Table of Contents

What is this WordPress thing I keep hearing about?

If you have recently gone to a website designer to get a new website or a website makeover, you probably came across the term: WordPress. Maybe you were too embarrassed to ask what it is, so we have written this article to hopefully answer all of your questions!

Quite simply, WordPress is software used to run both business and personal websites. The WordPress software platform allows a business to have simple website pages like a home page, an about page, and a services page, as well as more complicated pages like a contact page with an online form, a photo gallery page, events page, or even a shop page.

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that allows non-technical users to make changes to existing pages by logging into a secure area. WordPress pages are built so that if you know how to use Microsoft Word or an email editor, you can log in and make changes to your web pages without needing any additional training or web programming experience.

The ease of usability and the flexibility of WordPress makes it the perfect tool for business owners who want more control over their website.

Why should I use WordPress to run my business website?

Remember the very first version of your website? Back in the early to mid 2000’s, if you wanted to make a simple change to one of your web pages, you had to contact your webmaster, explain to them what the change was, and then wait up to a week or more to see the change live on your website.

Those days should be long behind you! The WordPress technology is easy-to-use page editing software, where you can log in (from anywhere with Internet access) and make your changes to any web page and publish it live to the world in minutes.

If that is not reason enough for you to switch and make sure your next website makeover is built using WordPress, here are 9 more reasons:

  1. The WordPress software is free (Open Source) to use – no monthly or annual licensing or ‘software renting’ costs!
  2. WordPress is easy to extend and can grow as your business grows – you can start with a basic business website, then add-on blogging capabilities, ecommerce / online shopping carts, membership and business directories, classified ads, galleries, event management, social media, question and answer functionality, advanced forms, and so so much more!
  3. WordPress is built to be search engine friendly – it comes with the tools to give any search engine optimization expert the ability to optimize further
  4. WordPress is ever-evolving – since it’s inception in 2003, WordPress has gone from being a basic blogging platform to a business website powerhouse tool that continues to innovate!
  5. WordPress is multi-user – you and your team can each have a log in to your WordPress website, each with different levels of roles/capabilities, so you can ensure changes are done right away and that important content is not affected.
  6. WordPress is extremely customizable – you can make your WordPress website look and feel just about any way you can dream up. The architecture of the platform allows it to be personalized and branded to your organization’s needs.
  7. WordPress page editing is easy to use – given the page editor is generally a big box with font styling tools, making changes to existing web pages are a cinch.
  8. WordPress sites can be made to be mobile friendly – as well as being able to be branded to your business, a WordPress website can be built to look good both on a laptop or desktop computer as well as a mobile device. No longer do you need to have two separate websites – with a responsive WordPress design, the same page can respond to whatever screen size it is being looked at with.
  9. WordPress prevents lock in – since it is an open source, popular platform, you will always be able to find human resources to manage your WordPress website should you need to. Also, there are thousands of hosting companies that can run your WordPress website on their servers – you never need to be locked in to one hosting vendor or service provider again!

How do I get started with using WordPress?

First of all, if you are a business, you want to make sure you are self-hosting WordPress and not using WordPress.com (which is the free hosted version). When you download and install your own version of WordPress you have access to all of the extensions and customizations we talk about in this article and much more.

Once you have the basic version of WordPress installed on your hosting provider here are some of the steps you or your website design company are going to take to get your website up and running:

  • Create a design or download a theme (a theme is an already designed look and feel) to skin the basic WordPress software.
  • Create your main website pages (Home, About, Services, Contact).
  • Install the Blogging section of the software to your website.
  • Install various plugins to extend the base software with more functionality needed to run your online business.
  • Add text content, images, and video to each of the web pages.
  • Add links, downloadable PDFs, and email sign ups to various pages.
  • Test to ensure buttons, links, and contact forms all work and are sending visitors to the right information.

What if you could update your website in minutes by yourself?

Think about your website as it stands right now – do you have to make a phone call or send an email every time you want to make a small change to your website? Does it sometimes take a couple days or maybe you even have to follow up with your webmaster or designer a couple times?

Depending on the SLA (Service Level Agreement) you have with your current web designer or webmaster, it could take up to a week or even longer to see changes completed. Your SLA will have defined the turnaround time that the company you are working with has offered you, and likely, it won’t be within 24 hours.

WordPress can eliminate this type of headache for you and your business. As long as you can log in, you can make any change you like and see it live within minutes, even if you only have a very basic knowledge of websites and web programming.

What if you had a system that grows with your business?

Another perk of using WordPress is that you can start out with your basic 5 page website for as long as you like, and then as your business grows, you can expand your site to become anything you need it to be: an online store, photo gallery, event calendar, etc.

Let’s use a not-for-profit business as an example, like a community league, who may not have a huge budget. You can easily start out with a basic website with a home page, about page, and contact page, and then as needed, grow and extend the WordPress website to have a discussion forum, be able to process payment for memberships, or have a photo gallery of past events!

Even though you may not be able to build or edit every aspect of your website yourself, you can find resources locally here in Edmonton or you can hire people to help you maintain your WordPress website from around the world. Being able to find ample resources is another key reason to use the WordPress platform for your online business. A good example of a WordPress maintenance service is WP Curve, a 24/7 WordPress support business that is accessible to virtually anyone globally for a monthly fee.

I hope you have a much better understanding about what WordPress is, why you should use it in your business, and what it can do for your website. Here are a few key points to leave this article with:

  • WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), which allows you to make updates without having to go through a programmer or webmaster.
  • WordPress is software to run your professional business website and business blog.
  • WordPress is extensible – with plugins being published every day to extend it’s capabilities.
  • WordPress runs more than 70 million websites around the world.
  • Many popular websites like The New Yorker, BBC America, TechCrunch, BestBuy and The Official Star Wars blog all run on the WordPress platform.
  • With WordPress you can have all of the tools you need to run a successful business online.

Sources:
entrepreneur.com/article/241535
wpbeginner.com/why-you-should-use-wordpress/
managewp.com/14-surprising-statistics-about-wordpress-usage
wpbeginner.com/showcase/40-most-notable-big-name-brands-that-are-using-wordpress/

WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) and is a must for your content marketing efforts

What is the purpose of your business website?

If you are running a business serving local clients in Edmonton or its surrounding areas, (Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, etc) then you probably have a business website. How effective is your site? The purpose of your website should be four fold:

Your website should show credibility

Your website represents your brand and your business online, and as such, it must look professional and be a brand building asset for your business.

Your website should be search engine friendly

You website should be built, optimized, and promoted online so that it can be found locally when doing a Google search for your products or services.

Your website should answer the reader’s questions

A core reason for having a website is so that it can act as your 24/7 sales person. Therefore, your website should anticipate customer questions, and provide the answers that will educate the reader about you as a business, as well as the products and services you offer.

Your website should compel users to take your desired sales action

Again, acting as a proxy sales person, your website needs to help move the user along their buyer’s journey – encouraging them to make a decision about whether to buy from you or not.

With the above key reasons for having a business website, a website is critical in this information age. Every day, 1 Billion searches are done by people like you and me, searching for products and services, education and entertainment.

If you don’t have an effective website for your business – why not? 

5 Ways to Evaluate if your Business Website is Broken or Not

Having a functional business website is the first step towards building an online presence, however, it is not enough to just have a website anymore.

There are 15 questions to consider and evaluate to ensure your business website is effective and can become a lead generating machine, or if it is indeed ‘broken’ and should undergo a transformation to make it useful for your business!

(1) Does your website look professional?

First impressions matter online, and in fact, most visitors spend mere seconds on your website page. If your web page does not immediately convey a professional, trustworthy (not spammy), helpful, and local impression, most visitors to your site will simply click back or ‘bounce’ back to where they came from, never to come back again.

You want to answer the following questions quickly on your web page for the website visitor:

  • Who are you?
  • What can you do for me?
  • Why should I care or believe you?
  • How do I contact you to learn more and take the next step?

Here are a few things to be aware of when designing your website:

A. Do you have professional branding or logo prominent on your website?

Eye tracking studies have found that a website visitor most often looks for your logo at the top part of your of a web page when they first land on a website, so be sure to add your logo to either the centre or left at the top of the page.

Professional branding and imagery also increases your credibility in the reader’s eyes. Most local visitors will be able to tell a reputable company from the rest right away. Don’t let the wrong imagery turn away potential customers.

In addition to logos, it is important to use appropriate and attractive images to engage the user. By using a large photo or various photos to depict what you do can assure the user that they are in the right place on your website; after all, the old adage of a picture tells a 1000 words is true.

Another important consideration to make is to always use familiar naming conventions for menu items, as well as the placement of the menu elements.

Use menu items worded like: Home, About, Services, Contact. It may seem boring, but they are a well-used convention. Don’t confuse the website visitor with cryptic terms, and always be clear and concise with your menu items, button names, and hyperlinks.

B. Do you have a clear unique selling proposition (USP) or value proposition? 

A good USP or value proposition engages the user and inspires them to be curious and learn more by scrolling down the page or going to another page.

Stephen Woessner of Predictive ROI has a fabulous formula for creating a distinguishing statement that allows the website visitor to either resonate with your brand message and service offering and continue surfing your site, or realize that the site is not the place for them and leave.

He calls it going through an XYZ exercise and it goes like this:

Fill in the blanks of this XYZ statement.

We do ____(x)_____ for _______(y)______ so they can ______(z)_____.

Here is an example using the Business Bootcamp website: We do business training for small business owners who are struggling with running their business, so that they can feel in control and start to grow their business.

Another version using the formula more loosely: We train and educate Albertan small business owners on core financial, sales and marketing skills, so that they can start to grow their business.

Craft your own XYZ statement and post it front and centre on your home page!

C. Do you have visible ‘trust symbols’ on your website?

A trust symbol can be any associations, certifications, awards, media or otherwise that will boost your credibility in the reader’s eyes.

Popular examples are: Better Business Bureau, your local Chamber of Commerce, professional or industry associations.

You may have a working website, but if your website currently does not meet all three of these needs, it is broken.

Do you need help getting a professional website design? Contact a reputable Edmonton website design company

(2) Is your website mobile friendly?

With almost 50% of local web surfers using a mobile device, having a mobile responsive website is now a critical aspect of business websites. Recently, Google rolled out Mobilegeddon, which was an update to their search engine software to take into account whether or not a website is mobile friendly or not. If not, your website could be penalized and not show up for pertinent keyword searches. A site that is not mobile friendly should be considered a broken site.

So, how can you tell if your website is mobile friendly or not?

A. Are you using up-to-date technology?

Check your website out on your phone, and if you see any section of your website that looks like this (see below), then your website is broken. The website below is built using old technology, Adobe Flash, and this website needs to be modernized and made mobile friendly!

lorielms-website-IMG_0686

B. Is your website user friendly?

By user friendly we mean, do users have to pinch and zoom and awkwardly maneuver throughout your website when looking at it on their phone?

Take a look at this website (see below). It looks ok right? No, actually, this website is also broken! You have to pinch and zoom in to read text, view images, and click links. This is not a mobile responsive website and should also be modernized and rebuilt using proper technology that will work on both a computer and on a mobile device!

carpet-studio-website-IMG_0684

Look at this website on your phone (see below). It is mobile responsive and looks great on a phone, you do not need to pinch or zoom to read text or see images. All of the web pages respond to the device you are using and morphs the way it looks depending on the device!

bbyeg-website-IMG_0685

C. Is your mobile web page free from pop-ups?

Another issue affecting your website are incessant pop-ups that annoy the user and make mobile usability difficult. As we will explain further in this article, there are ways to ensure your potential customer knows exactly what to do (using call-to-actions) and how to do it without the use of pop-ups.

If you would like to discuss your website or have us review your website to see if it is mobile responsive or not, please contact us here.

(3) Is your website optimized for the search engines?

Surely you’ve heard the term search engine optimization (SEO) thrown around quite often in the digital world, but what does it mean to you and your business?

SEO (search engine optimization) is an area of website development geared towards improving the search results or ‘ranking’ your website receives in major search engine sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The closer you are to being number one on the first page, the more phone calls, website visits, and customers you will receive. Hence, the importance of having a properly optimized website.

If your website is not properly optimized for search engines, they will penalize your website and push you down the pages, and if search engines like Google does not like your website – it is broken and needs to be fixed!

So, what does an optimized website look like?

A. Is your website being found for your brand name AND generic keywords?

An optimized website is one that is found on the first page of Google for a given keyword! Google uses over 200 factors in their search engine software to figure out how to rank one website over another for a given keyword/key phrase.

At the very least your website should be showing up on the first page of Google when you search for your brand name or business name. As well when people search using generic keywords related to your products or services, you want your website to show up on that coveted first page of Google. For example, if your business is Canuck Plumbing, you would show up immediately after searching for that name, as well as if you searched for: plumber Fort Saskatchewan.

A simple way to check to see if your website has the minimal level of optimization is to check each of your website pages – check that the title, description, and web page link are optimized for a given keyword. You can use the site: command in Google to check what your web pages look like. Check out the example below using the zappos.com website:

zappos-site-Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 5.23.27 PM

The larger font lines (in blue) are your page titles, under that is the web page link, and under that is the description of your website (also known as the meta description). Each of these elements of your web page should be optimized for a given keyword. If they are not, and they look something like the below screenshot, then you know your website is not optimized at all and you need to speak with an internet marketing professional!

site gertasecondwind.org Google Search

In regards to the example above, some indicators that the pages are not optimized are:

  • The Home page title is just the acronym for the association – it should be spelled out. The description was not explicitly set, so Google just has to pull some text from the page – it makes a bit of sense but it not the best introduction to this association.
  • The About page title is not optimized at all and again no meta description was set so Google is just pulling page content to show the searcher, and in this case, the page content was an agenda and not very useful in describing what this association is about!

B. Is your website being found for specific or long tail keywords with buying intent?

The next level of search optimization has to do with longer keywords, otherwise referred to as long tail keywords. Using the same example as before, if your business is Joe’s Plumbing, you want to be found for more that just plumber Fort Saskatchewan, you want to be found for these types of searches as well:

  • hot water tank repair Fort Saskatchewan
  • drain repair Fort Saskatchewan
  • water softener Fort Saskatchewan

It is incredibly important to be found for keyword searches like this because unless a past customer or referral knows your exact business name, they will likely type in one of these phrases rather than going directly to your website.

These types of keyword phrases also help to highlight the other services you offer. For instance, a customer may not search for a plumber if they need a new air conditioning system, however, many plumbing companies offer this service as well. Therefore, you want to be showing up in those searches as well.

C. Does your website have a content marketing plan?

Now, if you have the first two bases covered when it comes to SEO, the next step is to work with an internet marketing professional to take your website to the next level.

Unfortunately, in our fast-paced, digital times it is no longer enough to just have a 5 page website. Businesses must come up with new content regularly, typically in the form of blogging, not only to educate and give value to their customers, but to give the search engines more and more opportunities to find your website.

Plain and simple – the more optimized pages you have, the more opportunities you will have to be found by the search engines and increase your ranking and visibility.

If you are not currently executing a content marketing plan, you are not making the most of your website. Connect with an internet marketing specialist to fix this today!

(4) Has your website been hacked?

Hacking is a fairly regular occurrence in the online world. It’s not necessarily about whether you’ve been hacked, but about how you and your team deals with it. It is essential that whoever is hosting your website check in and regularly monitor your website in the background.

Now, it’s not to say that if you have a great website company you will never be hacked, however, a professional company will have backups and processes in place to ensure that if you are hacked, your business will not be affected.

If your website is vulnerable, there are many ways it can be hacked, and sometimes it’s not always obvious.

There are some indicators of website hacking that you can check yourself.

A. Have you checked on your website recently?

It’s important as a business owner to go to your own website frequently to be sure everything is as it should be. If you see weird characters, strange links, or inappropriate images it could be a sign of hacking.

These symptoms are off-putting to your customers and need to be fixed as soon as possible! Anything that seems out of sorts or spammy will turn customers away.

B. When you do the site:yourdomainname search in Google, does every page appear as it should?

You can use the same site: trick as mentioned above in a Google search to see how your site looks. If your page titles and meta descriptions have strange characters or are incorrect, it could also mean you’ve been hacked.

Sometimes, you will even find that your pages indexed by Google have nothing to do with your business – this is a sure sign of hacking and limits traffic to your website!

C. When you visit your website from a search engine, do you arrive directly at the proper page?

Use Google’s Incognito Mode and search for your website, just as a potential customer would. Are you taken to your website, or are you redirected or receive a 404 Error page? A redirect could very well mean you’ve been hacked.

While hacking does not necessarily mean your website is broken, attempts will happen. However, if a hacking has not been discovered and remedied in a timely fashion – that is an indication that your website is broken.

Chances are, customers who visit your site and are redirected to a spammy page will likely never revisit your website.

The best defence against website hacking is a good offence. You want to work with a professional who takes a proactive, not reactive, approach to keeping your website safe and secure.

Don’t let website hacking hold your best salesperson hostage – work with a trusted website professional today!

(5) Do your website visitors leave your website without contacting you?

Once you get more and more visitors to your website by correcting the first four points, it is essential that these visitors take the next step, which could be make the call, add the product to the cart, or fill out a contact form.

However, it can be difficult for potential customers to take the next step if they do not clearly see what they need to do next. Don’t make visitors hunt for your phone number, or dig for your location. Make it blatantly obvious what you would like the customer to do next.

If visitors come to your website and turn into poor leads or even non-existent leads, your website should still be considered broken.

A. Do you have clear and direct Calls-to-Action or CTA’s?

Clear CTA’s are essential to moving visitors on your site into ‘buy mode’. If they feel lost or unable to navigate your website, they will likely leave.

First and foremost, if you want people to call you as a primary action, make sure that your business phone number is easy to find on EVERY web page. Your phone number should allow the user to quickly ‘click and call’ when on a mobile phone. This means the phone number should not be an image but be in free html text on the page.

Make taking the next step irresistibly easy for your customer.

B. Do you know what your customers are doing on your website?

If you do not have Google Analytics installed, you likely do not. Google Analytics is an incredibly useful tool for monitoring what your visitors are doing when they get to your website. The knowledge you glean from these reports will allow you to make revisions and updates to better serve your audience.

The example below shows you exactly what you can learn about your visitors and also gauge the performance of your website. This is a great example of an extremely low bounce rate, which means that visitors are engaged by what they see and don’t immediately ‘bounce’ somewhere else.

tcw-kpis-11-23-2015 3-11-38 PM

The second example below showcases form submissions from Google. Out of 958 visitors to the website, 23 visitors submitted a form (in this case, a Request a Quote contact form). If you divide 958 by 23 that ends up being a 2.4% conversion rate, which is quite good. This is quite useful for tracking both paid as well as search leads to and from your website.

krinkle-klean-kpis-11-23-2015 3-10-44 PM

C. Are you getting good quality leads from your website?

Just to rehash – if your website is not driving leads through the door, or you have no idea what kind of or how many leads are coming in, your website is broken.

Once you’ve mastered the first two points, it’s time to consider the quality of leads you get. Visitors may be coming and sticking around for longer, but are they a ‘good lead’?

Tracking with Google Analytics comes into play again here. For example, if you have 500 website visitors a month, but only 2 paying customers a month, there is a disconnect. Out of the other 498 visitors, they either they do not know what to do (unclear CTA’s), or they are not your ideal customers.

So, how do you get more customers attracted to your website?

A content marketing strategy, of course! You want to work with an internet marketing professional to create website content and blogs that speak directly to your audience. You want your website visitors to educate themselves, and eventually, self-select themselves as your customer.

Your website content should compel the reader to say either, “Yes! That’s me!”, or “No. This service is not for me.” As your 24/7 salesperson, your website should be bringing you the customers that have said, “Yes, that’s me,” and not the opposite, or the customers who are unsure of what you provide.

Speak with an internet marketing professional right away to make the most out of your website!

How does your website stack up?

Think of the 15 questions we went through – how did you score?

If you answered ‘yes’ to 12+…

Your website may need some fine-tuning, but otherwise you’re doing great!

If you answered ‘yes’ to anywhere from 8 to 12…

You’re on the right track, but we can help you elevate your website to the next level!

If you answered ‘yes’ to less than 8…

Your website is broken and needs immediate help!
If you want to learn more about optimizing your website for local Edmonton and area searchers looking for your product or services, join us at the next 2 day business workshop! Click here to learn more.

nyche marketingIf you want to talk to a web marketing professional one-on-one, contact nyche marketing; or if you are ready to take this information and start making changes to your online business visit www.marketinghub.club for an affordable monthly marketing club that educates and guides you every month on fixing and marketing your business website to get more leads and customers.

Sources:

predictiveroi.com/money-draining-mistakes-online/

jeffbullas.com/2011/05/16/50-amazing-facts-and-figures-about-google/

conversionxl.com/first-impressions-matter-the-importance-of-great-visual-design/

Is your business website broken? We can fix it! Talk to us today

What is a Living Website?

Are you having trouble being found on Google? Are you dominating online for your industry? Do you lack online advertising that converts? Are you trying to engage on social media, but just don’t have the time?

It can be really difficult to know where to start when you want to dominating online, but we make it easy for you by covering all your bases online with a Living Website.

A Living Website is a website that is supported by other online tools (or parts) that all work together to bring in customers and keep them coming back.

You might be in a place with your business where you’re just opening or maybe you’re starting to think about getting your established business online or you’ve seen little success with your web marketing and you want to take it to the next level.

Whatever stage your business is at, it will see a huge increase in exposure with a Living Website.

The Little Business that Couldn’t…

Imagine that there’s a business, that does luxury custom renovations called LuxRenos that is just about to open its doors. The owner, Lex, chose a nice location on a beautiful residential street, then set to work doing renovations.

Lex redid the roof, upgraded the exterior, put fresh paint on the walls, and made the shop look fantastic. As it came together, Lex was ready to get the word out about his store. He hired a billboard on the corner of the street and sent out flyers announcing LuxRenos’ Grand Opening.

When opening day arrived, Lex eagerly awaited the flood of people who would surely come in to browse and buy… But hours passed before anyone showed up!

Eventually a few people trickled in, saying they were just driving by, saw the shop, and decided to stop in.

At about 5pm, when homeowners in the neighbourhood were coming home, a flood of people came in. It was too much for Lex’s sales staff to handle, so most of them left without making a purchase or even taking a business card!

Does this story sound familiar? At nyche marketing, we hear this story a lot. Business owners try traditional marketing tactics and they fail.

Even though LuxRenos looked nice, the business lacked a great marketing strategy. Flyers and billboards didn’t cut it. The business wasn’t supported and enhanced by complementary parts.

In the story, the advertising used didn’t reach its target audience (the homeowners in the neighbourhood). LuxRenos cast a very broad net and didn’t catch people who needed its products.

Once people came into the store, the business had an even bigger problem: There weren’t enough staff to answer their questions or engage with them! So of course, many potential customers left without leaving their contact info or getting theirs.

Make Your Business Successful by Appealing to Today’s Buyers

Today, the buying process people go through is much more involved than just seeing something and buying it. Today’s shoppers are savvy and fickle. They need to be enticed, educated, convinced of trustworthiness and value, they need to have their questions answered, and they need to be nurtured in order to become loyal customers. Read more in our What is Marketing Automation article.

So, your business has to cater to all of these prospects needs with your marketing and selling strategy.

Keep reading to find out about the five parts of a Living Website that work together to attract potential customers online and generate sales.

The 5 Parts of a Living Website

Our Living Website system is comprised of five crucial parts all working in tandem. We call it the LW5 Framework.

  1. The first, most fundamental part of a Living Website is the business’s website. The platform – the frame that the 5 components build atop of. From there, the words on that website, the design, the layout, links to and from it, and more. The design and content of your website need to be “optimized” so that search engines will display it when people search for your products or services. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).If a search engine, like Google, decides your business’s website isn’t high quality or if the keywords on your site don’t match what people are searching, your website won’t show up at all! Click here to learn more about SEO.
  2. Once you have a strong, optimized website, you’ll want to start getting people to visit it. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a way to quickly (and inexpensively) get traffic to your website.Simply put, PPC is a revolutionary way to advertise to exactly the people who are searching for your products and services right when they need it. With PPC, your ads will appear to the exact market you want. Intrigued? Find out more about PPC.
  3. Once shoppers start coming to your website, which is the online representation of your store and brand, people want to have their questions answered.When people are researching what they want to buy, your website will stand out from your competitors if it has lots of free resources that will help them make an informed purchase.Things like blogs, whitepapers, checklists, guides, infographics, and videos are all examples of Content Marketing, which is another important part of your Living Website.You can also use content marketing to help boost your website’s SEO and to boost your credibility! Find out how you can use Content Marketing.
  4. Sometimes shoppers try things on, but they don’t buy right away. They want to go home and think about it. Your business can use Marketing Automation to keep in touch with people who need a little more time or convincing.The idea is to nurture leads by offering sales/promotions, answering questions, or education via email or automated phone calls. You can also use Marketing Automation to follow up with clients after they’ve bought your products or services.Never heard of Marketing Automation before? Click here for more information.
  5. And finally, Social Media is another part of a Living Website.Many businesses have social media accounts, but they don’t keep them lively and active. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to have an account. Businesses need to keep in touch with and be in front of shoppers all of the time.For most people, social media it time consuming, but you can use social media automation to make sure your posts are timely, relevant, and engaging. Find out more about social media marketing here.

Why Do You Need a Living Website?

You need a Living Website because all of the parts mentioned above work together to grow your business. None of the parts by themselves will help you meet all your business growth goals by themselves.

The reason we have all these parts is because it’s the formula that works. Each part works in tandem with the others. PPC sends people to your landing pages, then they’ll want to explore your website, which is full of fresh, up-to-date, compelling content.

Your website will also have links to your social media accounts where people can connect and interact with you.

And after you’ve made the sale, you can use marketing automation to keep in touch with your customers and encourage referrals and repeat purchases.

A Living Website is the evolution of a basic brochure site!

A Living Website is the evolution of the static, traditional brochure style websites. It doesn’t just sit there and hope to be found, it advertises, it engages, entertains, enlightens, and makes people want to buy what you’re selling.

A website that contributes to your bottom line is one that converts leads into sales.

Having a living website is more than just having a website. It’s having a changeable website backed by great social media, great content like blogs and resources, great online advertising, and ways to nurture potential buyers.

Do you have a Living Website? Want to check your website?
Click here to find out if your website is a living website. Is it helping to grow your business?
Find out by completing this quick quiz:

Is your website lifeless? Not getting any calls or emails from your website? We can transform your website into a Living Website! Fill out this short form here to schedule your free strategy session –

What is a Landing Page?

Have you ever landed on a web page and felt confused? There was too many choices, too many moving parts – all trying to get your attention… yet failing miserably?! This blog post will help you in determining what an effective landing page looks and feels like.

From a general perspective, a landing page is a page you land on after clicking a link (from a search engine or from an ad), but from a marketing perspective it’s a specific web page that’s designed to bring someone one step closer to becoming your customer.

All landing pages are web pages, but not all web pages are landing pages.

Landing pages are short, simple, and free from all the other things that can distract from the one thing that you want someone to do. If the page has other links to lead the visitor away, it’s less likely to convince someone to buy something or giving your their contact info.

Why Do You Need Landing Pages?

Do you ever walk into a restaurant, have a look around and immediately think, “This does NOT seem like the kind of place I’d like”? You were expecting a cute little diner, but instead it looks outdated, the menu hasn’t been updated in years, and it’s really hard to find your way around. As a customer, you might turn around and walk back out after that quick poor impression and miss out on a fantastic meal.

That’s what having a bad landing page is like. A landing page is the first thing customers see when they come to your site, so you have to immediately appeal to them by answering their questions.

Tell them who you are, what you can do to solve their problems, and why they should trust you. If the page they land on does that, they’re going to take more steps toward making a sale with you.

Landings pages should get you a phone call or an email to request a quote.

These days, shoppers want to research things before they purchase, they want to request more information or even talk to your sales or estimating person before they make the decision to purchase.

Convince them that you’re worthy of their hard earned dollars by demonstrating your expertise on a simple, effective landing page.

How Do You Make A Great Landing Page?

There are a few ways to go about creating your landing page:

  1. You could make one within the Pages section of your WordPress website all by yourself, which is a great option if you are familiar with web design or have an in-house marketing team.
  2. You could use one of those landing page software services like Unbounce or LeadPages. You can read about both of these services in Ian Cleary’s review here.
  3. And of course, you could hire a web designer to make them for you!

What Should Be on Your Landing Pages?

Whether you’re building landing pages yourself or you’re having someone make them for you, you should keep the following things in mind:

  1. Who is this landing page for?
  2. What do I want people to do?
  3. Where are these people coming from? How did they land there?
  4. Why would they want to be on the page?
  5. What questions would they need answered on the page?

The simpler the landing page, the better! More options mean less efficiency.

Remember: if you’re offering a discount, deal, or contest, make sure that it’s mentioned on the landing page.

The better you know your audience, the more likely it is that you’ll know what they want (and don’t want).

And not to sound like a broken record, but your landing page needs to be simple, uncluttered, and it has to direct people to take ONE action.

Not quite sure what a good landing page looks like? Check out 16 of the Best Landing Page Design Examples You Need To See.

Want to know what makes a bad landing page? Here are 14 Reasons You Are Driving People Away from Your Landing Page.

How Do I Know if My Landing Page is Working?

There are lots of ways to measure whether your landing page or pages are successful. The most obvious one is if your phone is ringing and people are saying they found your website. Even better if they already know all about your business, products and services.

Another clear sign is if people are taking you up on the offers you have on your ads and landing pages.

But you can dig a little deeper with analytics. Here are a few metrics to look at:

  • Bounce Rate: This is a percentage of people who see your page and then leave within seconds. If people stay on the page for a little while, it shows that you’ve gotten their interest. A low bounce rate is a good indication that your page is effective.
  • Quality Score: Google has a secret scoring system to rate the quality of any given webpage. The higher the score, the better. You can find your quality score in your AdWords account.
  • Conversion Rate A conversion is whatever you set the final goal of your landing page to be. If you want people to purchase a product, a conversion is a sale. If you want people to fill out your contact page, a conversion is a completed contact form.
  • A/B Testing: If you have a few different landing pages and you want to figure out which one is working better, run them both at the same time and see which one brings in more leads or makes more conversions.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): This is the main goal of a website: to turn more and more visitors into customers. You want a high, consistent conversion rate.

What if you had a web page that consistently made sales and generated leads?

Imagine if you could accurately predict that 3 out of 10 people (or more) who land on your web page will give your business  a call. Think about what that can do for your business! An optimized landing page can be a 24/7 sales person for you, consistently generating phone calls and emails from people requesting your products and service.

A landing page that hits all of the key points we outlined above can be one of the best investments you can make for your business.

Summary: What is a Landing Page?

Landing pages can have a HUGE impact on your business! You’d think that more businesses would take advantage of the opportunity to streamline their online marketing, but the stats are depressingly bad.

These stats are pretty compelling! You can see all 25 Statistics About Landing Pages That Every Business Can Learn From here.

If you’re looking for more information on landing pages or need some advice for creating your own, we can help you out!