Are You Employing Conversion Optimization?

Want More Sales? Use Conversion OptimizationVideo

Although you often hear the roar of marketers bemoaning too little traffic to their pages as the bane of their existence, it’s a fair bet that they haven’t used conversion optimization to get the most out of what they are receiving.

Conversion optimization merely involves making sure each and every element in the sales process, from the first contact to the Thank You page is crafted to ensure that you not only get the sale, but the most bang for your marketing buck.

Let’s take a quick look at several ways to optimize for conversions, and see if they don’t grow the bottom line a bit!

Key Elements of Conversion Optimization

Use the proper keywords – Making sure you are using the proper keywords for the page the right way is crucial for not only making sure you are found in search, but also social media and video. Optimize for one main keyword and a few select secondary keywords, so that it will best focus your search results.

Make sure you test – This is a must. Simply putting up a page without testing the various elements of the page or offer is a sure recipe for leaving lots of money on the table. Test every aspect of the sales process, from emails to pages, headline, copy and color: it’s all in play, and you’ll be surprised at the outcomes you get. Test only one thing at a time also, as it will confuse the results otherwise.

Make videos – The word is that by 2018 we will see some 75 percent of all traffic having something to do with video. People are hooked on watching, and this trend is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Not only that, but studies are also showing that consumers are more inclined to convert after viewing your video. Something to think about!

Be mobile ready – Since more than half of all Web search is now originating from a mobile device of some sort, it’s imperative to make sure your pages and offers are mobile-friendly. This is easy to get done, and can pay large dividends. Also, make sure your hosting renders your mobile pages quickly, as mobile users are highly impatient.

Employ social proof – People need to know that somehow they are making the right decision when selecting a product. 85 percent of consumers will visit at least one social network for confirmation. Make sure you are using social proof, and that you respond to social inquiries promptly.

The Basics of SEO for E-commerce

Best Practices in SEO for E-commerceSocial Proof

SEO for ecommerce is not that much different than SEO for anything else, but it does have some unique aspects you’ll want to bear in mind.

When it comes to e-commerce sites, the process gets even more complex than usual. In fact, e-commerce sites operate in a unique set of circumstances with a specific set of best practices.

So to make this a reality let’s take a look at some of the more valuable aspects of SEO for e-commerce, and see if your pages measure up!

5 Best Practices in SEO for E-commerce

Unique content – Google prizes original unique content, and penalizes duplicate content. With the amount of newcomers in the e-commerce game, most are willing to copy the product description they find in Amazon or wherever else directly onto their pages. Not a good plan. Take the time to create unique descriptions for your pages.

Reviews and social proof – Most people are hesitant to purchase if they don’t see that someone has tested the waters before them That is why testimonials and social proof play such a large roll in successful e-commerce pages. These are easy to get, and need to be a part of the plan!

Use redirects on dead product pages – Often when a product is no longer being sold, the page lives on, though usually in the form of a 404 error page. This is a bad on-site SEO signal to Google, and will hurt you. Instead, us a simple 301 redirect to send that traffic to new or current pages.

Use unique imagery – Use unique images on your pages too. Like duplicate content in the form of text, using the same images found on Amazon won’t help you. If you can handle some image editing, it’s simple enough to alter the images enough to make them unique, and perhaps adding a message of your own.

Use different types of content – Shake it up on your e-commerce pages. Like other web pages, people like to see a variety of content, and this can make your product stand out. Videos, demos and testimonials can help immensely.

Using these small tweaks together with traditional on-page SEO can lead to your pages leapfrogging over the competition. All it will require is a little more work!

The Latest in Social Media Updates for your Small Business

What’s New with Social Media in the Past Few MonthsWhat's New With Social Media

We all know that keeping up with social media is a job, and the constant updates that may slip by unnoticed may well be something that could really help your small business.

Whether it’s a new way to publish content, publicize your wares, or network with your audience, social platforms change constantly, and many times for the better.

To help with this, here are some of the latest social media changes to come down the pike in the last couple of months, what they are, and how they can help your small business!

5 Of the Latest Social Media Updates that You Can Use in Your Small Business

Facebook Instant Articles – A great new change for those publishing and spreading information on mobile devices is the introduction of Facebook Instant Articles, which is a wildly interactive and innovative platform that allows users to zoom in, comment on, listen to audio and more directly on the page itself.

Twitter to expand Characters in Direct Messages – Twitter is listening and beginning in July 2015 they have pumped up the character limit on direct messages (not Tweets!) to 10,000 characters. I’m already imagining the possibilities!

More Social Results in Google Search – At least for mobile (desktop later) Google has begun displaying Tweets as social results in a web search. Simply search for your interest on the Google App and see what’s being talked about in real time on Twitter about your search subject.

Twitter’s New Search Results Page – More on Twitter, as they’ve introduced a new search results page, sporting a much cleaner and usable interface, combined with the ability to exhaustively filter the results and come up with exactly what interests you.

Better LinkedIn Reporting form Simply Measured – If you’ve been using the social analytics company Simply Measured you might have noticed a new report for LinkedIn publishers that offers a much deeper dive into their analytics. There is a ton of metrics to analyze, and also an updated cross channel social performance report feature that covers 8 of the most popular social networks, including LinkedIn.

Social media is in a constant state of change! Keeping up with some of the shifts will help keep your social efforts productive.

Check Out these 5 E-Commerce Software Solutions

Check Out these 5 E-Commerce Software SolutionsOnline Shopping Cart

You’ve made a decision to take the plunge and set up your online store, but are stumped about how to find the best e-commerce solution for your particular business.

We feel your anguish, and in the interests of making life a bit easier in this regard, we’ve come up with a list of 5 hosted e-commerce software solutions that will do just that.

We’re only going to consider hosted e-commerce software solutions this time, as self-hosted is a considerably more daunting endeavor, requiring far more technical savvy than many new e-commerce entrepreneurs possess. Don’t worry though, as after looking through these choices, you’ll be far better armed to make a smart decision on what’s best for your company and business!

5 Great choices for E-commerce software

Shopify – Shopify is widely known as the being dog in this space, and it’s definitely an earned reputation. Possessing all the tools necessary for you to produce an attractive and easy to use platform, they also have a lot of awesome themes to give your store the perfect look. Not the least expensive, but clearly the best. So far they have more than 160,000 stores online.

BigCommerce – Another in the drag and drop variety, BigCommerce is similar to Shopify, but in my opinion a little more complicated to use. Still they have their adherents, as 90,000 stores will attest to!

Wix E-Commerce – One of the easiest to use tools with Wix you can literally have your store up in a matter of an hour or two, depending on the number of your offerings. They offer a ton of flexibility and a fully integrated shopping cart.

Weebly E-Commerce – Another of the easy solutions, Weebly has a whopping 440,000 stores online. This is due to their extreme low cost and ease of use. A very good tool for beginners!

SquareSpace – A low-cost offering more in the line of Shopify and BigCommerce, they can’t offer as refined a platform as those options, but you can have a great-looking store at a far lower price with Squarespace. And when you’re getting started, that’s not a bad idea!

Google’s Latest Update and What It Means For Your Business

Someone once said the only constant in life is change… The same can be said about Google and its search algorithm. Many business owners were frustrated once again by Google’s latest update to its search results.  In this episode of the ‘In The Trenches Small Business Marketing” video podcast I show you how it affects your business.  The biggest noticeable difference was that they started showing only 3 businesses in the Maps listings (formerly referred to as the “7 Pack”).

Click The Play Button Below to Watch This Video:

Now its even more competitive to show up in the Maps listings and in the future the Maps listings may even become a PAID listing in the future (do a Google search for “San Fransisco locksmith” and you will see an experiment Google is conducting in San Fran with Paid Maps listings).   This isn’t a widespread practice yet for Google BUT, if you know Google’s only two rules then you wouldn’t be surprised if they do eventually make this a widespread change:

Google Rule #1:  What makes Google the most money?  ;-)

Google Rule #2:  What provides users with the best possible search experience?

Understanding what motivates Google makes you understand why they make changes like this.


Google's san Fransisco listing



The Bottom Line Take aways are:  

1.  Optimize your Google Plus business page listing

2.  Get your online Business Citations cleaned up (we can help with this)

3.  Get Reviews on a continuous and ongoing basis

4.  Consider investing in Google AdWords if it makes economic sense for your business

To your success,

Kyle Battis signature


Why You Need Facebook for your Content Marketing Plan

Why You Need Facebook in your Content Marketing PlanFacebook Like

It’s simply not possible if you’ve been marketing for any amount of time that you haven’t been advised that Facebook, and social media in general, is essential to your online success. I would say that’s totally true, but with one major caveat: you have to know how to use it, or you’ll come away believing that it is a useless time-wasting exercise in futility.

We I’m here today to tell you that if you’ve embarked upon any sort of content marketing, you absolutely need to make sure Facebook is included. Let me explain why.

Why Facebook Needs to be a Cog in your Content Marketing Machine!

One of the biggest reasons why you’ll want to employ Facebook in your content marketing is the fact that they are on the cutting edge of what’s happening with mobile and video online.

In video alone it’s believed they are now getting a paltry 4 billion views a day, definitely giving YouTube a run for their money.

Combine this with their mobile capabilities, and you have a prescription for the future of marketing online. Want proof? Facebook owns 4 of the top 8 non-gaming apps in the Apple Store, with the Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram apps.

Four Easy Tips for Winning with Content Marketing on Facebook

Employ visual media – Using videos and images in your content marketing on Facebook is an excellent way to get your content shared. It’s well known how visual Facebook users are, and tapping into this whenever possible is always a good idea.

Keep things short – It’s been shown that shorter posts get around 60% better engagement than longer ones, and this is primarily why you’re posting here in the first place, to create audience reach and new fans. This can be easy to do if you are basically leading your readers somewhere else.

Save promotion for paid ads – Facebook is tending to go after overly promotional posts, even from brands. You would be wise to heed this warning, and save the sales pitches for promoted posts.

Promote your blog posts on Facebook – One way sharp marketers get tons of new traffic to their blogs is by announcing or teasing their new blog content on Facebook. You will definitely want to do this, and definitely think about promoting this type of post as well.

5 Great Pinterest Tips for Small Businesses

5 Great Pinterest Tips for Small BusinessesPinterest

70 Million people are hard to dismiss, and if you hope to make any traction with this audience, you’ll want to have a look at these 5 great tips for marketing your small business on Pinterest.

Pinterest has a largely female audience, roughly 70-75%, and the best thing about it is that they are not afraid to buy! If your product or service lends itself to a visual rendering, then you should be creating boards!

We’ve scoured our sources and found 5 great tips for marketing your small business on Pinterest. Start using them today!

5 Useful Tips on how to Market your Small Business on Pinterest

Join Pinterest Groups – Locating board groups in your market can help you speed up the engagement and connect with more followers. There is a free tool called PinGroupie that will help you find relevant groups. After you’ve joined several of these, be sure and offer great value to the group.

Set up a Blog Board – One very easy to do technique to promote your blog is to create a blog board. Doing so will automatically let your followers know about anything new on your blog. A little optimization of your titles and description will go a long way to helping you get found in the search engines.

Mine Your Competitor’s Pins – Many of your competitor’s followers would also be interested in your wares. Once you’ve found them, follow them and many of them will follow you right back!

Carefully Craft your Descriptions – Choose your words carefully here, as about 75-100 characters will show up in the grid view. You’ll want to use keywords, and do not sell! Describe and offer useful information instead and you just might end up in the Google search results!

Consider Adding Text to Images – Overlaying text onto your images converts better than straight images. This will require editing your image in image editing software, but in some niches these can return another 50% worth of engagement. I’d say that’s worth it!

Why Do People Click on Your Links?

Best Practices for Getting More Clickable LinksClickable Links

Much of the time in our quest to connect with an audience, make sales, get opt-ins and more, we are depending on our visitors to make that connection via a web link. Thus it would stand to reason that one of our primary tasks in this quest is to make it our business to know how to get them to click!

Seems there’s more to this than simply hyperlinking “Click here” and expecting them all to show up and shower us with money, emails and more. You really have to coax these things out of them. (You didn’t really think it was that easy, did you?)

So to help make your pages a veritable clicking paradise, let’s examine 5 ways to optimize your links for clicks.

5 Tips for getting more clicks from your links!

Get informative with your click text – You have the opportunity to make your links both informative and enticing. Don’t waste this! “Click here” conveys very little in the way of information about what you’re offering or they’re getting. Studies show that link text like “Download your Free PDF Now!” perform significantly better.

Make every link serve a purpose – Don’t link to any other page without a clear purpose. This means to either an offer, resource or other content that will benefit your audience. (and you!) This is particularly true for landing pages, where you hopefully have a singular purpose for any links on the page.

Understand about the color of your links – There is a definite psychology pertaining to color, and you need to have this firmly in mind when designing links and buttons. For example, blue is a trust color, and orange encourages quick action. Get acquainted with these concepts!

Don’t promise what you aren’t delivering – If you think it’s a great idea to get them to click on your links by using techniques like “clickbait”, think again. You’ll have broken any trust you may have had, and be rewarded with massive bounce rates.

Think about page placement – Knowing where to put links is nearly as important as knowing how to make them. If you have a clear purpose for the page, you’ll want them to be able to click early and often. Have a link above the fold, especially on landing and sales pages.

How to Scale your Content with a 1-Person Team

Scaling your Content All by YourselfOverworked

One of the more frightening scenarios a lot of small businesses and independent marketers face is the fact that content marketing is an essential element of a modern online business.

That is, unless, they are a one-man gang, tasked with doing all the other aspects of an online business. Then the task becomes quite daunting indeed. These individuals look with unbridled envy at companies with specialized staff members producing innovative, original content in its many forms, and only wonder how they can find the time to make this happen for their own business.

Let me assure you that there is a way, and it’s not as crazy-making as it might appear on the surface. Let’s look at how you can scale content marketing with a 1-person team!

5 Tips for scaling content by yourself!

Content Marketing Calendar – The first step is to get incredibly organized, and by this we mean creating a content marketing calendar. This is where you plan out your new content at least 6 months in advance, in order to coordinate with your other marketing initiatives simultaneously.

Don’t forget to curate content – This tactic helps you in a couple of great ways: you can quickly publish valuable content for your readers, (remembering to attribute and inject your own views while doing so) and increases your own authority in Google’s eyes.

Outsource – You really don’t have to do it all by yourself. You can outsource the development of content, especially if it’s something you are not familiar with but would like to use. (Infographics, anyone?) This of course will be an added expense, but it may be well worth it.

Repurposing content – Your amazing blog post might also make a fine video, slideshow, infographic or podcast. Don’t limit yourself here, and you’ll find lots of new readers, visitors and links coming your way!

Content promotion – Don’t think that when it’s published you’re done. A big part of the effectiveness of content marketing lies in spreading the word, and when you send out new content, let the world know via your social media channels, and even paid promotion if it’s worth it you.

Working as a 1-person marketing department is definitely a struggle, but using these strategies, you’ll find a lot more success than you might think!