lead the charge for social and environmental change.

Sharing social impact initiatives

Consumers won’t know about your social and environmental initiatives unless you tell them. Don’t be shy about your efforts to do good and to initiate change. If you support social causes or take the initiative to help feed your local community and families in need due to a natural disaster or, say, a global pandemic makes sure that you share those efforts on your blogs and social media platforms. It may feel like your touting your own horn or humble bragging, but sharing your initiatives can be a call to action, encouraging your community, employees, and customers to join in your efforts. Lead the charge, and people will follow, creating a bond with consumers that is hard to break.  

As long as you are engaging authentically with consumers they will respond positively. Impressions can help you create content that highlights your social and environmental issues, engaging authentically with consumers, and growing your brand awareness. 

Reach Local Prospects by Geo-Targeting Content

Geo-Targeting Products and Services

With billions of people using the internet every day, your website and online presence are more important than ever. It may seem obvious to cast a wide net and see what comes back, but when it comes to your marketing strategy, you want to work smarter, not harder. Strategically targeting your efforts helps to reach the right audience. Whether you’re a nationally recognized brand or a small family-run business, the best place to focus your efforts is in your own backyard. Geo-targeting content is the latest tool that we offer our clients to reach their local audience.

The Importance of Geo-Targeting Content and Reaching Your Local Audience

Geo-Targeting Content

More than half of the world’s population is an active internet user. Every day, the internet welcomes over 600,000 new users. As the old saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Our goal is to help our clients find the right fish for their business by targeting content, products, and services to reach people in specific geographical locations. The trick is to understand how to filter through billions of internet users to target the right prospects for your business. 

Geo-targeting content is about making the most of your marketing efforts and budget. Every marketing strategy begins with understanding your target demographic. Once you know who you are trying to reach, you can tailor content and marketing efforts to reach those people. While original and relevant content will always make the best impressions, it’s also essential to optimize your content to reach a particular geographical location, hence geo-targeting

Reaching Local Audience

Every company’s goal, large or small, is to become a recognizable and trusted brand in the local landscape. Reaching your local customer base is the foundation of your business. Focusing your marketing efforts on the clients in your own backyard will allow you to slowly expand outward, reaching new locations as your business grows. Before you think globally, you have to focus your efforts locally. 

The one-two punch of targeting your local clientele is to 1. create brilliant, engaging, and relevant content, and 2. To optimize that content to show up when clients in your geographical location search for products and services you offer. 

Our team can help with creating content and optimizing your marketing campaigns to focus specifically on your geographic area. Whenever a prospect in your location searches for products and services you offer, Google will recognize the prospect’s location and push your content front and center. 

We offer digital solutions to help businesses focus their marketing strategy to reach more prospects in their area, grow their business, and make great impressions in the local landscape.

Paid Online Advertising Can Help Your Small Business Grow in 2021

PPC

Benefits of Paid Online Ads

There are many kinds of digital marketing methods. While you may already be leveraging the power of content marketing and SEO, sometimes combining that with paid advertising can be the winning move to boost your sales.

Many businesses shy away from PPC ads either because they don’t fully understand how it works or because they think it’s too complicated or high maintenance. However, with the right digital marketing team on your side, you can win at the paid online ads game. Some of the most popular paid advertising platforms are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and LinkedIn Ads.

Here are some of the benefits of PPC that can help your small business grow in 2021.

Cost-Effective

Online advertising is an affordable digital marketing method. You can tailor your PPC investment to your budget and increase it as you grow.

Analytic results on screen

Allows You to Reach More People Quicker

Not all marketing techniques render results as quickly as PPC ads can. They give you more exposure and help you generate more leads quickly. Also, paid online ads will help you generate more traffic to your website, boost brand awareness, and increase sales.

Enables You to Target Specific Audiences

One of the best things about paid ads is that you can customize them to target only specific audiences you’re interested in reaching. You can collect data through your social media platform and use it to determine who you want to target. This marketing method helps you get your brand right in front of the exact type of customer you want to reach.

Gives You More Control

PPC platforms offer a variety of analytics tools that allow you to monitor progress closely. You can check on bounce rate, site traffic, conversion, impressions, and more. This way, you can customize your ads to meet your needs and goals and maximize effectiveness.

How Digital Marketing Changed in 2020

Planning

3 Ways Today’s Digital Marketing is Different

This year, things have changed from many different perspectives. The world has changed, and so have people. Customers are different today but so are businesses. Throughout this year, digital marketing didn’t remain unchanged, but it’s been positive in many ways.

Businesses have had to think of new ways to generate leads, increase sales, and stay in the game. For that to happen, digital marketing strategies approached things differently. Here are some of the ways that digital marketing has changed in 2020:

People working

Empathy is a Must

When you think of business, empathy might not be the first thing that pops to mind. It used to be nice to have, but these days, if companies want to develop strong relationships with their customers, empathy is non-negotiable. People want to deal with businesses that help them address pain points, not sell to them. The direct sales approach is no longer acceptable.  

Marketing Is an Essential Part of Your Business

Sales and marketing should go hand in hand. However, not all companies take that approach. Many still consider marketing “an extra” when, in fact, it is the thread that connects all other areas of your business. It provides consumer insights, helps monitor people’s reactions to specific types of messages, and much more. Marketing is no longer something you do if you have some dollars to spare; it’s something you should invest in to help grow your business.

Content Formats Matter

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is king.” Well, that hasn’t changed. However, these days we understand that not all content is the same or has the same impact. Depending on your audience, objective, and message, you will likely need a different content type. Short-form content is a good option for providing tips or quick insights, and it’s great for sharing on social media. In contrast, long-form content is an excellent way to provide information that helps you establish yourself as an industry expert. You can choose to share videos, infographics, or just images, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

3 Digital Marketing Tips for a Prosperous 2021

two people using laptops

Prepare for a Great New Year with These Digital Marketing Tips

There is no doubt that 2020 has been an interesting year. It’s safe to say that most people are ready for a fresh start. 2021 gives us a book with blank pages and another chance to keep doing what we’ve been doing great or adjust as needed.

From a digital marketing standpoint, there are always things you can do to prepare for a new year and make the best of it for your business. Based on the potential new trends that the new year will bring, here are some digital marketing tips for leading your business towards a prosperous 2021.

Laptop with code on screen

Lean on Social Media for Purchase, Not Just Discovery

Social media platforms have been an excellent channel for consumers to discover businesses. Now, these platforms are leading people towards making purchases and simplifying the process for them. Social commerce will continue to grow in 2021, and it is a good idea for your business to get up to speed with these new features and rules for the benefit of your business.

Harness the Power of Virtual Events

Due to COVID-19, virtual events became the solution to the new social distancing regulations. Even if 2020 is coming to an end, virtual events will continue going strong into 2021. Hosting virtual events allow you to reach many more people at once, minimize your event-related expenses, and provide you with a high ROI.

Give Your Customers a Personalized Experience

One of the things that please customers the most is getting a personalized experience. They want to feel like their e-commerce experience has been carefully tailored to their preferences. Through digital marketing, you can learn more about your audience and their unique likes and needs. Businesses that go the extra mile to provide that experience are more likely to gain customers’ trust and build long-lasting relationships.

Mix Up Your Content and Reach More Customers

Blogging

Why Content Variety Matters

Content marketing is essential for your business to grow. It helps you drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and increase conversations. Most content marketing is focused mainly on blogging, and while blogs are crucial, there are other types of content you can leverage to engage more customers.

Diversifying your content portfolio can help you take your content marketing efforts to the next level. Your sales funnel is not a one-note experience. Each part of the process might require you to show customers different types of content to boost effectiveness. Understanding the customer’s journey is critical to identify what kind of content works best at every stage.

Variety Helps Engagement

Blog posts are very effective once you have turned a lead into a customer, as they help you increase brand awareness and stay top of mind, but there are different types of blog posts. Short blog posts allow you to share valuable content with your audience and provide them with solutions to specific problems related to your industry. In contrast, long posts are great to build authority and credibility.

However, at the starting stage of your sales funnel, a blog post is not necessarily the most appropriate type of content to use. In this scenario, exclusive content is more likely to attract leads and motivate them to subscribe.

Other valuable content types include:

Video

Infographics

Infographics are aesthetically pleasing, which makes people more likely to pay attention to them. They can also hold lots of information and make it easy to understand. Tip: You can reuse blog post content, turn it into an infographic, and share it on social media platforms.

Videos

Now more than ever, videos are an essential type of content. Due to their increase in popularity, videos can have a significant impact on sales. They can be informative, captivating, and entertaining and allow you to be very creative.

Understanding your content needs is the first step to excellent content marketing campaigns.

How to Keep Your Email Open Rate from Dropping

Inbox on cellphone screen

4 Ways to Prevent Low Email Open Rates

There’s no better feeling from an email marketing perspective than seeing high open rates after sending an email you worked on for days. Your open rate shows your audience’s engagement level, and you want to make those numbers increase, taking the necessary measure to ensure they don’t drop.

 If you start noticing your open rates are decreasing, you can bet something is going on. Here are four things you should keep in mind to ensure your open rates stay above the red line:

Keep Email Size Under 102KB

Having a lot of information in an email is not always a good idea. Email clients will likely clip emails that are too big. If you want to ensure your email is displayed intact, you must make sure it’s lighter than 102KB; otherwise, email users will be asked to click on “View Entire Message,” which will load the full email in their browser.

Before you send out your email, mail it to yourself at different email accounts to ensure it loads correctly. Be sure to use optimized images and use an HTML sizing tool to confirm your email’s length is what it should be.

Man checking email on smart phone

Use a Spam Checker

A spam filter could block you without ever noticing it. Luckily, there are ways to prevent that. If your email raises any spam flags, email providers will send it straight through to the user’s junk email folder —along with all your effort— where it is improbable they see it. Not only does this affect your open rate, but it takes a toll on your deliverability rates too. Words like ‘affordable,’ ‘money,’ ‘purchase,’ ‘open,’ and “free access” are some of the ones that create spam red flags. There are many email spam checker tools online, free and paid for, that can minimize your email’s chances of ending up in the junk mail folder.

Create Appealing Subject Lines

The sole purpose of a subject line is to compel your customers to open your email. Since they are very short, they need to be powerful. Testing subject lines is a great way to learn what works and what doesn’t. Some tricks to create attractive subject lines are:

  • Focusing on the offer
  • Appealing to the customer’s curiosity
  • Showing what’s in it for them
  • Providing a sense of urgency

Keep Your Audience Engaged

Sometimes your open rates are decreasing mainly because your audience is no longer interested in your content. It’s essential to keep your customers at the center of everything you do, so learning about what they like is critical. The best way to know what they want is to ask them. Create a survey and allow them to tell you what they want to see from you —updates on new products or services, promotions, special events. Managing disengaged contacts is critical to keeping your open rates where they need to be.

3 Digital Marketing Goals for This Holiday Season

Holiday Gift

Marketing Goals to Focus on During the Holidays

In a year full of challenges and changes, learning to adapt has been essential for businesses to survive and succeed. Holiday shopping is expected to beat records as this year’s online shopping has increased substantially due to the pandemic. We can see that by looking at the numbers from Black Friday when sales increased by 21.6%.

From a marketing standpoint, the holiday season is a critical time for small businesses. As you go through the rest of the month, here are some digital marketing goals to keep in mind.

Woman wrapping gift
Holiday shopping – Holiday marketing goals

Reach Shoppers Before and After Christmas

It is still early enough in the month that most consumers are just starting their holiday shopping. Providing an above par customer experience is critical to ensure that you gain customers who will want to continue shopping with you long after Christmas. Be sure to manage customer expectations carefully, be communicative and responsive, be upfront about shipping and delivery process details, and come up with creative promos that your customers can’t resist.

Nurture Lasting Relationships with Your Customers

Holiday shopping is special. Everyone wants to give meaningful gifts, and when they decide to include your brand in their celebration of the season, it is certainly not something to take for granted. Take time to thank your customers for their business and start building your relationships with them. A simple but genuine “thank you” will go a long way.

Use Your 2020 Performance Data to Your Advantage

Sometimes, it is a good idea to take a moment to look back before you move forward. Since 2020 has been such an atypical year, your performance data is precious —especially as you plan your strategy for 2021. It tells the story of how you’ve adapted to the circumstances and how well your marketing efforts have performed. Analyzing this information will help you design better marketing plans for the year to come.