10 Tips for Providing a Positive User Experience on Your Small Business Website
Have you ever gone into a brick-and-mortar store and been frustrated by the experience? Maybe the aisles were too narrow or the line at the checkstand was too long. Or perhaps the music was too loud or the staff just unhelpful. As shoppers, we understand that these negative customer experiences impact sales. But as small businesses are we looking at our web presence in the same light? If not, we should and here's why.
Turns out blog posts are good for business.
Last year's statistics on blogging are pretty compelling. Blog posts continue to be among the top performing web pages for both business-to-business (B2B) companies and those businesses that target consumers (B2C).
Don't take our word for it. Review the blogging statistics infographic from Gate 39 Media, a financial services marketing and technology agency . It's worth a look. And be sure to review the additional resources and tips below the infographic on how to get your small business blog started.
Guest post by Aljaz Fajmut, Nightwatch CEO
5 Reasons Why Your Cross-Channel Promotion is Failing
Cross-channel promotion has become pretty important. It’s totally changed the game when it comes to finding and reaching new customers, and it lets us strengthen our presence and engage with multiple communities.
The problem is that implementing an effective cross-channel promotional campaign isn’t easy. The good news is that, once you know what mistakes you’re making, rectifying them and getting back on track is easy.
Let’s take a look at why your cross-channel promotion is failing — and what you need to do fix it.
Get Inspired and Then Inspire Your Users to Generate Content
Brands of all sizes and stripes are finding that they can achieve better brand engagement and greater marketing success with peer-generated, authentic content than they can with more conventional, multimillion dollar campaigns.
There are a couple of reasons for the fun phenomenon. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Olapic, a visual content strategy agency, 76 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations over ads. Also, user-generated content (UGC) is much less expensive to produce and a much more efficient way of reaching customers today where they live and play - online and on social media. UGC marketing strategies rely on visual content that consumers create themselves – a much more affordable option than traditional advertising. Well, if you can inspire them to create it that is.
So let's get to it. Here are some great examples of brands inspiring fun and engaging user-generated content:
Need a little inspiration for blogs, email marketing, and social media?
Sometimes you just get stuck. Trying to come up with engaging ideas to wow your blog readers, social media followers, and email recipients can be a challenge - especially for small business marketers!
But with statistics and pundits pointing to the the growing use of social media, you've got to stay on top of your game. Take this quote from Larry Kim, "According to Sprout Social, about 74% of consumers make a purchasing decision based on their social media accounts." 74 percent! So if you're not taking advantage of these social platforms to engage your customers and drive traffic both to your website and to your place of business, well, you may be losing out on sales.
So how do you get unstuck and come up with ideas for great new posts and blog articles? Keep this content idea cheat sheet handy and refer to it for inspiration whenever you need it.
Why Your Small Business Needs a Better Visual Content Marketing Strategy
The attention spans of American consumers are waning and the amount of content being consumed is growing. So how can your small business cut through the clutter and noise and make an impact on social channels and in search engine results? The short answer is: deliver quality visual content.
This is actually easier than it sounds and can be a lot of fun! And when it comes to creating visual content for your small business, you have the ability to create content on a budget that's just as good, if not better, than the larger companies and brands in your industry.
How to Add Philanthropy to Your Small Business Marketing
As a small business owner it can be really rewarding to see the success of your local business translate into a positive impact in your community. But it turns out that entrepreneurs who incorporate philanthropy into their business model and marketing don't just benefit from "feeling good," they also tap into additional profitability that can be essential to the success of their enterprise.
For example, you're probably already familiar with TOMS Shoes. The Santa Monica, CA based company donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every one pair of shoes sold. To date, TOMS has given away over 75 million pairs of shoes to children in need around the world as part of its “One for One” program. Turns out that adopting a commitment to a positive social impact is good for business.
So how can you, as a small business owner, incorporate a philanthropic mission with social impact into your business model and marketing plan? We have a few ideas:
How do you get quality backlinks to your web content?
As difficult as producing great content can be, it can be even more difficult to get quality backlinks to it to boost web traffic and SEO. But it's worth the extra effort involved.
"Backlinks" are links back to your web content from other external websites. Despite the many changes announced by Google lately, backlinks are still considered one of the most important SEO ranking factors.
Keep in mind, not all backlinks are quality links that help your content. Some low-quality backlinks may actually hurt your website's page rankings*.
The first step to quality backlinks is producing quality content.
Q: What’s the best strategy for old blog content and using it to bring new traffic to your website?
A: Conduct a simple content audit.
If you manage a business blog, you know that even your best blog content can age faster than cheese and become just as stale. Maybe it’s still relevant as-is, or maybe a few key points need a review and an update based on industry or market developments. But knowing how to prioritize and get the most value out of this older content can be a challenge. So where to begin?
According to SEMbyotic, a digital marketing agency serving enterprise clients, you should conduct a simple content audit. Here's how they break it down in the following infographic:
12 Easy Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing and SEO Game
Content marketing is really just engaging and nurturing your customers and online communities by providing them relevant, valuable content on a consistent basis. If done well, content marketing attracts potential customers to your business and creates brand affinity. For content marketing to really be effective, marketers will need to understand their customers' and communities' behaviors and motivations and be able to put their customers' needs first.
Also important and closely related, search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of your website traffic through organic search engine results. Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. Digital marketers and website managers continually refine their content based on SEO objectives and strategy and likewise, adjust their SEO strategy and tactics based on the performance of their content. Here's how to get the most out of your content marketing and SEO efforts: