10 Signs Your Website Is Not Working Anymore

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 10 Signs Your Website Is Not Working Anymore

A business’ website is the basis of their online presence and marketing strategy. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that it is effective and up to date. The set up and initial design of your website is important, but so too is the website redesign. After all, what was effective several years ago is not going to be now. The following ten points are indications that it is time to engage in some redesigning.

  1. First and foremost, you should never leave your website for longer than two years without an element of a redesign. The reason for this is that your website will almost certainly be out of date and old-fashioned if you leave it unedited for such a lengthy spell.
  2. The second telling sign that you need website redesign is if you are suffering from a lack of visitors. This means that you have lost a connection with your viewership; this is likely to be as a result of the fact that you no longer offer them anything new.
  3. In addition to this, you should consider redesigning your website if it is entirely based on flash. This is because search engines view flash as one page and so you are missing out on a whole host of visibility and traffic possibilities. Moreover, flash can take a while to load and this also impacts your search engine ranking.
  4. A fourth reason why you should consider a revamp is simply if your website looks old fashioned. It is advisable to keep up to date with the latest trends in regards to colours, patterns and fonts.
  5. Another factor you should consider is how high you are ranking on the search engine pages. If you are not ranking high up then some changes need to be made.
  6. If the navigation of your website is slightly complicated, then this is a massive indication that you need to engage in website redesign. After all, convenience and ease of navigation is everything. You will lose customers if you have a complicated interface.
  7. The seventh reason why you would need to revitalise your site is if you have a high bounce rate. This is when someone visits your website but then leaves it from exactly the same page. This indicates that your website was not engaging enough. A slow website is one of the main reasons for this, and switching to VPS can assist.
  8. Furthermore, if your site is not compatible with all browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc.) then you need to redesign it so that it is.
  9. The ninth reason in the list as to why you may need a redesign is if you are benefitting from high visitors but are still suffering from low sales. This means that your design is not effective with regards to e-commerce and directing people to the sales section.
  10. And finally, if your website is no longer reflective of your business image and aims then you need a change. After all, companies’ objectives are constantly changing and thus your website will need to adapt to this too.

To conclude, if your website falls into some of the categories mentioned above then it is highly recommended that you consider the prospect of website redesign.

Strategies to Improve Your Online Presence

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, Strategies to Improve Your Online Presence

The world is online, even if your business isn’t. Refraining from having a website, and associated local listings and social accounts is how you remain invisible to all but your locals. Now, this might seem like a great thing, when you’re, say, a local mechanic, but there are people just outside of your neighborhood who could use your services as well, only because you aren’t online, they can’t find you. Improving your online presence is how you’ll be found, it is how you’ll increase business, and it is how you’ll further your success. To improve your online presence, follow these tips:

1. Start (or Improve) Your Website

You need a website that uses cloud hosting. This is how you’ll ensure that you have miniscule chance of downtime, and how you’ll gain full customization options. You need your website to not just look good, but you need it to be fast and you also need it to be on-site SEO friendly. These three traits are what make a website perfect. Google will rank you based on your speed, and users may not go through your site if it takes ages to load. Similarly, you need the website to look great in order to convey professionalism, so that users can trust you before they even know you.

2. Grow a Genuine Community

Buying followers and likes on Instagram, Facebook, and any other social site is a waste of money. Keeping up the appearance is nowhere near as important as creating an organic, genuine community. You can use social media to increase your website visits and even your sales, but you need to do it the right way. This means crafting bespoke, unique posts with great pictures. It also means engaging with your community at large, before and after they follow you.

A great social media marketing campaign can get you the awareness you need, but you need to respond and be engaged with what your community is saying and doing to be on top of trends, and to nurture these relationships. A repeat customer is more valuable than a one-off sale any day.

3. Get Listed

If you are a local business, you have so many options to be referenced, referred to, and listed. This is great both for the organic hits from these second-party sites, and it’s also excellent for SEO. For instance, if you are a local boutique retailer, you can easily list your business on all directories, like Google or even TripAdvisor. You can also provide your local news agencies of any events you might be holding, since they are more likely to publish a local piece that promotes their neighborhood. This means that you’ll not only gain more traffic from these sites, but Google will rank your website higher due to the number of back-links. Additionally you have to learn local SEO tactics and strategies to increase traffic.

Being smart about your online presence is how you can not only be found by more people, it’s also how you’ll be trusted by more people. Trust, and greater visibility, will lead to success.

5 Ways to Eliminate Comment Spam and Boost Real Conversations

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 5 Ways to Eliminate Comment Spam and Boost Real Conversations

Blogging is one of the best marketing tools for businesses and influencers. It’s a great way to share one’s knowledge, expertise and opinions. It’s also a great way to build a community of like-minded people.

The only way you can really create that sense of community though, is to boost real conversations among your readers.

Not only do comments make many bloggers feel good, knowing their work has been seen and appreciated, but it’s also a really great way to connect with your audience on a more human level. It allows people to ask questions and get answers, to offer their support, to express their opinions and even build new friendships.

Which is why it’s important to make your blog’s comment section an inviting space.

1. Eliminate Comment Spam

As many bloggers and blog readers know, comment spam is just a part of life online. The bigger your blog grows, the more comment spam there is. It’s never ending, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in.

What is Comment Spam?

So, what is comment spam? Well, comment spam is a term used to describe a broad range of comments that are unwelcome. Often, these are comments left by people advertising products or trying to get people to click on whatever link they’ve left.

Comment spam doesn’t add any value and needs to be eliminated if you want to boost real conversations.

Why You Need to Eliminate Comment Spam

Comment spam is a big deal. It’s not just annoying, but it has a few negative effects on your blog and your reputation.

First of all, if you allow comment spam to sit around, Google will punish your domain by ranking you lower on search engine results. Google sees comment spam as a bad thing, too. Even if you just have spam links in your comment section, Google might assume you have it on other places on your website and can greatly affect your pageviews. Just check your analytics and you’ll see.

Comment spam actually puts your readers in danger. You want your website to be a safe place that people can trust. If a reader clicks on a link left in your comments that directs them to a malware site, their computer could be infected with spyware. That reader won’t feel safe on your site again and likely won’t come back.

Leaving comment spam makes you look like you don’t care. You should be taking the time to clean out any unwelcome comments, which could be links to anything from advertisements to even porn sites or viruses. People won’t want to leave a comment if it looks like you don’t take the time to look through them.

How to Eliminate Comment Spam

Now that you know why it’s necessary to eliminate comment spam, you need to know how to do it.

There are five main ways to eliminate comment spam on your blog:

  1. Configure WordPress to minimize comment spam. Do this by setting it so comments must be manually approved before they are posted. If you’re still new to WordPress, you can read up on the basics here that’ll guide you through how to set your site up.
  2. Install an anti-spam plugin.
  3. Use a third-party comment-hosting platform.
  4. Shift the conversation to social media.
  5. Remove comments from your blog completely.

It might seem easier to just get rid of comments altogether, but allowing comments on your blog is a great way to continue the conversation.

So assuming you don’t want to remove comments from your blog or shift the conversation to social media, you should focus on the first three steps.

Interested in learning how to boost real conversation in your comment section? Keep reading.

2. Make It Easy

Some blogs make it incredibly difficult to leave a comment. Some require you to fill out robot tests, others require you to sign into Facebook, or even require you to share your email address. If it’s too much work, though, people aren’t going to bother leaving a comment at all.

There are a number of commenting systems that make leaving comments a lot easier. Even better, some commenting systems make it easier to keep track of comments you’ve left on other blogs so you can reply easier and continue the conversation.

Most people aren’t going to go back to the blogs they’ve commented on to see if they got a reply, so having a commenting system would really help.

Commenting systems also make it easier to moderate comments, fight spam, notify commenters of replies, offers lead generation, and more. They’re also easy to install on any WordPress blog no matter what hosting you have.

3. Write Compelling Content

If you want people to leave comments you need to give them a reason to. Quality content that’s thought-provoking and interesting will make it more likely that people will leave meaningful comments.

Surprisingly, one of the best techniques to really take your content to the next level and inspire people to comment is emotion. Add emotion into your blog posts and you’re much more likely to receive more comments.

There are a number of emotions you can try to provoke. It can be inspirational, it can be sad, or exciting, or it can even be upsetting. If you get someone to feel something, they’ll likely want to express it.

In fact, blog posts that discuss controversial topics are much more likely to get more comments that boost real conversations among people.

4. Ask Questions

A lot of bloggers now ask at least one question at the end of every blog post in hopes it will inspire their readers to answer it in the comment section. For many of these bloggers, the closing paragraph is often something like, “What would you add to this list?” But that’s not going to get people to comment.

If you really want to increase reader engagement you should ask questions throughout your blog post that actually gets people to think.

According to ProBlogger there are seven types of questions you should ask. These questions include:

  • What do you think?
  • How do you feel?
  • What will you do?
  • What is your opinion?
  • What is your story?
  • What is your experience?
  • What have you been working on?

So, for example, if you’re writing a blog post about a book you read, you can ask your readers if they have read it, what they thought of it, how it made them feel, or even if they would recommend it to someone and why. Always ask open-ended questions to guarantee a response.

5. Reply to All Comments

Any time you do get a comment you should reply to it right away. A lot of people comment for a reason. They might want to elaborate on what you said, ask a question, share their own experience related to the topic, or even thank you for sharing. So if you’re really interested in boosting real conversations in your comment section, keep the conversation going by replying to comments.

If people come across your blog and see you don’t take the time to reply, they won’t want to comment at all.

Keep the Conversation Going

Now that you know how to eliminate comment spam and boost real conversations, it’s time to head over to your blog and implement these ideas. Once they’re implemented, start your own email marketing campaign to ensure your audience stays up to date with your content and boost your conversations even further.

Internet Marketing Failing? Let’s Take a Look at What You’re Doing Wrong

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, Internet Marketing Failing? Let's Take a Look at What You're Doing Wrong

Even the strongest businesses in the world have had their weak moments. Maybe things aren’t going so well with your business at the moment. Perhaps it’s just one factor of your business that isn’t performing as well as it should be. If we look at the most common elements that come into play when things aren’t going amazingly for any given business, it quite often has to do with poor Internet marketing.

Many business owners are becoming cognizant of just how important Internet marketing is. But a lot of them are making a bunch of mistakes. One of those mistakes was assuming that Internet marketing would bring them immediate success and riches. This sort of attitude betrays a sort of ignorance about how Internet marketing really works and how it should be approached. This can cause a lot of errors when it comes to the marketing campaign as a whole.

So perhaps it’s time that you took a serious look at your Internet marketing campaign! If your marketing hasn’t brought you the return you were hoping for, then it’s crucial that you take a close look at things and perhaps rethink your approach. After all, most digital marketing methods out there aren’t exactly cheap. And that’s fine, as long as it can actually bring results, right?

Internet marketing isn’t the magic wand that a lot of businesses seem to think it is. It needs to be done properly. You can throw all the money you want at your campaign, but if it’s going in the wrong direction then you might as well be throwing your cash into a black hole. We’re going to take a look at some of the most common and severe fundamental problems that many modern businesses have with their digital marketing approach. If you start to get feelings of recognition as you read through this article, then it might be time for you to make some serious changes to your marketing techniques!

Overestimation

I made a brief mention of this above, but it’s worth going into a little more detail. Essentially, a lot of businesses out there massively overestimate the power of Internet marketing. Yes, if done right, it can be very powerful. But the fact of the matter is that Internet marketing is vulnerable to many of the same sort of flaws you see in any other medium.

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
Photo courtesy of Infusionsoft Sales & Marketing via flickr

Internet marketing isn’t going to guarantee you a truckload of new customers. A lot of people understand this when it comes to working with advertising in other media, because they’re more used to have ineffective, say, a television advert or a newspaper advert can be. Most people will probably overlook those sorts of ads, right? Well, the same goes for most kinds of Internet marketing. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in them! It just means that you have to be careful not to commit one of the most common mistakes in this field: that of overestimating the results you’re going to get.

Temper your expectations! You may even have started reading this article because you thought you would get hundreds of thousands of new customers from your campaign. This sort of thinking may have given you a false impression of the success of your campaign: it might be that it’s working as good as it can – it’s just that your expectations are unrealistic!

The DIY approach

A lot of business owners seem to be working under the assumption that Internet marketing is easy. They’re also looking for any way they can find to save some money. Well, it’s true that it’s possible to do your own Internet marketing. And, with that in mind, you can cut a lot of costs if you do take this approach. But the fact is that Internet marketing is much more complex than many of these business owners realize.

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article

If you want to take on this task by yourself, then you should really be an expert at this sort of thing. If you’re not, you could be wasting a lot of time with ineffective marketing techniques. Remember that the right Internet marketing company has a lot of connections in the marketing industry, whereas you’re likely to have none at all. If you do want to take this approach, then you should make sure you really know what you’re doing. Look into taking an online course in digital marketing to boost your skills and knowledge.

The substandard marketing company

Having said all of this, working with a bad marketing company could be even worse than taking the reigns yourself! While there’s a lot to be said about the many problems that overconfidence in your own abilities can bring, there is also much to be said about putting too much confidence in the hands of those who claim to be experts. Just as in any other industry, there are companies in this field that simply don’t know what they’re doing. Not every Internet marketing business is some angel that will be able to save your business.

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article

You need to make sure that you’re signing up to work with an incredibly good Internet marketing company. These guys don’t come cheap, after all! You need to keep an eye out when it comes to these companies, because there are a bunch of potential problems that could really put a spanner in the works. What if their customer service is terrible? What if the methods they use to get results work only in the short term? And what if they’re using ‘black’ techniques? (More on that in just a moment!) You should ensure that you’re checking the online reputation of these companies, as well as the feedback they’ve received from previous clients.

Villainous techniques

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “black hat” before when you’ve explored the realm of Internet marketing. You may even know that it’s bad, though you’re not entirely sure why exactly that is. As clichéd as it may be, “black” Internet marketing techniques are bad and “white” Internet marketing techniques are good – or, perhaps, to be more accurate, “black” is illegal and “white” is legal. (And we’re talking in terms of search engine rules, not the actual judiciary reality of the real world!)

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
Photo courtesy of freezelight via flickr

Essentially, “black hat” or “black label” Internet marketing methods (and they’re usually SEO-based) actively use the sort of techniques that spam search engine algorithms with the sort of content that used to provide shortcuts to the very top of search engine rankings. Keyword stuffing, false leads, and unethical link sharing and selling are all parts of this game. Of course, black hat and black label SEO don’t often produce results, because companies like Google are very wise to their games these days. So you need to ensure that you’re looking into white hat and white label SEO if you want your campaign to go anywhere in the long-term.

“SEO” and “social media” are just buzzwords, right?

An alarmingly common problem is that business owners often find themselves trying a little too hard to go against the grain. Yes, you should be unique in your approach. But it’s possible to take that too far. If you’re of the opinion that SEO and social media are mere buzzwords as opposed to things that can actually help your marketing in big ways, then you’ve definitely gone a little too far from the beaten track!

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article

Without the use of SEO and social media, you’re throttling the efficacy of your digital marketing campaign. And I mean really throttling. Like, Homer-Simpson-choking-Bart-Simpson level throttling. SEO and social media are what help your digital marketing breathe and expand to new corners of the Internet. Don’t try to be so unconventional that you don’t use these at all.

Problems with your business

And so we come to the least fun possibility of the lot. The one that’s probably the hardest the solve of all of them. Let’s say your marketing isn’t actually flawed. Perhaps you’re working with the best Internet marketing company in the business. You’ve invested in all the correct tools and employees, and at a reasonable price, too. You have all the data you need to make the right decisions. But business still doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. An SEO audit didn’t reveal any problems with your marketing approach, so what could the problem be?

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article

Unfortunately, it could very well be the case that the problem is with your business. After all, all the great marketing in the world simply isn’t going to help you out that much if your website, product, or service really isn’t that up to scratch.

But how exactly can you tell if this is the problem? Well, this is why you need powerful analytics for your website and Internet marketing campaign. If people are being directed to your business in droves, then you should be able to tell. If they are, but not enough people are actually clicking through to complete a purchase, then this is a sign that something is wrong with what you’re offering, or how you’re offering it, as opposed to something being wrong with the marketing itself. In this case, you’re going to have to do some market and customer research in order to pinpoint the problems you’re having!

This Is How You Can Grow Your E-commerce Store

If you have an E-commerce store, chances are, you’d like to expand and grow. Everybody wants to make more money and get more conversions, right? Here are a few ideas that can help you to achieve the success you want:

Make It As Easy To Check Out As Possible

Make it as easy as you possibly can during the check out process. Just because somebody is checking out, doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind if it’s taking too long. Go through it yourself and make it as simplified as possible to stop people from abandoning their cart and going elsewhere. This could mean offering a guest check out rather than forcing people to sign up with you, for example. However, there are a few things you might need to change.

Show Complementary Products

Make sure you find a way to show complementary products on the page as a way of up-selling. Show the customer what others have bought, or what goes well with what they’ve bought. This can help you to achieve more sales. If you’re a clothing company, you could show complementary shoes with a particular dress, for example.

Offer Coupons And Discounts

Offer coupons and discounts for certain things. For example, signing up to your newsletter, or even birthday discounts to loyal customers. You could even offer discounts when somebody recommends a friend. Many stores are also offering point systems, so customers can earn themselves a free product after so many purchases. The following infographic can give you even more useful information!


Infographic Created By Red Stag Fulfillment