Is you website doing a crappy job of converting?

Is you website doing a crappy job of converting?

Website Not Converting?

This May Be Why

If this is happening to you, it doesn’t have to continue. Chances are, there are some fundamental principles that you might be missing. This post will give you some basic tactics that will help you convert prospects into customers.

They Don’t Trust Your Brand

One of the main reasons why potential customers might visit a site without buying is because they don’t trust the company yet. People buy from brands that are established, authoritative, and credible. Not only that, people want to interact with brands that are interested in their needs.

Fortunately, establishing trust doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several factors involved in getting potential customers to view you as an authority.

If you’re having trouble converting visitors to your website, there is a good chance that your content marketing efforts are falling flat. You might not be creating the type of content that keeps your readers engaged.

There are a few components of a winning content marketing strategy:

Content must be informative.

Don’t write blog posts just for the sake of creating content. Make sure that every word carries a benefit for the person reading it.
Develop a plan.

Don’t just start writing willy-nilly.

Figure out what types of content provide the best value for your readers. A content calendar is a great tool for mapping out the content you will create.

Invite your customers to subscribe to your mailing list.

This gives you another way to interact with them. The objective is to build a relationship with people who visit your site.

Another way to build trust is to show your visitors how you can help them.

The best way to do this is to demonstrate how you have helped other customers like them. This is where case studies come in.

Case studies are effective ways to tell stories that reveal how your company has benefited other customers. It also gives your readers insight into how your company works.

Testimonials are another way to prove your worth to your prospective customers.

Get statements from your happiest customers and put them on your website. It’s a good idea to pepper these little tidbits on each page of your site so that your prospects see them when they are browsing.

Content marketing guidelines for any business

Content marketing is the process of publishing on the web useful, relevant and interesting content that serves your buyers.

The aim is to educate, inform and entertain your prospective buyers so that the ‘right people’ know, like and trust you, and eventually become your customers and referrers.

As a rule of thumb, 75 per cent of web searchers with a problem are looking for information to help solve it, 23 per cent then compare the options they find, and only 2 per cent are actually ready to take action by enquiring or purchasing.

You can apply this data to both b2c ans b2b. Products or service based business. the only real difference is the sales cycle timeline.

Let this knowledge help you to frame your web marketing efforts and structure your content to guide and assist people at every step of their journey.

Relationships take time

Too often you’ll see websites where the only call-to-action is to ‘contact us’ or ‘buy now’.

They skip the get-to-know-you stages and expect to close a customer on their first visit.

It’s equivalent to proposing marriage to a stranger!

Even if you’re the right match for each other, it still takes time for the relationship to develop.

On the web, plenty of useful content means people can be comfortable getting to know you at their own pace.

No-risk offers ‘No risk’ means exactly that:

visitors to your site can find the information they are looking for easily and without encountering any barriers.

The goal: evwntually provide With more than enough posts and videos freely accessible on your blog, so there are plenty of ways for people to get to know you!

The information includes marketing advice, expert interviews, how-to articles and videos aimed at addressing a wide range of problems.

DO NOT just sitnhere are write ablut you or your business…

NO ONE GIVES A FUCK!

9 times out of 10 people search in this order:

1) Problem
2) Solution
3) Product
4) Company

Low-risk offers

Visitors should be able to access your flagship and premium content in order to deepen their knowledge and to get to know you better.

When people are ready, they can easily download yiur premium content or request a software demo by entering basic details such as their name and email address.

You deliver the premium content and reciprocate the gesture of trust by providing your personal details as well.

This is known as a low-risk offer because both parties are sharing something of value. This mutual deepening of the relationship is like exchanging business cards when you meet someone interesting.

From here the relationship has the opportunity to evolve.

Comparison

At the comparison stage customers conclude that you or your competitors can help solve their problem.

They want to make the right decision so they are now comparing options.

So you need to make it as easy as possible for them to decide if you are a good fit for one another.

To help this comparison, the more you can share on guarantees, testimonials, frequently asked questions, endorsements and your products and services, the better.

Email newsletters and social media are particularly powerful at this stage in helping them get to know you as people — to humanise your organisation.

Commercial offers

Only after progressing through the first two stages will people be ready to take action. Whether you want this final 2 per cent to call you, contact you via a form or buy now online, make sure it is as easy as possible for them to do so.

Are results really coming?

Yes.

The biggest mistake that would-be content marketers make is giving up just before they start to get traction.

Content has a compounding effect, just like money in the bank.

The more money you have, the more interest it pays you.

The more content you publish, the more ‘interest’ you’ll gain from readers, as recognised by social shares, backlinks, search rankings and leads.

Just as money you invest today will pay dividends in the future, content you create, publish and share today will earn you leads, customers and revenue for years to come.

Just in case you were lazy and skimmed the content, here is a breakdown:

Give people plenty of content so they can get to know, like and trust you.

Seventy-five per cent of web users with a problem are looking for no-risk (for example, blog posts) and low-risk (for example, flagship content) sources of information to solve it.

Twenty-three per cent of people compare options, so provide them with product and service information, and testimonials or endorsements.

Let them get to know you via email newsletters and social media.

Two per cent of people actually take action, so make it easy for them to enquire or purchase.

Content has a compounding effect, like money in the bank.

Repurpose content to amplify your results.

It’s always good etiquette to give credit where credit is due.

Picking the right KPI’s for your content marketing

After you establish your goals, you need to develop key performance indicators (KPIs).

KPIs are the measures you choose to help you determine whether you’re reaching your business goals.

You need them to keep your strategy on track.

If you don’t measure yourself against your business goals, you won’t know whether your content marketing strategy is working and supporting your larger business goals.

To help you think about how to craft your KPIs in relation to your marketing goals, check out ideas below. You can apply these to your marketing plan as well. List  your goals and then choose some metrics. Then refer to this list when you check your progress.

Below you will find the CMI/Marketing Profs B2B Top Goals followed by the suggested metrics.

Increase brand awareness
Social media shares, social media likes, email forwards, referral links.

Lead generation Lead nurturing
Blog signups, blog comments, conversion rate, form completions.

Increase engagement
Comments, page depth (how many pages consumed), downloads, page views, back links, time on site, click through rate.

Grow sales revenue by X percent
Revenue influenced by content (which content was consumed before sale), offline sales.

Improve customer retention/loyalty
Bounce rate, followers, retention rate.

Encourage customer evangelism
Social media shares, comments, follower count, word of mouth.

Increase upsells/cross-sells
Measure conversions in shopping cart and on landing pages, number of conversions.

Why you must have opt-ins on your website!

So here’s what you’ll learn in this article.

1) Why understanding opt-ins is so important for your website to sell.

2) How the secret to online success is about what you can give vs. what you can get.

Alright, a little quote from Steve W. Martin to start us off. “Sales is a process, the process of building a relationship and turning a skeptic into a believer and making a stranger your friend.” Mmm, love it.

Why your opt-in is so damn important, emphasis on so.

So if you have a business, whether it’s online or offline, your business is your customer list.

Right?

It seems obvious, but no customers, no business.

Your opt-in is the place, or places, on your website where your visitor submits their contact information and joins your list. If your opt-in isn’t converting, or it’s non-existent, you are leaving a heck of a lot of money on the table and, more importantly, you are also missing out on the chance to positively impact millions of lives, which I know you wanna do.

So one of the best ways to get someone’s email address is to give them something valuable for free.

We all like free.

So what does your ideal customer most want?

What can you offer that will help your ideal customer get closer to her or his desired outcome for free, before she even buys from you?

So, if you’re an expert in your field, you should give some specific advice that helps your client solve a problem or learn something new right now.

So that can be in the form of a free video, it could be a guide, a PDF, or some kind of training series whether it’s PDF or articles or videos.

Doesn’t matter.

Now, if you have a product based business, it could still be information. So, let’s say you create and sell jewelry, it could be a guide to cleaning your jewelry. Or it could be access to discounts or special offers, flash sales, free trials, free shipping, free delivery, you get the idea.

Now, there’s a lot of room for creativity here, so don’t just hang out with the little ideas that I shared.

You’ve gotta test different things to know what’s actually going to convert for your business in your market.

When you really understand your customer, you understand what she’s most looking for.

So, do they want information, do they want advice or resources or tools or savings or free training, free shipping, discounts, exclusive access?

Do they want inspiration?

Do they want to laugh?

What do they want?

The only way you can figure that out is if you get to know your audience . You’ll also understand how they want information delivered. In an email, video, audio, PDF, or some combination.

The goal here is to give something truly valuable away for free.

You wanna be generous and be helpful before you ask for anything in return.

What do great opt-ins accomplish?

They instantly establish trust, goodwill, and reciprocity.

Ok?

That’s what they do.

They demonstrate that you care about your customer and you understand their needs. So you can’t fake this stuff.

Right?

This is what the best part is about modern marketing and about running a business that not only makes money but changes the world.

You gotta do this stuff from your heart and you have to actually mean it. That’s the only way it’s gonna work. A great opt-in also gives her an instant, no-risk experience for you and your company.

A great opt-in is also an automated, leveraged way for you to build your list and develop a real relationship with your prospects 24/7.

So even when you’re sleeping, even when you’re away on vacation, if you’ve got an awesome opt-in offer that delivers value and it’s automated, you are building your list and you’re building amazing relationships with people when you’re not even there.

That is the beauty of modern technology.

A great opt-in offer also generates interest and desire for your offerings. It sets them up to buy your stuff.

So we generate interest and desire at the same time as we’re delivering value. So here’s some ideas for information or advice businesses.

Free video training and audio training or a written training. You could give a free physical book, a CD, or a DVD where you only have the client pay for shipping only. This is a little bit more of an advanced technique. The strategy is pretty good if you really understand the numbers of your business and you understand how much a lead is worth for you.

Let’s say, for example, you know on average any time that you get someone new on your email list there’s a likelihood that lead is gonna be worth, you know, 30 to 40 dollars over the customer’s lifetime. So you know, “Hey, if I spend 5 or 6 dollars to get a new customer, but they’re gonna be worth 30 or 40 or 50 bucks to me over the course of a lifetime, I’ll do that all day.” So, again, that’s a little aside, a little bit of an advanced strategy, but it’s possible.

You could give a free ebook, a digital program, a checklist, or a worksheet. You could have somebody take a quiz or assessment and give them some customized results.

You could offer them free membership to a site or a free trial to a piece of software.

You could give them discounts or coupons or vouchers on your products or your services. Or you could give them access to a webinar, a teleseminar, or some other virtual or even a live in person event.

So here are some ideas for retail and product based businesses.

You can offer free information by sharing your expert knowledge.

So, for example, let’s say you sell pet goods. You could give them, “Three Must Have Training Tools For Your New Puppy.” I knew when I first got Kuma, I was all over the internet looking for stuff and if someone would’ve just helped me know the three training tools for my new puppy, I would’ve gave them name and email so fast I would’ve left streaks.

Ok, free shipping, discount on your first order, free training on how to use the product, maybe you give a free additional product or a free trial of a product. You can create a killer loyalty program.

Offer huge discounts on the spot, you can give them notice of exclusive member only sales, flash sales, free shipping for members only, you get the idea.

You could also have a contest. Maybe you have a monthly contest for anyone who joins your mailing list and make the prize really juicy. The point here is to be creative.

Remember to think like your ideal customer avatar and deliver what he or she most wants.

Honest marketing will make you more money!

Lets talk about the secret truth of marketing that most people never understand.

Here are a few key points I will cover.

Why viewing yourself as the quote unquote expert can be a mindset trap that keeps you broke.

Why any lie in your marketing will come back to bite you in the buns and how to get creative while remaining totally honest.

How to determine what level marketer you are and how to become the best marketer you can be.

Little quote by yours truly, “If you have a product or service you believe in and you don’t market the fuck out of it, you are stealing from those who need you most.”

Now let’s talk about the secret truth of marketing.

So contrary to popular belief, marketing is not slimy, sleazy, or scammy. And I think you know that by now since you’ve been a Listing to me blab on for quite a while.

See, all marketing is, is effective, compelling communication.

Plain and simple.

It’s nothing more than that.

Modern marketing is really about practicing deep compassion, heartfelt understanding, and learning how to meet other people’s needs and desires.

It’s the basis of any good relationship.

So, just understand, marketing is not about tricking people. It’s not about manipulation, or forcing someone to buy something that they don’t want.

Marketing is also not a way to sell sub par services. Or for businesses who aren’t doing well and need something extra to survive.

Marketing is really essential for every business on the planet. I’ve heard some people say that they don’t even have to market. And I will tell you those people, I wanna shake the crap out of them. If you don’t market, it is not something to brag about. It is a problem that you need to correct, and we’re gonna give you all the steps to do it in this training.

Now let’s talk about why being a quote unquote expert can keep you broke.

So here’s the thing, in some fields, marketers have a bad reputation. People like to think of themselves as quote unquote experts and not marketers.

But this is a dangerous game that can keep you broke and miserable.

Here’s what I mean.

Quote unquote experts often believe their stuff is so good that people should just come to them and seek them out and open up their wallets and buy.

This is an arrogant, arrogant mindset.

It’s an arrogant way to go through life and it’ll kill your business.

You see, experts often believe that marketing is beneath them so to speak, and it’s something only desperate people do when they need clients or customers.

And in some industries, here’s the thing, your competitors don’t actively market.

And that is great for you.

That means more customers and more lives you can change.

You can be the one that breaks the trend, makes the most money, and of course changes the most lives.

See, it’s your job to prove to people that you are the best choice. That your solution will solve their problem. That your product is the best on the market.

Do not put the burden on your prospects to figure it out for themselves.

Remember, it is not your prospect’s job to find you, it’s your job to find them.

Why any lie will come back to bite you in the you know what.

So here’s the thing, lying puts you out of integrity, which makes your marketing unethical and totally icky.

Great marketing, modern marketing, is completely honest, it’s truthful, and it’s ethical.

This really is the age of transparency, so people will find out if you’re lying.

Even innocent white lies can kill the trust in your brand and kill your business.

So let’s say you need a reason to have a sale. Just remember, any reason is awesome as long as it’s true.

So don’t ever say you’re having a fire sale if you didn’t really have a fire or there’s no damage to your goods.

Saying you’re having a sale because maybe you’re celebrating the fact that your dog is finally house trained and not peeing all over the place.

Or maybe it’s your mom’s 85th birthday. Or maybe just because it’s Thursday afternoon. Here’s the thing, you can get creative in your marketing while being totally truthful and honest.

So bottom line … do not lie. It may get you a quick sell but in the long run it will destroy you!

Four trends in marketing for 2019

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Marketers know they need to change to better support the business. ” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]They see the rise of disruptive competitors and new technologies. All around them are the bodies of counterparts who failed to adapt. And while they can’t see the precise shape that the future will take, they know it won’t look like the present.

Marketing, sales, service, communications and other customer-oriented functions are evolving and commingling, and we don’t know what they’re going to look like in five years.

The traditional sales function isn’t going away….

But how users get to purchase will be completely different![/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Here are four marketing trends to look for in 2019:” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23fec43d” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

A broader view of customer experience.

A positive customer experience across all touchpoints is increasingly seen as a company’s most valuable asset. And, more than any other function, marketing is responsible for managing it—across the customer life cycle and across channels, from initial awareness through loyalty and advocacy.

Metrics for revenue and engagement.

Effectiveness trumps efficiency, especially in a time of rapid change. Metrics will become broader and more comprehensive, focusing on top-line revenue and overall engagement more than efficiency and brand awareness.

The talent hunt.

Yes, there is a need for tech-savvy marketers. But it’s not enough by itself. CMOs want people with the ability to grasp and manage the details (in data, technology and marketing operations) combined with a view of the strategic big picture. Creative is still important (especially in B2C), but it is a legacy skill and no longer a focus of demand.

The ecosystem in the future.

Marketing technology is proliferating through the cloud to the point where almost all companies—even the smallest ones—use multiple systems operating within an overall marketing operating system. Despite expectations of consolidation around a few dominant enterprise suppliers, marketers believe that the number of systems in their companies will grow.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Another bogus claim by a blogger!

So I am at the gym as usual this morning …. it’s my fave part of the day because it is when I receive all the crazy exaggerated emails from bloggers selling there “secret blog system” …. some of this shitnis so crazy it’s worth a share …

I won’t tell you who the bloggers are, don’t want to ruin what they have going … just do some googling. here is the email I opened today ….

My comments are in ()

———- email start ——-

This is something that I hear all the time…

“Wait! You are a professional blogger and you actually make money blogging? Like enough money to make a living and pay your mortgage?”

That is something that I’ve been asked more times than I can count over the years.

And believe it or not, it still bothers me a little.

(Take a pill then)

I guess it’s because a lot of people don’t realize that blogging is a career and can be a very profitable one too! (Oh please please tell me more)

I remember when I first got the idea that I wanted to pay our mortgage with earnings from my blog. I think I picked our mortgage because it feels like if you can pay that every month, you feel financially secure.

The thing was, I knew that my blog could provide that kind of income and a whole lot more… but, I had no idea how to make the most of it, where to start and how to keep leveling it up.

(So. Who’s blogging course did you purchase)

The only problem was (and this was a BIG problem), I had no idea how to make the most of it.

(So magically you are now the teacher)

Ten plus years ago when I started my blog, I was just writing and trying to figure everything out as I went.

I started on the wrong platform, had no real plan, and wasted a lot of time making mistakes that I chalk up now to “learning experiences”.

I knew I could be successful in blogging, but I really had no idea how I was going to make that happen.

There was no road map, very few really successful bloggers to emulate, or courses that showed you how to do it.

(Your kidding right?)

I spent 1000’s of hours reading message boards and Facebook groups, and picked up bits and pieces along the way.

Ultimately I figured things out.

(And poof, you are an expert)

My blog grew to the point where I was consistently earning $30,000/mo. (from blogging alone).

(Wait what? That’s trump kinda money)

This type of income changed our lives in amazing ways…

It gave us freedom, peace of mind, and a business that offered some amazing perks.

The crazy thing about what I figured out was that it was something that many others could do too.

(Yes it’s so easy)

I knew a lot of other bloggers out there were struggling (new ones especially) because they were missing some key information and strategies.

(I call it a brain)

I realized I could show other bloggers how to be successful if they were willing to put in the work.

(You realized people were naive as you and would buy anything with good sales copy)

That is why I developed Blogging Blastoff.

It’s an organized 30-Day system that shows exactly what it takes to be a successful blogger.

I poured everything I had into creating something that would take away all the mystery and show what successful bloggers were doing to make it happen.

In fact, just to show you how extensive, here is the rundown of material in the course:

Day 1 — Laying the Foundations of Blogging Success

Day 2 — Your Blog Income Systems: An Overview

Day 3 — Your Blog Income Systems, Part I: Sponsored & Guest Posts

Day 4 — Your Blog Income Systems, Part II: Affiliate Marketing

Day 5 — Your Blog Income Systems, Part III: Product Creation & Sales

Day 6 — Your Blog Income Systems, Part IV: Social Media, Photos & Video

Day 7 — Your Blog Income Systems, Part V: Running Ads

Day 8 — Your Blog Income Systems, Part VI: Bonus Income Streams

Day 9 — Building The Ideal Blog: Your Layout & Design Blueprint

Day 10 — The Fast Track To Success: Getting Your Name Out There

Day 11 — Mastering The Business Of Blogging, Part I: Business Structures, Tax & Insurance

Day 12 — Mastering The Business Of Blogging, Part II: Contracts, Mailing Addresses, Domain Privacy & Common Mistakes

Day 13 — Writing Mouth-Watering Blog Posts That Flood Your Blog With Traffic

Day 14 — How To Stay Out Of Trouble: A Crash Course In Compliance

Day 15 — The Motivational Boost

Day 16 — Everything Bloggers Need to Know About Facebook

Day 17 — Everything Bloggers Need to Know About Twitter

Day 18 — Everything Bloggers Need to Know About Instagram

Day 19 — Everything Bloggers Need to Know About Pinterest

Day 20 — Everything Bloggers Need to Know About YouTube

Day 21 — Growing Your Most Valuable Asset: Your Email List

Day 22 — Building Your Traffic Engine, Part I: Social Media

Day 23 — Building Your Traffic Engine, Part II: Search Engine Optimization

Day 24 — Turbocharge Your Reach: Sharing & Comment Threads

Day 25 — Your Blog Post Promotion System

Day 26 — Technical Deep Dive I: Video For Bloggers

Day 27 — Technical Deep Dive II: Photography For Bloggers

Day 28 — Your Inexhaustible Income Stream: Mastering Email Pitching

Day 29 — Living The Pro Blogger Lifestyle, Part I: Blogging Conferences

Day 30 — Living The Pro Blogger Lifestyle, Part II: Event Coverage

Whoa…did you read it all?

There is no reason for YOU to struggle for years the way I did.

Blogging Blastoff is 10+ years of hard work wrapped up in a nice little package for you.

(Wait. Ok. Take my money !!!!)

—— email end ——

Ok. Let me start with … there ARE tons of bloggers who “make a living” blogging.

$30k a month … $1000 a day? Ya. I don’t think so.

$30k a month selling his bullshit … possible.

Quote “So far over 3,600 bloggers have taken this wildly popular course because there is absolutely nothing like it.”

I’m still going through all there BS emails waiting for the price … I will update this blog when I get pricing info.

This just in ….

They are claiming to make $100k – $200k a month.

Ok the first course is $397. Multiply that by the 3600 people they claimed to have signed up .. that’s a little under 1.5 million.

Which comes out to right under $120k a month.

So. If all the above is true and not fluffed.. yes they are making what they claim….. but it’s NOT from blogging …

It’s from there “blogging course” which I would of never found organically .. I clicked on there ad.

I always give credit when due. And they ARE doing everything right as far as marketing, funnels, etc etc etc…

Unfortunately it’s a little misleading as they are making money off of showing people how to blog and not actually blogging themselves. So it’s not blog revenue … it’s course revenue.

If I can find there stuff for free … I will post it here.

The Four Key Pillars of Internet Marketing

Relationships

Creating strong relationships with an audience is critical to everything you will do.

Rather than constantly hunting down new customers, you would much rather create a valued environment that benefits your existing readers and customers and keeps pulling them back.

It’s about having consummate respect, always, for your audience and your market.

It’s about focusing almost obsessively on their needs, over and above your own (and getting what you want, almost magically, in the process).

It’s about making a commitment to creating a quality experience for your readers and subscribers.

Direct response copywriting

I certainly stay abreast of the latest social media trends, but underlying everything I do here is solid copywriting techniques.

Starting with a killer headline and moving strategically through the copy to a stirring call to action, traditional copywriting techniques work amazingly well in social media.

“Old-fashioned” copywriting advice can make all the difference between a business or blog that limps along and one that truly thrives.

Content marketing

What’s the backbone of the Copyblogger formula?

Deliver great content.

Then keep delivering great content, but in a strategic and focused way.

Every once in a while, make a great offer that benefits the reader and involves the exchange of cash money.

Of course, we’ll give you some more specifics on how to do that once you’re on board.

Have something worth selling

Everyone is selling something. It might be a product, a service, a download, an idea, or a worthy cause…. Maybe even a multi million dollar Digital Banking Platform for Banks and Credit Unions.

Whatever you’re selling, it’s got to be worth the price. (And never forget that reader attention is a valuable commodity that’s in strictly limited supply.)

Whether you’re asking for dollars, euros, yen, or valuable time and attention, you’ve got to deliver something that towers above your asking price.

Each of these four pillars enhances the others. Together, they’re much stronger than they would be if any of the pillars were missing.

How good is your website effectiveness?

Your website is your “storefront.”

You should put as much into your virtual storefront as you would to the front window display at a traditional store on Main Street.

Your website needs to attract customers and keep them coming back for more.

Pull up your website.

Pretend you are a new prospect and ask yourself the following questions.

Or better yet, find someone who has never seen your site before and ask them to answer these questions:

1. Where do your eyes go first?

A visitor to your website typically has an attention span of only a few seconds. That means your website must “hook” them in that amount of time. Make sure the first thing they see/notice is something interesting enough to buy you more time.

2. Do you know right away what this website is about?

Again, you have limited time to get your message across. If there are too many distractions, a site visitor may not ever know what you are selling.

3. Is the important information “above the fold?”

Most site visitors want to know the details without doing a lot of work. If they have to scroll down to find the main idea, they will likely leave earlier than you’d like. Make sure that your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is clearly spelled out. This is a piece of information that says in one sentence or less why someone should do business with you. Make it clear and prominent on your site.

4. Can you easily find the benefits of the product/service?

A visitor to your site wants to learn as much as possible about the benefits of your product or service. Features are important, too, but the most important thing a visitor can take away is a sense that this product or service will make an impact in their life…for the better.

5. Is there a clear call to action?

If customers like what they see, it is important to move them along quickly. There should be a prominent, clear call to action on your website. Your call to action may be to buy now, start a free trial, learn more or something else. Make sure that you are not sending mixed messages with too many calls to action. Choose the one or two that matter most and make them easy to find.

6. Are the colors and images aesthetically pleasing?

If your website is too busy or jarring, you will lose visitors. Take a little time to coordinate colors and to implement high quality images that add to your message.

7. Is the font easy to read?

Make sure your font is easy to read and is not distracting. Don’t get fancy; just stick with a simple, sans-serif font in a contrasting color to the background.

8. Are there bulky sections of writing anywhere on the page?

Long, bulky paragraphs are likely to get skipped. Try breaking up your copy into smaller sections that get the point across quickly.

9. Do the menu items clearly tell you where they will take you?

Site design and usability are important considerations that often get overlooked. Think about what information you would want to find if you visited this site, and plan your menus accordingly. There should almost always be an “about us” and “contact us” page.

10. Is there an easy way to contact the business?

If your website does its job, you will likely have interested prospects who want to learn more or simply have a few questions. Make sure they have an easy way to find you. Potential customers also want to know that they will be able to get a hold of you if needed in the future, whether for warranty service or support.

11. Can you find out more about the owner or employees of the company?

Visitors often want to know that they are dealing with real people. Having an “about us” page is a great way to show the world why you are the best one to handle the job. Include photos, too – everyone likes to associate a face to the business.

12. Do you feel personally connected?

Visitors who feel personally connected will be more likely to stick around and/or become a customer. Tell your story, and tell them why you are the right choice. You can personally connect with your visitors by being honest, using a conversational writing style and including real testimonials from other customers.

13. Is the writing corporate or conversational?

Corporate writing is good for…well, big corporations. But a small business shouldn’t pretend to be a big, formal entity that is disconnected from the public. Your ability to relate to your customers is a big reason why they will eventually choose you – start right away with engaging, conversational tone in your writing.

14. Is there a web form above the fold?

A web form is really the only way to capture leads from your website visitors. Make sure that it is in a visible place above the fold. The better it looks, the more people will fill it out.

15. Is the offering appealing enough to make you want to give your email address?

Your web form should also offer an incentive piece to spark a visitor’s interest and convince them to give you their information. Make sure that this incentive piece is appealing – offer real tips, actionable advice or special deals that will immediately help your prospects.

16. Is there multimedia?

Multimedia is a great way to add character and interest to your website. Videos, podcasts, tutorials and other multimedia options allow you to present your message to your visitors in a way that appeals to them.

17. Are there links to social media?

Social media allows you to communicate with your prospects, and it allows them to communicate with each other. Include links to your blog, Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Make it easy for everyone to find you on social media…even if they don’t fill out your web form, they may choose to follow you in some fashion.

Once you determine the areas of your website that need improvement, develop a plan to start implementing changes. You don’t have to do them all at once – do a few at a time until you have a website that you can be proud of (and one that consistently brings in sales).

Why is it so hard to find the time to blog

One of the biggest things that holds people back from succeeding at blogging is time.

If you are traveling or working full-time, how are you expected to start a website? After a long workday, the last thing you want to do is spend your nights blogging.

But there is always more time than we think — we’re just bad at managing it. I know I am! I used to find I never had enough time to blog. I was constantly overwhelmed but not getting any work done. I would often think about all the things I didn’t have enough time to do. Then I would watch Netflix, go drinking with my friends, or just laze around.

The truth is, it’s not about having not enough time — it’s about prioritizing your time.

The secret to getting your work done?

Scheduling.

Not to-do list building.

Scheduling.

I mentioned this a few emails back. A lot of time people create a to-do list as a way to manage work. While a list might be a good way to organize your shopping, it’s not the best way to organize your blog. Because what ends up happening is that we do the easiest stuff first and put off the hardest stuff until later. All the big, really important things we need to do get put off in favor of the smaller, less important tasks.

It’s human nature.

Instead, create a schedule that allows you to batch your work.

For example, on Mondays, I write and do my marketing. On Tuesdays, I edit my writing. On Wednesdays, I write my newsletter and answer emails. On Thursdays, I put up blogs and send out my newsletter. This allows me to make sure that each week I get all my work done but only focus on the task at hand. I don’t worry about the long list of things to do because my list for the day is only one or two things.

Batching allows me to focus — and when you focus, you can optimize your time. So after your long day at work, you have only one or two things to do, and blogging doesn’t seem so daunting.

There are plenty of hours in the day, and the secret to successful blogging when just starting out is to create a schedule for yourself so you can optimize your time.

It’s what every successful blogger does — and it’s what you should do too!