6 Google Analytics Red Flags to Be on the Lookout For

6 Google Analytics Red Flags to Be on the Lookout For

Google Analytics is a versatile tool used by marketers in all industries across the globe. The analytics platform provides in-depth data on website performance, the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy, and other online marketing insights.

In addition to shedding light on the effectiveness of a website or strategy, Google Analytics can also alert marketers to potential issues with a marketing campaign, website design, or site functionality.

When reviewing your Google Analytics information, be on the lookout for these six red flags.

1. Low Time Spent on Site

When driving qualified visitors or potential customers to your website, you want them to engage with your content. Ideally, you’d also like visitors to take an action, such as signing up for an email newsletter or making a purchase. All of these goals require visitors to spend significant time on your website.

To find out how much time users spend on your website on average, review the Average Time on Page and Average Session Duration metrics within Google Analytics. As you can imagine, when the average time on page and average session duration metrics are low, this is a red flag you must address.

The Average Time on Page metric can be found within Google Analytics by navigating to the Behavior menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard. Once in the Behavior menu, click Site Content followed by All Pages.

From here, you will see a list of all your website pages listed in order of decreasing pageviews. Along the horizontal top bar, you will see the metric Average Time on Page. To see which pages users spend the most and least amount of time on, click the column header to reorganize in ascending and descending order.

While the average time on page metric can tell you how long a visitor spends on a particular page, it cannot tell you why. That is up to you as a marketer to determine!

Examine the current state of content with the least amount of time spent on the page. What is causing users to leave or navigate away from the page? Can you make updates to your content to improve the time spent on a particular page?

As for Average Session Duration, this metric can be found in both the Audience and Acquisition areas of Google Analytics. Average session duration is the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) divided by the number of sessions, as defined by Google. This can help you understand how your website is doing as a whole at retaining visitors.

2. High Bounce Rate

A website’s bounce rate identifies the percentage of users who visited a website and exited immediately. According to Kissmetrics, the average website should have a target bounce rate of around 40%.

Of course, this metric will vary per industry and per marketing goal. For instance, landing pages will have a far higher bounce rate (70-90% bounce rate) than content focused on educating users such as an FAQ page (10-30% bounce rate).

If you notice your website’s bounce rate isn’t ideal, you must remedy this red flag as soon as possible. A number of factors could lead to a website or page’s high bounce rate, such as:

  • Misleading marketing copy
  • Slow load times
  • Non-mobile friendly website design
  • Pop-up ads, forms, and content
  • Auto-play video and audio
  • Incorrect audience targeting

When looking at your website’s overall bounce rate in Google Analytics, don’t forget to analyze the bounce rates for individual pages. Is there a particular piece of content that is driving the average up? Again, while Google can help you target problem pages and content, it is up to you to make the changes to improve your site.

3. Low Pageviews

When analyzing the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy, be sure to monitor the number of pageviews each piece of content receives. This can be found in the Behavior section of Google Analytics by following the same menu path used to find the Average Time on Page.

If you discover your content is not generating the number of desired pageviews, this indicates a problem with your content marketing efforts. Use the pageviews metric in Google Analytics to determine which content needs more traffic and how you can adjust your marketing strategy to accomplish this.

4. Website Visitors to Leads Ratio

One of the easiest data points to find within Google Analytics is how many people visited your website within a specific time period.

First, navigate to the Audience menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard. Next, click Overview. Once on the Overview page, change the time frame in the upper right-hand corner to the time period of your choice. Now, within the Overview dashboard, you will see the number of Users who visited your page during that specific period of time.

With this information in mind, compare it to the number of sales or leads (depending on your marketing goals) you received during that period. Is it a desirable ratio? If not, you must now figure out how to generate more leads/sales from your website.

Again, several factors could deter visitors from converting into leads and sales, including:

  • The customer’s position within the buying cycle
  • A customer’s initial intent upon visiting the site
  • The website’s appearance and functionality
  • The tone and context of your website content
  • An inconsistent brand message
  • The overall user experience of the website

When your visitors to leads/sales ratio is not appealing, it is time to look at your marketing and website strategy as a whole. Identify what is and is not working and respond accordingly.

5. Exit Pages

We hate to break it to you, but people will leave your website. At some point, they have to exit your site and continue browsing.

Leaving isn’t a bad thing… unless it occurs on content designed to convert or captivate!

Within Google Analytics, you can discover the pages visitors tend to exit from. Navigate to the Behavior menu once again and click on Site Content. Within this drop-down menu, select Exit Pages. Here you’ll find the pages where users leave your site coupled with information about their exit behavior including the exit percentage.

Ideally, the pages your visitors are leaving from include “Thank You” pages after submitting an inquiry or making a purchase. Although, if a great deal of visitors are exiting via your blog content or service pages, think about what you can do to keep them on site and complete the buying cycle.

Often, pages with low time spent on site and high exit rates are correlated. Look at everything from the website design to the content on those pages and ask yourself what you can do to engage visitors.

6. Incorrect Audiences

To improve your website visitors to leads ratio, time spent on site, and other metrics found in Google Analytics, you must target the right audience.

Within the Audience menu on Google Analytics, you can discover a wealth of information about your website visitors including their:

  • Interests
  • Geographic Location
  • Demographic Information
  • Technology/Devices

If upon reviewing this data you find that your website is not attracting the correct audience, you have found the biggest red flag of all! You cannot achieve your marketing and business goals if your website target audience isn’t visiting your website.

This red flag means your marketing strategy requires a more in-depth review to determine how to best attract your ideal audience. The change could be as simple as altering the targeting settings on your Facebook ads or as complex as revamping an entire campaign.

What red flags do you look for in Google Analytics? Let us know your thoughts by sharing below.

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5 handy tools you need to create irresistible marketing visuals

5 handy tools you need to create irresistible marketing visuals

Let’s face it – visuals have a huge part to play in a successful marketing strategy. The images and video clips that users see have to represent your brand perfectly – after all, this is what will grab their attention and hopefully convert them into customers.

With so many tools available, it can be a bit daunting to try and test them all in search of the best ones.

That’s why we’ve rounded up five of the best tools and apps you can use to create standout marketing visuals.

The best part? Most of these are free and super easy to use!


When it comes to free web-based image editing tools, PicMonkey is one of the best you’ll find. Don’t be fooled by the simple, user-friendly interface – this tool packs a good punch with features that are very similar to Photoshop, but way easier to use.

You may not be able to access all of them using the free plan – but you’ll certainly have everything you need to create a professional-looking graphic in minutes.

With a huge variety of fonts, overlays, customisable templates and photo editing tools and filters, PicMonkey is perfect for the blogger who wants to create Pinterest-friendly graphics, or the small business owner who wants to spruce up their social media pages.

Upgrade options:

The paid packages are still pretty affordable and they give you access to the more advanced editing tools, stunning filters and effects, and templates. They also give you the ability to store your projects and come back to edit them later, which is very helpful if you spot an error in your graphic or decide you’d like to update it with new branding.

Having said that, the best thing about PicMonkey is that the free version gives you more than enough to work with.


Finding an app that enables you to create professional-looking media on-the-go is a dream come true for any busy business owner or blogger. Introducing: the Magisto app – available to download on both iOS and Android smartphones and here to skyrocket your social media campaigns!

There’s also a great web version if you’d prefer to use that.

The user-friendly interface of the app means that you can get to grips with Magisto and start creating in a matter of minutes. There’s also a very cool Surprise Me feature. If you enable it, Magisto will create random videos for you using the media in your camera roll.

Creating your video is easy – simply upload or import your clip (or even capture your material straight from the app) select the Editing Style or theme and then choose some music to accompany your video. Then add some title text and set the video length.

Upgrade Options: The cheapest package allows you to add more media to your videos, create longer clips and gives you access to more editing styles and filters. You’ll also be able to download your creations, so it might be worth upgrading if video is a big part of your marketing strategy.


Infographics are popular marketing graphics that can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website. They allow you to fit a lot of useful information in one image and offer value to your viewers at-a-glance.

Perfect for posting on social media and attracting the attention of potential customers, what better way to convince customers that you know your stuff than solving a problem for them in one image.

If only you could make one in 5 minutes or less… Enter – Piktochart!

With a simple interface and guided tutorials, this tool is incredibly easy to use. Simply pick a template and customise it until it’s perfect!

Upgrade options:

The paid packages give you access to more templates and you can also upload your own images to the infographics you create, which is handy if you want to add your own branding to them. You can also download your new infographics as printables and PDFs amongst many other features that come with the upgrades.

Whether this is worth it though, depends on how central infographics are to your marketing strategy and how often you’ll be creating them.


Canva is an absolute goldmine for anyone looking to create enticing graphics to drive traffic back to their website. You can design and create pretty much anything using Canva, but social media graphics are a popular choice.

Canva has a range of very well-designed templates, patterns and professional stock photography – some of these are paid, most of them are free. You can customise a template, or you can start from scratch and create a great graphic in minutes.

Similar to PicMonkey, it’s feature-rich and much easier to use than a program like Photoshop. But what sets Canva apart from the rest is how easy it is to create, thanks to drag-and-drop functionality. I made this graphic in less than 5 minutes, from scratch:

If you’re looking for a programme that will allow you to create a high number of quality visuals as quickly as possible, Canva would be your best bet.

Upgrade Options: The paid package, Canva For Work, has a strong focus on team editing and collaboration. It also gives you unlimited storage for your creations, the ability to upload custom fonts, save templates, resize your images and more.  Having said this, the free version of Canva is brilliant and gives you everything you need to get by.


Last but certainly not least is another incredibly easy to use photo and video editing app, available to download on iOS and Android.

With a similar structure to Magistio, you can get up-and-running straight away with Animoto. Simply add your photos and videos from your camera roll, select an editing style to add filters and themes, choose your music, add your title screens, text and captions, review the preview and make any minor changes you might want to make, then save and share!

The results are impressive, professional looking clips that take hardly any time to make.

Upgrade Options: Animoto is free to try, so it’s great if you want to use it as a one-off and don’t plan on regular video marketing. However, paid plans allow you to download your creations, save them to the cloud, add more media to your clips and process in HD quality.

So there you have 5 tools you can use to create images and videos to speak for your brand in your marketing campaigns and drive traffic back to your website. What are your favourite tools for creating marketing visuals?


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Six ways your small business can do content marketing

Six ways your small business can do content marketing

In this day and age, small businesses can compete on almost every level with big brands. That includes content marketing. Regardless of the size of a business, the goal remains the same: to use great content to attract qualified customers.

But while the basic concept behind content marketing is quite easy to grasp, achieving the best results through content creation and promotion… well, that’s the difficult part.

Sometimes the best way to understand how to grow your business through content marketing is to learn from others. So in this post we’ll look at six creative examples of how small businesses on a small advertising budget use content marketing to promote their businesses.

But first…

What is content marketing

“Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star.  Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.” – Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, Content Marketing Institute

The phrase “content is King” has generated quite a buzz for the past few years. Why? Because content is at the heart of everything you do as a business owner. Even when you reply to a Facebook comment or to a tweet, that’s still content.

So what is content marketing anyway? It’s simple. Content marketing is the creation and sharing of content – regardless of what form it takes, whether it’s a tweet, a blog post, an infographic, a video, or an FAQ page – to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. In other words, it’s content that you use to educate, help, engage and entertain people so they know, like and trust you enough to buy from you.

Why does it matter to your small businesses?

But what does content marketing actually mean for your business? What’s so different from what you’re already doing to promote your products and services? Why should you put time and resources into it?

Here is how content marketing can benefit your small business:

  • Increased brand awareness. Content gives your audience something to talk about. And when people talk about you, they share, like, comment on your content. You know you’re doing a good job at content marketing when people keep mentioning and praising your name, and when you’re at the centre of your prospects’ conversations online.
  • Trust and admiration. Building trust takes time but great content can help make that happen more easily. When you share your knowledge and advice time and time again, your audience will come to regard you as the guiding light and the top source of information in your industry. Quality content helps you to gain authority, authority that is then transferred to your products and services, making customers much more likely to choose you over your competitors.
  • Increased sales. When you’re creating quality content that targets potential customers, you’re shortening the distance between them and your products. Imagine a prospect stumbles upon one of your blog posts. They read it and find it so insightful that they have to visit your site to learn more about your business and your offering. They is your chance to turn them into customers.
  • More site traffic. This one’s obvious but very important. Great content will send people to your site where they can find out more about your business and products or services. It will also entice readers to share it with others and to subscribe to your content, which can result in a loyal audience for your business.
  • Better SEO. Think about it: without content, what is there to optimise for search engines? Your content tells Google what your business is about and, if optimised correctly, it will allow it to return your site for relevant user queries. High quality content also attracts links, which tell Google that you’re an authority in your industry.

Now, while content marketing isn’t a short-term strategy and you have to be at it all the time, over time it can help you reach more qualified prospects and customers.

Can I get results with content marketing if I don’t have a big budget?

Oh, yes! A lack of resources means you don’t have the time or the money to dive into every content-related project you can think of. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of focusing on quantity, always choose quality. Get creative with content marketing as it’s the only way to truly compete with the big brands.

Next we’ll look at six examples of small businesses doing content marketing well so you get some inspiration and see what similar approach your can take while on a small advertising budget.

Examples of content marketing done well and how you can replicate them

Riedel wine glass

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this article on wine glasses, which talked about whether the glass has any impact on the taste of the wine. While reading it, I thought to myself: this is just crazy! How can a glass improve the wine?


So of course I  started looking into the name Riedel and soon discovered the story behind it. The business, now owned by Maximilian Riedel, was founded by his grandfather, Claus, who revolutionised wine stemware in the 1950s by developing different glass designs for different types of wine. Today the name Riedel is synonymous with fine crystal.

Why does it work? Claus’ concept was that the choice of glass can improve the wine, or at least our experience of it. Wine-lovers were gripped with the fear that drinking from the wrong glass would diminish their vino-cred. See what he did here? This is storytelling at its best.

How to apply it to your small business

Storytelling is an integral part of content marketing. Why? Because our brains are hungry for a good story. So if you want to make the sale, forget the data and make a personal connection. Stories will not only help create an emotional connection between the reader and your business, but it will also make your brand stand out.

So, what’s your story? What are people missing out on by not using your products or services?

These articles share some great tips and advice on using storytelling in marketing:

Dollar Shave Club

When you hear “content marketing”, your mind probably thinks of written content first, but video has become a major player in the way online users consume media.

Every year, the value of online video content grows, and Dollar Shave Club has been taking advantage of this trend. Dollar Shave Club sells no-name razors for less than the cost of brand razors, but with high-end customer service and packaging.

With no employees and a small budget, they created a video that got them 9.5 million views, 23,000 followers on Twitter and 76,000 Facebook fans. Oh, and 12,000 new customers in the first 48 hours alone.

The company’s chief executive officer used his fun personality and sense of humour to convey product messaging in a way that supported the brand.

How to apply it to your small business

You don’t need to be a comedian to replicate and create a fun video. It can be as simple as facing the camera and saying, “Hi, I’m John and I want to tell you about our plumbing business”. Just make sure to focus on how your business stands out.

Worried video creation can be too expensive for your small budget? Don’t. Today, if you have a smartphone you can make a great marketing video. A one-minute video highlighting the things that make your business great could become your best customer acquisition tool.

Check out our guide to effective low-cost online video marketing to learn how to create quality video content on a small budget.


Movoto is a real estate company that become well know through content marketing done well. Their strategy to stand out revolved around taking fictional building and calculating how much it would cost to purchase if it was real. One of their earliest posts in the series established the cost of Barbie’s Malibu Dream House.


But they took the idea even further and created other creative topics including a quiz to figure out which Breaking Bad characters’ house would suit you best, an infographic detailing how to wrap your house in bacon, and a tool to find out how many bricks of LEGO it would take to build your house.

How to apply it to your small business

While Movoto’s content is more design-led, that doesn’t mean yours has to be too in order to be successful. It’s safe to say that the topic is key in their approach. So, to replicate try to find a unique, interesting angle that would appeal to your audience, and create content that is short, sweet, simple and, most importantly, fun!

Origin Code Academy

Origin Code Academy is a coding education provider that guarantees its students a job after graduation. But who’s going to take their word for it?

With this question in mind, Jeff Winkler, the founder and CEO of the company, used a news story about one of the Origin Code Academy graduates who secured a $110,000 programming job. He shared the TV segment on his Facebook page and paid to promote the post.

Origin Code Academy _3

Within a week, Winkler sold enough course applications that he needed to start a wait-listing people for future courses.

How to apply it to your small business

Know when to take advantage of media and user-generated content that tells your brand’s story for you. Keep on eye on what’s being said about your business online and see whether you can use a story, a review or a customer testimonial to build trust. Sometimes the best way promote your business is to encourage your customers do it for you.


Hipmunk is an online travel company that has been using guides to answer common traveller questions and conundrums. They’ve published lots of resources and guides with places to eat, to stay in, to visit in countries around the world. But while they also cover basic topics like things to do in Asia, they also create creative pieces of content such as the Traveller’s guide to tipping. This details the tipping practices in countries around the world for restaurant, taxis and more.

How to apply it to your small business

While their content isn’t flashy, it’s useful and it answers their audience’s questions, which is very important. So make sure your content marketing strategy focuses on creating content that is both purposeful and unique.

Tortuga Backpacks

This business sells carry-on-sized travel backpacks. Fred Perrotta, the co-founder of Tortuga Backpacks and a travelling entrepreneur, came up with the idea to create these backpacks after not being able to find the perfect backpack for his European trip.

But there’s something else they excel at: content marketing. While they sell backpacks, their content covers most everything that has to with travelling. And all this content is nicely organised into separate blogs. They write about everything from the best travel shoes to tips to dealing with airport customers. They even have a blog where they cover topics specific to the digital nomadic lifestyle.

A cool thing that they’ve done to grow their mailing list was to offer a free packing list. This is a like of checklist of things you needn’t forget to include in your backpack before you travel.

Tortuga Backpacks_4

How to apply it to your small business

You don’t have to create several blogs to make your content strategy work. Just make sure you think outside the box and figure out which broader topics you can cover, that are still related to your business and relevant to your audience. Do your homework and see what type of information your prospects are looking into and create content around it.

For example, if you’re a makeup artist, don’t just create makeup tutorials. You can go even further and share tips on how to care for skin in the summer, or how to look fresh after a long flight. If you’re an event planner, you can share tips and advice on how to deal with inviting divorced parents who have a conflictual relationship.

Wrapping up

As a small business owner, we understand that content marketing can initially seem intimidating and time-consuming. But you shouldn’t be afraid to try, or to fail.

The best content marketing campaigns are almost always a mix of proven methods and a bit of creativity. So use these examples to get inspired, figure out how you can resonate uniquely with your specific audience and then innovate and deliver. And please: have fun with it!

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20 links every online business owner should click before 2017 ends

20 links every online business owner should click before 2017 ends

2017 has been an eventful year, with lots of changes in most aspects of digital marketing. But since we know how challenging it can be to keep up with all this information while trying to run a successful business, we’re happy to help you catch up.

Here are 20 of the best resources from 2017 that you can use to get started online with your new business and ways to use tools like social media, search engine optimisation (SEO) and email marketing to promote your business, engage customers and increase your revenue.

Getting started with a new business

Whether you want to sell handmade jewellery, plumbing services or an app, the following resources are filled with great tips and advice on how to get started, from how to get your business up and running to ways to promote it online.

Naming your business – In this video you’ll find crucial advice on things to avoid when naming your business or buying a domain to help you avoid some potential costly mistakes.

Getting your business online – This article details the essential products you’ll need to get your business online, including the costs you can expect to pay for each. This way you get a better idea of the kind of budget you need to start your business and get it online.

Promoting your new website – This guide walks you through the six steps to get you started with digital marketing for a new website so you get to grips with important concepts. You’ll learn everything from how to identify your target audience and set goals to deciding which marketing channels to use to reach your ideal customers.

Mistakes to avoid – No matter how (in)experienced you are, you’ll make mistakes, and you’ll learn from them. Just make sure to avoid these 13 common mistakes when launching your small business, and you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors.

Social media

In this day and age, your business can’t exist without a social media presence. Are you using the right social channels to connect with your audience? And are you making the most of each to educate, entertain and engage your followers? The following resources will teach you how.

Developing a social media strategy – It’s no longer about being present on Twitter or Facebook, sharing a few updates and answering a few comments. If you want to be successful on social media, you need a plan. This guide will teach you all about proper social media strategy for a small business – what it is, why it’s important, and how to develop one that’s right for your business.

If you want to dig deeper, the 123 Reg free digital course on social media includes lots more information about setting strategy and goals but also what type of content to post and when, plus how to analyse the results of your efforts.

Getting started with Instagram for business – If you’ve decided you’d like to use the popular photo and video sharing social network for business but don’t know how to get started, this is the guide for you. In it you’ll find out everything about using Instagram for marketing, from how to set up your business profile to the type of visual content that is most successful on this platform.

Using hashtags to reach more people – If you’re on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn but aren’t using hashtags to tag your content, you’re missing out. When used right, hashtags are powerful and can help users discover your content more easily. If you’re ready to take advantage and learn how to use them for your business, check this beginner’s guide to hashtags.

Automating social media – Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and CoSchedule are fantastic at helping you to create, curate and distribute content on the social channels you’re active on. This article shares six other such tools that can simply and automate your social media tasks.

Finding new content ideas – One of the hardest parts about social media for business is having to constantly come up with new, useful, entertaining content to share with your audience. If you need some inspiration, in this article you’ll find 20 social media ideas to keep your brand’s feed fresh and engaging.

Building relationships with influencers – We’ve written many times about influencers on the blog and the significant impact they can have on people’s purchasing decisions. In this guide on building relationships with influencers you’ll learn why influencers matter and how you can team up with them so they promote your business to their fans and followers.

Offer customer service around the clock on Facebook – Messaging apps are becoming popular tools for businesses to provide support and answer users’ questions and concerns. So, if you’re using Facebook for business but aren’t using Facebook Messenger for business, it’s time you get started. In this article you’ll learn how to create a Facebook Messenger chatbot for your business so you can not only save time but also enhance your customer service and marketing for your small business.

SEO and content marketing

Search engine optimisation

Whether you’re just getting started with optimising your website or looking into additional ways to make it more visible in the search results, these resources might come in handy.

Showing up on Google Maps – More than a quarter of mobile searches are related to location. So if you’re not on Google Maps when prospects are searching for your business, you’re missing out. Don’t know the steps? Read this guide to learn the steps to getting your business to appear on Google Maps.

Optimising for local search – If you’re a local business, you need to make sure you’re visible to local customers. But how do you go about optimising your website when you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location? This guide explains the local SEO tactics you should use to optimise your site when you don’t have a physical address.

Getting your YouTube videos found – For years, YouTube has been a popular marketing tool for lots of businesses, and with 55% of users watching videos online every day, you need to take advantage. But that doesn’t mean just creating videos and uploading them to YouTube. If you really want results, you need to optimise them to ensure your videos get noticed more often. This article shows you exactly how to optimise a YouTube video so it gets found by potential customers.

SEO ranking factors in 2017: Find out more about the most crucial search engine ranking factors and get practical expert advice on how to use these factors to increase your site’s visibility in the search engines.

Email marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most popular and effective tools to keep in touch with prospects, to update and entertain them with fresh, useful content and information and, of course, to market your products and services. Check out these resources for the latest tips on how to make the most of email marketing.

Creating your first mailing list – As a new business, you need to find ways to entice prospects to sign up to your mailing list so you can then send them useful content and stay in touch with them. But how do go about it? How do you entice people with a full inbox to sign up for yet another mailing list? Find out how in this beginner’s guide to building your first email list.

Personalising emails – Personalisation is key to successful marketing now and in the years to come. That means that to get results you’ll need to make email all about the customer by serving up relevant, valuable offers and content intended for each group of customers. Read this article to learn how to use personalisation in your emails to get better results.

Measuring results – Want to find out how your emails are performing, what’s working and what you should improve to get better results? In this beginner’s guide to email analytics you’ll learn how to use Google Analytics to track your campaigns and which metrics to focus on when evaluating email performance.

If you’re looking to learn more about email marketing and how to use it to engage your prospects and grow your business, make sure to take our free digital course on email marketing. In it you’ll find out not only how to get started with email marketing but also how to design your email, how to use marketing automation and how to analyse your results.

There you have it – 20 useful links with lots of advice and information on how to improve your business and better market it to your target audience using social media, SEO and email marketing.


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5 tips to boost your ecommerce sales in 2018

5 tips to boost your ecommerce sales in 2018

If you’re running an ecommerce website, you should always be searching for ways to improve your sales.

In this guide, we’ll look through some methods to entice more people to make a purchase from your website.

To make the most of some of these tips, you’ll either need to polish up your technical skills, or considering hiring an agency to help you out. That may seem like a big step, but doing so can really help take your business to the next level.

Run A/B tests

Could changing the colour of your “buy now” button boost sales? It may seem like a strange question, but the fact is you can never tell how a change to your website will impact sales until you try it.

Of course, it’s not a good idea to go round making site changes just for the sake of it. You need to identify potential changes and then test them against your existing website one at a time so you can tell whether they have a positive or negative impact on your sales.

That’s where A/B testing comes in. The concept behind the test is simple – you make one small change to a page on your website and see whether it makes a difference to your conversion rate compared to your existing page.

In practice, A/B testing is a little bit more complicated than this, as you have to worry about things like statistical significance, and the technical side of setting up your tests.

That said, the effort required to run A/B tests is more than worth it as you’ll almost certainly discover changes that boost your sales and hence your revenue.

Check out this guide to learn more about getting started with A/B testing.

Make better use of your email marketing list

You do have an email marketing list, right? If not, then make creating one your top priority. If you already have a list, then a great way to boost sales is by making sure you’re using it in the right way.

If you’re just sending out the same email to all your customers, then you’re not using the channel to its full potential.

Targeted, segmented marketing emails can boost your conversion rates. You can even make use of clever techniques like abandoned cart emails, which contact people after they leave your site with items in their shopping cart that they haven’t checked out.

This is the webinar for you if you want to learn more about how to make the most of your email marketing list.

Optimise your PPC ads

Pay per click (PPC) ads are the lifeblood of many an ecommerce business. Done right, they can drive plenty of sales and increase your profits. Done badly, PPC ads can be a time consuming, expensive failure.

So how can you make PPC ads? Well, if you haven’t tried them in the past, or have tried them and struggled to get them working for you, then why not check out this free course on getting started with PPC ads.

This is the place to go if you’re looking for some more advanced PPC tips and tricks.

If on the other hand, you don’t want to worry about running PPC ads yourself but still want to reap all the benefits, why not let 123 Reg take care of things for you? Get in touch with our PPC management team to see what we can do for you.

Streamline your website

How many clicks does it take for someone to buy a product from your website? How many fields do they have to fill in when signing up?

If people have to jump through hoops to become your customer, then they’re far less likely to actually become a customer.

The worst thing is, you can sometimes put obstacles in people’s way without realising. What may seem like a perfectly logical website setup to you could be very confusing to first-time visitors.

Testing is the answer here. A/B testing can help you with basic questions such as “what happens if I reduce the number of fields in my sign up form?”.

However, to discover things like how your potential customers expect your site’s navigation to be structured, you need to run in depth user tests.

User testing is a great way to improve your site, because it allows you to get an insight into the minds of the people who matter – existing and potential customers.

As you might imagine, it’s a complex task. We have a guide to getting started with user testing here. But if you’re serious about it, you may want to seek out the help of a specialist agency.

Focus on customer service

If you’ve been running your ecommerce business for a while, you’ll have undoubtedly heard the old adage that it’s cheaper to keep a customer than it is to attract a new one. And it’s true.

So ask yourself are you really doing enough to keep customers happy? If you aren’t able to answer this question with a resounding yes, backed up by data that proves it, then it’s an area you need to focus on in 2018.

The key to improving customer service is understanding exactly what your customers think of your business.

By implementing the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system, you’ll be able to understand what customers do and don’t like about your business. From there, you can’t start making improvements to keep customers happy.

This guide will help you get started with NPS.

Summing up

Hopefully you’ve been inspired to try out at least one method of growing your ecommerce sales, and no matter how you’re planning to grow your business in 2018, 123 Reg will be with you every step of the way.

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Our favourite small business resources and tools of 2017

Our favourite small business resources and tools of 2017

Whether you’re fine-tuning your social presence, optimising your website or digging through data, relying on the right tools means saving time and maintaining your sanity at the same time. The problem is there are always new online marketing tools, trends and resources that pop up so how do you know which ones to use?

In this post we’ll share with you some of our favourite small business tools and resources. Some are new and some are established, but they’re all very useful. We divided the list into three sections – social media, search engine optimisation (SEO) and general online marketing – so you can get a better sense of which tools and resources you can use for different tasks.

Let’s get started!

Social media marketing

Social media continues to be a powerful tool for reaching and connecting with your audience, whether by providing great content, by offering advice and support or by simply engaging with them in conversation. Here are some great resources and tools that can help you do just that.

Display Purposes

If you’re using Instagram to reach your audience, you probably know just how important it is to use the right hashtags and how much of a difference they can make in how many users find your posts. If you’re struggling to come up with the best, most relevant hashtags for your Instagram photos, make sure you try Display Purposes.

This tool was created by photographer and developer Fay Montage, and it’s extremely simple to use. All you need to do is enter one or two hashtags that are relevant to your photo and the site will return a list of 30 similar hashtags that are often used on Instagram alongside the ones you entered.

Here are some results we got when we entered #london and #burger:

If you’re not using hashtags already, this guide explains all you need to know about hashtags and how to use them for your business on popular social networks like Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.


Curating content that’s relevant to your audience is probably amongst the most time-consuming social media tasks. Quuu makes this job easier by suggesting content that’s hand-picked specifically for your social audience.

The tool gathers selections from hundreds of categories specifically geared toward your audience.

To get started, you’ll need to select the categories that matter to you and based on them, the tool will return with content suggestions your audience might enjoy. You can approve and schedule the ones you like on your preferred social channels using Buffer or Hubspot, or you can let the team at Quuu handle everything for you.


If you want to try it out, with the free forever plan you can choose up to five interest categories and get two content suggestions per day.


If you have an active presence on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or others, you know how time-consuming it can be to deal with everything from posting content to engaging with your audience and tracking results.

That’s what makes Hootsuite one of our favourite time-saving tools of 2017. You probably already know that it’s one of the most popular platforms for scheduling social media content in advance, but did you also know that with Hootsuite’s improved Bulk Composer feature you can schedule up to 350 posts at once?

If that seems like a lot and don’t know how you could go about creating so much content, this super-useful guide explains how to create a social media calendar and organise a year of posts the easy way.

And if you’re looking to save even more hours of work, here are seven social media templates you can use for everything from planning and message scheduling, to publishing and tracking results. Here’s an example of a social media content calendar template you can use:


Facebook Creator

Facebook Live is huge, drawing engagement and comments over ten times the rate of non-live videos. So, if you’ve been wanting to give live video a try, with the new Facebook Creator app you have no excuse not to.

Facebook launched the Facebook Creator app in November 2017 and we think it’s worth checking out. The app includes lots of great tools for streaming video, updating Stories and message people across Facebook’s platforms.

The main draw are the features for Facebook Live that allow you to create custom intros and outros for live broadcasts, as well as add interactive stickers and a custom video frame.


So if your business has an active presence on Facebook and want to give live video a try, install the Facebook Creator app and see how you like it. On the Facebook for Creators website you’ll find some useful resources and tips on how to create videos using the app.


Search engine optimisation

Local Listing 

You can’t really blame us for talking up 123 Reg, can you?

We’ve launched the Local Listing tool this year and in case you haven’t had the chance to use it yet, know that we’ve created it to make the process of local SEO as quick and as painless as possible.

So instead of spending time submitting your site to directories and then more time keeping those directories updated, our tool does the work for you. It makes it quick and hassle-free to submit your details to relevant directories, and updating your details takes just a few seconds.

In addition, you can use Local Listing to monitor the reviews you may receive on these sites, which helps to manage your reputation and respond quickly to any negative comments or issues that may arise.

We believe the 123 Reg Local Listing’s features and functionalities can speak for themselves so why not start with a free report on the current state of your local SEO? 

New search engines

While Google is the most popular search engine that almost every business focuses on, there are lots of other noteworthy search engines out there. Some focus on more niche areas, like academia, while others distinguish themselves in other ways that’s attracting users.

For example, Semantic Scholar is an academic research search engine where you can find lots of reliable resources:

So, just like you experiment with different SEO tools or marketing tactics to see which ones work best for your business, we encourage you to also test other search engines and see how they can help to increase your brand’s visibility.

Here is a break-down of six new search engines you should be keeping your eye on and why.

General online marketing

While there are lots of strategies and tactics you can try, which can sometimes feel overwhelming, with the right tools and resources you can start to make progress faster. Here are some interesting ones you can experiment with.

BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer

We’ve mentioned BuzzSumo lots of times on the 123 Reg blog. That’s because it’s a fantastic tool for discovering the most popular content on social media and on the web. It can also tell you who are the most influential users within a particular topic area, so it’s effective at helping you to identify relevant and valuable influencers you should connect with.

A few months ago BuzzSumo added a new feature within its platform called Question Analyzer. The tool is designed to help content marketer search for questions being asked about topics related to their business.

This is extremely useful because the best content you can possibly create is the one where you address the questions and pain points that prospects have.

The Question Analyzer crawls about 100,000 forums, such as Reddit, Quora and Amazon and other Q&A sites, and groups all the questions being asked pertaining to a topic or product.

So, if you’re doing customer research to find out more about your prospects’ pain points, questions and concerns, or if you’re looking for new content ideas that your audience is interested in, you’ll want to give this tool a try.


You’ve probably gone through a plethora of resources about influencers and how much they can influence people’s buying decisions. Up until not too long ago, the top advice was to reach out to influencers with millions of fans and followers. But as a small business, you probably can’t afford those types of influencers.

The great news is you don’t have to. In fact, influencers with a smaller but more loyal following (also known as micro-influencers) can help you to reach your target audience and get better results than influencers with a huge following.

So, one of our favourite resources of 2017 is this article about promoting a brand using micro-influencers and how the best type of influencers are those who are already fans of your brand.

Wrapping up

There you have it – some of our favourite small business tools and resources of 2017. We’d love to hear from you in a tweet @123Reg about which of these you’ve used or any new ones that might be worth checking out.


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