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4 Ways to Find out What Your Customers Want and Provide It
Well-written and researched content will not only sell, but also help with search engine optimization. If it’s useful and targeted, there is a high possibility for it to go viral and positively influence your goals. But the question is: how do you find out what your customers want so you can provide it? Search engines are like data miners and provide information to millions of users on a daily basis. There are few things in the world which can’t be found on the internet today (if you know where to look), which is why it’s becoming harder for websites to rank on search engines. So what do you have to do in order to stand apart from the rest? Well, the answer is simple; give them solutions to actual problems. As simple as it may sound, this is probably the toughest thing to do in the marketing world. In order to provide value, you need to know what your audience wants. In this post we will show you ways you can learn what your target audience needs so you can deliver value and drive long-term traffic. Learning from your competition In order to beat the competition you need to know more about it. You can start by simply looking through your competitors’ websites and forums to learn their strategies and find out how they’re dealing with customers. If they’re doing things that are working for them, there is no harm in taking pointers and implementing the same strategies yourself. A good practice would be to analyse their content and note down the keywords they are targeting. Since your competition is going to be within your industry, the same keywords and a similar content strategy will be applicable to your brand as well. Similarly, if you are running an e-commerce site, you can easily visit your competitions’ sites and find out what their customers are saying. Any bad reviews they might have are great opportunities for you to build on (a great guide for this is available here). You should also check out SEMrush, which is a great tool for competitor analysis and research. Reading and responding to feedback and comments This is not only a way to learn from your target audience but also strike a relationship with them. If it is a B2C kind of business, comments are directly going to shed light on the things which customers need from you. Moreover, comments are not relegated to your blog only, you should invite feedback on different forums which have relevant audience. Even if you find feedback regarding other brands or companies, it can be helpful for you in learning what customers want. Conducting your own keyword research Since a large majority of people use search engines to find products, services and solutions, search engines are excellent sources for insights into what customers really want. Google has some great free tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner which allow you to conduct your own research. Finding the most searched keywords doesn’t just tell you what people need but also gives you a path to optimize your content and pull traffic from it. The most important keywords from your perspective should be long-tail keywords because they are more specific and give you the exact train of thought your customers are on. Other great tools for keyword research include WordStream and Wordtracker. Social Media Signals Social media platforms are diamond mines of information. Today most people just put everything out on the internet and marketers can easily learn about their likes, dislikes, needs and wants. Moreover, social media signals are real-time and current, giving you a more accurate picture of how your target audience is thinking and what it needs today. You should not only be active with your own social profiles and connect with people but also join groups, chats and pages relevant to your industry and browse through them for feedback, ideas, suggestions and even complaints. If your company or brand profile has a good following, you can even ask your followers directly to provide feedback on a certain idea, service or product. Bottom-Line In order to stand out from the noise and pull traffic, get yourself heard and make sales, you need to deliver precisely what your target audience wants. Targeted content is the key here, and in order to produce that, you need to conduct research through various means, including competitors’ analysis, keyword research, social media networking and feedback collection.
10 Tips to Help You Optimize Your Conversion Funnel
The conversion funnel is a crucial element in any business, ensuring that prospects and leads are converted all the way to actual sales. If your conversion funnel is leaky, you will be losing the money you spend on marketing and burn your leads. In this guide we give you 10 great tips for optimizing your conversion funnel and making the most of your advertising and marketing efforts to maximize your sales, boost profits and essentially grow your online business. Full Name:* Email Address:* Phone:* Company Name:* Website:* Country:* ---United StatesUnited KingdomCanadaAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean territoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoDemocratic Republic"Cook IslandsCosta RicaCote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)Croatia (Hrvatska)CubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEast TimorEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland IslandsFaroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard and McDonald IslandsHondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea (north)Korea (south)KuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People's Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoFormer Yugoslav Republic Of"MadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesiaMoldovaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian TerritoriesPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan Mayen IslandsSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVatican CityVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (US)Wallis and Futuna IslandsWestern SaharaYemenZaireZambiaZimbabweOther
SEO Copywriting Tips to Help Your Content Rank in 2014
SEO Copywriting is a crucial part of any Search Engine Optimization strategy but it becomes difficult to keep track of all the changes in algorithms that Google and other search engines decide to make. In fact, at times there are certain changes which can result in more harm than good if your content optimization strategies don’t follow best practices. Let’s go through a few tips that will help you optimize your content in the year 2014. Optimize your content for humans, not robots Those times are behind us when people were okay with obviously optimized content. It’s 2014; even search engines want to read original content that flows naturally. While this doesn’t mean keywords are not important, it just means they need to be used naturally so that they don’t negatively affect the readability of the content and help robots find and index your content. Don’t go for keyword calculations and stuffing Let’s just eliminate this factor once and for all – keyword density does not matter anymore (not the way it used to). Google and other search engines have started using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) so that they can match up the search results with the intention of the person who is performing the search. This means that related keywords, synonyms and grammatical variations are all kept under consideration and using the same keyword repeatedly is not going to help you in any way. As a matter of fact, keyword repetition and stuffing will only lead to weak content that will likely be penalized by search engines and won’t win any favours with your readers either. Provide depth and detail If you go through pages that top Google’s rankings, you’ll find them to average around 1800 – 2000 words. Research also shows that in-depth articles almost always get more shares, views, likes, comments and bookmarks. In order to stand out in the competitive world of online publishing, you need to produce detailed content that provides valuable insights and actionable information. But none of this means you should go on writing irrelevant content to up the word count. Focus on Long Tail Keywords With the competition on the internet being extremely high, it will be difficult for you to rank your content for single-word keywords. Instead, you should start focusing on long tail keywords which are comparatively easier to rank for. For instance, instead of going for the two-word keyword “selling pitch”, you can opt for a longer sentence like “selling pitch tips for selling cars”. These long-tail keywords will have smaller search volumes but the traffic you do receive will be highly targeted and easier to convert. Answer questions your target audience mostly asks Whether you are providing a service or selling products, your prospective customers and target audience definitely has questions, and there is a high chance that these are the very questions they search for online. By providing actual answers to burning questions you can get more traffic, more shares, more leads and eventually rank better as search engines attribute credibility to your content. Actively promote your content If you think your content can only be found through search engines – you’re wrong! Times have changed and social media is a platform with a huge number of prospects. Moreover, search engines also record social signals and the more social engagement a piece gets the more chances there are that it will rank better on Google. There are several social media platforms you can use for content promotion, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Relevant title tags and descriptions Title tags and snippets are the first two things that are read by the audience and search engines. Google looks at both these elements when it categorizes a certain webpage. Therefore, relevant title tags and Meta descriptions (snippet) are a must. You need to make them both appear natural, but also include important keywords in them and enough information to attract clicks and pull traffic. Stop anchor text optimization Optimizing link text (anchor text) to match with keywords and phrases used to be an effective technique but robots have evolved since then. Google is now wary of such optimization techniques, and if you are using perfect link text, Google might penalize you. Add alternative text to any images you publish Optimization of published images also plays a role in your content’s ranking. You should use relevant and original images with keywords in the alternative text section. A good idea would be to copy the title tag and paste it as alternative text. To keep it easy for Google to read, make sure that you use short and snappy keywords for your images and the image file name should also have a relevant keyword.
Basic Search Engine Optimization Guidelines to Increase Organic Traffic
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basically refers to the methods and techniques used to optimize web content so that it can be easily found and indexed by search engines like Google. It is important for your website to be optimized because search engines serve as gateways between your website and the people who are searching for the content or information you are offering. A poorly optimized website will not rank well on search engine results and consequently miss out on organic search traffic. Fortunately for you, in this guide we will cover all the basic search engine optimization guidelines that can help you boost your traffic. Old school SEO techniques Unfortunately, most people associate the term ‘SEO’ with old school techniques such as commenting on forums and posting on web directories. You should know there is much more to SEO than just this, and these techniques don’t even work anymore. Moreover, if you’re not up to date in regards to optimization methods, you might even do more damage to your website than good. Meet the Panda and the Penguin Search engines, like Google, have algorithms or complex analysis and calculation techniques, using which they determine how their search results are ranked. If you search any popular term on Google for instance, there are going to be hundreds of thousands of results, but the first page will only show 10. Panda and Penguin are two of the most important algorithm updates implemented by Google, and you need to have some background on them. Panda Implemented in early 2011, the Panda updates (they keep coming) are aimed at fishing out low quality websites and bringing high quality ones to the top. Most websites heavy on advertisements and low quality ‘thin’ content suffered and were demoted at the initial release, and further updates to the algorithm keep coming. The best way to avoid a Panda penalty is to create unique & original content which is valuable, relevant and credible and a comprehensive account of the topic at hand. Penguin Penguin is the name of another Google algorithm update which focuses on bringing down low quality websites by targeting artificial link-creation schemes. One of the ranking factors assessed by search engines is the strength of backlinks a certain website receives. For instance, if your website is referred to by other authority sites, you get backlinks which significantly affect your rankings and can promote you to the top 10. In order to game this system, people used to buy and sell links (they still do) and artificially boost rankings by methods known as Black-hat SEO techniques. If your site is penalized by Penguin you are likely to receive a manual action message in your webmasters dashboard. The process to recover from a Penguin penalty can be long and tedious, which means the best way to avoid it is to refrain from purchasing any kind of links or participating in any link exchange schemes or programs. How Search Engines Rank Your Website Now let’s take a look at the factors search engines take into consideration for ranking your website. These are essentially things you should be mindful of when it comes to your own site and should implement anything you aren’t already doing. User interface Your website’s user interface is an important factor, not only for your visitors but search engines as well. These days search engines assess everything, including the UI, to make sure that the sites they recommend are user friendly and facilitate visitors. Elements considered here include: Prominent and simple navigation Search functionality Easy access to related content Organized page structure with less clutter Interface optimization for mobile devices Quality The quality of your website and the content on it is a major factor behind your ranking. Some of the things Google considers in terms of quality include: Trust worthy information Comprehensive coverage of topic Use of Rich Media Redundancy or repetitive content/articles keyword stuffing (overuse of certain words in an attempt to rank against them) Grammar and structure of the writing Original, unique and well-researched content. Actionable information which is of value to readers Authority in the selected niche Editing of the content Likelihood of content being shared, commented on and bookmarked Number of ads on the page User experience & engagement Apart from user interface, the user experience also determines how well your site ranks. UX (user experience) can be defined as the sum total a user experiences or goes through when he/she lands on your page till the time he/she exits it. Moreover, search engines also measure the level of engagement on your website, which refers to how visitors interact with your site. Factors considered here include: Loading time for the website or page Proper mobile site redirection Relevant content which meets users’ requirements Number of advertisements Use of visual content Time spent by visitors on your website Bounce rate (number of visitors who leave your site without any interaction) Comments and social activity on your posts Tips for optimizing your own site Now that you know how search engines rank your website, here are a few things you can do to optimize your site and rank better. Produce original content This cannot be stressed enough – search engines dig original content. Whenever you attempt to address a topic, make sure you go one ahead than the competition and include details others have missed out. Don’t regurgitate content or simply rewrite what others have written. Put down your own perspective in a unique manner and refrain from only including obvious points and information. Write naturally As stated earlier, your writing is also a determinant for search engine rankings. You should ideally keep your writing simple and grammatically correct. Do not use big words or difficult expressions which negatively impact the user experience. Moreover, the depth of your content also matters. While you shouldn’t measure quality with number of words, you should ensure that your content adequately and comprehensively covers the topic you are discussing. Include heading tags Heading tags are very effective in breaking down content into small chunks and creating a structure search engines can follow. The most important heading is your title, which is marked H1, then all the sub-headings you use should be marked H2, and any headings under those subheadings can be marked H3 and so on. Add alt text for uploaded images Any images you upload also need to be optimized for search engines. Make sure you insert an appropriate title and an alternate text which describes the image. An optimized image will show up against search queries in the images section and will also bring you traffic. Use proper meta tags Meta tags are still important from the perspective of SEO, especially the meta title and meta description tags. You can simply think of them as the text that shows up when a search engine returns a result for your website or page. For example, when you search for any term on Google, you see tons of results, all of which include two main things, the title on the top and the small description under it – these are the meta title and meta description tags. Optimizing these tags means you need to include major keywords in both your title and description, but be careful not to stuff them with keywords either. Every page or post can have its own meta title and description, both of which help search engines determine the relevancy of your content so they can show it against certain search queries. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly Given the increasing use of mobile devices throughout the world, your website’s compatibility with mobile devices is a major consideration. An important point to note here is that if you have a dedicated mobile version of the site, any page users access on your site should be redirected to the exact page on the mobile site (and not the home page). If you don’t have the resources for a dedicated mobile site you can look into responsive design, which makes sure your existing site adjusts according to the resolution it is being viewed on. Be careful with links Links, both internal and external, are important for search engine optimization. However, as mentioned above, unnatural and artificial links lead to penalization under the Penguin algorithm, so you should refrain from purchasing links at all costs. The right way to get links is to create great content which people want to link to and also linking out to authentic sources. Moreover, your own pages should also be interlinked in a meaningful way, passing on link juice throughout the site. But refrain from using too many links on any one page because that too is a red flag for search engines and can land your website in trouble. Finally, always check for broken links on your website. These are links which return 404 errors because they are either incorrect or the pages they link to are no longer available. 404 errors can negatively impact your rankings, so you should remove any broken links at the earliest. Promote engagement Engagement is extremely important and can majorly boost your search engine rankings if done right. Make sure there are social sharing options available on your site and use visual content, including infographics and videos to promote sharing and interaction. You should also encourage visitors to comment on your blog. Ask a question at the end of your posts or simply invite them to comment, which will keep your page active and updated, a good indicator for search engines. Bottom-line Everyone working online or running a blog/website should know the basics of search engine optimization. White-hat techniques and best practices, such as the ones mentioned in this article, are safe and effective. Remember, if your site performs well on search engine results, you can pull tons of organic traffic, including highly targeted visitors on the basis of the keywords you focus on. Just avoid trying to game the system or using Black-hat techniques to boost your ranking and stay updated with the latest algorithmic changes to keep your site’s ranking up.
24 Tools & Examples to Create Videos for Small Business Branding & Marketing
You might’ve heard people claim online videos are just another over-hyped passing fad, but that’s not true at all. Videos are far more compelling as compared to text or even images, and deliver a dense message in a short span of time. This makes it easier for organizations to engage their audience without a lengthy script, especially today, when visual content is making all the difference. In the chart above, you can see how 90% of the organizations opt for video content. Why? Because it creates a far better response as compared to all other tools. You can easily convey a strong message through a video as compared to a well-written blog post, or even a case study. Moreover, videos have a far greater potential than other forms of content when it comes to sharing.They can be promoted on social networks with a few clicks and can go viral very easily – which makes them great marketing tools. Examples of video content The video below by Oakley is a great example of visual content creation for content marketing. The video itself is a mashup of different footage, but it’s the idea and the narration behind it which stands out. This video from PixityLand serves as an introduction to their product and focuses on explaining how it works in an engaging manner. Capturing Footage for Your Videos The first step towards making a video is to capture the footage, which will vary between different types of videos. For instance, a tutorial video can easily be made at home using a digital camera or even your ordinary webcam. Webcams If your computer does not have a webcam, you can easily purchase it and plug it in through a USB port. Laptops these days are usually come with built-in cameras. A webcam can be used to record video of yourself or a product as you explain it’s benefits or talk to your audience directly. Tools for recording webcam footage Windows Movie Maker Quick Time (Mac) Debut Video Capture Niaveo.com Digital Camera/Professional Camera If you are already equipped with a digital or a professional camera, you do not need anything else. Simply charge your battery, go out and start recording the footage that you want to capture. The quality of the video depends upon the quality of your camera and its lens. Once the video is recorded, simply use your data cable, or memory card stick to copy it on your hard drive. Screen capturing If you are intending to display a software or online product, you can simply use a screen capturing tool to record your footage. You won’t need any camera for this, just a software which serves your purpose. Once you are done recording the footage you can add audio to it using your mic. Tools for screen capturing Camstudio Movavi BSR Screen Recorder Types of Videos Businesses these days use different types of videos in order to get their message across. It is important to select the right type of video to effectively meet your goals. Given below is a short list of production types which you can use in order to increase awareness, generate leads and establish a relationship with your customers. Tutorial or Explainer Videos A tutorial video, as the name suggests, will teach the customer how to perform a certain task, as seen in the explainer video example above. Such videos simplify difficult concepts and can be easily made at home, using a simple digital camera or even your computer’s webcam. Product Reviews Project reviews are extremely essential in the corporate world. It’s because they are extremely effective. A recent study carried out by Invodo revealed that consumers are more likely to make a purchase once they have seen the video of the product. Public Service Announcement Videos are probably the best way to emotionally connect with your audience. A limited budget or a non-profit organization can use a combination of sight and sound to generate the relevant experience for the people. Culture Videos Culture videos are actually diminishing these days, but their effectiveness should not be underestimated. You simply show the target segment what your organization’s culture is and what goes behind the scenes to bring the products or services to them. Use culture videos to show off your team and other relevant things about your company/organization that might intrigue and interest people. Testimonial Videos Testimonial videos are always effective as they generate word of mouth. Contact actual customers and record their experience with your product/service. People trust other people’s word more than your own. Animated Videos Such videos are becoming a trend now. While they require technical expertise, they offer more flexibility and room for creativity compared to traditional footage. You can make brand characters through animation and make a strong brand identity as well. Ads Video ads have matured and evolved considerably over the past years. Now big organizations use video ads with multiple purposes, focusing on long-term content marketing strategies as compared to the typical sales pitches. These ads are all about the concept behind them, which means you can create an excellent one even without a lot of resources at your disposal. Tools to Create Compelling Videos Till now, we have established that creating compelling videos will require a different approach as compared to writing a rich blog post. Let’s take a look at a few tools which can help us make these videos. Prezi For people who already know about the tool, they must be wondering that it does not create an animation, or even a video for that matter. But this software creates slides in the most unique manner. You can really get the dynamic feel and it is probably the easiest tool to master. The website has to offer a few incredible examples for inspiration. YouTube Editor YouTube is a famous video hosting/streaming website and it offers a free of cost tool to edit your videos online. You can add annotations and transcripts to your video as well; which means they can be optimized easily. Camtasia Currently the market leaders in the screen-capture video world. Camtasia has a few exciting features which will make it easy for you to work on your video. If you want to create tutorial videos, you should definitely check out this tool. Animoto As the name suggest, this tool will help you generate animated content. You won’t get the hang of it in the very first time, but you will come around it after a few hit and tries. This software will help you generate unique videos through your photos, video clips and music. GoAnimate Another software that can be used to generate animated videos. It also offers you a set of characters which you can choose from. Sellamations Have you seen those videos where a hand is drawing animations and writing things down throughout the video? This tool is your key to creating those videos. It will take time for you to master it, but the end result is going to be extraordinary. Magisto This tool is actually magical. Give it a raw footage and it will go through it to pick out whatever the best parts of your video are in order to create a short video. You can then add music and titles to your video to make it more dynamic. Bottom-Line Quite a lot of brands are utilizing video content in order to build brand awareness and brand identity. Videos can really help generate traffic on your website as they are far more compelling and can convey a deeper message as compared to text. While you might think it is not possible to create compelling video content without a lot of resources, it’s not true. All you need it is a good concept and a the right tools to capture, edit and polish any footage and create a video that goes viral, pulls traffic and converts your leads.
7 Different Types of Landing Pages You Can Make (with examples)
We’ve already talked about how important landing pages are and how you can make them according to your own preferences using WordPress. Now we’ll take a look at the different types of landing pages so you can better understand their roles and decide which ones you need to focus on. In case you’ve forgotten, landing pages are basically web pages designed to influence any visitor who lands on them and to convert as many as possible to achieve certain goals. They are mainly linked within advertisements and serve to further elaborate the main offer in a bid to make a sale to a prospective customer. Given their purpose, landing pages can be of different types and employ different methods to achieve their goals. Some will be designed specifically to generate leads while others will focus on converting those leads. Similarly, there are going to be pages which facilitate registration for webinars or sign ups, or those which are shown after you complete an action (thank you pages). Finally you’ll have upselling pages, launch pages and precart pages, all of which employ different methods. Let’s take a look at the different types of pages and some of their examples so you can better understand them. Lead generation landing pages Lead generation is one of the foremost goals for any marketing campaign and landing pages are essential tools for lead capturing. The purpose behind these pages is to engage visitors and move them down the sales funnel by convincing them to opt-in or sign up and submit their contact details etc. The more people sign up or opt-in, the more information you gather and consequently more leads you have. The effectiveness of a lead generation page depends on a lot of factors, including the positioning of the opt-in form, the copy, the CTA, use of images and videos and so on. To a large extent, nearly all landing pages generate leads or convert them, but the techniques they employ can be different. For instance, in the example below, the page is offering a free e-book in exchange for your e-mail address, which will constitute a lead. Similarly, some lead generation pages don’t directly ask you for your information. They first want to convince you of the benefits they offer and then make you commit by clicking on the CTA (call-to-action) before you are asked to opt-in. Here’s an example of such a page: In any case, these pages basically guide you towards the sales funnel by pitching you something and convincing you to take an action, be it a trial run or a free download in exchange for your information. Lead conversion landing pages Just like there are lead generating landing pages, there have to be lead conversion landing pages as well. These pages are more commonly known as sales pages and can be of different types. The main role of such pages is to present all the main benefits of a product or service and guide the lead towards conversion (mostly sales). You will mainly be shown all the benefits of the product or service along with a video or images to convince you. There should ideally be testimonials and other trust factors present as well, before you are finally shown a pricing table or package plan along with a buy now option. Webinar Registration Pages Webinars are great for lead capturing and conversion, and are used to great effect by several individuals in the service industry. However, most webinars have paid tickets and a limited number of seats, which means you need to design special registration pages which can convert visitors and make them reserve a seat. These pages are not much different from the ones discussed above and mainly have an opt-in form along with a video explaining the benefits of attending. Thank You pages A lot of people underestimate the importance of thank you pages. Whenever a visitor on your website decides to take an action, you need to appreciate it by redirecting all sign ups, opt-ins and subscribes to a thank you page. Not only does this make the visitor feel special, it also gives you the opportunity to keep the visitor engaged by presenting him/her with different options, like visiting your blog, checking out another product or inviting friends. Upselling pages Upselling is a technique used by marketers to get additional conversions along with the main one (sale or sign up) by creating a sense of urgency or giving the user a favorable choice which can’t be turned down. For instance, in the examples below, one page gives you all the options but then tells you which package is the most popular. In the other page, once you’ve subscribed for a webinar, you’re asked to sign up for the blog too while you’re at it. Launch pages Launch pages play a big role in spreading the word about a new project or service and getting exposure for it. If you’ve ever been interested in an upcoming project and visited their site just to see a sign up box promising notifications when the project goes live, you landed on a launch page. Ideally launch pages need to encourage users to do two things. First to sign up and secondly to invite their friends and share the page so the service or product benefits from free publicity. Pre-cart Pages These pages are mainly shown right before you place your final order on an e-commerce site. The purpose behind these pages is to confirm your order, make sure there are no mistakes and highlight any special discounts, offers or add-ons. In essence these pages are used for upselling, but their specific location differentiates them. If you’re wondering how you can make a landing page you want, you might want to check out our WordPress landing page creation guide here. We’d also love to hear from you regarding this guide and your experience with landing pages. Please feel free to comment below or contact us for your feedback.
21 Actionable Ideas for Driving Traffic to Your Website or Blog
Whether you have an online business, website or a blog, traffic is important for everyone. The number of visitors you receive on a daily basis impact a lot of things, including your ad revenue, lead generation, conversion ratio and sales. Even if you’re paying for targeted traffic, who would mind additional traffic for free? Moreover, organic traffic has it’s own perks, besides the fact that it doesn’t cost you money. If you think you’ve exhausted your traffic generation methods, here are 21 actionable ideas you can work with! #1. Create a forum on your website Forums aren’t really out of fashion. They still form potent discussion platforms for people interested in a specific niche. If your website has a active forum and community, you automatically generate traffic from people posting questions, answers and commenting on them. #2. Actively reply to comments you get Whether you get comments on your blog, forum or on social media channels, you should actively respond to them in order to engage people. When people see you as someone who cares about them (and consequently his/her own business) they take you more seriously and are likely to visit your website more often. #3. Build an e-mail list and send newsletters E-mail list building should be a major goal for you. You can offer freebies and special discounts to get people to sign up for your newsletters. Then when you post new content, send e-mail updates to drive traffic from your list. #4. Offer answers to burning questions If you are an expert in your field, you can offer to help people by answering their questions and giving advice. This is also a great way to bond with your users and create loyal fans who will continue to visit your website regularly. #5. Post new content frequently You need to work towards maintaining a balance between quality and quantity. You can’t expect a lot of traffic if you only post new content rarely. Keep new stuff coming and you’ll see a boost in your traffic as well. #6. Use news to your advantage A great way to get more traffic is to use the latest news to your advantage. Keep an eye out for stories that are (or can be) related to your industry or niche and then comment on them, or make them a point of discussion in your new posts. #7. Become a contributor There are several well-known websites such as Forbes and Huffington Post which accept contributors (provided you hold authority in your niche). If you can form such connections, you get free promotion and consequently traffic to your website. #8. Invite a popular blogger to post on your website If you are connected with a famous blogger, invite him/her to guest post on your blog. Not only will this increase your blog’s credibility but will also pull traffic from his/her following. #9. Follow SEO best practices In order to get more traffic from Google you need to follow SEO best practices. These include adding proper meta tags, using important keywords in your content, adding alt text and descriptions for your images and ensuring there is a good internal and external link structure. #10. Focus on longer keywords Given how competitive search engines have gotten, you really have to up your game in order to grab a slice of the SERP pie. At this point in time, you should be focusing on longer keywords (also known as long-tail keywords) because they get you more targeted traffic. #11. Optimize your headlines Headlines are what pull people to your website. If you are not optimizing yours, you are missing out on traffic. Ideally your titles should include your major keywords and also focus on the benefit people will gain if they click on them. #12. Promote your website on social media Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn, the important thing is to select one platform that perfectly suits your business and then capitalize on it. Use images, post compelling content and promote discussions to get people on board and build a following. This way, when you post new stuff, you’ll get referral traffic, which can also be tracked through Google Analytics. #13. Submit new content on StumbleUpon StumbleUpon is perhaps the most underestimated social network. Granted it can be confusing to begin with, but it really does generate tons of traffic if your content is powerful. You just have to submit your pages on StumbleUpon and if they generate interest, people will share them, increasing their potential to go viral. #14. Post content on Reddit While many believe Reddit is outdated, it is not. I once posted something to get over a hundred referral visitors within one hour. The key is to post relevant and valuable content and not just a link back to your website. You should refer to the link here, to see the current trends on Reddit. #15. Quote real people and mention them on Twitter If you are trying to quote someone in your blog, you should always mention them specifically on Twitter to drive traffic. It’s only natural for people to want to see what you’ve said about them. #16. Use visual content marketing 2014 is all about visual content and you should get into the game before it’s too late. Make sure all your blog posts have visual aids (descriptive photos, infographics) and then post them on Pinterest, Twitter and other social networks to get attract traffic. #17. Make videos that get shared Videos are a great way to get traffic if they go viral. There are several sites which allow free uploading of videos, including Youtube, Facebook and Vimeo. You can even embed those videos on your own site, benefiting from referral traffic while you engage your visitors. #18. Write guest posts on relevant blogs Guest posts are not dead and can still benefit you if you choose a blog which is related to your industry. Moreover, your guest posts need to be informative, value-laden and relevant for the host blog’s audience. You can include links to your own posts within your guest post and the author info at the end of the post can also send traffic your way. #19. Swap advertisements with complementary sites Instead of going for banner advertisements, you can contact webmasters of websites which complement yours (and vice versa) to offer a banner swap. You can put up their advertisement on your sidebar and they can put up yours. This way both websites get traffic from each other. #20. Submit your website on different networks/directories Sites like Alltop, Triberr and the blog directory on Technorati are good ways to get some referral traffic in the long-run. Visit these platforms, find out their requirements and submit your site, connect with the community and list your blog for others to find. #21. Give away freebies Freebies are very effective branding tools and also bring in traffic if your giveaways are worth sharing and talking about. You don’t have to give away everything for free, just make sure a couple of great, actionable resources are regularly made available for your visitors if they simply opt-in. This will also build your e-mail list and people will keep coming back for more. You might want to check out our own Freebies Download center and grab a couple of great e-books and templates for yourself. Let us know if you go ahead and use any of the ideas listed here, we’d love your feedback.
StumbleUpon Guide to Generate More Traffic for Your Website
StumbleUpon is an effective traffic generator, but is unfortunately underestimated by a lot of people. If used properly, it can send tons of traffic your way, even more so than comparable social networking platforms. How StumbleUpon works is pretty simple. Users search for their interests and are then shown related web pages. If they decide to like a page, it is promoted to a lineup, which means other users interested in the same niche are also shown the same page. Essentially what this means is that there is a high chance that your page, website or blog can go viral if you hit the right buttons. Creating content that gets thumbs-up The basic and most important thing you need to do is create content that will get thumbs-up from users. When you submit a link, it goes into the lineup and is randomly shown to relevant people – this is where your content’s quality comes into play. If the initial impressions get thumbs-up, more and more people are exposed to your content, which significantly increases its chances of going viral. The key here is to create content that focuses on entertaining and informing as opposed to pitching and selling. Consider the mindset of people using StumbleUpon. They go there to be entertained and to discover interesting content. If your page fits the bill, there is no reason it won’t bring traffic. Sharing great content to build connections Like Twitter, StumbleUpon also allows you to follow people, and people to follow you. When you follow someone, their likes, shares and stumbles show up on your lineup and vice versa. The point here is that you need to start sharing great content, even if it’s not something you created. Self-promotion won’t take you far, but sharing content that’s actually entertaining and useful will help you build a following and connect with people. You should also follow others, because it shows your willingness to connect, and people also get notified when someone follows them, increasing the chances of them following you back. Once you have a following, you can directly share your new content with your followers and get tons of traffic. Use Su.pr to share your content on other networks Su.pr is StumbleUpon’s own URL shortener, which allows you to share your content on other social networks and let readers like your page or thumb it up easily. There will be a toolbar on top of any page you share with the URL shortener and it will also have sharing features for other social networks, which means your reach can also expand exponentially. Paid stumbles Even if you’re not getting enough organic activity, you can pay for reaching out to the right kind of people. Paid Discovery on StumbleUpon works much like it does on Facebook, but instead of ads, people are directed to your website. You can go with light, standard or premium packages according to your budget and needs and then create a campaign. Select relevant topics for your content, the target audience for it, your desired priority and budget. Then you can either let StumbleUpon select dates for you or schedule your content. StumbleUpon is a hidden Jewel, mostly underestimated by people who are unaware of its potential for generating traffic. You might think it’s confusing, but once you start seeing results, you’ll find StumbleUpon to be much more effective than Facebook and Twitter.
How to Lower Your Website’s Bounce Rate & Engage Visitors
In simple terms, people who close and exit your site after viewing a single page are actually ‘bouncing off’ it. This is usually a troubling issue, mostly indicating that your website is not engaging users or making them stay. You can check your bounce rate using Google Analytics, and it is typically provided as a percentage (50% etc). The lower this percentage, the more users you are engaging. For instance, a bounce rate of 70% means that 7 out of 10 people are exiting your site after viewing just one page. In order to fix the issue, you need to find out why people are exiting from your website. Two of the main reasons behind a high bounce rate are insufficient or irrelevant information or a very high loading time. If you wish to lower your website’s bounce rate, here are a few things you should take care of. Facilitate your visitors Once of the most frustrating things is to land on a website only to learn that you can’t find what you’re looking for. Even if your site offers search functionality, your users want to know how they can get around, navigate, find specific information and browse through your offerings. All of this is part of the user experience and your site’s navigation plays a big role in this. The rule of thumb is that the simpler the navigation the better. Your site should be cleanly laid out with self-explanatory sections. The point here is to facilitate your visitors and not give them a reason to leave frustrated. Optimize your loading speed Your site’s loading speed is a factor that affects its search engine rankings and user experience. When a site is slow to load, visitors become impatient and are likely to close it down. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver Usually a high bounce rate is a result of click-bait headlines and titles which promise too much but don’t deliver anything. Even if you’re getting people to click on your headlines, the traffic isn’t doing you any good if they exit your page as soon as they land. Not only does this hurt your bounce rate but also your reputation. After a while people are going to tune out your website altogether and not visit it even if you have provided the information they want. The important point here is to deliver what is expected and deliver it good. Using Social Media to garner a following This is more of a long-term approach but is very beneficial in a number of scenarios. Social Media allows you to build a targeted following and create brand awareness within your industry. Once your presence grows, you can increasingly interact with and target people who stand to benefit directly from your content or website. When these people land on your site, they’re much more likely to stick around, reduce your bounce rate and even become returning visitors. The goal here is to ensure that the right kind of people find out about your website and visit it. When people randomly land on your pages, they often end up exiting and increasing your bounce rate. But people who actually need the information you have are going to stay. Show related posts Even if the information and content on your page is relevant and high quality, users are likely to bounce off if you are not showcasing other related posts and pages. The best way to do this is to include a related section either under your posts or on the sidebar so that users can click on other interesting content and stay on your site longer. Work on your web design Appearances matter. When a visitor lands on your website, the first impression he/she gets is from your design. A professional, neat and clean design can hold visitors longer as opposed to a sub-par one. Your products, services and content will only hold people if they are presented properly, in a user-friendly layout and an appealing design. Use pictures and graphics Scanning simple text can get boring pretty quick. Visuals are much more effective in making your visitors stop and read. Use this to your advantage and try to include as much visual content as possible. We have an excellent guide on visual content here, which includes tips and lists the essential tools for creating compelling visual content. If your website checks all these boxes and your bounce rate is still high, you might want to analyse your content and the niche you are in. Some websites, for instance those offering Q&As, are always going to have a high bounce rate because people only come for specific information and leave after they get it. In such cases, you shouldn’t worry too much about them bouncing off.
Creating Landing Pages On WordPress – A Complete Guide for Beginners
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) and is widely used because it’s powerful, flexible and offers a host of features through plugins and themes. There is quite literally very little that you can’t do with WordPress now. It has become much more than a mere blogging platform and the best part is that it’s free (well you’ll have to purchase themes and plugins if you need them). Today we’ll look at how businesses (such as yours) can use WordPress to create effective landing pages. If you aren’t sure why you need to make landing pages, you should read our post here. Let’s get you started. Your options Generally speaking, you have three options when it comes to creating landing pages using WordPress. You can custom code your existing theme (which needs web development knowledge), use a pre-made theme and customize it, or use a plugin to add landing pages to your existing theme If you know web development, you probably wouldn’t be reading this guide. So here we’re going to walk you through the latter two methods – using themes and plugins. How themes and plugins work If you use a smartphone, you can think of themes and plugins as applications. They allow you to modify and customize your existing blog or website on WordPress. There are literally tons of themes and plugins available for purchase and there is no shortage of free ones either. The only thing you need consider before purchasing a theme or plugin is whether they are compatible with your existing setup. A new theme will require you to change a lot of settings and can alter the whole layout of your website. Plugins can also break your existing setup if they are not compatible with your theme or version of WordPress. The best way to go about this is to contact your theme’s developer and try out available demos. Creating landing pages with themes Choosing a theme to create your landing pages on WordPress is a good idea because you won’t have to worry about compatibility and can simply work with one complete package. Moreover, the design elements and the overall layout will remain the same throughout your site, providing uniformity. Let’s take a look at a few themes you can use for your landing pages. FlatBook If you are selling an e-book or a course online you should consider FlatBook, it is custom made for e-books, is responsive (works well on mobile devices), has a drag and drop page builder, works with Contact Form 7 and Mailchimp. Purchase Demo JustLanded JustLanded is an excellent landing page theme for selling a product or a service and building an e-mail list. It has a more business-like appearance and has a host of features including custom forms, pricing tables, newsletter opt-ins, subscription boxes and even the regular blog page and posts. Purchase Demo Petrichor Petrichor s a modern-looking theme perfect to create generic landing pages for web-based startups and applications. It has a built-in newsletter opt-in feature, a contact form and ready-made buttons for App Store and Google Play. Purchase Demo Creating landing pages with plugins Plugins are more convenient than themes because they preserve your existing setup and allow you to create highly customized landing pages. You can create complete pages, add opt-in boxes, integrate contact forms and offer downloads for list building – all using plugins. Let’s take a look at some of the paid and free plugins you can use for your landing pages. Paid Plugins There are a several great paid plugins to create landing pages and optimize them as you go along. Some of these offer complete solutions but can be costly or require subscription. In the end it depends on your needs and the scale of your business. Pt Instant Pt Instant is a powerful WordPress plugin which allows you to create landing pages, squeeze pages and sales pages with relative ease. It allows you to remove all navigation and place attractive call-to-action buttons and tables. Visit Official Site Optimize Press This is one the most popular paid plugins for creating WordPress landing pages. The new version includes a live editor, split testing for each element, countdown timers and templates for sales pages and squeeze pages. If you are considering investing into a plugin, this should be at the top of your consideration list. Visit Official Site SeedProd If your website is in pre-launch and you want to create a landing page that allows you to build an e-mail list, SeedProd is a great choice. It is responsive, works with every WordPress theme and has MailChimp, Aweber & Gravity Forms integration. Visit Official Site Free Plugins Not all good things are paid. There are a couple of great WordPress plugins available for free, allowing you to create your own landing pages or customize your existing pages and add elements to help gather e-mails and place opt-in forms. While you won’t have the same customization options paid plugins provide, you’ll still be able to create pages that get the job done. Parallax Gravity This free landing page builder has a lot of options, including the ability to remove headers and footers, add Contact Form 7 shortcodes, define different sections, set backgrounds for all sections and insert CTA buttons. There is a paid version of the plugin as well but the free one offers plenty of features as well. Download Now Contact Form 7 Contact Form 7 is an amazing free form builder that can be integrated into any theme or page using shortcodes. You can set up your own custom fields and even use it with other plugins to create complete opt-in and download systems. Download Now MailChimp for WordPress If you are using MailChimp to compile your e-mail list you can download the MailChimp for WordPress plugin and create custom signup forms to place on your landing pages. The plugin allows you to use shortcodes which are also compatible with Contact Form 7. Download Now Simple Subscribe Simple Subscribe is an excellent list building plugin for landing pages if you don’t want to use any service like MailChimp. It allows you to set up opt-in forms, collect e-mails and send out newsletters from your own server. There is no need for any other subscription, just download the plugin, install it and you’re ready to go. Download Now Optin Revolution This is an excellent plugin for creating pop-up based opt-in forms for your landing page. You can offer special deals, limited time offers and exclusive access in return for e-mail addresses. There is a paid version of the plugin as well, but the free one should suffice for your purposes. Download Now Landing Pages Builder This plugin allows you to create and manage all your landing pages on a WordPress hosted site. However, only the first two weeks of this plugin are free, after which you will need to pay a monthly fee to use it. So while technically this is not a free plugin, you can use it for two weeks to see whether it works for you before deciding to purchase it or not. Download Now We hope this guide helps you create landing pages for your self-hosted WordPress site. Whether you decide to go with paid themes and plugins or free ones will depend on your requirements. If you are just starting out on a small scale, the free tools listed here can help you set up a temporary system before you can decide whether investing money is feasible. If you decide to use list building services like MailChimp and Aweber, you can seamlessly transfer from free plugins to paid ones and your lists will be carried along as it is. However, if you are using an internal list building mechanism, you will need to export all subscriber information and import it onto new systems. Let us know if any of these tools help you and feel free to share any of your own as well. Good luck with your landing pages!
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