2022 is just behind the corner and one thing’s clear: more entrepreneurs will set up websites for their businesses. How do we know? Just watch the news. The economy reopened to a new era of business where commerce finally realized the Internet isn’t such a bad place to be. 

The events of 2020 showed that if your business doesn’t have an online presence, it will become vulnerable to unforeseen, unprecedented events that seem unlikely to happen but still did. 

The pandemic also shook the employment landscape. 

While the unemployment rate in the U.S has improved, fewer Americans don’t want to return to work citing preferences for job security, more time with family, and their own work schedule as factors driving “The Great Resignation”. 

More Americans discovered the possibility and viability of running an online business. Whether they are operating an eCommerce business or working as freelancers, having a website greatly improves their chances of success. 

At Mountaintop, we’ve been getting more inquiries about personal websites, business websites, and eCommerce sites. Likewise, several of our clients have expressed interest in a redesign to accommodate changes in consumer behavior heading into 2022. 

It was our interactions with clients and prospects that led us to write this article on web designs in 2022 that will help your business succeed. 

Before the year ends, have a quick read-through of the 15 trends that we believe will influence website performance in 2022. Take note that the first 2 items on the list have to do with site functionality.

1. Speed, Speed, and More Speed

Web design isn’t just about its aesthetic appeal. Site functionality is an important component of web design because it influences User Experience. If your website looks good but doesn’t “feel good” to its user, he will click out. 

40% of website visitors will abandon their search if it takes more than 4 seconds for the web page to load. In fact, nearly 50% of marketers would gladly remove videos, animation features, and high-resolution images if it would improve page loading time. 

One of the most important rules of web design is to design for its user. People will have different perceptions of beauty and aesthetics but everyone wants a fast-loading website.

2. Better Website Security

As more people go online, the risk of being a victim of cyber-crime increases because there are more opportunities for these criminals to make money. Trust us when we say that consumers are wary of exploring websites that don’t have SSL certificates. 

In fact, when it comes to ensuring the security of your website, the first place to look into is your web hosting provider

The web host manages the servers that connect your website to the Internet. All of your assets will be stored on these servers. You have to be 100% confident that the web host provider you choose takes security seriously. Inadequate security protocols could open up your assets to the risk of being hacked and stolen by cybercriminals. 

A study by Cybercrime Ventures revealed that cybercrime will grow by an average of 15% annually and will cost global businesses US$10.5 trillion in 2025. It doesn’t cost much to install and/or upgrade your website’s security protocols. To make life easier for you, have the experts manage site security for you while you sleep. 

Many of our clients have signed up for our Extreme WordPress Care Plans. Our packages include regular backup of your site’s assets; 24/7 monitoring, auditing, and updating of installed programs and plugins, and conducting repairs and maintenance whenever the need arises.

Signing up for an Extreme WordPress Care plan is a small investment that pays out huge dividends for your business. Losing valuable assets to cyber-criminals including your customers’ personal information can shut down your business for good. 

3. Greater Use of Elements That Express Fun, Positive Vibes, and Optimism

After the challenges and difficulties imposed by the pandemic, more people want to experience more positivity and optimism in the world – and that includes the Internet.

In business, you don’t have to wear a suit, tie, pressed slacks, and wingtips all the time. There are occasions when customers and clients actively engage more when you’re wearing a simple dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, casual pants, and loafers. 

The same can be said about a website. A homepage that looks too formal or serious can be perceived as “unwelcome”, “dark”, and “boring”. Given the uncertainty of the times, it would be a good idea to perk up your website with the use of elements that express fun, positive vibes, and optimism. 

And it’s not hard to do!

  • Greet your site visitors with an image of a smiling face.
  • Add funky-looking, offbeat shapes or accent the design with sassy, unconventional colors. 
  • Embed animation that can be seen as charming, winsome, and adorable. 

Loosen up a bit and use design elements that make your website visitors feel good and happy.

4. Black and White Themes

The use of Black and White themes is almost the default on every annual article about website design trends. Black and white themes are simple, yet convey elegance and a sense of sophistication.

As web designers, our creative sensibilities are challenged and pushed to the boundaries because we cannot rely on color as an aesthetic element. We have to create designs that greatly contrast light and darkness – and the end result is always awesome!

Black and white themes also effectively define space, boundaries, and add substance to the design. There’s a lot of beauty in simplicity. You can’t go wrong with black and white themes.

5. Interactive Features

An interactive design keeps visitors more engaged on your website. The better the level of engagement the lower the bounce rate. In line with the preference for designs that express more fun and positivity, web designers have added features intended to charm and delight the audience. 

A good example would be the use of interactive fonts. For sure, many of our readers have come across interactive fonts where the letters move whenever they hover the mouse over them. 

The great thing about interactive fonts is that this feature can be created with a no-code platform. This means that the application software can be developed without the need for traditional programming. A simple graphical user interface and configuration will do.

6. Offset Elements

An offset element is a technique in web design where one component partially goes to the next section and overlaps. For web designers, incorporating offset elements allows us to expand the boundaries of creativity and explore the possibilities. 

Parallax drawing which will be discussed later is a variation of using offset elements. Another offset element technique is called Variable Shadow Depths. 

With the use of Variable Shadow Depths, the web designer manipulates certain components of light in order to add more substance and intensity to the image. Offset elements is another approach to giving web design a 3D feel.

7. Writing Inclusive Copy For An Inclusive Website

Publishing optimized content is great but this isn’t enough for your audience. Using programs that find the best keywords and test the quality of links is a smart idea but adding an intuitive element will take your content to the next level.

Writing inclusive copy means creating content that doesn’t leave anyone out. To do this requires the content writers to go beyond the usual practice of identifying demographics for the Audience Profile. 

They have to study and develop a keen understanding of culture, identity, educational attainment, and most importantly, the needs of people with disabilities. 

Making your website accessible to people with disabilities is important for 2022 in view of the provisions of the American Disabilities Act of 2010. If your website isn’t accessible to disabled people, you could face lawsuits and penalties. 

You can read up more on how to make your website ADA compliant in our article “4 Ways To Check Website Accessibility”. 

Website.Protection.CustomersSafe

8. Simplified, One-Page Websites

One-page websites are becoming more popular because it makes exploration simpler, easier, and faster. 

Visitors who land on one-page websites don’t have to worry about finding the menu bar. All they have to do is to scroll down and they’ll find all of the information they need. 

Keep in mind that one-page websites work best when the purpose of the site isn’t complex. For example, a one-page website would be ideal for a personal blog but not for a business website with an e-commerce portal. 

9. The Return of Art Deco

Art Deco is a form of art that was popular in the 1920s. The style is defined as an approach that combines the elements of the natural world with the innovations of the industrial age. 

Think of the fashion, sense of style, and the prevailing decorations featured in “ The Great Gatsby” – the use of grey, black, white colors; emphasis on symmetry and balance, and simplicity. 

You can see a good number of home page designs that showcase an image seemingly embossed with repetitive patterns that are symmetrical with each other. 

Art Deco has become vogue once again because it presents a design that’s simple yet, elegant and sophisticated at the same time. 

10. The Use of Larger and More Daring Font Styles

The use of larger and more daring font styles will be one of the most popular trends in web design in 2022 and beyond. Why? 

First, they grab attention. While the font style will matter, the web designer can be more creative and step out of his comfort zone by experimenting with unconventional and daring font styles such as serifs.

Second, a larger and more daring font style can complement or augment web design. Your web copy becomes more than just information. It contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the website.

Third, the right font style and size can get your message across immediately. Your copy will be set up nicely even on small screen sizes such as for smartphones. The visitor will not have a hard time reading your content and will have a better experience on your website. 

11. Parallax Drawing  

Parallax drawing is a web design technique whereby the background moves slower than the foreground and produces a 3D-like impression. Some have described Parallax as a web design approach that creates an optical illusion. 

The idea behind Parallax is based on the observation that the naked eye views objects closer to us as larger while those in the background appear to be active or moving. 

Web designers use Parallax in order to add depth and dynamism to the website. The result is a more enthralling browsing experience that greatly increases audience engagement. 

11. Gender-neutral Design

Web designers who are women and create websites for products catered to women such as beauty products tend to use elements that are associated with femininity. 

Similarly, web designers who are men and create websites for products catered to men such as power tools tend to use elements that are associated with masculinity.

The reality is men spend money on skincare and hair products. Women buy power tools and don’t mind doing home repair work. The times haven’t really changed. It’s just that we’ve been brainwashed to think that preferences are limited by gender. 

Pink is no longer associated by consumers with feminine products as images of fire and wolves are not just for products that are targeted at men. It comes down to which colors and images can deliver the message or the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) accurately.

While marketers still refer to the Color Wheel, notions about which color or image appeals more to which gender is no longer practiced. In 2022, design won’t be limited to gender-associated elements. The approach would be to design the website as gender-neutral. 

13. Imageless Homepages

It used to be the norm that the homepage must contain an image. This is because the homepage is the primary landing page. If someone clicks on your URL, he will be redirected to the homepage. 

Given that images elicit a reaction faster than text, it was almost a default decision to have an image embedded in the homepage. 

Not anymore. 

Creativity doesn’t want to be contained. There aren’t any hard rules on how a homepage should look to be effective. 

As we mentioned in #5, interactive features can greatly enhance User Experience. Likewise in #10, the use of larger and more daring font styles can be equally effective. Instead of the usual high-resolution images, we can use colorful graphics, especially artwork that’s been customized for your website.

14. Split-Screen Design

Websites are incorporating split-screen designs to create more contrast between the elements. It’s a great way to break up design patterns and make them look more exciting and dynamic. 

If you want the visitor to focus on a specific element of the design – such as an image, a color, or text – using the split-screen technique will do the trick. It’s an effective way of isolating a component of the design to create more interest. 

 15. Incorporating Large Footers

A footer is a design element that functions as a navigation tool for website visitors. They’ll show you where to fill out contact forms, find new products and services, or special offers. 

Web designers also view a footer as a safety net – a last-second attempt to get the visitor interested in case he wasn’t enticed by the contents of the previous sections. 

Thus, incorporating large footers in design can improve optimization and User Experience by making it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for. Also, it can give your search rankings a boost by encouraging visitors to stay longer on your website. 

Conclusion

The last few years have been hard on everyone including business owners. It’s no surprise that trends in website design for 2022 have shifted toward embracing elements that highlight fun, optimism, and excitement. 

The shift in design preferences reflects the mindset of consumers who desire brighter and better days ahead after a tumultuous 2020 and an unpredictable 2021. 

Don’t get complacent about your current website design. It may not resonate with the generation of consumers who are getting ready for 2022. Give us a call and we’ll give you a free audit on your site. 

And if you found this article helpful, feel free to share it with someone who’s planning to put up his/her own website.

If you want to put up a website for your business, get it done right by hiring the best web development agency. Developing a website isn’t an expense. It’s an investment that can pay out dividends attractively and consistently for your business if it does what it’s supposed to do. 

And building a website doesn’t have to be expensive. There are web development agencies that can design a website to fit your budget without compromising on its functionality, effectiveness, and aesthetics. 

Do it right, do it once by trusting your website with the best web development agency for your business. We’re here to tell you how.

Why Do You Need A Website For Your Business?

A website allows you to capitalize on opportunities that are available on the Internet every day. You’re no longer limited by 4 walls, geographic location, and hours of operation. Your business can be accessed 24/7 by anyone from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection. 

Think about it. Potential customers from different continents are exploring your website to learn more about your business and if you could be a supplier or strategic partner – while you’re sleeping. 

If you have a fully-functioning, secure, and professionally-managed website, customer inquiries could be responded to within hours via chat or email. Prospective clients could be viewing your videos or reading your content. Buyers could be providing you with their email addresses and contact information. 

The website becomes a machine that constantly generates leads, enhances your online presence, and builds your business brand. 

A Poorly Designed Website Is Bad For Business!

On the flip side, a website that isn’t accessible to mobile devices frequently encounters technical issues and doesn’t assure visitors of data protection and safety will do the opposite for your business. 

Your brand will be tarnished. Your website won’t appear on the first page of the search results – probably not even on the second or third page. 

Prospective customers might view the poorly designed website as a representative of how you run your business – inefficient, irresponsible, inept, and inadequately managed.

How To Qualify The Best Web Development Agency For Your Business

Problems on the website happen because entrepreneurs don’t spend time qualifying the web development agencies that offer their services. They search the Internet or ask friends for recommendations and once they have the contact numbers, they’ll reach out to them and ask for a proposal. 

What are the duties and responsibilities of a web development agency? In addition to designing a website, running tests, and working with graphic designers, a web development agency performs the following tasks:

  • Run frequent website audits to look for potential technical issues, unused and outdated plugins, and other pain points. 
  • Perform maintenance work on the site. 
  • Conduct repairs if the site goes down.
  • Protect the website from cyber-attacks by equipping it with the latest security software and instituting safety procedures. 

Thus, what you are looking for is a web development agency that can be your partner in running the business by keeping your website in excellent working condition every day. 

We’re here to tell you that the qualifying process should start even before you request a proposal. Finding the right web development agency is important because the website is an asset that will be instrumental in growing your business. 

1. Conduct Due Diligence

Like other businesses that are operating in an industry with high growth prospects, the technology industry is teeming with fly-by-night web development agencies that are out to make a quick buck out of their clients. 

Even if the recommendations come from friends and associates, always conduct diligence on the web development agencies before reaching out to them.

  • Run a Google Search – Just type the name of the agency on the query box and run a Google search. You might be surprised at what turns up! 
  • Check Out Their Websites – The proof of the web developer is on their website. Click their URL and assess your experience.
  • Did their website load fast – under 3 seconds? 
  • Are the icons working properly? 
  • Can you access all of the pages without issue? 
  • Does the website set up properly on your smartphone? 
  • Does the website have SSL certificates? 
  • How do the visuals appeal to you? 
  • Is the content well-written? 
  • Are there errors in grammar and spelling? 
  • Are there client testimonials?
  • Visit Their Social Media Pages – Go to the agency’s social media pages. Find out how many followers it has. Read the posts and assess the level of engagement.

Read the comments. Are there complaints about the quality of work? How did the agency respond to these complaints? Was the response time fast? 

  • Ask Around – Ask people who have been in the industry for a long time about the agencies that were recommended to you. Find out if there are red flags and get their opinions if you should do business with them.

2. Find Out If The Agency Is A Good Fit For You

A partner is someone you can trust in the long haul. Like all relationships, you must be compatible with the web development agency. A better way to put it is that the agency must be a good fit for you. 

The level of fit can be assessed during your meeting by asking questions that uncover the Why, the What, the How, and the Who.

Tip: If the owner of the web development agency is the person who meets with you – THAT is a very good sign of fit! If an agency values you NOW as a prospect that the owner took the time to meet with you, it’s a good bet, the agency will value you more as a client.

  • The “Why” – Ask why the owner/founder decided to open a web development business. Find out if his motivations are similar to yours when you started your business.
  • The “What” – Ask for examples of their work and for client referrals. If the agency gives you a list of clients, reach out to them and ask about their experiences working with the agency.
  • The “How” – Learn more about the agency’s approach to web design and development Find out if they offer dedicated web hosting services and how often they run website backups. 
  • The “Who” – It’s okay to get a bit personal. Divert the business talk to more personal matters. Talk about family. Ask the owner what he does in his spare time. Exchange beliefs and practices. Share common experiences. 

Uncovering the “Who” helps you figure out the best way to work with the agency.

WebsiteSecurity.Protection.Monitoring

3. Do They Understand Your Business? 

Not all websites are the same. There is a type of website for every business. Before the web development agency can design a website, it must have a good understanding of your business and what you expect it to do for you. 

  • What kind of website do you need? 

A responsible web development agency will conduct research about your business. You’ll know off the bat if the agency you’re dealing with is dependable if, during your first meeting, the representatives present you with detailed research on your industry. 

They’ll ask you the right questions and seek clarification of your goals and objectives. 

If you want to use the website to sell products, the agency can recommend an e-commerce site or a basic business website with a built-in e-commerce portal. For brand-building purposes, the agency might recommend including a blog page plus social sharing icons. 

  • How should it perform? 

A website must be functional and user-friendly. Ask the web design agency what the criteria for a top-performing website are. The criteria should include the following:

  • Mobile-responsive
  • Fast loading
  • Accessible
  • Fully-functioning buttons for sharing
  • Strong CTA
  • How will it look? 

Yes, people are attracted to beautiful websites but aesthetics should never come at the expense of functionality. 

The web development agency can present to you a design that’s worthy of the Louvre in Paris, France but if visitors can’t make heads or tails of where to go after the homepage, they’ll click out of your website.

  • What would its features be? 

The features of your website will depend on what you need and what your goals and objectives are. 

Going back to our example, if you need an e-commerce site to sell your supplement line, the web development agency might recommend having a zoom-in feature so that visitors can closely read the ingredients on the label.

If you’re coming up with a website for your resort business, the agency might recommend having a 360-degree feature on a standard room, the facilities, and other amenities. 

4. Negotiating the Cost of the Website  

One of the most commonly cited reasons by business owners as to why they don’t have a website is its cost. Many believe that a website costs a lot of money and that the monthly cost of maintaining it is unsustainable. 

The cost of a website would depend on the type of website you need. A basic business or personal website shouldn’t cost more than US$500 while an eCommerce website can cost anywhere from US$5,000 (up to 100 products) to US$55,000 (1,000 products_. 

An informational business website can cost you from US$2,000 to US$9,000 depending on the number of pages. 

Ask the following questions when you’re negotiating the cost of the website:

  • How many mockups? 
  • Is the Agency open to a trial/test period of 3-4 weeks? 
  • How much will the monthly management fee cost?

When you receive a quotation from the web development agency, keep in mind 2 things.

One is that the quotation is probably on the high side as they are expecting you to negotiate a lower price. Two, everything is negotiable – so negotiate!

5. How Does the Agency View the Relationship? 

There are some web development agencies that won’t say anything until they’re asked. Since this is your first website, you’re unaware that unless you say so, the web development agency will own your website. 

100% make sure YOU own the website when it’s been turned over to you. If the worst-case scenario happens and you lose ownership of the website, its contents, design, and other assets could be used for another website.

A web development agency that doesn’t disclose the final ownership of the site cannot be trusted. Getting full ownership of the website must be established before work can start. 

It’s important to cover the engagement with a Confidentiality Agreement and it must be stated in the Memorandum of Agreement that you own the website after it’s been turned over to you.

Bonus Section: Top 10 Questions To Ask A Web Development Company

  1. What are the stages of your web development process?
  2. How long will it take to complete the website and have it turned over to us?
  3. How would I be involved in the development of my website?
  4. Will you dedicate a day in the week to update us on the developments of our website?
  5. How many pages are covered by your proposed budget?
  6. Can you give us examples of the websites you’ve designed and developed?
  7. Can we talk to your clients?
  8. What is covered by your monthly management fee? 
  9. Will you accommodate us if we need consultation after you’ve turned over the site?
  10.  We want to own the website and its assets. Are you agreeable to this? 

Conclusion

Hiring a web development agency is similar to hiring an employee for your business. 

You want to hire the best talent in the market; the one who can help you grow your business. This is the employee who dutifully performs his functions and consistently delivers the desired results. 

To find the best talent, your job applicants go through a process that may look something like this:

  • Resumes go through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
  • Recruiter reviews the resume.
  • Candidates are scheduled for the preliminary interview.
  • Candidates go through a series of tests – Basic office skills, group work, and Psychological/Behavioral testing. 
  • Candidates go through a final interview. 
  • References and work documents are reviewed and verified. 
  • Salary and benefits are discussed and negotiated. 
  • Candidates are given contracts and hired.

The hiring process might seem tedious and won’t guarantee that you’ll get the best employees for your business. But the risks of hiring bad eggs for your business are much less compared to not having a system and just signing up whoever comes along. 

And when it comes to a website – a tool that keeps your business running 24/7 – those are risks that you simply do not want to take. 

We wouldn’t be writing this article if we didn’t know the topic by heart. We’ve heard the horror stories from our clients and we’re grateful for the opportunities they gave to us to turn their businesses around.

If you’re thinking about having a website for your business or having your current one improved upon, give us a call or drop us an email. 

We design WordPress websites for our clients and several have signed up for our WordPress Extreme Care packages. Each package has been customized to meet the business needs and budget of our clients. 

Once you avail of our Extreme WordPress Care package, you can sleep comfortably every night knowing that your website is safe, secure, and protected by trusted people. Let’s have a conversation over coffee or a chat over the phone to get started. 

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with a friend or associate who wants a website for their business. 

How do you know if your dinner party was a success? If you see your guests engaging with one another; making new connections, getting involved in lively banter, and if you notice more people staying than heading home, it’s safe to say you hosted a successful dinner party. 

The same can be said for your social media marketing strategy. If your posts aren’t generating engagement with your followers, increasing the number of likes, shares, or followers, and if more people are leaving your page than staying, it’s safe to say your social media marketing hasn’t been successful.

What Exactly Does Social Media Engagement Mean?

Social media engagement is no different from the example we made about hosting a dinner party. We can define it as the level of activity in your social media community that’s measurable by the number of likes, shares, and comments. 

While some marketers validate the success of their social media strategy by the increase in the number of followers, the truth is, a better measure of success is the degree of communication or interaction between your business and its followers. 

The ideal outcome from your social media marketing strategy is having an engaged audience, not a passive one. 

An engaged audience is composed of people who are really interested in your message. They are actively communicating with you and others because they want to learn more about or share their opinions and ideas with others in the community. 

Thus, when you’re trying to build the online presence of your business, you must always focus on the quality of your followers, not just the quantity.

What Are The Benefits Of Increased Social Media Engagement?

If your posts aren’t engaging with your audience, it means your audience is engaging with your competitors. And you don’t want that because you’re losing opportunities to grow your business. 

For this reason, we always recommend to our clients that the social media strategy should prioritize increasing the level of engagement. 

What other benefits should you expect to get by increasing social media engagement?

  1. Build Your Brand By Humanizing Your Business – Chatbots are great but human chat agents can provide one thing that the bots can’t – feedback. Communicating directly with your customers humanizes your business because it shows that you care about their concerns and opinions. 
  1. Foster Strong and Sustainable Relationships – Customers prefer to patronize a brand they can identify with. Through strong engagement, customers will come to realize that your brand shares the same ideals, values, and beliefs as they do.
  1. Enhance Customer Support Services – Even the most irate customer will appreciate the effort you put to try and resolve his problem in a social media thread or private chat. 
  1. More Cost-effective Than Other Forms of Marketing – Creating a post that generates a ton of engagement through shares, likes, and comments will widen your reach and enhance your brand faster and more effectively than printing and handing out 5,000 flyers to random people. 
  1. Present Social Proof of Your Business – What would be your perception of a business if you visit its social media page and see a lot of followers and notice that the posts are constantly liked, shared, and lined with comments? You’d be more encouraged to patronize the brand, right? 

The same can be said about your business if you improve its level of social media engagement.

3 Key Steps To Developing An Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy 

Before we go through our tips on how to increase social media engagement, let’s make sure your social media strategy is moving in the right direction.

Step 1 – Review Your Social Media Numbers

In order to establish your goals, review your current social media marketing numbers and assess its performance thus far. 

  • How many followers do you have?
  • What is your Audience Reach?
  • What is your Engagement Level?
  • Which posts generated the most engagement?
  • Which posts didn’t generate engagement?
  • Did your posts drive traffic to your website? 

Once you have the social media numbers summarized, it will be easier to set your targets.

Step 2 – Get To Know Your Audience

If you’re involved in the fitness industry and 70% of your audience are vegans, why would you keep posting about hamburgers and steaks? 

Get to know your audience so that your content writing strategy will have a direction:

  • Which types of content do they like to read?
  • Do they prefer videos, images, or text content?
  • Where do they come from?
  • What device do they use to access social media?
  • What issues and concerns do they want to address? 
  • What are the demographics?

Create an Audience Profile and use this to plan out your content marketing strategy. 

Step 3 – Plan Your Content 

Now that you’ve identified your goals and have an idea of who your audience is, it’s time to plan your content strategy.

The type and quality of content are factors that drive engagement. Your content marketing toolbox should consist of a variety of processes and tactics and there are many to choose from:

  • Blogs
  • Surveys
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Curated Content
  • GIFs
  • Stories
  • A Day in the Life
  • Contests and Giveaways

The next step is knowing how to create content that will encourage greater engagement from your audience.

10 Tips On How To Increase Social Media Engagement

Setting up social media accounts for your business is a great way to get your products and services noticed by your target audience. 

However, posting for the sake of posting on social media won’t get you the desired results. This has become a harsh reality for many entrepreneurs who are using social media to promote their businesses.

They thought “My posts on my personal social media page are always getting likes, shares, and comments. Why can’t I get the same results for my business page?”

That’s because your community of followers on your social media and business pages is different. Your purpose is also different. 

On your personal page, you like to update your current status. On your business page, you’re trying to get your followers to patronize your business. 

Therefore, the approaches to increasing social media engagement in more likes, shares, and followers and most importantly, creating more engaged followers are different. 

1. Join Relevant Special Interest Groups

Look at your list of Facebook friends. We’re sure that you can categorize them into different groups based on their interests. For example, you might be able to arrange your friends into the following interest groups:

  • Fitness enthusiasts
  • Coffee drinkers
  • Guitar players
  • Chefs at home
  • Comic book collectors

So if you post about the new HIIT workout you tried this morning, your friends from the fitness enthusiasts interest group will actively engage in your content. The same can be said for your coffee drinking friends if you share your experience at the new Dutch coffee bar that opened near your place.

You can expect higher engagement levels if you join interest groups that are relevant to your business. 

For example, if you’re in the Software Development business that designs programs and apps for recruitment, joining the following interest groups might benefit you:

  • Human Resources 
  • Manpower Agencies
  • Small Business
  • Start-Ups
  • Hotel and Restaurant 
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales 

The key is to engage with the group members first and win their trust. Don’t share your content right away. Join active discussions and contribute ideas. 

The more active you participate in the discussions, the greater the interest your fellow members might have in your business. You might not be aware of it, but a few co-members could be checking your business page and reading its contents.

2. Repost Content from Followers

Once you’ve been accepted into an interest group, a good strategy would be to share a fellow member’s content. You can repost it on your business page and/or personal page. 

Your fellow group members will appreciate it. Trust us when we say, they will reciprocate in kind in the future.

Do the same thing with your followers. If someone posts a reference on a thread on your business page, repost it and give credit to the follower who contributed the link. 

If the link is from a follower’s business page and the reference is relevant and useful – share and repost it. 

Actively engaging with your followers will make them feel good and appreciated. It will encourage them to engage more in your social media posts. 

3. Get Influencers Onboard

Getting an influence onboard can be costly but he/she can get your content and business noticed right away. A person becomes an influencer when he/she has amassed an impressive number of followers who trust his/her opinions. 

According to the 2020 Report by Influencer Marketing Hub, you can earn US$18 in media value for every US$1 spent on an influencer. 

By getting an influencer to share your content, you are leveraging his/her massive base of followers – but this comes at a price. The influencer knows his/her follower base is a cash cow and he/she will milk you for its use. 

Another option is to get an influencer who isn’t as well-known or established in your industry but has a good enough number of followers to warrant a marketing arrangement. 

Try to negotiate a win-win arrangement. For example, offer commission-based payouts or free items in exchange for the influencer sharing your content or mentioning your business in his/her social media channels. 

4. Personalize Your Responses

If your post landed one comment, personalize your response even if the comment posted by your follower is negative. 

All comments are assets. If a follower says something unfavorable about your content, don’t get triggered and exchange fire. Take a deep breath, compose your thoughts, and remain professional.

A negative comment still shows the person took the time to share his opinion on your post. For that alone, he should be commended. Likewise, the comment opens the door for engagement. 

Let’s assume that you’re in the business of selling supplements and you posted content on your social media about the health benefits of creatine. Your lead-in to the post read:

“Creatine is a substance that our body develops naturally but not enough to generate the same health benefits if you were to take it in supplement form.”

A follower named Daniel posts the following comment:

“Creatine is overrated. Everyone knows it can lead to hair loss, kidney and organ failure because it draws water to your muscles. You should be more responsible about what you post and include the cons, not just the pros. Value our health over your profit.”

Respond to Daniel in this manner:

“Thank you for your comment, Daniel! We appreciate and trust that we do value the health of our customers. The fact is the study on hair loss was only conducted by one research group that could not validate the result. 

“Regarding the consequences of creatine, as with all supplements, it’s very important to follow directions on use correctly. Even Vitamin C can have health consequences if taken irresponsibly. 

“You can refer to our previous blogs on creatine that we always advise our readers to drink plenty of water after taking it. If you have other questions, Daniel, please feel free to reach out.” 

5. Generate Conversation

Sometimes all you need to increase social media engagement is to generate conversation by posting a question to your community. 

For example, you’re in the business of selling California wines, you can generate a discussion in your community by posting this question:

“Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon with Filet Mignon is an Excellent Wine and Steak Pairing! How Do You Pair Your Wine with Your Steak?”

You can be assured that your followers who are wine aficionados would be chomping at the bit to share their ideas with you! 

Try to add a high-resolution image of your subject matter, in this case of the Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon and Filet Mignon to captivate your readers.

6. Add Hashtags

Hashtags are keywords that are used by people to search for a particular topic. You’ve probably seen your friends add hashtags to their posts. The keywords are preceded by the symbol “#” and the words are strung together. 

Sometimes the words are differentiated by a capitalized letter. For example, #MakeAWish or #ChillOutTime. 

The important thing to remember is that the hashtag must be relevant to your topic. This way, anybody who wants to search for content that’s related to your post can just do a search via hashtag.

Finally, don’t go crazy with hashtags. No doubt you’ve come across posts that have 10 hashtags. That’s too much! The message might get misunderstood. Worse, your followers might get annoyed. 

7. Use Images and Videos

Creating posts with videos or images has been proven effective in driving social media engagement simply because these forms of content can deliver the message faster and clearer than text-based content. 

Here are 4 tips on how to choose videos or images for social media posting:

  • The video or image has to be relevant to your products and services so that it will resonate with your target audience. 
  • For social media channels that can deliver content in various formats such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, videos that are no more than 2 minutes long deliver the best results in increasing engagement. 
  • For social media channels that are primarily for video streaming such as YouTube, you’ll get higher engagement levels on videos that are more than 10 minutes long. 
  • Use images that are colorful and have high resolution. You can combine with text content such as statistics or facts to make an Infographic.

8. Conduct Surveys

Conducting surveys have 2 immediate benefits for your business.

First, surveys will create immediate engagement with your audience. Second, you get data that will give you ideas on how to improve your business, its products, and services. 

If you’re running a bed and breakfast business and there’s a long holiday weekend coming up, you can post a survey about the kind of festivity that your guests might want to see in your hotel:

  • Jazz band
  • Outdoor movie
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Fireworks display
  • Garden buffet

When you’re conducting a survey, schedule it on a date that will give you enough time to gather and assess the data and to prepare for the event. 

9. Stage Contests or Giveaways

Question: “What makes a good burger great?”

Answer: “When it’s for FREE!”

Everyone loves to participate in contests and giveaways because they have a chance to win stuff for free. 

Key things to remember when running contests on your social media page:

  • The item must be in demand.
  • Give complete details on the mechanics of the contest.
  • Make sure you have enough stock of the product. 
  • Clarify charges or fees, if any. For example, if shipping charges are for the account of the contest winner. 

Staging contests or giveaways on your social media page will definitely get your audience engaged. 

  10. Be Strategic When Posting

It’s important to stay active in social media to remain top-of-mind with your audience. For example, on Facebook, the latest studies recommend posting no more than 1-2 times per day and 3 times per week. 

The recommendations are a stark contrast to the practice carried out by marketers years ago that required them to post 1-2 times 5 days a week. The focus has shifted to the quality of the post over quantity. 

You have to be strategic when posting otherwise, your posts might annoy your followers. 

Think about the time when a business page you followed kept posting sales-type content? All you see on your news feed are posts from the business page to “Buy This” or “Buy That”. Over time, all of that sales content will come out as noise. 

Here are 3 tips on posting content:

  • The post must have value to your audience. This is where a survey helps. 
  • Mix it up. 

For example, Monday is for your latest blog. Wednesday is for videos or images and can be used for sales-type copy. Friday is curated content day. 

Review your page metrics to be sure of the types of content to post on a specific day of the week.

  • Apply some of the tips provided above such as the use of videos or images, adding hashtags, and responding to all comments. 

Conclusion

Always remember that increasing social media engagement doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistency, persistence, and patience. You might not see any significant improvement right away and that’s okay. There’s a learning curve to be respected in every activity.

We like to stress the importance of tracking the performance of the strategy by constantly reviewing your page’s metrics. Use the data to tweak your strategy. In time, you’ll get a better feel of social media and how to drive engagement levels up. 

If you’re truly desirous of taking your social media engagement to the next level, let us handle it while you focus on running the business. Give us a call or drop us an email so we can get started. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

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A digital marketing strategy cannot be complete without PPC ads in the toolbox. To be clear, you can run your digital marketing campaign using purely organic, unpaid processes such as optimized content marketing, social media marketing, and video-based marketing techniques. 

Organic digital marketing won’t cost much but the results could take time because your efforts are intended to target potential end-users and drive them to your website where its features can hopefully convert interest into sales. 

How much time are we talking about? The results might vary depending on the effectiveness of your organic digital marketing plan but it won’t be as fast as using paid channels such as PPC ads.

What Is PPC Advertising?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click advertising. This is a form of paid digital marketing whereby the advertiser pays a fee to the agency or platform whenever someone clicks on his ad. 

The great thing about PPC advertising is that it’s the fastest way to get visitors to your website because when a viewer clicks on your ad, he ends up on your landing page. 

In contrast, if you utilize unpaid or organic forms of digital marketing, you’ll be relying on your content to entice the reader to go to your website. It can be a hit or miss especially if your content isn’t optimized for search engines. 

The first step in PPC advertising is to research the best keywords for your ads. Once you identify these keywords, you pay the agency to use them in your PPC ads. There are 2 PPC models to choose from:

  • Flat or Fixed Rate PPC – The agency has a fixed price per keyword and you pay this fee every time someone clicks on your ad. 
  • Bid Type PPC – In this model, you bid the highest amount of money that you’re willing to pay for the keyword. The agency starts an auction that’s activated whenever a visitor clicks on the ad. 

The biggest benefit of PPC advertising is that the agency places your ad directly in front of consumers who would most likely be interested in buying your product or service. 

How Does PPC Advertising Work?

We refer to the service provider as an agency but these platforms are the search engines like Google and social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. 

Therefore, these agencies have algorithms in place that allow them to gather data about users’ online behavior. The agency will use the data to create a buyer’s profile – the people who are most likely to buy your product. 

Once the agency has targeted your market, your ads will appear on their news feed or home page. Therefore, the chances of people clicking on your ad are greater because based on their search history, these are the ones who have shown interest in products and services that are similar to yours. 

As the largest search engine on the Internet, it was a natural transition for Google to venture into paid advertising. The search engine giant acquired YouTube in 2006. 

YouTube is the second largest search engine and one of the most popular social media platforms on the Internet. The acquisition is widely considered one of the best business moves in the technology market as it increased the reach of Google and YouTube ad placements. 

Although PPC ads use keywords which is the cornerstone of optimized content, this can be a hit-or-miss strategy as well. Choose the wrong keywords and you won’t get the desired results. Choose the right keywords and you could be raking in the sales. 

Put it this way. Let’s assume, your PPC costs have run up to US$20 but these ads delivered 200 visits to your website. If one or a few of those visits were converted into sales worth US$200, then the investment was well worth it.

Of course, that’s an oversimplification of the process. Seeing results from your PPC advertising efforts isn’t cut and dry. There’s no fixed timetable to see when your investment pays out dividends. 

How To Measure Return On Your PPC Ad Investment

PPC is a form of paid digital advertising. There’s a cost to running a PPC ad campaign. Thus, even if you made a sale or a few sales, your PPC campaign can’t be considered a success if the total sales earned are lower than the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

The CPA answers the question, “How much did the sale cost me?”

Let’s go back to our previous example when your PPC ad cost you US$20. If the US$20 generated 2 sales, then your CPA is US$10. So, while you made some money in terms of sales, did the PPC ad campaign generate a win or a loss?

It would depend on the total amount of the sale. If the 2 units sold generated US$40 worth of sales, then clearly, the PPC ad campaign was a win. In terms of Return on Investment, you made an ROI of 100%:

US$40 (Total Sales) – US$20 (Cost of PPC) = US$20 (Net Sales)

US$20/US$20 = 1:1 or 100% ROI

Conversely, if both sales only generated US$10 then, your PPC ad campaign incurred a loss and a negative ROI.

With a clearer idea of how to measure success in PPC, let’s go back to the original question posed by this section of the article.

How Long Before I See Results From PPC Ads?

As we mentioned earlier in this article, you can get quick results with PPC advertising. These results refer to the number of visitors your website receives. PPC ads drive traffic to your website as soon as someone clicks on your ad. 

A PPC ad campaign can also improve brand visibility. If your keyword game is spot on, then your ad will appear at the top of the search results. Your ad will appear before your target audience.

It doesn’t matter if the person clicks on your ad or not. Many in the audience will see your products for the first time. At the very least, your brand will be recognizable to your target audience. If they come across your content in social media, they will recognize your logo and might decide to click on your website URL. 

While driving traffic to your website is certainly important, results are ultimately measured in terms of sales. You can have thousands of people visiting your website every day but if you’re not converting interest into sales, then your investment in PPC ads isn’t paying off. 

Unlike website visits and brand awareness, the goal of converting interest into sales is more complicated because 2 factors could affect the desired outcome.

The first factor is the CPA. You have to manage your CPA and keep its cost as low as possible. The second factor to consider is your landing page. A well-designed landing page that effortlessly gets the value proposition across, navigable, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines will improve your conversion rate.

From our experience, you should expect to see positive results from your PPC ad campaign beginning Month #3.  

Why? To manage these factors, you have to constantly monitor the performance of your PPC ad campaign and make the necessary changes. And to evaluate the performance accurately, you need data. 

What To Expect When Running PPC Ads

When you launch your PPC ad campaign, you won’t get much data at all. The wheels have just started to turn and they don’t have the traction to gain a foothold in the market. 

Don’t get discouraged if the numbers aren’t rolling in yet. This is good because it gives you enough time to get ready when the numbers start to come in hard and fast. 

To help you out, we’ve created a timeline of what to expect during the first 3 months of your PPC ad campaign. Use our timeline to help you and your team prepare the correct game plan for a winning PPC strategy.

Month #1 – Data Gathering

It may come in trickles but start gathering data on the number of likes and clicks. There’s a way to speed up the process and that is by broadening your search for targeted keywords. 

The more keywords you put out there, the more data you’ll receive. It’s as simple as that. For example, you can target keywords based on demographics such as age, gender, and the preferred type of device used for search. 

Identify the keywords that generate the highest numbers of likes and clicks. Streamline the list of keywords and focus your campaign on the high-performing ones. 

Month #2: Start Refining Your PPC Ad Strategy

Armed with enough data from the first month, now you can start refining your PPC ad strategy in the second month. 

  • Review the list of keywords that you streamlined a month ago. Which ones aren’t generating clicks? Are there keywords that are driving traffic from sources that don’t fit the profile of your target audience? Remove these keywords from your list.
  • Analyze the profile of your audience. Which demographic is responding favorably to your ads? What device is commonly used by people who click on your ad? 

Keep in mind that because the information is immediately available to anyone with a smartphone and an Internet connection, buyer tastes and preferences can change right away. 

Always stay on top of who comprises your target audience.

  • Review your PPC budget. Go over your Cost-Per-Click (CPC) data and cross-reference these with the top-performing keywords to optimize your budget for PPC advertising.

Month #3 – Implement Improvements in Your PPC Ad Strategy

By the third month, there will be less guesswork in your PPC ad strategy. You had the data necessary to identify the potential pain points of your campaign and to come up with the proposed set of solutions. Now, it’s time to implement these improvements in your PPC ad strategy. 

Remember, the improvements aren’t just ideas you plucked out from the air. These improvements are based on hard data that summarized the performance of your PPC ad campaign for the past 2 months. 

Running an improved PPC ad campaign that’s been relieved of factors impeding its success should deliver the desired results. 

“Should” is the keyword here but again, you’ll have to go through similar rounds to testing and data gathering as you did the previous 2 months. You might get better results in the fourth or fifth month. The important thing is to stay focused, committed, and unwavering in your strategy.

Conclusion

Should you include PPC advertising in your digital marketing strategy? If done correctly and expectations are properly managed, PPC advertising can support your organic digital marketing strategy because it can immediately drive traffic to your website and enhance brand visibility. 

The important thing to keep in mind is that like other marketing strategies, PPC advertising takes time to deliver the desired results – converting interest into sales. 

You have to consistently monitor its performance, identify the pain points, and come up with the necessary improvements to make your PPC campaign more effective.

If you’re interested in getting a PPC ad campaign off the ground for your business, give us a call. We’ll get you started and plan out a strategy that can payout for your business. 

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!

Since 2014, the main players in the Information Technology industry from search engines to software developers and web designers have actively promoted the need to make websites mobile responsive. This was in response to the growing influence and presence of mobile technology in the lives of consumers and the conduct of business. 

Fast-forward to the present as the world enters the third decade of the new millennium, and the industry has taken on a different advocacy: to make websites more accessible.

What Does Website Accessibility Mean And Why Is It Important?

A website is deemed accessible when it features technology that makes its features useful and pages navigable to persons with disabilities. The drive for website accessibility is a call for the Internet to be accessible to everyone and create an inclusive community that doesn’t discriminate against disabled persons. 

To not include the needs of the disabled when designing a website further adds to their disabilities. It’s not just the able-bodied who want to find and access information about business, employment, healthcare, and more. 

Website accessibility gives persons with disabilities a better chance of finding opportunities and becoming more productive members of society. 

Likewise, disabled persons can provide YOU with business opportunities as well. Many disabled persons have found successful careers in the corporate world as employees or entrepreneurs. 

They might be looking for third parties that offer products and services the company needs. Your business might just be the one they’re looking for! But they can’t find you if your website isn’t accessible. 

That said, prioritizing website accessibility is in line with the principles of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – having your website found by your target audience with or without disabilities. 

The American Disabilities Act Of 2010 And What It Means For Your Website

If Google’s warning in 2015 that websites that aren’t mobile responsive would be penalized in the search rankings got you moving, this time if your website isn’t accessible, you’ll be dealing with the U.S. government. 

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 2010 was promulgated by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010. According to the ADA, companies that invest in electronic and digital technology including websites will be required to undertake the necessary steps to make these technologies accessible and useful for people with disabilities. 

Which organizations are required to follow the ADA?

  • Government agencies of the United States, both state and federal.
  • Private companies that have 15 or more employees on their payroll.
  • Businesses that cater to the needs of the public.

What happens if your website doesn’t comply with the ADA?

For one thing, your company can be exposed to lawsuits filed by persons with disabilities. Even if it wasn’t your intention to make your website inaccessible to those with disabilities, you might be accused of discrimination and end up paying thousands of dollars in damages. 

The U.S. government might penalize you with a US$150,000 fine for not adhering to the ADA. You might argue that you built your website on a WordPress platform and WordPress has stated that its websites are accessible. 

But if you customized certain features of your WordPress website, you might have compromised its accessibility.

Guidelines For ADA Compliant Websites

To comply with the ADA, let’s refer to the guidelines established by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG 2.0. 

Essentially, your website should have features that adhere to the 4 principles of WCAG.2.0:

  1. Perceivable – All site visitors must be able to perceive the types of content available on your website – Images, videos, and text to name a few. You must provide options for site visitors who cannot read or listen to your content. 
  1. Operable – All visitors to your website must be able to navigate around pages and operate its features. 
  1. Understandable – The instructions on your website must be understandable by all visitors. These instructions might include how to fill out contact forms or how to access the built-in calculator.
  1. Robust – This principle requires that all users of your website must get the same level of experience regardless of how the content is delivered. If you applied certain processes to improve delivery, the quality of the content must not be compromised. 

Don’t worry if you’re unsure how to apply these principles to make your website accessible. The WCAG made it easier for businesses to follow by providing different levels of accessibility:

  • Level A – The website is accessible to some users.
  • Level AA – The website is accessible to almost all users.
  • Level AAA – the website is accessible to all users.

Many compliance experts recommend having your website meet the requirements for Level AA accessibility. 

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4 Ways To Check Website Accessibility

Now that you know about the importance of website accessibility, how do you check if your site is compliant with the ADA? 

Here are 4 tools that you can use to check if your website is accessible to persons with disabilities.

1. WAVE

WAVE is the acronym for Website Accessibility Evaluation tool. It’s not a WordPress plugin and instead, was developed by WebAIM, a company that’s focused on developing technology that makes content more accessible to disabled persons. 

To know if your website is accessible, simply go to the WAVE home page and type in the URL that you want the program to check. After the program runs its check on the web page, a sidebar will appear that summarizes its findings. 

WAVE will list down the errors, flaws, and shortcomings that make the particular web page inaccessible.

Unfortunately, you can’t download the results in report form. It’s safe to assume that the results on the web page you ran a check on will apply to the rest of the pages on your website.

2. Accessibility Suite

Have you heard of Section 508? It is an accessibility law that applies to federal or government agencies instead of private corporations. Section 508 mandates that federal agencies use and maintain technologies that can be accessed by people with disabilities.

Accessibility Suite is a WordPress plugin that can scan your site for Section 508 compliance. In addition, installing Accessibility Suite has other benefits for your website.

Unlike WAVE, with Accessibility Suite, you can download and share the results of the scan. The program will also offer suggestions on how to rectify the problems found on your website and make it ADA compliant. Lastly, the results can be stored and used as references to monitor the website’s performance. 

3. WP Accessibility Helper

WP Accessibility Helper is a WordPress plugin that can scan your website for compliance issues and offer analysis on what you can do to improve its level of accessibility. 

Likewise, WP Accessibility Helper has built-in tools to help you implement improvements that can make your website more readable and responsive to the needs of people with disabilities. 

However, the program doesn’t guarantee that following its recommendations and using its tools will make your website ADA compliant. For that, WP Accessibility Helper recommends that you hire the services of a compliance professional. 

4. WP ADA Compliance Check Basic

WP ADA Compliance Check Basic is a program that does exactly as it’s described. It can conduct a check on your website and evaluate its level of accessibility. This plugin has a feature that can be enabled to automatically perform improvements based on its findings. 

Similar to Accessibility Suite, you can download a copy of the program’s website audit. The paid version of the program can be expensive and entail a one-time fee that can range from US$150 to US$4,950.  If you opt for the free version, the scan will be good for up to 25 pages. 

Conclusion

If you’ve decided to make your website accessible to persons with disabilities, installing any one of these plugins will put you on the right track. The plugin will scan your website for design features and functions that hinder accessibility and provide suggestions for the necessary improvements. 

However, as we mentioned, these suggestions won’t make your website fully compliant with the ADA. Also, there are a few things to consider before installing a plugin.

First, you have to be sure that the version of the plugin that you plan to install is updated. Second, some plugins are designed with features that could affect the functionality of your website. And third, if the plugin does have features that affect website performance, you have to be 100% certain that the developer can help resolve these issues. 

A better option for you would be to hire a professional web developer to redesign your website and make it 100% ADA compliant. The agency can run a thorough analysis of your website and implement the necessary changes to improve its accessibility according to ADA guidelines. 

The good news is that we can do this for you! At Mountaintop Web Design, we have experience working with clients who need to be sure their websites are ADA-compliant. 

We’ll run a scan and let you know exactly what must be done to confirm with the ADA’s compliance guidelines. Give us a call or drop an email and let’s set a schedule to audit your website.  

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your friends and associates who also need to know if their website is fully accessible. 

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The BackStory: 

Recently, I had a very interesting experience with another marketing firm and learned a lesson from them. I was trying to do the right thing by letting them know they were having an issue with the home page of their website. 

As you know if you read our articles, having issues on your website will lead to lost sales and missing out on potential customers. 

As a courtesy, I reached out via the contact form on their website and gave them a heads up that said their website home page is broken and is showing shortcodes to visitors. As a quick aside, here is an example of what a shortcode looks like: 

[shortcode that is meant for the backend of website] 

The next day I got back a reply from this agency. This was their reply: 

Do not solicit us again through our website or any other means.

Being the optimist that I am, I figured they were probably getting spammed with messages and thought I was one of them. I replied again trying to help them. Here is my reply: 

I’m not soliciting. I get those messages too from spammers. 

I was on your website and the home page was broken and showing short codes. 

(I then included a screenshot showing the error on the website)

A short while later I got the reply to my message: 

Yes, we know and our new site is in production as we speak, so don’t worry about it.  No one asked you to review our site.

Wow. Just wow. I am literally blown away at these responses. 

This is a very small marketing business based here in the United States. They claim on their website that they are here to provide customer service and take good care of their customers. 

However, in this interaction, they made it very clear they don’t care about feedback. 

I then looked at the email again and the disclaimer at the footer of EVERY email caught my attention. Here is the word for word copy of what it says: 

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the use of email is to convey ideas and thoughts in a quick, efficient manner. It is generally considered an abbreviated, expedited form of communication.  In my case, they are sometimes short, direct and to the point without the use of pleasantries and intonations.  Please do not read more into them, make assumptions, or place any specific emotional value to them other than the point trying to be conveyed.  Any in-depth conversation or dialogue needs to take place telephonically please. Thank you.

Even Further Backstory:

I am sure you are curious now: How did I wind up on their website? 

The short answer is that I had their company website bookmarked (from a year prior) because I discovered they implemented some ADA web accessibility features well on their website. I wanted to research the solution they were using for this functionality. 

I was then curious how I heard about this company as they are geographically a long way away from where we are. 

I did some digging through our internal tech and found an answer. I first heard about this company after they visited our website and downloaded our free guide on 5 Mistakes Your Website Is Making back in September 2020. 

I had briefly replied to them at that point as it looked like we were doing similar things in different parts of the country. It is always good to network and see if you can learn from others. During a few emails, we had a pleasant conversation.

As I learned more recently, this interaction was not a good representation of their company or their culture.

The Lessons Learned:

In our article, 10 Qualities of a Professional Web Designer (this applies to all marketing), we talk about the essential qualities you should look for when working with a website designer or marketing agency.

There are a few relevant ones to this discussion:

  • Empathy – This means putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and viewing things through how they will view them. 
  • Good Listener – This means acknowledging the feedback (and ideas) other people give you and working to understand their feedback (and ideas).
  • Effective Communicator –  An effective communicator knows how to relay opposing viewpoints without discouraging or embarrassing the client

As you can see, this agency doesn’t embody any of these characteristics. 

The email responses I received from them were the exact opposite of empathy, good listening, and effective communication. 

After pondering this interaction for a while, I also started thinking more about the disclaimer that appears to be included in every email from their business. I had a few thoughts:

  • It appears from this disclaimer that they make a regular habit of sending short, rude, and unfriendly emails to their clients.
  • This is apparently so frequent and has caused so many issues for them that they decided their best option was to include a “rudeness” disclaimer at the bottom of all emails

I am not sure about you, but if I was the customer of a company that regularly sent me rude emails, I would not stick around very long, even if they were good at their work. 

Unfortunately, this is similar to the stories we have heard from many of our clients that have come to us after bad experiences with other agencies.

The interaction with this agency makes me question how effective they actually are in their marketing.

Marketing is based upon having the empathy to understand your potential customers and the problems they are experiencing. It is only after understanding your customers that you can then craft marketing messages that clearly communicate how you will solve the problem(s) that they have.

It has been proven countless times that collaboration usually results in outcomes that are better, cheaper, and more efficient than if someone tried doing this on their own. However, a core element of collaboration is communication.

If you run a small business, you likely know your customers and the problems they face better than anyone else. If you hire a marketing agency, it is important that they are able to listen to your ideas and feedback as you are the one that knows your business best. A marketer needs to have the empathy to understand not only your needs but also the needs of your customers. 

If a marketing agency will not listen to your ideas or feedback, or they cannot communicate well with you, this is a clear warning sign that you may be wasting your hard-earned money on marketing that is not working. 

It may be time to find another agency that will make the effort to understand your business, the challenges you face, and most importantly your customers. 

If you are a company that is working with an agency that is rude, ignores you, or is bad at communicating, YOU DESERVE BETTER. 

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Online shopping has been on an uptrend as far back as 2014. A driving force was the increased use of mobile devices to access the Internet. It became easier and more convenient to visit an eCommerce website than the popular department store. 

Then, the pandemic hit, and the need to shop online wasn’t just easy and convenient. It was safer and more practical. According to the United Nations, global eCommerce sales increased to US$26.7 trillion because of the pandemic. 

If you have an eCommerce site, you’re definitely in the right business. And if you’re planning to open a retail store online, there’s still room for growth. However, just like a brick-and-mortar store, success isn’t a given. You have to do things right to turn your eCommerce website into a money-making machine. 

In this 2-part series, we’ll share with you 10 tips you can use to keep the checkout counter of your eCommerce website busy. The first 5 will be in this article and we’ll discuss the final 5 in part 2.

The eCommerce Boom – Can You Handle The Competition?

As vaccines continue to be rolled out, more consumers will prefer to shop at an eCommerce website. If you have an online retail business, you won’t have to worry about demand. However, you have to be concerned about increased competition. 

Presently, there are an estimated 12 to 24 million eCommerce websites on the Internet catering to the needs of approximately 2 billion shoppers. It might seem that there are enough customers for every online retailer but that’s not the case. 

A shopper might have the patience to cope with the hour-long drive to the mall or the 30-minutes waiting time at the cashier’s checkout counter but he has less patience waiting for your eCommerce site to load. 

If your website doesn’t load in 15 seconds or less, he’ll click out and just go to your competitor. 

And the challenges don’t end there!

The challenges facing an eCommerce business are no different than those of a brick-and-mortar store owner. You have to keep your customers happy, stay ahead of the competition, and remain visible. If you can’t, the checkout counter of your eCommerce website won’t be ringing. 

While demand is there, you can’t be assured of good sales if your eCommerce business isn’t creating new customers and maintaining existing ones at the same time. 

We’re here to show you how it’s done!

1. Optimize Your eCommerce Website

Setting up an eCommerce website is definitely a smart move. Now, you can sell your products 24/7 and have a wider reach for your customers – if they can find you. 

Imagine entering a huge supermarket and not knowing where to get toiletries. You’ll waste so much time going from aisle to aisle. The experience could be so unpleasant that you’d probably go back to your neighborhood grocery store.

Optimizing your eCommerce website will make it easier for your customers to find you. Going back to our example, optimizing the supermarket would be having a map of the layout so that it would be easier for you to find toiletries. 

When someone makes a search inquiry about a product you carry, optimizing your eCommerce website will make it appear on the search results page, hopefully, on the first page. 

Here are a few tips on how you can optimize your eCommerce website:

  • Mobile-Responsiveness – According to Statista, mobile devices account for 54.8% of global online traffic. If your eCommerce website doesn’t set up well on mobile screens, potential buyers will click out.
  • Utilize Keywords on High-Impact Pages – Keywords are the most-used words or phrases when people launch a search query. Having high-volume keywords embedded on your high-impact pages such as the Homepage, Products, and About Us will make your website easier for the web crawlers to find.
  • Soup-Up Your Home Page – The Homepage is where potential customers land after they click on your URL. Entice visitors to stay longer and to explore your website by presenting a beautiful and functional homepage. Make sure it’s highly navigable, well organized, and uses unique images that are optimized with ALT tags.
  • Highlight Top Products – Let your visitors know what your top products are. For example, you can tag them as “Best Seller”, “No.1 for Households”, “Buyer’s Choice”, or “2020 Award Best Consumer Product”. 
  • Conduct a Technical SEO Audit – A Technical SEO audit is performed by your web developer. A typical audit would include a check for duplicate content, broken links, a website speed test, a review of the backlinks, and a review and analysis of site metrics. 

If you want a Technical SEO Audit done on your website, give us a call. We’ve done this with our clients and we can perform an audit on your eCommerce website as well.

2. Promote Your eCommerce Website via Social Media

4.48 million people are on social media and 56.8% are active on some social network on a daily basis. On average, a person spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media, and 40% use these platforms for work. 

If those statistics aren’t enough to convince you to promote your eCommerce site on social media, this one will:

71% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by social media.

Marketing your eCommerce through social media is a cost-effective and efficient way to generate more awareness about your business. Opening an account won’t cost you a cent and your posts can reach your target audience faster than traditional marketing channels.

What are the best ways to harness the power and reach of social media? 

  • Blog! Blog! Blog! 

First, you have to create content and one of the best forms of content marketing is blogging. However, blogging isn’t just about putting content on a word processor. 

Your blogs have to be unique, useful, informative, engaging, and compelling. Likewise, it must be optimized with the right keywords and structure to be found on the Internet. 

Blogging requires frequency. To produce the desired results, you have to blog 11 to 16 times per month. Once you have posted your blog on your website, share it on your social media accounts. 

  • Choose the Right Social Media Platforms 

You don’t have to put up 10 social media accounts to get results. Social media platforms are communities and as such these communities attract particular market segments and have their unique culture and set of behaviors. 

Choose social media platforms based on your business goals, type of industry, and target audience. 

For example, if your products are highly visual, social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest might work for you. 

If your goals are to generate leads, create awareness, enhance industry reputation, and improve customer engagement, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit would be the best choices.

  • Stay Active 

There are so many opinions and recommendations out there about the activity level you need to maintain on social media to achieve your goals. We’ll simplify it with only 2 rules:

Rule #1 – Post at least once a day. 

Rule #2 – Restrict your posting activity only from Monday to Friday.

The exception to Rule #1 would be Twitter and Pinterest where studies have shown posting up to 20 times per day produces better results. 

Likewise, the exception to Rule #2 is if your product or service is patronized even on the weekends such as food, personal training, and fashion apparel.

Tip: When posting or sharing content on social media, make sure your content has these 2 components:

One, the lead-in to your post must include your website URL. And two, make sure there’s a powerful Call-to-Action (CTA). 

For example, if you’re selling supplements, end your lead-in post with: 

“Go to www.supplementmania.com/shop/protein-powder and buy your whey protein stock NOW.”

3. Write Highly-Detailed Product Descriptions

We’re used to recommending to our readers that web copy needs to be kept short, concise, and of course, optimized to be effective because site visitors tend to have short attention spans. 

The case is different when you have a potential shopper who’s looking for a specific item to buy from a website. Like most shoppers, the eCommerce visitor wants to get more information about a product in order to validate his decision to purchase or not. 

Your eCommerce visitor will also use the available product information to compare your item with your competitors’. If your product doesn’t provide the same information as your competitor, you’ll lose the sale. 

When it comes to product descriptions, quality and quantity go hand-in-hand. Focus on giving the potential buyer as much detail as possible but make sure these details are relevant! Provide “stuff” and not “fluff”. 

To know for sure, look at how your competitors or the main players in the industry are writing their product descriptions. Take note of the information included in the descriptions – then do better! 

4. Diversify Your Product Mix

So you’re selling what you believe to be the world’s best disinfectant? No matter how many studies you cite to back your claims up, it’s not realistic to expect everyone to be interested. 

Similarly, people might be looking for other types of sanitizing solutions other than a disinfectant sprayer.

Going back to our example, in addition to the disinfectant, you can add the following items to diversify your product mix:

  • Copper Face Mask
  • Hand Sanitizing Lotion
  • Disinfectant Hand Wipes
  • Portable Cold Fogging Machine
  • Face Shield
  • Protective Gloves
  • Polymer-based Surface Disinfectant

It’s always a good idea to offer your potential customers choices in your eCommerce portal. Not only will you cater to a larger market but it will be easier to upsell. 

5. Engage Your Audience

The “social” aspect of social media marketing comes to play whenever you engage your audience. Interacting with your audience gives your business a sense of “humanness”.

You’re not just a company out to profit but an actual entity that’s accessible to people. Social media allows you to make a connection with your potential buyers. Engaging them helps build trust and create an impression that you care about your customers.

Here are a few ways you can engage your audience:

  • Respond to Comments and Messages

As the saying goes, “All comments are good comments”. 

Even if you receive a negative comment about your product, the silver lining is that the customer took the time to share his experience. Don’t take it personally. Change your perspective and view the criticism as an opportunity to win back a customer. 

Assure the complainant you’ve taken note of his situation and that you’ll get back to him with a course of action. Comments can be harsh but remain respectful at all times. Always conduct yourself in a professional manner. 

  • Offer Discounted Promotions 

If sales are only trickling in, offer your eCommerce visitors limited-time discounted promotions.

For example,  offer 25% off your flagship product or a buy one/take one promo on slow-moving items. Customers will view discounts as proof that you’re willing to take a hit on your profit margins just to get them to try your product. It’s a sign that you’re confident your product will deliver the desired results. 

  • Come Up with Contests 

Contests are a great way to generate more fun and engagement. Posting about a contest changes the dynamic of your business. It shows you’re not just selling products but you’re selling the experience of transacting with your company.

If you own a chain of burger restaurants, you can post a contest that invites followers to post a video of themselves eating your spiciest burger. The person who clocks in the fastest time gets a t-shirt. 

  • Make Recommendations  

Oftentimes, your eCommerce website will receive visitors who are unsure of what they are looking for. They are no different than customers who enter a coffee shop, look at the menu board, and decide on which type of coffee they’ll order. 

You can help them by making recommendations:

  • Have a chat support agent available during working hours.
  • In your product descriptions, include recommendations on “who this product is for”.
  • Categorize your products based on Buyer or User Profile. 

Make the shopping experience as easy and convenient as possible. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. 

  • Would you be happy with the experience of visiting your website? 
  • Can you find what you’re looking for right away?
  • Do you feel confident knowing that someone is ready to assist you? 
  • Did you spend less time making decisions because there’s enough information available to make an educated purchase?

When conceptualizing your eCommerce website, always have your buyer in mind. 

Conclusion

We hope we’ve helped you find clarity on how to generate regular business with your online store. If your eCommerce site is struggling, please know that it’s not the end of your online career! 

This is just part 1. We’ll discuss 5 more tips on how to boost the sales of your eCommerce website. 

If you can’t wait for part 2, give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll have your eCommerce store rolling out and making money right away! 

And if you know someone who has an online store or is planning to put one up, please feel free to share this article with that person.

WebsiteStandOut

Our readers who were around when newsstands and bookstores were commonplace know what it was like looking for the best publication among a sea of titles. 

Books and magazines would fight for your attention by coming up with compelling and thought-provoking tags or catchphrases. Chances are you’ll choose the one that resonates with you the most. 

In this age of the Internet, title tags serve the same purpose. But first, your content has to be found by the search bots. Optimizing your title tags will help your content get noticed by the bots and indexed as relevant for Internet searches. 

What Is A Title Tag And Why Is It Important?

A title tag is an element of HTML that establishes the title of your web page. Title tags appear on the search results page as the headline that users click on after running a search inquiry. 

Title tags are important for the following reasons:

  • Help search engines understand what your webpage is about.
  • Create an immediate impression on the user about your webpage. 
  • Encourage the user to click on your URL.
  • Enhance the manner in which your URL is displayed when shared in social media and the web browser.

Optimizing your title tags is important because users want to find answers to their search queries as fast as possible. 

9 Best Practices To Optimize Your Title Tags 

If your title tags aren’t properly optimized to be found right away, the user won’t click on your URL even if it ranks high on the SERP. 

Here are 9 best practices that will help you optimize your title tags to get the desired results. 

1. Use the Right Title Tag Format

Consider using the following formats:

  • Primary Keyword|Secondary Keyword|Brand Name
  • Primary Keyword & Secondary Keyword|Brand Name
  • Primary Keyword, Secondary Keyword – Brand Name
  • Primary Keyword- Click-through Optimization Phrase|Brand Name

These formats allow you to present short and descriptive title tags that match the average length of search queries. Use hyphens (-), colons (:), or straight pipes (|) to separate phrases and words.  

You can also use characters like ampersand (&), comma (,), period (.), plus sign (+), exclamation point (!), and question mark (?).  Using separators, characters, and punctuation will improve the readability of your title tags.

2. Be Mindful of the Length of your Title Tags

Search engines cut off long title tags by inserting ellipsis (…). Your Titles will lose their impact if they get cut midway.  To avoid title tag truncation, limit the length to 50-60 characters. 

Google also takes into consideration the pixel width of your title tags. The maximum width allowed is 600 pixels. Take note that some characters occupy more space such as wide letters and all Caps.

If your title tag is too short, search engines such as Google will use one of your headings instead.  Your title tag should have at least 30 characters or 285 pixels.

Make sure to use online pixel width checking tools to test your title tag length. Remember, keep your title tags brief, descriptive, and in sync with your page content.

3. Place The Most Important Keywords at the Beginning of Your Title Tags

Users tend to scan only the first three words of title tags so your primary keywords should be placed in their first line of sight. 

This will generate better traffic and increase click-through rates (CTR) because your title tag will immediately gain users’ interest.

Also, the right placement of the most important keywords will prevent them from getting cut off in SERPs when your title tag exceeds the length limit.  

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4. Come Up With Unique Titles for Each Page 

Create a unique title tag for every page on your site. Your titles should give readers a clear idea of what the page content is all about. It can be a taxing process but it leaves a positive impact on search engines.

Unique title tags for each page help search engines identify your content as fresh and valuable. Duplicating title tags will only confuse users and search engines.

Do not use auto-generated or generic title tags because search engines will assume that you have duplicate content on your website.  It will also decrease the number of clicks because this kind of title tag does not elicit interest.  

Avoid repeating targeted keywords across multiple pages on your site because your pages will go up against each other for rankings. As a result, the CTR and conversion rates of the pages with similar or the same targeted keywords will drop.

5. Go Easy on The Keywords

One of the most common SEO missteps is keyword stuffing – placing multiple keywords and variations of keywords in the title tag.  People often think that this practice will result in higher search engine rankings.

However, search engines can quickly identify different versions of keywords so it is pointless to stuff them all in your title tag. If your title tags are too crammed, search engines will cut them off or rewrite them.

6. Feature Your Brand in Your Title Tags

Including your brand in your title tag can do wonders to your CTR especially if it is already well-known. Users will click if they see a familiar brand attached to the title tag.  

Whenever you can, fit your brand in your title tag whether it’s popular or not.  Featuring your brand in your title tags is a good opportunity to establish brand recognition.  

Besides, Google recommends the inclusion of the brand name in your website’s home page title.   

We suggest that you add your brand to the end of your title tag. Remember to keep your title within the 60 characters length limit so that your brand name will not get cut off.

7. Use Action Verbs

Using action verbs is an effective method of prompting searchers to take a desired action. If you go over the SERPs, the title tags that entice clicks are the ones with action verbs.

Choose action verbs that are relevant to your page content.  For example, use “Learn” if your content aims to inform or instruct.  Use “Buy” if a new product or service awaits users.

Here are some good examples of call-to-action words you can use in your titles:

  • Access
  • Buy
  • Download
  • Discover
  • Get
  • Learn
  • Listen
  • Read
  • Search
  • Take

Keep in mind that users will be turned off if they do not find what they expect to see on your page.  

For example, if you write “free download” in your title tag, make sure that the users will be able to get it when they read your page.  If they do not see what they clicked for, they will immediately leave your site.  

8. Keep Your Target Customers in Mind 

Write for your target consumers. Think of keywords and action verbs that will draw them in. Do not discount the importance of a well-written title tag. 

If you just jumbled words without thinking of how the searchers will react to it, your click-through rate will suffer.

Use your title tag to stir interest and to send a clear description of your content.  Take time to research keywords that can woo users to go to your site.

Keep in mind that the SERP is a very competitive platform. For your site to rank well you need to align your SEO strategies with the searcher’s intent. Give them click-worthy title tags, valuable page content, and a good user experience.  

9. Use Numbers

Title tags with numbers get higher click rates because they stand out more.  Numbers naturally trigger our brains to understand better because they are precise and quantifiable.  

Users are impatient and they want fast search results. When they see numbers they get the impression that they will find what they are looking for.

Marketers claim that title tags with odd numbers get clicked on more than even-numbered titles.  While this is just a claim, marketers have the experience to see the options that work best. Test the theory by using odd numbers on your title tags. 

Conclusion

With close to 2 billion websites on the Internet, you need every advantage to get found by your target audience. Your SEO strategy must be on point and tick off all the boxes. 

Title tags play an important role in getting your content noticed right away. Internet users are not patient and you only have a few seconds to get your audience’s attention. 

Follow the 9 best practices to optimize your title tags and you could be on your way to a higher search ranking.

Better still, give us a call or send an email and we’ll do it for you. We’re more than just professional web designers. Optimization is a service we’ve successfully provided to our clients for the past few years. 

Let’s schedule a quick call and get you started!

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community.

SEO for Your Business

Marketing is a continuous process where the desired results are best achieved through consistency. And there’s a lot of work to be done! From sending out emails, creating content, posting on social media, tracking performance metrics, and then add the seemingly endless meetings with clients, influencers and thought leaders, and the marketing team – it’s no surprise that marketers view Marketing Automation as the best technological innovation ever developed.

What Is Marketing Automation?

The term “Marketing Automation” is self-descriptive. It’s the process of using specially designed software programs to manage your marketing activities. 

The software technology used in marketing automation was developed to enable businesses to run their programs on multiple platforms while at the same time, managing the usual day-to-day functions. 

Surely, companies invest in marketing activities to help the sales team convert interest into paying customers. The reality is that the process of converting leads into sales can be tricky, complicated, and run up the man-hours. 

Digital marketing gives you data to keep track of consumer behavior but getting these processes to run in alignment with one another can be a challenge and will take time. 

With market automation, you have the ability to organize and create a system to streamline your efforts and improve efficiency. 

How Marketing Automation Can Solve Common Marketing Problems

The results of a marketing program are never cut in stone. Especially in this day and age where information is freely available and literally accessible in the palm of a consumer’s hand. 

Tastes and preferences of consumers – of the demographics that were part of your buyer’s profile – can change without warning. 

Marketers are faced with challenges that make it difficult to monitor performance, track changes in consumer behavior, and stay within the budget while keeping the campaign on the road toward accomplishing its end goal. 

Here are a few common marketing problems that marketers face and how marketing automation can solve them.

Problem #1 – Time Management

Let’s assume that your digital marketing goal is to increase sales. There’s no singular way to accomplish this goal. You have to break down this goal into smaller goals that involve different processes. 

For example:

Step 1: Create awareness and build the brand through content marketing strategies such as blogging, videos, and infographics.

Step 2: Build an audience through regular posting on social media.

Step 3: Generate leads by driving traffic to the website by using various platforms including SEO, social media, and online search directories.

Step 4:  Capture leads by integrating CTAs that encourage engagement. 

Step 5: Create a segmented email list to identify potential buyers.

Step 6: Send 300-word newsletters to qualified prospects from the email list.

Step 7: Regularly engage with prospects via email and social media.

The first 3 steps are intended to bring prospects to the sales funnel. Meanwhile, steps #4 to #7 represent the activities needed to move the prospects inside the sales funnel in order to convert interest into revenues. 

These steps take time and in some cases, might not end by Step #6. 

And marketers don’t just handle 1 client. They can be managing multiple campaigns at one time. These clients will be along with various points in their respective marketing goals. 

Marketing automation allows the marketer to manage different campaigns by running the processes needed for the individual campaigns. The marketer can free up more time to monitor and review the performance of each campaign and fine-tune strategies if warranted. 

Problem #2 – Difficulty Tracking Engagement Levels

It’s important to track engagement levels so that you’ll know which strategies are working and which ones aren’t. You don’t want to spend money on a strategy that isn’t delivering results. 

Marketing automation gives you the tools to track and manage user engagement so you can retarget your potential customers, create more personalized content, and choose the right platform for delivering your materials. 

You can streamline your efforts for greater efficiency and higher productivity by automating your marketing activities. 

Problem #3 – Poor Quality Leads

Getting people to visit your website and sign up for your newsletter is a big step toward generating sales for your business. But that’s just half the battle. In some cases, that could just be one-third of the battle. 

Converting leads into sales can be tricky. To generate sales you must have the capability to separate – or segment – the wheat from the chaff from your leads list. 

With marketing automation, you will have the capability to extract useful information about your leads to enable you to nurture prospects with the highest probability of becoming paying customers.  

You will have a better understanding of “who” your qualified prospects are, come up with a more accurate buyer’s profile, and develop a strategy that can guide them along the sales funnel.

How To Use Marketing Automation For Your Business

We all know that marketing is an essential part of growing a business. It creates the traffic your business needs to generate traction, build awareness, encourage followers, drive interest, and ultimately bring about sales. 

With all the functions that you have to perform and the tasks you have to accomplish, entrepreneurs can sometimes be up in arms and say “I have no time”. 

When you use Marketing Automation for your business there’s no more “I have no time” excuse. Your days will be more productive because you get to accomplish more tasks per hour while exerting less effort

Here are 5 examples of how you can use Marketing Automation for your business. To get a better appreciation of its benefits, when you’re reading our examples, put yourself in the shoes of your customer.

1. Transaction Updates

E-commerce has been steadily growing since 2014. From a US$1.3 trillion industry, e-commerce revenues hit US$4.28 Trillion in 2020. With the threat of the pandemic still in the air, e-commerce is expected to reach US$6.3 Trillion in sales by 2024. 

Still, there remain consumers who are hesitant to transact online because of security concerns. They want to be assured their orders are confirmed and that it’s perfectly safe to provide information or issue payment. 

Integrating processes that update consumers about the status of their transactions are a big boost in increasing consumer confidence for your e-commerce platform. 

For example, when a customer buys a product from your e-commerce store, you can automatically email a confirmation order that includes important information such as:

  • Invoice number
  • Product details 
  • Tracking number 
  • Total price with shipping costs 
  • Expected delivery date
  • Contact number/email. 

Take it one step further by sending out a personalized text message on the day the product is shipped out to assure the customer of his order.

2. Send Out Cart Abandonment Emails

To further drive our point that consumers continue to remain wary or uncertain about online transactions, a study published by Sleeknote showed that the cart abandonment rate across industries is 69.57%.

That’s a lot of money left on the table – or rather, the shopping cart!

But all is not lost. You can potentially recover 41.18% of the lost sales opportunities by retargeting those consumers with automated cart abandonment emails. 

Here are 4 tips on how to create highly effective cart abandonment emails:

  • Encourage the customer to push the cart through the cashier by emphasizing unique benefits such as free shipping for a minimum purchase, the availability of express delivery, and the addition of a product warranty.
  • Include social proof that validates or justifies the purchase from third parties. Examples of social proof are positive product reviews and testimonials from customers. 
  • Offer incentives such as free shipping on the next purchase or a limited-time-only 20% discount on the item if the customer buys the item. 
  • Indicate that the product abandoned in the cart is running low in supply. Sure, the customer might think you’re bluffing but then again, he might take a chance that you’re telling the truth.          

The key to getting the most out of these automated cart abandonment emails is to send them out within the first 20 minutes. The conversion rate during this time period is 5.2%. If you send the emails out 24 hours later, the conversion rate drops by 50%. 

3. Chatbots

Chatbots are good examples of how Marketing Automation can help you generate leads while you’re off managing the core functions of your business. 

To generate a lead, you need 2 things. First, the interest of the prospect, and second, his/her email address. A chatbot has been proven effective in getting you both.

Let’s assume that you’re in the business of selling vitamins and supplements. Incorporate a chatbot in your website, social media pages, chat platforms, and sponsored ads. 

When someone comes across your content, the chatbot can open up and inform the prospect that he can avail of a special discount or promo if he provides his email address. 

A chatbot can also be used to inform your followers on social media about the new stocks of vitamins and minerals that are available in your online store.  Include an order fill-out form to make it easier to process their purchases.

4. Social Media Marketing

According to Statista, people around the world spend 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on social media. Considering that people are generally awake 16 hours per day, publishing your content on social media is an important strategy to getting noticed.

The key to social media success is activity. The more frequently you post, the higher the chances of being seen by your audience. For example, according to 14 studies, you have to post twice a day on Facebook to get better results. 

Now, assuming you have 3 other social media accounts to manage, posting can take up a lot of your time. 

To save time and remain productive, you can use social media automation tools such as Buffer and HootSuite to manage your posting schedule. 

You can use the time to create new content or collaborate with outsourced talents such as content writers and graphic artists to produce optimized blogs, infographics, and videos. 

5. Customer Surveys 

Conducting customer surveys is a great way to build strong relationships with your customers. It shows that you care about what they think and want to involve them in the process of making your products and services better. 

Surveys can be used to collect information that will help you develop a better understanding of who your customers are and what their motivations are for patronizing businesses. 

You can automatically send out surveys via email, chat, or social media. It’s one of the most effective ways to generate interest and engagement. 

Conclusion

Technology exists to make life and work easier. Take advantage of Marketing Automation technology so you can promote your business while managing its day-to-day tasks. 

Marketing Automation provides you a cost-effective way to keep your business top-of-mind and maintain a high level of productivity. 

If you want to learn more about Marketing Automation and how it can help your business become profitable, give us a call or an email and we’ll come up with a game plan specifically for you. 

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends.

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For more than a decade, UpCity’s mission has been—and continues to be—to help businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. The UpCity Recommendability Rating was developed to determine a service provider’s credibility and recommendability, giving UpCity the confidence to recommend them to the more than 1.5 million businesses that visit their site. 

Each year, UpCity analyzes and scores more than 70,000 service providers based on their UpCity Recommendability Rating and acknowledges the top national and local providers with an UpCity Excellence Award. The results are in, and we won!

We are ecstatic to announce that the Mountaintop Web Design team has been recognized as one of the top B2B service providers of 2021 in the Denver area by UpCity! 

Mountaintop Web Design offers a full suite of digital marketing services to our clients around the globe. Many small businesses lack the time and expertise to build marketing that works. We have developed solutions that get your business found so that you can quit worrying and start growing your business. 

Mark Tepper, SVP of Sales & Customer Success at UpCity, had this to say about Mountaintop Web Design:

“Mountaintop Web Design loves when their customers succeed and accomplish a new goal; they thrive on it. This drive to do more and be more is how Mountaintop Web Design was able to achieve the UpCity Excellence Award.”

– Mark Tepper, SVP of Sales & Customer Success

This recognition has been driven in large part by our 5-star review rating on UpCity. Here are a few of our favorite pieces of feedback we’ve received from our incredible customers:

“I have been very pleased with Josiah and his team. He was very responsive – actually impressed me how quickly he responded every time! His team worked well with us every step of the way to pretty much redo our entire website. Offered great suggestions when needed. They made the little tweaks I wanted until I got it just how I wanted it. I’d highly recommend them and will continue to do business with them in the future!”

-Rayna McGill, Mountaintop Web Design customer

“Josiah and his team did fantastic work in helping my company with a website overhaul. From my initial meeting with MWD, I was confident they were going to be able to help me achieve exactly what I was looking to accomplish. Josiah was able to answer all my questions and was also able to ask the appropriate questions to help me craft and create exactly what my company needed from a website. We’ve maintained their service package and they’ve been able to help us keep everything updated on our site and running without any major disruptions. I would highly recommend MWD for your website needs!”

-Brad Schoenthaler, Mountaintop Web Design customer

At Mountaintop, we take pride in giving our clients the best value for their money. We don’t just craft digital marketing strategies and websites, but we help clients save money along the way. Thank you to the UpCity team and our Mountaintop Web Design customers for this tremendous award and honor.