The Blog

Why Is Video Marketing So Big?

video-for-business-1

Whether you already own, or intend to start, a business online or off, it would be wise to incorporate videos into your marketing plan. Video marketing is taking the business world by storm, and is only poised to grow. Why? Let’s explore that.

Whatever service you provide, whichever goods you sell, you simply must go where the customers are, and they are on the internet in astounding numbers. The internet has grown exponentially since it became a staple in homes in the 1990s. It has become a vital, ever-expanding marketplace, giving brick-and-mortar only stores a run for their money, if not putting them out of business, in some cases. Think of video rental stores, as well as book and music shops which have all dwindled in physical numbers in the face of online competition. Also, whether your business is housed online or off, chances are good that you have a website. Why does that matter? Websites need traffic, period. Video traffic, it has been forecast, will comprise more than 70% of all internet traffic by the end of 2017. Do I have your attention now?

In this technologically driven day and age, many consumers who once only perused the local newspaper ads for product and price feedback, now look to the internet for pre-purchase information. Prevailing research reports that at least 40% will surf the web before purchasing, both online and in-store, and that many are likely to purchase after viewing a video just once. It is that powerful.

Video marketing is so effective that it is outpacing other more traditional promotional methods in bringing in both leads and sales. Studies and research have found that video surpasses print media and direct marketing as sales tools. Video landing pages boast higher conversion rates in online advertising than traditional text only presentations such as long-form sales letters.

A clue as to how effective video is in influencing potential customers is in its widespread use. It is being used by everyone from Forbes 500 companies to small business, from politicians to the person next door. Video can, in turns, educate, inform, encourage reflection, resonate emotionally and even pitch, while also entertaining. They grab and hold attention, convey a message in a short amount of time from anywhere there is an internet signal, as well as have the potential to reach across all economic, ethnic, and geographic divides. Video brings a company, person or product into homes and awareness and increases recognition. It can be done cheaply, or even for free, while offering a platform that comes closest to rivaling the exposure offered by television, which is financially inaccessible to most.

Adding much of the fuel to the growing fire that is video marketing is social media. No discussion of video marketing would be complete without mentioning it. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, to name just a few, make it easy to share video content easily, quickly and potentially, virally, all while fostering brand loyalty and building relationships. This can translate to many dollars in profit to a company over a customer’s lifetime. Videos get shared more many times over than text and links combined on these platforms.

Video marketing is a powerful sales engine today, and a growing wave of the future, enabling a level of reach that is capable of adding many customers and dollars into your company’s coffers. If you have a business, or are contemplating starting one, video should be an essential element of your business marketing plan.

Source of data quoted within this article: virtuets.com

Advertisements

SEO Basics

A Guide to SEO Best Practices for Small Business

Resident SEO expert Ryan Eland brings you a guide on SEO best practices for small business. In this e-book, you’ll gain a high level overview of the primary things you need to focus on in order to have success in the search engines, as well as:

  • Keyword identification and placement
  • Content writing best practices
  • Proper metadata usage
  • Page load speed and SEO
  • URL structure
  • Proper image optimization
  • Mobile SEO

The Importance of SEO

SEO is difficult, but worth it. No other practice gives us such direct insight into what people want and are searching for. This means that search traffic consistently ranks up there with email for the highest converting web traffic. SEO is simply the process of positioning your answer—hopefully the best answer—on the first page of a search engine, so that people click to your website and find what they need.

People go to search engines for answers to questions: How to install a dishwasher? 8,100 searches per month. They go to search engines for directions: Where is Las Vegas? 5,400 searches per month. They go to search for emergencies: choking child, 480 searches per month.

If somebody has a question or a need, chances are the answer is somewhere on the Internet.

SEO is simply the process of positioning YOUR answer – hopefully the best answer – on the first page of a search engine – so that people click to your website and find what they need.

SEO Basics is an e-book wherein you’ll gain a high level overview of the primary things that you need to focus on in order to have success in the search engines—what is commonly referred to as “on site SEO.”

On Site SEO

On site SEO is everything on your website that you can directly control and change.  Because of this, on site is always a great place to begin.  When thinking about on site SEO, it’s helpful to think through activities that have the
highest “SEO Return on Investment (ROI).”

Through this book you will learn:
1. Keyword Identification and Placement
2. Content Writing Best Practices + Keyword Density
3. Proper Metadata Usage
4. Page Load Speed & SEO
5. URL Structure
6. Proper Image optimization
7. Mobile SEO

The Two Spheres of SEO

Getting your website and your content to rank well in search requires focus on two different arenas. This is where a lot of small businesses go wrong with SEO. They see it as a quick fix or an easy method to a waterfall of qualified leads. They focus in on one or two tactics and lose sight of the whole picture.

Beware of any service or agency that promises to skyrocket your website to the top by using a “secret formula.” The long and short is that SEO is no longer a game of cheap tricks and sneaky manipulations. It’s hard, intentional, and detailed work that pays off when done correctly.

To learn more about how SEO Basics can be incorporate into your small business Get The Resource Now.

 

 

 

The Free Social Media Tools You Should Already Be Using

If you want to learn more about a situation or get to the bottom of something important, you’ve probably been told to “follow the money.” You can apply this advice to business and leadership, too.

If you want to keep a pulse on industry trends and stay ahead of the curve, one of the first things you can do is look at how money in your space is being budgeted. Take influencer marketing, for example. Last year, influencer marketing took off, and so did the budget that companies allotted for it.

Now, look at social media through the same lens. Social media spending in the U.S. alone is expected to increase to more than $17 billion in 2019. A dizzily impressive figure, no doubt, but that kind of budget makes sense when you look at just how important social is to the way companies engage with their audiences, amplify their content marketing, and measure their successes. In fact, “The State of Digital Media” found that 66 percent of publication editors determine content success based on the number of social shares each piece yields.

Because social is so critical to building strong brands, it’s important for your team to maximize how they use it (and what tools they use) to make that job easier. There are plenty of free social media tools out there to help your team save time and money. To stay current on those options, check out the updated list below of eight free tools that can simplify your team’s social media marketing:

1. Facebook Insights

According to the same “The State of Digital Media” report, Facebook is still the most popular platform for sharing and engaging with content, so tools designed for that platform are especially valuable — and Facebook Insights is a good one.

Further, not only is Facebook Insights free; it’s easy to use, too. Your team can access it through an existing page, and the Insights feature can help your business track metrics on page performance, times your audience is on Facebook, and posts that receive the most engagement. Your team can even export these insights for more analysis.

2. SocialRank

I love Twitter; it’s probably my favorite social platform. I’m not as active on Instagram, but I know a ton of people swear by it. This is why SocialRank is so great. It helps manage your followers on both platforms — Twitter and Instagram — so you’re not just accruing followers, but you’re also getting to know who they are and what they like. Honestly, it’s great to have a ton of followers, but what good is it if you don’t try and get to know most of them? After all, they’re your audience — if you care about appealing to them, SocialRank is a solid social tool to add to your toolbox.

3. Likeable Local

Likeable Local is a unique social tool thatany company can find useful. Driven by a passion for small business success, Likeable Local helps generate leads and referrals through its platform, as well as share content to social platforms. It also offers tools to boost your reach and manage your online reputation through built-in keywords so you can engage in the right conversations.

Social media is evolving and only becoming more important to the way companies communicate with their audiences. Do your team a favor: Look into these free tools to make it easier to increase the reach, engagement, and impact of your social media marketing.

4. Social Mention

This tool can help your team track brand mentions and social interactions. Through a single search of your company’s name, your team can discern how often others are mentioning the name, whether it’s on the receiving end of positive or negative feedback, the reach of its posts, and more. Plus, it shows the top keywords and hashtags involving your company.

5. TweetDeck

If your team maximizes content by sharing it via multiple accounts, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of logging in and out of each account to launch posts. It takes time to sign in and out of different accounts to ensure as many possible audience members get the chance to engage with your content. Major headaches can surface when you’re bouncing around from sharing original posts, researching hashtags, tagging the right people, and replying to messages. With TweetDeck, your team can effectively manage multiple Twitter accounts with ease, all on one screen.

6. TweetReach

Free TweetReach snapshot reports provide fast, easy tracking of analytics for up to 100 tweets. Find out who’s been interacting with your company on Twitter, as well as what keywords, hashtags, URLs, or account names are receiving the most engagement.

The snapshot also includes insights into things such as: reach, exposure, tweet activity, tweet types, top contributors, top tweets, list of contributors, and tweet timelines. If your company uses Twitter daily or your company leaders are trying to identify potential influencers to work with, this is a great tool to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts. TweetReach also offers paid plans in addition to its free snapshot reports.

7. Buffer

Yes, I’ve mentioned Buffer in the past, and that’s because it really is a great, easy-to-use tool. Keeping up with sharing your content each day can be hard, and Buffer allows you to schedule multiple posts on different channels at once. This way, you can knock out a good amount of social distribution in one sitting, which is helpful for busy social media teams (and the thought leaders whose content is being shared).

8. LinkedIn

You’re probably already using this one, but hear me out. LinkedIn just released a new extension of its platform called LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. This helps businesses accumulate and track leads. Because most people view the app on their phones, it can be a hassle to fill out a contact form. So instead of relying on users to fill out the forms, LinkedIn’s new application uses an in-app form that populates already stored information about an individual LinkedIn user, making lead generation for your business easier than before.

What are some social tools you’re currently using? Share them in the comments.

________________________________________________________________

Article written by John Hall.

John Hall is the CEO of Influence & Co., a keynote speaker, and the author of “Top of Mind.” You can book John to speak here.

I am currently the Cofounder and CEO of Influence & Co. – We help companies position key individuals as industry influencers and thought leaders. We focus on creating high-quality content, coming from our clients, that reaches their target audience online. Our clients range from startups to fast-growing companies on the Inc. 5000, as well as Fortune 500 brands.

How Working with a Virtual Assistant Can Improve Your Bottom Line

Do you work with a Virtual Assistant (VA)? Are you thinking about working with a VA, but aren’t quite sure how it would benefit you and your business?

Well, here’s an important benefit: Did you know that working with a VA can actually improve your bottom line and help you and your business make more money?

It’s true! The virtual assistant industry has been in existence for over 20 years, and in that time VA’s have helped countless business owners grow their companies by providing a multitude of services. Thanks to the rise of the gig economy over the last several years, more businesses owners than ever are working with Virtual Assistants.

So how exactly does a Virtual Assistant help your bottom line?

Let’s start with this: As a business owner or CEO, you probably have more tasks to do in a day than you can keep track of. A VA can take many of those tasks off your plate, and free up your time so you can do what you need to do to make money for your business.

A recent article from Entrepreneur.com, “3 Ways a Virtual Assistant is the Fastest Ticket to Growth in 2017,”  references how important it is for a business owner to consider working with a Virtual Assistant. In most cases, new entrepreneurs usually start out as “solo acts,” doing everything themselves without much help. Then as the business grows, as they begin to realize that if they want continued growth in their business, they’re going to need help, that’s where a VA comes in!

VA’s can take those time-consuming, everyday tasks like email and phone calls and organize them for you to make your daily communications more efficient; save you time. As a business owner or CEO, time is everything to you. Time is money; time is what you need to take care of your customers, your family, and yourself. A VA can give you back more time throughout your busy day and make things more manageable.

The article from Entrepreneur.com emphasizes the use of a VA as an Executive Assistant, and there are many great Executive Assistants in the VA industry. But VA’s can also do almost any task that can be done remotely. VA’s are also bookkeepers and accountants, social media managers, project managers, content marketers, event planners, and web designers. Nearly any job that can be completed remotely can be done by a VA.

What you pay a Virtual Assistant will depend on the tasks needed and the VA’s level of experience. But if you find yourself drowning in work and feel like you can’t keep up, then it’s time to think about working with a VA.

Hiring one or even several VA’s to help you is an investment. But the invaluable help that you get when you have a great VA working with you will make it worth every penny and improve your bottom line.

___________________________________________________

Article Written by Julie Stewart.

Julie is a Digital Marketing VA with over fifteen years’ experience in marketing for small businesses. Julie helps busy professionals promote their businesses and increase their online presence by coordinating their marketing needs, and assisting them with their websites, social media, email marketing and online content. To learn more about how Julie can help you increase your online presence, visit her website at www.jascreative.com.

The Ultimate Strategy For YouTube Video Marketing

When it comes to creating your own video products there are certain guidelines that you can follow that will help you figure out what content to include when creating the script for your video. If you keep these guidelines in mind during the planning and production stages of your video product you will have a much easier time creating it.

Perhaps, the easiest way to market your YouTube videos is to let friends, family members, or coworkers know that you have videos available for viewing on YouTube.  For the best chance of success, you are advised to email the direct links for your YouTube videos to those that you know.  If you just happen to mention having your videos on YouTube to a friend in passing, let them know what your videos are about or what your YouTube screen name is.  YouTube allows site visitors to browse through all of their videos or search for something in particular, like one of your videos.

Another one of the many ways that you can market your YouTube video is by having any of your videos appear on any websites or blogs that you have.  What is nice about YouTube is that you can easily get a few HTML codes. Those codes will enable you or any other Internet users to post a YouTube video online.  It is not uncommon for bloggers to insert a YouTube video in their blog, by using generated HTML codes. It is advised that you post your own YouTube videos on your own websites, but if you know of anyone else who has a blog, you may want to think about giving them the needed HTML codes to have your YouTube video appear on their blog.  In most cases, you will find that even strangers are willing to do so, as long as your YouTube video is connected, in one way or another, to their blog or website.

You can also market your YouTube videos on online message boards.  Online message board marketing can be done two different ways.  For instance, there are a large number of online message boards that let you discuss of share anything, in general, with other board members. You may want to think about posting links to some of your YouTube videos, especially if you think the other members would enjoy watching them.  If you belong to an online message board or forum that allows you to have a signature, you will want to look into doing so.  Your signature will always appear at the end of each of your messages; therefore, the more active you are online, the more exposure your YouTube videos are likely to get.

Lastly, know what you want your audience to do after watching the video content. Do you want them to fill out forms, go to recommended site, rate the video, respond to a poll, forward the video to friends or buy products and services? Be clear on your message by directly telling video viewers your call to action. If you are pre-selling (which should be your aim), your video content should make viewers buy the products you talk about.

Turn Your Customers into an Army of Brand Advocates

It’s what fuels your most highly satisfied customers to share positive information about the stuff you sell, whether that be online or offline—information that is far more credible than any form of paid advertising.

For this reason, brand advocates are worth twice as much as an average customer and are 75 percent more likely to share a great experience with their personal network. The positive word of mouth generated by advocates is two times more effective than paid advertising and drives 20-50 percent of all purchase decisions. This adds up to $6 trillion in consumer spending each year.

B2B brand advocacy—it’s a thing

And, it’s not just limited to B2C marketing channels. B2B buyers are now putting more weight on peer recommendations when it comes to purchase decisions. According to Google, 60 percent of business technology customers search for peer testimonials during the decision-making process.

The brand advocacy gap

Despite the value, there is still a wide advocacy gap. In the United States alone, less than 10 percent of brands have half of their social media mentions classified as having positive sentiment. To compound this, 80 percent of companies are not leveraging advocacy in their marketing strategies, and 58 percent have not identified who their advocates are.

This gap presents an opportunity for many businesses, despite the industry you are in. If you can cultivate a team of brand advocates, you’ll be much better positioned for success in the market.

But, how do you identify the ideal advocate? How do you cultivate them?

Strategies for building advocacy

There are many strategies your business can use to build advocacy among its customer base. Here are a few:

Focus on the relationship: What makes customers fall in love with a brand? A quality product, great service, and consistent experience. Always start with the fundamentals.

Share successes: Amplify the feedback and current successes of your current advocates—mention them on social media and feature their results in case studies.

Reward customers: Host special invite-only events, provide sneak peeks into new features, create a loyalty program and send exclusive offers. Give them the VIP treatment.

Solicit and act on feedback: Consumers love to feel like their feedback is heard and valued.

Those are a just a few ways you can start to build advocacy among your customer base. To dive deeper, check out the infographic below provided by the team at JitBit Helpdesk. It covers the who, what, where, how and why of brand advocacy, while highlighting its bottom line impact for your business.

jitbit-infographic-03.jpg __________________________________________________________________

robbie richards.png

Robbie Richards writes for JitBit, a company that provides live chat and help desk software to help businesses simplify and improve their customer support.

How to 10X Yourself Through Automation

We’re in a race against it, pressed for it, short on it, running out of it. If we could, we’d save it in a bottle.

Whatever your idiom of choice, we never have enough time. That’s especially true if you’re a small business owner. In “Defining and Achieving Small Business Success,” a report from Infusionsoft and Emergent Research, small business owners identified “time to get everything done” as one of their top three challenges.

Time may never be on our side, but at least technology can be. Automation software like Infusionsoft can save you from hours of manual tasks, like responding to repetitive emails, keeping track of leads and customers, and sending and collecting routine information. It does what you’d do if there were 10 of you.

Here’s how to 10X yourself by automating tasks and processes in your business.

1. Respond to contact requests

In a world of instant gratification, prospective customers who complete the “contact us” directions on your website want a response after a matter of minutes, not days or even hours. But you can’t afford to drop everything else you’re doing every time a new email hits your inbox. Automation can step in until you’re ready to respond in detail, triggering an email when a form is completed.

The message doesn’t have to be an impersonal “autoresponder;” it can look like you wrote it yourself, especially if you use a timer to delay it by 15 minutes or so: “Hi [Prospect Name], thanks for contacting us! I’m heading into some meetings, but I’ll be sure to get back to you later today.”

For more tips on how to make automation feel less automated, check out our e-book, This Time, It’s Personal: 20 Tips for Sending Automated Emails Without Sounding Like a Robot.

2. Send content and information

How many times each day do you send customers routine information like your price list, policies or schedule? Even if you’re only spending a couple minutes emailing links or attachments, those minutes turn into hours that you could save through automation.

Emails can be triggered via the completion of webform, as in the example above, or as a real-time response to an email in your inbox. With Infusionsoft, if you apply a note to the customer’s contact record, a prewritten email will be deployed (while the action is recorded in your database).

3. Follow up with leads

It doesn’t take long for a list of leads to become confusing. If you often dig through your inbox searching for email chains, trying to remember when you last checked in with a lead, you’re wasting time. Automation can do that for you.

With software, you can create an automated sequence in which emails are sent over the days, weeks, and potentially months you’re working to nurture a lead into a sale. Whether you’re sending content or the occasional “just checking in” note, automation ensures you don’t give up on a lead too soon.

If the automation software integrates with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, as is the case with Infusionsoft, that email history is posted to the prospect’s contact record so you can see which emails you sent—as well as which ones the prospect opened or clicked.

4. Continue the phone tag

Robocalls aside, you still have to pick up the phone, dial, and talk. But automation can handle the annoying part that often comes next: having to remember to call back again (and again and again) because you reached voicemail. You can create an automated sequence in which software picks up the phone tag. Leaving a note in the system triggers an automated “Sorry I missed you” email, while the software reminds you when it’s time to get on the phone again.

5. Identify the best leads

Your list of leads is long enough (hopefully) that you don’t have time to contact each one in the same day. And you also don’t have time to call prospects at random, only to reach the ones who aren’t interested—while the leads that are ready to buy may be slipping away.

Enter lead scoring, a feature in which software automatically identifies the most sales-ready leads based on criteria they meet. You set the rules for the scoring, which can be based on actions like content downloads and link clicks. The software then gives you a hot-or-not view of your leads, allowing you to prioritize the ones who are ready to hear from you.

To learn more about lead scoring, download the e-book, Score Like a Rock Star: Take Your Business to the Big Time with a Kick-Butt Lead Scoring Strategy.

6. Send quotes

If you’re in a business that involves quotes, you can use automation to reduce the back-and-forth process of sending a quote, waiting for the client to look at it (and perhaps reminding her to do so), and then repeating the process after the quote turns into an order. In Infusionsoft, you can trigger automation—like reminders or other follow up—when a quote is sent, viewed, accepted, declined, or paid.

7. Collect customer information

Offices used to dedicate entire teams to collecting and transcribing customer information. That manual data entry becomes a relic of the past if your automation software syncs with your CRM. When you collect customer information via a web form, a new contact record is created in your CRM, with each field automatically transferred to the record.

Bonus: Automating data collection also allows you to immediately send relevant information to your new contact. If the contact checks a box on a form indicating that she’s interested in boxing classes, for example, the software will tag her so she gets emails only about boxing, not about yoga.

8. Send appointment and event reminders

Automation removes the need for someone to manually remind customers about each upcoming appointment or event—and reduces the possibility of no-shows, too. With software, you can trigger automated reminder emails to be sent at a predetermined time, whether it’s five days before a consultation or 15 minutes before a webinar. The same is true for following up with a thank you, next steps, or a satisfaction survey after an event.

9. Collect paperwork

If you send a customer an important form to complete, the chances are fair that he won’t remember to do it—at least not the first time you ask. And you have more important things to do than chase paperwork. Automation can handle the reminders for you. Software can track whether the customer clicks a link to download or visit the form. Based on that behavior, the software can send automated email reminders until the form is finally back in your inbox.

10. Ask for referrals

Referred customers are more loyal and offer a higher lifetime value than customers acquired through other marketing efforts, according to a study in the American Marketing Association’s Journal of Marketing. Plus, it doesn’t cost anything to acquire them.

But there’s a catch: Many customers won’t give referrals unless you ask for them, and many business owners don’t have the time—or the comfort level—to do the asking.

Automating the referral request process ensures that you ask for referrals regularly and consistently. A purchase can trigger a later email to the customer in which you ask for a referral (and, potentially, offer a discount or gift as a thank you).

The customer may not realize the email is automated if you use tricks like merge fields, with which “Hi [First Name], I hope you’ve been happy with our [Product or Service Purchased]” becomes “Hi Mark, I hope you’ve been happy with our web design services”—personalized for each customer. With automated referral requests, you’ll be helping to grow your business, without even thinking about it.

Written by Amy Saunders

Amy Saunders is a content creator at Infusionsoft, where she helps small business owners learn about automation. Writing about business brings Amy’s work full circle: She began her career as a business reporter at The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio before becoming a features writer. After more than six years there, she moved to Phoenix, where she was an editor at a content marketing agency before joining Infusionsoft. As a lifelong Midwesterner, Amy promises to never take Arizona weather for granted and spends her free time riding horses, playing tennis and hiking in the sun. Follow her on Twitter @amyksaunders.

The Difference Between Static and Dynamic Websites

 

 

Usually people who are preparing to launch their first website do not know what a Web Page is and the difference between Static and Dynamic Websites.

But before telling you the differences, let’s understand exactly what a Web Page is first.

What is a Web Page?

As per Wikipedia, ”A web page or webpage is a document or information resource that is suitable for the World Wide Web and can be accessed through a web browser and displayed on a monitor or mobile device.  This information is usually in HTML or XHTML format, and may provide navigation to other web pages via hypertext links.  Web pages frequently subsume other resources such as style sheets, scripts and images into their final presentation.”

In simple terms, a web page is a document that a web browser can understand and be displayed on your computer monitor or other device, like a mobile phone or tablet.

Got it?

Okay, now let’s look into what a Website is…

What is a Website?

A website (also spelled Web site) is a collection of related web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that are addressed relative to a common Uniform Resource Locator (URL), often consisting of only the domain name.

For example, if you look at our Website – BusyGal Friday Websites – you’ll see that our site is a collection of several web pages, just like the one from which you are currently reading this blog article.

Now we can look into the static and dynamic nature of websites.

What is a Static Website?

Static Websites, work like a brochure because they present pre-defined, static information to the user.  Coded directly into HTML, in the same form as displayed to the visitor, generally, a static website may include information about your company, your products and services, via text, pictures, animations or video and interactive navigation menu.  There are many static websites on the Internet, you won’t be able to tell immediately if it is static, but the chances are, if the site looks basic and is for a smaller company, and simply delivers information without any bells and whistles, it could be a static website.  Static websites are the cheapest to develop and host, and many smaller companies still use these to get a web presence.

Static Website designs are similar to handing out a printed brochure to a customer.  They provide consistent, standard information to all website visitors for an extended period of time.  Although Static Websites can be updated periodically, it is a manual process to edit texts, pictures or other contents and requires basic website design skills and specialized software.

All updates need to be done in HTML or XHTML code, and if you have more than a few pages in your website (no more than 10), it’s really a tedious job to update the site on regular basis.  Moreover, if you yourself don’t know how to update using HTML or XHTML code, then it can be very costly to do so.

Advantages of static websites

  • Quick to develop
  • Cheap to develop
  • Cheap to host

Disadvantages of static websites

  • Requires web development expertise to update site
  • Site not as useful for the user
  • Content can get stagnant

What is a Dynamic Website?

In contrast to Static Websites, Dynamic Websites are suitable for larger websites where the owner may want to update the contents frequently, offer differentiated contents, or create unique web experiences for the visitors who visit the website.  Dynamic Websites can also offer personalized experiences to website visitors.  Although web pages are displayed using the same HTML or XHTML codes as Static Websites, Dynamic Websites generally make use of web programming languages to offer dynamic content to visitors.

Dynamic Websites, often have a separate interface from where owners can manage and update content themselves. They are also called “CMS Websites” – CMS stands for Content Managed Site or more widely – Content Management System. Depending on the owner’s requirement, a Dynamic Website’s CMS can have a number of functions that enables easy website maintenance, content-picture updates, news or events updates, or a more advanced platform with product catalog and e-commerce capabilities.

The main purpose behind using the Dynamic Website Platform is its automation capabilities.  A dynamic website operates more effectively, is easier to maintain, update and expand.  Compared to Static Websites, Dynamic Websites are much simpler to build, when you need more than few static HTML web pages.  This is why we, at Check Point Creatives, use this as our primary platform upon which offer our sites to you!

Dynamic sites on the other hand can be more expensive to develop initially, but the advantages are numerous. At a basic level, a dynamic website can give the website owner the ability to simply update and add new content to the site. For example, news and events could be posted to the site through a simple browser interface. Dynamic features of a site are only limited by imagination. Some examples of dynamic website features could be: content management system, e-commerce system, bulletin / discussion boards, intranet or extranet facilities, ability for clients or users to upload documents, ability for administrators or users to create content or add information to a site (dynamic publishing).

Advantages of dynamic websites

  • Much more functional website
  • Much easier to update
  • New content brings people back to the site
  • New content helps in the SEO – search engine optimization
  • Can work as a system to allow staff or users to collaborate

Disadvantages of dynamic websites

  • Slower / more expensive to develop
  • Hosting costs a little more

Which website platform is best suited for me?

You should decide based on your business requirements over next 3-5 years.  Our suggestion is to go for a dynamic website, because currently it is much more affordable and there aren’t too many differences in prices between static websites and dynamic websites.  Besides, dynamic websites can manage your static contents too.

Conclusion

So, now you know the basic difference between Static Websites & Dynamic Websites and you can decide which is best for you.

Whatever your decision, BusyGal Friday Websites is well equipped to provide you with quality websites and affordable web solutions, with its unparalleled professional customer support services provided by maWebcenters.

Visit us at BusyGalFridayWebsites and contact our team at 972.863.1128 or +1.800.861.4183 to learn more about how we can put our expertise and experience to work for you!

About BusyGal Friday Websites

We offer complete website design and marketing solutions that includes professional Website Design, Custom Web Development, eCommerce Solutions and Internet Marketing Services.  We developed our integrated solution to be as flexible and user-friendly as it is powerful. Our proprietary solution empowers every small and mid-sized business with the tools necessary to tap into the earning potential of the digital marketplace.  It’s one single resource packed with high-caliber features – eCommerce capabilities, SEO tools, social media widgets and fully customizable attributes – to create a completely unique look and feel that matches the vision of any business.

How to Create a Customer Experience that Increases Retention and Loyalty

Written by Jenny Beightol

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re operating in, competition is fiercer than ever. The Internet has made our world smaller and so connected that even small businesses must compete on a global scale if they want to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Because of this, one of the most important assets you can leverage has nothing to do with the services you provide or the products you offer.

It comes down to the type of experience you can create for your customers.

This, above all else, is truly the thing that’s most unique to your business. Customer experience affects everything within your organization, from how successful your outreach programs are to increases in retention and loyalty and more.

In one recent study, it was revealed that an incredible 86 percent of buyers said that they were willing to pay more for a better customer experience. And by 2020, customer experience will be more important than price and even product when it comes to differentiating one brand from the next.

Furthermore, 66 percent of customers surveyed said that they’ve switched brands primarily due to a poor customer experience—not a poor product or service.

If you truly want to create an unparalleled customer experience that increases retention, encourages loyalty, and increases revenue, you’ll want to ask yourself a few core questions.

Do you fully understand the customer’s intent?

If you want to create a true customer experience that will define your brand and drive your efforts, you need to first understand where your customer is coming from—whether that’s the devices they’re using, to the channels they’re on, and even to why they’re interested in your brand in the first place.

Take this for example: According to the 2016 Index, 95 percent of all customers use at least three or more channels and devices to resolve a single issue related to customer service. A further 95 percent use up to five.

If they’re sending an email on their smartphone, you need to be ready. If they’re sending you a tweet or a Facebook message, you need to be ready. No matter what platform your customers use, you need to be there when they reach out to you.

Home Depot discovered that DIY fanatics were turning to their phones to learn about how to build furniture. Furthermore, they were looking to YouTube for their content. So they built a content marketing strategy on the platform, creating valuable how-to videos:

 Home Depot Video Thumbnails.jpg

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools can be a great way to create a smart, connected experience across these channels. Not only does it allow for all information about a customer and their issues to be funnelled through a single source that everyone can access, but it also allows you to view historical data as well.

This will allow you to anticipate not just what the consumer wants now, but also the needs and concerns that will arise during and even after their purchase.

Do you know where the buyer is in their journey?

Where a customer is in their journey will affect everything—from the way that you should talk to them to the type of care that they need at essential moments.

The discovery phase is about education, whereas the awareness phase is about showing what you can do for your customer that nobody else can. Consideration and decision phases make the sale, but the language you use here will vary wildly from that which you will use in the discovery phase.

Content that aligns with the awareness phase can come in the form of blog posts, infographics, and videos that educate. Ebooks, whitepapers, and webinars are typically used during the consideration and decision phases.

The Buyer's Journey.png

Image courtesy of Ahrefs

You don’t just need to know how to properly communicate with customers in general, you need to know how to pivot based on where they are at this precise moment. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Are you tracking the right retention metrics?

Retention metrics are fantastic resources to tell you not only what you’re doing right, but more importantly what you could be doing better.

Focus on where customers are located. Are your efforts using local techniques to their full potential? Do you know which devices your consumers are using? How you interact with users on desktop will be significantly different from your interactions with someone on a smartphone.

Are you aware of the customer’s purchase frequency? This will provide you with the type of valuable insight you need to optimize not just the customer experience but also the customer journey, guaranteeing that you’re always contacting the right people at the right time, no exceptions.

Is your entire organization aligned around the customer experience?

An old saying tells us that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If every department in your organization is not aligned around optimizing the customer experience, all of your other efforts will ultimately mean nothing.

Structure your marketing team around nurturing your consumers as they enter the sales funnel, making their way towards that important purchase. Foster an environment where your customer service and sales teams aren’t considered separate at all, but are instead individual parts of a much larger whole.

Your teams must know when a customer should pass from one to the other. In that regard, communication is key. When a customer needs to move from the marketing team to the sales team, they need to do so at the right moment for the best results.

Omnichannel support software will not only help you in these efforts, but will also increase the reliability of your structure as well. Interactions across all channels like email, phone, social media, and live chat will all become one, allowing your customer to receive a single experience regardless of how they choose to make contact at a given moment.

Are you using the right tools to create a personalized experience?

People don’t like to feel like they’re just “one of many”. They like to be treated like the unique individuals they truly are.

Therefore creating personalized customer experiences will go a long way towards increasing both loyalty and retention. Even something as simple as using email automation to send out targeted emails tied back to specific customer actions or at essential moments in the customer journey will let that customer know you don’t just care about the sale—you care about them.

Again, omnichannel support software will become essential to meet this goal. Infusionsoft and BLUE are just a few options that will help you centralize your customer communications, streamlining the customer experience, and allow all of your departments to offer personalized interactions, no exceptions.

In the end

These are just a few of the major questions to consider if you want to create amazing customer experiences at your business. Make no mistake: customer experience is the new battleground for marketers in the digital age and factors like these are only going to get more important, not less, as time goes on.

About the author:
Jenny Beightol is the Director of Words & Reputations at Belly, the leading digital loyalty and marketing solution for businesses. Her expertise in brand identity and customer loyalty comes in handy when playing the “Loyal Brands” edition of Trivial Pursuit. Tweet her which brands you love here

5 Questions to Ask Your Web Designer

Just as you would interview a new employee, you’ll want to interview candidates for your web provider as this will likely be an interactive and ongoing project.  Below are 5 great question to ask your potential Web Provider:

What will my role be in the process?

You know your business, designers know design.  Most likely, you will be asked to submit content (text, images, videos, links etc.) to be used on your website.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, you can login to your account and follow the wizard to submit your content, thoughts and ideas.  All of your submissions will be stored here so you don’t have to worry about big files, sending multiple emails or trying to keep track of everything.  Once you’ve completed the wizard, we will send you designs and other items for you to review, request edits or approve.

How do you manage your workflow?

This is an easy way to distinguish a seat-of-your-pants company from a professional company.  Web projects require a lot of interaction and pieces that need to be put together.  Organization and communication are critical which is why a project management system is necessary for the success of a project.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, each client is assigned a Project Manager who interacts with you and the various teams that work on your project. You will have an online account with access to every part of your project.  This account is also visible to your project manager and various teams who work on your project so that everyone always on the same page.

Do you design for best SEO practices?

There’s a difference between uploading your menu natively and simply scanning in a PDF or JPG of your menu.  The native upload will work serve you better on search engines.  Ask your designer how they keep the site’s organic SEO value in mind when they design.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, we don’t take short cuts and we will always advise you if there is a better way to do something.  Sure, it may take us more time to natively upload something verses scanning an image but the success of your website is our top priority.  We don’t have contracts to keep you locked in with us.  Instead, we have to earn your business each month and one of the ways that we do that is by doing things the right way.

What if I need more time to get you content?

Most design firms will charge you extra if your project takes longer than planned.  As a traditional business owner, you are probably very busy and would want to determine your web designer’s stance on this.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, we will adhere to our timeline commitments to 100% as long as we have everything that we need from you.  If you need more time to get us information, we will adjust our timelines accordingly but never charge you extra for that.  Our Design Packages clearly state what you will get for each product, even if it takes you a few extra weeks to gather some content or other info.

What kind of ongoing support do you offer?

Some companies only work on new projects and offer no ongoing support.  Some charge per hour, with minimum times.  Some include support. A website is never finished and is an ongoing project so you’ll want to know what the plan for future support is once your site is launched.

At WebSolutions by maWebCenters, we offer award-winning unlimited 24/7 support for your site.  We have specialists in Site Editing, Ecommerce, Domains/Emails, Digital Marketing and Social Media in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.  In addition, you can always request to work with specific members of our tech support staff!  If you would prefer to have us manage your site for you on monthly basis, ask about our “Managed Monthly Membership” program.

Ask the questions and find the right provider for you.  Get more information at http://www.BusyGalFridayWebsites.com.  If you would like to discuss these or any other question that you have, feel to call us at 972.863.1128 or 800.861.4183.

Facebook’s New Algorithm Change Is Actually Two Updates In One

You already know that Facebook uses algorithms to determine who sees your updates and when – and they adjust those algorithms all the time.

(Which means that occasionally, you need to adjust your strategy, too.)

Facebook’s latest update is actually TWO updates – a couple of changes to totally different parts of the overall algorithm!

Updates like these can impact your visibility in the News Feed not just for individual updates, but for your Page as a whole – and that means you should definitely pay attention to them.

So, double the algorithm changes, double the fun!

Wanna make sure you’re playing by the rules?

Here’s what’s new and different:

Facebook is judging your authenticity

When Facebook is determining who should see your updates and when, it looks at two different types of signals.

Personal signals are specific to the user seeing an update. For example, if there are certain people on Facebook with whom you frequently interact, you’re more likely to see their updates.

Universal signals are specific to user or Page posting an update. For example, if a Page’s updates frequently score high engagement rates, its updates may be shown to more users.

(Think of Facebook like a very trendy personal shopper – it shows you items based on what it knows you like, as well as the overall quality of what’s available.)

Facebook Value Scores.png

One of Facebook’s most recent algorithm changes relates to universal signals. That means it has to do with your Page and what it posts – specifically, your authenticity.

Facebook has new ways of determining how authentic you and your updates are – and if you aren’t authentic, you could be in trouble.

But what does that mean, exactly?

How do they know whether or not you’re authentic?

It’s not like they can turn you inside out and check your label! (That would be weird and gross.)

On Facebook, authenticity takes different forms.

First, it can mean trying to game the system.

Facebook is usually forthcoming about what you can do to increase your visibility in the News Feed – but that also makes their algorithms vulnerable to exploitation.

Last year, for example, they explained that live video broadcasts would get higher reach than some other types of content.

Sounds like a good way to get people to share live video, right? (Which makes sense, because this is a feature they were promoting pretty heavily at the time.)

The good news is, it worked! What also happened, though, is that people found ways to exploit the system. By posting graphics-only “live videos” like countdown clocks, for example, they could enjoy better exposure in the News Feed without producing an actual live broadcast.

The result? Facebook had to find a way to crack down on people taking advantage of the algorithm – in this case, by limiting visibility for graphics-only live broadcasts.

Trump Facebook Poll.gif

Remember what we said about how high engagement rates can increase your visibility?

Some Pages explicitly ask people for likes, comments, and shares as a way of increasing their reach – a tactic that Facebook believes is dishonest and inauthentic.

Another sign of inauthenticity is posting the types of content to which users have certain unfavorable reactions – Facebook gives the example of Pages whose audiences frequently hide their updates.

Another example may be Pages whose updates are frequently reported – especially as Facebook is under scrutiny for issues related to the spread of “fake news.”

Facebook has used the habits of Pages that regularly share inauthentic updates to build a model that can automatically identify and predict whether or not other Pages’ updates are authentic.

The way they see it, Pages that frequently do things such as asking for likes or sharing updates that people hide aren’t exactly great examples of the authenticity users care about. The more you have in common with those Pages’ tactics, the less likely that you’re authentic, either.

So while Facebook isn’t sharing all the different ways that they measure authenticity – after all, they’re trying to prevent people from gaming the system – they’re making it plenty clear that taking shortcuts when it comes to quality isn’t the answer.

That’s one big algorithm update out of the way, but remember – there’s still another new update to talk about!

Here’s the other big change to keep in mind moving forward:

Facebook is tracking real-time changes more closely

Facebook’s algorithms are always working in the background, so that when you visit your News Feed, you’re seeing the information they think is most relevant to you at that moment.

The second update they’ve just made is to how information is processed in real time – specifically, information related to an update’s subject and its engagement.

Basically, Facebook may place a status update higher in the News Feed if:

  • It is related to a topic that is popular on Facebook at that moment (for example, if you share an update about the Academy Awards while the Academy Awards are being broadcast, and people on Facebook are talking about them)
  • It is getting a lot of engagement at that moment (for example, if several of your followers get into a real-time debate in the comments on one of your updates)

Does that mean that all of your updates should be relevant to what’s trending at that exact moment?

Of course not!

What you do isn’t always going to be that timely. (You’re better off not forcing it.)

What it does mean, though, is you should be prepared for the times when it is relevant for you to post timely, live updates.

The best way to do that? Plan your updates ahead as much as possible – even by using a scheduling tool that allows you to share evergreen updates more than once.

An overwhelming majority of marketers prefers planning their Facebook updates in advance over trying to do everything live, and with good reason: it’s too much work!

The more you can plan, write, and schedule in advance, though, the more time you’ll have later when there are appropriate opportunities to post live – and being prepared for those moments is especially important now.

What do YOU think of these updates?

So, Facebook is fine-tuning their ability to measure real-time signals, and they’re paying closer attention than ever to whether or not your updates are authentic.

What do YOU think of these changes, though?

Do they make sense?

Will they influence what you share?

Do they address concerns you might have, or that you’ve had in the past?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Source:  MeetEdgar Blog

Writing Great Content for Your Website

One of the most common questions we hear from our customers is “How can I make my website better and more appealing to customers?” Whether it comes from our long term customers just looking to improve their website or a brand new customer just getting started with us, the answer is content.  Quality content can help to make your website stand out from your competition, both to potentially customers as well as Google.

A website that contains a large volume of information about its products and services can inspire confidence in consumers. This makes them far more likely to purchase from you than from a competitor.   In browsing the internet for the best deals on products we have all come across a website that appears on the surface to  have what we need. However the website may look dated, or  lacks vital information about the product. The product picture may be right, but without a product description or other vital information you are left wondering if that product is really the one you want. If the site appears very old, infrequently updated, or has very little other information the customer is left without confidence the company will be able to deliver the product as described. Many people faced with this reality would choose another website to purchase from, even if the product costs a bit more.

The good news is that you, or someone in your organization is often the best source to generate that content. You know your product.  As a business owner you chose to make your product your livelihood and know far more about it than the average consumer. Throughout your time as a business professional you have likely fielded any number of questions from potential customers about your products. You may think that talking about your product is boring, or that none of your customers would ever care about that information. The reality is the complete opposite.

Modern customers are educated. They want to know as much as they can about the product. While they may not want to know one particular piece of information right now, they want to know that information is out there. They want to know if they have questions about your product you can answer them. A customer seeing a large amount of information on a product may skim to make sure you have the right size, or use a certain material, or to see if any other information is available. In skimming through your content they gain confidence in you as a seller, the more knowledge you display to them about your product. If they are reassured you know your product, they feel more confident purchasing from you.

Finally content is one of the best ways to increase your exposure on Google by improving your search results. Outside of Ads, Google’s business is to serve users quality search results.  By serving quality results people come back to Google, and continue to use it to find what they need. Google’s ability to continually refine their system to provide meaningful results is what has caused their business to thrive.

In the old days keywords were used to tell Google what is important on your page. People abused this by including any number of keywords and phrases on their page that had nothing to do with their product just to attract visitors.  Google has responded by ignoring the keywords provided by clients and instead generates what it believes your keywords to be by examining both the underlying code of your web page and looking at your content.

Beyond just generating what it believes your keywords to be from your content, Google scans your content. There is a positive correlation between well written content and Google rankings. When your website contains a large amount of a content about a topic Google feels more confident in serving your page as a result over competitors that have much less information about your product. Google wants the websites they serve as search results to be topical, up to date, and exactly what their users are looking for.

For those seeking advice on what to write just imagine you are selling someone your product. What is a new customer likely to ask, and what do they need to know? Who are the primary customers of your products or services? Why do they want or need them? What makes your product or service special? If the answer is you, then talk about yourself. Talk about your years of experience, your training, and other qualities that set you apart.

For our busy customers with no time to write, or customers who have trouble generating content, maWebcenters is happy to offer access to our onstaff copywriters.  They will work with you to generate up to 500 words of original content, for a nominal fee.  Once you have begun to generate content our 24/7 technical support can work with you to add it to your website.

Quality original content helps you grow your business by increasing user confidence, providing a better user experience, and giving Google confidence in your credibility.

By: Brian Mosich, Lead Copywriter (maWebcenters)

When Broswers Say “Death to Flash”, We Respond! You’re Welcome!

Remember that fun Flash game you used to play back in 2002?  It was the perfect way to waste hours of your life and you weren’t alone.  Flash was ubiquitous for a number of years.  It was the only game in town when it came to being able to do anything interactive in the browser.  It had the market cornered on all things games, animated website intros, watching video and myriad other Internet activities.

Then, the market started to shift.  The trusty old friend that you went to whenever you had a few minutes of free time was to soon be overshadowed by HTML5 and Apps.  It was an all out war.  The antiquated, gaping security hole and ram hog that is Flash was starting to show it’s weakness.  All of the major tech companies that had been built on the back of Flash were now starting to give it the evil eye.   Right around 2007 things started to go mobile and the writing was on the wall for Flash.

Sorry Flash, you had a good run but it’s now time to fill that security hole and lighten the load that has been bogging down browsers for 15+ years.  “Death to Flash” and “Make it so” said the major browser developers.  It’s time for Flash to go up onto the mantle of tech we used to love, to sit right next to your favorite VCR and mixtape.

That’s right, soon all browsers will be blocking Flash by default.  Some will bury a setting that is hard to find to even enable it.  We’ve been monitoring this closely and were standing by, waiting for the final word.  We wanted to make sure we were out in front of the issue and weren’t stuck scrambling like other providers will be.

In anticipation of the browsers starting to block Flash by default, we have replaced the upload tool in eCommerce with a new version that does not rely on Flash.  This was rolled live last week.  In addition to the removal of Flash, it also comes with an improved user experience for assigning images to products.

You’re welcome!

By: Brett Ratner, COO at maWebCenters – http://www.busygalfridaywebsites.com