7 Signs It’s Time for a Website Redesign

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Is your business overdue for a website redesign? Here are 7 ways to know…

1. It’s Not Mobile-Responsive

Google’ algorithm penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. If your website doesn’t function properly on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices, you could be pushed down the search rankings on mobile. The algorithm update will affect mobile searches in all languages across all corners of the world.

Without mobile optimization, the danger is that your website could sink down Google’s search rankings like a stone. Not good. That means people using their mobile device to search for articles that you have written, services you specialize in or products you sell will likely be unable to find you unless your website functions smoothly on mobile devices. Be sure that your next website redesign is built on a mobile-friendly platform.

2. YOUR WEBSITE ISN’T CONVERTING VISITORS INTO PROSPECTS AND CUSTOMERS.

At a minimum, your website should have at least one conversion goal. If you have an online store, the main goal is to get visitors to buy your products. If you do email marketing, one of your goals should be to get people to join your email list. For some pages and blog posts, the goal could be to get people to click through to a different landing page or post.

Each page of your site should have a clear call-to-action, along with easy steps visitors can take to move forward and hire or buy from you. Consider adding three simple steps as a place to start:

  1. Download your latest eBook
  2. Register for your upcoming webinar
  3. Buy or call you now

Clear Calls-to-Action should be a primary focus when you’re mapping out your website redesign.

3. YOUR WEBSITE HAS A HIGH BOUNCE RATE

When someone visits a page on your site and immediately leaves without making a single click, that’s called a bounce. The typical business website has a bounce rate between 50 and 60 percent. Track your bounce rate in Google Analytics. Your goal should be 30 percent or less.

Reduce bounce rate in three simple steps:

  1. Place your X-Y-Z message on the left side of your Home Page, above the fold so visitors can quickly understand what you do
  2. Eliminate visual clutter on your content pages
  3. Present clear calls-to-action

4. YOUR SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS ARE LOW

If you don’t optimize your website for search engines, you risk losing potential customers to your competitors because their websites will appear higher in search engine results than yours. In fact, according to research conducted by online advertising network Chitika, websites holding one of the top three spots for their keywords get the vast majority of visitors (62 percent of all searchers).

Search engines discover content by visiting websites and following links just like regular Internet visitors. But when search engines visit, they read the text on your pages (this includes your blog if you have one) and run it through an algorithm that tells them what topics each page is about. Then, these topics are mapped to big lists of similar keywords that visitors might use when they want to find content like yours. For instance, a blog post about “Cupcakes for Mother’s Day” might be mapped to words like “mom” and “cake” in addition to “cupcakes” and “mothers.”

During your website redesign, you can help search engines accurately understand what your pages are about by consistently using words that describe each page’s primary topic in important places like the page title, meta description, and within large text headlines on the page.

5. YOU DON’T HAVE A SECTION FOR A BLOG OR OTHER CONTENT MARKETING RESOURCES.

If your website has lots of pages covering all of the topics most important to your prospective customers (keywords), and lots of other website owners discovered your pages and created links to them from their pages (authority), then your website will rank very highly for your most important keywords.

The process of creating and promoting new content on your website — with the goal of ranking highly for new keywords — is called content marketing. Content marketing is the most effective technique for improving and maintaining high search engine rankings.

6. YOUR DESIGN LOOKS CLUTTERED AND/OR OUTDATED

It’s very easy to turn a visitor off to your website. If visitors arrive at your site and find images that look 10 years old or a layout that isn’t modern, they may leave right away. Image is everything when it comes to your website, regardless of what industry you’re in.

The following are standard UI (User Interface) principles that have been well researched and that can help insure your website keeps the attention of your visitors:

  • Bite-sized chunks of information that are easy to scan
  • Clear calls to action
  • Simple and clean interface that is easy to navigate
  • Important elements that are highlighted
  • Clean design – takes the approach that “less is more”Are you images outdated? Is your menu bulky?

If your site hasn’t been touched in 2 years or more, chances are it’s time for a website redesign.

7. Your website has a slow load time

According to Wired, “47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.” Slow load times are a sign that there is something technically wrong with your website and can also cause you to lose visitors and hurt your search engine ranking. If your website doesn’t load within three seconds, you need to have it checked out.

The Case for Google Analytics

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If you have a website, you should be using Google Analytics.

Why? Google Analytics is one of the most valuable tools available to website owners and it’s completely free. Adding a little bit of code to your webpages opens you up to a wealth of invaluable data that allows you to measure how well your website is meeting its goals and find insights into how to improve it.

The Basics of Setting Up Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics on your site is fairly simple.

  1. First, you’ll need to set up a Google Analytics account if you don’t already have one (go here and click Sign In at the upper right).
  2. Then, log in and set up a property for your website based on the instructions provided.
  3. Finally, Google Analytics will provide you with a tracking ID that you’ll need to add to the code of the webpages on your website. If you have a WordPress site, there are a few easy ways to add the tracking ID to all your pages at once.

That’s it!

Now that you’re set up, let’s look at some of the most important metrics available to you.

The Most Important Metrics to Know

Google Analytics will automatically start collecting data for you to view in an intuitive interface. There’s a lot of different information packed into the data they provide, but to start, these are the most important analytics to pay attention to.

1. Website Traffic

The first thing you’ll see any time you sign into Google Analytics is your basic traffic information in the Reporting dashboard.

This page tells you:

  • How many total visits people have made to your website;
  • How many of them are repeat visitors;
  • How many pages have been visited;
  • How long people usually stay on your site once they get there; and
  • How many pages most visitors visit before leaving.

These metrics reveal a basic level how well your website is performing. No matter what type of website you have, you probably want to receive a lot of traffic and you want it to be from visitors that like your website enough to hang around for a while and even come back later for more. These metrics tell you to what degree that’s happening.

2. Demographics

To learn a little more about who your site visitors are, navigate to the Audience section in the left-hand menu. Here you can learn basic demographic information about your visitors, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Other interests their internet browsing reveals
  • Geographic location
  • What type of device they visited on (mobile, desktop, or tablet)

 

These metrics reveal if the audience you’re meaning to reach is the one you’re actually getting. If it isn’t, you can shift your strategy based on the characteristics and interests of the visitors coming to your site. Knowing which devices people are coming from also helps you determine how important having a mobile website and marketing strategy is.

3. Traffic Sources

Most of your online marketing efforts are likely devoted to pointing people back to your website. The best way to see if they’re working is to track which marketing channels bring new traffic to the website. The Acquisition section in Google Analytics is where you’ll see how visitors found you.

This section gives you an idea of how well your SEO efforts, social media marketing, and email marketing are all paying off. Add a tracking code to your email campaigns to see how much traffic is coming directly from your emails.

4. Visitor Behavior

Getting people to your website is just the beginning. You want them to like what they see and stick around once they get there as well. The Behavior section of Google Analytics lets you know what your visitors are doing once they arrive on your website. You can see which pages they visit the most, how long they tend to spend on them, and which pages consistently lead visitors to click through to other pages.

 

This section also helps you see how specific pages on your website are performing and illuminates which ones could use some work. If you have a content strategy, the data here can help you understand which topics and content types your visitors respond to the most in order to strengthen your strategy moving forward.

5. Conversion Rates

Finally, most websites should have at least one conversion goal and most will have several. If you have an online store, the main goal is to get visitors to buy your products. If you do email marketing, one of your goals should be to get people to join your email list. For some pages and blog posts, the goal could be to get people to click through to a different landing page or post.

You can tell Google Analytics what your main conversion goals are for the website, and even how much each goal is worth to you. Then a Conversions section will appear next to Acquisitions and Behavior. Review this regularly to track, in specific terms, how well your website is meeting your goals.

 

That’s Just the Beginning

Those are the basics every website owner should know to get started, but once you’re familiar with Google Analytics you can dig deeper and find even more valuable insights and hidden gems. The more you use the data the tool makes available, the better you’ll be at crafting your website to please your visitors and meet your goals.

Why You’re Probably Not Sending Enough Emails…

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I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, “How often should I send email?”

Weekly? Monthly? Any time sales are low?

Start with this question: How many times do you have to ask kids to do something?

Usually, more than once. It’s often the same with email marketing. It’s not that people on your email list are children, it’s that they’re busy and your business isn’t their top priority. If you don’t ask multiple times, you might miss out on sales. Are you missing out on sales because you’re not sending enough email?

When it comes to email, there are three things you probably want to do more of: Segment, Simplify, and Send.

  • Segment: Separate your contacts into different lists based on their interests.
  • Simplify: Don’t try to say too much in your emails. Stay focused on one main action.
  • Send: Send a series of emails to remind subscribers to take action.

Approaching email marketing this way means you’re not relying on one message to do all the heavy lifting. You’re focused on getting the right messages to the right people at the right times.

Why do multiple emails work?

Think about this scenario: Have you ever started one task, but then got pulled in another direction? It’s often the same for your customers. Even if they want to take advantage of an email offer you send them, they can get pulled into something else before they can take action. And then your offer is forgotten.

That’s why we recommend sending a three-email series about a time-based promotion.

A time-based promotion has a time associated with it, like a sale or event. Your email series would look like this:

  1. Announcement
  2. Reminder
  3. Last chance

The three-email series gives you three opportunities to move people to action. Here’s an example of a three-part email series you could send to promote a Valentine’s Day sale:

Start with an announcement of the sale a couple weeks in advance. Remind them a week later. And give them one final chance to act a day or two before the sale ends.

Pay attention to when people make a purchase in relation to the emails you send.

Opens and clicks alone can be deceiving. Instead, try to tie your emails to a specific business result. You may also find that opens and clicks don’t always coincide with sales. For example, your last-chance email may receive the lowest open and click rate but results in the most sales.

Don’t use the excuse, “I don’t want to bug people!”

You may hesitate to send more email because you think you’re going to bug people. But a survey from Marketing Sherpa found that over 60 percent of customers prefer to receive emails from brands at least weekly.

Yes, you need to send more email than you think.

Don’t rely on one email to bring in all your sales. Just like kids, adults need to be asked more than once too!

Let’s Get Tracking: 3 Free Marketing Dashboards

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How many business tools do you currently have open in your web browser?

Whether you are a small business or nonprofit organization, you probably have multiple places to go to hunt down metrics for your recent marketing campaigns.

Wouldn’t it be easier if everything was in one place?

One of the best ways to save time and review your metrics is with business dashboards.

Business dashboards connect hundreds of applications you use on a regular basis, curating the data you want into one easy-to-read display.

Let’s take a closer look at a few business dashboards that offer a clean, crisp way to analyze your all your marketing results

1. Dasheroo

If you’re new to business dashboards, Dasheroo has pre-built templates to get you started quickly

Dasheroo lets you analyze your email reports and contact lists. You can create a dashboard showing the total number of email address added to your list and track the overall engagement.

Sending one email to several lists? Dasheroo lets you track engagement based off of each list, giving you insight into how well your email performed with different audiences. You can even review the overall success of your last 30 emails alongside other business apps, including Google Analytics and your social media channels.

2. TapClicks

TapClicks has created over 100 integrations to visualize and compare marketing activities. Running online advertisements through Google AdWords or Bing? TapClicks lets you create categories that help you measure success based on your marketing channels. Whether you’re running a special discount or holding an event, you can create a dashboard to understand the increased website traffic from your emails.

3. Cyfe

Cyfe lets you monitor individual departments, projects, websites and more with their dashboards online or from your mobile device.

You’ll get a variety of tools including custom widgets to display data from your business’s databases. You can also set your dashboard on TV mode, rotating dashboards and displaying your results at the office.

Whether you’re keeping tabs on your expenses or simply keeping a close view on your latest projects, Cyfe offers a variety of pre-built templates to get you started.

Measure Your Email in 3 Easy Steps

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If someone asked you how email marketing is helping your business, what would you say?

Chances are you wear a lot of hats at your small business or nonprofit and maybe numbers aren’t your strong suit. You’d much rather focus on connecting with people in person to sell more of your products and services. How can you be sure that email marketing is worth your time?

Let’s take some of the dread and mystery out of measuring the impact of your email marketing, so you can be confident your emails are helping you achieve your business goals.

Use the Triple-A Approach to Email Measurement

1. Analyze

To really be in control of your marketing, it’s crucial that you know how to interpret the results of your email campaigns. Email marketing tools like Constant Contact provide easy-to-read reports that help you track your marketing success in real-time. Start by taking a look at the open and click-through rates of your latest email campaigns. Then, compare your results with averages in your industry.

2. Assess

Your marketing campaigns must support your business goals; otherwise, why go through the trouble? We’ve created worksheets to help you keep track of email marketing metrics and business goals so that you always have a clear picture of how your marketing efforts are working to support your business. There are two different worksheets based on your business goal:

If you’re sending a sales email, download and print this worksheet to keep track of your results: 

Sending a general newsletter? This worksheet is for you.

Before you even send an email campaign, start filling out the worksheets by answering two important questions: What is the goal of your email? And How will you measure your success? To identify your goal, think about what it is that you’re hoping the campaign will achieve. Are you hoping to gather more registrants for a fundraising event? Do you want to sell 20 percent more items than last year? Are you looking to get three new consultations booked? Whatever your goal is, the more specific you can be the better. That way you’ll know in just a glance if you hit the mark or not. After you’ve sent your email, visit your email reports a couple days later and fill out your worksheets with the results.

Here are some key metrics to focus on:

  • Total Sent: the total number of contacts you sent your email to
  • Send Date: the date an email was sent to subscribers
  • Open rate: the percentage of subscribers who opened your emails
  • Click-through rate: the percentage of subscribers who opened your email and clicked on links within your email
  • Bounce rate: the percentage of emails that didn’t make it to the intended recipient
  • Unsubscribe/Opt-out rate: an unsubscribe or ‘opt-out ‘occurs when one of your contacts no longer wants to receive your emails and unsubscribes from your list

3. Adjust

The final step is where the marketing magic happens. Using the stats you filled out on your worksheets, answer the questions:

  • What were your total business results?
  • Did you meet your goal?Now, for the fun part: Once you have figured out how an email performed and how it helped you reach your goals, adjust your strategy to optimize your marketing.

Let’s say you’re reviewing your reports for an email and discover that you had a high open rate, but a low click-through rate. This means that people were opening your email, but weren’t engaging with the links that were offered in the email.

To improve that click-through rate in your next mailing, here’s what to do next:

  • Review your calls to action in your email. Consider the wording of your call to action — is it clear and intriguing? Is it telling people exactly the action they should take and why it matters to them?
  • Create more white space so the email doesn’t feel overwhelming. If your email contains multiple sections, break up different topics so readers can choose what they want to read. You may also want to try breaking up each topic into separate emails to send shorter emails more frequently.
  • Think about how much content is in your email. Stick to a picture, a paragraph, and a strong call-to-action that’s easy to find and click. If you have too many calls-to-action (or none at all), readers will not know what you wanted them to do.

Measuring your email marketing is not everyone’s favorite thing to do — but knowing what’s working and what isn’t will save you time, effort, and money in the long run.