5 Tips For Bing Ads Ecommerce Advertisers

Bing AdsAs an online retailer, how do you bring more customers to your website? Especially, customers that are ready to buy. That’s exactly the question that Mountaineer Brand asked itself just over a year ago. Selling natural handmade beard supplies such as oils, balms and shaving products, the small brother-sister team brought on an SEM agency in July 2015 to help the company reach more shoppers.

The agency immediately began search campaigns with Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Through the implementation of some new SEM strategies and high-value features, the agency helped Mountaineer Brand bring in 1,700 percent more “bearded” leads. And, on the Bing Network alone, Mountaineer brand saw a 1,500% ad spend increase, 2,300% revenue increase and 1,700% conversion increase.
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Social Media Mistakes Made by Business Owners

social media

Social media has been used by businesses for a long time. Nowadays, it is hard to find a business that has not shown its presence on social media. Businesses mainly use it for marketing and to advertise the business. However, not all business owners know how to manage their social media fronts. These are some of the mistakes they make while using social media in business. Continue reading “Social Media Mistakes Made by Business Owners”

Online Essentials Your Business Needs to Thrive

Business Chart Report Statistic Planning Analysis Concept

For your business to thrive, you need to constantly bring in new customers and clients. While cold-calling and traditional advertising both have their benefits, we now live in an online world – when people want something done, their first stop isn’t the Yellow Pages, it’s Google. If your small business marketing plan is going to succeed, you need to have a strong online marketing presence.

Naturally, you’re worried about both the expense and the time commitment. While online marketing can be expensive if you’re not careful, meeting the minimum requirements is an absolute must if you hope to grow your business – and it can be done in a cost-efficient way. In fact, you can take a lot of the following steps for free! Here are the online essentials your business needs to thrive in the 21st century: Continue reading “Online Essentials Your Business Needs to Thrive”

How to make sure your site is mobile friendly in a ‘mobile-first’ world

mobile marketingThe world is dynamic, and people are moving from using desktops to using the Smartphone in finding information and communicating via the Internet. In lots of countries, the number of Smartphones in use is more than personal computers. All the more reason to make your site mobile friendly. A mobile friendly site is the one that has the correct display for handheld gadgets like tablets, Smartphones, iPhones, and iPads. The site also has minimized scrolling, easy to navigate, loads faster and avoids using flash. Making you site mobile friendly makes you visible to a wider pull of mobile users since your website will be visible in the search results depending on how well you have configured it. There are three things you should know when making a website accessible by a mobile phone user. Among them is: Continue reading “How to make sure your site is mobile friendly in a ‘mobile-first’ world”

5 Little Tweaks to Boost Sales from Your Website

The internet is playing an increasingly prominent role in commerce, and research shows that digital interactions influenced retail sales to the tune of in 2015. This number will only go up, but what does this mean for your business?

According to data from Eisenberg Holdings, for every $92 the average company spends to get customers to their site, they spend just $1 to convert them. So much attention is paid to driving traffic, to getting attention, that what really matters – getting people to convert – is ignored.

If you have a website, boosting sales is no rocket science. In fact, simple little tweaks – that can sometimes take minutes to implement – can double your revenue. Here are 5 little tweaks you can implement today that are proven to give you a sales boost: Continue reading “5 Little Tweaks to Boost Sales from Your Website”

Business Startup Checklist

checklistThere are some advantages with providing web hosting to 100,000+ customers over the past 15 years. As small business owners ourselves once, we sought out to create a web hosting company that speak TRULY to those looking to create a solid website that represents the the digital home to their brand.

We’ve seen websites created that have grown from our lowest plan on a shared server, to reaching the need to use a dedicated server. We are proud of this growth – and our customers are happy that we haven’t given up on them throughout their journey.

Throughout those 15 years, we’ve gathered a checklist of processes that, if followed, help keep you and your business website fresh, relevant and optimized. Continue reading “Business Startup Checklist”

How to Build a Content Plan for Your Website

I’ve got some good news and some bad news…

The bad news is that getting your website live was the easy part. InMotion Hosting makes sure of that! The hard part is still to come…now you need to develop content for your site that will attract, engage and convert visitors into prospects and ultimately customers.

The good news is that there is a tried and true framework for developing a content plan to ensure that your site can attract qualified visitors and will engage those most likely to become customers.

In this post I’ll share this framework to help you evaluate your business and customers, and develop a strategic content plan to help you meet the needs of your target market, and in turn your own business objectives.

4 Steps to Building a Successful Content Plan

The following steps walk you through a research oriented planning process designed to build a content plan based on the needs of your target market. Rather than the usual brochureware and marketing speak we are aiming here to develop content that answers questions and helps potential customers reach a decision to buy from you. By the time you’re through with this process, you will have created a content plan designed to attract and convert the most qualified visitors to your website.

Step 1: Define the Buying Cycle in Your Business

Your business’ buying cycle in the simplest sense is the journey your customers follow in order to buy a product or service. The customer journey will be different for different industries, longer or shorter depending on the nature of the product. Generally speaking however, a buying cycle follows this basic process…

buying-cycle

The breakdown itself is simple enough to understand, the question here is what does the buying cycle in your business mean for content? Let’s take a look at the buying cycle from both a customer’s and content strategist’s perspective to tackle each stage head on.

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11 Ways SEO is Changing in 2015 and Beyond

seo-in-2016

As the year 2015 winds down to a close, it’s time to start looking forward to 2016 and beyond. Digital marketers and SEO professionals are always looking to the future so they can be ready for the changes that are no doubt coming. Google is constantly pursuing a better search experience. This results in changes to how they index and rank pages, resulting in changes to SEO tactics.

It’s a cycle that has been going on for years, and 2016 will be no different. New WordPress tips and SEO best practices will start emerging, but I’m here to give you the inside scoop now instead of later.

11 Emerging SEO Trends for 2016

 Google is a business like any other, they just happen to be one of the largest businesses in the world. Everyone that uses their service is a customer to them, so it’s only natural for them to constantly pursue a better experience for their users.

As you read these eleven upcoming SEO changes, keep the words user experience at the forefront of your mind. You’ll find that all of these changes make sense when viewed through that lens.

Continue reading “11 Ways SEO is Changing in 2015 and Beyond”

Introduction to WordPress

If you are new to the online world of websites and blogging, you may have heard of WordPress or even recognize the prominent ‘W’ logo. If you are one of these people and don’t know what WordPress is, this is your opportunity to learn about one of the most prevalent and accessible website platforms.

WordPress is an innovative tool that is used to build websites. You will often hear it referred to as a Content Management System (CMS). That means WordPress is an application designed to support the creation, management, publishing, editing, organizing, and deletion of website content –  all from one central dashboard.

WordPress.COM vs WordPress.ORG

Signing up with WordPress is completely free. It’s an exceptionally cost-effective way to get started on any website. However, the option many users must face is to either use the hosted platform, WordPress.com, or go with your own web hosting space using WordPress.org.

For beginners, starting with the hosted platform on WordPress.com is a good way to learn the ropes and get started. This will get you a sub-domain that is located on wordpress.com. You will have access to built-in plugins, features, and themes that are readily available on the WordPress platform. However, you are limited in that you will not be able to access or download the larger repository of free and premium plugins and themes. You will also have limited support for free themes and are restricted from modifying them. This route is suggested if you are just interested in trying out WordPress as as starter package or have a very simple 1-2 page website.

If you choose the route of downloading the WordPress software through WordPress.org you will need hosting from a web hosting company. Here at InMotion Hosting, we give you the option to have pre-installed WordPress software to go with your hosting. You will have your choice of a unique domain name, full support and access for all themes and plugins that exist on the WordPress platform. Another perk of owning your own WordPress site is that you will be able to monetize by adding advertisements to your page. The WordPress.org route is recommended for those who are past the planning stages of their website and require full customization, plugins, and business features such as ecommerce.

Why is this the best platform for any user?

1) Flexibility and ease of use

WordPress is often associated with the creation of blogging websites. However, since its founding in 2003, it has evolved to provide a comprehensive solution for any type of website. Whether it’s a business, informational, non-profit, job listing, or even corporate website, the CMS excels in providing a comprehensive list of website templates. WordPress is also able to handle all sorts of media content, from text, images, music, and video.

Examples of ways to use a WordPress Website:

  •         Merchandise / Shopping Store
  •         Photo or Image Gallery
  •         Video Collection
  •         Blog
  •         Review Site
  •         Personal Website
  •         Informative Website

WordPress caters to the needs of both novice web users as well as those who are more advanced and familiar with web development and coding (such as CSS and HTML). WordPress provides beginners with the tools they need to get a website started with minimal difficulty. Free and premium themes are available as a starting point from which you can quickly build and shape a website to match your vision.

WordPress is also completely open source, which means the code behind the WordPress system is available to the general public to use and modify- making WordPress extremely customizable. Many big name brands also use WordPress for their website. The New York Times, CNN, and People Magazine, just to name a few, are all powered by WordPress.

2) Large knowledge base

WordPress’ long standing success and continuing popularity comes with an enthusiastic user base that has created a massive repository of informational tutorials and videos that can help one use WordPress for all their website needs. With the robust, global WordPress community, the answer to any question you might have should be easy to find with a simple Google search. And if it isn’t, the active community on WordPress support forums is quick to respond and provide input.

3) Plugins!

There are 40,000 plugins and counting for WordPress!  Anything from needing something to make sure your website isn’t being flooded by spam content to making sure your website is secure from potential hackers. WordPress has plugins for optimizing your website. What about help with your website’s SEO? You know, Search Engine Optimization – the way that Google learns how to rank your website? There’s a plugin for all of that! When you use WordPress, you have thousands of plugins available at your fingertips to help you design, protect, and optimize your website for any of your needs.

4) Keeping up to date

Staying on top of updates has never been easier with WordPress. The growing popularity of WordPress has led to continuous modernization to make sure the system is always advancing. New improvements are being added all the time. Updates are hassle free and inform you what new features and functionality are being added or fixed. 

Overview

Overall, WordPress is a strong platform to get started on your website venture. WordPress has grown exponentially and has diversified to fit almost any website niche. With a vast library of themes and plugins to choose from and a very simple learning curve, WordPress continues to be the top solution for a website CMS.

15 Steps to Grow Your Business Online

featuredarticleimage2You started your very own business; congratulations! Now that you’re a business owner, have you ever wondered about the possibilities for advancing your business online? This article will walk you through the essentials necessary to growing your business online.

3 Major Components of a Website

First thing’s first: Does your business have an online presence? Having a website allows your customers to easily find you by putting information about your business online. If you have merchandise, creating an online store will allow you to sell to them online as well!

  • Secure a domain name: Your domain name is a reflection of your business. Branding is important so create one as relevant to your business as possible.
  • Find a hosting company: A good hosting company is integral to operating your business online. Find a host that can meet your business’ needs and is capable of scaling with the growth of your online presence.
  • Build your website: The look and feel of your website is also important. There are several options available if you are inexperienced with creating a website from scratch. WordPress is a good starter platform to use and also includes free templates that you can customize yourself. If you don’t want to build it yourself, there are numerous options available to you online.
    • One is to have a web-design professional custom craft a website exactly as you want it. Feel free to check out our web design options here.
    • Another would be learning how to create a blog from scratch using the easy step-by-step tutorial from one of our partners How To Start A Blog 101.

5 Important Considerations:

You will need to increase visibility in order to use your new website as an asset to drive traffic to your business.

  • Responsive: Is your website optimized to be viewed on any screen? With the rise of mobile search traffic, Google has included mobile-friendliness as a criteria for ranking websites viewed on mobile browsers, making it very important to have a version of your website be responsive on a mobile device.
  • SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO)  is making the content on your website refined so that search engines like Google can find you easily to show a potential customer’s search query. SEO is important to ensure that when people use keywords relevant to the services you offer, that you become one of the top search results.
    • Check out this article for more information about boosting your SEO here.
  • Updates: Once you have your website up, you need to maintain it by providing fresh content for your customers. Keeping things new will have them coming back for more. Find a comfortable cadence that you can maintain and update it to showcase new products, deals, or incentives.
  • User Experience: Have your friends and family go through your website and try to purchase or request services. Are there any hiccups or roadblocks in the process? Have them QA the content for flow and if any questions are going unanswered.Analyzing and making changes to this can help reduce bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments.
  • Competition:  Look to your competitors and check out what their process is like. Pay attention to where their services lack so that you can make improvements onto your page accordingly.

4 Marketing Techniques to Start Today

Now that you have a fully functioning website that has online visibility to your customers, the next step is marketing your business.

  • Target Customers: Make sure that you don’t wait for visitors to just come to you. Actively look for an audience that may be interested in your products and services. Develop an audience and demographic you want to target.  All social media platforms have statistics, as well as Google keyword planner. Do some research on what your customers are looking for using their tools.
  • Network: Make connections with people relevant to your business and industry. A large network can help you expand both your business and your potential customer reach. This will also bolster your company’s brand identity. LinkedIN is a good resource to meet industry professionals.
  • Email Campaigns: Capturing an email is just as important as capturing a sale. Emails can build a refined and targeted list of people that are genuinely interested in your product or service. Emails can be used to send your customers updates on new items they might be interested in, upcoming sales, or even just a thank you coupon code for their next visit. Give your customers an incentive to keep coming back! Use tools like Constant Contact or MailChimp integrations.
  • Advertise: Want more people to know who your business is and what it offers? Find advertising opportunities where people with relevant interest can learn more about your business. Google AdWords is a great place to start.

3 Crucial Customer Support Responsibilities

Finally, you want to ensure your company upholds a high-quality of service to keep your customers satisfied and coming back. This may seem “obvious” but don’t let the obvious fool you. Countless businesses lose sight of customer service as their business grows. Here are the best ways to stay engaged with your customers:

  • “Oh, the Humanity!”: Let your customers know that your business is run by real people that care about them. When your customers love your business, not only will they be returning customers, but they will also recommend you to people they know, enhancing both your brand and customer base.
  • Customer Feedback: Give your customers an opportunity to review your business. Ask for and welcome consumer feedback. This information can be very valuable in figuring out pain points of your customers as well as ways to improve your business and stay competitive. When you make changes to improve their experience, your customers will love you for it!
  • Customer Support: When your business doesn’t offer customer support, your consumers are left in the dark to figure out everything themselves. If they can’t figure it out they may never want to return to your business. Support is essential to the post-consumer journey and can give your customers the confidence to buy your product, knowing that help  is available.

Following this guide will have you well on your way towards a healthy and successful online business!