Spring Cleaning: Tips for Your Website!

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Every website needs a refresher now and then to make sure everything’s working properly, looking good, and meeting the goals you need it to. The beginning of spring is a good time to take on any the projects you’ve been putting off. This month, take some time to spring clean your website and make sure everything’s in good working order.

Here are seven steps to guide you through the process.

1. Make sure all your software and plugins are up-to-date

You might feel like you see an alert for a new software or plugin update every other day. It’s easy to ignore them when they seem so constant, but oftentimes those updates specifically address security vulnerabilities and sometimes they provide additional improvements and features as well. It’s in your interest to keep things up-to-date. Check for any updates available to the software and plugins you use on your website and take the time to download the newest version of everything. Often, these updates don’t take too long and they can make a big difference to how secure your website is.

2. Review your analytics to pinpoint potential issues

Your analytics can give you a quick look at potential issues on your website. Do some pages have abnormally high bounce rates? Then you should give those a look to see if you can identify something about the design or copy that’s keeping people from sticking around. Do mobile users convert at much lower rates than desktop users? Maybe you need to update your buttons or forms to be more intuitive on mobile. Starting with your analytics can save you some time as you go through the upcoming steps since you’ll know which pages, forms, and links are the most likely to need your attention.

3. Check for broken links

You know the feeling when you’re on a website, click on a link you’re interested in, and get the dreaded 404 page. Inevitably, pages will move and websites will be left with broken links that disappoint visitors, unless you make a point to stay on top of it. Ideally, this is a job you should tackle once every few months, but it’s easy to let it get away from you. If you haven’t checked for broken links in a while, this website refresh is a good time to do it. You can use a free broken link checker to quickly simplify the process of finding all your broken links. Then, you just need to get in there and make updates.

4. Give it a proofread

You probably proofread every word on the website before it went up, but even so, minor errors have a way of slipping through. Most of us have had the experience of noticing a months old typo in something we were sure we’d properly proofread at the time. Take this opportunity to read over your website. If you have a lot of pages or a blog, this may take a while, but it’s worth it to make sure that you don’t have any embarrassing typos on the site for all your visitors to see.

5. Confirm your pages look good on mobile

Mobile should be a key part of your marketing strategy — from mobile responsive email templates to mobile-friendly website design. Not only do you need to make sure that you have a mobile-friendly website, you should also make sure that each page on your site looks good on mobile and any action you want your visitors to take is as easy to accomplish on mobile as it is on desktop. Spend some time browsing your website on a mobile device. Find friends that have a different type of mobile device than you and spend time browsing the site on their device as well. You want to know for sure that your pages look good and are easy to follow on mobile, that the buttons and links are big enough to be easy to click on a small device, and that the site is intuitive to use and navigate in its mobile form.

6. Do a content audit

A content audit can accomplish a few really important things for you. It will:

  • Show you what types of topics and content perform the best
  • Give you a clear picture of what topics you’ve covered thoroughly and help you identify gaps in your coverage
  • Allow you to identify the pieces of content that could benefit from an update or are worth repurposing into additional pieces of content

Basically, it can provide you with a wealth of valuable information to fuel your content strategy in the months and years to come. As with the proofreading, this is a step that can take some real time if you have a good amount of content, but it could potentially save you time by helping you realize the potential of further promoting the content you already have or using it in new ways. Don’t be afraid to promote an older piece of content in your email marketing or social media, as long as it’s up to date.

7. Look for new internal linking opportunities

While conducting your content audit, be on the lookout for internal linking opportunities. If you’re actively thinking about SEO in your current content strategy, then you’re probably already good at including internal links in the new content you create. But how often do you go back and look for opportunities to link to the newer content from the old? This is your chance to find those opportunities and take advantage of them to improve your on-site SEO. It’s something that’s easy to forget to do, but worth the time it takes.

Make your website clean as a whistle!

These seven steps will take time and work, but as with giving your home a thorough spring cleaning, you’ll feel better when it’s done. And you’ll have a website that does its job better as a result.

A Simple Holiday Promotion Plan

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It’s that time of year again. The busiest shopping season of the year — the winter holidays.

Aside from the usual rush around the holidays, there are also a few other big shopping days that kick off the season. These days provide you the perfect opportunity to engage with your clients.

  • Black Friday – November 25th
  • Small Business Saturday – November 26th
  • Cyber Monday – November 28th
  • #GivingTuesday – November 29th

The holidays and the special events above present an enormous opportunity for you to succeed with your own promotions at a time when your customers are primed and ready to buy. Let’s make it your best holiday season yet!

Want to learn more? Then click here to download our free eBook: A Simple Holiday Promotion Plan!

 

Focus on Your Holiday Funnel

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Tips to market your business, get more prospects, “WOW!” your new clients, and retain them for the long-run.

What is the “funnel?”

Simply put, the funnel is a structure—a business tool—that you can use to represent the flow of leads to customers. When you analyze your own funnel, you can prioritize tactics and campaigns to increase the impact of your marketing on your business.

Lead Generation

The top of the funnel is where you seek to create awareness and demand in order to generate leads. These could be leads you develop from your attendance at events like trade shows, presentations (that you deliver), or networking receptions. You can even generate leads from referrals or through optimizing your website to make it easier for leads to find you!

  • Attend a trade show or sponsor an event. Chances are, there are events coming up in your local area that will be an opportunity for you to showcase your business
  • Consider running your own event. Holding an event takes effort, but it’s a great way for you to show your expertise and how you can help clients meet their goals.
  • Make it easy for prospects to find you. Whether someone is searching for your individual business or the answer to a problem that only your business can solve, taking steps to improve your visibility on search engines and social media sites will make it easy for your next great client to find you.
  • Ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful sources of new business, so think back to all of the clients you’ve helped. Chances are that they have other small business owners in their networks who might need your marketing services. Don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Write a blog. You may already have an email newsletter, but a blog doesn’t have to add to your marketing to-do list. In fact, a blog can allow you to get more from the work you’re already doing. It can help boost your ranking on search engines, it can give you more opportunities for engagement outside of the inbox, and it can give you a better sense of who is reading your content!

Nurturing Prospects

Prospects started out as leads that you followed up with and qualified to be eligible or interested in your services. They could be meeting with you for a free consultation, or they could be taking advantage of samples of your services, or even content that you’re sharing for free. In this stage of the funnel, you should be focusing on showing your value to them so they want to become a paying client.

Engage your prospects via an automated email nurture flow. When prospects sign up for your mailing list, provide them with helpful and relevant content via an email nurture flow. In fact, you can even automate this process with an Autoresponder series.

 

Preparing Your Marketing for the Holidays

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1. Create a great holiday offer – With so much competition from the “big guys” and other local businesses, coming up with a compelling offer could be the secret this year’s holiday success.
Learn more: How to Create a Small Business Saturday Offer

2. Leverage the channels that matter – The holidays are a busy time for your customers. That’s why it’s important to use the right channels, like email and social media, to get in front of the right people.
Learn more: Email Hacks that Will Help You Make More Money This Holiday Season

3. Get organized – Organize your database before the holiday season arrives. Put your loyal, new, and potential customers into different lists. This will allow you to target each of these audiences with relevant offers during the holidays.
Learn more: 3 Tips to Perfect Your Email Marketing this Holiday Season

4. Plan to stay connected – Encouraging new customers to join your email list will allow you to deliver results beyond the holiday season.
Learn more: How to Be Sure You’re Doing Everything You Can to Build Your Email List

4 Ideas for Your Holiday Marketing Campaign

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Depending on your business, there are a number of different campaigns you could run during the holiday season. The type of campaign you decide to run will depend on the products and services you offer, and the audience you’re trying to reach. You will also need to consider the type of results you’re looking for, and your overall goals for the upcoming season.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of possible holiday marketing campaigns you can try out.

1. Offer a Coupon – the key to a great offer is that it’s compelling enough to get people to act. You can add a coupon to any email and let customers redeem in-store or online.
Learn more: Create the Perfect Offer: 4 Questions You Need to Ask First

2. Plan an Event – Hosting a holiday event is the perfect way to thank customers for their continued support. It’s also a great opportunity to interact with your audience face-to-face.
Learn more: How to Make Sure Your Holiday Marketing Event Doesn’t Fall Flat

3. Run a Contest – Contests are a great way to engage your audience, and can help generate buzz during the holiday season.Come up with aprize that your customers will love, and encourage them to enter by providing their email address.
Learn more: How to Create a Holiday-Themed Facebook Promotion

4. Add value – If running a promotion doesn’t fit your business, you can still do something special for your customers by sending a thank-you email or offering something of value.
Learn more: How to Add Value this Holiday Season without Offering a Discount