Monthly Archives: May 2013

8 Ways to Get Website Visitors to Stick Around

When people land on your website how much are they really engaging with your content? If you use Google Analytics you should be able to make informed decisions about your website knowing how much time people spend there, what pages they stay on or leave from and whether or not they ever return. Getting people to your site is a project in itself but getting them to stay there and engage once they arrive is the hardest part. Below are 8 sure ways to get them to stick around:

1. Teach your visitors something new every time they come back: If you visited a site today and again in a month to see that there are no changes or updates, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t think anything is happening within the business. A blog would serve as a great solution here!

2. Keep the website navigation clean and simple: Once landing on your page, visitors should immediately understand what your website does, what value it will bring to them and what they should do next. Headline copy should be short and clear. Page copy should explain what you do in the simplest of terms. It is extremely important to have one main call-to-action on each page of the site – this could be a sign-up, a download, a free-trial, watching a video, or any other type of action you want your visitors to perform while visiting.

3. Provide pictures and video: Visuals are a great way to demonstrate and communicate how your product/service works. People don’t always prefer reading through text but they are open to watching and listening to a short explainer video about a product or service. These videos will also help increase the amount of time your visitor spends on site versus an otherwise quick skim through of page copy.

websitevideo

4. Update your content: You often hear content is KING. Updating your content and keeping your site relevant could be as simple as adding an ‘Updates’ or ‘News’ scroll with new product/service announcements, events you’ve attended, internal promotions, new contracts or recent partnerships. This will help change up your website so visitors aren’t visiting the same site over and over.

5. Add a blog: Give your visitors something valuable. A blog helps to increase the authenticity and show the personality behind your brand. You can think of it as an extension of your website’s ‘About Us’ page. Visitors are able to get a better understanding of your company, its employees, your values and what you really take pride in such as sharing and building a product that benefits your customers.

6. List the benefits of your products & services: This page should clearly highlight your various products and services giving your readers the information they need in order to research and understand what your business has to offer. There should be specific points describing how your product/service can fulfill a need or solve a problem that your visitor has. Be clear as to how you differentiate from your competitors. What can they expect to get from you that they wouldn’t anywhere else?

7. Case studies/testimonials: Case studies are a wonderful way to highlight your company’s success. These can help add a concrete and personal touch to your product and services. In each of your case studies be sure to mention the customer’s challenge, how your service helped them overcome that challenge and the outcome or result(s) they’ve had since using your service.

8. Test, Test, Test: Tweaking your website into it’s most successful version is going to be a night and day difference when it comes to ROI. Sites that can keep their visitors occupied with easy-to-find information are going to be the real stand-outs here. For example, f you have a newsletter sign-up form it’s extremely important to test out different forms, which styles get the most conversions? Are you asking for too much information for your guests? Is what you have to offer intriguing enough to get them to sign up? Does the signup button perform better when it’s green or yellow? Believe it or not these small details can make or break your click through rates. Never stop TESTING!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Small Business

While the general public views LinkedIn as a place to connect with recruiters and post an “online version” of their resume it’s also an exceptional platform for businesses to seek out and capture some very targeted leads. It provides a great opportunity for you to promote your product and/or services where many conversations around topics specific to your industry are most likely already happening. If you haven’t taken advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer, now is the time to start.

Finding leads on LinkedIn:

  • Use the advanced search opportunity to find members based on location, company, industry, job titles, size of company, etc.

  • Check out who’s been viewing your profile and reach out to them, they’re probably looking at your profile for a reason.

  • After you connect with users, send them a message thanking them for the connection. None of those generic messages either, it doesn’t take much to add a little personalization to it.

linkedin

Building Brand Awareness & Credibility:

  • Post engaging and relevant updates 3-4 days a week from both your own personal page and from your company’s page. LinkedIn is known to have a peak time between 12pm and 3pm during the workweek.

  • If you have more connections than fans on your company page – which is most likely the case – make sure you’re linking to your company’s page. Linkedin just recently added the @ mention feature making it easier to grab the attention of specific individuals and lead your connections directly to your company’s page more easily.

  • It’s important that you’re active in at least 5 groups pertaining to your industry. The people here are most likely already interested in what you have to share. Start sharing relevant content, engage with other user’s posts and generate conversations.

  • We highly suggest creating and hosting a group of your own as well. Build up a community that’s centralized around your brand and become a resource for your members by establishing a forum for them to share their best practices, obstacles, new ideas and opinions. This will help create credibility of your brand amongst your target market. We recently started one of our own, Your Pet Business Networking Group as a place to share ideas, meet other pet industry professionals and provide a networking opportunity for ourselves and other members

  • Encourage your current customers to leave recommendations on your company profile. Personalized recommendations, ratings and reviews are a HUGE market right now. Consumers are constantly seeking out what others have to say before making a decision to purchase a product or use a service.

What to do once you’ve created a LinkedIn Group:

  • Promote, promote, promote! If you have a monthly newsletter that you send out to your subscribers, include invitations to your LinkedIn group in it.

  • Once you build up your Group, it may be obvious that you have some very prominent and powerful members that contribute to the group. Need new content for your blog? Promote these members while doing so! If they’re introducing a new product or service of their own what better place to shine the spotlight on them than your company’s blog and within the group! The group members will be more apt to share the content with their audiences which in turn will help create brand awareness for you.

  • Avoid being too salesy or pitchy. People join LinkedIn groups because of the low-key relationship that’s expected of them. They don’t want to feel pressured into buying anything, but rather find a place to seek out information at their own convenience.

What are some of your favorite aspects of LinkedIn? What tactics work well for your small business, which ones don’t? Feel free to share in the comment section below, we’d love to hear about them!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Why We Don’t Recommend GoogleApps for Small Businesses

Okay, so if you’re in the small business domain, you’ve heard all about the amazing world of Google. There is Google+, Gmail, GoogleApps, etc. Just one teeny problem that is missing in the marketing, the customer service is AWFUL. If you have a problem and call the 1-800 number, you will be connected with someone whose first language is not English and although that in itself is not an issue, it can present a problem when you’re trying to communicate.

Also, one small glitch we’ve come across is when we tried to upgrade from Gmail to GoogleApps, we lost our entire YouTube channel! That’s right, a video production company without samples, active video links, or unpublished videos (used to privately share content) all of a sudden disappeared. This is apparently a problem when you have a YouTube channel that is registered under the same domain name, in this case it was the name of our company, “Chicago Pet Video.” While we are a small company, we are incredibly busy serving our clients and to have our YouTube channel completely disappear did cause some waves and majorly effect the way we conduct business.

Initially we were switching our email system over and went straight for GoogleApps, but now Microsoft’s Outlook is going to have to win this small battle. I’d love to support Google here, but Microsoft’s customers support is definitely better (not by much, but still) and ultimately we can’t forgive them for permanently deleting our entire YouTube channel, with likes, comments, and all.

Anyone else have two cents to share on Gmail vs. Outlook or a similar customer service nightmare story to share?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Get Your Press Release Noticed

Episode 3 of Your Pet Business video blog. Tips and Advice on How to Get Your Press Release noticed from Clay Jackson, Deputy News Editor of Pet Product News and Veterinary Practice News.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Video Marketing? Because These Experts Said So!

Have you found yourself wondering why your company should invest in video marketing? Why is video marketing important? What do the experts say about it? We’ve done a little of the initial research for you right here. Take a look at these quotes on what video marketers have to say about the industry and why it’s so important to implement a definitive marketing campaign:

1. “Business decision makers LOVE online video because it gives them the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time.” – Robert Weiss, President of MultiVision Digital

2. The right people to start video blogging are those with a passion to tell a story. – Steve Garfield (Author Of Get Seen)

3. “By publishing content that shows buyers you understand their problems and can show them how to solve them, you build credibility.” – Ardath Albee, Author of Emarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale

4. “People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.” – Malorie Lucich, Facebook Spokesperson

5. “Humans are incredibly visual and powerful, moving images help us find meaning… [and] video helps capture and contextualize the world around us.” – Dan Patterson, What Makes an Online Video Worth Sharing?

steve jobs

6. “Audiences everywhere are tough. They do not have time to be bored or brow beaten by orthodox, old fashioned advertising.” – Craig Davis

7. “As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold to. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.” – Larry Weber, Author of Marketing to the Social Web

8. “There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web.” – Rand Fishkin, CEO, Seomoz

9. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” -Peter F. Drucker

10. “By publishing content that shows buyers you understand their problems and can show them how to solve them, you build credibility.” – Ardath Albee

11. “You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” – David Meerman Scott, marketing speaker

12. “The Internet has turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions.” – Danielle Sacks, Fast Company reporter

13. “Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm, and ideas about how to solve that problem.” – Laura Fitton

14. “We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.” – Pierre Omidyar, founder, eBay

15. That, and I think those who invest in producing more creative, high quality, and unique video content will be able to far exceed the success of their peers who only invest lightly. – Rand Fishkin, CEO, Seomoz

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: