October 24, 2016 by
Website speed has long been recognized as a important factor that impacts search engine rankings. And a top factor in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Slow website speed creates a bad user experience, one that may result in visitors not coming back to your website or going to your competition. And that it even more important than search rank because search engines don’t buy products, people do.
Is website speed a concern for your site? If it is, what can you do about it?
Here are 14 key facts on website speed. And 4 top fixes when it’s slow.
14 KEY FACTS ON WEBSITE SPEED
- 80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different pieces-parts of the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc. (Yahoo)
- 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site again. (KissMetrics)
- 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that is too slow to load. (Fiverr)
- 51% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error. (Raven)
- 47% of consumers expect a website speed page load in 2 seconds or less. (Innovation Insights)
- 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online. (GlobalDots)
- 40% abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. (KissMetrics)
- 38% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that wasn’t available. (Shoprocket)
- 22% is the average increase in website load speed per year. (Radware)
- 18% of mobile users will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in less than five seconds. If it takes more than 10 seconds to load, 30% will abandon the site. (KissMetrics)
- 5 seconds is the average page load time this year (Pingdom)
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. (Econsultancy)
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. (Amazon)
- Users begin to drop off a site when its response time is longer than 2.5 seconds. (Forrester)
4 TOP TIPS WHEN IT’S SLOW
- WEBSITE HOSTING: The website hosting provider and technology you choose can have a significant effect on your page load times. Dedicated hosting solutions are preferable over shared hosting so you do not have to worry about other websites on the same server as yours slowing your website down.
- OPTIMIZE IMAGES: Oversized images take longer to load, so it’s important that you keep your images as small as possible. Use image editing tools to: 1) Crop your images to the correct size. For instance, if your page is 570px wide, resize the image to that width. 2) reduce color depth to the lowest acceptable level and 3) remove image comments.
- OPTIMIZE CSS DELIVERY: CSS holds the style requirements for your page. Generally, your website accesses this information in one of two ways: in an external file, which loads before your page renders, and inline, which is inserted in the HTML document itself. When setting up your styles, only use one external CSS stylesheet since additional stylesheets increase HTTP requests. Two resources to help are: 1) CSS Delivery Tool. It tells you how many external stylesheets your website is using and 2) instructions for combining external CSS files.
If website speed is important for you, a good tool to examine website speed for your site is Google PageSpeed Insights. This is a good resource to get started, help understand your website speed and what top tips will be the biggest help if your website speed is slow.
Did this teach you something new about website speed? Do your need help with yours?
October 16, 2016 by
Influencer marketing focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to a larger market. The goal of influencer marketing is to drive action, not just awareness.
That’s because influencers are expected to spread the word through their social network. Influencer marketing works with two other forms of marketing: social-media marketing and content marketing.
Picking the right influencer for a brand requires careful consideration. Research has to be conducted to determine:
- Who are the right influencers for your brand and why?
- What are social channels where they have the most influence? Is that where your audience is?
- Where is content coming from? You or the influencer?
- How do you measure success?
But influencers have standards too. They want businesses to view them as trusted subject matter experts. And treat them respectfully.
Here are 24 key facts about influencer marketing and influencers.
- Influencer marketing, among brands that use it, is reported to be their fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, outpacing organic search and email marketing. (Tomoson Influencer Study)
- 87% say social profiles and data are the most important criteria when selecting an influencer. (eMarketer)
- 84% of marketers say they will launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months. (eMarketer)
- 84% of influencers say they surface content inspiration from their own audiences. (Crowdtap)
- 81% say influencer engagement is effective. (eMarketer)
- 76% of influencers say they will work with brands that grant editorial and creative freedom above competitive compensation. (Crowdtap)
- 75% say verified web traffic of an influencer is the most important criteria when selecting an influencer. (eMarketer)
- 75% of marketers say identifying the right influencer is their biggest challenge. (eMarketer)
- 70% of influencers work on less than 5 campaigns per year. (Bloglovin’)
- 69% of marketers say identifying the right tactics is the biggest challenge. (eMarketer)
- 59% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets over the next 12 months. (Tomoson)
- 59% of incfluencers in fashion and beauty think Instagram is the most effective social media platform to engage their target audience. (Bloglovin’ Global Influencer Survey)
- 56% of marketers consider sales figures to be the most important influencer marketing metric. (Tomoson)
- 54% of influencers are being paid to create branded content on their blog. (Bloglovin’)
- 53% of influencers have never paid to promote a post. (Bloglovin’)
- 51% of marketers believe they acquire better customers through influencer marketing. (Tomoson)
- 50% of marketers use influencer marketing to generate leads and drive sales. (Tomoson)
- 49% of influencers say brands must understand their interests and only approach them with relevant opportunities that are a fit for their audience. (Crowdtap)
- 47% of influencers say they will work with brands whose values align with their own. (Crowdtap)
- 47% of inflencers say editorial guidelines are oftentimes too limiting or strict. (Crowtap)
- 40% of marketers use influencer marketing to focus on brand engagement. (Tomoson)
- 33% chose Facebook Live as their favorite new social trend. (Bloglovin’)
- 6% of marketers use influencer marketing to focus on content promotions. (Tomoson)
- $6.50 for each $1 spent is what business are making on influencer marketing; the top 13% earning $20 or more. A resounding 70% are earning $2 or more, with the rest either breaking even or failing to generate a return on investment (Tomoson)
Do these facts surprise you about influencer marketing? Is influencer marketing something your business should pursue? Does your business need help pursuing influencer marketing?
October 10, 2016 by
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
- B2B marketers that blogs receive 67% more leads than those that don’t blog.
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. (source: HubSpot)
Blogs certainly seem to bring big benefits to business.
But, to see these benefits, it helps if the company blog has an idea behind it, a distinct voice and people who can keep it current, timely and help with outreach.
Would your business benefit from a company blog?
Here are 10 inspiring company blogs with ideas for yours.
- BIGELOW TEA: TALK ABOUT MORE USES THAN CUSTOMERS IMAGINE: Who knew Bigelow Tea can bring out the flavor of Roast Loin of Pork, make the perfect Cosmopolitan more perfect or be your companion to the Ultimate Fall Tea Party? That’s just some of the many uses you’ll discover for Bigelow Tea when you read the Bigelow Blog. When a commodity product conveys versatility beyond what you imagined, doesn’t that make you think about the brand in different light?
- BMW: KEEP VALUED CUSTOMERS IN THE KNOW: BMW owners love their BMW’s. Many businesses have customers equally fanatical about their product. Is your business one of them? So why not use a blog to talk to them. Because they want to know what you are up to. At the BMWblog, you can learn about BMW’s most legendary models. their latest changes and their most legendary models to come. A blog can be a place where the people who care about you most are kept the most up to date. Don’t you think that can have an impact on your business?
- DROPBOX: MAKE CUSTOMERS’ LIVES EASIER: One thing for sure about Dropbox customers. They are going to be online when they’re using your product. So why not be a help to them. If you want to know how to sync Dropbox with MacOSSeirra, the best way to review designs on Dropbox or tips to working remotely with Dropbox, you can find them on the Dropbox Blog. Isn’t this value for a cloud storage service better than one doesn’t provide this kind of help.
- HUBSPOT: BE A HELP RESOURCE: Hubspot’s blog is dedicated to helping marketers with content marketing. If you do a search for any online marketing tactic/tip in Google, you’re most likely see a HubSpot article as one of the top results. HubSpot has been so helpful and put out so much helpful content marketing advice, they rank in a top position on search engines for anything related to content marketing. Does increasing your search rank make a company blog worthwhile?
- MARRIOT: PUT THE PERSON BEHIND THE COMPANY OUT IN FRONT: Marriot On the Move, Marriot’s company blog, signs off each blog post, “I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.” At least twice a month, the founder and CEO of the company put his voice behind his brand. He recognizes employees, explains company developments and defines leadership. If the chairman spoke to you regularly, wouldn’t it increase your positive perceptions of the company?
- PATAGONIA: BRING YOUR BRAND IMAGE TO LIFE: Mention the brand, Patagonia, and travel and adventure come to mind. But, in the highly competitive world of e-commerce, materials, stitching, color availability and shipping policy are what has to take priority to any potential buyer. How to accomplish both? Your blog. On The Cleanest Line, Patagonia’s Blog, you can read about paragliding in the Alaskan mountain ranges to the many species of animal that inhabit Ibera National Park in Argentina. All without leaving the website. Doesn’t that make a premium-priced brand a little bit more worth the money?
- RED CROSS: SHARE YOUR GOOD WORK: For someone making a donation to a non-profit, a key consideration is where is the money going. On Red Cross Chat, the Red Cross Blog, categories from International, History, Blood (Family) and Disaster share their good works from every vantage point. Wouldn’t that make you feel better about where your money is going?
- WHOLE FOODS: EXPLAIN YOUR PASSIONS: Whole Story, the Official Whole Foods Blog, explains different varieties of apples, why specific ways of farming matter and their benefits to your body. They write almost daily. Sometimes more than once a day. In one sitting, you can read about the products your picking up to recipes to prepare them. Doesn’t this make you feel better about what you’re buying?
- SOUTHWEST: CREATE A BRAND COMMUNITY: At the Southwest Airline Community, Southwest’s Blog, “every seat has a story.” The blog is a community. One where you share stories, exchange knowledge, find inspiration from our members and get tips about airline travel. As of this writing there are 75,000 members in the Southwest Airline Community. Doesn’t that prove the benefits of a company blog?
- WORDSTREAM: BE A GO-TO RESOURCE FOR YOUR INDUSTRY: If you’re a digital marketer looking for the latest information about Google or Facebook, Adwords or ideas for social media, you’ll find them on the WordStream Blog. Written by company employee and Founder and CTO, Larry Kim, the WordStream is often first tips, points of view and inside information about topics that can make a difference in marketing performance. Doesn’t that contribute to being an industry leader?
Do these company blog give you inspiration? Which one is closest to your company? Do you need help developing a company to help your business stand out?
October 02, 2016 by
- 89% of companies say the effectiveness of their content marketing is increasing, but only 35% say it is increasing significantly
- 48% lack an effective strategy
- 48% lack content creation resources (Source: 2016 State of Content Marketing Report – Ascend2)
The numbers say content marketing is worth doing. But not without a strategy and resources to create unique content.
How to create unique content? Where are resources? Right in front of you.
Here are the 10 surprisingly simple ways to create unique content.
- EXPLAIN RELEVANT TERMS FOR YOUR INDUSTRY: Providing content that explains relevant terms in your industry (what they mean, why they are important) is a great way to create unique content. For example, if your business bakes blueberry products, explaining “What is the difference between cultivated blueberries and wild blueberries” proves authority about your area and attracts interested consumers. It’s also is a highly effective way to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Because you’re adding keywords that are relevant to what you do.
- GIVE TUTORIALS: One of the best ways to establish a connection with your audience is teach something new. If your blueberry bakery explains “How to bake great blueberry muffins” and offers a recipe, you show your expertise and convey the quality and care that goes into your products. All you are doing is making something available you already know and practice every day.
- SURVEY. ASK CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT: Are you unsure what your customers what to know? Ask them. Ask them for challenges they’re facing. Problems they want to solve. Ask them what topics they would like to know more about. Directing even one question to a few customers can lead to great content inspiration, ideas and is a highly effective form of lead generation.
USER GENERATED CONTENT
- INTERVIEW EXPERTS: Talk to interesting people in your industry. People who offer unique perspectives. Even if they’re just telling their own stories about experiences they’ve had, they’ll attract others just like them who will want to learn more about your business.
- SHARE REVIEWS: All review sources like Yelp make it easy, with just a click, to share a review with your network. Let good content from others spread. Reviews are an easy way to let others help you create unique content.
- SHARE RELEVANT CONTENT FROM FOLLOWERS: One of the best ways to develop relationships with influencers is to share content from your followers. If they say something interesting about your industry, have insights into news, then share it with our audience. It shows the company you keep and the appreciation you have for others in your network.
READILY AVAILABLE INFORMATION
- GIVE HISTORY, FACTS AND INTERESTING TIDBITS: Every business has an interesting story. Maybe it’s how you found your first client, or how they found you. What the founder did before he started the company. Who was your first employee. When your building was used for before your offices were there. Interesting and relevant facts in the context of “did you know” are an good way to keep content fresh and keep your audience coming back for more.
- INTRODUCE NEW EMPLOYEES: When you hire a new employee, it says to others your business is growing and you’re proud of the people you hire. This type of content speaks well of any business.
- ANNOUNCE NEW ITEMS: ITEMS BEING DISCONTINUED AND SPECIALS, OFFERS AND INCENTIVES: Are you adding a new item to your product line? Or discontinuing one. Is there a special offer this month? Let your audience know. It’s very likely to help sales and create urgency to act with your customers
- DELIVER UNIQUE CONTENT IN VARIETY OF FORMS: These are simple ways to create unique content. Now, make it interesting by delivering it in a variety of forms. Content marketing is video, images, blogs, post, infographics, white papers, webinars, podcasts – you get the idea. If you want to see a complete list of all the forms content marketing takes, here are 105 types of content. You probably have a number of them already. Now, just use them and put them out there.
Do these ways show you how simple it can be to create unique content? How many of these ways do you use? Do you need help to create unique content for your business?
September 26, 2016 by
The decision to resign a client is an emotional and stressful experience, but it’s inevitable and an important milestone for any businesses.
Because it teaches if a relationship isn’t going to be profitable both parties, it’s isn’t going to be sustainable.
You will probably rationalize why you should keep it going in the short term, but not letting go is cheating your business of clients who love you and value what you do for them.
How to know when it’s time to stay or let go? Here are 9 signs it’s time to resign a client.
- FINANCIAL: Your client is not paying on time for the work being done. The cash flow of any business is the easiest area to become a problem very quickly. Any growing business will have growing overhead; so financial imbalance is serious. In most cases, a little reminder gets the job done, but if not, rethink the relationship. This is the easiest and most obvious sign to spot.
- COUNSEL: All client relationships are based on providing quality input, objective points-of-view and candid counseling. If your client asks you for your opinion but doesn’t listen; or, even worse, stops asking or doesn’t care about your advice, stop spending your time and your staff’s time trying to help them.
- OVER-SERVICE: All good service providers over-service clients. But if time spent on the client is consistently and significantly greater than planned, too much time to one client can have a negative impact on the services to other clients. By continually over-servicing a problem client, you risk hurting the relationships that help you most.
- DIRECTION AND BRIEFS: When a client isn’t clear with direction, it creates unrealistic expectations and fails to adhere to agreed working targets and strategies. If a client cannot decide what they want, it’s difficult for a business to understand what they are working towards. The consequences invariably lead to more time, more doubt, less innovation, and diminished outcomes.
- EXPECTATIONS: Though you may have done a good job of delivering on the agreed-upon scope of work, there are times when you just can’t make your client happy with the results. They continue to expect things that are either unreasonable or well beyond what the budget warrants. You should always try to manage this from the onset of the relationship, but sometimes expectations can never truly be kept in check. If that’s the case, it could be time to just walk away. Sometimes the relationship simply isn’t salvageable and the time and energy spent on trying to keep it alive would be best served on other clients or pursuing new ones that are a better fit.
- INCREASING DEMANDS: Demanding clients can be good – if they force you to produce your best work. But if all the demands are about unreasonable deadlines, changes they’d like you to make after you’ve met every specification or scope creep, it might be time to let the client go. Just let them know that you won’t be able to meet a certain deadline or do the additional work and apologize. In cases where you can’t let the client go: negotiate. Whether its deadlines or a general demanding behavior, find a way to state your case and negotiate.
- DISRESPECTFUL: The only real assets you have to sell are your services, creative ideas, and your people. If your client lacks professional courtesy or is in any way disrespectful to your team, then you owe it to them to resign the business. You gain incredible currency from your team when you defend them to a client, especially because they are care and are most likely doing a very good job.
- CONTINUAL ORDERS: The client continually orders you to make decisions you don’t agree with. Worse yet, if you agree to do them and they don’t work, they blame you for bad decision-making. Don’t let yourself get into this situation. Stand up for your beliefs, values and move on.
- BE DIRECT, PERSONABLE AND GET OUT: Time is likely to be your company’s most valuable resource. And if your time and your employees time is being taking for granted, or worse, regarded as having little value, don’t waste it any longer. Be direct, to the point and take the next step.
Here is a simple but effective way to resign a client who have become a problem.
[Name] — We believe your company is going to achieve great success. We wish you the best.
We also believe another company is going to be a better fit for you and your specific needs.
As of [date], our company won’t be able to assist you with [what you do] any further.
Below is what you can expect from us between now and [date]. Thanks for your understanding.
[list of action steps]
We wish you the best success.
You may not know immediately if the steps you have taken are worth it. You may not know for some time. But, if they were made from principles, they are likely to be not only be the rights steps but pay dividends in the long term. For you, your employees, your bottom line, your company’s future and your well-being.
Do this signs help you decide when is the right time to decide a client?