the science and art of conversion optimization - part 1That’s the real question isn’t it?  What good is a website or even traffic to your website if once they get there they don’t buy something or at a minimum, request more information from you about the product or service you offer (otherwise known as a “conversion”).  As a small business, there is nothing as important as making sales.  You have to think about those sales, strategize for more sales and constantly test for improvement on your complete sales cycle and processes every minute of every day, if you hope to succeed.

Why would your website be any different?

Contrary to popular belief, your website does not have to be just another extension of your letterhead or business card.   It can in fact be a revenue generating machine!  Given the correct tools, processes and promotion efforts, your website can literally transform your business and catapult you to the next level, in fact, not only to the next level but to the TOP of your market if properly planned and executed and with an unwavering commitment to success.

Welcome to Part 1 of a 5 part series on website conversion optimization techniques.

In this post we are going to cover “Trust”.  Building trust with your visitors is paramount.  If they don’t trust you from the moment they open your home page you have lost a potential customer.  So how do you build trust?  Great question and I’m glad you asked.  Let’s take a look at 3 key issues that build instant trust when someone visits your website.

  • Please have an “Updated Website” – Let’s face it, if you’re trolling along in a 1990’s or early 2000’s website you are losing business.  Websites need to be update/replaced every 2-4 years.  Yes, that’s right…every 2 to 4 years!  Some quick design points –
    • Keep the design simple, clean and product/service related
    • Use a good modern color scheme that instills trust and confidence – there are plenty of color studies/websites out there.  Spend some time on them studying the best color palette to match your business
    • Use images, graphics that tell a story about your products and services and avoid stock images as much as possible
    • Minimize industry jargon and technical mumbo jumbo.  Explain your company like you were explaining it for the first time to potential customer who does not even know he or she needs your business yet
    • Stay abreast of the latest design trends, what your competition is doing, what your vendors are doing with their websites and emulate and build on the best sites you can find.  Please don’t take that as you should “copy” what they are doing.  I mean to say that you should “steal” them instead.  If you are thoroughly confused or questioning my morals at this point, watch this short video to see what I mean by that:

 

  • Whenever possible use your own picture on your website home page with a meaningful, powerful quote about the value your business offers.  Stock photos are okay, but nothing builds trust like a good picture or better yet video of the business owner(s) on the home page smiling and telling a story.  It is hands down one of the best conversion tools out there.  There are countless news articles, blog articles and conversion whitepapers you can read about images on the home page that verify this.  A quick Google search will yield a treasure trove of data on the subject.  In the picture, be sure to be yourself!  Dress how you normally dress and smile like you normally smile.  Faking it won’t cut it here and will be seen right through.  Again…BE YOURSELF!
  • Lastly…build instant trust with references.  These can be in the form of industry associations, the Better Business Bureau, customer and vendor references, Chamber of Commerce, etc.  Wherever you can you should share who you have worked for (company logos work well), testimonials (quotes & videos) and bullet points.  These send a powerful message that someone before the current visitor has trusted you enough to hire you.  Don’t underestimate the power of this technique for conversion optimization. 

If you found this article helpful and you enjoyed it, please take a minute and share it through any of the social media share buttons located throughout the site.  We love our social media friends and the shares we get and we certainly will return the favor when and where possible.  You can also comment in the comments section below and regular commenters receive “Do-Follow” link status to help you with your SEO program!

Click-finders.com offers a full range of Internet Marketing services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Management, Social Media, Inbound Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and more.  Contact us through www.click-finders.com, Twitter, Facebook and our Organic SEO Blog to learn more about Organic Search Engine Optimization and even request a FREE SEO Website Analysis.


 

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Twitter ROI by click-finders.comIf you are involved in SEO, Social Media Marketing or any form of Internet (or traditional) Marketing whatsoever, you are probably always trying to calculate the Return on Investment for your efforts and expenses.  In fact there are many sources out there like Computer World, Blog Tyrant, and Hubspot (just to name a few) that have attempted to do just that for Social Media and for the most part, they do a great job.  This article however is simply going to talk about Twitter and what we have seen before, during and after 10,000 Tweets.  Is it an actual ROI…you decide!

So how did we do that?  10,000 Tweets.  Well it certainly did not happen overnight and it certainly was not consistent.  We had good months on Twitter and bad months on Twitter.  Just like anything else.  Here is a small sampling of how we tweeted over the past 18 months:
 
Twitter Stats Graph - click-finders.com
So what kind of ROI (Return on Investment) have we had on our Twitter account?  Great question.  Here just a few stats:

  • 46.63% of all Tweets were RT’s or @ Replies – Not as good as we would have liked…but hey, we’re still learning!
  • 30 confirmed sales leads came in from Twitter – I don’t care who you…that’s GOOD !
  • At least 5 new business relationships that have benefited click-finders have been developed, nurtured and cultivated 100% on Twitter. – Again, I don’t care who you are…that’s GOOD !
  • Our home page has been RT’d over 7K times! – Gotta love the exposure on this stat!
  • One of our blog posts has been RT’d over 100K times! – Still wonderfully surprised and astounded by this stat!  It was a guest post by our good friend and colleague Mr. Scott Kindred of Safehouseweb.  See how #3 above works?

What else has Twitter done for us?

Added real value and measureable attributes to our Social Media presence and marketing strategy.  Everyone knows by now (or least they should) that ALL of the major search engines are using social media signals (likes, +’s and yes…TWEETS) as ranking factors.  If you are not active on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, you are most likely losing ground in the SERP’s.  The Hubspot chart below shows a marketing score of 90 for our website, and look at what one of the ranking factors are…that’s right, our Twitter presence!

Twitter ROI for click-finders.com

Twitter has also helped build our visibility in ways we NEVER thought were possible!

Twitter visibility example click-finders.com

This mention on the Home Page of Socialstage is not only very much unexpected, it’s greatly appreciated.  It’s one of the little hidden benefits of Twitter and other Social Media outlets.  They did this mention without me even knowing about it, yet it was out of appreciation for my tweet regarding there Blog post.  Hey, it was great content and we love to share great content!

A final word about this accomplishment, blog post and Twitter overall.  We don’t do Twitter as well as could.  We are still learning.  The point of this post is show the average small business owner that anyone can positively impact their business with Twitter.  It just takes a little elbow grease, a little ingenuity and creative thinking and you can make a difference to your business as well.

If you found this article helpful and you enjoyed it, please take a minute and share it through any of the social media share buttons located throughout the site.  We love our social media friends and the shares we get and we certainly will return the favor when and where possible.  You can also comment in the comments section below and regular commenters receive “Do-Follow” link status to help you with your SEO program!

click-finders.com offers a full range of Internet Marketing services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Management, Social Media, Inbound Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and more. Contact us through www.click-finders.com, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and our Organic SEO Blog to learn more about Organic Search Engine Optimization and even request a FREE SEO Website Analysis.

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click-finders.com now listed iin Alltop.comClick-finders is proud to announce that we are now listed on Alltop.com!  We are the newest addition to the SEO page and can be found listed here at www.seo.alltop.com.  We are very honored and humbled to be included in this list of distinguished and successful bloggers and SEO community members.  What is Alltop?  Great question.  Here is how they describe what they do (read the full version here at Alltop About Page):

“The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. You may wonder how Alltop is different from a search engine. A search engine is good to answer a question like, “How many people live in China?” However, it has a much harder time answering the question, “What’s happening in China?” That’s the kind of question that we answer.

We do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. We group these collections — “aggregations” — into individual web pages. Then we display the five most recent headlines of the information sources as well as their first paragraph. Our topics run from adoption to zoology with photography, food, science, religion, celebrities, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, Macintosh, and hundreds of other subjects along the way.”

Alltop is arguably the premier news/blog aggregation site on the internet.  The stringent review and acceptance policies on their site are notorious for weeding out recreational and hobby bloggers and news sites meaning that only the most relevant, active and on-topic blogs/news sites are included in their lists.  There have been countless articles written on “How to Get Listed on Alltop”.  No matter what though, the one thing that remains true to be considered for Alltop is simply this…

“Provide relevant, informative articles on a regular basis as it applies to your chosen topic or profession.” 

That is the best way to get listed on Alltop.  The next article on this topic will be “How to get to the TOP of Alltop”.  I’ll share it with you all….once I figure it out!

click-finders.com officially accepted into the Alltop.com Directory

 Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this article please share it with any of the multiple social media share widgets on this blog (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social Bookmarking).  Also, please feel free to comment below.  We openly welcome any and all feedback, especially from other internet professionals!

 Click-finders.com is a full service internet marketing company that offers a full range of services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Adword Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Web Development and more!  Contact us today for a FREE no obligation SEO Analysis of your website and find out today, what it’s going to take to rank high in the search engines!

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Blog Promotion
Are you promoting your blog?

   

It never fails to amaze me!  Time and time again I see new blogs get started, some with GREAT ideas and some with not so great ideas.  Either way, the first question I always get asked is “How do I promote my Blog and get more followers?”.  The short answer is…you work hard at it and you follow some basic principals.  If you do, you will find your blog will be successful and you and/or your business will start to see and feel the results.  So here it is…  

  

Follow these simple steps to begint he process of promoting your blog.  This is not an all inclusive list by any means.  There are other methods, but if you start here, your chances of success will be substantially increased.  

 12.5 Ways to Promote Your Blog:

  • Promote it on your website. It’s your site and you don’t have a link to your blog on it? How about your friends and family do they have web sites? Do they link to your blog? They should be as well as you should be. If you don’t like your blog enough to link to it…why should anyone else?Include the blog URL in your email signature.
  • Personal emails, business emails, birthday well wishes and retirement announcements…if you send electronic mail, you should ALWAYS include a URL link to your blog in the signature portion.
  •  Include your URL on print. Put your blog address on your business cards, invoices, direct mail campaigns, yellow page advertisements flyer’s and promotional materials.
  •  Leverage Social Media. Always use use relevant “hashtags” (#promotions) when using Twitter. Always post links to your articles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Submit to directories. This should be a large part of your Link-Building strategy anyway for your main site. Click here if you need help!
  • Post regularly. There is constant debate online as how often to post on your blog. Feel free to join in with your opinion. We recommend no less than once a week. More if you have time. The more content you post…the better!
  •  Submit your Blog URL to Google. Just in case….
  •  Publish an eNewsletter. Easy to do from your weekly posts. Just make each weekly post a separate news article and distribute. This keeps people who forgot to check you blog in the know.
  • Talk about your blog whenever and to whomever you can, but especially when you speak at events as an industry or topic expert.
  • Focus on information your customers can use. If you provide consistent, relevant and compelling content on your blog, your chances of success are really good.
  • Post your blog on social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit and Sphinn.
  • Find relevant forums to add your “relevant input and postings to. Please make sure you are posting “on topic”. Otherwise, you will get a reputation for “spamming”. Be sure to add your blog URL to your signature.

12.5  NEVER STOP BLOGGING !

Image Source:  Tutor2U

 

 

  

UPDATE:  These tips continued in a new post for a total of 21 Blog marketing tips.

 

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You have heard a lot about blogs lately, in fact, they are even starting to make movies about them.  There are more and more blogs that have turned into book deals and movies then ever before.   From relative obscurity comes fame, fortune and all that they promise.  I am not promising you that at all.  Nor am I saying that by simply blogging any of that will actually happen (although it might…).  What I am saying, is that a blog should be an integral part of any search engine optimization plan.  Here’s why I say that…

Top 10 reasons why you should be blogging:

  1. A blog is one of the easiest, most cost effective publishing tools available to share information with customers, friends and employees.
  2. A blog can be the center of your marketing strategy. As you reach out to attract potential customers through social media and your web site, a blog is the perfect place to point them for information and more importantly, a place of interaction with you and your company.
  3. A blog can build a lot of credibility and do it very quickly. Share your ideas and watch customers and colleagues as they scramble to confirm them.
  4. A blog is VERY search engine friendly. Since blogs are content heavy (text based content) they tend to be very enticing to the search engines. Blog regularly and make sure your content is relevant and your blog will become an integral part of your search engine optimization strategy.
  5. Blogs are a GREAT place to test the waters if you think you have a good book idea. Taking a very successful and popular blog with a big list of followers to a publisher goes a long way in selling your idea to them. 
  6. Don’t even think about being taken seriously in Social Media until you have a blog. 
  7. A blog can level the playing field in ANY industry. When decision makers narrow to three or four companies, the company websites with consistent, fresh and relevant content are 60% more likely to win the business every time. 
  8. A blog is a great place to meet interesting and sometimes very influential people that can help you and/or your business. 
  9. I know you spent a lot of time and/or money on your website…but so did your competition. Want to be different? Want to stand out? BLOG !
  10. And finally….a blog is your chance to share YOUR view. What is your take on the industry you are in? Is it different than your competition? Want to convey those thoughts to you customers or potential customers? If so…you need to BLOG !

Still not sure?  Don’y worry.  Click-finders.com can help you now!  With the knowledge, skills and experience that delivers results.  We offer a complete Social Media Package that includes Facebook, Twitter and Blog account set up and graphic design that matches your web site.  We also offer a complete startegic search engine optimization plan that inlcudes a complete SEO analysis of your site, your competition’s site(s) and then provide feedback to you on what changes need to be made to your SEO program.  We can even make those changes for you if you want.  Other services include PPC Ad-word campaign management, web site design & hosting.  Visit us at click-finders.com today and let us show you how you can get higher search engine rankings today, for a brighter future tomorrow! 

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