Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Hey! If Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly, You’re Losing Customers (And Money)

Our economy is recovering…slowly. However, these are still difficult times for consumers. Here’s what that means to you as a business owner: You simply can’t risk making it more difficult for customers to buy your products or services. The fact is that, many local businesses aren’t making things easy with regards to their websites. As more and more consumers are trying to find nearby businesses on their mobile devices (according to Google, 1 in 3 searches are for local information) companies are still running antiquated sites that look like crap (let’s be honest) on smartphones and tablets.

Losing customers one click at a time

At first blush, this might seem like a small problem. It’s not, unfortunately. As the folks at MarketingVOX recently outlined, there are very real financial penalties for having a mobile-unfriendly website. And as increasingly more consumers use mobile devices to access the web, the penalties are becoming stiffer. In a recent post, MarketingVOX highlighted research from Google showing that:

  • A majority 61% of consumers say that they’ll leave a website if it’s not optimised for small touch screens.
  • A whopping 96% of consumers say they’ve had bad experiences on websites that were not designed for non-desktop screens.
  • 50% of respondents said that even if they liked a business, they’d be less inclined to buy in the future if the business’s website isn’t mobile friendly.

Those are startling statistics. Here’s the silver lining: Nearly 3/4 say that they’re more likely to go back to a mobile-friendly website. So your mission is clear…

Your challenge

What sort of mobile experience have you been offering for your prospects and customers?

If it’s bad, the research from Google is unequivocal: you’re losing customers. If it’s a good experience, you’re probably taking them away from your competitors.

It’s not hard to see why mobile website optimisation is important. Look around you. Chances are good you’ll see someone hunched over a mobile device, swiping away at their iPhone, Android tablet or Kindle e-reader. This isn’t a passing fad. In reality, a recent report from Morgan Stanley projects that web surfing on mobile devices will outpace browsing the web on desktop computers within the next year.

And according to a joint Google/Ipsos study, after consumers look up a business via mobile, 61% say they make a phone call and 59% say they will navigate to the business! Can you guess which businesses are more likely to hear the phone ring? Yes, those with mobile-ready websites.

For those who have a smartphone, here’s your homework: pull up your website using your mobile browser. If your site looks cramped or unreadable, you know what you need to do: fix it. Get help if you need it! Otherwise, you’re at risk of losing what every business depends upon. Paying customers.

Continue Reading

B2B Marketing – Current Trends

MarketingProfs recently conducted a study to see what companies that market to other companies are up to when using content as a marketing tool.

Some highlights from the “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America” study:

  • On average, B2B content marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, up from 26% last year; also, 54% plan to increase content marketing spending next year.
  • All content tactics are being used more frequently than they were last year, with the use of research reports, videos, and mobile content having increased the most.
  • On average, B2B content marketers are using five social distribution channels; the most popular of those channels is LinkedIn, whereas Twitter had been the most popular the previous two years.

Importantly, B2B content marketers this year are most challenged with producing enough content, which is different from previous findings, when the top challenge was producing engaging content.

Here’s an infographic summarising the findings.

b2b-marketing-infographic2

Continue Reading

6 Universal Principles of Persuasion That Make Selling Easy

Below is a short video (11 mins) that covers the 6 simple principles of persuasion. These are based on the research and book “Influence: Science and Practice” by Robert Cialdini. The book itself has sold over a million copies in the last 10+ years and is a must read if you’re involved in sales and marketing.

The video is a great intro to get an overview of these principles and includes real world examples of how they can be used in business.

The 6 principles of persuasion are:

  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Consensus

Enjoy, and get in touch if you have any questions and let me know how you’re using these influence techniques in your business.

Continue Reading

Reach, relevance and ROI: Guiding on the Internet

An introductory article in the Herald about SEO and Adwords from the NZHearld. Although it is a bit of an advertising piece for Yellow, it still has some useful info.

Every day more and more Kiwis are turning to the internet to research goods and services. Their number one port of call is the Google search page. And businesses looking for new leads and customers should take notice of this trend.

A successful search engine marketing (SEM) campaign can attract new customers in their droves and raise a brand’s profile.

Search engine marketing encompasses a number of different strategies to get customers to visit a business’ website and make contact. The two most common tactics are:

Search engine optimisation (SEO) The goal of SEO is for a business to appear high up in search results on Google. Businesses that succeed at SEO enhance their website content to include key words that are picked up by web searches, improve their meta tags, which explain the content of the site to search engines, and build links to their site from others. The theory is that the higher up the search results a business appears the more likely it is to gain the customer. Joe Bloggs Ltd appearing on page three of a Google search has a far lesser chance of acquiring the same customer.

It’s becoming increasingly common as well to attract customers and leads through social media marketing on sites such as facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Google AdWords Businesses can advertise on the Google search page by buying what’s called AdWords. When an internet user searches using terms that match a business’ AdWords its adverts appear above or beside the search results. These AdWords may be individual words such as “perfume”, or phrases such as “lawn mowing services in Matamata”. How often the ad is displayed depends on how much a business is willing to spend. Well-targeted ads are clicked on more often and recognising this, Google gives greater prominence to the targeted ad.

Both strategies go hand in hand, although the right AdWord campaign can be like gold dust. Yellow’s senior product manager Chris McNair says AdWords are the most measurable, targetable form of advertising available ? full stop. The strategy returns the three Rs of advertising: reach, relevance and return on investment (ROI).

The concept is relatively simple. Businesses choose their AdWords and then bid a certain amount such as 50c, $1, or $2 per click-through to their website.

Where the advert appears on the Google search page depends on a number of factors including how relevant the content of the business’ website is, how many click-throughs there have been in the past, and the amount the business has bid to pay.

In simple terms, says McNair, a business which pays $1 per click on an AdWord but has a quality score of 10 out of 10 for its website would get a total score of 10, being the sum of 1×10. Another company that bids $2, but only has a quality score of 4, would get a total score of eight and appear in a less favourable position on the page despite spending more.

“What this means is that it eliminates completely irrelevant ads,” says McNair. A small company with a great AdWord campaign can compete with a global multinational by having more relevant targeted ads.

AdWords can be used successfully by small, medium and large sized companies. For example a search for carpet companies New Zealand may return a small company such as Onehunga-based CarpetCall.co.nz high up on the same page as large manufacturer Cavalier Bremworth and a medium size business such as Harrisons CarpetOne.

Just how much a business is willing to pay per click depends on the cost per acquisition of the customer, says McNair. An insurance company that will get an $800 premium from a customer will be willing to pay more to acquire a customer than a company selling relatively cheap widgets.

There are tricks to making Google AdWords work better for your business says McNair. For its customers Yellow creates a landing page that funnels surfers to the contact information for that business.

While a lawyer might prefer email contact from a potential client, a fencing contractor who is out all day may want users to be directed to his or her mobile phone. Yellow also creates different campaigns for mobile search results on Google.

A growing trend in AdWords is what’s called “ad extensions”, says McNair. The extensions give additional information when the business’ ad appears such as business address, phone number, and website page links. These are new extensions currently in Beta testing such as a search box and clickable vouchers are successful at driving more traffic to business’ websites, says McNair.

Source: NZHerald

Continue Reading

Testimonials, Recommendations, Reviews, and Social Proof

What I’m referring to here is how you can tap into people that know, like, and trust you to help grow your business and generate leads.

There’s a saying that goes something like “when you say it about yourself your bragging, when others say it, it’s the truth”.

Research out recently shows how effective third party recommendations are. It was found that 72% of people trust online reviews from other people (people that they don’t even know). This was second only to in person recommendations from friends and family etc. And beat out editorial newspaper articles, your own website, and numerous other sources of where people can get recommendations.

So why is this important? Well this technique can be used in both your online and traditional marketing.

We’ve found it has a multiplier effect on your marketing spend. If you’ve got lots of great 5 Star reviews about you online, this multiplies the effectiveness of your other marketing efforts.

However, the reverse is also true. If you have bad reviews online, or no online reputation, then this reduces down the effectiveness of your other marketing efforts.

Think about how you already do this yourself. Chances are that when you last went looking for a hotel to stay at or a restaurant to eat at, you did some online research to check out reviews others had left.

I can tell you I did when booking a hotel in Fiji to stay in. I looked at several who I thought would be great, however, when reading reviews was put off.

Perhaps you think this stuff doesn’t apply to you. Well Google recently began making big changes to how it shows review information. Often it now shows up as a link to reviews about you under your website in the search results. This makes it much easier for people to find out about your reputation.

And although it’s mostly noticeable in the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries for the moment, it is spreading quickly.

So how do you combat this and beat out your competitors before they realise what’s happening?

One way is to get more online reviews and recommendations. These can be on your website, business directories and review sites, and on your Google+ Local listing (what was previously known as Google Places).

At Web Gurus we have what we call our 4W Testimonial method, which is great for video testimonials and can be used for text ones too.

1. Who – start with the person saying their name

2. Where – then they say where they are from. If its a business to business recommendation, then have them say their business name (a bit of free publicity for them too). If its a consumer recommendation, then have them say what suburb and city they are from.

3. What – in 1 sentence, what was it about the business that got them excited

4. Why – another sentence to say why they would recommend the business to other people

In a video testimonial, the 4W method results in a 30 second video. Any longer and people begin to tune out and miss the message.

The great thing is that you don’t need fancy video cameras and video editing software. You can use your iPhone, or other phone that does HD recording. Remember to record it in landscape rather than portrait. Then upload it to your YouTube account and embed it on your website.

So the next time someone gives you a compliment, tells you they’ve been recommending you, or is excited to use your products or services, ask if you can record them doing a quick video testimonial.

Do the recording 3 or 4 times to help get them relaxed and one of them will be a great testimonial.

Remember to educate them on the 4W method, otherwise you’ll end up with several minutes of waffle rather than a powerful 30 second testimonial.

As an example, I recorded the following testimonial for Country Floral, an awesome florist in Papakura who I regularly get a bunch of stunning flowers from. They also do gifts, including some really yummy chocolates. Check out the video below:

Video: Country Floral - Testimonial - Steve Vale

Click here to watch the video

So check out the video testimonial I did above for Country Floral and do pop in and see Irene and treat your significant other (or yourself) to a stunning bunch of flowers or a gift.

Continue Reading