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Build Trust with Email - 315

Build Trust with Email

Build Trust with Email - 315
If your website is the digital equivalent of a billboard, then your email campaigns are the equivalent of an attentive sales representative.

Websites are designed to make an impact. They need to be strategically designed and easy to navigate. But their ultimate goal is to inspire visitors to pursue further contact with the business. If the contact is done digitally, email marketing can start, and the process of nurturing leads begins.

Building Trust

If you thought email marketing was simply a means to blast hard sell advertising out to a captive audience, it’s time for a rethink.  You cannot push sales all the time, the same as you cannot go door to door and continually peddle your same product to the same people!

Avoid being overly salesy. Successful email marketing is about not being sales oriented at all.  It’s about trust.

Instead, successful email marketers craft emails to educate, answer questions, provide solutions and even to selflessly reference industry studies and best practice information by (yes!) other organizations.

Rather than annoying your prospects into unsubscribing from your list, great email campaigns establish your reputation as a reliable resource. By providing value over time, you build trust. Then when your prospect is in the market for whatever you sell, you’re their obvious first choice because they have seen you over time.

Automated Frequency

There’s an old rule in the sales game that says that in order to make a purchasing decision, customers need 7 “touches” or 7 points of contact with your sales team.

That used to mean large teams of sales pros managing small individual customer portfolios. But thanks to digital marketing, things have changed.

Automated tools like autoresponder sequences mean that you can create, set and forget a standardized email campaign for new email list subscribers. The autoresponder will take them through the majority of the sales nurturing process. Thus only requires hands-on intervention from your sales team when your customer contacts you to purchase.

One autoresponder, working tirelessly, night and day, to send your message out to every prospect, and reducing the rule of 7 to 1 or 2 human interactions. No wonder the ROI on email marketing is so high!

Test, Perfect, Repeat

The beauty of email marketing is that there are endless possibilities to collect data, conduct A/B testing, and refine your process.

Gather data from every campaign. Then you can analyze what works and what isn’t successful, and tailor your future campaigns to focus on the former.

Bring Them Back to the Fold

Most people see email marketing as a method to connect and build relationships with new customers. However,  it can also be a powerful method to bring existing customers back.

Email is the perfect way to touch base. Try a reminder to complete a digital shopping trip. Send a personalized event invitation for a brick and mortar store.

If you’re not already using email marketing to reach your customers, then it’s time to start!! Contact us to discuss getting started, or an audit to improve what you do!

How to Get More Conversions on your Website-315

How to Get More Conversions on your Website

How to Get More Conversions on your Website-315

Many online marketers believe that more leads result in more conversions, so they concentrate on generating leads and not on anything else. But this doesn’t mean you don’t need to drive conversions — not if you want to keep ahead of the game. After all, every step in the marketing funnel is just as significant as the others.  Each step has it’s place of importance in ultimately generating more sales.

What is CRO?

For leads, there’s search engine optimization (SEO) to get more targeted traffic to your website. For conversions, there’s conversion rate optimization (CRO). After attracting traffic through optimized content, your next priority is to get the most out of that traffic. This is where CRO kicks in.

CRO is the practice of improving your site’s performance, so visitors take the action you want them to do. When you don’t have a carefully planned CRO strategy, people will look around your site for a bit out of curiosity then leave without subscribing to your newsletter, providing their contact details for a free download, or doing anything that will keep you connected to them.

But with a CRO plan in place, your website will be designed to foster engagement from visitors and eventually, turn these leads into conversions.

How do you apply CRO?

Now that you know what CRO is, it’s time to get to the how part. CRO can be implemented in many ways, and here are a few practical examples:

Enhance high-performing post

  • If you’ve been creating content for some time, you’ll know that some posts fare better than others in terms of attracting traffic. It’s either they’re ranked higher on search engine result pages or shared more on social media — or even both.
  • Next, check their conversion rates. If these are too low for the traffic they get, it means some components aren’t working. Maybe your call to action (CTA) isn’t exciting enough to be engaging. For example, pick which looks better for a high street fashion brand: “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Never miss a surprise sale again — sign up now!” Chances are, you’ll go for the latter.
  • But if your CTA isn’t the problem, the offer associated with a specific post can be the issue. Let’s go along with the high street fashion brand again in the next example. If a blog post is about finding the best swimsuits for different body types but the offer at the end is for a weak 5% off, don’t be surprised if you don’t get a lot of conversions for that page. But if you always align a relevant and meaningful offer with the content, you’ll get better conversion rates.

Promote high-converting posts

  • Some posts don’t get a lot of hits, but they still yield a good number of conversions in relation to the traffic they receive. In this case, the pages already work well enough for your purpose, so you should pay attention to promoting them instead.
  • You can share them on all your brand’s social media pages, produce guest posts with a link back to them, or offer influencers an exchange deal they can’t resist. There’s nothing like an authority figure or a celebrity for boosting hits of a post.
  • You can also go back to basics and check the pages if they’re optimized for search engines. If they happen to be old content dating a few years back, consider updating them to make them fresh and relevant once again.

With SEO at the start and CRO at the end, your whole marketing process will improve.

Need a strategy consult and setup of your funnel?  Contact us to discuss the options.

Add Features to Your Facebook Page with Apps-315

Add Features to Your Facebook Page with Apps

Add Features to Your Facebook Page with Apps-315Facebook apps extend the functionality of your page. By installing apps onto your Facebook page, you can run contests, collect lead data, and even provide customer support. Facebook apps lend an entirely new level of engagement with your followers. Here are 8 Facebook apps that will enhance your follower’s experience on your page.

TabSite

Tabsite is a multi-functional promotional and engagement app for Facebook. Hold photo contests and run lead-capturing sweepstakes, review mobile stats, create promotions, and capture leads in multiple ways with mobile-friendly promotional tabs.  Integrates with Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, GotoWebinar and more!

MailChimp

Are you an existing user? With MailChimp’s Facebook integration, your followers can subscribe to your newsletter without leaving Facebook.

Shopial

Shopial connects your followers to your online store. Creating a Facebook store with Shopial imports all your prices and listings from your website store to Facebook, allowing followers to see and buy products.

Polldaddy

Polls give you insight into your follower base as you gather their responses. Bring customized polls to Facebook with the Polldaddy app. Polldaddy provides 3 account tiers (free, pro, and corporate). All accounts can create unlimited polls, making this great for marketers.

YouTube Tab

Integrate your YouTube and Facebook pages with the YouTube Tab app. Install and setup your app and followers can see your YouTube content on your Facebook page.

Fan of the Week

Fan of the Week is an app that monitors follower activity on your page. Each week the most active follower on your page gets a special shout out to recognize them.

Boast

Testimonials help convince visitors to buy your product. Boast collects the praise from your page followers and displays them. Brands control which campaigns collect testimonials and where (and which) testimonials are displayed.

Zendesk

Zendesk lets your business connect your customer support team to your Facebook page. With a ticket system, questions, comments, and concerns made on Facebook can be addressed by the appropriate customer service agent. This app provides a management system for customer communications and interaction.

Facebook apps give your brand the power to do more. Add value to your page by adding Facebook apps.  We built TabSite, so we’re a little biased!  For a limited time get 30% off a monthly plan. User discount code: Facebookapps at checkout!

Keep Your Site Secure by Updating WordPress-315

Keep Your Site Secure by Updating WordPress

Keep Your Site Secure by Updating WordPress-315
If you’re relatively new to WordPress, chances are a notification of a new version that you should upgrade to has you break out in a cold sweat. Even if you’re a WordPress expert, you might wonder if your plugins and theme will work on the new version, and if or when you should upgrade.

The truth is, it’s a good idea to  use the latest version of WordPress and here’s why:

Stay Ahead of Hackers

WordPress is the world’s most popular website platform. So it stands to reason it’s a major target for hackers. If they can hack into one WordPress site, they can potentially access thousands.  Hacking a version of WordPress or a plugin is increasingly vulnerable the older the versions of WordPress and plugins you are using. If your security isn’t strong and up-to-date, you could lose your whole site.

WordPress is open source, which means the WordPress community at large contributes to the code. There are many people who know WP’s strengths and weaknesses. While the majority of the WordPress community is helpful and generous, there will always be a few that look to take advantage of any bugs and holes.

Wait too long to update your site, and you run the risk of having a loophole that could be exposed and thus the potential of losing control of your site. If you don’t keep your WP, theme, and plugins updated, and you process payments or store customer data you may be exposing your customer’s information to hackers.

What To Do Before You Update

You should backup your website before making any drastic changes. Just in case things don’t go according to plan. Tools like Updraftplus make this a fairly straightforward process.

In fact, it’s always a good idea to backup your site on a weekly or at least monthly basis. Because you never know what will happen.

Keep your plugins, theme, and framework up to date also. While minor WP updates may not affect the functionality of your plugins, a major update to WordPress may interfere with the functionality of your plugin.

How to Update WordPress

Updating WordPress is fairly easy. Chances are, you’ll receive an email notifying you of the update. Don’t worry about cost; the updates are free.

When you login, there will be a link on the home screen. After you’ve backed up your site, click the link and follow the prompts. Once the update is done, you’ll still need to update plugins. Then your site should be safe from malicious attacks until the next update rolls around.

Most updates go smoothly, with no downtime. But it’s always a good idea to schedule your updates for times when your site is not busy, just in case there’s a problem.

Need help and want this taken care of for you?  Let us help!  Digital Hill offers a security service where we can take care of updating your site and ensuring it has the latest versions and plugins needed.  Contact us today!

 

 

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Keyword Research for Website SEO-315

Keyword Research for Website SEO

Keyword Research for Website SEO-315Keyword research for SEO is where you research the terms people type into search engines when looking for resources similar to your site. Once you know what these keywords are, you can incorporate them into your website content. Do this consistently, and your site will rank for the keywords and keyword phrases on search engine result pages.

But if you’re using the wrong keywords, no matter how much you stuff your content you’ll still not reach your intended audience. This is why it’s necessary to do keyword research. All your subsequent efforts are useless if your keywords aren’t targeted enough.

Specific vs. General

General terms are more popular, which makes them more competitive and expensive. Let’s say you have a law firm in Newport, RI specializing in divorce, and you want its site rank better in the search engine results.

Type in divorce lawyer on Google and you’ll get almost 90 million hits. To get on the first page for that term will take considerable time, money, and effort. And even if you have the resources to get on the first page, how much good will it do? People looking for divorce lawyers in cities other than Newport will leave your site as soon as they realize it’s not what they need. And your site will have a higher bounce rate.

But type in divorce lawyers Newport RI free consultation and you’ll get less than 120,000 search results. With fewer competitors, you can focus on that specific term and get good results in shorter time on a smaller budget. Also, people who visit your site are part of your target market.

In SEO, these specific terms are called long tail keywords. These are targeted to people who are about to make a purchase, or who know more exactly what they want. When someone uses a very specific term, they’re no longer just looking around. There’s a huge chance they already know what they want and are ready to buy or are motivated to learn more.

Tools at Your Disposal

Luckily, you don’t have to guess which long tail keywords perform well. There are several tools I suggest, BuzzSumo, Übersuggest, Ahrefs, and Blog About by Impact.

On Buzzsumo, you can enter any topic, and the tool will analyze what content performs best for that. It displays links to content containing the keyword you supplied, then lists statistics on its Facebook engagement, and also LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ shares.

For Übersuggest, you can type in a term and choose categories (web, images, etc.) and country. It then gives you an extensive list of longtail keyword based on the term you supplied.

If you’re looking for articles ideas based on the keywords you gathered from the first two tools, there’s Blog About, a blog title generator. Input any keyword, and the tool will display some suggested titles and email you the rest.

Put yourself in your targeted audience’s shoes. If you were in their place, what keywords would you use to find what you’re looking for? That’s a very good place to start.

 

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E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-315

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store: The Nut Shoppe Chocolates

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-315
The Nut Shoppe has satisfied sweet tooths in Goshen, Indiana for over 25 years. Their new website, www.thenutshoppechocolates.com, connects the Nut Shoppe with even more customers.

The site is as much as a delight as their confectioneries. A gallery with mouth-watering treats sits on the front page. With the search, navigation bars and item bag, customers can navigate the site quickly. Nuts, chocolates, and other products are organized so that customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

Along with an attractive design, the site has 2 features that are perfect for both the Nut Shoppe and the customer.

E-Commerce

E-commerce stores help extend a business beyond its physical location. Therefore, customers can purchase gifts, mints, chocolates, and ingredients online in the E-Commerce store. Carefully arranged by category, products are presented with a picture, description, price, and size options.

As they shop, their orders can be accessed through the item bag (represented by a stylized shopping bag). If they want more raspberry creams, they can change the quantity right in the shopping cart. When they are ready to buy, they can simply hit the “Checkout” button, fill out the form, and have their treats shipped.

The business has full control over their store. They can add new products. Product descriptions and prices can be updated as needed.

CMS

A content management system is a back-end tool that makes managing a site much easier. Pictures, SEO, navigation links, pages, and the footer can be changed to whatever the Nut Shoppe desires.

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-1

Digital Hill’s CMS is perfect for the nontechnical user who wants to skip coding and get straight to business. With a CMS, multiple users can login in from anywhere and update the site. Site maintenance becomes streamlined as content management becomes collaborative and simple.

Want to quickly edit a product page? The CMS allows someone to modify a particular portion of the page without changing the others. This allows admins to keep the site’s appearance and themes consistent. The Nut Shoppe isn’t reliant on an outside vendor for site management.

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-2

Designed by Digital Hill, thenutshoppechocolates.com, is an attractive E-commerce website that is simple to navigate, quick to edit. It’s ideal for The Nut Shoppe to showcase their products worldwide.

The Nut Shoppe is just one of the companies that Digital Hill has built a site for. Check us out at Digital Hill’s site for more information on our web design, CMS, and other solutions.

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What are Image Alt Tags and Why You Need to Use Them-315

What are Image Alt Tags and Why You Need to Use Them

What are Image Alt Tags and Why You Need to Use Them-315Chances are, when someone lands on your website, they’ll never see your alt image tags at all. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not important.

What Are Alt Tags?

Alt tags describe an image, in a piece of HTML code, much like a header tag or any other piece of HTML code on your site.

Like all the other code on your site, if everything is going well, and under normal circumstances, no one will ever know they exist.

Alt tags will typically look something like this when viewed in HTML:

<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”image alt description” title=”image tooltip”>

But don’t worry if you don’t know HTML. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress or Digital Hill’s, you can add these attributes in your articles, in the publishing and advanced options, so you won’t need a crash course in programming to create them!

Why Use Alt Tags?

If alt tags are never going to be seen, then what is the point of having them at all? There are several reasons why you must have alt tags on all your images:

  • If a user is using a browser or computer that for some reason cannot render the image in question, they will see the tag instead of a completely blank space. At least it gives them an idea of what’s meant to be there.
  • Alt tags also help search engines when they crawl your site. The search engine sees images as a big black hole. But they can see tags. Use keywords in your image alt tags and get a bit more keyword influence for your post.
  • Alt tags also help search engines categorize images in their image search, which can help you to show up in more results.

Alt Tag Best Practices

To get the most bang for your buck (so to speak) when creating alt tags, there are a few rules you can follow:

  • Keep the tag short and relevant.
  • Describe the image as clearly as possible.
  • Make sure that you include a keyword. Remember that search engines do scan image alt tags, and they will count towards your overall site ranking.

Most importantly, remember if you can’t figure out what the alt tag should say, then you should question your use of the image at all. Images on websites should always serve a purpose, and if yours don’t, they shouldn’t be there.

Professional Landscape Website for AquaScapes of Michiana-315

Professional Landscape Website for AquaScapes of Michiana

Professional Landscape Website for AquaScapes of Michiana-315Based out of Indiana, Aquascapes of Michiana is an outdoor waterscape and landscape installation company that prides itself on creating beautiful ecosystem ponds and fountain scapes. Aquascapes’s new website reflects the company’s value that customer satisfaction is first and foremost.

Let’s cover some of the site’s prominent features.

Customer-friendly Landscape Website Design

First and foremost, the site has a clean interface. The navigation bar and footer provide contact information, convenient links to other pages, and links to the company’s social media.

Therefore, visitors can navigate to Projects, Videos, and Services, from any page on the site. The main pages are always just a click away.

Check out the Website Gallery

Next, on the homepage, customers are greeted with a gallery of dynamic water features and the company’s latest projects. The gallery shows how attractive a pond or a waterfall built in your own yard can be.

As a result, placing the gallery right on the front page of the website gives potential landscape customers a glimpse of the work done by the company. Hence, an insight into the company’s capabilities and new possibilities for their own water feature projects.

Simple Content Management with the DH CMS

A great site isn’t just nice to look at; it’s nice to work with. The CMS system behind the site allows admins to control the site. With this CMS, you can add, delete, or edit pages, the navigation bar, content, and images through a portal from anywhere you are as long as you have an Internet connection.

If Aquascapes wished to update their gallery to include more projects, they could easily log in to the portal and edit the gallery photos. Having a CMS system allows Aquascapes to improve user experience and respond to changes quickly to keep the most current information on the site at all times, all within their power and no website updating costs.

Boost Conversions With the Blog Resource Center

Getting traffic and new customers often begin with a regularly updated, informative blog. A resource center is a great tool to add new information to your website.

Think about a site that lacks a blog. It would be difficult to update existing customers and even harder to pull in new prospects. Nevermind the reduced ability to capitalize on SEO. The resource center keeps visitors up to date and engaged and keeps the site from feeling outdated (which helps retain prospects).

Overall, this professional landscape website has a great flow to it. It’s easy for a prospective customer to use and even easier for the company to update.

Aquascapes of Michiana’s site was designed by Digital Hill.  Our web design company serves companies in Indiana and all over the US. Learn more at digitalhill.com.

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New Website Checklist_ Make Sure Your SEO is Done Before You Launch - 315

New Website Checklist: Make Sure Your SEO is Done Before You Launch

New Website Checklist_ Make Sure Your SEO is Done Before You Launch - 315
You want to make sure your new website looks good and works well. That means no dead links, no blank pages, and no overlooked bugs. But beyond the form and function, there’s another element you need to look at, and that’s SEO.

And in light of Google’s move to prioritize mobile websites, it’s all the more reason for you to assess your website’s SEO-readiness against this checklist:

  • Domain and host

    Does your host web host have a record of major downtimes? A web hosting server with a negative history will hurt your website’s future reputation.

    An unreliable host will affect your website’s availability. It’s advisable to use a unique and never-used by someone else domain name, along with a dependable web host known for excellent uptime.

  • Keyword list

    Good copy will make your site rank well on search engines, but it’ll perform much better if you incorporate the right keywords relevant to your industry or niche.

    For a new website, it’s wise to go after long-tail keywords because they’re less competitive. In addition, these keywords will help you target specific audiences who are looking for exactly what you’re offering.  A great source to look at keywords is www.buzzsumo.com.

  • Design Theme

    Themes are not just about aesthetics. Some design themes are SEO-friendly, some aren’t. To ensure your design is SEO-friendly, it should have clean code on the developer’s side and a modern flow on the user’s side. It should also be responsive for mobile and tablet devices, and quick to load; otherwise, your bounce rate will go up.

    Most importantly overall, it should work well on mobile devices. Many people prefer to use their tablets and smartphones as their primary computing tool. Make the browsing experience on smaller screens pleasant and easy.  Google cares, so you need to as well!

  • SEO Tools and Plugins

    SEO plugins are simple to add and use, so take advantage of their power in your site. Different SEO tools have different functions, such as LinkPatrol to track and clean up links, and Keyword Tool to find out what keywords your target audience is using to find you. If your site is WordPress add Yoast SEO because it handles both technical and content optimization.

  • Content

    Content is still king, but only if it’s presented right. Gone are the days when you can post short, fluffy content and expect your website to rank. Now, long-form content is a better option because it leads to higher conversions and better page rank. Of course, you don’t have to fill every page with detailed content. Just focus on pages you want to rank and don’t exhaust all your efforts. Some pages aren’t designed to rank anyway, like landing pages.

  • Photos

    You can help your photos appear in the image search results by filling in the metadata fields with relevant alt text. If you already have a focus keyword, add that as well as long as it ties in with the photos. Then set a suitable featured image for every page so that if someone shares it on social media, the thumbnail on the preview will look engaging enough to warrant a click.

These are just some of the things on your SEO checklist, but they’re enough to get you started on the right path. And remember, SEO is an ongoing process. You have to continue working on it long after your website has launched.

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