Energize Your Website

Greg Jameson's Ecommerce Blog

I grew my Instagram by 100 followers per day!

Perhaps I still don’t get it, but Instagram is a strange social media platform. Instagram is not a website, but an app. You have to use your phone to post on Instagram. Every post must include a photo – and the photo must be square. Further, you can’t include a link in your posts to drive people to your website. Quite honestly, I find all of these things annoying, especially for business use. Yet, I’ve heard so many great things about Instagram, especially for Influencer Marketing, that I keep trying to figure out how to really make it work. I’ve tried assorted services that will grow your account, without buying followers, but instead will get you real people following your account. These have worked only marginally, growing my followers by perhaps 10 to 20 people per day. Not stellar, but I know better than to buy fake followers. Besides, what good are followers on Instagram if you can’t include a link? – you might as well just advertise where you can get people to click.

I don’t take a constant stream of selfies to post to social media, I prefer to create real valuable content, so decided to generate a series of motivational quotes. I grabbed some free stock photos, found quotes related to marketing, online sales, and ebusiness, and made a new meme for each day. Editing tools are better on my laptop, so I create the memes on my computer, then transfer them to my phone in order to post them on Instagram. These are good quality content, and I share them on Instagram with automatic posts to Facebook and Twitter (which you can do on Instagram). I also included a variety of hashtags. (Hashtags are those key words that start with # and are clickable links that people follow). Hashtags are key to growing your following on Instagram, as that is how new people find you. So, you want to use hashtags that people are looking for.

Anyways, it was recently Veteran’s Day. I decided to post a photo of my dad from back in the day when he was a liaison officer at the Air Force Academy. I used hashtags like #airforce, #veteransday, and #military. My account grew by over 100 followers in a single day – way better than anything I had done previously. Then it hit me as to why Instagram is important for your business. It is because […]

How can I get more traffic to my website?

I recently had a customer ask me, “how can I get more traffic to my website?” The answer can be broken down into 2 parts: free (organic) traffic and paid (advertising) traffic. Let’s examine the benefits and disadvantages of each.

Free traffic: This is what everyone wants, but has become increasingly harder to get and sustain ongoing. The way to get lots of free traffic is to create amazing content on an ongoing and consistent basis. Whether it be great photos that get shared, viral videos, or articles that offer information that visitors want to consume, content is what drives free traffic. If you build great content on a regular basis and keep doing it week after week, month after month, and year after year, then people start to notice you. And when people start to notice you, Google and the other search engines start to notice you. It takes a long time and a lot of work to generate free traffic. The advantage of course is that it is free, and it last a long time – when you put out quality content, your information may very well still be found months later. But it does take a huge amount of time and effort.

Amateur web designers rely on free traffic, while professionals pay for traffic by advertising. Click To Tweet

Paid Traffic: The other option is paid traffic. Paid traffic is great: create an ad for Facebook or Google, and they will send traffic your way. Plus, the traffic is highly optimized, either based on a specific search term or the targeted interests of your customers. I’ve heard it said that amateur web designers rely on free traffic, while professionals pay for traffic by advertising. And here’s the thing: you WILL get a lot more traffic when you advertise. Of course, your offer still has to be of interest to your customers; if they don’t care about what you are selling or what your lead magnet is, they will still not buy anything. I just did an entire podcast episode today on “conversion optimization,” which is all about getting someone to take action once they reach your website – watch for it in a couple of weeks.

So, is Facebook advertising worth it? […]

WordPress is about to change forever

Few versions of WordPress in the past have garnered as much buzz around them as WordPress 5.0. the last time we saw this much hype (and change) was the introduction of custom post types, which changed WordPress from a blogging platform into the world’s most popular content management system that now powers 30% of the websites on the planet. The reason for this hype about 5.0 is two simple words: Gutenberg Editor. Once WordPress 5.0 ships, the default way that people create content with WordPress will radically change.  As of now, here is the scheduled release dates for WordPress 5.0:

  • October 19: Beta 1
  • October 30: RC 1 (Release Candidate)
  • November 19: Release
  • There will likely be a secondary RC in January of 2019

The scope of this project entails:

  • Merging the Gutenberg plugin into the core software
  • Updating the default themes to work well with the block editor
  • Creating the new Twenty Nineteen theme
  • Creating an upgrade experience to remove the Gutenberg plugin and offer the Classic Editor plugin

The launch of Gutenberg means that you’ll need to get acquainted with a whole new editing experience. You can get a head start and find out exactly what you’re in for by installing a beta version of the Gutenberg editor as a plugin. Here’s what to expect after 5.0 rolls out:

The platform’s focus is moving towards a more intuitive site-building experience. Specifically, the core team is looking to maintain it’s market share against the rise of hosted website builders, many of which are easier to use for novice designers than all the complexities that WordPress offers. Building themes will become easier. In the past, you needed at least a simple development background to put together a WordPress theme. With Gutenberg, theme creation will become much more accessible thanks to blocks. Aside from your own editing experience, Gutenberg will also bring important changes to a lot of your favorite plugins, especially those that interact with the editor such as page builders and those that use shortcodes.

The biggest improvement is that it will now make it possible for you to build and create unique web pages filled with lots of content blocks, which you can easily move around with a drag-and-drop interface. Here’s a preview of what the new editor will look like: […]

★★★ Make Your Subject Line STAND OUT 🙂

Have you ever gotten an email with symbols in the subject line and wonder “how did they do that?” The fact is, the subject line is the single most important part of any email – it determines whether or not someone opens your message and decides to read it. You can mark an email as “important” and you can request a read receipt (which most email programs can bypass), but there isn’t a way to bold words other than making them all UPPER CASE, which looks like you are screaming at them. But adding symbols and emojis(☛ If U ❤️ me, please ☎) can definitely attract attention to your email subject line.  It’s actually easy to do this. Here’s how: […]

“I’m Terrible At Writing My Own Copy” <--- This is Killing Your Sales

You should not be hiring a copywriter.

You should be writing all of your own copy.

But, writing your own copy can feel so sloooooooow.

In fact, you might even think that you can’t do it. Not only can you, but it is imperative that you do it, and that you create original, high quality content at least weekly. And I don’t care what your business is. You might be a building contractor, a plumber, a brew pub, a coffee shop, photographer, house cleaner, candle maker. It doesn’t matter. EVERYONE need to prepare their own, original, high quality content via a blog, podcast, or video stream on a regular and consistent basis (read weekly)! That is how you grow your customer list and your following. And like I said, it doesn’t matter what profession you are in. YOU need to be creating your own copy, not someone you hire. Here’s how I recommend you start:

Imagine someone just walked into your shop and starts asking you about what you sell. You have a conversation with them, telling them about what you offer. Record that conversation! Talk into a microphone, just like you are talking to a potential customer. Now get that recording transcribed (you can do it with an app or pay someone on Fivver). You can pay someone to edit it for you, but the tone needs to sound like you.

Add some images to your weekly blog. Not all of us are photographers, so head over to Pixabay.com or Pexels.com and find an image that goes with what you are talking about. you can edit these images if you want, but you don’t have to. the idea is to start creating content that your customers will find valuable. In fact, you want your content to end up being a resource that your customers look forward to. I’ve got a number of clients in service based business that want to run ads (both paper ads and digital ads), and their default call to action is always “call for a free estimate.” Look, everyone offers a free estimate – that is not a good reason for someone to give you their contact information. You need to stand out. What if you said, “Click here to download the top 10 tips on…” Of course they will give you their email address to get this information. You can no longer just be another repair man – you must be seen as an expert in your field, and the best way to do this is to deliver consistent, original content to your customers.

If you really don’t like to write, then create a podcast or video recording. Talk about your topic. Invite customers to be guests. Share your knowledge, and it will pay huge dividends.

Finally, share your blog post with your email list and on your social media accounts. Do this every week and soon you’ll have more business and referrals than you can image! […]

Only use this if you want to get noticed!

I had the honor of co-hosting a webinar yesterday with Michelle Calloway, the founder and CEO of Revealio, an augmented reality application that is geared towards small business owners. If you are looking for a way to differentiate yourself from your competition, you need to watch this webinar – I promise it will be worth your time.

Augmented Reality promises to be as influential to our society as the smart phone. - Tim Smith, CEO of Apple Click To Tweet

The Revealio app which is shown in this webinar  gives business owners some unique tools, including:

  • analytics
  • unlimited video swaps
  • edit call to action buttons

The call to action buttons are one of the great features of this app – after watching a video, you can send someone to a website (special landing page), a social media profile, or even a “buy now” button. But the only way to really see how this works is to try it yourself, so here is what I want you to do:

  1. Download the Revealio-AR app onto your smartphone right now.
  2. Open the Revealio app and click on “View a Revealio”
  3. Hold your camera over the logo image below and watch it come to life!

 

 

4. Then visit WebStoresLtd.com/Revealio and get this set up for your business!

[…]

Tools you can use

These are some tools that I found that can benefit both business owners and webmasters – check them out!

About 60% of website traffic now comes from smart phones and tablets, which is why it is critical that your website is able to adjust itself dynamically to fit on a smaller screen without zooming up and down. Most new websites do this, in what we call a responsive design. Sites that are a few years old may not have this capability. You can check your site here to see how it looks on a mobile device: https://www.websiteplanet.com/webtools/responsive-checker. There is no charge to use this tool.

If your site isn’t mobile responsive and you aren’t ready to embark on a redesign, you might be able to use a tool like Duda to get yourself a mobile website without affecting the desktop site. Visit Duda here.

I did a full post back in December about Revealio, but have now gotten my own Revealio video which we will be showing off at the Dallas Mart next month. If you are coming to Dallas, stop by and see how amazing this is. Or visit Revalio now.

Most of us are familiar with frequent flier miles and other customer loyalty programs, but did you know you can build a rewards program into your website where visitors get points for visiting your site, visitng certain pages of your site, sharing your posts, going to your social media pages, buying products, refering a friend, etc. This handy tool is called “Gratisfaction” and it can be a great way to retain visitors on your site. Get Gratisfaction here.

Did you ever wonder how graphic artists are able to cut out the background of an image, leaving just the product you want to show off? the tool is called PhotoClip from Inpixio. this is an awesome tool to make your images look more professional. Grab Photoclip here.

Finally, Acuity Scheduling allows you to get rid of “email ping-pong” when trying to set up appointments. It will integrate with other calender programs like google Calendar to show when you are available (you may have noticed that this is how I schedule calls with customers). Check out Acuity Scheduling here.

[…]

Outdoor Electronics ?

This post was originally published on my scouting website, cyberbase Trading Post, but the information in this is relevant to many small business owners, so I decided to replicate it in its entirety here for your use.

As a scoutmaster, I never let the boys in my troop bring any kind of electronics with them on a campout. The idea was to get out and enjoy and learn about the outdoors, not play video games or electronic chat with friends who weren’t out camping with them. so when I was asked to review a video projector that could be used for “camping” I thought, “Really?” I’ll be honest, I still don’t think watching videos has a place on a campout. And the Pravette C7 projector I was given to test doesn’t really lend itself to camping as I know it. This projector is small and lightweight, and works best in total darkness, which is probably why the manufacturer says it is good for camping. But, it requires electricity to run it (there is no battery), which means you are in an RV lot at best. That said, there are some good reasons to consider getting one of these, even for outdoor use, such as in your backyard. Let me explain.

Video can be a great learning tool. There are portions of leadership training that use videos to show situations. A couple of times a year, our troop might have a movie night. Of course, having a projector can be useful when making a presentation. And if you want to show photos from recent outings at a family night, the USB input can be useful. The Pravette C7 will work well for any of these situations. As a video projector in a dark setting, it works well. It does have built-in speakers which sound OK, but if you have a larger group, there is a jack for external speakers as well. Input sources include VGA, USB, SD card, or HDMI. No cables for HDMI or VGA are provided. The native resolution of the unit is only 800 x 480, but when you attach an HDMI cable it is capable of displaying at 1080 resolution. Here is an example of […]

Chatbot Marketing

You’ve probably seen chatbots in action. They are on all sorts of websites, from major retail chains to mobile phone service providers and many other types of sites and apps. At first, you might think you’re talking to a real person. Usually, a popup appears with a picture of an agent, along with a name. The agent asks something like, “May I help you with anything?” or, “Do you have any questions?”

Chatbots can be quite advanced. Using artificial intelligence, many of them can almost manage to fool users into thinking they are speaking to a real person. This is beneficial, because it allows companies to lower their overhead by using chatbots to replace customer service agents, sales personnel, or support technicians. Only when the chatbot is unsuccessful in helping the customer must a real agent step in. Facebook recently released a host of data proving the value of bots for business:

  • 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses monthly
  • 56% of people would rather message than call customer service
  • 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can message
Using artificial intelligence, many chatbots can almost manage to fool users into thinking they are speaking to a real person. Click To Tweet

Some of the things bots are good for include:

  • Save Time & Money
  • Generate Leads & Revenue
  • Guide Users to Better Outcomes
  • Provide ‘After Hours’ Support
  • Engage Users in a Unique Way

Are there downsides to using chatbots? Sure, there are downsides to any technology. The biggest drawback is

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What Can We Learn from Amazon Prime Day?

These are some important lessons that small etailers can learn from Amazon Prime Day:
1. Create Your Own Holiday!
2. Get your affiliates to promote it for you.
3. Make people join your membership program in order to participate.
4. Build hype early, including pre-deals. Send out press releases.
5. Offer the best deals on your own products.

Learn more at http://20minutesofinfluence.com

What you need to know to get the best deals on Prime Day

Remember, the goal of Prime Day is to promote Amazon Prime. Lots of gadgets and tech accessories will be discounted for the sale, but products from […]