Energize Your Website

Greg Jameson's Ecommerce Blog

Facebook Newsfeed coming to and end?

Last week I read numerous articles about how the Facebook Newsfeed would soon become a legacy product – it will essentially go away in favor of private messaging. See one such article here.  Here is why this is significant: Nothing lasts for ever. If you are relying on social media sites as your sole place to post articles, drive traffic, or establish a web presence, then you are basically “renting” space. When (not if) a platform changes, gets bought, or goes away, you are vulnerable yourself. It is critical for your business that you have your own home on the internet (that is, that you have your own website and can control your own visitors). This is why it is so important to grow your email list where you own the customer. Having 10,000 fans on Facebook or Instagram is NOT the same as having an email list of even 1,000 true fans. Not only are email open rates better than organic Facebook reach, but no one can take them away from you. yes, they might unsubscribe, but some third party, like Facebook, isn’t suddenly going to change their business model and stop giving you access to them.

So what will happen if the Facebook Newsfeed goes away? Will a competitor step in and take over this space, or is this model past its prime? Will we all stop wasting time on social media and get our lives back? Personally, I don’t think so – we have all become accustomed to communicating with each other via social media channels and we enjoy it.

[…]

Automating Google Review Requests

We all know that positive Google reviews can impact our business. More positive reviews means you can charge higher prices and you are more likely to get new customers, because everybody checks you out online before doing business with you, even if someone has recommended you. But how do you get more 5 star reviews without begging?

I tried finding a WordPress plugin that would do this, but the only ones I found were for displaying Google reviews on your website, not for collecting them. I watched this webinar yesterday by a colleague, Jack Jostes, that got me thinking about this. He basically said to make it easy for someone to leave you a review by allowing them to cut and paste their feedback into Google. I also listen to a podcast by my friend Alex Mandosian called “All Selling Aside.” At the end of each episode, Alex asks you to write down your biggest “Aha moment” and share it on iTunes for that single episode, not the podcast in general. In other words, he wants you to leave him a review. I also have customers who use third-party services like Wombly or MyTestimonialEngine to collect reviews, but these costs around $150 per month and still don’t generate that many reviews. Combining all of these thoughts, I put together a technique that I think can be really useful to anyone who has a blog, podcast, or ecommerce store. Let me explain…

The technique I’m going to describe is based on a WordPress website using the formidable Forms plugin, but the concept can be used regardless of the technology you are using. The first thing I did was to […]

The Proper Care & Feeding of Websites

Look, your website won’t bite, I promise! But you MUST take care of it and feed it new content on a regular and consistent basis, or it will not work for you.

Anyone who has ever heard me speak is aware of the conversation I have with my audience where I ask them a simple question, “If every time you went to Facebook, they showed you the exact same stuff that you haa seen before, how often would you go back?” Probably once at the most, then you’d move on to something more interesting and current. “So, what makes you think your website is any different?” News flash – it isn’t! If you are not consistently providing new content to your site, there is NO REASON for anyone to ever return to it. When you couple that with the fact that 98% of people leave a website without ever taking any action (including leaving their email address), is it any wonder that your site is not performing?

Your website needs new and engaging content if it’s going to draw visitors in and keep them coming back. What kind of content? Everything! Blog articles, product descriptions, photos, videos, lead magnets, and audio files. You need to treat your website like you would a new car.  Keep it clean, up to date, and in good working condition. It represents a significant investment into your brand.  And, it’s a small price to pay for your hardest working 24/7 customer service agent.

Ah, but I don’t have time. I don’t know how. I can’t afford a webmaster – look, I get it. I’ve heard all the excuses as to why you can’t take care of your own website, so I have decided to do something about it. I am in the process of creating a series of online self-paced video courses that teach you step-by-step exactly how to care and feed your website. each course will cover a different type of content. For example, there is an entire course just on how to create effective lead magnets. a lead magnet is where you create an irresistable offer in exchange for someone’s contact information, typically their email address. and just like every other form of content on your site, your lead magnet needs to change on a regular basis. So I am going to show you how to generate a dozen different types of lead magnets such as […]

In the news…

A few updates that everyone should be aware of:

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave – new privacy regulations coming your way from California.

Have you recovered from last spring’s GDPR adrenaline rush yet? Everybody in publishing was nervous about finding the right way to comply with new European privacy regulations. It did not seem like there was one clear path to compliance.

As much anxiety as GDPR regulations provoked, that may soon look like the good old days. At least in the EU, 27 countries came together with one edict. They also spent the time necessary to be smart and coherent, whether or not you agree with all the details.

Now California passed a privacy initiative you will be expected to follow starting Jan. 1, 2020. In many industries as goes California law, so go U.S. standards. This will be…Read The Rest of the Article.

Guest Blogging

Many online business owners know that they should be blogging and creating content on a regular basis, but they simply don’t have the bandwidth to do this. They would however, like to be able to write an article occasionally without having to maintain a blog on a regular basis. The answer is to become a guest blogger. Or perhaps a guest on a podcast. You contribute an article (or an interview) on another site, and get the benefit of creating backlinks to your own site. For example, last week, I featured a guest blog on my site, which you can see here: https://webstoresltd.com/2019/03/04/seo-factors-are-constantly-changing/. This blog post was written 100% by someone else, which meant that […]

SEO Factors Are Constantly Changing

Back in the early days of the internet, most people didn’t know how to get to the content that they wanted unless they knew the website by name, and this web address was type sensitive to make matters more difficult. Then came search engines, the first of which started back in 1993, and just 5 years later, Google and MSN were launched onto the world wide web, triggering our modern way of life with smart devices and being connected.

There is so much opportunity in SEO and SERPs (Search Engine Response Pages) that in 2009, in the early days of ‘Bing, Yahoo merged with them in their attempt to get a firm grip of the market. Try as they might, today Google still controls over 90% of the SEO market share, WORLDWIDE.

SEO is not about having a page filled with ads, nor does it have to be an overly complicated system. In fact, the true winner of website traffic drivers is organic content, as opposed to paid for ads, however you still need to get your content at the top of SERPs results. Nearly 39% of all ecommerce traffic comes from the search bar, after all, search engines were created for users to connect to what they knew was out there, but didn’t know where to find it. You want to ensure that your site has the right content to rank high on search engines.

The web is moving so fast that SEO seems to be changing on a daily basis. It started predominantly on the PC, then moved to mobile and smart devices. By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches, making mobile friendly websites a must have.

The systems behind all of this information is intense, for example: Google’s Rankbrain multitasking algorithm. This algorithm analyses incoming queries and searches and determines the most relevant result to be displayed first, but is not the only search algorithm found behind your WWW searches.

Guest post:

Written by: Junaid Ali Qureshi is an ecommerce entrepreneur with a passion for tech and marketing. Some of his current ventures include Elabelz.com, Progos Tech, Titan Tech and Smart Marketing.  […]

Posting to Instagram from your laptop instead of your phone

You are going to want to read this, even if you don’t use Instagram. It can be used for seeing how your website looks and behaves on a mobile device that you don’t have. If you do use Instagram, this is going to save you a ton of time and frustration!

Despite it’s popularity with younger generations, Instagram is a very limiting social media platform, especially for business. It does not allow you to share or schedule posts, and you can’t add links to a post (except for paid ads or stories if you have a business account with over 10,000 followers). While other social media platforms all work on a laptop, Instagram does not. You must use a cell phone to post anything, which is both cumbersome and annoying. But there is a solution! In today’s article I’m going to show you exactly how you can post to Instagram from your laptop.

Now some of you might be asking, why would you even want to do that? Instagram was designed as a phone app – the idea being that you would take a picture with your phone, then share it instantly to the social media network. But there are at least three very good reasons why your cell phone is not the best tool for the job.

There are at least three very good reasons why your cell phone is not the best tool for posting on Instagram: DSLR photos, editing, and typing. Click To Tweet

For many of us, we want to take professional level photos using a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera with high quality zoom lenses and optics. Once you take the photo, you have to edit them using a program like PhotoShop or PaintShopPro, upload them to the cloud, then download them to your phone before uploading them to Instagram. Or email them to yourself and retrieve your email on your phone. Either way, what a hassle! If you want to edit the photo, the tools for doing so are much better on a laptop. Creating a meme is hard enough, much less an infographic! And finally, once you upload the image to Instagram, typing in a description on a cellphone is not much fun if you have more to say than a short sentence or want to paste in something you’ve already written.

So, here is how you do it! […]

How much should you expect to pay for a website?

Business owners and web designers alike struggle with this question because there are so many variables involved, including the fact that many site builder programs are “free.” Of course you and I know that free software does not equate to a free website, but what does it really take to build a website and why are the costs so variable? I have done significant research on this topic and the results are actually more consistent than I initially thought. Here are a few things I’ve discovered.

1. Simple site builders are available for the DIY crowd. These include Wix, Weebly and Square Space. And you can certainly do it yourself with these tools if you are looking for a simple site to get started. But you will likely be disappointed or frustrated as soon as your business starts to grow or you decide you want some special feature that these tools don’t offer. Even something as simple as adding a tracking code to your webpage for advertising purposes like Facebook or AdRoll ads will quickly show you the limitations of these platforms. The initial costs of these platforms are free, but hosting costs for an ad-free site is something you will have to pay for. If a web designer builds a site for you on one of these platforms, expect to pay $1000 to $2500 for the design and $120 per year for hosting. Website maintenance is covered in point #4 below.

2. Using a full blown content management system like Joomla, Drupal, or the internet’s most popular CMS, WordPress, will cost you more. WordPress currently runs almost one-third of the entire internet, so that is what I am going to concentrate on in this article.

Many of the world’s most-recognized companies use WordPress as the foundation for their website. Examples include Target, UPS, Walt Disney, Best Buy, Xerox, NASA, CNN, CBS, Time magazine, Vogue, People magazine, Samsung, Whitehouse.gov, Forbes, General Motors, NFL, Singer, AirStream, Macy’s Toyota, Alaska airlines, and many, many others. In fact, 54 out of the top 100 companies of Inc.5000 are running their website on WordPress! When you choose WordPress as the platform for your website, you are in good company. While popularity is nice, it is really the flexibility of WordPress why you would choose it as the foundation for a business website.

WordPress is “free,” but […]

Mistakes To Avoid While Building An E-Commerce Website?

A ecommerce expert once said that business has moved from the marketplace to the market space. It’s very hard to comprehend this statement considering that the marketplace itself is a space. I believe that what he is saying is that business has gone cyber, hence the use of space (as in cyberspace). There are lots of proofs to back this claim. The internet has also caused an increase in the development of small and medium scale enterprises. This is because it provides the best of opportunities at the minimal of cost to establish your business. Not everyone will have the financial strength to seek help from a very good magento ecommerce agency. Furthermore, the information the ecommerce development company you want to consult uses in serving you is made available km the internet. The internet has made life easy by giving you access to the basics on how to go about on your journey to becoming an ecommerce enterprise owner.

Despite the long epistle of how much the internet can be of help when starting up your own ecommerce enterprise, you could easily get lost while trying to find your way. There are high chances you will or are already making a mistake in the process of building your website. This is probably the reason why your website has not lived up to its full potential. An official website is a necessary for your business and so is having a website that is worth calling and official website. It is somewhat better that you don’t have a website at all than having one that will drive your business to the ground. This article will open your eyes to “Mistakes To Avoid While Building An E-Commerce Website”.

Not having a mobile friendly website

Are you for real? Like you could be a business owner in the year and still not have a website either having a mobile version and/or is optimized for mobile viewing. Considering the fact that your website is an ecommerce website and your potential customers as well as the general public would rather access. This is a mistake you must avoid when building your ecommerce website and you should seek to rectify if you are already guilty of it. By making this mistake you are depriving yourself of the much needed traffic and depriving people of the opportunity to have their needs met. You can either format your website to enable mobile viewers have full access to your website or have two versions (mobile and desktop versions) for your web visitors to choose from.

Having a poor design

If there is a mistake that is more criminal than my previous point then it is the mistake of designing a mistake and calling it and ecommerce website. The aspect of web design is so broad that it should be an independent writeup on its own. It covers a number of issues such as content, navigation, website loading speed and so much more. When designing your website, it is good your choose your content management system based on feedback given by other users rather than  just the description given by the developer. Nobody can assess a product better than it’s user, not even its producer/manufacturer. This is because nobody believes that he or she is doing something that’s not good enough.

Having non-descriptive, unclear or on actions

The issue of call to action is a very tenacious one as you can easily go off track by trying to do the right thing. I have witnessed a case where I had to turn down the opportunity of taking a call to action as the call to action button was just all in my face. It was very flashy, so flashy that I left the content of the message and started on the PowerPoint display before me. Despite all that, it is best that you use a very clear call to action. Always use buttons as against the use of links. You should […]

Take Charge of Your Website!

Any web developer knows that it takes a large amount of work to design and launch a new website. Once that website is up and running, however, you’ll need to continue working to manage it. If you’re handling website management for a company, understand that annual site management will need roughly the same amount of financial resources as designing and building the site in the first place. Which elicits this question: Should you maintain your business Web site yourself or pay someone to do it for you?

If you’re handling website management for a company, understand that annual site management will need roughly the same amount of financial resources as designing and building the site in the first place. Click To Tweet

Some of the worst advice I’ve seen asks this question: Could your time be better spent doing more important things like, oh I don’t know, running your business? If so, then you have no business building and maintaining a Web site. WHAT? Your website IS your business – it is your online presence and you absolutely NEED to maintain it yourself. Turning this task over to someone else is like turning over your business to a third party and expecting that it will succeed. Granted there are some tasks that can (and in many cases should) be outsourced, like server  requirements, software patches, and the like, but think about it this way: If you have a physical store and decide to hold a sale, do you hire an outside party to come in and create an end-cap display of the products you are promoting or do you make the decision and change your store yourself? Your website is no different – you need the skills to update your website yourself based on the needs of your business at any given point in time.

I have recently been sharing a series of videos about maintaining your own website in a free online course called “Take Charge of Your Website!” In the final video […]

Guest Post: How To Get More Of Influencer Marketing

It is important that any ecommerce development company understands how to effectively use influencer marketing to quickly build a brand online and raise awareness among the target audience. The purpose of Influencer Marketing takes a step further than Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing  done by any Magento ecommerce agency as it harnesses the power of genuineness and belief thus aiding brand promotion at a fast pace.

Before using an Influencer tool on your product, you have to be sure what kind of influencer to use; whether a real influencer in the form of a person behind that has a face and its own following or a feature account based on a specific topic and just repost things.

Benefits Of Influencer Marketing

  1. It builds trust quickly as a result of influencers’ positive relationship with their fans as there is respect and possible recommendations
  2. It increases brand awareness by expanding reach and positioning online however, it depends on the value of the content being provided by the influencer.
  3. It helps in building winning partnerships as connecting and engaging with an influencer can be the beginning of a powerful relationship. It opens doors to further opportunities

Key Points In Making Most Of Influencer Marketing

So you have got your product and you are not getting enough people to buy from you. These key points should stand as a guide for you to get most out of your influencer.

Understand The Difference Between Advocates, Influencers and Microinfluencers

It is important to understand these differences. If you have thousands of people following you on YouTube with massive engagements; that’s a true massive influencer doing his job to promote your brand in exchange for monetary or product compensation, based on the size of the audience and potential reach on social networks. if you got 50,000 followers across all your networks; probably that’s a micro influencer responsible for the human-to-human marketing that combines brand loyalty, trustworthiness and relevant influence to drive bottom line performance, unless it’s a very niche type of industry while Brand advocates, also known as super fans, brand enthusiasts or brand loyalists, are your customers who are most likely to naturally drive positive word-of-mouth about your brand.

Preach To The Right Audience

You can reach a million people, but if your audience doesn’t like what you preach, then you have wasted all your money. Preach to the right audience and you will succeed. You can do these by learning what’s important to your audience, speaking their language, stay top of your mind with retargeting and most especially; know your organic keywords.

In Most Cases Micro-Influencers Are More Effective Than Advocates

Sometimes, the advocate influencer can make your company […]