With the increase of mobile users searching online today, converting your visitors into paying clients has never been more important. While many businesses choose to focus on increasing traffic, it may be easier, and more profitable, to focus on converting your current mobile visitors into customers.
What is a conversion rate? For fans of baseball’s Summer Classic, it is a batting average for your website. It is the percentage of people who make a transaction vs. the number of total visitors.
It is essential to have your mobile site ready to convert these customers for two major reasons. First, because it means a better bottom line, and secondly, it will not be long before search engines like Google begin to give lower rankings for sites that are not mobile-capable. In a recent survey from Google, 61 percent of users stated that they immediately move on with their searches if they don’t find what they want quickly and easily. Google has to address these impatient mobile users somehow. Giving lower rankings to sites that are not mobile-capable is one of its options.
The good news is that there are things you can do now to help convert these mobile visitors to customers. These can also help protect or improve your search rankings.
Here are five tips on key elements of mobile marketing for conversion.
Make your site clean and easy to read. Don’t put too much information up front, but make sure your i mportant info is there. Think like a mobile user and design your site for the mobile user. Make sure you include your location, phone number, and a "contact us" button. Have a brief, aggressive description of what you do and what your unique selling proposition is. If you don’t know what your unique selling proposition is, create one.
Offer choices for payment options. You need to pull out all the stops here. With the holiday shopping season approaching, you don’t want to miss anyone with a debit card, credit card, check or PayPal account. Make sure logos are visible and easy to find.
Help your customers feel secure about your site. Make them aware that your site is secure. Put a short guarantee on the main page. If you are a member of the Better Business Bureau, put the logo up. Include any memberships like the Chamber of Commerce or any industry-related organizations you are a member of.
Be timely. Mobile users will not have patience for a site that is out of date or simply serves as a catalog. Right now you should be promoting an “autumn of savings” or similar promotion. Make sure that when they see your page, they immediately know it is up-to-date.
Create a compelling call-to-action. A call-to-action asks a visitor to do something. It sounds basic but many websites sort of lay in the leaves. They don’t ask for anything. Don’t make that mistake. Ask them to buy, ask them to take advantage of your limited time offer, or ask them to inquire about getting more information. If you don’t ask, you will likely not receive.
Warmer temperatures can lead to hotter sales if you take advantage of these conversion tips for mobile users. Make sure your visitors don’t leave your site prematurely! What strategies do you use to convert your vistors into sales?
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Successful businesses know the importance of having a presence across all social media platforms. It is a simple way to reach potential or existing customers or clients, and a way to get known in the community and within your company’s industry. Just participating on a social network’s platform isn’t enough. You have to give your followers, business associates, customers or clients, something to keep them coming back to your social media pages, or to want to get notifications in their streams. When you want to connect with businesses on a deeper level, and gain recognition in your industry, you have to go further. That’s why any small business on SlideShare will see the platform as a useful tool for gaining industry respect and recognition, increasing your visibility across the Internet, and getting leads. What is SlideShare and What Connection Does it Have With LinkedIn? Someone posed this very question in the community LinkedIn area, and the best and most comprehensive answer came from LinkedIn member Brijendra Chaudhary, who noted that LinkedIn owns the professional content-sharing platform, SlideShare, which it bought for $119 million in cash and stock. “Slideshare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations.” Chaudary went on to suggest that the reason SlideShare is so unique and so incredibly effective, is because users can take advantage of SlideShare’s many features that let them share presentations across multiple social media platforms – at the same time. Once you have a SlideShare account, you can upload presentations to any of your social media accounts and have it show up on Facebook, LinkedIn and Slideshare. You can almost anything because of the many platforms SlideShare supports, including ppt, pps, pptx, odp, pdf, doc, docx, odt, keynote, iWork pages and even YouTube videos. Every small business on SlideShare, needs to understand how important the platform is, or can be for their business. To prove the great impact it can have on businesses, Column Five Media created an infographic using data from ComScore. The infographic clearly shows SlideShare generates five times as much traffic from other businesses as any other social media platform, including LinkedIn – SlideShare’s owner and parent company. SlideShare’s traffic comes from social media networks or searches, so businesses that don’t take advantage of SlideShare to increase visibility and generate leads, are losing out on an opportunity to grow their businesses. Advice for Creating the Best SlideShare Presentation Suggestion #1 – Make Your Presentation Interesting Since you’re placing your presentation on SlideShare, make sure the slides explain things clearly. Don’t go for the artistic effect because that will overpower the message you’re trying to share. Make sure the fonts you choose are very easy to read, and add images that are powerful enough to create a strong impact. Make sure that you create a high-quality presentation. Hire professional illustrators, photographers or writers if necessary. You’ll get more exposure and develop more business contacts, which should be the goal of your SlideShare presentation. Stick to simplicity. Focus on the message, keeping it short, but easy to understand. Create a story through your presentation, and make sure it flows in a logical sequence – beginning, middle and end. If you give your audience a story that captures their attention and sustains their interest, you’ll captivate them all the way to the end. Use the best content marketing concepts to make the material interesting. Your goal is to show the audience how much you know, and let them know that you’re an expert in your industry. Let them see that they can learn something from your experiences, and that your help will help them deal with challenges they’ll find in the industry. Suggestion #2 – Take Advantage of SlideShare Features Sharing – Learn about editing the presentation and how you can make it publicly visible, or keep it private, and only let people or groups you specify see it. Embedding – SlideShare has a feature that gives you a code you can use to embed the presentation in your blog or on your website. If you make your presentation public, other users will be able to access the code, and they can use it to share the presentation wherever they want, and that will give it more exposure – across the different social media networks. If your business is new, this is a fantastic way to get some free publicity and develop name or brand recognition. Learn about the audio and video capabilities of SlideShare using YouTube. Social sharing features will let you share the presentation on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Download the LinkedIn app so you can feed the presentations you create directly to your LinkedIn profile. Since you are trying to generate leads, focus on research and discovery. If you have popular content on your website, don’t be afraid to reuse it. Just recognize that you’ll have to tweak it enough to make it effective on the SlideShare platform. Take advantage of testimonials, success stories and anything else that proves how good your product is, or that your concept works. Make sure you include contact information in your SlideShare presentation, and include links throughout. That will help you drive traffic to your website or to the relevant landing pages. Although it is important to include links and give contact information, don’t allow those things to interrupt the flow of your presentation. Always end your presentation with a call to action. By the time someone gets to the end of the presentation, they’re obviously interested in what you have to say. Strike while the iron is hot and make it easy for them to contact you right away – before they have a chance to think about something else. Are you using Slideshare? Have you had success in making connections and capturing leads? I would love to hear about your success! Connect with me on SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/awbiz1
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There is an old expression that states we were given two ears but just one mouth for a reason. The implications are we should listen more than we speak. Today I want to take that old bit of wisdom and apply it to social media. You see, we spend so much time thinking about what we should send in an email or post on Facebook we forget importance of listening. I want to use that example in discussing hashtags, and how by becoming better listeners, these little symbols can help us find more prospects. The Emergence of the Hashtag For those new to Twitter or social media, the hashtag, or pound sign (#) was, and still is, a critical component in the success of Twitter. It allows people to “follow” like minded tweets. It works for unlimited subjects from #ILoveTheBeach to #NeedMoney. Other social media sites have embraced the hashtag and now, like the @ symbol is part of every email, the # symbol is now a part of social media. Getting a Twitter Account and Learn the Lingo Twitter.com offers free accounts that you can sign up using your real name, clever alias, or creative moniker. Twitter names start with the @ sign, so you could choose @FirstNameLastName or something more creative like @ILoveWriting. Next learn the lingo. Tweet, retweet (RT) and trending Topics (TT) will quickly become second nature. Now you are ready for the hashtag! What the Hashtag Can Do For You Of course the hashtag is a great way to communicate information about your business, but this is about listening and prospecting. How can using the hashtag help you in prospecting for leads? Here are some suggestions: Put keywords from your particular business in the Twitter search function. Find the half-dozen or so most important keywords to you. Experiment with variations and combinations to see which gets you closer to the type of leads that interest you. You can determine this based on tweeter’s profiles. If they seem like a Twitter prospect, start a conversation and offer to answer any questions they may have. Listen to what is going on in your specific industry or with competitors. You may even find some current customers. Listening can keep you up to date on what is important to your potential prospects and what information they are lacking. You can then step in to help. By listening you can add value to a relationship with a lead and immediately build credibility. You will ultimately utilize this ability to listen and the power of the hashtag and become an influencer in your business. As your listening and prospecting skills increase, you will recognize patterns that can help you prospect for even more leads more effectively. All the while you will be building your own following, and becoming a person of more and more influence. #listenfirst #hashtag second. By truly "listening" and using the power of the hashtag you capture new leads, connect with clients and can help take your business to the next level.
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By now we all know, or at least should be aware, that a successful social media campaign is a multi-faceted undertaking. However, when you consider the elements associated with using a social network—creating an account and posting content—the process of engagement can be exceedingly easy to underestimate. That is, it can be simple to carry an unsuccessful online presence by merely failing to entice people. In order to truly be successful on the various social media platforms, you undoubtedly need to go beyond just attracting followers; you must follow through and engage them. Try New Angles When it comes to engaging the audience you have accumulated on various social media platforms, there really is no one-track approach. In fact, the more angles you try out, the more potentially engaging your presence may become. For instance, you may try attaching graphics to your posts for a period of time. If that does not work, or you simply feel like trying a different angle, you could try rewarding your followers for sharing your content, or offering additional incentives to boost your engagement. Trying new angles with your social media presence will also potentially lead to an influx in brand advocates, which can only help your cause. Consistency and Monitoring Surely you have heard that consistency is key, which is a philosophy that really holds true with social media. Your goal should essentially be to provide regular content to remind followers of your brand. In addition, you want to monitor how the frequency of your posts goes over with followers. For instance, if you are posting a couple times a week and getting a favorable response, you may want to increase your frequency to once or twice daily. In terms of consistency, there is nothing worse than posting sporadically and expecting to get results. Plain and simple: people can't follow your posts if the posts don't exist. Social Media Platforms Are Not 'One Size Fits All' Whether you are trying to create an engaging presence on as many social media platforms as possible, or you are simply focusing on the big ones, like Facebook and Twitter, under no circumstances should you recycle your posts across the spectrum. While you may be able to have some overlap in the content you post, it just is not possible to fit a lengthy status update from your Facebook page into a minimalist 140-character tweet. It is much better to customize your approach based on the social network. Doing so will only increase your engagement. Have fun, be social!
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There are two major branches of mobile usage: "apps" (applications) and "the mobile web." The mobile web is just a way of referring to all the websites that have mobile-enabled pages. The term also loosely includes most of the Internet because you can still see almost any website with a mobile device ... you just can't necessarily use it very well. Unlike mobile web sites, apps are not hosted on servers. Apps are self-contained little programs that are typically optimized for use on smartphones and tablets. Some apps have similar functionality to their sister websites and behave like little portable microsites, while other apps behave more like true software programs on your computer. Apps Versus Mobile Sites for Engagement Apps have an edge if you want a deeper engagement experience with your users, and if you want to make the most of the functionality of the device they're on (for example, the way the carpenter's level apps make use of a mobile device's sensitivity to what angle it's held at). Apps Beat Mobile Sites on Speed, But Lose on Reach Apps are also better for response times. If you're building a game, an app gives the player faster response than would a website. But the advantages come at a cost: Apps tend to be more expensive to develop than mobile sites. You will also have to get Apple's blessing to have your app available on iTunes, and the same goes for other smartphone platforms like Droid. Mobile sites beat apps in terms of access because vastly more people search the web than search iTunes or any of the other app platforms. That means your mobile site is more likely to get used because an app is harder to find. Apps also have to be downloaded and installed. Data Management Limitations For managing lots of data, apps have an edge in that they typically connect to a database where mobile websites use simpler solutions. For example, a restaurant reservation system is simple enough to use a mobile website with email or text messages for confirmations. But a hotel reservation system that has to track room availability, rates, and other data (smoking/non-smoking, bed size, etc.) would do better with a mobile app that could draw information from a database. Mobile Apps for Simplicity, Apps for More Robust Features Ultimately, apps beat mobile sites in terms of speed, data management and advanced features. But all that functionality comes with a price tag. Most small businesses will do fine with a mobile version of their site, while larger companies, like a chain of retail stores or a conference, should look into developing an app. What do you use for your business? Is your website mobile friendly or are using an app? Share with us!
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The Twitter retweet (RT) can be an immensely powerful tool for your online presence. However, like many other social media elements, there are ways to retweet effectively and there are ways to accidentally compromise your Twitter presence. By using the retweet properly, you present the ability to not only further engage your Twitter followers, you also have the opportunity to develop connections with others within your industry. Why Retweeting Should be Part of Your Twitter Presence A retweet is basically an extension of a normal tweet, which in the process, allows other Twitter users to make the content visible to their followers. One reason why this is so powerful is that it expands your reach within the Twitter community. It essentially allows followers to see tweets from accounts they are not yet following. If you are wondering how retweeting other user's tweets will broaden your reach, try to think of it as creating a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type relationship. In other words, if you retweet a user’s content, that user is much more likely to return the favor. If you continue to do so with tweets that are relevant to your brand, you will only strengthen your networking capabilities. Beyond increasing your networking on Twitter, the retweet also provides depth to your brand’s message. For instance, if the content on your Twitter account is only coming from your voice and opinion, followers may at some point begin to find what you are saying to be stale. This is common with hearing only one message, or voice on a regular basis. However, if you add in a retweet with a similar, albeit distinct message every now and then, your own message will likely only be complimented. Things to be Aware of When Retweeting While retweeting can certainly build strong networking relationships in your industry, if overdone, it can definitely be a nuisance to your followers. So much so, if your followers find that your retweeting is overzealous or irrelevant, they may actually stop following you. In this sense, the last thing you want is to lose followers simply because you recycled another user's content. Another thing to be aware of is the person or organization you are retweeting. Foremost, you should make sure the account is legitimate, and that it is at least somewhat agreeable with your own message. Additionally, you should make sure that the manager of the account will return the favor by retweeting your content. While this may be unlikely if the account has a "verified" or otherwise popular status, it is still good to anticipate which Twitter accounts will reciprocate with a retweet. Follow me @touchingclients
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The first challenge in email marketing is getting your emails opened. There are some tips you should keep in mind when creating great email subject lines. Catchy email subject lines can greatly increase the odds of them being viewed. Here are 25 of them: Make it somewhat personal by using “you” or “your” in the subject line. Use meaningful numbers, like “10 things you can do to start losing weight today." Create urgency. “Read this by Friday and save money” would be an example. More people care about the sender than the subject line: "Bob here with 12 new ideas for you." Use the subject line to tease them into opening it: “Wait until you read these innovative concepts” Show them that opportunity awaits inside your email: “The market is changing here’s how to take advantage." Ask their advice or opinion: “Please let me know what you think of these ideas." Use localization if possible and appropriate. "Look inside for news you can use in City, State”. Ask a pertinent question: “Are you interested in gaining more Facebook fans?” Make a specific offer in your subject line: “Sign up for my newsletter today at no cost.” Track and test your subject lines. Some will work better for your particular audience than others. Avoid using all capital letters and multiple exclamation marks. Capitalizing a word for emphasis is OK. Use a call to action. Ask them to do something: “Take a minute to read this..” Try to keep your subject line short, usually 45 characters or less. Give your audience what they come to you for. If you are a jeweler, use a subject line like “There are 5 ways to tell if gold is real." List a benefit. “feel healthier”, “Increase business”, “Lose weight”, “Save time”, “Be more productive” are all types of benefits. Offer tips or inside information that you, as the expert, would know. Use a contrary or controversial subject line: “Most people won’t tell you this.” Make the reader smile. Use humor or be witty: “Only you (and 576 others) are receiving this” Make your subject line timely: "Here are details of our May event” Make your subject line exclusive to your readers. “Something special for our subscribers.” Let them know what’s inside. “April Newsletter”, “Mobile Marketing Statistics” Don’t try to sell with the subject line, it rarely works. Keep the subject line conducive to how you do business. If you are a straightforward business, be straight forward in your subject lines. Don't try to use all 25 tips at once. It will aggravate your readers and is nearly impossible to do! A great email is only great if it gets read. The subject line is the key that gets it opened. Practice, experiment, and track the success of your email subjects lines. You'll enjoy even greater success with your email marketing.
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Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, we’ve all seen updates from people that make us cringe or annoy us. Facebook and Twitter lend themselves to such posts as they tend to be informal. What about LinkedIn? What type of LinkedIn content is likely to get you the best feedback? How much is too much? How often is too often? Social media is part art and part science. There are basic guidelines, however, that can help keep you from being “that guy” and create valuable posts that will get noticed, read, and help expand your network. What to Post Always keep in mind that LinkedIn is for professional development. Keep it business related, and remember your audience. Posts need to be reader focused, not writer focused. This doesn’t mean that your profile needs to be all business. Your profile is an opportunity to round out your online personality, and including favorite books or music in your profile is fine. However, critiquing the latest Taylor Swift song is not appropriate for a LinkedIn update…unless of course you are a music critic. Good content can be provided if you can show readers how to do something themselves, save them time or money, improve their life, make them more money, or make them happier. Ask yourself if the update will make people feel better about you. How Often to Post A good way to view LinkedIn is like a knock on an office door. If someone comes by your office once in a while, knocks on the door and shares something of value to you, you likely will welcome their visit. Now picture Sheldon from TV’s “Big Bang” theory constantly knocking on your door with information that is important only to him, and, well you get the picture. Think quality, not quantity. One or two quality updates a day on LinkedIn is usually sufficient. If there is something in the news pertinent to your line of work, posting more frequently may be prudent. An example would be if there is a major trial taking place and you are an attorney. If you tend to do a lot of re-posting, ask yourself “Is this the best thing that I read today?” Images and Photos You are constantly branding yourself with LinkedIn, and images and photos are a powerful tool in branding. Make sure the images you use are quality and pertinent. LinkedIn has specific guidelines for photos and images. Make sure your image is in a JPG, PNG or GIF format, and that the file size is 4MB or smaller. Images need to be at least 80x80 pixels and no larger than 4000x4000 pixels. For your profile picture, make sure you use an actual photo of yourself, crop it so your face takes up the majority of the available space, use a simple background, and if at all possible, use a professional photographer. There are hundreds of nuances to creating quality content for your LinkedIn updates. Stay focused on the basics, and you will be on your way to creating updates your readers will care about and appreciate.
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It has been said that every day, you are either gaining market share or losing market share. Even if you are not changing strategies, the forces around you are. There are competitors that want what you have. I t is why I spend so much time discussing the various issues regarding online marketing. Right now is a critical time to decide on your video marketing future. Branding with video is the next huge phase of online marketing and before you dismiss it as too complicated or costly, let’s take a closer look at why it is so important. It makes sense. People are using the Internet to routinely access video content. From movies to television shows to videos of their children, the Internet has become the go-to place to share videos. Online video content is a mainstay in our daily lives, made possible by better bandwidth and devices. It tells a story like no other vehicle. Video marketing gives you the opportunity to share images, sound and words to tell a story that can reach deep into emotions. It moves people to action. Since marketing is ultimately about relationships, it can help effectively build those relationships. People are searching the Internet through videos. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. According to YouTube, people are connecting their videos through social media as well. Almost 17 million user accounts have linked videos to social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. This is creating a vast web of searchable video data. It is easier than you may think. You do not need extraordinary amounts of equipment, software or skills to produce effective videos. Ever see a four-year-old with an iPad? They will play and play until they figure it out. That’s all you need to do with your videos. If you want help, it is certainly out there. We like FilmsAboutMe.com for one. “FAME," as they are called, can help create professional video content for you, or they can help you create your own. With Facebook introducing 15 second videos for its Instagram product, large marketers and companies are diving into video marketing headfirst. The good news is that the Internet is democratized to the point that small and medium sized businesses can take equal advantage. You can use videos to tell your story, tell a story of a satisfied customer, demonstrate a product or show the dramatic differences your product or service can make. It is time to get creative and get into video marketing. Branding with video marketing is not just for the big boys. You can start by creating your own online brand channel at YouTube. Get in the game and start using video marketing to propel your business. You may even enjoy the process!
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