Welcome to our Blog

This is How We Do

Take a Look

5 Signs of Low Engagement and How to Fix It

Mobile device showing website analytics

Is your site struggling with low engagement? Online engagement is essential to having a thriving 21st-century business. However, it’s hard to build this engagement at the onset. Here are some common signs of poor engagement and a few effective ways to increase engagement on your site.

Why is Engagement Important?

Engagement is a sign that your website is flourishing and your content is being interacted with. In simple terms, engagement is the number of people who visit your site, how long they stay on your site, and whether or not they interact with your content. You’re able to measure your engagement in several ways, including how many pageviews your site receives and how much time visitors spend on those pages.

The first step to boosting your engagement is identifying signs of poor engagement.

5 Signs of Poor Engagement

1. Low Number of Pageviews

If you are finding that your site frequently has a low number of pageviews, you have poor engagement on your site. Number of pageviews is one of the easiest ways to identify engagement on your site, as it shows you how many people are truly visiting each page, no matter how long they stay there. If you aren’t getting pageviews, it’s impossible for people to be interacting with your site. Identifying which pages are struggling to get views can help you identify other problem areas that may be causing low engagement.

2. Low Amount of Time Spent on Pages

The amount of time spent on each page is extremely important—without much time spent on a page, your visitors have no chance of actually interacting with your content. Some businesses may look at their pageviews and not think they have an issue with engagement. But then they struggle with getting sales and wonder why. The source could be the amount of time visitors are spending on individual pages. If people are viewing your pages, but are spending a limited amount of time there, that’s an engagement problem that needs to be addressed.

3. Low Number of Pages Interacted With

Similarly to identifying the amount of time spent on each page, you also need to look at how many pages on your site are actually interacted with, not just viewed. If you are seeing a pattern of engagement occurring only on certain pages, then you know which pages have problem areas that need to be fixed. These problems could be with the page’s content or structure.

4. Pages with High Exit Rates

A high exit rate means that visitors are clicking off the page quickly after visiting it. These pages are good enough to be clicked on, but not good enough to actually hold the attention of visitors. Pages with high exit rates tend to be struggling with content, structure, or navigability.

5. Poor Social Media Engagement

Your social media engagement is almost as important as the interactions on your website itself. Engagement with your social media pages is a pretty good indicator of the popularity of your content and your website. For example, maybe you share blog posts on your business page on Facebook. But if people aren’t sharing that post or liking and commenting on your post, it means not many people are going to be seeing the content in their feed.

Tablet with social media apps5 Ways to Increase Engagement on Your Site

1. Better, Engaging Content

Having content that’s higher quality, more interesting, and more engaging can keep your visitors on your site longer. It can also encourage them to interact with more pages rather than quickly clicking off.

Fixing your content on your site to improve engagement can be done in a few different ways. First, you can simply add more text to each page. This encourages visitors to spend more time on the page, as they have to spend more time looking through the content. However, too much text will bore your visitors. That’s why it’s important to break up with your text with headings and media such as pictures or videos. Including popular, trendy content in your blog posts can also help increase engagement.

2. Make Your Content Flow

Increasing engagement means having content that flows together. Content should link together, make sense within your site’s layout, and be simple to navigate. If your content doesn’t link together, it can cause confusion and lead to a higher exit rate. In addition, if your content doesn’t make sense within the layout or it isn’t easy to navigate, users tend to leave the page. Try changing your content layout so visitors don’t have to spend much time figuring out how to navigate your site.

3. Up Your Social Media Engagement

Increasing your social media engagement may help you gain more website visitors. By posting more, replying to comments, and sharing good info on your social media accounts, you’ll be able to increase engagement with your followers. Not only will this help you build relationships with customers online but it will also send more people to your site.

4. Increase Load Speeds

Users are more likely to stay on a page if the load speed is short and are more likely to leave the page if it’s slow. Look into programs online that can help your website load more quickly to hold the attention of impatient visitors. Google Analytics offers a simple solution for the user, letting them choose the site speed and change it as they need to.

5. Make Your Site More Mobile-Friendly

More and more users are choosing to interact with websites through their mobile devices. Since people are rarely without their smartphones, it’s easier for users to access web pages on their phones. Make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. This may mean having a mobile version of your site, or simply changing the layout so that it is easily viewable on both mobile and web.

Fix Your Low Engagement Today!

Good engagement generally means that your content is being interacted with and you have a higher chance of gaining business or interactions. As your engagement goes up, so does the popularity of your site. Use these five methods to identify your problem areas and improve your engagement!

Tackling the Art of Teamlancing

Teamlancers working together

In today’s complex, ever-changing job force, networking is one of the most important skills to have. Connecting with others who are in your same field of work can help you learn valuable skills that strengthen your business. Partnering with other freelancers may also give you the opportunity to take on larger volumes of work and more clientele. This phenomenon is known as teamlancing, and it’s rising in popularity!

What is Teamlancing?

This term was developed by ClearVoice to refer to a collection of freelancers or several teams of freelancers that work together to produce a product or service for a client. Each freelance member (or team) provides a unique set of skills that will contribute to the final outcome. Writers, videographers, and editors are some common examples of freelancers that can work together in these networks.

Why is Teamlancing Beneficial?

Teamlancing is beneficial not only to the freelancers themselves but also to their clients. Teamlancing leads to the creation of a polished, well put together product for the client in a timely manner. Since the members are all working together and able to communicate freely, it’s also extremely efficient.

If you’re a freelancer, it can feel like the opportunities to expand your skillset and find new clients are limited. You don’t have the same resources as a big company, and you don’t have an employer who’s paying for you to attend conferences or trade shows. Working on a team of freelancers gives you the chance to meet and collaborate with others in your field or a related field. It creates the ultimate collaboration experience!

Two freelancers working on laptops together

Even when you’re consistently producing quality content, freelancers have less name recognition and resources to leverage when searching for new clients. Teamlancing helps you get more work through your fellow teamlancers without putting extra time and money into marketing yourself. Teamlancing emphasizes collaboration over competition so that everyone benefits.

The life of a freelancer can feel isolating and difficult. However, with the introduction of teamlancing, this barrier is a lot easier to break. You’ll discover a whole new world of other freelancers who are dealing with a lot of the same challenges as you are, and you can all glean from each other. You’ll feel less isolated when collaborating with other freelancers for a common goal.

How Do I Start?

If you want to become a teamlancer, you should network with other freelancers or look for companies that encourage teamlancing. Platforms such as ClearVoice and Fiverr provide the opportunity for freelancers to work together in teamlancing jobs. ClearVoice specifically created the idea of teamlancing to connect freelancers and better service both the worker and the client. Working with ClearVoice or Fiverr makes freelancing with a team easy!

Freelancing is constantly evolving, and teamlancing is just one of the latest evolutions. Whether you’re a brand-new freelancer or you’ve been doing it for many years, teamlancing is definitely worth trying to experience these ample benefits!

The Problem with Brand Activism

In the past decade, brand activism (aka cause marketing) has steadily been on the rise. Brands from Ben and Jerry’s to Nike to Starbucks are incorporating brand activism into their marketing strategies. While this can be a strategic move for some companies, there can be pitfalls with implementation. If you’re considering using brand activism in marketing for your company, make sure you do your research first so you can do it successfully. Here are some things to keep in mind when forming your brand activism strategy.

What is Brand Activism?

Brand activism is the incorporation of real-life issues into a company’s marketing and advertising. It involves advertisements, company policies, blog posts, products, and social media posts reflecting the representation of a real-life issue. As a concept, brand activism isn’t necessarily new, but the rise in popularity is fairly recent. Brand activism requires an understanding of what social issues are important and how they can be properly represented.

While there is no shortage of social issues and movements to care about, some of the ones you’ll commonly see in current brand activism efforts include:

  • The Black Lives Matter movement
  • Sustainability
  • COVID-19
  • Women’s rights
  • Ethical production
  • Minority rights

Benefits of Incorporating Brand Activism in Marketing

There are many benefits to incorporating brand activism into your marketing strategy. Some of the biggest ones include setting your company apart from others, gaining new customers, and creating a positive company image.

Set Your Company Apart

Using brand activism shows your current and potential customers that you are knowledgeable about today’s issues and recognize the importance of taking part in social activism. It also tells your customers that you care about them. For instance, companies who accurately understand and fight against racial injustice show their customers of color that they care about people and not just dollar signs. This may give these companies the upper-hand over their competitors who do not represent anti-racism when appealing to minority groups.

In a world where social activism is important to many, acknowledging and advancing social issues creates a strong, positive image for your company.

Gain New Customers

According to some surveys, brand activism is important to more than two-thirds of consumers, meaning that people are more likely to interact with a company that participates in cause marketing. People who are interested in the social issue you are engaging with will be encouraged to interact with your company. On the other hand, if you aren’t engaging in any kind of social cause, that could mean you’ll miss out on their patronage.

Create a Positive Company Image

Brand activism can create a positive image for your company, especially in comparison to competitors who do not incorporate social issues into their marketing. Showing that you as a company believe in representing important social topics shows that you are not only aware of what’s going on in the world but that you also care about it.

If you’re a clothing retailer, you may want to practice brand activism by showing that you represent sustainability, ethical production, and body positivity. Target has exemplified this through their equality and inclusivity advertisements. The store has received much praise for its Halloween line, which included accessible costumes such as wheelchair-friendly clothing, zipper-less costumes, easily removable items, and even hidden inner pockets for those with abdominal accessories.

Pitfalls of Brand Activism

If brand activism isn’t executed correctly, it will fall flat. Brand activism can turn customers away if it isn’t authentic, doesn’t appeal to their demographic, or doesn’t accurately represent the social issue at hand.

A lack of authenticity or accurate representation can create a major problem with brand activism. For example, the representation of breast cancer awareness has begun to stray away from an honest participation in the movement and instead turn into a profit-making strategy. Catering to an audience without actually believing in the activism looks bad for your company, and it turns away potential customers. Incorrect representation similarly turns away customers that see inaccuracies and inauthenticity as a turn-off.

Additionally, brand activism may be too polarizing depending on the issue. Polarizing topics such as marriage equality or other political issues can cause potential customers to not want to do business with your company depending on the demographic.

How to Properly Use Brand Activism

If you want your brand activism to be effective, you need these three essential components:

  • Authenticity and Accurate Representation—your brand needs to be open, honest, accurate, and authentic with its representation of the issue.
  • Alignment with Your Company’s Values—whichever social issue you are representing should align with your company’s core values. This means that if you are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, for example, your company should put diversity and equality front and center in all its practices.
  • Relevance—the issue that you are representing should be relevant and important. Choosing a relevant topic shows that you understand what is important to your customers.

Examples of Brand Activism Done Well

One of the best ways to figure out how to incorporate brand activism into your marketing strategy is by looking to companies that have done it well as examples. Ben & Jerry’s, Adidas, Patagonia, and Lyft have all successfully incorporated brand activism into their marketing.

Ben & Jerry’s has chosen to represent the Black Lives Matter movement. Through factual and accurate blog posts, social media adverts, and the introduction of a “Justice Remix’d” flavor line, Ben & Jerry’s showed that they truly believe in what they were representing. While some did not support Ben & Jerry’s outspoken activism, the marketing strategy was widely praised.

Signs encouraging environmentally-friendly practices

Patagonia represents environmental activism and sustainability. Similarly to Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia represents their activism in their products, advertising, and social media. They believe in protecting the environment, using safe, sustainable products, prioritizing conservation efforts, and having a “green” impact.

Is Brand Activism the Right Choice?

Ultimately, brand activism is an excellent way to take part in today’s important social issues. However, whether or not it is the right choice for your company will depend on your demographic and whether or not you properly incorporate brand activism in marketing. It can have a major impact on your company, and with cause marketing, your company can have a positive impact on the world!

The Importance of Real Estate Bios

A real estate bio summarizes your experience, your background, and your connection to your community in a couple of short paragraphs. A good bio is a key strategy to marketing yourself as a real estate agent and securing clients. Bios can seem like a daunting task, and while templates can provide a visual idea of what to include, follow these key tips to execute one like a pro.

What’s in a Good Real Estate Bio?

Who You Are, and Why You Matter

Your bio should include a description of who you are. This should include where you went to school, your degrees, and a bit about your personality or what you feel defines you as a person. Most importantly, you should have reasoning behind what you wrote–keep in mind the why matters. For example, if you have a degree in psychology, why does this degree benefit you? Ellen Grubert with Compass has a wonderful example of what to include in the part of your real estate bio that is about yourself. She includes her degrees, her schooling, and even how clients would describe her personality. This is an excellent way to make yourself seem not only educated and accomplished, but someone who a client would want to work with.

How You Connect to Your Community

Your bio should also include how you connect with your community. To market yourself best in any one community, it’s necessary to convince the clients that you are knowledgeable about the area in which you are working, and that you understand the community. Understanding the community will tell your clients that you know what is best for them where they want to live. Jennifer Grandjean outlines this well by discussing her community roots and proving she is knowledgeable about what is important in her area. She even includes her local civic involvement. This is a perfect way to make yourself seem relatable, and prove to your clients that you know what they want.

Your Accomplishments

Finally, your bio should outline your personal accomplishments. It’s important not to overload your bio with your accomplishments in order to ensure that you don’t seem as if you’re bragging. However, including what you’ve done and what makes you successful makes you more marketable to someone who is looking for a potential real estate agent. Shannon McNulty does this effectively by outlining how successful her work has been without it being overbearing. By including your accomplishments in addition to including your background and your connection to your community, you are truly proving that you are the best real estate agent on the block! 

Home replica and notepad

Your Bio Tells Your Story

Your real estate bio tells your professional story–who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do for your clients. It’s your best strategy for advertising yourself in the best light so you get the highest caliber clientele. Your bio is the client’s first impression and what they’ll base their decision on. Following these steps will market you as the perfect real estate agent.

Blogging: It Still Matters in Today’s Mobile Social World

In today’s hectic, social world, it’s important to find ways to stay relevant and engaging. One important, easy way to do this is through blogging. So, why do these supposed internet experts keep saying blogging is dead? Yeah, I don’t get it either. Blogging lengthens the time spent on your site, makes your site more relevant, allows you to promote and sell products, and brings in visitors.

5 Ways Blogging Helps Your Website Stay Relevant

1. Site Visits (Bounce Rate)

With the presence of a blog on your site, visitors spend more time on your website rather than quickly visiting and leaving. The technical term for this phenomenon is that blogging increases your bounce rate. This is because a well-written, interesting blog draws in visitors, and with the more time spent reading your blogs, the more time the visitor will spend on your site. This overall increases the likelihood that that visitor will interact with your site as a whole, and visit multiple pages rather than just one page of the website. In a world where the attention span of a person lasts just a few seconds, getting someone involved enough with your site can make a world of difference.

2. Influence

Blogging gives you the chance to show that you know what you are talking about!! Whether you are a site promoting a service or selling a product, having blogs that prove that you are worldly, knowledgeable, and up to date with current trends and media shows potential customers that you are a reputable, useful site. Proving this helps convince a potential customer to purchase your product over someone else’s–you’re more likely to buy or use the service of someone who seems like they know what they are doing and has proof to show for this.

3. Promotion and Sale of Products

Blogging allows you to promote and sell your products in a more subtle, creative way. Three out of five marketers rely on blogging to promote and sell products, according to Quora Creative. This means that with blogging, the likelihood of your products selling is increased. Blogging is proven to increase traffic on your site as well, and visitors are more likely to interact with other areas of your site if blogging is present. Promoting your product or services over multiple media on your site increases the likelihood that a potential customer will purchase your product.

4. Visitors

Most individuals looking for a product or service use Google in order to find what they are looking for. According to Ooze Media, the way the Google algorithm works means that the majority of sites people visit regarding a search are within the first two pages of that search. If you have more blog posts present on your site, you are more likely to appear within these first two pages of a Google search. With this increased likelihood, you raise your chances of interaction with your website.

5. Evergreen

An important concept many online entrepreneurs fail to understand is that of staying evergreen, or current, with blogging and social media posts. In today’s mobile social economy, visitors will judge your website negatively if they do not see current posts. You will appear to be an amateur even if the reality is that you are too busy crushing new business and cashing checks to blog. Spend some of those dollars on regular blogging to avoid that appearance!  

Calendar

Stay Relevant, Stay Successful!

Take my advice, blogging has proved to remain a successful part of today’s competitive social world. From influencers, to selling products, to bringing in visitors, blogging regularly and sharing it to your social channels creates a positive effect. Today’s online world is hectic and ever-changing, but one thing that is a fact is that blogging is still a winner.

Micro Jobs…Are They Worth it?

With the rise of the pandemic, the popularity of micro jobs has skyrocketed. With the lack of a steady income from many traditional workplaces, people are turning to micro freelance jobs in order to make up for the loss of funds.

What is a Micro Job?

Micro jobs are work that is generally completed in a short amount of time for a small amount of money. DollarSprout  suggests that most of the jobs are completed for somewhere between $3-$100. Some micro jobs are completed online, while others are completed in person. Surveys, copywriting, and even translating are all micro freelance jobs that can be completed online, while babysitting, dog walking, GrubHub, and house sitting are micro jobs that are completed in person.

For online micro jobs, many sites house the opportunity to promote yourself or find jobs to do. Sites that are popular for housing micro jobs include Fiverr and Upwork. Fiverr and Upwork are freelancing services where individuals are able to advertise for services that they provide, and others are able to purchase these services. In contrast, traditional freelancing is work that an individual provides on their own, generally not affiliated with a company, and typically paid by the hour or by the job completed. Freelancing as we once knew it also pursued a limited number of clients and engaged with that book of clients over extended periods of time—months or years.

Advice for Micro Freelancers

If you’re looking to get started on micro jobs, there are a few things to consider.

  • Make sure that the source you’re using for your micro freelance job is reputable. For example, if you’re looking to complete surveys for money, make sure that the site or application is reliable, trustworthy, and safe. There are scam sites out there, and all it takes is a quick google search to see if the site you’re checking out is okay. Indeed suggests that another easy way to tell if a site is a scam is by checking if it requires a fee to join—if it does, it’s typically a scam.
  • Understand that micro jobs require work. It’s a job, after all, and if it’s worth it and is going to pay out, it will require you to put in effort to get the job done.
  • Although micro freelance jobs are a good way to get paid from home, it can be hard to get started to earn a steady income. Often, micro jobs are used as extra cash, or extra income, rather than becoming your primary source. However, with hard work and dedication, it’s possible to market yourself well enough that your micro job can become your primary source of income. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork are great for this.
Calculator and dollar bills

Is Micro Freelancing Worth it?

Overall, micro jobs are worth it if you’re willing to put in the hard work it requires to find and complete the job. Beware of anything claiming otherwise! It takes dedication and marketing in order to establish a steady income from this kind of work, but is rewarding and allows you to work from home. Individuals finding success with these sorts of jobs are those that put in the time and effort it requires to not only get the job done but also to create a business from it.

The E-Commerce Boom During COVID-19

E-commerce website

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 Pandemic has dramatically changed life as we know it. It’s changed the way we socialize, the way we do business, and even our purchasing habits. By mid-March everyone was quarantined to their homes, causing most businesses to lose revenue. While nearly every other industry has had to make some major adjustments, e-commerce has continued business as usual. In fact, during quarantine, e-commerce sales have been stronger than ever!

Let’s take a look at this shift, including changes your business could implement right now that will help you get through the rest of COVID-19 and succeed in the long-run.

How Businesses Can Become More Focused on E-Commerce During COVID-19

COVID-19 has confirmed what’s already been happening the last few years: people love online shopping for the convenience. But now e-commerce isn’t just favorable for convenience. It’s popular for safety too! Those who were hesitant to switch to online shopping because they’d rather interact with a real person are now avoiding brick-and-mortar locations to avoid those same interactions.

Shopping online means consumers don’t have to worry about being coughed on or touching a doorknob that could be carrying coronavirus. It also means customers can continue living in their pajamas and not worry about finding their face mask.

Businesses that are exclusively online are thriving. Not much has changed for them. Businesses that have both an online storefront and traditional brick-and-mortar location may be hurting some, but if their online presence is solid, they are still staying strong during COVID-19.

Taking your business completely online may not be possible in your industry. But chances are you can push at least some of your business operations online. If you haven’t done that already, there’s a lot you can learn from the e-commerce businesses that are booming.

Focus on Fast Customer Service

Selling your products online shouldn’t mean your patrons experience any less customer service. Virtual customer service is essential when you’re running an e-commerce business. The e-commerce businesses that are succeeding right now have effective measures in place to answer customer questions. Instant messaging is the most common way to do this. Many companies even allow customers to send messages 24/7.

This is important because in the online marketplace consumers will have more than just basic questions about product details. They may have a hard time placing an online order, especially if it’s their first time really dabbling with online shopping. At the moment, many senior citizens are making e-commerce purchases for the very first time and need guidance on how to use the technology.

Don’t think offering 24/7 support sounds practical? You’ll be happy to know you don’t need to connect customers with real people. Chatbots are able to field the most common customer questions. You don’t have to expel any extra time or money on answering questions, and your customers will still be satisfied with the level of service you provide.

Integrate No-Touch Forms of Payment

Another benefit of shopping online during a pandemic is customers and employees don’t have to worry about spreading the virus through cash or credit cards. Some brick-and-mortar businesses have stopped accepting cash as payment to avoid this. Online shopping gives consumers and businesses peace of mind. No one has to worry about passing any germs along while making a payment.

Online shopping with a credit card

E-commerce businesses have taken convenient payment options to the next level. Companies that accept no-touch forms of payment like PayPal or ApplePay make online shopping even more convenient for consumers. Some businesses even accept bitcoin. When you start accepting these forms of payment, you’ll have greater customer satisfaction during the pandemic and in the long-run.

Implement Better Work-from-Home Strategies for Employees

While a lot of these things have to do with the customer experience, it’s also important that you’ve created a strong work-from-home strategy for your employees during quarantine. Although we all hope this is the last time the world will see a pandemic like coronavirus, it’s also a good time to evaluate your overall work-from-home strategy. That way, if your employees ever have to work from home for a long period of time in the future, your business can still thrive. If employees know working from home is an option, they will also have greater satisfaction working for your company.

Make sure you have reliable technology and tools in place to help everyone in your company work from home. This should include:

  • Searchable employee databases
  • Secure messaging channels
  • Internal social networking
  • Videoconferencing

Make sure these platforms are cloud-based and accessible with mobile devices. It’s important that you’re proactive about choosing platforms that work best for your company even if you don’t think you’ll need them. You don’t want to end up with employees trying to communicate with each other across several different platforms.

Create New Solutions for Providing Professional Services

 It’s not just retail businesses that are changing during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It’s service providers too. Service providers like real estate agents, personal trainers, and others have struggled to find their footing in a pandemic-shaped world. But that hasn’t stopped many of these providers from succeeding. The key is creating creative solutions for new streams of revenue. But that hasn’t stopped many of these providers from succeeding. The key is creating creative solutions for new streams of revenue.

Some companies have shifted to providing quotes via video chat. Personal trainers have begun leading virtual workout classes on platforms like Zoom. Real estate agents have been providing video tours for their clients. This may not be ideal, but in many cases, it’s the only option to keep providing services safely during a pandemic.

The Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 Buying Habits

It may seem the e-commerce boom is temporary. But chances are consumers who have been driven to e-commerce will continue to prefer it long after this is over. This is also true of late-adapters who may not have been going online to make purchases in the past. It’s essential that your business is prepared to meet the evolving demands of consumers. Start working now.

If you have a business that’s looking to up its online game, you’re going to need compelling sales copy. Strong Estate Marketing would be happy to write content for your site. We’ll set your business u for success for the rest of the pandemic and long after it.

How to Effectively Market Your Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19

It’s no secret that the coronavirus has been hard on the economy, especially small businesses. Many businesses have been forced to close their doors to keep customers and employees safe. While they will hopefully be opening soon, some may never be able to open back up.

The coronavirus doesn’t have to be the end of the business you’ve worked so hard to build. By being intentional about your COVID-19 marketing strategy, you’ll be able to stay afloat even during these trying times. Here are a few of our top suggestions for your business.

1. Connect with Customers Personally

Everyone is feeling isolated right now. If you’re a small business that thrives on relationships, you can’t afford to let those relationships die for weeks or even months. As a business, you should always be taking advantage of social media, but you should be doing it now especially. Connect with your customers online. Encourage your followers to invite friends to like your page.

Right now is the time to empathize with your customers. It’s a rare occasion where you know one of the major things on everyone’s mind. Use that knowledge to your business’s advantage. Show your support for them in a personal way during this difficult time. If you’re investing in your customers even while business is down, they’ll want to invest in your business when things are up and running again.

2. Focus on Local SEO

In the past, have you gotten a lot of business from tourists or other out-of-town visitors? These types of businesses have been hit even harder because travel has decreased significantly. Your most powerful weapon to combat this problem is SEO. Make sure you’re targeting locals who won’t have to travel far to utilize your services.

If you don’t have the chops to handle this on your own, connect with an SEO strategist. They’ll guide you into an SEO strategy that will attract customers who are actually able to get to your business. If you invest in your SEO now, you’ll reap the benefits even when this pandemic is behind us.

3.Offer a Special Discount in Light of Recent Events 

It may seem counter-intuitive to offer customers a discount during such hard times. But with everyone more concerned than ever about where their hard-earned money is going, discounting is in your best interest. A bargain of any kind is the fastest way to get the attention of your customers, and it’s an effective way to close a sale.     

Business sale

Think about the product or service you offer that can best serve people right now. That’s the best thing you can discount right now to keep your business going!

4. Refresh Your Website

Have you been putting off updating your website for longer than you’d care to admit? You don’t have an excuse anymore! Make sure the design looks current. Even if there’s nothing wrong with your design, a new design could get the attention of new customers and gain their business.

Are there current photos of your team and/or business on your website? Is the information in your employee bios accurate? Do you also have your current hours listed? Make sure all this information is up-to-date to leave online visitors with an accurate, positive impression.

Could your written content also use some updating? If it’s anything less than captivating, it’s time to hire a professional writer. You’ll get copy that improves your conversion rate and optimizes your SEO.

Do you have a blog on your site? Now is the perfect time to start one or make sure you’re continuously updating it if you already have one. This is another way to make sure your loyal customers or clients don’t forget about you. It will also improve your SEO ranking.

You can also check up on the more technical aspects of your website during this time. Is it running fast enough? Is it secure? Are there any features it could use that you don’t already have? Dig deep and think about how you everything you can do to enhance your online presence!

5. Do What You Can to Help

With everyone hurting a little extra right now, there’s no shortage of opportunities to do good for others. And although you should be doing these kinds of things simply for the good of others, showing your willingness to help will also boost your business’s image.

When people do have a little extra money to spend, they’ll want to spend it on places they know are doing good—make sure one of those places is your business! Even if you don’t have any extra money right now, you can always donate your time by volunteering. You can help the elderly and immunosuppressed by delivering their groceries or hop on the bandwagon of sewing masks. Create a company culture of volunteerism by encouraging your employees to do the same.

Volunteering during the pandemic

6. Don’t Panic

These are scary, unprecedented times. The future is uncertain. But if you go into panic mode, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Just like with any business move you’ve ever made, you should have a well-thought-out strategy. Don’t make rash decisions you’ll regret later. Every business move you make should have a clear line of reasoning.

Although it may be trite, the truth is what’s happening right now is unprecedented. It’s changing often, and no one has ever seen anything like it before. Because of this, your decisions should involve even more careful planning than usual.

7. Plan for a Post COVID-19 Boom

Things aren’t going to be this way forever. Eventually, this pandemic will be over, and when it is, businesses that have survived will likely experience a surge in sales. This does not mean you should spend money you don’t have now based on the promise of future sales. But it does mean you should be preparing to pull out all the stops to bring customers back once you can open your doors again.

It’s important to keep the future in mind when you’re developing your business strategy in the coming months. Everything you’re doing right now to market your business will have an impact later on when you reopen your doors again.

Plan Ahead to Survive

There’s no denying that dealing with the coronavirus is going to be a challenge for businesses in nearly every industry. And it’s going to be that way for some time. But the more you prepare right now, the more likely you will be to stay open and succeed in spite of COVID-19!

Why a Professional Content Writer is Essential to Your Business’s Online Presence

Content writer using laptop

Every good business strategy should incorporate blogging and well-written website content. Although great writing doesn’t necessarily come cheap, it’s not an area where you want to skimp. When you go the cheap route, you risk your reputation, your customers’ opinions, your website’s rank, and more. Here are some of the biggest problems you might encounter if you settle for a cheap content writer.

Cheap Writing is Less Readable

One of the main goals of your website should be readability. You aren’t going to get bonus points for using SAT words and long, flowery sentences. In fact, this will deter website visitors and ultimately harm your conversation rate. Your content needs to be readable by a wide group of people to attract the most customers.

Readability isn’t just important for clarity. It’s also important for your website’s rank. Readability has actually become an essential part of how Google ranks you. When your website ranks highly, more people will be visiting your website. Your conversion rate will also go up. On the other hand, if you’re relying on someone who isn’t a very experienced writer to create content, you’re harming your bottom line.

Writing clear, concise content is second nature to a professional writer. Although you can argue that readability is subjective, there are some benchmarks for readable content. One time-tested tool is the Flesch reading ease score. This tool shows how readable the content is based on the average number of syllables in the words and the average length of the sentences. It scores the content on a scale of 0 to 100 with 100 being the easiest to read.

Ideally, content from a professional writer should fall in the 90 to 100 range. This means the content can be easily understood by someone as young as 11-years-old. In contrast, a writer who overcomplicates content is limiting your audience.

Web content in particular needs to be easy to read. People who are looking for products or services online don’t want to read a graduate thesis. They want compelling content that’s easy to read and will hold their attention. That’s exactly what they’ll get when they hire a professional writer!

A Native English Content Writer is Worth Paying For

The internet can be so useful for hiring service providers, including professional writes. But, unfortunately, this can make it more difficult to spot writers who aren’t actually as great as they claim to be. Sometimes you may hire a person that you think is a formally-trained native English writer, but the content they produce is poorly-written English content.

If the writer you’ve hired delivers poorly-written content, you’ll have to edit it to ensure it make sense to customers. In the end, you’ll have lost money in addition to the time you spent editing by hiring the amateur writer.

When your website isn’t written in clear English, it obviously hurts readability. Once again, that makes your customers have a harder time understanding your content and damages the SEO rank. But it also makes you unprofessional. If you want to present yourself as an authority on whatever it is you’re selling, you must hire a native English writer.

SEO-Optimized Content Improves Your Website’s Rank

If you’re paying someone to create content for your website, it better be SEO-optimized! Incorporating SEO keywords into your website is one of the most important things you can do to improve your website’s rank. Make sure that whoever you hire to write your content has a firm understanding of SEO.

A good copywriter will also know how to avoid over-stuffing your content with keywords, a.k.a. “keyword stuffing.” Using too many keywords can actually be a problem that harms your search rank. A professional writer will strike the ideal balance of just enough keywords without it being overkill.

SEO isn’t just about keywords. A good professional writer knows how to properly format a blog with headings and concise paragraphs. This will also help your site rank better on Google.

Professional Writers Deliver 100% Duplication-Free Content 

Perhaps the worst outcome of buying cheap writing is plagiarism. It may shock you to know that plagiarism isn’t just something students do when they’ve slacked off in class. It’s something that writers will deliver to their paying clients. If you aren’t careful about the writer you hire, this could happen to you!

This video demonstrates the kind of poor (and duplicated!) content you could end up with from an amateur writer—and the quality you can expect from a pro!

Plagiarism makes you look bad. You need to make yourself look credible. Your content should position you as a subject matter expert that your clients can trust for high-quality service or products. If you’re stealing content from other sources, you’ll look like the opposite: a fraud.

Plagiarism is, of course, illegal. You shouldn’t be doing it period, and the writer you might hire to work on your website definitely shouldn’t be doing it. But you might be thinking, “Who cares?” No one will know if you’ve copied someone else’s content. But the truth is Google knows, and it will penalize you for having duplicate content by lowering your SEO rank.

A quality professional writer will be able to give you 100% duplication-free content. You should be able to verify this using the site Copyscape. This is the industry standard for checking on whether or not the content has been duplicated. Plagiarism may be an easy way to get content on your website, but it’s not worth the risks you’re taking to put it up. Duplicate-free copy is worth paying for!

Choose Your Content Writer Wisely—Or Suffer the Consequences

Clearly, quality writing is essential to your business, and it’s worth paying for! Does your website need content? Make sure you invest in an experienced content writer who knows what they’re doing!

We would love to create website content for your business or help you refresh your website if it’s in need of a facelift. No matter what you’re looking for, we promise to deliver content that’s readable, SEO-optimized, and duplication-free. Because we’re native English writers, you’ll also never have to worry about us delivering copy that doesn’t quite make sense.

5 Elements of a Marketing Plan You Should Understand Now to Launch Your Online Business

This is a guest post from Emerson De Oliveira, the founder and president of Negotium Concepts, LLC. We are thrilled to feature him on our blog.

With so many companies moving online, there’s never been a better time to seize the opportunity and launch your own online business. However, building a business from the ground up is no walk in the park. As an aspiring entrepreneur you should focus on efficient planning, but as a business owner, producing results is the ultimate goal. You should work smart and hard when building a brand.

An effective marketing plan will help your company understand the market that it targets and the competition in that space. It will help you understand the impact and the results of your marketing decisions and provide direction for future initiatives. Although marketing plans can vary depending on the industry, type of products, services, and the goals you want to achieve, there are certain essential elements that most plans include. So, here are my top five elements of a marketing plan you should understand now when launching your online business.

1. Target Audience

Who are you targeting? Your target market should consist of consumers that exhibit similar characteristics such as: age, location, income or lifestyle. Consumers that are most likely to buy your products and services, are likely to be the most profitable segment(s) for your business to service.

Once your target market(s) have been identified, you can focus your efforts on tailoring your marketing mix with the needs and expectations of the audience in mind. This may involve carrying out additional consumer research in order to gain deeper insights into consumers’ motivation, purchasing habits, and technology usage patterns.

2. Unique Selling and Value Proposition

The goal of any great business model is to have a high-profit product that customers want to buy. A highly marketable product is traditionally described as having a unique selling proposition.

For example, Whole Foods offers wholesome, organic choices in its stores. Domino’s Pizza grew rapidly because of its super-fast delivery. UGG boots are not only fashionable but also allow you to walk comfortably without socks. These are all unique selling propositions.

Your product also needs a unique value proposition. Value is what the product does for customers that they’re prepared to pay you for. A product can have unique features, but do they benefit the customer, and is the customer prepared to pay for your product?

3. Leverage on Solid Analysis

Ask yourself, “What are my company’s strengths and weaknesses? What are the external opportunities and threats in my industry?” Leverage on a SWOT and competitive analysis to help answer these questions.

  • SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis helps you understand internal and external factors that can make or break your success. The SWOT analysis process is a brainstorming technique. It’s designed to help you understand what might differentiate you from your competition and what resources you have to execute that opportunity. In the same breath, the SWOT framework helps you understand what might prevent you from capitalizing on those opportunities.
  • A competitive analysis is an analysis of your competitors and how your business compares. By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, you can begin to formulate how to give your company an advantage. A comprehensive competitive analysis helps you determine potential advantages and barriers within a target market around a product or service. It generally helps brands monitor how direct (and indirect) competitors are executing strategies like pricing, promotions, and distribution.
  • Narrow down who your top three competitors are. What are they doing well? What are they lacking? What can you do better? A competitive analysis will help you answer these questions. In addition to recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, keeping an eye on your competitors helps you anticipate shifts in the market, spot new trends, successful tactics, and stay on the cutting edge of what’s working within your niche.

4. Marketing Budget

How much are you planning to spend on marketing per month? Do you have a budget in place to hire additional marketing resources? Determine how big or small your marketing budget will be.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending seven to eight percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million per year in sales and your net profit margin—after all expenses—is in the 10 to 12 percent range. You should plan to spend two to five percent of your sales revenue on your marketing budget. 

5. Monitor Key Performance indicators

At the end of the day, the best way to judge your marketing’s success is by measuring its growth in sales revenue. Measuring your sales growth is vital to the long-term health of your company. Not only does it serve as a good indicator when it comes to strategic planning, it also allows for identification of growth trends.

Tracking your marketing KPIs helps validate your marketing plan. Thanks to the countless tracking tools available today, businesses have more opportunity for transparency in their marketing efforts than ever before. Get to know your marketing failures and fix them by tracking your performance indicators. Get to know your marketing successes and share them with your team.

Finally, your choices for marketing avenues are vast and include email, social media, advertising, guest blogging, direct mail, advanced software, etc. With so many marketing choices, you need a plan to determine the best course of action for your business. Many business owners create a marketing plan and then set it aside.

Your marketing plan is a road map providing you with direction toward reaching your business objectives. It needs to be referred to and assessed for results often. Now you have a better understanding of the five elements of your marketing plan. Get energized and get your business going!

CONTACT

We'd love to hear about your next project!