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
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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 Marketing and Sales Article

Talking Shop – What Your Ecommerce Site Can’t Do Without

If you’re reading this then you know that the future of shopping is well-and-truly online. But not every shop is created equal. The ecommerce businesses that keep the tips below in mind are going to see much more success with their customers.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Focus on the user experience first and foremost

This should be a given for any site but in the world of ecommerce, it’s actually easier to lose customers. Beyond categorization for products that makes sense and smart advanced search options, take an in-depth look through the whole process of buying items on your store. Think about where you can trim the fat, where another page or another click might not necessarily be needed. Putting customers through too long a process puts you at real risk of shopping cart abandonment. Another way of fighting it is by using breadcrumb navigation that shows customers at what stage they’re at through every part of the process. User friendliness must be your first and last concern.

Work to your product

No two ecommerce systems should work alike. In fact, if they have different products and different target markets, they should be wildly different. Beyond good navigation, you need a focus on the value proposition of the site and the individual products. For instance, the front page should be loud and clear with the deals on some of the most popular product types on the site. A front page that says nothing about the products is going to result in a lot of confused visitors. But attention to detail should go deeper than that. For instance, writing great product descriptions depends wildly from product to product. Lifestyle and fashion products, for instance, rely more on greater visual detail. Meanwhile, tech like computers and TVs need the technical details up-front. We’re talking resolutions, gigabytes, and compatibilities. You can’t sell two different kinds of products on the same selling points.

Have a site that works with you

Even worse than a site that’s confusing to customers is one that’s confusing to you. Not just in terms of design but management. Nowadays, there a lot of ecommerce hosting options that make it a lot easier for site owners to choose a platform built specifically for hosting ecommerce pages, with all the various sub-pages that go with it. Continuous, never-ending testing of the site is essential, too. Not just to make sure all pages are working. Methods like A/B testing also help you better understand how to make the site much easier to use for the customer.

Watch and learn

One of the best things about running a shop online as opposed to in the physical world is how much easier it is to store data on not just your customer base, but individual customers, too. Measuring the whole gives you a finger on the pulse of the market, seeing the trends from the customer’s’ point of view that can help you decide on which new stock might work best for the business. Building individual customer profiles, however, lets you go even further. You can specialize offers and create a bespoke browsing experience for each user that makes them a lot more likely to see something they’re tempted to buy.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Take Your Business Online

A strong presence in the world of the Internet is a necessity for the businesses of today. As a business owner, you probably already know that. You’ve probably created your business a website, and all the social media handles to match. You’ve probably liked a few photos, ran a few competitions and uploaded a few videos. But there’s so much more your business can do online. In fact, there’s a world wide web of opportunities out there. Below are just some of the things you should consider when it comes to taking your business online.

As a business owner you want to make profit from the goods you sell, right? Well then, there’s no better place to start than with e-commerce. Setting up a stall in the Internet marketplace is an online option that all manner of business owners are taking to in this day and age. And it’s no wonder they are when you consider how easy it is. All you need to do is find a service that will cater to your e-commerce needs and help you create your own marketplace and you’re up and running. An example of such a service is Shopify. They can help when it comes to building your site, ensuring that is is mobile friendly and making it as easy to customise as possible. And once you’ve set up your marketplace it’s time to decide upon the most important aspect: what you are selling. When it comes to this you should most certainly have a snoop at your competition. To find your competition simply search for the keywords linked to your marketplace on a search engine and, voila! They’ll appear. Once you find them take a look at what they’re selling, how much they are selling and how much they are selling it all for. And you should also take notes on a host of other things on your competitor’s site too. This includes taking notes on the overall theme of the site in order to figure out how to make your store as user-friendly as possible. Scribbling down information on how they are linking back to their parent website. And jotting down anything that you think contributes to their USP (unique selling point). You need to come up with a USP of your own, but there’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from the USPs of others.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

And if you haven’t dipped your business’s toe into the pool of blogging yet, then you should most certainly do so. Blogs have turned into big business in recent times. So big in fact that some businesses have taken to hiring somebody that is known as a webmaster in order to keep their blog active. Blogs allow consumers to access and interact with like minded people. They allow consumers to see the development of a business in real-time. They allow them to feel close to the business. If you want to induce a healthy and incredibly modern relationship with your customers, then starting a blog should be at the forefront of your plans.

So, if you want to increase your business’s ROI and it’s relationship with it’s customers, make sure to take heed of the advice above! The Internet offers a plethora of opportunities for a business to thrive upon it, you just have to be brave enough to embrace the digital age to take them.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Taking Your Customer’s Money

A lot of modern transactions don’t involve physical money at all. Instead, they rely on bank transfers. These transfers are usually started with a bank card and a clever system that contacts the bank. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, though. And, a lot of companies go wrong here. The results of which can be devastating for a business. So, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing these things correctly. And, with customers in mind. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the options you have available.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Even in stores, most transactions are handled using bank cards, nowadays. This means that shops have to have the capacity to complete hundreds of transactions each day. Usually, a subscription service is used. The shop will pay a set amount on each transaction. And, they will get to use the card machines and software that they need for free. Sometimes, it’s best to go a little bit bigger, though. Nowadays, you can find similar services that provide you with a whole till system. These systems are usually much more than most small businesses could afford by themselves. And, it could dramatically change your business. A TallySoft point of sale system is great to make sure that your payments are handled securely. And, that they’re made quickly and effortlessly. You customers will notice the new tech you have around.

All of the transactions that your business handles online will be bank transfers of sorts. This means that you have to have a system in place to deal with this. When it comes to ecommerce, you have loads more available. Services like PayPal will allow you to sell your products through their service. You just have to make a product button with them, and add it to your website. Some sites need greater control, though. And, will want to have things like baskets for their customers to use. A full CMS system would be required for this. There are loads of options out there for services like this. You just have to look at some reviews to find the best one that suits your needs.

When you take money from people on a website, you have to think about security. Most of the payment systems out there will make sure that your website is secured with SSL. An SSL certificate encrypts the data being sent, received, and moved around your site. This makes it much harder for criminals to access the data. Along with this, you also need to secure the forms that send data. Doing this will require some programming, though. So, you might need the help of a developer to get this done. Always make sure that your website is using the latest security standards. And, that you perform regular virus checks on your server system.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done to take money from your customers. It’s hard to make sure that you’re using the right services for these tasks. So, make sure that you do plenty of research and fact checking before you choose your methods.

StrategyDriven Alternative Selection Article

How to Assess an Online Money-Making Idea

StrategyDriven Alternative Selection ArticleAccording to Google, in December of 2012, 1.44 million people searched on some variation of the phrase “make money online.” Maybe you even found this blog post by searching for that phrase yourself. If you’re reading this, you’re at least probably interested in it.

I’ve been in the business of internet revenue generation for years. I’ve done the research myself to see what type of answers Google gives you when you search on such a phrase. Often, the business models that come up with that search promise a lot of money right out of the gate – from a few hundred dollars a month to a whopping $50,000 – with the use of this or that platform.

I want to give you a little bit of expert information about the sort of platforms we’re talking about – and some stern advice. The way these platforms work is to provide a product or service that is marketable. Usually, there’s an existing parent company that offers to let you use their product and their platform. In return, you provide the marketing muscle to make the sales.

In the online business world, marketing is almost always about creating an email opt-in list. Email addresses are gold in the internet marketing business, and there are various ways you can go about collecting them, most of which rely on content. You might put out a newsletter with compelling subject matter or create a series of video blogs (vlogs). Content is the lure that hooks those email addresses right onto your list.

Once you have amassed a decent-sized opt-in list, the next step is to send out marketing emails directly about the product you’re selling. With any luck, a certain percentage of those people will bite. Sounds simple, right?

If you read the testimonials of other entrepreneurs who have used the platform you’re considering, they probably sound pretty spectacular. But before you make a commitment, I urge you to do just a little bit of due diligence. Look at the testimonials of other entrepreneurs who have gone down this path before you, and contact two or three of them. Ask them these three specific questions:

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About the Author

Ken CourtrightKen Courtright, speaker and author of multiple best-selling Internet marketing titles, is the founder of Today’s Growth Consultant (TGC) – a two-time Inc. 5000 designee – that launched TGC/Income Store partners with individuals, companies and private equity firms/fund managers procure, develop and manage revenue-generating websites at two times earnings. The company’s portfolio currently boasts over 400 websites that are seen approximately 100 million times each year. Ken may be reached online at