Strategy

Category: Strategy

4 Strategies to Increase Customer Conversion

Invest in Your Business; Convert More Customers with Your Website

Owning and operating a business is an investment of time, money and resources. Invest wisely for Greater Conversions.

It’s unlikely you’d invest in a business without a solid business plan. Or a plan in place to manage their online presence.

Your online presence is what you say about your business, and more importantly, what others say about your business and your industry. Your online presence is represented by your website, social media and reputation. Let’s focus on how you can use your website to improve your online presence and increase customer conversions (sign ups, contacts, purchases).

Here are 4 Strategies to Increase Conversions on Your Website

Contact Form

Companies that make it easy for customers to contact them receive more inquiries. A contact form can be as simple as this example, or much more complex, asking for details, availability, past history or reason for the request. The easier the form is for the customer to use, the more customers will use it.

Have you tested your contact form lately? Test your contact methods on a regular basis. Often updating plugins, making changes to your website and moving content within your website will “break” links and forms you’d forgotten were connected.

PROOF: We added a Contact Form to a customer’s website 1 year ago. At the time, the customer’s goal was to increase her business by 33%. Enhancing her website, re-examining the reason customers do business with her and adding a Contact Form resulted in a 50% growth year-over-year.

Curious about the number of visitors to your website and your conversion rate? Check out this handy service to measure your conversion and optimization rate.

Search Engine Optimization

There are several ways you can improve and build internet presence through search engine optimization (SEO) services. Google, for example, allows you to purchase traffic, pay to have your ad ranked higher in local searches, and even purchase traffic on a per-click basis. Just create a Google Ads account and you are on your way.

You can also improve your search rankings for free by offering quality and engaging content. Many businesses include a routine keyword-rich blog post on their company website that helps draw in traffic. The real key to SEO is monitoring the end result; keep track of the number of visitors to each blog post to understand what content is engaging to your customers.

PROOF: SEO is the long-game along with investing and planning for the future. SEO creates results for the long term much like eating well and exercise. You won’t see results overnight but small steps each day result in large gains in time. Such was the case for a local HR firm seeking to have their Listing and website at the top of Google; it took time but they are solidly at the top.

Mobile Website Design

A good website has relevant content for ready-to-buy customers, a company overview, service pages and contact information. If you want to stand out and engage your traffic, then stick to an easy design with a landing page that grabs the attention of your visitors. Need a hand planning out your site, or understanding what you can achieve? Take us up on our free assessment offer today!

Mobile-friendly websites are critical for businesses. Up to 90% of your traffic comes from mobile devices. Customers looking for a hotel, a restaurant or a coffee shop want find the closest location with the highest reviews. If your site is difficult to use on a mobile device, customers will abandon your site within 8 seconds for a competitor’s website.

PROOF: Check your Google Analytics account to determine how many of your visitors come from mobile vs desktop. Log in to your Google Analytics account, click Audience on the left hand-side, chose Mobile and select Overview. (Go figure – ours as of today for all time is 67% desktop.)

Manage Your Online Presence

With modern technology and the abundance of business-oriented search engine services, you shouldn’t have any problems promoting your business online. It just takes a little effort on your part to see a massive boost in traffic. With online marketing, the sky’s the limit. 

Many business owners fail to recognize that their online presence is as much what you say about yourself as it is what others say about you. To manage your online presence, you need to monitor ALL of the online content about your business and industry. Start with a tool like Google Alerts and as your business grows and needs a more robust tool, or your industry becomes more competitive, try Reputation Management.

PROOF: Reputation Management not only monitors your business, industry and employees, it also allows you the ability to monitor competitors. In a competitive industry like real estate or insurance, advisors often rely on competitor data to stay one step ahead of the competition.

These 4 Strategies will Provide Return on Your Investment

Increase your Return on Investment (ROI) starting today with these 4 simple strategies for real results. Be sure to let us know your results!

Thanks for reading!

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The Secrets of Marketing Revealed

The #1 Best Marketing Strategy of all Time

The #1 best marketing strategy of all time has not changed in the last 10 years.  It has not changed in the last 20 years.  Maybe even the last 50 years or more.

Whoa, stop the presses!  Digital is where it’s at.  Online is king.  Mentions, hits, website visitors and proof of performance is new lingo, of course marketing has changed.

Has it? The most successful companies, salespeople and marketers do the same things well today, as they did 50 years ago.

  1. They focus on people.
  2. They know their product.
  3. They know their brand’s place.
  4. Their price is based on their target market’s willingness to pay.
  5. They promote their industry first and their brand second.

 

Online Marketing Means More Options for Your Business

We were working with a client who was struggling with their marketing budget. To be frank, we were brought in to review the current activities and look for opportunities to reduce costs or improve performance.  In talking with the client, we found ourselves talking about the state of marketing nearly 20-years ago. A time when newspaper, radio and TV were the only advertising options.  Layout and design, or script writing, happened with the advertiser and a phone call was all that was needed to renew the ad from last year.  Buying an ad took a few minutes or a cup of coffee (and a smoke) at most.

Today marketers have dozens of mediums to choose from; sophisticated data to interpret and the ability, in many cases, to place their own ads and supply their own creative.  A single product or service may be advertised in 10 or more mediums, to achieve similar results.

Retail stores used to advertise sales in the newspaper and on radio. Today those same stores need to have the event promoted on Burbio to update Amazon Alexa and Google Home, place a Facebook and Instagram ad, develop content for their website, develop a campaign for advertising online and likely still run a radio ad.  That’s eight mediums for you numbers folks. The marketer who made a phone call to place an ad a few years ago now needs a sophisticated toolbox to reach their target audience.

Enter Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation means different things to different users. To a small business it means being able to manage multiple locations with ease and for a larger business it means in-depth reporting that can provide on-demand performance. It also means reducing the need for human intervention. An ad can be place for days, weeks and months at a time, with changes only needed when performance wanes. Blog posts and social media can be shared to multiple platforms at the same time. Landing pages can capture customer information, trigger bread crumbs to follow the customer on their web searches and enter contact information into sophisticated Customer Relationship Management programs.

Automation does not reduce marketing to a non-human activity; it allows us marketing-humans to maximize our time, challenge ourselves to constantly improve upon last months performance and strategically achieve business objectives.

This Where We Shine. Welcome Digital Marketing.

A sophisticated approach to marketing. We look at marketing from all angles. The data. The website. Social platforms. Customer mapping. High value customers and Highest value products and services. Syndication and website back links. Search engine results over time using reputation management, listings, reviews, social listening, website optimization and more

If the days of making a phone call to place an ad are gone, you might also be thinking, so to are the days of simplicity being the best marketing strategy. Yet, in talking with clients, customers and monitoring many trends, it seems the #1 best strategy continues to be:

  1. Know your people.
    • Your customers. Who are they? What do they like and dislike? Build a relationship with your customers. Focus on people, not the sale.
  2. Know your product.
    • The ins, the outs, the good, the bad. And know your competitors’ products.
  3. Know your brand’s place.
    • How does your product compare to others in the same category? Same marketplace?
    • Place also refers to where or how you sell your product. In a store, online, in the downtown area or in small neighbourhoods.
  4. Understand your value proposition and price.
    • What problem does your product solve for customers? Does your customer know this problem exists? Do they know a solution exists? Are you the luxury product or the entry-level product?
  5. Promote your product.
    • Expecting to bolster your product at the expense of another is a sign of a weak product. Bolster your industry first, and your product second.

Thanks for reading!

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Customers are a Powerful Marketing Engine

Customers are a Powerful Marketing Engine

According to the Sept. 28, 2017 edition of Forbes magazine, author Jeff Bezos says, “customers have incredible power as a result of transparency and word of mouth.”

How can your business harness this power? Can you manage this new-found power to your advantage?

As customers become more public about their buying decisions, share their experiences and provide recommendations about the businesses they choose, you, as the business owner and manager, can amplify your business by welcoming this new public-engine of marketing.

Customer Conversations

Customer reviews, social media, blogs and any other tools are really one thing – conversations with your customers. A bad review is only detrimental when you don’t respond; don’t make it right or don’t realize it is now a public record. Every business makes mistakes and simply put, some customers are more difficult. Turn your toughest customers into champions to win the power of public-lead word-of-mouth for your business.

The bad review that invites follow-up, provides direct contact to the President or offers a full refund in a public forum demonstrates to future customers that your business is concerned about making it right. Add the ability to have a sense of humour or personality to your response and you’ve got a winning formula to keep disgruntled customers smiling.

Four Steps to Respond to a Customer Review

  1. Respond as quickly as possible. Whether you respond directly through Google My Business, Facebook or our Reputation Management tool, responding to your customers promptly will keep the search engine giants smiling on your website.
  2. Respond to all reviews – positive, neutral or negative. All customers deserve a moment of your time to thank them for their comments, offer insight into their purchase or hear steps to make it right.
  3. Keep your response above reproach. Remember your response is public. No matter the comments from the customer; no matter how difficult the customer was, keep your response positive. This can be the most difficult part of responding quickly and is often the #1 reason businesses work with us to help respond to their reviews.
  4. Share the good news! Shout it out. Keep positive reviews on your website, on your social channels and on your listings. Put the power of peer-influenced marketing to work for your business.

Embrace this new age of purchase transparency; accept it and find ways to use it to build your fan base. Your business and customers will thank you.

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Shopping Local is Where It’s At

Rely on Local Retailers

Out and about this week and I realized how much I rely on our local retailers.

Early in the week I stopped in at Lakeview Fine Foods.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit them, I strongly suggest you do.  You’ll see the same staff day after day, they know their products and they know their customers.  In grocery, that seldom happens anymore.  My favourite story about the staff, the butcher in particular, happened a few weeks ago.  I was buying chicken thighs and asked how long I needed to cook them.  I was just drawing a blank; I couldn’t remember if thighs were like ribs and needed to boil first, or if I could just quickly cook them.  The butcher’s response was, as straightforward and dry as could be, “Until they’re done.”  Then he realized I might take offense to his response and quickly checked my response.  I chuckled pretty good.  I think he was a little relieved.  wink wink  Good place.  Great folks.  Check them out.

I also dropped into Opex Fitness Regina more than a few times to work with my coach Luke Rossmo.  I really enjoy the environment at Opex and am always surprised how hard I work on my own versus the competition of someone else doing the exact same work.  For the most part I am seeing slow steady progress.  Keyword: progress.  All good.

After all that time at the gym I needed a treat and thanks to the recommendation from Shara at Prairie Paleo Meals I heard about Pro Bake by M, a local gluten-free protein bakery.  Her treats are delicious!  You must try them.  I picked up Double Chocolate Muffins and Peanut Butter Balls from Body Fuel Organics.  I’ll be heading back soon!

Total disclaimer.  As of writing this post, none of these businesses are clients.  These are my real thoughts.  Those who know me know I don’t BS well.  I’m a straight shooter.  Check these places out, and if not these local businesses, find your own local favourites.

Have a great week!

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From the Ground Up</br>The Importance of Branding

Branding Helps Your Business Grow from the Ground Up.

There’s an age-old debate about marketing… is it an art or a science?

At Above the Fold, we appreciate both the art side and the science side of marketing. However, we really focus on the science side of things to help our clients’ businesses grow. Marketing in this day and age has so many different components to it, and while it is important to keep both sides of marketing in mind, we find that using numbers and technical strategies really take businesses to the next level.

Marketing is Largely Driven by the Science

Interestingly, there are many aspects of marketing that people associate with the art side of marketing, that in fact, are largely driven by the science side of things. Let’s take branding and brand personality for example.

Branding or brand personality are terms that are thrown around a lot in the marketing world, but they basically refer to the consistent characteristics that are associated with a business. They are developed through all the things that potential customers see related to your business, for example, your logo, your social media, your website and your e-mails. Of course, all of these things have visual components that are immensely important with regards to brand development, but how you can use these tools as strategies to take your business to the next level is often overlooked. At Above the Fold, for example, we build e-campaigns, optimize social media usage, track visitors and interpret data about websites, monitor conversions from a variety of sources and more. All these approaches work with the technical side of marketing, but do wonders to develop businesses’ brands.

Branding is More than a ‘Nice to Do’

Why are branding and brand personality so important for your businesses. People often think that branding is a “nice to do” marketing strategy, but that it doesn’t actually do much other than look visually appealing. In fact, effective branding can actually help grow your business and make money. What’s not to love? Some of the best things that branding can do for businesses are making them more recognizable, and allowing potential customers to relate to them directly. This is especially important for local and small businesses trying to grow, as customers are more likely to engage with a business that they relate to. This goes along with the same logic as buying clothing, for example. If we look into a shop window, see an item of clothing and think “hey! That looks like something I would wear…” we are WAY more likely to buy that piece of clothing than if we had thought “hmm… not really my style.” We like to see a reflection of ourselves in the things that we buy. Basically, the better branding or brand personality a business has, the more it can relate to the correct consumer, establish its place in the market, and turn leads into paying customers.

This is all part of what we do at Above the Fold. We understand that all our clients have unique brands and goals for their businesses. Our process includes discussing the specific goals clients have for their businesses and then developing specific and dynamic strategies to achieve those goals together. We report results to you on a monthly basis in order to identify where progress is being made, and what adjustments or fine-tuning is needed.

We value open communication and commit to working with our clients every step of the way. We are also aware that goals and priorities shift as businesses grow, and we are constantly adapting our approaches and strategies as brands continue to mature.

Ultimately, our goal is to see your business ‘above the fold!’

Thanks for reading!

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