PSG Media Solutions http://www.alloftv.com RI Web Design & Marketing Company Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:51:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 http://www.alloftv.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/cropped-Untitled-2-32x32.png PSG Media Solutions http://www.alloftv.com 32 32 Factors To Consider When Setting a Marketing Budget http://www.alloftv.com/choosing-marketing-budget/ http://www.alloftv.com/choosing-marketing-budget/#respond Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:49:29 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=3406 One of the most common questions asked by Small Business Owners is “What Should My Marketing Budget Be?”, and it can be a hard to answer question. In this post, we will take a look at all of the factors that are involved so you can make an informed decision when deciding what to spend. […]

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One of the most common questions asked by Small Business Owners is “What Should My Marketing Budget Be?”, and it can be a hard to answer question. In this post, we will take a look at all of the factors that are involved so you can make an informed decision when deciding what to spend.

What Are Your Goals?

Before deciding on a marketing budget, it is always best to specify what you would like it to do for you. This is different for every business and is how you can measure your success.

Common Goals:

  • Acquiring X Amount Of Customers
  • Getting an Infinite Amount of Customers, At or Under a Certain Price
  • Selling a Specific Product or Service
  • Increasing Email List Sign Ups

A good way to start once you have decided on your goal is figuring out your worst-case scenario. At what price point do you break even acquiring a new customer? By knowing this, you will have a quick and easy gauge of how much your marketing efforts costing or earning you.

Be aware though, many marketing campaigns aren’t cash flow positive without a bit of experimentation. AdWords, for example, can take a few months to show the best results, particularly if your budget or search volume is low and there is less traffic to experiment with.

Your Industry is a Major Factor In Direct Costs

Of all things that can directly affect a marketing budget, the industry your business is in plays the largest role in deciding how much to spend.

Using Search Advertising as an example, cost per click for a Plumber can be $5, while cost-per-click for Personal Injury Lawyers can be $70 to $300 per click. This is simply due to the fact that AdWords functions as an auction. For a Personal Injury Lawyer, a new client can bring in thousands and is worth bidding higher on clicks to bring in new business.?For 100 clicks, the plumber in this example will pay $500, while the lawyer would pay $7000 on the low end.

All direct costs are relative to the revenue they bring in. While this a $7000 budget expensive at first glance, if the lawyer in the example acquired 10 new customers for that $7000, and each brought in an average of $5000, he would be looking at a total of $50,000. That is a 614% return on investment. The average stock broker sees only around a?10% return on investment in comparison. If the lawyer only saw 2 clients, it still beats that average by a longshot.

Your Products and Business Model Matter, Too

Aside from the direct cost for a single click, one thing that can’t be ignored is the likelihood of a sale in your industry. In some industries, for every 100 clicks, it is not uncommon to see 30 customers. In others, it could be more like 1 per 100 clicks, or even 1 per 1000. This has a lot to do with your customers, what you are selling, and how they are buying.

To show an example of why this is so, imagine your business offers a towing service. Prospective customers who are stuck on the side of the highway aren’t likely to spend an hour comparing rates and reviewing testimonials.

On the flipside, if your business is Construction, someone looking to build a new house will most certainly click many ads, view many testimonials, and in general take more care with their selection.

Lower Marketing Budgets Don’t Always Mean You’re Saving Money

While every situation is different, a great thing to keep in mind is that lowering your marketing budget doesn’t always mean lower costs. Moving from a $1500 budget to a $750 might save some money in the short term, but might cost you a lot of revenue in the long run.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” – Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Automobiles

Even way back in his day, Henry Ford realized that advertising is where the money is. Advertising is an investment in your business, and with digital advertising, a larger budget has more potential to lead to the highest ROI than a smaller one due to the ability to quickly experiment and improve campaigns.

For example, look back to the lawyer at $70 per click. If the?budget was $300 for the month, he would only be eligible for 4 or 5 high quality, well-placed clicks. Or, 10-15 low quality poorly placed clicks.

While any traffic is better than no traffic, the likelihood of sales in any one month are very low at that amount of traffic. On a long enough timeline, positive ROI is possible, but experimenting is nearly impossible or takes a long time.

So in conclusion, it is easy to know how much a large marketing budget costs, but impossible to know what a marketing budget that is too low is truly costing.

Knowing What New Customers Are Worth is a Must.

By knowing what a new customer is worth, you can use that information to decide what to spend and have a gauge of return on investment for your marketing efforts. You’ll know if you are spending a dollar to acquire a two dollar customer, you should be buying as many of those as you can. Imagine that I would sell you a $100 bill for $20, how many would you buy?

Often times, it isn’t as simple as that when calculating what a new customer is worth, though.

Price Isn’t Everything When Acquiring New Customers.

In many industries, the cost of acquiring a customer can be close to or higher than what the customer brings in for revenue in the first transaction. While not a perfect situation, all factors must be considered. Take for example a Maid Service who has a cost per new customer acquisition of $80, and their cleaning service is $45 dollars. While you may be taking a hit on the initial acquisition, customers in their business are likely to get a cleaning weekly or bi-weekly, and stick around for 10 years.

If you knew that the average customer sticks around for at least a year ($2340 revenue), you could comfortably spend much higher than $80 and in the long run still make money. While spending more is never ideal, many business owners only look at the sticker price and get discouraged at the cost of a customer, and go for another form of marketing that is cheaper but may not generate any measurable results. (Ex. Print Ads)

To Put It All Together:

  • Your marketing budget is relative to the size of your business and your goals.
  • The cost of digital marketing can vary greatly from industry to industry
  • Base decisions on costs of new customer and long-term revenue (When appropriate)
  • A lower budget doesn’t always save money, especially in digital marketing

If you have any questions about budget, or are looking for help in figuring out your own, feel free to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

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Data Collection & It’s Value To Small Business http://www.alloftv.com/data-collection-its-value-to-small-business/ http://www.alloftv.com/data-collection-its-value-to-small-business/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 03:35:10 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=3196 Data Collection has gotten a bad rep in the news recently. And, well, it always has – when terms like Data Collection are used, it almost is always in a negative light. One thing that you may not realize, though, is that when data collection is used properly and in an ethical, helpful way – […]

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Data Collection has gotten a bad rep in the news recently. And, well, it always has – when terms like Data Collection are used, it almost is always in a negative light. One thing that you may not realize, though, is that when data collection is used properly and in an ethical, helpful way – almost nobody notices or talks about it!

Data can do some great things, for both customers and businesses.

Data on you as a consumer runs a lot of the things you interact with daily. The GPS app on your phone uses it to estimate your trip time, and Netflix used it to suggest that great new series you binge-watched last weekend. Data, when used properly, is a give and take relationship that benefits all.

Data Helps Avoid The ‘Anyone Who Will Buy’ Approach:

Many small businesses we work with are initially selling to anyone who will make a purchase. This at first glance makes a sense, in business a sale is a sale. However, this strategy doesn’t translate well to marketing – spending your time marketing to just anyone leads to wasteful ad spend. While you may see average or sometimes great results from loose targeting settings, a well dialed in marketing campaign can work like magic.

Using Pay-Per-Click Marketing as an example, if you are paying $2 a click and get 20 clicks, you are looking at a cost of $40. For an effective marketing campaign, the goal is to make those 20 clicks as impactful as possible. We do that by only showing the ads to the most likely customers, and excluding everyone else with specific targeting settings.

How Small Business Can Leverage Data:

You don’t need a marketing department or a large budget to make your business more effective. Your use of data can be as simple as a monthly audit of customer purchases and some web analytics or can be as complex as an all-inclusive customer database that manages every interaction.

For marketing purposes, there are two main sources of data we’re Interested in when working with small businesses.

#1 Demographic and Purchase Behavior Type Data:

As much as you may think you have your customers figured out, expect some surprises here! In our experience, there are always stones left unturned and gold left to be mined. You may find that your largest sales happen on a Tuesday, or that customers who order by phone place orders that are 25% more profitable.

This type of data typically isn’t personally identifiable to any individual and can come from a variety of sources, some as simple as interviewing employees and creating more detailed sales sheets.

Whenever possible, the preferred method is an Analytics platform such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel Data, etc. because, among other things, that information can be used to serve ads to individuals who have visited your site. If you’ve ever visited a website and their ads follow you around the web, this is why.

Regardless of how the data is collected or used, we want to know things like:
  • Average Customer Age
  • What Geographic Location Customers Come From
  • What the Average Purchase Consists Of
  • Average Profit Per Sale
  • Most Popular Items
  • The Channels Which Customers Found You (Social Media, Google, Etc.)

All this data can be scrutinized at a granular level from all different angles to identify areas of improvement in the customer acquisition, sale, and follow up process of a business. And, as discussed, the web analytics data can be used to create really targeted ads.

Collecting and Managing This Type of Data:

In today’s digital world, much of this data collection can be automated. Demographic information is readily available if you have a business page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Business Account, Etc. and can also be collected by installing Google Analytics on your website.

For sales data such as average purchase information, it much depends on the type of business you run. If a lot of sales happen online through E-commerce, it is likely that this data is readily available already on the platform you are using.

For Brick and Mortar retail or service businesses that deal directly with customers, this may present more of a challenge. If you are using inventory management or a Point-of-Sale System such as Stripe or Square, this data is likely readily available also.

Worst case scenario, a simple excel sheet to track sales can provide some insight into the day-to-day activity in your business.

With This Type of Data You Can:

  • Learn More About Your Customer Base As a Whole
  • Craft Ads That Are Tailored to Your Specific Audience
  • Reduce Spending By Only Showing Ads To Those Most Likely to Buy
  • Adjust Your Offering to Be Aligned With Customer Needs

#2 Personal Contact Information

This type of data, as the name implies, is personal. This is an area to tread lightly in. Every locale has its own laws regarding this topic, and it is up to you to do your own due diligence in this area. If you sell items of a sensitive or discrete nature or deal in anything medical related, do some research. Besides simply annoying customers, misusing personal customer information can have legal implications.

With that said, there are many uses to contact information a customer provides you with, such as:

  • Email Marketing
  • Lead Lists for Sales Calls
  • Direct Mailing Campaigns
  • Text Message Marketing
  • Custom Facebook Marketing Audiences

These methods, when used properly and appropriately, can have great response rates and improve the experience your customers have with your business. If you have customers who provided you with their contact info because they are interested in your business and its products, and it would be crazy not to let them know when a major sale is going to happen!

Collecting and Managing This Type of Data:

There are many ways your customers can provide you with their information. You can run ads about your products or services and collect information on those interested, you can also just have an request for info sheet you pass onto each new customer that comes through your store.

More importantly than how it’s collected is how it is managed and used. There are many Customer Relationship Management tools available out there that can help with this. Hubspot even has one that is free. As always, there is also the simple method of compiling an excel sheet.

Whatever system you use, a campaign using this data can be run by knowing three things:

  • What service or product this customer is interested in
  • How they signed up to the list
  • A method of contacting the customer (Email, Phone, Etc.)

With those three things alone, you can run something as simple as a mass email campaign that has the potential to generate a lot of revenue

In Conclusion…

With a little work and some creativity, there are many ways you can expand your business using data already available. The important thing to remember is there are ethical and unethical uses of data – and if you push the boundaries you may alienate your customers. Nobody likes to be constantly be bombarded with sales calls, ads, and direct mail. I

f you have good intentions and put the best interests of your customer at the core of your marketing strategy, your business will greatly benefit!

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5 Mistakes That Kill Small Business Websites http://www.alloftv.com/5-mistakes-kill-small-business-websites/ http://www.alloftv.com/5-mistakes-kill-small-business-websites/#respond Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:55:17 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=3148 Here is a list of common mistakes we see in small business websites – ranging from slight edits to improve your conversion rate (#3!) to big, need to be addressed ASAP kind of problems such as #2. If you’re guilty of any of these, don’t be discouraged. It happens. It is a good idea to […]

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Here is a list of common mistakes we see in small business websites – ranging from slight edits to improve your conversion rate (#3!) to big, need to be addressed ASAP kind of problems such as #2. If you’re guilty of any of these, don’t be discouraged. It happens.

It is a good idea to assess your marketing strategies and customer acquisition periodically, and adjust accordingly.?The web changes at a very fast pace, and unless your job depends on keeping up with it, it’s not hard to fall behind. Without further ado, here are the most common mistakes we see…

#1 Not making important information easy to find…

Have you ever dug around a website looking for one piece of information? Maybe it was a question, or a list of areas a business serves. Whatever it may be, you can sometimes end up going in circles looking for that one crucial piece of information that will allow you to make a buying decision. If you don’t find it, it’s on to the competitor.

I bring this point up first because I have dealt first hand with many businesses?that fall victim to this mistake. When corrected, the results are surprising!

In one medical practice we worked with, a?simple redesign of the information structure of the website (Without changing the content!) led to a nearly 300% increase in bookings the first month. It also led to altogether happier visitors who were less likely to bounce, view more pages, and spend more time on site.

An Analytics Snapshot comparing before and after restructuring information

Not having crucial information easy to find directly hurts business, and it’s a silent killer because you don’t often know how many losses can be attributed to it. Now, we know you would never intentionally make it hard to find certain bits of information, but it happens. Most of the time, the information is there, but a prospective customer may not know enough about your industry or business to know where to look. While this can be frustrating, it’s also a blessing – if they were experts, they might not be looking!

To remedy this it may be worth having a few friends who aren’t as familiar with your business as you are to use your website.

Give each of them a different task, such as finding hours of operation or looking for information on a certain product – essentially, completing the same tasks your customers might.

When completed, you will have some valuable feedback on what your customers may be thinking, or identify ways to make the experience easier and faster. All of this is helpful to customers, and I can assure you that it can lead to an increase in business, as wemeasure the impacts of simple changes like this daily.

#2 – Not having a mobile-friendly website…

Aside from frustrating visitors, not having a mobile-friendly site is also really really bad for SEO. Google can detect whether or not your page is mobile friendly, and this will affect your?rankings. Aside from a direct cut of rankings, Google in 2018 has also taken user experience into deeper consideration. Sites that aren’t mobile friendly will cause many visitors to leave immediately, signaling to Google that for whatever reason, your site wasn’t helpful to the searcher.

Not all sites are deemed user-friendly?by Google, even the ones that display ‘okay’ on mobile could use some work. You can take a?peek?under the hood of the way Google views your site by using their Mobile-Friendly Test.

Having a Mobile Friendly Website Isn’t All About Just Looking Good

Another big factor that affects the mobile viewing experience is page size. It’s best practice to make sure your site is no bigger than it has to be.You should take care to optimize all of the images and elements used on your site for the web. Not only will a large page size affect load time (which affects SEO) it will also use a lot of your visitor’s data if they are on a limited data plan on their mobile device.

#3 Not using a specific Call to Action… (or ‘CTA’)

Sometimes, getting a new customer is as easy as asking for it! A call to action is the action you ask of your visitors. It’s making clear the next step they need to take.? For example, the presence of a simple sentence such as “Have Questions? Call us at 401-555-5555.” can generate more leads.

It sounds silly and simple, I know. But it works.?

To a customer, the difference between choosing you or your competitor might have nothing to do with how amazing your website is, or how high you rank on Google. It may just boil down to who asks for the business first. A lot of this happens without any conscious thought from the viewer, as we all do this all the time. We read something and click the shiny red button because if we know all we need to know, we’re done researching and it’s the next logical step.

Developing a clear call to action for a page is simple. Just put yourself in the shoes of your customer.

What do they need next? Do they need more information, or was the page informative enough to book an appointment or give you a call? When and how you ask is just as important as asking. If any one page doesn’t provide the info they need, it may be too early to directly ask for business, and your call to action would more appropriately lead to the information they need to make a decision.

If you’re unclear about what a CTA is or would like more info, check out this post here.

#4 Not being clear about what you do or how you do it…

Have you ever been to a business website and clicked around only to find out that you have no idea what they actually do? It happens. And more than likely this business thinks they communicate themselves clearly.

The beautiful thing about having a well-built website is it can answer potential questions and qualify your customers, eliminating a lot of work for you and your sales team.?On any given page, it should take any visitor less than 30 seconds to get an idea of what your business offers. In a hard to explain industry, it wouldn’t even be a bad idea to summarize it in the footer or provide a link to an FAQ page.

A simple statement such as “We help customers with X by providing Y.”? may do wonders for helping potential customers understand if you offer a solution or product they are looking for. It is also a good opportunity to integrate the language your customers use for SEO.

#5 Not using analytics to measure traffic…

As a digital marketer, this is the one that gives me nightmares! Not using an analytics platform on your website puts you at a serious disadvantage now and in the future. It will leave you flying blind when putting together and measuring marketing campaigns. It also helps you understand what you are getting for your hard-earned money that may be being spent on advertising.

With Analytics, you can:

  • See where your best traffic is coming from. (The stuff sales are made of!)
  • Redirect your efforts to where the highest return-on-investment is.
  • Compare year over year data to see trends and measure growth
  • See what pages cause a customer to leave

And much, much more. When you start getting into advanced data measuring and reporting, it opens the door for advanced marketing techniques, like Remarketing. (Remarketing is when a customer visits a certain page or product and then gets put on a list to be served ads about it elsewhere on the web)

Believe it or not, setting Analytics up isn’t expensive or hard to do!

Google Analytics, likely the most popular and full-featured analytics platform out there, is 100% free for small businesses to use. You can sign up to analytics?and get a tracking code to place on your website, and then wait for the data to roll in. While you may not understand all of the metrics it is measuring, the important part is that it is begining to collect data. Even if you don’t have any immediate plans to use it, installing it will give you a baseline to measure the results of anything you may do with your website down the road.

Some clients find this form of data collection a bit creepy – but it’s standard digital marketing. In comparison to the amount of data already being collected on your customers, it’s nothing. After all, it’s a new world. These days, even your TV is keeping tabs on you.

Note: If you’re using WordPress, we have a handy short guide on installing Analytics to WordPress. It’s also worth glancing over to get a glimpse of the power of the Google Analytics Platform.

In Conclusion…

If you noticed, all of these points follow a core theme, which is the golden ticket to business success:

Know your customers, and make the buying process as smooth as possible.?

We have helped many businesses find success from this simple principle. In today’s competitive market, you need to be on the same level as companies such as Amazon in Walmart, at least in the usability department. Now, don’t let that scare you into thinking you need an expensive website...?

Some of our most successful clients have very basic websites with well-placed information that far outpace their competitors. It’s all about learning about your customer and anticipating their needs and knowing their buying triggers. Everyone, whether consciously or not, has a mental checklist they run down before making a purchase. The more you understand what is on their list and cater to it, the more like your website will bring in new business!?

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SEO vs PPC for Small Businesses http://www.alloftv.com/seo-vs-ppc-small-businesses/ http://www.alloftv.com/seo-vs-ppc-small-businesses/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 03:53:12 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=2271 The differences between SEO and PPC often come up when we are working with small business clients, and it is helpful to know the pros and cons of each when deciding where to invest in your digital presence. When talking SEO vs PPC, we do not mean that it is necessary to choose one or […]

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The differences between SEO and PPC often come up when we are working with small business clients, and it is helpful to know the pros and cons of each when deciding where to invest in your digital presence.

When talking SEO vs PPC, we do not mean that it is necessary to choose one or the other. Ideally, a well rounded digital marketing strategy should include both. This article aims to illustrate the differences between the two, and help you decide where your focus should be and how your choice will influence your results.

Our definition of SEO:

We define Search Engine Optimization as any action taken with the intent of driving more unpaid and organic traffic to a website or web resource, and also the process of establishing credibility with search engines. And in this day and age, when people talk search engines, they are typically referring to Google.

 

Pros of SEO:

Unlimited Reach Potential
With PPC, you look at your budget, the cost per click, and you can get a good idea of what your max potential will be. However, with SEO, there are no budgets directly limiting the amount of clicks you may receive (But there isn’t anything guaranteeing traffic, either)

Not Directly Paying for Clicks
If SEO is a good fit for your business, it can far outperfom PPC when talking in terms of return-on-investment. For example, the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) for lawyers is typically very high in most markets. With SEO, it may be vastly cheaper to beat the competition organically over time rather than getting into a bidding war on expensive keywords.

Higher Consumer Trust
Good rankings are a status symbol. When you control a good market share organically, it is a hat-tip to customers that typically signifies that you are big in your industry, or are a reputable resource for something they are trying to learn about or buy.

 

Cons of SEO

SEO is Typically Slow
Unfortunately, SEO in general is a relatively slow process. It takes time for Google’s robots to crawl your site, and longer for it’s algorithms to make sense of the changes happening around your site. However, unlike PPC, your efforts won’t instantly dry up when the budget runs out.

SEO Can be Unpredictable
There are many different platforms that allow the fine-tuning of who comes to your site and for what purpose. SEO isn’t exactly like that. You can target highly specific queries, and definitely get what you need accomplished, but we often find sites ranking for random keywords that are entirely unrelated. With PPC, this can be filtered out using negative keywords – but with SEO it isn’t as easy, but it’s not that big of a deal anyways.

 

Our Definition of PPC:

When talking Pay-Per-Click or PPC advertising, we mean any traffic that has been purchased by the click. With PPC, you can essentially buy targeted traffic to reach your website – and in doing so, get it in front of many eyes that it might not have otherwise. Great examples of PPC are Google Adwords, Facebook, and Instagram, all of which have PPC cost models.

 

Pros of PPC:

Fast Results
The beauty of PPC is that you can have a campaign rolling in as little as a day, and instantly be page one for your target terms. While optimizing the campaign can take a bit, you can get the phone ringing almost immediately.

Very Targeted Audience
When done properly, you will only be paying for potential leads that are actively searching for your products or fit a very specific criteria of your ideal customer. This way, you have fine control of how your money is spent.

Very Measurable
Paid campaigns are easy to track. Using conversion tracking and tracking phone numbers, you can learn almost exactly what your acquisition cost is of a new customer and make business and marketing decisions based on that information.

 

Cons of PPC:

You are limited by your budget and cost per click
Unlike SEO, when the budget runs out, your amazing campaign is as useful as a Ferarri without gas! This can be particularly troublesome in high cost-per-click industries. If you have a lower budget, it may only lead to 1 or 2 clicks a day. While these are typically highly qualified clicks, it might not have the boost you expect from a digital marketing campaign. Or, if these are high value and likely to convert consumers, you may do just fine.

Less Trusted by Consumers (Sometimes)
For the longest time, I personally assumed ads were a bad thing and many people I’ve spoken to for various reasons don’t click ads either. It may be a leftover stigma from the shady internet advertising days of the 90’s, who knows. Whatever the case, depending on the group you are targeting, there may be an aversion to ads. On the flip side of things, there are many who don’t even realize that ads are served in search.

You Only Appear Where You Pay For
With SEO, the reason why it is so hard to track is because it develops traffic in many, many places. When done right, your business information and listing will be passed around by many different directories and social networks and will create a snowball effect of potential advertising opportunities. With PPC, you are appearing in a predefined set of locations.

 

Which one is right for you?

The most common question we are asked is whether to invest in PPC or SEO when beginning to develop or enhance the digital presence of a business. If budget allows, both is best. But that isn’t always the case, and that makes it a tough question to answer.

Every business has unique digital marketing needs

In a perfect world, the choice between SEO and PPC would be clear cut. However, there is many factors that affect an educated choice. Things such as cost-per-click, local competition on either channel, and how and where your customers make their buying decisions, all have a great part to play in deciding which avenue is better for you to invest in.

 

Every Business Owner has different goals

Your choice should also be heavily based on what your goals are. When we are approached by a potential client, alot of times it is when there is a lull in the normal course of business. In this case, PPC is the go-to option to get the phone ringing and the orders moving.

If things are going fairly smooth but could be better, SEO is a long term strategy and over time can benefit a business greatly. *But* SEO requires patience, and if the bills are coming in and the customers aren’t, PPC might be the better option.

 

Every Business Model is Different

Your business model and the way your industry operates plays a great role in which choice may be best. To illustrate these differences, we’ll take a look at two very different hypothetical businesses.

 

The Local Pizza Place:
If you run a local pizza place, it is likely you will see the most significant change from a PPC platform such as Google Adwords. The reason for this being that buying a pizza isn’t a life-changing decision, and intense research isn’t a likely factor – so the strategy of targeting long, specific keywords to rank for isn’t as effective. For example, the phrase “12 inch Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizzas in Warwick RI” is easy to rank for, but it’s more likely your customer is searching for “Pizza Places Near Me”

In this case, it’s more likely that an Ad triggered by “Pizza Delivery” with a call button will generate better results for your business much quicker and cheaper than a well thought out SEO strategy. While SEO shouldn’t be ignored, I always recommend taking the low hanging fruit first and use the profits to re-invest in other channels.

 

The Local Real Estate Company:
With Real Estate, a family buying a home will take much more time to research their decision. It is unlikely that the click-to-call button will generate as much immediate results as it would for our pizza example. While PPC is a good option to get the ball rolling, good SEO here can pay dividends later.

The amount of research performed by those in the market for real estate leaves many opportunities for marketing that weren’t possible with our previous example. Targeting Long-Tail Keywords such as “Single Family Homes in City, State” with SEO geared content over time can build a strong, unshakeable digital presence that can be supplemented with PPC later.

 

In Conclusion…

As you can see, there are many factors in which to base your decision on when deciding where to focus your digital marketing efforts. As stated before, we believe a well rounded marketing strategy to include both SEO and PPC – and our goal is to get your business to a point where investing in both is possible.

If you would like to discuss your options, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

 

 

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5 Common SEO Mistakes Made by Small Businesses http://www.alloftv.com/5-common-seo-mistakes/ http://www.alloftv.com/5-common-seo-mistakes/#respond Tue, 06 Jun 2017 16:58:36 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=2230 Let’s face it – you want to be #1 on Google! It can do a lot for your business – and shortcuts to get there can be very tempting, but extremely dangerous to the future of your business and it’s web presence. We’re gonna show you what to avoid. In a world where search engines […]

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Let’s face it – you want to be #1 on Google! It can do a lot for your business – and shortcuts to get there can be very tempting, but extremely dangerous to the future of your business and it’s web presence. We’re gonna show you what to avoid.

In a world where search engines can make you or break you, SEO has become a booming industry. Because of its demand, there is a lot of information on the web and many SEO agencies offering a quick fix. These days it is increasingly hard to distinguish what?will help or hurt your business. In this article, we are going to take a look at the biggest mistakes we see working with small businesses.

 

#1 Thin Content

There have been many studies on the correlation between content length and rankings, and they all seem to reach the general consensus that more is better than less. If you further research the topic, you will see that there are many different suggestions for the ‘ideal’ content length. Some sites suggest 500-700 words, others suggest going over 2000.

What the ideal content length is varies?depending on who you ask, but as a rule of thumb you should be writing all that needs to be said. Don’t pad the pages of your website to hit a word count, or add in unnecessary information that isn’t helpful to your intended audience. While you aren’t likely to get penalized by Google for having little information, it puts you at a serious disadvantage to others competing for the same keywords.

Be aware that this isn’t just for blog content, but for all pages of your website. For any page to rank, it needs substance.

Solution: Wherever possible, be as helpful as you can to your audience and go the extra mile to include more information. For example, instead of simply having a list of services, consider breaking it down and describing each.

 

#2. Over optimizing?for a specific keyword

Many businesses hone in on a certain keyword or set of?keywords and have the desire to be #1 for that specific phrase. This, in turn, leads them to believe that using it many times in their content should put them higher, which isn’t the case.

Google’s search algorithm is extremely complex and is getting smarter every day. It is no longer necessary to use a specific phrase many times on your page to?rank for that term. In fact, it’s actually strongly discouraged. Google calls this “Keyword Stuffing” and it is considered an attempt to manipulate search rankings, which can land you a penalty.

Solution:? There are many different ways to word a search, and even if keyword stuffing worked, it would be impossible to find and predict all the keywords a potential visitor would use. Instead, use keyword research to to understand the intent of searchers looking for your product or service, and build your site around what they would find useful and informative.

 

#3. Duplicate Content

Google’s search algorithm hates duplicate content, and for good reason. Could you imagine trying to research something and every page that you find was the same article, with slightly different wording? For this reason, duplicate content is to be strongly avoided. When writing for your website make sure your content is 100% unique, or you could land a penalty from Google.

Copying content on the web has become so popular, that?content spinning?tools were developed that reword content automatically. Google has been very quick to stay on top of this though, so it is not an effective way to gain rankings or generate new content. We see this often with companies that outsource their copywriting for their website and blog. Often times the content has clearly been through a content spinner, and in some cases, it may be 100% copied.

Duplicate content can also happen with content you own, which will be explained further in the next item.

Solution:?Be sure to vet your copywriters, because you are better off with less content than duplicate content. If you are producing your own, you can still look elsewhere on the web for ideas, but you should be looking for a way to differentiate your article and provide unique value.

 

#4 Doorway Pages

Google defines Doorway Pages?as multiple pages that lead a user to the same place. The idea is that you can have many different pages targeting many different keywords, and is a great idea – in theory.

A good example we often see is a website setup with various location focused pages. Often times these sites will have a page for every state, and in some cases a page for every city. Since the services or products are the same, every page is essentially identical with the exception of the location being changed.

As you can imagine, each page doesn’t provide any unique benefit to a searcher, and is considered duplicate content. Aside from that, doorway pages are also deemed as an attempt at manipulating search results, which Google strongly dislikes.

Solution: You can still have a shot at ranking in many locations, but it needs to be done with unique content. This may be a lot more work, but in the long run, can save you many headaches. It’s also worth considering using Adwords to target locations you would like to become established in.

 

#5. Poor Site Architecture

The way the information on your website is organized has a big effect on your search engine rankings. It also has a big effect on user experience. As I’m sure you have experienced, digging through a website to find a certain page can be frustrating. If users are having trouble navigating your website, it is likely that Google’s robots will, too.

In some cases, certain pages that should be easily accessible can end up unintentionally buried in a site’s architecture. For example, most websites have a yourwebsite.com/about page, and Google and potential visitors likely expect your about page to be located there, too. Putting it in a location such as yourwebsite.com/our-company/about-business-name and not having good internal links to get there, could be harming the way users and robots find that page.

Solution: Take time to organize your site’s pages into groups of similar or related content, and ensure that pages that land in the same groups can easily be jumped between. You can also group sets of pages by visitor intent. If you were a realtor, an example of this would be grouping together pages for those looking to buy a house, and those looking to sell. By ensuring these cross-link, you can greatly enhance user experience and overall architecture.

 

Closing Thoughts:

Contrary to popular belief, the technology behind Google’s search rankings?isn’t a cold-hearted, senseless machine that favors certain websites over others randomly at will. It actually is very compassionate, and was built to care a whole lot about you (When you are the searcher, that is!)

If you notice, all of these common mistakes are penalized because they either harm the user experience, or attempt to manipulate search results. The reason Google has become the dominant search engine is because they are very serious about good user experience and usability. So much so, that if you don’t contribute to their goal of a better search, you will be penalized or removed.

Other examples of how Google ranking factors improve user experience:

  • Site load speed can affect your rankings
  • Popups will soon begin to affect rankings (More on this here)
  • HTTPS is now favored, which gives users better security
  • Potentially hacked sites are blocked

So, you can rest at ease knowing that your local competition isn’t conspiring with Google to make you rank lower – there is method to the madness, and your rankings aren’t set in stone and can be improved.

 

Looking to talk SEO? Feel free to reach out.

Contact us

 

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Google analytics WP installation and basic data slicing http://www.alloftv.com/google-analytics-setup-basics-data-slicing/ http://www.alloftv.com/google-analytics-setup-basics-data-slicing/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 19:53:32 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=1306 Google analytics is great. So great, that even if you do not plan to use it – you should install it just so collects data for the future. So, this post will walk you through the simplest method of setup to get you rolling, and will teach you the basics of using the dashboard, and […]

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Google analytics is great. So great, that even if you do not plan to use it – you should install it just so collects data for the future. So, this post will walk you through the simplest method of setup to get you rolling, and will teach you the basics of using the dashboard, and slicing data.

Things you will need:

  • A self-hosted WordPress Website (You can most likely do this on a .com hosted, but the process likely differs)
  • A Google Account
  • Tracking Code Manager By IntellyWP (Free Plugin)
  • Google Chrome

Signing up for Google Analytics:

Signing up for Google Analytics

Once you have the plugin installed, navigate to analytics.google.com and “Sign Up”

filling-out-google-analytics-form

This will bring you to a page where you can fill out all the relevant information to the property you are creating. If you are doing this for a client with multiple websites, be sure to name the “Account name” properly. Every Google account can have multiple analytics accounts, and each can have properties associated.

Things to be aware of:

  • Whether or not you use www before your domain matters here. Visit your site and put it exactly how it appears in your URL bar.
  • Try and keep this as organized as possible by using top-level names for grouping if you will have 10 or 15 accounts, because it can get messy.

Grabbing?the tracking code:

copying-the-google-analytics-tracking-code

Once you have filled out your information, you will be brought to a screen like the one above. The code I have highlighted is the code that needs to going into your <head> tag. This can be done with a child theme, but using a plugin is simple and will stick if you change themes. It also makes managing multiple tracking codes a breeze.

The best one I have found so far is Tracking Code Manager by IntellyWP. It’s free, and it does nothing other than insert the code into the page so it isn’t a bloated plugin.

Installing the code into Tracking Code Manager:

tracking-code-manager

After clicking “Add New Tracking Code”, you will end up with the screen above. Copy/Paste the tracking code from Google into the dark box.

The default settings are fine, but just incase make sure these are your settings:

  • You want the code inserted before the </head> tag
  • You want to ad this in as a standard tracking code
  • You want this on your entire website
  • *Do not* exclude pages or posts, unless this is intentional. You can have a different analytics property for each if you so choose, but I have never found a need.

Once this is complete, you simply hit save and you are good to go.

Testing the analytics property:

  1. ?Install Google Chrome (If you don’t have it already)
  2. Visit the Chrome Webstore and install the?Tracking Code Assistant
  3. Once installed, enable it and navigate to your page and it will detect the tag and look for errors

The basics of the Google Analytics Dashboard:

analytics-demo-account

To learn the basics, you will need data to work with. Rather than waiting on people to visit your website, there is a little known alternative – Google offers the analytics to their web store as a demo account. You can access this by clicking this link here when signed into your account.

Some things to note:

All the different types of data you can access is to the left

By default, Audience Overview is where you will land

This data is for a specific time set (More on this in a second)

Controlling the data time period:

using-the-date-range

In the top right, you will see a date range. When clicked, you will get the above menu. The dates highlighted in blue is the data you are looking at.

In the top dropdown menu inside the date menu, you can find predefined date ranges such as Today’s Data, Yesterday, Last Week, Etc.

Below that, you can change the beginning and end date selections to change the data.

Also worth noting, below this entire menu is a ticker that lets you change how the line chart displays, so rather than looking at individual days, you can see how you do week to week, or month to month.

Using Comparisons:

using-comparisons

One powerful tool in this menu is the ability to compare data from different periods. By selecting ‘Compare to’ you can compare data in various ways. If you notice, by selecting this, the line chart up top changes to reflect the comparison, as does all the other data on screen.

By selecting ‘Previous Period’ ?in the dropdown, you can compare your selected date range to the same period directly behind it. So, if you have 7 days selected it will compare it to 7 days before that period.

By selecting ‘Previous Year’ you can compare the data to the selected period last year – which is extremely useful for seeing if you have been going in the right direction.

Segmenting Traffic:

adding-a-segment

The next useful tool for slicing data is segmentation. This allows you to slice traffic based on certain metrics you set, and then compare the two as you did with date comparisons. Also, be sure to turn off date comparisons when trying this because all of the data can get messy.

Some ways you can use segmentation:

  • Comparing mobile users to desktop users (Easy)
  • Comparing Facebook traffic to Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc (Slightly harder, but we’ll go over it)
  • Comparing people who buy something, to people who don’t
  • & Much more

Searching for Premade Segments:

search-box-segementing

Analytics provides a number of default segments that will be useful to you. As shown above, you can easily search through these to find what you need.

To get started,

  1. Search for ‘Desktop’ and click the checkbox next to Tablet and Desktop Traffic
  2. Search ‘Mobile’ and also select this traffic
  3. Click apply in the bottom left

Your Analytics Dashboard will now look like this:

segmentation-comparison

Now you can really start digging in to the data. If you notice, next to your segments will be a colored ring. Your Data is now color-coded. Blue for Mobile, Orange for Desktop and Tablet.

What I see in this comparison:

Desktop and Mobile metrics are relatively the same. Aside from there being a larger user base on desktops, we learn that average?session duration, and pages per session is very close. This is a good thing. It tells us that the mobile version is just as functional as the desktop version, and isn’t affecting the viewing experience.

removing-segments

Removing your segments is easy. Just click the little fly down menu next to your segment and hit ‘Remove’

Creating a custom segment:

new-custom-segment

 

Remove the Desktop and Mobile segments, and you will return to ‘All Users’ which is where you started. Now, click the ‘+New Segment’ button.

making-custom-segment-youtube

We’re going to compare Youtube Traffic to Direct Traffic. However, this same process can be done to Facebook vs LinkendIn, Adwords vs Organic, etc.

  1. On the top of the panel, you will see a space to name your segment. Do this, and do it carefully – because you might want to use this segment again.
  2. On the left panel, click ‘Traffic Sources’ to land on the above screen.
  3. Click the text field for ‘Source’, this will give you a dropdown to select all possibilities. Click Youtube.
  4. On the far right, you will see a summary of this segment. Be aware of this and make sure you see some traffic.
  5. On the top bar, click save. This will automatically add the segment.
  6. Repeat these steps for ‘Direct’ traffic, or use the Direct Traffic preset found by searching like you did before.

Comparing Youtube and Direct Traffic:

youtube-direct-comparison

If all the above steps were completed successfully, you should be looking at this data.

Right off the bat, some things I notice are:

There is a lot less direct traffic. However, when compared to youtube, the direct traffic is of higher quality. Users that ended up there by typing in the URL truly wanted to be there, and spent way more time on the site, viewed more pages, and bounced less. There is also more returning visitors in the direct traffic.

Users likely came from a video ad. A big difference?can be expected when comparing to a paid?campaign.

To improve these metrics, I might suggest improving the relevancy of the video to better show the offerings of the store – which leads to more relevant traffic. When paying per click, it is in your best interest to get only those most likely to buy to click. Luckily, in Google’s case, they own YouTube so I highly doubt they bill themselves for their ads. So, any traffic for them is good traffic.

You can do more with segmentation:

There is a lot of parameters accepted. You can make this as complex or simple as you would like, just be sure to name everything properly so you don’t get confused.

Some things I use segmentation for:

Sorting by demographic to see how different ages and genders use a site differently.

Pulling data from different cities when running ad campaigns, to see how users use the site differently. This is handy for spotting trends in a locale. For example, one of my clients rents instruments. If a certain town spikes in traffic on our rentals page, I know that a school in that area started telling parents to rent instruments, and I can adjust the ad budget to favor that town.

Analyzing traffic of engaged users, by only viewing data with a session duration over 5 minutes, to see what is keeping them on site.

And much, much more. Segmentation is an extremely useful tool to rapidly pull data that matters from your analytics.

Putting it all together:

Now that you have the ability to install and segment/slice data, you can begin to learn a bit about the different types of your traffic. While this is by no means everything you can do in Analytics, you can learn quite a bit by simple comparisons in the Audience > Overview tab.

Congrats! You’ve made it through the whole thing!

You are now capable of installing analytics and slicing data. Now, you need to learn all of the available panels in analytics, and how to use what you just learned to make that data meaningful. Stay posted on my blog, and the next thing I will be going over is setting up conversion tracking.

 

 

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Analytics: Gaining Meaningful Data From your Audience – Presented at WordCamp 2016 http://www.alloftv.com/analytics-gaining-meaningful-data-audience/ http://www.alloftv.com/analytics-gaining-meaningful-data-audience/#respond Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:18:09 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=1302 Hello everyone, and thanks for taking the time to checkout my blog. Over the next week this post here will be updated to be an all inclusive guide to using Google Analytics to gain data that is relevant to your business. I have received some very valuable feedback from attendees which will lead to a […]

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Hello everyone, and thanks for taking the time to checkout my blog. Over the next week this post here will be updated to be an all inclusive guide to using Google Analytics to gain data that is relevant to your business. I have received some very valuable feedback from attendees which will lead to a few blog posts exploring a couple related topics.

Some things that were mentioned:

  • There is a lot of data available, which metrics matter most?
  • How long should I be spending on Analytics each month?
  • What are the different ways to install tracking codes?

In the meantime, the link to my slides is available at:

goo.gl/oV9X7V

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Digital Marketing trends to take note of for 2017 http://www.alloftv.com/digital-marketing-2017/ http://www.alloftv.com/digital-marketing-2017/#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:50:45 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=1267 To stay up to date, it’s worth taking time to examine the digital marketing landscape and re-evaluate your priorities at least once a year. With the last quarter of the year upon us, it is time for us to begin thinking about what will be important to businesses in?2017. I’ve compiled a small list (in […]

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To stay up to date, it’s worth taking time to examine the digital marketing landscape and re-evaluate your priorities at least once a year. With the last quarter of the year upon us, it is time for us to begin thinking about what will be important to businesses in?2017.

I’ve compiled a small list (in no particular order) of things that I think will be a big part of marketing for small business owners in the coming year.

Content Marketing is still all the rage (and Adblocking is getting BIG):

Content Marketing Image

Good content never grows old – well, at least the production of it doesn’t. And due to the rise of Adblocking software, it is getting harder and harder to reach customers through traditional pay-per-click advertising, which increases the need for quality content production by your brand.

Some Adblocking stats that you should be aware of:

  • Estimated revenue loss from ad blocking in 2016: 41.4 Billion (Nearly double of 2015’s 21.8!)
  • An estimated 60% of users would turn off Adblocking for quality content
  • Globally, adblocking software has grown 41% year over year
    Stats via B2c

Take away: Don’t cut your PPC budget yet, but definitely consider creating or re-evaluating your content strategy.

Mobile friendly design is not ‘hip’ anymore, it is expected:

Misquamicut Beach Front Inn Mobile Design

Gone are the days when only the coolest brands on the block had mobile friendly websites. Now, everyone does – and those left behind are going to be scratching their heads wondering where their traffic went.

Reasons you should go mobile:

  • It is?an official ranking factor for Google.?Google announced that as of May this year, it will be an even bigger ranking factor going forward.
  • It shows your business stays current. I personally would hesitate to type in financial details into an aging system.
  • Stats show 75% of U.S internet users primarily access the web through a mobile devices

Take away: If you aren’t mobile, get a redesign ASAP. Your customers, Google, and I will all applaud you for it. It scares me that this needs to be said, but I have seen some big brands that aren’t mobile this year. (like Stop & Shop, for example)

Email?marketing may rise again:

Email Marketing Icon

I believe that email marketing will be more effective in 2017 than the last few years past. Now, not to say email marketing ever *died*, it just went the way of content marketing. The most effective email marketing campaigns I have seen deliver value. Lots of value.

2017 will be a great year to bring back the glory of email marketing, but it needs to be done tastefully and carefully.

Why I believe there will a comeback:

Since April ’14 to April ’16, there has been nearly a 20% drop in ‘spam’ email. However, the total amount of emails sent per day is on the rise!

What does this mean? We’re sending and receiving more email, yet less of it is being perceived as spam. In other words, the ball keeps rolling for those crafty enough to adapt and begin to bring more value with their email.

Search engines aren’t going away:

Google on laptop screen

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever important part of marketing your business on the web. While most of Google’s algorithm remains a mystery, one thing is clear – you can’t just cross your fingers and hope to be #1 anymore, it requires careful planning and execution.

Things to be aware of:

  • Voice search has doubled in the last year, and this leads to?highly specific search queries, and a more question like structure to searches for information
  • 72% of marketers surveyed believed relevant content generation is the best SEO technique (Oh hey, there’s that Content Marketing again!)
  • More searches took place this year on mobile devices then desktops (Another reason to be mobile friendly!)

Going forward: I predict the growth of the SEO industry in 2017 to be significant. If you want to keep up, create good content and have a mobile friendly web site – and don’t try anything fancy. It’s becoming harder and harder for tech-savvy individuals to DIY. Google is always cracking down on questionable tactics, and a penalty with the big G can really hurt your business. ?Find a professional.

To wrap it all up:

There are plenty of other things I could have dove into, including artificial intelligence, the AdWords change up that took place this year, etc.

However – this isn’t intended to be an all-tech post. It’s aimed at serving the average small business owner, to which I think it does well. If you have any recommendations for inclusion, feel free to reach out.

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A call to what? Defining a Call to Action http://www.alloftv.com/creating-call-to-action/ http://www.alloftv.com/creating-call-to-action/#respond Sat, 17 Sep 2016 02:48:47 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=1083 What is a call to action or CTA? A call-to-action, or CTA, is an actionable message that instructs a?potential customer to perform an action. This action can be a phone call, a purchase, an email sign up, anything really. CTA’s are also not confined to the web. Print ads, video advertisements, essentially any piece of […]

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What is a call to action or CTA?

A call-to-action, or CTA, is an actionable message that instructs a?potential customer to perform an action. This action can be a phone call, a purchase, an email sign up, anything really. CTA’s are also not confined to the web. Print ads, video advertisements, essentially any piece of information a potential customer interacts with?can (and should) have a call to action, even if it is subtle.

Why a CTA is important to your business:

A call to action drives the customer to complete an action that you specify. People, especially on the internet, are driven by impulse. We live in a “Click here” world. If your offer looks good, and has a clear next step – people will answer the call to action without second thought, almost as a reflex.

If however your offer does not have a call to action, it may not be immediately clear to the viewer what next step to take.

An unclear call to action:

unclear-call-to-action

Without the clear call to action, I am left wondering who AnyTime Fitness is, where they are located, and what the catch is. So, if I am *really* interested, I might search the internet for more information.

The disadvantages of not having a CTA:

  • Losing potential customers
    If it requires extra effort to find information directly related to your offer, you have the potential to be losing customers – even to competition. When searching for your offer, a customer may come across a competitors ad (with a clear CTA) and be gone before you knew they existed.
  • Losing your referral source:?
    At PSG Media Solutions, we often use different URL’s for different campaigns for digital marketing, so we can segment traffic better. If the URL from a billboard campaign is producing 10x the traffic of our video ads, we know where to focus our effort. Without a clear CTA, a user will have to come through another portal – which causes us to lose data that shapes our campaigns.

Example of a?clear call to action:

clear-call-to-action

With this version, the offer is the focus and it is extremely clear what steps to take to complete it. ?It leaves less room for questions, and there is no guesswork involved.

Advantages of using a call to action (in this scenario):

  • It leaves a message to be remembered:
    If your offer is enticing to the customer, “Visit www.anytime.com/free to sign up!” is now on their mental to-do list, rather then researching free gym memberships.
  • We know where the customers come from!
    Since the URL to the campaign can be unique, we can decide whether or not a billboard is producing the results we want, and adjust our budget accordingly.
  • We cut out the potential for competition to steal the sale:?
    Search “Gym Membership” on Google, and you will see a number of ads to competing Gyms. All of which have the potential to sway a potential customer from never reaching your website.

In Closing..

That is the definition a call to action. I thought it would be helpful to define what a CTA is so I have a resource to refer clients to. Should you be interested in the mechanics of creating a call to action for your own purposes, HubSpot has an excellent guide on the best practices for a call to action.

 

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Speeding up WordPress http://www.alloftv.com/speeding-up-wordpress/ http://www.alloftv.com/speeding-up-wordpress/#respond Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:57:00 +0000 http://www.alloftv.com/?p=1026 A fast WordPress site is important. If your site becomes too slow, it will not only impact your users, but it can also slow down your admin panel?—?and who wants that? There are many reasons having a fast WordPress site is beneficial, but for me, the biggest reasons to stay optimized are: Site speed is […]

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A fast WordPress site is important. If your site becomes too slow, it will not only impact your users, but it can also slow down your admin panel?—?and who wants that?

There are many reasons having a fast WordPress site is beneficial, but for me, the biggest reasons to stay optimized are:

  • Site speed is a ranking factor.
    How big of a ranking factor can be debated. But it is undeniably taken into account by Google.
  • Users value their time.
    We’ve all used slow websites. It’s annoying. And unless you are the *only* provider of the information or product on your website, people will go elsewhere. According to this KissMetrics article, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. That’s rough.

5 Simple steps to speeding your WordPress website up:

#1 Optimize your images

The most common problem affecting site speed I usually see is un-optimized images. I have seen even seasoned designers forget to do this.

You would be surprised how much data those large images are taking up, and contributing to your loading time. You would be even more surprised at how much you can slim them down without compromising on quality.

If you are not handy with photoshop, take a look at this article from wpmudevon the top 10 image optimization plugins for WordPress.

#2 Delete unused plugins and themes

Look at your worpress installation like you look at your closet?—?if it doesn’t fit, toss it. The slider plugin you tried out years ago that didn’t fit the bill isn’t doing anyone any good.

I personally have trouble with this, although I’m taking an active approach to fixing the habit. Since I am a web designer, I test any new plugin on my own website before using it with any of my clients, and occasionally worry about losing the plugin after the project if it’s good. I now keep a swap file of plugins and themes locally on my computer.

If you can’t bring yourself to delete them, at least make sure to deactivate any plugins that aren’t in use.

#3 Clean your database every so often

There is a lot going on in your installation you don’t realize, and it’s all collecting dust in your WordPress database.

Some things to be aware of:

  • Revisions for pages:
    The last 5 or 10 might be great to look at, but they will build up indefinitely. Before I was hip to optimization, my homepage had 60 previous revisions to revert to.
  • Unapproved comments and spam:
    Again, I made the mistake of ignoring these when first learning wordpress?—?unaware that they still take up space in the database. Delete them.
  • Drafts:
    You can easily end up making a lot of drafts and forgetting about them. The WP database never forgets. Delete these, too.

There is a plugin called WP-Sweep that can take care of most of this for you, and I recommend marking your calendar to clean up the database quarterly.

#4 Optimize your code

Since WordPress is friendly to all, I aim to be too. I’m going to skip all the technical babble, and give it to you straight: You can slim down what goes on behind the scenes with your sites code.

This can be accomplished hassle free with the plugin in the my next tip.

#5 Use browser caching

Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t reinvent the wheel”? Well my personal motto is “Don’t reload the wheel.”

Browser caching temporarily stores elements of your site on a users device, which are used on more than one page. For example, you only really need to load a logo that appears on every page once.

A plugin I’ve had some success with is W3 Total Cache. It will enable caching, minify your code?—?and many other tweaks that will speed up your site. It’s worth taking the time to learn about.

Next steps:

If you plan on optimizing your site, there is an interesting tool that can help you measure your effort, and find more areas of improvement.

It’s called PageSpeed Insights, and was made by Google. It will test your site on mobile and desktop and can find exactly what is slowing your site down. And it’s very specific, unlike most similar tools. For example, rather than telling you that your site needs optimized images, it will tell you which images need to be optimized and by how much.

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