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Energize Your Website

Greg Jameson's Ecommerce Blog

Writing Copy for Your Homepage

Recently at a class I was teaching at our local college, it became apparent to me that most of my students (all business owners), were struggling, not with the technical aspects of building their websites, but with coming up with content, especially for their homepage. This is a problem I often see with my clients as well. So I put together this quick guide to help you get started.

Start by identifying who your ideal customer is.

Describe that person. If it is a 40 year old soccer mom, spell that out right from the beginning. For example, “You are a busy soccer mom trying to juggle running a household, taking care of multiple kids, and still trying to work.”

Identify the problem.

Describe the issues they are facing so they know you understand what they are going through. For example, “Making dinner for your family is important to you, but you just don’t seem to have time to cook a great meal when you are running your kids around to all their activities.”

Describe your solution.

Ask a question and then answer it. For example, “What if someone prepared homemade meals and delivered them right to your door several times each week? You don’t have to worry about messing up your kitchen or cleaning it up because all the work is done for you. And every meal is both nutritious and delicious. Not only can this be your new reality, but the cost is incredibly affordable. Explore our website and let us show you how to get started.”

What would someone search on if they were looking for a solution like yours?

Do a Google search for that keyword phrase. Look at the top 3 websites that appear under that search term (not the ads). Read what they say. You are going to take the best ideas from those sites and write a page in your own words, using what they say, but talking about your solution.

The keyword phrase you identified should be used as your title text, and should be repeated in the description at least 3 times. In this example, we might use “Healthy meals when you don’t have time to cook.” That could be both a title and a phrase you work into the narrative throughout the page.

Avoid using the words “I, we, my, or your name” anywhere on this page if at all possible – it is about your customer and their problem, not about you.

Recap your benefits using bullet points

Despite the fact that humans don’t like reading a lot of copy, search engines prefer longer descriptions. Do not be afraid of writing a lot, just break it into “chunks.” Each paragraph can have its own heading. When you are describing features and benefits, recap what you are saying using bullet points. In the example above, you might say:

  • Homemade meals
  • Delivered right to your door
  • No clean up
  • Nutritious
  • Delicious
  • Very affordable

Remember, the home page is not an “About Us” page, it is an “About the Customer and their problem” page. As such, I recommend adding customer testimonials somewhere on your home page. Don’t hide them all on a testimonials page, put them right where if reinforces the story you are telling above.

Remember, the home page is not an About Us page, it is an About the Customer and their problem page. Click To Tweet

OK, now you’ve written the copy for your homepage, and it is talking directly to your ideal customer. The next question is,

How Many Links Do I Need to Get on Page 1 of Google?

The answer is […]

Characteristics of Successful Content marketing Campaigns

Guest post by Hristina Nikolovska

Content marketing is a tried and tested marketing strategy that can build your brand’s reputation while simultaneously helping you bring prospects to the top of your sales funnel. However, these only come with successful campaigns. According to a 2016 study, only 30% of B2B marketers said their organizations were effective at content marketing.

Successful content marketing campaigns do not happen by chance. They take a lot of time, attention and, most important of all, planning. The process involves a good understanding of the dynamics of the relationship between customers and businesses.

Unfortunately, most business owners and marketers do not approach their content marketing campaigns carefully. Many are careless with their approach, piecing together various strategies and merely hoping to see good results in the end.

While there are no two successful content marketing campaigns that look exactly the same, there are a set of characteristics they have in common.

Highlighted below are some essential aspects of successful content marketing campaigns.

Made for a Clearly Defined Audience

Before crafting any content or considering your marketing funnel, you must establish who you’re directing your marketing efforts at.

This will ensure that all your content is tailored to fit the needs of your ideal customer or client.

The following questions would help your cause:

  • What problems is my product or service aiming to solve?

  • Who would most likely have these problems?

  • What are their defining characteristics? (consider status, age, and general demographic)

Crafting Educational rather than Promotional Content 

Having identified your target audience, the next step is to create what suits them. While creating your content, be sure to mention what the exact problem of your target audience is and how your products help solve them.

In content marketing, producing value-adding content is the main focus. Unlike what is obtainable with ads, your product or business shouldn’t be the center of discussion.

Offer 

While your content isn’t crafted to promote your business, your offer will do justice to that. But you have to be aware this offer isn’t a hard sell.

Its main goal is fetching mails rather than effecting immediate sales. To make sure of this, however, your content must be unique and valuable.

The main goal is fetching mails rather than effecting immediate sales. Click To Tweet

This offer could take the form of case studies, free consultation, white papers, ebooks, etc. When your customers download these materials, you establish a connection with them. You can do this by […]

Getting Visitors to Return to Your Site

On October 24th, Google announced its latest algorithm update called BERT. According to the release, Google says that this will affect 10% of queries, which means this is one of the biggest Google updates of the last 5 years!

Instead of looking at the user’s search query on a word by word basis, BERT allows Google to interpret the entire phrase better to give the searcher more accurate results.

Slight modifications or even simple words in a search query can dramatically alter the search intent. With this new update, Google is getting better at interpreting what the users are truly looking for when they search.

What does this mean for you? Sites that have lots of good content in the form of well-written, long-form guides to be the winners of this update. Sites with lots of good content that is update regularly are are the ones that are most likely to get return visitors.

Most visitors (98%) to a website will leave without ever getting past the first page, never to return again. As a result, website owners are constantly looking for new ways to get repeat visitors and get them to engage with their site, staying on it longer and visiting multiple pages.

The Onion once mocked this behavior with an article titled, “New Facebook notifications alert users when they are not currently looking at Facebook.” As they put it:
“We hope these helpful new alerts will improve our users’ experience by prompting them to revisit the site in the event they momentarily turn their focus elsewhere.”

During the blind auditions, the Voice used a technique we see in various TV shows, including season finales, of  “To Be Continued…” You could do this too. In fact, you might notice that I try to do this with my newsletters, leaving readers hanging with where I put the “more” tag. For example, if you want to get more visitors to return to your site more often, the trick it so … “read more”…

Of course you can always use retargeting ads, the pesky little banner ads that follow you all over the internet once you have visited a site one time. Retargeting ads work because they draw your attention back to a site you previously visited. It is one of the services we offer at WebStores Ltd.

You could try a “Frequent Flyers” (frequent visitors) program using a tool like Gratisfaction and reward viewers for how often they return to your site. You could also make a game out of it, such as “Find the hidden turkey” somewhere on your site. Each day, you “move” the turkey to a different page, encouraging them to spend more time on the site trying to find the hidden picture – the reward of course is significant enough (like a $100 Visa Gift Card), that people will want to play your game. And it doesn’t have to be a turkey, it might be a hidden Santa, Valentine, Easter Bunny, flag or whatever.

The best ways to get people to come back to your website is to capture their email address, then send them links to your most recent post on a weekly basis. Click To Tweet

One of the best ways to get people to come back to your website is to capture their email address, then send them links to your most recent post on a weekly basis. In fact, you can get up to 70% of your visitors to return within a 60 day period if you send them an email. That is what this newsletter does.  If you are a regular reader you will be aware that each week you get a new article in your inbox, directing you to my site to finish reading the entire article. Regular, consistent content with new material delivered to your email subscribers every week (or more frequently if you are a news site or big enough, like Amazon to pull it off), is the key to getting people to return to your site over and over again.

Don’t think you have material to deliver content to your customers? Amazon of course has a huge number of products, and they can just send you product info. But think beyond just products or services, think about feelings and benefits. For example, you could write a series of articles on “the benefits of drinking tea everyday.” Or if you are a house cleaning company, you could write an article about “How to throw a great dinner party,” and of course one of the tips would be to hire a professional house cleaner before and after the party. You could write a story about an experience a customer has had while using your travel bags. The important thing is to deliver quality content on a consistent basis if you want someone to come back to your site more than once.

Once you get them on your site, it is your responsibility to not let them leave until they give you their email address. Click To Tweet

And once you get them on your site, remember that it is your responsibility to not let them leave until they give you their email address. Of course, if they are a repeat visitor and have gotten to know, like and trust you, then at some point, you want them to become a customer. And eventually a repeat customer. Or better yet, a regular and frequent customer who buys from you over and over again. That is why […]

7 Deadly Mistakes Most Websites Make and Don’t Even Know It

I’ve read a lot of information about the 7 deadly sins of website design, and for the most part, while they have some good information, are wrong. Or at least misleading. You see, font selection, bad photos, mobile responsiveness, moving sliders, wrong plugins, line height, line length, amateur design layout, not enough color contrast, hosting, page load times, outdated templates, broken links, etc. are all issues that web designers need to address. But those are NOT the things that keep people from finding your site, returning to your site, and buying from you. This article addresses websites mistakes from the viewpoint of the CUSTOMER, not the web designer. In many ways, this is a wrap up of what we’ve been posting about in this blog over the past several weeks. And it may be the most important blog I’ve ever written.

Design fashion comes and goes. There used to be a time that it was considered good taste to have Flash websites, hit counters, animated gifs and the like on websites. In 10 years, some of the things that are considered great today will probably be looked upon as taboo. That is why you need to focus on the content, not the technology.

So, yes, if your website looks like one of these: fire your webmaster and start over. But as humorous as these examples might be, that is NOT the root of your problem.

It’s actually pretty simple: Define who your ideal customer is (your avatar). Then make your website content appeal to that ideal customer avatar. Period.

Leave the technical stuff to your web designer and concentrate on your customer. (That sounds a lot like what Jeff Bezos would say). Here then are the 7 deadly website mistakes… […]

Online Retailer Hack: Content Driven Ecommerce Helps You Sell More

Regular readers to this blog know that I am a huge believer in creating content on a consistent basis for your website. Content is huge in terms of marketing. It is the process of creating relevant information to attract and engage visitors to your site. I’ve been preaching the importance of creating content on a consistent basis for your website for years, yet most ecommerce sites are simply product-based. You open a typical ecommerce site and see products, prices, a hort description, and (sometimes) long descriptions and specifications. Occasionally you see a rare few following Amazon’s example and showing reviews.

Most ecommerce sites are simply product-based. A content driven ecommerce website on the other hand provides valuable information for the readers in the form of blogs. Click To Tweet

A content driven ecommerce website on the other hand provides valuable information for the readers in the form of blogs and other media, including YouTube videos, as part of the products that they sell. They tell authentic stories about how people are using their products and the results they are getting. This approach is much more powerful and these types of sites allow you to really stand out from your competition. Imagine sharing your customer’s stories every week and categorizing these stories by product type so they can be easily searched. You write a new post every week highlighting how someone has used your product or service, not as a sales piece, but relevant information for your readers. Perhaps your readers have contributed content, or maybe you’ve done a short interview with them to capture their success. The images are of your customers actually using and enjoying what you sell. Then, you give people the opportunity to purchase the product near the end of the story.

With WooCommerce, there are two ways you might do this using shortcodes. You could specify to include a single product page like this:

The problem is that the entire product page is then embedded into your post, including related items and the description. If you just want to include the add to cart button (since you have already included images and prices in your narrative), you can use this shortcode:
Where the id is the actual product id number that you are discussing.

You often see this form of content driven ecommerce with affiliate marketing and long-form sales letters or squeeze pages. But there is no reason you can’t do this with your own online store. In fact, there are a lot of good reasons to do this, even if you also approach your website in a traditional shopping cart mode.

There are a lot of good reasons to use a content driven ecommerce model, even if you also approach your website in a traditional shopping cart mode. Click To Tweet

Search visibility is one reason for considering a content driven ecommerce site. Search engines prefer new content and frequently updated content. They also like longer narratives as that gives them a better understanding of what your product page is really all about. But more importantly, customers love stories. Stories sell more. That alone should be a good reason to consider using a content driven ecommerce approach.

Customers love stories. Stories sell more. That alone should be a good reason to consider using a content driven ecommerce approach. Click To Tweet

Content driven ecommerce can both help educate and inspire. But a common challenge for many companies is that they struggle to […]

Why Consistent Action Matters

Guest post by Benji Bruce

Editor’s note: I got this as an email from Benji and he gave me reprint rights when I contacted him. And while he relates this to the speaking profession, it is very true of marketing any product or service. As business owners, marketing is not a one time thing, it is something we must do everyday. And the more we practice marketing, the more competent we become. Here is his email in it’s entirety:

I was watching Last Chance U on Netflix. It’s a show about college football players who want to make it to the NFL.

And I noticed something VERY interesting.

Almost every athlete they interviewed was certain they would turn pro.

But as you know, that’s not how life happens.

Several of them made bad decisions that ruined their careers.

So it got me thinking…how can you be so sure your life will turn out one way, and it ends up going a completely different direction?

As I watched the show, I kept thinking…

“If they want to play in the NFL, they have to practice when everyone else is resting.”

For most of them, when the coach says practice is over, it’s over.

I thought, “Would Tom Brady (he’s one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history) stop practicing when practice if finished? Or would he practice in his off time?”

The players in the Netflix show were so certain of where their life would end up.

And I’m sure this happens to a lot of people in life.

How certain were you that you would be in a better position in life by now?

How certain were you that you were going to crush it in business?

Only to realize that you’re older and not exactly where you thought you’d be.

Certainty isn’t the precursor to destiny. Competence is.

This is why the ‘law of attraction’ people can ‘wish’ all they want. But without skills to back it up, they go nowhere.

When people tell me they’re destined to be a speaker. That this is their calling…I think…

…And?

Do you get what I’m saying?

Certainty of your destiny doesn’t manifest it.

Competence does. Skills do.

Every day that goes by where you’re not working on the things that accomplish your goals is a day you lost to someone who is. Click To Tweet

And every day that goes by where you’re not working on the things that accomplish your goals is a day you lost to someone who is.

You might understand cold emailing can get you booked as a speaker. But how many emails did you send last week?

Or did you distract yourself by working on your book that you’ve been ‘writing’ for a year?

You might understand that spending money on advertising to build your list will help sell your programs. But how much did you spend last week? How many sales did you generate?

Or did you play around, create a couple of Instagram posts, maybe a video, and think that’s going to cut it? […]

Want To Sell More? Reverse The Risk!

Guest post by Eric Graham

Editor’s Note: Eric Graham is a friend and I asked him for reprint rights to this article. It is the perfect followup to last week’s article on making an irresistible offer.

Want the formula for more sales? 💵

Here it is…

🧪 PV > PR = Sale

(Read on to find out what that means…)

🛩 As a pilot and aircraft owner, one of the most important responsibilities I have is managing and reducing the RISK for myself and my passengers.

The same principles apply in business and marketing…

One of the biggest barriers selling more of your products and services is the RISK involved on the part of your buyer.

Think about it…

Particularly if this is their first purchase from you…

Giving their credit card information and hard-earned money to a person or company they have never done business with before is a risky proposition in their mind.

They come into the transaction with an inherent level of mistrust, fear, and skepticism.

And the higher the price of your product or service, the greater the level of perceived risk in your potential buyer’s mind.

This is why $7 “Trip Wire” (personally dislike that term) or “Free Plus Shipping” offers are so popular at the front end of many funnels.

The low price point reduces the perceived risk in the minds of your buyers.

They say to themselves, “If I get ripped-off, so what? It’s only $7!”

The perceived value outweighs the perceived risk.

Your prospects WILL NOT BUY until the Perceived Value (PV) outweighs the Perceived Risk (PR). Click To Tweet

In fact, your prospects WILL NOT BUY until the “Perceived Value” (PV) outweighs the “Perceived Risk” (PR).

It is a simple and reliable formula.

PV > PR = Sale
PV < PR = No Sale

It is predictable and binary.

And it works EVERY TIME!

As long as the perceived risk of taking you up on your offer is lower than the perceived value, they will buy. Period.

And it’s often NOT the loss of the money that is the true “risk” in the transaction.

For many, if not most, prospects…

It is the risk of looking or feeling stupid that is the REAL psychological risk in most offers.

Nobody wants to feel or look stupid…

(That’s a big reason why “IQ Test Offers” are so powerful!)

Money can be replaced…

Loss of STATUS (or self-confidence) on the other hand, is a MUCH bigger “cost” than the loss of a little (or even a lot) of cash.

So, with this in mind, what can we as marketers do to reduce or reverse the perceived (and actual) risk in the offers we make?

There are 2 main ways we can do this… […]

How I Doubled My On-Line Sales – Revealed

Guest post by Terri Levine

You, like me, have a website and you want to have more sales, right? In this article, I will show you exactly how I have done this and doubled my on-line sales and also grew my database by over 19,000 people. Not only has this worked for me, but this system has also helped my client family members grow their incomes and their audiences, too.

Invest In Marketing – Not Advertising

I want you to shift your mindset from advertising to marketing. You must be willing to pay for marketing and shift from thinking everything today is free. I know that in the world of internet marketing everyone wants free traffic and I also know that it is a false economy.  I am about to give you a simple system that works if you are willing to invest a little bit of money in marketing.

You will only be paying for results, not for advertising with this very simple plan. What I am about to reveal will bring a lot of business to your website and help you market the right way and put more income in your pocket.  Are you ready?

The Irresistible Offer

One of the basic precepts of marketing is that anything worth marketing starts with an irresistible offer which causes people to stop and get excited and then grab the offer. Unless you begin with an offer that is irresistible why would people get excited about your website and products and services you have for sale? Most people’s websites don’t provide offers like this and many don’t give people something away that people value. Then they wonder why people aren’t opting in and sales aren’t being made.

Let’s create your irresistible offer right now.  I want you to think of something you can give away to website visitors that costs you no more than $5.00.

Let me give you a few examples from my own clients who I consult with and how they have used this process to make a lot more income.

One of my clients helps authors sell more books with her consulting services. On her website, she offers a done for you video promotion for your book for free when you opt-in.  Instead of her doing this done-for-you service which would take her time, she went over to Fivver and hired someone to create these videos for each opt-in she gets. She pays the contractor at Fivver only $5,00 per video.  Keep in mind what I said earlier, you are going to be investing money in results not advertising. Instead of budgeting for ads, my client is spending the money on actually delivering a valuable done for you service.

Prior to working with this client was investing in pay per click ads.  I told her to stop the pay per click ads and switch to this idea.  Instead of putting money into ads she is now paying someone to create something her exact target audience wants and needs. The cost of each video is $5.00 and she was paying more than $5.00 per lead on ads.

The results? When these videos are delivered people say, “wow” and are excited to find out more about working with her.

Now, if you aren’t a consultant or in a service business, this still works. […]

Why some websites succeed when other’s don’t

Over the years I’ve helped hundreds of companies with their online sales. Some websites struggle to get one sale per month, while others receive multiple orders every hour of every day. What’s the difference? Marketing. Specifically, marketing that drives traffic to your website, followed up by marketing that converts visitors into customers.

According to Neil Patel, less than 25% of ALL websites ever receive ANY traffic. I’m not sure where he got those numbers, but I recently reviewed a website for a potential client and what I discovered was true of about 75% of all the websites that I look at, so I suspect his numbers are accurate. Because I see these same issues in so many websites, I decided to post my reply to this company in this article. Here is my response:

At first glance, your website appears to be clean and professional looking. It is using a modern and robust content management system. You have Google Analytics installed, which is recommended. Technically, there is nothing wrong with your site. So why isn’t it performing? Let me explain.

It appears as if there are 38 products listed on your site. All products have good quality, high resolution photos that looks like they were professional shot. They are all consistent and all have white cutout backgrounds so the product appears to float on the page. These photos are great for the primary product photos, however you would probably get more sales conversions if you added some secondary photos and videos of the product “in-context” – that is action shots of how the product is actually used. Multiple images of your product, and even videos of your product being used should be considered the norm.

You need testimonials and reviews on your website. This is huge. Social proof is one of the main selling points for anyone buying online and you can greatly ease their mind by having testimonials and reviews on each and every page of your website.

Make it easy for someone to do business with you. Your phone number is on the contact page, but we recommend adding it to the header and/or footer of every page.

The single biggest problem you have with your website is that no one can find it (your site is not listed on alexa.com, which means it gets very little traffic). An Alexa rank by itself may not indicate sales volume, but it does show relative traffic volume over time. For example, the number one site on the internet (Alexa rank of 1) is Google. The number 2 site (Alexa rank of 2) is YouTube. Facebook is number 3. Alexa ranks approximately 28 million websites. For reference purposes, WebStoresLtd.com sits at 132,259 (21,303 in the United States). Your site does not make it into the top 28,000,000 meaning you do not get enough traffic to show up.

To see if your site comes up in the search engines, use a new private (incognito) browser and type in the search term you think you should rank for. The simple truth of the matter is that no one (other than your friends and existing customers) would ever think to search on “Your Website Name” (changed to protect the client’s privacy) to find your website. Instead, they would search for “Cajun Seasoning,” or “Gourmet Teriyaki Sauce.” When that happens, you are not showing up in the search results. As you learned at the seminar, the best way to overcome this is to create a YouTube video for every one of your products, focusing on a long-tail keyword that is highly searched but has little competition. For example, “gourmet teriyaki chicken sauce” or “gourmet teriyaki salmon sauce” are long-tail keywords that you could probably rank for, as there are over 200,000 monthly searches for these terms with a competition score of only 0.02.
In addition to driving traffic from search terms, you need to […]

The BIG SECRET to SEO

I did not write this. It came in an email from TheHOTH. But the message is so strong and on target that I have to share it on this blog. a very savvy marketer asked an Inc 5000 recipient on how to grow his business:

My #1 piece of SEO advice to double your business

“If I hired you and paid you $2 million dollars to come into my business and run marketing, what would you do?”

I told him the first thing that I would do is take an inventory of all the questions, misconceptions, doubts, & fears that customers have before they buy.

All the stuff they need answers to before they buy.

All the stuff that is preventing them from buying.

All the stuff they ask you on the phone before they sign up.

Then take all those answers that you have in your head, write them down and put them…

…ON YOUR BLOG.

Take all those answers that you have in your head, write them down and put them......ON YOUR BLOG. Click To Tweet

Now, instead of you explaining these things every single time, your potential buyers can find them when they search online.

They’ll find your articles, get answers, start trusting you as the authority and click over to your sales page.

This is inbound marketing & SEO at it’s finest…

…and that is the core of how you can become one of the fastest-growing companies in the US.

As an Inc. 500 myself (not just the 5000) I could not agree more. Its why I write a new blog post every single week. And its why […]

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