Many individuals and companies, especially eCommerce businesses, think a fresh website is all they need when building their online business. The truth is that a website is just the beginning, and once you build it, the real work begins. It is essential to actively improve, grow, and market your online business to achieve greater conversions and to maintain and grow your position in the market. In this DotcomWeavers Webinar we discuss critical actions you can implement today that will supercharge your online business in 2017 and beyond.
What the DotcomWeavers Webinar Covers
Over the course of an hour, we lay out a systematic approach to supercharging your online business. This information can help businesses of any size, and we encourage everyone to check it out and implement one or more of these ideas today. This webinar is free to view and covers online business essentials like:
- Improving your website performance with the Track, Measure, Improve Mantra
- Creating a conversion-focused content strategy for your website
- Offering a more personalized experience to your customers
- Optimizing your social media channels for better engagement
Improve Your Website Performance
To understand your site’s current performance and the user traffic, type, and behavior, you need to pay attention to your site’s data. This confers many benefits because it shows you your website’s strengths and weaknesses without bias. By using key tools available for free or at inexpensive monthly fees, you can get the data you need to improve your site. There are a variety of tracking tools available to monitor your website performance found in the DotcomWeavers webinar:
After your updates have been made, it’s time to track their performance and compare them to previous performance. You can use tools like:
It is important that you understand the changes (positive or negative) that new content produces.
Now it’s time to ask yourself:
- What is the data telling you about the changes you made?
- Did your updates work?
- How well did they work? What was their ROI?
Based on your findings, you will be able to make additional changes to the content and try again. Do this until you find a sweet spot for your content that resonates with customers. After that, the cycle starts over again. By following the DotcomWeavers webinar cyclical process of Track, Improve, Measure, you will be able to produce consistently effective content and boost website performance for better conversions.
For an in-depth exploration of this topic and a useful how-to guide, check out this blog post about improving website performance.
Create a Winning Content Strategy
You’ve probably heard the saying that “content is king”. It is. Content is what users interact with: copy, images, video, links, etc. It drives user behavior, search engine results, conversions, website performance and everything else on the web. To create effective content, you first need a content strategy.
Content Strategy is a structured plan of what, where, and when to post, based on your business goals and the needs of your customers.
It is essential for engagement, conversions, SEO, traffic, and more. Content can be anything so long as it is engaging, relevant and useful to your users. To help you produce consistently-great content, use this checklist to make sure your content is optimized for the web and web users. Look at your content and ask if it is:
- relevant to the audience viewing it?
- updated for the season or other external circumstances?
- easily discoverable on search engines when relevant queries are made?
- have a strong headline or hook?
- long enough or short enough, depending on the purpose?
- provide answers and references that are accurate and supported by data?
- different and thought-provoking?
- supported by images and/or videos when it is text-based?
- feature catchy headlines and good copy when it is image or video-based?
- consistent and fresh?
How to Write Great Content Copy
During the webinar, our content strategist, Reed Patterson, shared some of his favorite online copywriting tips to keep in mind when producing your own content:
- Be concise and to the point
- Support your brand voice
- Highlight user benefits (that is, not about you, except in a few specific circumstances)
- Make it 100% relevant to the message you want to communicate
- Have 3-4 uses of the content’s keyword every 500 words.
- Grab user attention instantly
- Connect on an emotional level
- Use as few words as possible to tell the story
- Lead the engaged reader through the content
- Be formatted for easy scanning.
- Have links to other parts of your site and important external sources
- Be original and avoid ‘fluff’
How to Create and Select Great Visual Content
Great visual content follows many of the same principles as great copy. In the last two examples, you probably saw that great content is a mix of enticing images and catchy, relevant copy. Great visual content should:
- Be original, shareable, and tell a great story
- Avoid stock imagery whenever possible
- Support your brand identity
- Be relevant to the content it supports
- Support the season/theme it references
How to Create a Personalized Customer Experience
Everyone wants a personalized experience because everyone has different goals. Approximately 75% of users get frustrated with websites that display content that is of no use or interest to them. But, on the other hand, nearly 60% of users would be willing to trade their information for a benefit (such as a discount) of interest to them. And, nearly 80% of users feel they can trust a brand more if they are convinced that the information they provide is being used in a transparent way that benefits them.
Personalized experiences mean seeing the content, images, products, and media that are most relevant to your user goals. This may seem like a tall order, but thanks to Big Data, it is possible. In fact, whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve encountered a personalized web experience. These might include:
- A list of related products on Amazon
- Discount offers in exchange for contact information on your first visit to a site
- An email alerting you that you still have products in your abandoned cart
- Special offer emails that shows you new products based on previous shopping behavior
- A chatbot that helped you solve your customer service questions in real time
Specifics of the Personalized Experience
So, how do you start the personalized experience? By tracking and understanding your users & putting them into segments. You can sort users into segments by data such as Gender, Age, Income, Marital status/family size, Education, Geographic Location, etc. Here are some of Reed’s favorite personalization tactics in the DotcomWeavers Webinar:
- Update your content (website and social) for the season or other themes
- Create a variety of different content that will appeal to various segments
- Greet people by name (you can auto-populate email greetings with names)
- Look at industry forums and message boards to see what matters to your audience
Some Ideas for Personalization Tools
Here is a selection of our favorite kinds of personalization tools, as well as some powerful Third-Party options you can integrate into your website:
- Virtual Try-On Tools
- Virtual Buying Assistant (VBA)
- Visual Search
- Popups based on behavior
- First visit alert and coupon
- Popup for returning visitor
- Email about abandoned cart
You can also read about this topic in our blog posts about Targeted vs. Personalized Marketing.
Optimize Your Social Media Presence
Before you can become a social media all-star, you need to build a foundation. This begins by understanding and assessing where your social media profiles are currently at. We suggest conducting a social media audit. This made sound intimidating, but it’s essential – and easier than you think:
First, check your presence on all social media platforms:
- Set-up Profiles on social media platforms you are not on
- Check how often you are active on all platforms
- Keep track of the e-mails and passwords for each platform
Next, check for the following:
- The profiles are complete with business information, banners, logos, etc.
- Consistency of content across all platforms
- Your posts feature compelling copy and images with a goal in mind
Finally, assess your social media performance:
- Are you getting engagement with your posts?
- Do you have feedback/reviews from customers?
Once you understand your current social media performance, you can improve it with a content calendar.
Creating Your First Content Calendar
A content calendar is your tool to organize the great content you are going to create into a plan of action for publishing to the web. Your content calendar tells you what, why, how, who, when, where and the expectations for each post. It is easy to do once you understand the process. To make this even easier here is a useful template from the DotcomWeavers Webinar that covers your first week of excellent content creation.
This is the DotcomWeavers webinar example content calendar for a week of posting.
Populate a sheet like this with your business content, and you never have to worry about creating content or when to post on your website and social media again!
The Next Steps: Social Spending and Google Ads
Unless you are either a rockstar brand (a unicorn), or sell products or services that are good social media topics, earning a lot of followers, likes, and comments via organic methods can be difficult. Too difficult. This is where social spending comes in. Once you are comfortable with developing a content calendar and goals, creating great posts, and earning some engagement, you should think about social spending.
The easiest place to start on this is Facebook’s advertising tools. It is accessible to new users.
The same goes for Google Ads. You need to make sure your online house is in order before you start spending money on ads. This is a VERY important part of generating conversions, but should only be started after you have a sound content strategy in place.
Key DotcomWeavers Webinar Takeaways
After listening to and reading about this DotcomWeavers webinar, we hope you understand the following:
- These 5 steps represent the key actions that will deliver the highest ROI for your efforts
- Once you have these items on autopilot, you should get into more advanced actions such as paid search and social spending
- You will want to explore on-page SEO, which you can learn more about here.
- Pick one of these topics, whichever you think needs the most work, and start today. Small steps daily lead to huge gains in just a few months.
Thank you very much for your interest in our DotcomWeavers webinar. We encourage you to refer to this whenever you need insight into improving your online performance.
You may have noticed that Wes Rangel (Director of Business Operations) offered a free 30-minute business consultation. To get yours, please contact us today!