5 Ways Your Website Could Be Hurting Sales

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5 Ways Your Website Could Be Hurting Sales

website conversion helpIf you’re in the business of selling products or services online, your website can make or break your brand. While most companies stay on top of the marketing techniques that can help to drive more traffic to their site, they often forget to make improvements to the site itself. Here are five ways that your site might be hurting sales and how you can fix it.

1. You Have Unresolved Glitches

This sounds like a simple problem that any web administrator with an ounce of sense would avoid. However, many site admins don’t realize that their e-retail platform has a glitch because they don’t regularly check the platform for user friendliness. If customers run into a glitch, they’ll oftentimes abandon the purchase rather than contacting the administrator about the problem. Hence, it’s crucial that you’re regularly checking the site for any glitches or issues.

2. There’s Never Any Rush To Buy

If your site isn’t regularly running promotions that feature a deadline, such as “product X is 25% off until this Friday,” then you’re not creating time-sensitive reasons for customers to make purchases. Companies attach deadlines to their promo codes and sales for good reason; it gives the customer a reason to buy now instead of later. Don’t think of these promotions as sleazy. They’re actually quite common and a completely moral sales tactic.

3. The Tech Is Fine, But The Site Itself Is Hideous

Sure, any e-retailer needs to have a glitch-free storefront that runs smoothly and processes data and promo codes without error. But don’t think that design doesn’t matter. Customers like to be welcomed by a web design and graphics that are pleasing to the eyes. Good visuals can compel customers who are on the fence to finally make that purchase.

4. Zero Social Media Presence

As social media becomes more and more of an integral part of how our society communicates, retailers can’t afford not to have a strong social media presence. It’s common for consumers to look at a brand’s Twitter or Instagram before deciding to make a purchase. If your site doesn’t have any sort of social media presence, customers may actually find that to be odd and somewhat suspicious. Social media isn’t just good from a marketing perspective. Rather, it’s a good way to cement your brand as trustworthy and give a legitimacy to your brand’s entire presence online.

5. Contacting Customer Service Is A Nightmare

No one wants to receive a barrage of petty customer complaints or unnecessary questions. For this reason, many sites tend to bury their customer service contact form or information, theorizing that only customers with legitimate questions will take the time to seek out the contact info. While this idea is okay in theory, it can kill potential sales. When customers have a question that they need to ask before they feel confident making a purchase, they want to be able to contact customer service quickly and simply. This is why a customer service contact should always be plainly visible on your site.

If you stay on top of these five potential mishaps, you can create a site that is user-friendly and conducive to consistent sales.

Guest Blogger: Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your fulfillment


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LinkedIn: Best Practices for Buyers and Sellers

ISM Dallas logoEven before the recent announcement that Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, more and more people are talking about how to get the most from their LinkedIn profile.  During our August 11th event, ISM-Dallas members and guests will hear an informative and inspiring talk on how Buyers and Sellers can maximize the LinkedIn platform to boost their personal and business profiles.

Our Speaker, J.R. Atkins, with Something Different Companies, shares a few points from his presentation so you will know what to expect:

“Since its introduction in 2003, LinkedIn has grown into the premier professional social media platform. It has proven useful in connecting buyers and sellers as well as providing an open forum to discuss industry topics.”

“Once you have a good personal profile on LinkedIn, you can use advanced features such as Groups, InMail and Publishing to help accomplish your professional goals.”

“By creating a Company or Organization page, LinkedIn allows groups of people to swap ideas, promote events, and keep up industry and company information.”

J.R.’ s talk will start with the “why” and quickly move through the “how” of using LinkedIn effectively. Some of the topics to be addressed:

  • Building a Successful Profile
  • Sharing your Subject Matter expertise
  • Recruiting vs Other Uses of LinkedIn
  • The Power of LinkedIn Groups
  • LinkedIn Integration & Outlook/Google+
  • In Mail

There will be also be time for “Questions and Answers” during the presentation.

 

As a speaker, J.R. is noted for “taking the mystery out of technology” and speaking in terms that “even a CEO can understand.” He is best known for working with Company Leaders, Sales Professionals and Marketing Managers on how Social Media and Mobile Apps can make a positive impact on their organization. J.R. has over 25 years of marketing experience with small, medium and large organizations.

As a consultant, J.R. works with business leaders to understand the shift in selling that is occurring as more consumers and business turn to the internet for information before engaging in the sales process. How has selling changed? How do the metrics for sales need to change? Using inbound and outbound marketing, J.R. can help you implement plans to increase results in this new sales environment.

As a consultant, J.R. works with business leaders to understand the shift in selling that is occurring as more consumers and business turn to the internet for information before engaging in the sales process. How has selling changed? How do the metrics for sales need to change? Using inbound and outbound marketing, J.R. can help you implement plans to increase results in this new sales environment.

In his first book, Success Simplified, with Dr Stephen Covey, Dr Tony Alessandra and Patricia Fripp J.R. wrote about how organizations can use Social Media to communicate with prospective customers, current clients and employees.  His most recent book, Mobile Roadmap to Success, J.R. writes about Mobile App Development for individuals, small companies and large enterprises.

J.R. began speaking publicly in 1994 on sales and marketing, in 2009 on Social Media, and on Mobile Apps in 2011. He holds an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus and a BBA from Texas A&M University.  J.R. and Something Different Companies has a business location in Dallas & Gatesville, TX as well as Atlanta, GA.


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6 Best Practices for Promoting Events

A well planned, well communicated and well attended event can help an organization thrive and a business grow. Yet, I receive event notifications on a regular basis that are missing information, poorly timed, and offer too many reminders. Why is it so hard to get it right? Let’s take a look at a few best practices for promoting an event.

1._Create an event fact sheet. This should include all of the relevant facts such as date, time and location, as well as who should attend, where to J.R. Atkins talks about event communicationpark and who to call or email with questions. This list can be used to develop a press release and other forms of marketing communications as well as sharing with people and sponsors you are recruiting.

2. Develop a marketing communication plan at least 90 days out from the event. Your event may require more or less time depending on the J.R. Atkins on event planningevent, but 90 days is a rule of thumb as it allows time for event publication by relevant resources and printed materials. For best results, once you have confirmed the venue, develop your marketing communication plan. It is easier to deal with plenty of time than not enough time.

3. Send out a “save the date notice” in plenty of time. The bigger the event, the more notice people will need. For a major fund raiser or “annual J.R. Atkins says send out save the date noticesevent” publish the date on your website 12-14 months in advance and send out save the date notices several months in advance. As an example, an annual charity event may announce the date 12 months out but not release the theme, entertainment and other details until just the right moment to generate excitement.

4. Use “reasonable” frequency. One organization I belong to sent me 5 or more emails about the same event during the 30 days leading up J.R. Atkins warns of too many emailto it and they were the same email. Yuck! First, once a week is sometimes too often and second, the message needs to be different in every email. I wonder why I do not receive an invitation on Facebook or other mediums? Over communication often leads people to tune out and unsubscribe. By using multiple communication channels you can stay in front of people without driving them crazy. Use your website, email, social media, print and mail for really big events.

5. A picture is worth 1000 words. Make sure to use images that tell the story of the written content. This will create the best a picture is worth 1000 wordsimpact. For an even better impact, use a short video, less than 60 seconds, to promote the event. People will share your pictures and videos if they are done well and are relevant. PDF formats are often used to share event information, but remember they are an image and the details in the image are not searchable and someone cannot cut and paste the details into their calendar.

6. Use a professional online registration tool. It is common practice to offer registrations on your website or through an event registration tool. J.R. Atkins recommends eventbriteThese tools will increase your revenue and help manage the details. If your members like a hands on approach, you can still take their information over the phone or in person then enter it into the online tool. I have used cvent and Eventbrite, or check out the list by Capterra.

I could list more but I think these are the big ones I see being missed by well-meaning organizations. I welcome your comments, suggestions and success stores.

Good luck with your next event.


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Social Media Webinar @Rio Texas Conference of UMC

The Rio Texas Conference has hosted several webinars since February 2016. On April 30, 2016, Rev. Will Rice hosted a social media webinar with J.R. Atkins, author of Social Media 2.0.

 


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4 Trends to Capitalize on in 2016

To help your business grow in 2016, consider these trends and how well you execute in each area. I’d love to help you.

  1. social-media-buy-buttons-300x270Social Selling aka “The Buy Button” – In case you have not seen a “click to buy now” option on Pinterest or Twitter, get ready for them to appear on every social media platform. It just makes sense when you think about it; you see a picture of something you like, one click and you are able to buy it.

http://time.com/4075560/buy-button-facebook-youtube-pinterest/

  1. your design mattersDesign Still Matters – The look and feel, the ease of use, ease of navigation, online and in person, it’s all about the experience. The phrase “Customer Service” is so dated; it’s all about the “User Experience.” Millennial shopping habits are shaping the buying experience for all.

https://designschool.canva.com/blog/design-at-work/

  1. brand trustBuilding Trust – To build trust you must stand by your products and services, as well as communicate clearly and honestly about your brand. Your effectiveness in building trust is directly related to your online reviews and how you share and answer messages on social media.

https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/01/why-trust-matters-in-business/

  1. global and localBe Local and Global – Once you have a good online presence with your website and social media, you are ready to expand beyond your local market. With good online communication, competitive pricing and global shipping, you can do business anywhere you desire. You are only limited by your decisions.

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8211-expand-business-internationally.html

Update from Something Different Companies – 2015 has been a good year, expanding our business in London, ENG, Atlanta, GA, Fort Collins, CO, Cheyenne, WO, Dallas, TX, Killeen, TX, Copperas Cove, TX and Belton, TX. 2016 brings hopes of growing business in Mexico, Israel and Palestine. Cheers!


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MOZ 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors

Every two years, Moz surveys the opinions of dozens of the world’s brightest search marketers and runs correlation studies to better understand the workings of search engine algorithms. We gather this data to gain insight into the factors that may help—or hurt—a website’s visibility in search engines.

This year, Moz surveyed over 150 leading search marketers who provided expert opinions on over 90 ranking factors.

In addition, the Data Science team at Moz, lead by Dr. Matthew Peters, ran an extensive correlation study to determine which features of websites and webpages are associated with higher search rankings. For the first time this year, Moz partnered with several data partners to enhance the study, including SimilarWeb, DomainTools, and Ahrefs.

Note that these factors are not “proof” of what search engines use to rank websites, but simply show the characteristics of web pages that tend to rank higher. Combining this understanding with both experience and knowledge of search engine algorithms can help lead to better SEO practices.

Please see the entire article, data and related information at: https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors

J.R. Atkins shares MOZ 2015 search faCTORS

 


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Social Media Round Table @ HTI Conference June 2015

Social Media is becoming an accepted way for individuals, businesses and non-profits to communicate with friends, customers and stakeholders. Yet, there is also much confusion about how to make the most of Social Media tools.

During the “Social Media Round Table”, your moderator,  J.R. Atkins,  presents an overview on the most used and talked about social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ , Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and others.

The audience is invited to discusses the “why” and the “how” to put these tools to use. By using social media in your strategy and integrating it with your current marketing, you can generate results and drive a solid return on investment.

Specific questions and topics

  1. Are Facebook promotions still viable?
  2. Should we run promotions on social media?
  3. How to encourage reviews.
  4. How to incorporate social media in to your overall marketing.
  5. How do we know if social media is working?
  6. How to incorporate a call to action.
  7. How to manage social media. Do I need a full time person?
  8. What are current trends in social media?
  9. What should be on our website as far as social media?
  10. Where to find content.

Your speaker, J.R. Atkins has been working with individuals, executives and small businesses since 1993 and on Social Media since 2008. He has a BA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. J.R. serves as an adjunct professor at Temple College and Central Texas College. He has published 3 books: Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Road Map to Success.

This is private event. Let me know if you would like to come as my guest.


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Principles of Social Media Success: Why you may need social media.”

Social Media is becoming an accepted way for individuals, businesses and non-profits to communicate with friends, customers and stakeholders. Yet, there is also much confusion about how to make the most of Social Media tools.

In “Principles of Social Media Success”, J.R. presents an overview on the most used and talked about social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ , Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and others.

The audience is invited to discusses the “why” and the “how” to put these tools to use. By using social media in your strategy and integrating it with your current marketing, you can generate results and drive a solid return on investment.

3 Learning objective:

  1. A working knowledge of Social Media tools and concepts
  2. The strategy behind effective Social Media Marketing
  3. Action items to build a social media strategy

Your speaker, J.R. Atkins has been working with individuals, executives and small businesses since 1993 and on Social Media since 2008. He has a BA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. J.R. serves as an adjunct professor at Temple College and CTC. He has published 3 books: Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Road Map to Success.

 


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How Your Marketing Plan Leads to Success

J.R. Atkins Professor at CTCHow Your Marketing Plan Leads to Success is a 4-hour workshop where attendees will learn the structure of a good marketing plan and leave the class with a basic marketing plan for their business.

To learn  more or register contact CTC at  254-526-1586 go towww.CTCD.EDU/CE


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Productive Website Trends

J.R. Atkins Professor at CTCProductive Website Trends address the components of a good small business website? This is not a “how to build a website” course, but a “what should be on your website” course: content, graphics, mobile access, and SEO principals.

To learn  more or register contact CTC at  254-526-1586 go towww.CTCD.EDU/CE


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