StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Freelancers, Here’s How To Put Your Website To The Test

Being a freelancer means relying on your website to bring in customers – it’s your main source of income. For any business, big or small, a website is a vital marketing tool. However, for freelancers it’s more than that – as a freelancer, your website is the heart of your business, which is why it’s so vital to ensure that it’s as effective as possible. The question is, of course, how can you do that – how can you determine how successful your business website is? Use our guide below to determine if your website is as effective and as successful as you think it is…

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Utilize objective feedback

A simple way to determine whether your website is as effective as it could be is to utilize objective feedback. There are many options for getting this feedback, with one of the best ones being AB testing – this is where an objective group of people are shown multiple versions of a website or page and choose the one that they like the best. There are several benefits of AB testing, including being able to get a better idea of what you could consider changing and what you should ensure stays the same. The fact is that when it comes to ensuring that your website is as well-designed as possible, objective feedback is key.

Monitor your site’s traffic

The number of visitors that your website gets is a good indication of how effective your website is as a marketing resource. Think of your website like a shop window for your products and services – for your business to be a success, your website needs to be as appealing as possible and get plenty of traffic. Monitor your overall traffic using Google Analytics or another similar tool and take note of when there are dips and spikes in your page views and cross reference them to days, times, and anything else that may be relevant.

Track new vs. returning users

Using monitoring software like Google Analytics, you can track your new vs. returning visitors. Usually, websites tend to have more new visitors than returning ones, which is perfectly fine. However, if your site has predominantly more new users than returning ones, this could indicate that your site isn’t quite right and needs some changes making to it.

Note down conversion rates

A vital part of working as a freelancer is determining the conversion rate of your website. If you allow for your services to be ordered online, you can track how many users made purchases and how many abandoned their shopping carts mid-purchase. This kind of data demonstrates how user-friendly your site is, and whether you need to focus on improving usability. If your site isn’t easy to use and navigate, the fact is that your customers will go elsewhere – it’s as simple as that.

Determining how successful your website is, is no easy task, as there are lots of factors to take into account. Hopefully, however, the advice above will help to make the process of measuring your website’s effectiveness a little easier for you.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Ways to Improve Your Website’s Navigation

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

There’s no point taking the time to create a website for your business if you don’t also take the time to ensure that the site is easy for your visitors to find their way around.

Good web design answers the important questions about your business and what it’s about, and that means that your website’s navigation needs to be spot on if you’re going to convince visitors to become customers. Unfortunately, so many businesses, of all shapes and sizes, get it wrong.

Here are some simple things you can do to improve the navigation of your website and make it a whole lot easier for visitors to access the information they require, make purchases, and get in touch:

Plan, Plan, Plan

Before you even think about working on your company website, sit down and plan its content and navigation. Create a flowchart that shows the direction you want visitors to take through your website and the main areas that you’d like to draw their attention to. Pay particular attention to your website’s main navigation and the categories you want to include.

Check Out the Competition

It makes sense to see what the competition is doing if you want to get your website’s navigation right. Make a list of the 20 biggest competitors you have and make a point of going through their website like a customer. This should give you some valuable insights into good and bad navigation, which h you can then use to make your website one of the best in your niche.

Pare it Down

Ideally, if you want to make your website as simple and informative as possible, paring down the number of navigation options on offer is a good idea. The fewer options there are, the less cluttered the site will feel and the easier it will be for visitors to find exactly what they want.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your website as free of animations, auto playing videos, and sizeable images will ensure that your website loads more quickly. It will also keep distractions to a minimum so that the focus of your customers is on your content, products and services. There is nothing worse than a slow loading website to make things difficult and send potential customers away, so avoid temptation and leave those unnecessary elements out.

Make it Static

Your website’s navigation menu should stay in the same place from page to page. It shouldn’t be at the top of the homepage and the side on the about me section.

Text-Based Links

You might think that image-based links look more interesting, but they’re also more difficult for some users to find, and they don’t work as well when it comes to search engine optimization and boosting your website’s position on Google.

Use Basic Language

A lot of companies are tempted to use flowery technical language because they think it makes them look more professional, and this might well be the case, but it also makes it more confusing for their users. So, at least when it comes to menu headings and page titles keep things short and simple.

Be Very Specific

Instead of making your navigation labels general, like saying ‘services’ make them more specific like ‘divorce’ and ‘criminal law’ This will ensure your visitors find exactly what they want quickly and give you another handy SEO boost.

Avoid Drop Down Menus

If you really want to include drop down menus on your website, go ahead and do so, but be aware that a lot of users find them annoying because they can start to move around, and thus cause people to click the wrong link, and get in the way. They’re also a lot more difficult for the likes of Google to crawl, which means your website might not be as easy to find in the first place.

Include a Search Box

Including a search box right at the top of your website is a great way to help your visitors out. If despite your best efforts, they still find your website tougher to navigate than they would like, they can simply type that they’re looking for into the box and a list of options will appear.

Excellent website navigation, which enables visitors to move through your website quickly and without issue is a proven way of increasing conversion rate and boosting your website’s performance. It is vital that you take the above steps, and any others that you can think of to ensure that this is a reality for your website.

Good Luck!

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Making More of What You Have: Optimise Your Business in These Ways to Achieve More

Every business has its limitations, so yours shouldn’t get you down. Instead, you just need to make the most of what you do have, and that’s called optimisation. It’s all about getting more out of your business without having to spend more money or live beyond your means. It’s about improvement without any of the risky unsustainability that can so often come with it. Here are some top ways to achieve that kind of business optimisation.

Adopt a Customer-Centric Approach

First of all, you should definitely try to adopt an approach to business that is a lot more customer-centric. If you can do that, your business will be sure to go much further than ever before, and that can only be a good thing. Some business owners forget that everything they do has to be geared towards customers. If they don’t like what you’re offering and don’t buy what you’re selling, then nothing else really matters at all. By taking a customer-centric approach, you can maximise and optimise your business’s appeal to customers and, ideally, make more sales.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Achieve Growth Through Continual Training

Continual training is vital, and it’s something that any business can focus on. It’s a great way to improve your team and get more out of the people you employ. It allows you to maximise their talents and capabilities, and this should lead to further growth for your business. If you allow your employees to stagnate, they will never improve and never be able to push your business on in the ways you might want them to. You have no right to keep expecting more from your people if you are not willing to offer them the training that allows them to improve.

Get Something Out of Those Unpaid Invoices

Lots of companies find that they end up with a backlog of invoices that haven’t been paid. Clearly, this is not an ideal situation to be in for your company. But rather than waiting and waiting for payments, you can make the most of those unpaid invoices. It could improve your cash flow situation and help your business to survive any tough financial times. Accounts receivable financing allows you to get more from companies that buy up these unpaid invoices. It’s something that is definitely worth considering if you need the cash quickly.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Create Better Balance in Your Team

By creating better balance in your team, you can get more out of that group as a whole. Balance is one of the most underrated attributes when it comes to group dynamics in the office. If you have too many people who are good at one thing and not enough people who are good at another, the team will be unbalanced. This might not sound like such a big deal, but it can have a pretty big impact on your business and how it’s run. You will sooner or later find that you can’t be as efficient nor as productive as you would like if you don’t fix this.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article

The Importance of Effective Communication Within Your Business

Picture this scenario; you have an employee on their way to a business meeting in Dubai. He’s currently in the taxi on his way to the airport, but sadly his work phone is out of battery and you have no way to contact him about the cancelled deal. He boards the plane, heads off to Dubai, and it’s only once he lands that he gets your message about the deal being cancelled.

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

This example highlights just one of the many uses of an effective communications system. The ability to contact the people you need to in an urgent manner is incredibly important due to how time-consuming and money-wasting a delay in communications can be. Yet, unfortunately, there is only so much you can do with traditional systems such as emailing and messaging. If there are other business emergencies, such as a fire breaking out at the office or your business premises being burgled, then you need a quick and swift way to notify everyone within your company because every second counts.

Emergency Notifications System

Let’s pretend one of your employees has come into work early. He’s the first one at the office and he enters the premises to find that your entire office has been trashed, the computers have been stolen and the security system smashed into pieces. With no way to contact everyone in a short time span, the employee isn’t a hundred percent sure what he should do. This is just one of the many emergency notification use cases. Giving your employees the ability to make a company-wide emergency notification is a great way to alert all of the staff about a pressing issue that needs to be sorted out immediately. Instead of relying on a chain of command that they have to climb up for their message to reach someone, they can simply tell everyone in the business with a simple message.

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Building Team Efficiency

If your team are able to easily contact each other with an effective communications system, then it helps to make the team more efficient. Whether there’s an important change that needs to be made or some hardware that broke which was critical to their project, everyone in the team needs to know so that they can adjust their working schedule to either fix the hardware, prepare a replacement or work around it. If your team is unable to communicate effectively, it will lead to delays, disputes and other problems that are going to slow down your business.

Employee Management

Managers are usually quite effective at communicating with their employees, but there are going to be times when having social skills isn’t enough and you need software or technology to improve the way a manager contacts an employee. For instance, if there’s an easy way for your senior members to keep a track of their team members and record their progress, then it makes your business more productive. By having your managers communicate effectively and inform staff of their daily tasks, goals and issues, it creates a workplace that runs smoothly.

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Here’s How You Can Make Your Small Business Appear Professional

So you devised a killer product or service and now you’ve set up a business. It wasn’t easy, but you’re there. You have avoided failure thus far and are now starting to deal with clients and suppliers. Being able to do so while appearing professional is extremely important. You’ll get better deals from suppliers and your customer base will have more faith in you and what you do, meaning they’ll be more inclined to spend money with you. It can be quite tough to maintain a professional facade though, so here are some tips to help you on your way.

Use Quality Paper Materials

You’ll need all of your paper based dealings with other companies and indeed clients to appear professional. Check your invoices and make sure you’re using a good software to process them, if you are doing them yourself, make sure they’re done on a computer and look good, you don’t want to end up looking amateurish. The same applies to your payment systems, if you send cheques, use a company like http://checkomatic.com/ to ensure they look of good quality. You can really give a good impression by maintaining these good paper based materials.

Get Your Website Developed By An Expert

You could do it yourself and save some money, sure. But if you want it to appear expertly developed then getting a developer is the way to go. They will build it to your specifications and ensure it looks great. Use the same colour scheme as your logo and branding to help it tie it all together. They can ensure your website is easy to navigate and that your customers don’t get frustrated by an overly complicated website that ends up taking them through too many clicks to get them to where they need to be. You can find some great freelance web developers who can do it for quite a competitive rate. Just be sure you tell them exactly what you want before hand and if you aren’t happy with their work tell them, they can amend it as needed.

StrategyDriven Business Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Carry Yourself In An Appropriate Manner

If you’re the boss and the owner then you need to ensure your customers and indeed your employees respect you and take you seriously. Don’t take anything personally. It’s just business. You need to carry yourself in a way that radiates professionalism. Clients are more likely to do business with someone who appears serious. Wear a suit, speak properly, don’t be late and always fulfil orders and promises. Setting this example means your employees will follow suit, driving your business to success.

StrategyDriven Business Management Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Write Quality Content

If you have a blog on your website, whether to improve SEO or just as a reference point for your customers then make sure it is written well. Again, you can hire a freelance writer to do this for you. The same applies to the general writing on your website and company lettering. Having spelling errors or grammatical mishaps in your text won’t put too much confidence in your potential customers.