12 Methods that Will Help Increase Online Traffic to Your Homepage

12 Methods that Will Help Increase Online Traffic to Your Homepage

Search engine optimization is a frequently discussed aspect of marketing. But what about homepage design: Can how a page is structured be used to increase interest in the site?

To take advantage of this, some people favor moving the call to action to a more prominent place to improve the chances of winning a sale. Others feel you should include engaging content like videos, while making sure not to clutter the page with too much information at once.

But what works best? We asked 12 members from YEC to share the design elements you can incorporate into your site’s homepage in order to increase customer traffic.

1. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

A lot of websites are still mostly designed for desktop. A mobile version of your site is important because Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites above non-mobile friendly ones. Even just creating a responsive, dynamically served, or separate URL for your mobile homepage is a start to avoid site bounces and losing mobile site traffic.

Vincent Wong, mHelpDesk

2. Generate and Keep Visitor Interest

Through image and text, make sure your design funnels the user to key supporting pages that evolve the conversation about your brand or product. More then ever before for SEO traffic, search engines are giving high importance to metrics of user engagement like bounce rate and average time on site. You need a design that creates not only immediate but also sustained interest.

– Travis Nagle, Stem and Viesso

3. Make Your Call to Action Clear

Whether it is to contact you, purchase a product or schedule a service, make it very easy for someone to find your call to action button. It should exist on the top half of your website and be big enough for everyone to see.

Lyndsi Stafford, eLuminate Marketing

4. Tout Your Unique Selling Points

First, ask your customers why they buy from you and not from the competition. This will tell you what your unique selling proposition is. Then, make this the No. 1 element on your homepage. A customer should land on your page and be able to answer where they are, what they can do there and why they should do it. Your unique selling proposition will quickly answer this question and improve conversion rates.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

5. Add Live Chat

Live chat is an absolute necessity for websites that provide products or services. Having a live chat box across your website builds a sense of comfort for visitors because they know any questions can be answered immediately. The real-time advantage of live chat is that it keeps the customer engaged and not bouncing to seek answers. This increased engagement is better for conversions.

– Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com

6. Put Video on the Homepage

Put video on your homepage to get and keep people there. This is the most engaging content and could then influence these visitors to explore other parts of your website. Video content can also provide search engine ranking assistance, as more people are seeking out this type of content.

Murray Newlands, Sighted

7. Provide Connections to Social Media

Our social media accounts are where we get more sales through the testimonials that we post there. It is very important that our website showcases these posts in order to make sales on our site and increase traffic as well.

Daisy Jing, Banish

8. Keep Visitors Engaged

In so many words, don’t be boring. Provide interesting and fun items that keep visitors hanging around. The more they hang around, the more they will find links that provide the information or products they want to use.

Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics

9. Fine-Tune Your SEO Page Title

The most important element for increasing customer traffic online is the SEO page title that appears in browser windows and search engine results pages. If a homepage title is “Home” or simply “Company Name” in the browser window, then there is an opportunity to include your target keyword in the page title to attract more customer traffic online.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

10. Use Long-Tail Keywords

Prospects are searching long-tail keywords, phrases containing several words that ask a question they need answered. Focus on the questions your prospects are searching for, and target your content to respond to and answer those questions. And if they don’t find the answer right away on your homepage, they’re likely to click away somewhere else. You have to immediately capture interest.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

11. Make Products Easy to Find

From personal experience, customers like to find the product they’re looking for easily and without too much hassle. On my e-commerce website, I have what’s called a custom search and filter functionality, which helps customers find what they’re looking for with ease. This type of element is important because a customer’s experience on your site will make them buy from you or go somewhere else.

Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

12. Tell Visitors What You Do

It’s such a simple idea, but one that gets forgotten about often: Tell your viewers what it is that you do. Remain direct, succinct and use language that they’ll digest immediately. Oftentimes, marketing copy can become overly verbose and ambiguous, and ironically forgets its message. If you’re the best at organizing conferences, say it directly — you’ll garner more traffic and conversions.

Blair Thomas, First American Merchant

 

Quick Tips to Improve Your Website or Blog Homepage

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through some expert tips on how to improve your homepage, it’s time to implement these changes into your own site. Also, if you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you check out another one on BloggingTips.com which asks 83 online marketing experts the question “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my guide to get started with one today.

How to Make Money Creating Online Courses Around Business Needs

How to Make Money Creating Online Courses Around Business Needs

There are plenty of ways to make money online, but selling online courses and training material has to be one of the best methods. The reasons for this are many, such as low overhead costs when getting started, digital products have an extremely high-profit margin and there is a never ending need for good quality training material online — and lastly, people and brands are willing to pay good money for them as well!

Just take a look at what Udemy has created in a short period of time with their online marketplace for video courses and training material. The site now has over 17 million students and more than 27,000 instructors contributing content to their site — all while also working on a rev-share business model.

The hardest part of the course creation process is knowing what to build and how you are going to sell it. If this is something you are personally going to be creating and promoting, it should be something around your expertise and that you are known for. A perfect example of this would be if I was going to create an affiliate marketing or blogging course. Since I already have authority in these spaces and a loyal following, it would just make perfect sense for me to build something of value to sell to my audience.

With all of this in mind, today we are going to look at some different ways you can start creating successful online courses, while also doing some pre-planning and niche research in the process. The more research you do beforehand, the easier it will be for you to find success down the road.

Build a Course Around the Needs of a Business or Your Audience

When it comes time to create a course or training program, you will need to look at this from two different perspectives. Are you going to sell to businesses and brands, or individuals looking to learn something? If you are going to be selling to businesses and brands, you will likely need to have a more professional course, but will also have the ability to charge a lot more for it. Businesses always have money to spend, and if they are going to get value out of something, it’s usually a no brainer for them to invest in.

On the flip side, if you are going to create a course for individuals looking to learn something, you need to make sure you price it correctly. For example, if you were to create a course on how to make money blogging, it would be tough to sell it for a high ticket price, since your audience likely isn’t already established with a successful site or blog. The difference between these two demographics can be a huge contributing factor to the success of your business.

Sticking with a ‘business’ perspective, a great example of how you can take an existing industry report and turn it into much more (through an online course), would be this report on 50 Employee Engagement Ideas (From Glassdoor’s Top 50 SMBs). Businesses are all about productivity and they want nothing more to invest money in their company to see better ROI in the long run.

As for creating a course around this topic, all you would need to do is run through the list of 50 employee engagement ideas, then create a short video for each and a simple PDF checklist. This is more than enough for a business to invest a few hundred dollars into, then hand it off to their employees for a quick study. At the same time, you know the content and advice you are recommending is already proven and of value, as it’s based off a report from a reputable site like Glassdoor.

It might seem silly at first, but this is actually a perfect opportunity for someone to take existing data that is already out there and convert it into a video format that is easier to distribute and consume. When it comes to user engagement and learning, online video is consumed and absorbed at a much faster pace than written text. The latest video industry stats prove video is now more in demand than ever before, especially with mobile usage on the rise — which is how many students are currently taking their online video courses through. Creating just text and written content to your audience is simply leaving a huge gap in both your audience reach and potential revenue.

How and Where to Create and Sell Your Online Course

With the hardest part of figuring out what your course is going to be about, out of the way, it’s now time to consider your options for how to put your course together and where to sell it. There are many ways to accomplish this — some being more simple, cost effective and faster than others. If you are looking for a thorough guide on this process, I recommend you read this one on how to build an online course. Inside the reference guide you will find a collection of actionable tips, such as how to create quick reports to include within your course (as shown below)

The content within your course is going to be important, but how you deliver it to your audience is going to be even more crucial to it’s success. Here are a few bullet points to help with the course creation process, while also making sure your content is easy to consume by your audience.

  • Video is key, but PDF attachments and action sheets are also of value
  • When creating videos, be sure to use PowerPoint or Keynote
  • It’s best to create shorter videos versus longer videos for attention span issues
  • Break your course material into different sections and modules for easy viewing
  • Host your video course through a reliable video host like YouTube, Wistia or Vimeo
  • If possible, include a video of yourself speaking in the corner of each video
  • Make sure you have high-quality recording equipment so your sound is professional

In addition to planning for how you are going to create your online course, you will also need to consider your options for selling it online. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Udemy is one option for selling online courses — however, most courses on the site are heavily discounted and can sell for as low as $10 each. Udemy is a great option and instantly puts your course in front of millions of potential buyers, but at the same time, you don’t own the customer data and have no way to follow-up or sell to them again, unless you use their internal communication platform, which can be limiting and also comes with its own terms and conditions.

Another option is to use a solution like Kajabi, which was specifically created to help ‘everyday people’ get online with their courses, without the need to learn any technical skills like web site design, payment processing and creating a members area. All of this can be accomplished through their drag and drop platform. Unlike Udemy, when using a platform like Kajabi, course creators will own 100% of the content and revenue from the site — however, there is also a monthly cost associated with using the Kajabi platform, where Udemy, on the other hand, is free.

Right Now is the Best Time to Create and Sell Courses Online

If you’ve ever had a passion or expertise for something and wanted to try and make some money from it in the process, right now is the perfect time to invest your time and efforts into creating and selling an online course. With there currently being over 2 billion users on social media and demographic/interest targeting options available through Facebook Ads, it’s simply a matter of going live with your course and then marketing it as effectively as possible. If you are going to price your course in the $500+ range, it’s recommended to go with a webinar solution, as this will allow you to really engage with your audience and pre-sell them on the concept, while also giving them a call to action at the end of the webinar. It’s also a great way to build a massive mailing list in the process.

Be sure to run through all of the recommendations and tips above, then get to work on launching a course of your own today!

3 Ways to Improve How Your Personal Name or Brand Look Online

3 Ways to Improve How Your Personal Name or Brand Look Online

When someone wants to find information about anyone or anything, they head to Google. Without hesitation, whatever information Google provides the end user with, it’s usually trusted and accepted within a moments time. This is especially true when it comes to an individual’s or brand’s reputation. No matter what the real truth is about yourself or a brand, whatever the internet says about you can greatly influence the way others gain a first impression.

With all of this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure you not only have some control over what appears in Google for your name or brand, but also that you are continually monitoring online mentions for your personal name and brand mentions as well. After all, it’s not just Google where people are finding information, it’s also through social media, web forums, rating websites and much more.

Today I’m going to provide you with three solutions for how you can not online monitor and track name mentions online, but also how you can gain more control over your online reputation in the process.

Monitor, Track and Respond to Online Mentions

Google, social media, online review sites and user forums… when it comes to tracking online mentions for your brand or personal name, it can be quite overwhelming. While there are free tools out there like Google Alerts that are great for providing you with updates on any new content that contain your name or brand in web content, it’s really only providing you with a fraction of the picture. As online reputation management and brand monitoring services continue to get more advanced, it’s quickly becoming easier to track and monitor mentions across a wide range of platforms, while only needing to use one solution.

One such provider that is making this process a whole lot easier is Brand24. Through their online monitoring platform, individuals and brands can see new mentions in real-time, while also tracking how to respond, engage or reply/remove such content. It’s one thing if someone makes a mention of your personal name or brand on social media, but it’s another when bad reviews or defamation comes into play. While social media is one of the largest areas of focus when it comes to brand mentions and monitoring, Brand24 was actually built with all different types of content monitoring in mind. Outside of social media monitoring, the platform also offers alerts for name or brand mentions across websites, blogs, photo sharing sites, forums, news outlets and more — all of which are delivered through email notifications and can be compiled into daily or weekly reports. These are just a few of the reasons why the online monitoring of name and brand mentions are so important.

You can see an example of the Brand24 backend monitoring system below. As you can see, not only is it a solution for providing updates in real time, it also allows for full tracking and monitoring of social media reach, positive and negative mentions, and also the ability to set up a collaborative work setting that allows for multiple users or team members to access such information.

Build Your Own Platform and Rank #1 in Google

With Google being the first resource for information in the world today, they are also going to be your first impression to millions of people around the world. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure that your website, brand or content is ranking number one in Google for your name or brand. If you aren’t currently ranking number one, you simply aren’t in control over how you look online.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to actually have a website or blog. This sounds easy enough, but in some cases, it might not be — especially if you share a name with a famous celebrity, artist or online marketer. In my case, I rank #1 in Google for “Zac Johnson” and pretty much own the whole main page for my name. However, there is also a famous golfer named “Zach Johnson” that ranks very well also. While the names are spelled differently, there are likely times when someone is searching for one or the other, then actually coming across the other person. This actually happens quite a bit whenever there is a big golf tournament going on. Since the names are so similar, Google will pre-populate “Zach Johnson’s” standings in the search results, then display my web site right below it. You can see a visual example of this below.

In short, if you want to rank at the top of Google for your name or brand, you need to have a powerful website (with a blog) that continually gains link juice and SEO power over time. This way, whenever someone searches for your name or brand online, they find your website first, and not another source of information that is potentially out of your control.

Use the Power of Social Media to Rank Multiple Times

With more than two billion users on Facebook and another few hundred million spread across the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others, it’s important to think about the sheer power and reach of social media. We already covered the importance of monitoring name and brand mentions on social media, but if that’s where you are stopping, you are missing out big time.

A perfect example of this would be the ranking power that lies within each of your personal and brand social profiles. Google loves social networking site and with so much link juice, authority and power behind each of these sites, it’s quite easy to rank them versus a new site of your own. While I highly recommend creating a website or brand and having it be your number one ranking in Google for your name, I also recommend using social media profiles to fill out these rest of your main page listings.

If you were to search for any big name celebrity, you will likely see their main website ranking number one, then all of the social profiles proceeding. That is of course unless they had a big scandal or negative news posted about them and might have to compete with even bigger news and media sites like TMZ ranking for their name. To see an example of a celebrity who is not doing this correctly, just take a look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s search results in the screenshot below. Not only does his main website not rank #1 for his name, he also has Wikipedia, IMDB and gossip/news websites ranking before his social profile pages!

The important thing to remember here is that it’s quite easy to rank your social profiles in Google for your name. To help and speed up the process, be sure to continually link back to your social profiles using your personal or brand name. The more you do this, and associate the links coming from your own sites, the more likely you are to see such profiles start ranking higher in Google for your name. Continue this process until you rank your main web site number one in Google for your name, then listings 2 through 10 with your social profile pages.

Google and Social Media are Your First Impression

As you can see, there are many factors that come into play when trying to look your best online. If you aren’t actively monitoring when, where and how your personal and brand names are being mentioned online, you simply aren’t in control over how others may see your brand and getting that first impression.

Online reputation management and building a brand for yourself isn’t something that happens overnight. This is especially true for anyone just starting out. However, when done correctly, your efforts will continue to compound and grow stronger and stronger with each day.

Follow each of the recommended tips and solutions above to make sure your personal name or brand always look best at all times.