6 reasons why you should invest in a new website in 2016
1. Your website is ugly on mobile devices
I bet at least 7/10 of your website visitors come from a mobile device.
The average time spent browsing the internet on mobile devices is an astounding 4.3 hours per day. This an insane fact that you should be capitalizing on.
You need your website to look stunning when a visitor is on their iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, etc.
Pick up your phone and type in your website address.
How does it look?
If the text is cut off on the screen, menus do not load properly, your site loads slow, etc. you're missing out on a chunk of leads.
2. Little to ZERO leads generated
Are you upset by how many leads your website generates month after month?
Your website should serve as a lead spittin' fountain that helps fill your pipeline on a daily basis.
To attract leads with your website you need:
3. Unclear and irrelevant call-to-actions
What is a call-to-action (CTA)?
A CTA is a button or link that you place on your website to drive prospective customers to become leads by filling out a form on a landing page.
Your website should lead visitors down a clear path with relevant CTA's on every page.
Every time you create a new page, ask yourself "What is the purpose of this and how will I guide the visitor to take an action?"
Whether you want visitors to subscribe to your blog or fill out a form to request more information, you must guide visitors.
People need to be told what to do otherwise they take no action.
Take a look at your site and see if you have any intriguing CTA's, such as:
4. You're embarrassed to tell your customers/clients to go on your site
If you're embarrassed to have customers go on your website because it looks like it was built in the early 2000's, you might need a new website.
Unfortunately, design on the internet changes fast and if your site isn't improved regularly, chances are it might look and feel clunky.
5. Video and live streaming
Video and live streaming are HOT!
Groupon Works has concluded that in 2017 video will take up 69% of all consumer web traffic. (the equivalent of 4x as much web browsing and time spent emailing.)
Benefits of video on your website:
If you're not taking advantage of video and live stream feeds on your website, you're really missing out.
Pro tip: If you hate writing, you can have all of your videos transcribed for only $1/min at rev.com
6. Your website is anti-social!
Are you leveraging the power of social media on your site?
Your website should be harnessing the power of social media by having it work seamlessly to promote your brand.
From Facebook news feed integration to shareable buttons, your site needs social media integration.
I want to share 3 techniques with you that I’ve used to create million dollar brands.
While many people think of Coca Cola, McDonalds, or Apple as the worlds most successful and recognized brands, that’s just not the truth. I believe the most powerful brand in the history of our planet is “America”. Also knows as “The United States of America”.
You can go to the middle of a 3rd world country on the other side of the globe and say “America” I doubt a single person would not know what you are talking about.
The point of this episode is not about just a name, but America as “The Brand” known across the world, it has an extremely high rate of familiarity worldwide but stands for “Freedom” “Prosperity” and “Opportunity”.
So how did they do it, with money? Nope! Brainwashing… haha I’m just kidding… well maybe a little. Let me explain why for real, national identity, national community, and common interests are important factors in a winning brand. Let me say that again because it’s very important, national identity, national community, and common interests are important factors in a winning brand.
So how can we apply these to our business create award winning brands and followings? Let’s start with National Identity…
According to Google.com the definition of “national identity” is a sense of a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture, and language.
The important keyword being cohesive distinct, and culture.
Creating a winning brand requires consistency across all mediums. Visually you need to use consistent fonts, and colors, such as America’s “Red, White, and Blue” used by millions of companies today. Red representing Valour, White represents Purity, and Blue Perseverance.
So when picking your logo color(s) don’t just choose blue because it’s your favorite color. Find a color that represents the qualities of your business, the industry you are in, and the culture you want to set with your brand. I can’t stress to you enough … color matters!
Like color… symbols, logos, and characters are also very important. The meanings behind the American flag, Uncle Sam, Bald Eagle and Statue of Liberty run deep as visual reminders of what the American brand stands for.
What does your logo convey to your customers? Strength, Creativity, Honesty, or does it say “Bare Minimum”? A logo is about more than just looking cool.
National community is equally an important keyword in developing a great brand, who are your buyers, what are their hobbies, how old are they, are they men… women… kids?
Knowing your dream customer or client is a critical element to developing a brand that will create what is called “Blind Loyalty”. Change your approach from talking about yourself to talking about what matters to your clients. Solve their problems, their pains, and share your beliefs on how they should be fixed.
People don’t buy what you do; they buy “WHY YOU DO IT”. This is why content is so important to a brand, like the Constitution is to America.
There are a thousand companies cleaning carpets, or selling real estate. They are buying you, not your service.
Successful branding is done by connecting with a large group of people and uniting them with one belief, so what is it that you believe in? What problems are in your customers lives that relate to your industry?
If you can find the Common Interest between you and your customers you will create branded “blind loyalty”. As long as you are true to those beliefs, and stay consistent in your all your actions. Whether it be your marketing, advertising, printing, videos, website, or content. Be authentic.
How many “jingles” or “expressions” can you still recall from memory when you were a kid? The Pledge of Allegiance for example is an expression of loyalty. “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R US Kid” a memorable jingle that creates reinforcement in the minds of your customers.
Express your interests, beliefs, causes, or what is important to them and you.
So remember… National identity, National community, and Common interests.
Four Myths of Google Advertising
1. AdWords works wonders. If it didn’t, Google wouldn’t have earned 97% of its $74.5 billion 2015 revenues from it.
2. Your competitors can click on your ad as many times as possible and you will be charged endlessly. Google has taken great steps to stop this from happening. There is even automated processes to identify if your account has been victim to click fraud.
Google even has a dedicated team who manually looks at suspicious clicks and they can refund any click fraud. They will even launch an investigation if you feel there has been click fraud with your campaign.
Google wants to hang tight on the 97% of their business, so you better believe they will do all they can to make their advertisers happy.
3. You don’t need to advertise on Google when SEO gets you web traffic for free.
It’s true, if your site is ranked #1 on the organic listings, it is free visibility. But watch out because it takes a ton of time to get to first place and you’re not guaranteed to get there. Your ranking can change overnight or on the next Google update.
We usually recommend a hybrid model of both paid advertising and SEO so that you can double the chances of getting leads on your site.
4. AdWords is too expensive and I will get little return if I invest in it. For most businesses that have their account managed by an AdWords expert, they see a significant return on investment, such as our carpet cleaner who makes up to $2,500 a day scrubbing rugs. The beauty of his campaign is he is no longer driving 3 to 4 hours from job to job, but staying close to home and able to do 2-3 more jobs per day.
We're unlike other advertising and marketing agencies. Most agencies love to talk about building your identity, the percentage of your bounce rates, click-through-rates, etc.
To the average business owner, none of this matters. At the end of the day, what matters is the return on advertising spend.
Our approach with clients is purely ROI driven.
We want to show you the numbers and have it all make sense.
For example, if you're a roofing contractor and want to bring in more revenue, all you need is to understand the numbers.
What is your average roofing job?
What percentage are you willing to allocate towards advertising and marketing?
5% of your gross revenue? 10% of your gross revenue? As a rule of thumb (depending on the industry) you should feel comfortable as a business owner allocating 10% of the job towards your advertising and/or marketing.
Now, if you know on average your closing rate is 25%, then it will take 4 appointments to close a roofing deal. If we run a campaign and can get appointments for $150 a piece, it effectively costs you $600 (or 5% of total job) to score a $12,000 job. This is great ROI!
When you know your numbers, you can scale as big as you want to (as long as there is enough demand).
At this point, you know if you want to hit $120k in revenue a month, all you need to do is land 10 jobs, which will cost you around $6,000 in advertising costs.
Do you want to make $1.2 million a month? Scale your campaign even further and spend around $60k a month on advertising. The great thing about advertising is the scalability. If there is enough demand for your product or service, you can scale infinitely.
It is great scaling advertising campaigns, but make sure you have the resources (usually human capital) so that you're not creating an imbalance.
In 2016 you can find the best return on investment with Facebook (in most cases.) We consider Facebook to be the best advertising platform out right now.
The ability to hyper-target your customers based on income, geo-location, college level, by pages liked or hundreds of other ways, it is limitless.
Since Facebook advertising is newer it is still easy to have a much better return on investment than other advertising platforms. It costs a fraction of what other marketing platforms charge.
Facebook is a lead generation monster, whether you're a realtor or a company selling software to businesses.
You're ability to remarket to existing customers or leads is amazing with Facebook. If you do not have a database, Facebook is here to fill your database up and market over and over again to your customers without traditional email marketing.
Adverting on Facebook works for tiny budgets or large. Whether you want to spend $1 a day or $100k a day. Facebook can take on your mission!
Browsing Forbes website, I noticed #23 for 2015 on Forbes list for "America's Most Promising Companies" is Yodle.
It is truly amazing how a company like Yodle can do $187 million in revenue and continue growing. Almost $16 MILLION a month in revenue is not an insignificant number.
Reader discretion advised:
This article might include a little bit of bashing, but that is okay. The truth needs to be exposed sometimes.
Yodle does not do a single thing for business owners, except integrate some simple features into an all-in-one dashboard and charge $3,600 per year for it. Sometimes they try to squeeze in a $497 setup fee if they can suck it out of you.
I actually went through their demo with a sales rep and checked out their platform, which the client interface is lame and their entire UX is dated.
At the end of the presentation, I asked the Sales Rep, so basically your platform connects a few components into a singular place and there isn't any actual work on your end (all efforts are done by the customer, not Yodle)?
And the shocker came, he told me "Yes."
That is when it got awkward.
He knew I caught on to their scheme, the rep didn't push the sale any further and we hung up. After speaking with dozens of business owners, they told me that Yodle was relentless about following up with them and pressuring them into a sales agreement for 12 months. The funny thing is he NEVER followed up with me. It has been eight months and I am still waiting for that follow-up call.
After the sales presentation, I was puzzled. I started questioning myself. How can a company that offers something so little in value have over 50,000 customers and counting?
You would think a company that charges thousands of dollars a year and a setup fee would help with at least one of the following:
Well, I figured out their strategy...
1. They're damn good at selling over the phone to naive small business owners.
2. It is all about presentation. Their marketing collateral is on point. They have beautiful brochures, ebooks, success stories, white papers, etc.
3. Once they promise you the world, you're tied into a contract. That is recurring revenue every month.
I guess the key to success and being that big marketing name on Forbes list comes down to presentation and persistence.
They're named one of America's Most Promising Companies because of their appearance. It is all about presentation and how a company is perceived from the outside, rather than their inner layers, such as the ROI they provide for customers.
Bottom line... Yodle is great at three things:
Cold calling, presentation and selling the dream.
Oh, the horror of working with web development agencies...
"I know I need to improve my online presence and I am willing to pay for it. The thing is Matthew, I am nervous due to numerous web design companies I have worked with and not getting the end-result I need."
We hear the same-old-story on a daily basis. Business owners have paid a "web guru" to have a website built out and face a handful of problems in the process. The web design company usually promises the world with short turnaround times and timid prices to get the client.
As a client, you think you scored a great deal on a website for $900, but in actuality (in most cases), you just ran into a wall of problems, hold-ups, and excuses for the project to be completed.
The reason for the HUGE variance in quality across web development companies is simply due to the ease of barrier to entry. Anyone with a computer can call themselves a "web developer", "web guru", "marketing specialist" or any other flashy name.
With web development, there isn't an industry-backed credential that certifies you as a professional web developer.
With the barrier to entry being so easy, it is difficult to separate those who slap on a WordPress theme and make some generic changes with the themes settings, whereas a true professional uses their knowledge of UX and UI (User-Experience and User-Interface), clean code and the latest development languages to create a beautiful experience for your project.
Common complaints we hear about other web development companies are:
Here is an ACTUAL complaint from a new customer that they told us about a web development company that they finally gave up, cut their losses and moved on from:
"I spent almost 16 months with xxx company just trying to get my site live and dozens of hours trying to convey what I was looking for on my site to take my company to that next level. After being strung along, exhausted from trying to get it right and spending five-figures on design and development costs, I cut my losses and went on a journey finding a reputable company who could meet my needs."
After developing more than two dozen websites over several years now, I knew as a project coordinator, I needed to identify customer pain points and what really makes them hesitate with launching a new site and building that new image for their company.
So, I begin cold calling to find prospects who had lame sites in the niches I wanted to go after and there are two things I found and in 90% of the cases for fear of moving forward with a new website.
(SPOILER ALERT: It was NOT money!)
The problem with giving up on finding the right web developer comes down to three things:
So, here is why you need a website that WORKS for YOU...
Infinite benefits for having a new website, but we will list three primary ones:
1. The internet is the phone book for businesses. If you're not listed, you're losing out on ($$$) thousands or even millions of dollars in revenue every year.
2. Having a clean website that is best-in-industry builds a tremendous amount of authority for your company. Having an outdated site (even 3 years old) with poor user-experience often makes potential customers hesitant to work with your business.
3. Everyone is on their phone searching for the services and products they need or want. 81% of customers start their research online before calling or visiting a business (Source: adweek.com.) Having your business shine on mobile is so so so important!
True professional web development companies (LIKE US!) have the following traits and ideals:
Lead Butler is the best way to turn form submissions on your website to phone calls in seconds.
If you're like most businesses, you're busy as a bee and often forget to look at any leads that have come through your forms on your website.
The problem is as these leads slip through your pipeline, your potential (who WAS interested in your business!) customer leaves your site and starts shopping your competitors immediately.
We know this story all too often...
You're busy at work closing deals and working on projects, suddenly you check your email at the end of the day and see you have an inquiry from a hot prospect.
You hop on the phone right away and they say, "Sorry, we already booked an appointment with "your competitor", but thanks for calling back.
Feeling frustrated, you wish you had a solution to solve the delay in time from inquiry to phone call.
Here is the thing... If you follow up with web lead within 5 minutes, you're 9 times more likely to convert them. (Source: InsideSales.com)
With my business, I had this problem for too long until I decided to take charge of my leads and decided to not let them get TOSSED off to my competitors.
The solution is Lead Butler. A prospect submits a web lead and Voilà, your phone rings and asks you if you want to dial out to the prospect.
Our proprietary software has numerous options for customization. From call recording to call flows, we have the power to make it work well for your business.
Have multiple reps answering the phone call?
Call multiple phones at once and the first person to answer takes the call.
Need an interactive menu to route calls?
Press 1 for sales. Press 2 for support. Connect your customers to the right person every time.
Want a custom greeting?
Not a problem! Upload your greeting with ease and play it at any point during a call flow.
Get a transcription emailed to your or sent to directly to your phone.
Features are endless.
Support is available 24/7.
We don't talk the talk... We use our software within our business.
There are two types of online lead generation: Advertising and Marketing.
Advertising is the bread and butter for companies like Google, Facebook, and Zillow.
Marketing is the "free" or "organic" efforts made through writing content that search engines can find.
The two strategies both work when it comes down to generating leads or sales for your product/service.
What it comes down to is, do you want instant gratification via advertising or build up your foundation over time for results that pay dividends for many years?
Right now you're thinking, ughhh why do I have to choose one over the other.
The quick answer: You don't.
Our approach: Get aggressive in both.
Okay... We understand not every company can afford an aggressive approach with advertising and marketing, but at a minimum you can be aggressive with one approach and experiment with the other.
Let me lay out the pros and cons between advertising and marketing for you.
-Start getting leads, calls or sales right away.
-Ability to target and test ideas quickly.
-Instant brand recognition.
-You forever have to spend money to keep leads pouring in.
-It takes a good amount of time to create, launch, test and optimize campaigns.
-If you're inexperienced with setting up advertising campaigns, you can waste a lot of money.
-Efforts made over time can pay off for years.
-You can get started with no cash out of your pocket (it does take time, though!)
-You can receive huge boosts if you have connections in your industry.
-It's not "free" like many people think unless your time is not valuable.
-With all the work, your competitors could be working harder and outrank you. It's not guaranteed.
-Takes extensive knowledge on great content writing skills, keyword analysis, backlink building and page optimization.
-It can take several months to realize ROI.
As you can see, advertising and marketing are two different beasts, but both have an end goal of getting your business more customers.
Search engine optimization has come a long way in the past five years. Today, SEO is all about how well you're connecting with visitors and engaging them on your site with relevant content that is similar to what they're searching for.
Let's take a look at where SEO was like years ago and compare it today...
To rise to the top of search engines five years ago, many "internet marketing experts" love doing shady practices to make the rankings jump temporarily. Black hat SEO is just putting a band-aid on one's marketing and devaluing the future of websites. Fortunately for internet marketers (like us) who believe in putting out quality for long-term results, we're finally getting rewarded big time from the search engines.
10 Years ago you could have fun throwing in a bunch of keywords all throughout your site for words you want to rank and it actually boosted your ranking quickly. Today, if you're overusing keywords, Google will flag you website, as well as penalize your site. Don't stuff your site with keywords! With the overused "content is king" phrase being thrown around by internet marketers quite a bit, it's true. The more content that is genuine and truly represents your company and what your business does, the more Google respects it and pushes your site ahead of competitors.
Looking back at SEO, photos and videos weren't given much power to help increase rankings at all. Today, everything has changed. Going forward, photos and videos count towards your SEO score more than ever before. With low competition search term keywords, you can create a video and if you optimize it right, you can rank the video (YouTube) in a matter of days. We have done this for many keywords and continue to do so.
In addition to video, social media is an integral part of search rankings now too. The more engagement you have on networks, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. the better your chances are for Google to pick up on that and move you ahead of your competitors. When on social media, focus on what you can consistently due to build your brand and amount of followers. You can use social media to sell, but it needs to be indirect selling. For every one "salesly" post, you should have five times more informational and engaging posts that is related to your brand, your company culture, company news, community involvement, etc.
We're excited that SEO is moving in the right direction and will continue to do so. More relevant searching across the web will yield better results for businesses who do it right. Better search engine marketing is also better for consumers too!