Why is Responsive Design So Important?

responsive designThe ultimate goal of small business owners is to have a website that gets results for them, attracts prospects, brings in leads, and converts visitors. To achieve this, having a responsive design on your website is critical.  Like most things with technology, there are always changes taking place. It’s important to keep abreast of these issues, even if you’re not a web designer. Having a responsive website design is important to keep your website adaptable to these ongoing changes in technology. Here are some key factors to keep in mind when designing your website.

Tips to Implement Responsive Design for Your Website

Usability – A responsively designed website will be easier to use for the visitors than one that isn’t. A responsive design is clean, has usable menu options, and uses all the technology available for one-click calls, one-click emails, and more. A website optimized for mobile will work better than others.

Mobile Web Growth – Mobile internet has grown by over 400 percent in the last two years, and it is going to continue to grow. However, it’s not going to replace other types of devices. In fact, people are becoming multi-device users. They use their phone, their tablets, and their PC interchangeably.  Your website needs to be accessible across all devices.

SEO – Having a responsive design for your website is one of the best things you can do for your search engine optimization. The reason is that most search engines give a higher return of responsive sites as results in searches. Plus, responsive websites are easier to use and simply work better.

Avoid Flash – It’s important to be careful about using Flash on your desktop version of your website, but you should never use it if you want your website to be responsible. When you embed videos in your website, this can be an issue. Be sure to use a plugin that enables you to deliver the video to both mobile users and desktop users.

Stop Using Pop-Ups – It’s true that they do work great to convert on your desktop. But, you need to ensure that you set them up not to try to deliver to a mobile device, because they simply don’t work on mobile devices.

Consider the Fingers – Remember that people using mobile devices are typically using their finger to click their choices. Design buttons and drop downs with that in mind, giving plenty of finger room and differentiation between choices.

Create Optimized Page Titles – Even on mobile, each page needs a good page title. You want to avoid titles that are drawn out and confusing. Use keywords in the titles, and keep them short when possible.

Optimize Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions for mobile need to be short; in fact keep it to 120 characters or less. This will ensure that Google and other search engines are getting the most information in the best way.

If you want more visitors and repeat visitors, it’s important to keep these things on your radar. Even if you’re not a web designer, you’ll need to stay informed about the best way to make your website reach your audience. You can hire a good web designer, or simply use the right self-hosted WordPress themes, keeping in mind these responsive website design tips.

There’s an App for That! Creating Business Apps

business appCreating a mobile business app can help you increase brand awareness, help your customers solve a problem, and much more. Mobile apps can be created easily today with online software, as well as by hiring a coder from a job website. There are many reasons why creating a mobile business app is something you should do.

Why is a Business App Important?

Mobile Is Here To Stay – There is no turning back now from the fact that we are a mobile society which uses mobile technology. Your customers are viewing your website online with their mobile devices, and they are using their mobile devices every single day. By creating a mobile app you stay at top of mind with your customers.

You Can Market On the Go – Since your customers keep their mobile devices right near them, it’s a great time to use your app to reinforce your brand in the mind of your customers. If they use your app on a daily basis, all the better. For example, a calorie counting app for dieters, a daily motivational quote app for life coaches, and other ways to stay in touch daily will help them to become even more familiar with you.

It Allows On-the-Go Purchasing – If you create an app that also encourages and allows in-app purchases, you can improve your sales exponentially. Giving them the ability to buy things within the app keeps them with you even longer.

Apps Offer Better Customer Care – Having a mobile business app can give you the opportunity to provide even better customer service to your clients than before. If they can see your FAQ and see dedicated information for them within the app, they’ll be even more loyal to you.  Convenience goes a long way with customer service.

They Capture Information – With a mobile app, you’ll be able to capture more consumer information and preferences than ever before. People are more likely to provide information this way than they are in other ways. Ensure that your user can opt-in and opt-out of sharing data like that, though, because you don’t want to do anything other than improve their experience.

Apps Increase Engagement – Having access to your customers with a mobile app gives you the unprecedented ability to connect with them in a new way just when they need you. Whether they’re in their car or sitting on their couch, you have access to them and can encourage them to engage with you literally at any time, anywhere they are.

They Attract a Younger Audience – While older people use mobile devices too, younger people are using them almost exclusively over desktop technology. Therefore, if you want to keep up with this generation today and tomorrow as they age, you’ll need to stay on the cutting edge of mobile technology.

They’re Easy to Create – You can use software like AppMakr.com to build your app in minutes, relatively inexpensively, or you can hire a coder using one of the job sites like Upwork.com. There is no reason to avoid creating one, as the cost to entry is relatively low today.

Creating an iPhone or Android app can affect your business in a positive way, increase brand awareness, improve customer engagement, and bring your business into the modern age.  The sooner you do it, the sooner your business will grow.

8 Effective Steps to Writing Compelling Copy

compelling copyCopy refers to words used on web pages, ads, promotional materials, etc. to sell your product or service and convinces prospective customers to take action. In many ways, it’s like hiring one salesman to reach all of your customers.  Compelling copy convinces your audience to take the action that you want them to take using techniques that help lead the audience gently toward conversions. Copy writing is a skill that can be learned. It just takes practice, patience, and testing to get it right.  Using the following tips will get you there faster.

Essential Steps for Writing Compelling Copy

Step #1:  Start Simple – Your first pass through whatever you’re writing should be simple. Just get the information down without any embellishments. Write down what you want to impart to your audience. Tell them what you have for them, what it’s going to do for them, who you are, and what they need to do next.

Step #2:  Define Who You Are – Now, go back to the section in the copy that talks about who you are; usually you want to get this over with very quickly because you want to focus more on the audience than on yourself. But, your audience is going to want you to answer the question, “Who the heck are you to recommend this to me?” Giving your background, telling your why, and explaining how you came up with the idea is important to help you relate to your audience.

Step #3:  Add in a Story – You’ve told your story; now you want to tell their story by providing case studies, examples, and more to tie it all together. If you don’t yet have specific case studies of someone succeeding using your product, you can be more creative by finding more general examples of people who succeeded without giving up, then relate that idea to your product. When you do have some specific stories to share, add them in later.  A compelling copy inspires others to take action based on success stories.

Step #4:  Add Facts, Figures, and Stats – Now go in and fill in some facts to back up every bit of your assertions you’ve made in the copy so far. Your audience will enjoy reading some stats and facts because it’ll make it easier for them to believe the things that you say your product will accomplish. When your audience sees details with numbers, it will help them visualize the solution much better.

Step #5 Make It Personal – Now you want to go back into the copy and add in language to make everything a lot more personal. Break grammar rules and use personal pronouns like “you,” “our,” and “we.” Avoid using the word “I” other than when you are telling your own particular story. You want to draw the people into the story thinking of themselves and visualizing how your solution will help them.

Step #6 Bring the Dream – Now go back through the copy and add in some dream words and imagery to really let your audience feel the emotions you want them to feel with your choice of words. For example, “close your eyes and imagine yourself” or “Six months from now you’ll either be 50 pounds lighter or not – it’s up to you.”

Step #7 Get Endorsements – If there is a mover and shaker that your audience values and admires, and you can get them to endorse your product, that’s a great thing to accomplish and will help your audience make a choice. You can also get endorsements from people who are just like those in your audience by offering advanced copies of your product to them.

Step #8 Make It Beautiful – After you’ve perfected everything, go back in and make it look beautiful. Add the right fonts, the right colors, and the right images. Check it for errors, layout, and test it on many different devices as well as browser choices to make sure the imagery is appealing no matter where it is viewed.

Writing compelling copy is an important skill to master if you want to create high-converting sales pages, advertisements, and information that leads your audience to make the choices you want them to make.

Why You Must Use Responsive Design for Your Website

responsive designSo what is responsive design for a website, and why is it so important?  Small business owners want to have a website that gets results for them, attracts prospects, brings in leads, and converts visitors. But, like most things with technology, there are always changes taking place. It’s important to keep abreast of these issues, even if you’re not a web designer, and that’s where responsive website design comes in.

What Should You Keep in Mind When Thinking About Responsive Design for Your Website?

Usability – A responsively designed website will be easier to use for the visitors than one that isn’t. A responsive design is clean, has usable menu options, and uses all the technology available for one-click calls, one-click emails, and more. A website optimized for mobile will work better than others because that’s where most people will use it!

Mobile Web Growth – Mobile internet has grown by over 400% in the last two years and is going to continue to grow. However, it’s not going to replace other types of devices. In fact, people are becoming multi-device users. They use their phones, their tablets, and their PCs interchangeably.

SEO – Having a responsive design for your website is one of the best things you can do for your search engine optimization. The reason is that most search engines give a higher return of responsive sites as results in searches. Also, responsive websites are easier to use and simply work better.

Avoid Flash – It’s important to be careful about using Flash on your desktop version of your website, but you should never use it if you want your website to be responsible. When you embed videos in your website, this can be an issue. Be sure to use a plugin that enables you to deliver the video to both mobile users and desktop users.

Stop Using Pop-Ups – It’s true that they do work great to convert on your desktop. But, you need to ensure that you set them up not to try to deliver to a mobile device, because they simply don’t work on mobile devices.

Consider the Fingers – Remember that people using mobile devices are typically using their finger to click their choices. Design buttons and drop downs with that in mind, giving plenty of finger room and differentiation between choices.

Create Optimized Page Titles – Even on mobile, each page needs a good page title. You want to avoid titles that are drawn out and confusing. Use keywords in the titles, and keep them short when possible.

Optimize Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions for mobile need to be short; in fact keep it to 120 characters or less. This will ensure that Google and other search engines are getting the most information in the best way.

If you want more visitors and repeat visitors, it’s important to keep these things on your radar when you are thinking about design. Even if you’re not technically a web designer, you’ll need to stay informed about what works best for your prospects and visitors. You can hire a good web designer, or you can simply choose to use the right self-hosted WordPress themes.  Either way you decide, if you want responses, make it responsive!

How Can Market Segmentation Help You?

market segmentationIf you want to market and advertise effectively with your business, it is crucial that you learn about market segmentation. So what is it?  Simply put, it is identifying the main market for your products and services and narrowing down the market further into groups. This is has great value in helping to target your marketing efforts and get results!

How you categorize your audience varies based on whether you are a business-to-business marketer or a business-to-consumer marketer. The more you can learn about your market, the better. Some types of segmentation are actually determined by the market, such as behavioral segmentation.  As an example of this, consider the following:

Your prospect visits your website and sees a sign-up form to receive an important checklist that will help them accomplish an important goal. The prospect gives you his/her email address; your autoresponder sends them to the download page for the free checklist.  Now, the lead is on your email list. They have converted and have moved from cold to warm in terms of marketing. They have shown interest and given permission to you to send them information about your products and services.

Based on the fact that they downloaded your targeted checklist, you know something about them that you didn’t know before. You can now send planned autoresponder messages based on that download. You can follow up with them to find out how well the checklist worked. You can send tips about how to use the checklist. You can up-sell a paid product or service that is related to the checklist.  This shows how market segmentation based upon a prospect’s behavior can really help your future marketing efforts with clients who exhibit the same behaviors!

Other Forms of Market Segmentation:

In addition to behavioral segmentation, there are several other ways that you can categorize prospects for marketing purposes.  Othr areas of market segmentation include:

  • Demographics
  • Lifestyle
  • Life stage
  • Household
  • Preferences
  • Motivation
  • Industry
  • Purchases

All of these may not work for your particular business, or there may be even more, depending on the type of business that you have, whether you sell physical or digital products, and whether your business is product-based or service-based. All of these factors play into how you use segmentation, and how you perform it.

Tools to Help with Market Segmentation

No matter how big or small your business is, there are certain tools to help you to make this process more streamlined. Some of those tools include:

Active Campaign – You can use this or any similar marketing automation tool to do the research and crunch the numbers within its analytics. This gives you the ability to move people to different lists based on their behavior and where they sign up.

Lead Pages – This is landing page software that keeps stats and helps you automate the process of list building. List building is a great way to build your audience, and it is also a good way to segment the information you’re sending.

Google Analytics – Using this software on your website will enable you to find out, even before you build a list, what types of people are coming to your website to get the information you’re putting out there. If it’s not the type of people you’re expecting, you may need to adjust the type of content you’re publishing.

The more information that you can collect, the easier it will be to segment your market. With that information, you can define each audience within your market so that you can meet their needs more effectively. This will help you to target your marketing efforts which will help you to grow your business!

How to Write Headlines that WOW Your Readers

how to write headlines

These days, readers are given more choices than ever for reading.  Articles, blog posts, social media posts, infographics – you name it and your readers have seen it.  Therefore, if you want people to click through to read your content, you need to learn how to write headlines that grab your readers’ attention. No doubt you have something important to say, but whether or not your audience actual hears it lies within the quality of the headline.  In essence, give your readers a reason to stop and take notice.

With so many ever-changing guidelines for effective marketing, you want to make sure that your headlines make the cut.  When thinking about how A headline should be original and specific, stress urgency, and be valuable. But, most of all, the headline should never be misleading.  Your audience will not appreciate the clickbait-type of headlines, and, worst of all, they will lose trust for you. While tricks may increase click-through rates initially, over time your audience will stop clicking through due to caution against being tricked. To learn how to write headlines that are both attention-grabbing and effective, follow these guidelines:

How to Write Headlines that Make Readers Click – Make Sure Your Headlines are:

Original – Make each headline stand out so that you can give your audience a reason to click through and want to know more about you. Remember that your audience is smart, and they want to see something new from you. Make your business and content stand out with your choice of words and phrasing. Make what you have to offer them unique and valuable, setting your content apart from the rest.

Specific – Rather than being mysterious and clever, it’s best to be direct and give specific information to your readers to get them to click through and actually read the content you are providing to them. If you can identify a benefit to the reader for clicking through and reading, that’s even better. For example, if you can improve your audience’s weight loss success by 15 percent with the information in the content, say so in your headline.

Urgent – By conveying a sense of urgency in the headline, it will make the reader want to read the content now rather than later. You don’t have to say things like “click now” or give a specific date; just make the headline express something that might signify a loss to your audience if they don’t read it. You want your readers to feel like they will be missing out if they don’t click through your content.

Valuable – Making the value and usefulness of the content behind the headline apparent is a great way to get your audience to click through. When your readers see your headline, you want them to understand that when they actually read your content, they will come away with something they can actually use to improve their lives.  Knowing what your audience values is key in making this work.

Honest – I’ve already mentioned clickbait previously, but it is worth repeating. Tricking readers into clicking implies that your content isn’t inherently valuable.  Above all, you want your prospects and customers to trust you.  The only way to truly accomplish that is through honesty in your work.  You can get creative when you are learning how to write headlines that make readers stop and take notice, but always use honest means to accomplish that.

Following these tips for writing attention-grabbing headlines will improve your click-through rate exponentially. The concepts may seem simple, but when used consistently, you will beginto write headlines that will make your audience trust that what you put out there is good, valuable content that is worth clicking through.  Time is such a valuable thing – make sure that you are writing headlines that make your readers want to spend some of their valuable time with you!

What is Visual Advertising?

visual advertisingNever has visual advertising been as crucial to the success of your business as it is now.  With the exception of radio advertising, today most advertising is highly visual in nature, no matter what the market. Never has there Thanks to platforms like Instagram, YouTube , Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, advertising online is also at an all-time high.   YouTube videos, Instagram posts, certain memes on Facebook, Twitpics, and  Snapchats are all examples of visual marketing.

But what exactly is visual advertising?  Simply put, it is pictorial ads using visual cues to market your business.  In a more broad definition, it is any use of visual elements to spread awareness of your brand. You can do it across all channels that use visual elements, including your website.  So what are those elements?  The elements that make up visual marketing are imagery, colors, fonts, composition, repetition, humor, and a basic appeal to humanity.  The more you can humanize an advertisement, the more it will speak to your target audience.  Using clear, visual elements will accomplish that.

 

Key ideas Behind Visual Advertising

Be careful with the Power it Puts in Your Hands. When you embark on using visual advertising, you can make a huge impact, but you have to be very careful to do it in the right way. One wrong image or placement can make good intentions go wrong, and it can actually do more harm than good for your advertising efforts. Remember that everything you do online lasts forever and there is no taking it back, so choose your visual elements wisely and use them appropriately.

Work Smarter, Not Harder – Use the Tools Available to You. There are a lot of tools you can use to help you with your visual marketing, even if you know nothing about graphic design. Tools like Canva.com and Pixlr.com can help make your job easier, and now you can inexpensively hire someone to do it for you with a resource like Fiverr.com.  Using them can save you valuable hours, and they can keep your advertising both professional and affordable.

Never Stop Learning. There is so much to visual marketing that you can keep learning it forever and still not have uncovered everything available.  Perhaps the most important thing you need to know, however, is how to implement visual marketing in the best way for your business needs and goals.  Spend some time getting to know what type of visual advertising speaks to your unique audience.  Getting to know your audience means getting to know what speaks to them visually as well as verbally.

 

Today, online marketers can’t hide behind a false persona. They have to be open and up front with the world about who they are, instead of being anonymous. This is a good thing, because the more open and transparent you are as a business owner, the more you will build trust between you and your audience.  Visual advertising is the perfect way to accomplish that.

Make Your Landing Page More Targeted

landing pageWhen you send an email marketing message to your audience, you want them to click through to a landing page that is promoting something. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One is to have subscribers click straight to a buy page, and another is to have them first click to a sales page that helps further convince the reader to buy what you’re selling.

You can create very targeted and specific landing pages for each email marketing message that you send.  This can be made easier by using software like LeadPages.net or Instapage.com. These tools help you to quickly and expertly create pages that convert. Not only that – if you create special pages for each email message, you’ll be able to to track some key data from your email marketing efforts by watching which types of email messages are working best for your marketing efforts.

Targeted Landing Pages Should:

Answer Any Concerns of Your Audience – If your audience has any concerns about the solutions they need, then you should be able to address and answer those in the landing page.

Provide a Good Headline -– When you create landing pages that are directly targeted to specific visitors, you can create compelling headlines that mean something to that particular visitor.

Use Known High Converting Designs – When you use well-known landing page software, you can take advantage of using templates that are proven to work without having to reinvent the wheel.

Not Have Distractions – Landing pages should only have one column to avoid distractions for the audience. You want them to read the information that you want them to read, then act on it. If you have too much on the page, they won’t do what you that if they are distracted by the other things on the page.

Have a Single Call to Action – Your CTA is very important, so it should get the special treatment it deserves by being the only CTA on the page. That way there is no way your visitors won’t know what they are supposed to do.

Keep the Language Straightforward – Use clear, concise language in your landing page in order to not blow smoke, or give the sense that you are tricking your reader in any way.

Load Quickly – You want your website to load quickly and not get hung up. This is very important, because if it loads slowly, people will not wait.

Avoid Too Many Images – Images will slow down the page, and while they do help get your point across, too many images will distract.

Use Video When Appropriate – A video of you explaining your offer is a great way to make a landing page that is welcoming to your audience.

Avoid Duplicate Content – Landing pages should have unique content on them. If you clone one landing page to make a different one for your audience, be sure to change the language and make it unique.

Don’t waste your email marketing messages by sending them to boring, unfocused landing pages. Be sure to make it special, focused, targeted, and relevant to your audience.  When you do, you will see many more conversions for your efforts.