Category: News

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What Makes YOU Different!

September 18, 2018News

A few weeks back we built a website for a recently refurbished hotel and I dropped in to have a look at this impressive hotel. During my visit, they indicated they had a photographer who had taken the images for the website so I was excited to see them.

When they arrived I flicked through the images I became increasingly disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong the quality of the images was excellent but the subject of the images was not what I expected.

I jumped on the phone with the client to find out if I misunderstood my first visit to the hotel.  As excluding two photos all the images were beds (not even the room).  I asked a simple question.  Are the beds your point of difference.  Were they perhaps orthopaedic, massage, heated, vibrating… The response was a slightly confused no.  Ok.  I asked, what is your point of difference?

When working with different clients from different industries one of the questions we ask that often creates the biggest head scratch is… what makes you different from your competitors?

It really shouldn’t be a difficult question.  It should be one of the reasons you get up in the morning.  It should be a message that drives your marketing. You should be able to articulate it quickly and easily.

Yet… frequently when we ask the question we get an awkward silence.  Many businesses get so stuck into what they do they forget to think about why they are different / better / unique.  Good points of difference should also avoid generalities and things that all businesses talk about like best customer service.  Don’t get me wrong your business should aspire to this but how can I customer verify it and how is this statement different from everyone in your marketplace?

If you don’t have a point of difference how do you help a client decide you are the right business for them?  Take a moment and think if you can provide your point of difference.  Got it?  Good.  No?  Then I strongly recommend you see a good business coach.  Contact me as I can set you up.

Back to my story, the hotel had a really good point of difference.  We paused the site while they reshot the photos to reflect it.   The website was successful because the business understood why the images and the text were important.

The message is simple.  Understand why you are different / better and tell your customers about it.

Google alerts for the win (way better than mirror gazing)!

July 27, 2018News

Quick tip for Google alerts.  For those of you who haven’t heard of Google alerts (https://www.google.com.au/alerts) it is a service by Google that allows you to be notified when new content hits the web.  Pick a topic or a name and when something new is being indexed by Google you will get a notification email.

This is perfect for companies that are looking at activity around product or services.

When some of our clients are considering new products or services available in another country an alert can provide you with a ‘heads up’ of net activity so you can get a feel for how well it is being received in that audience.  For example if the product is suddenly in the news because it is being worn or used by a celebrity you will hear from Google and you can leverage this sudden exposure to your advantage.

If there is a lot of new discussion Google will aggregate the links to the content and send it to you at a frequency that suits you.  Nice!

Let’s pause for a moment.  Quick question: how often do you Google your business name?  For those of you giving yourself a mental tick – great – but do you check for new results that might be low on the list?  If you are like most business people the answer is rarely.

So why not use Google Alerts to keep an eye on your results for you?  Just create an alert for your business name.  Whenever any new content is indexed about your business you will know about it.  It’s a great way to ensure you keep an eye on your reputation.

Statistics

July 23, 2018News

Test and measure is the scientific approach and it worked to drag humanity out of ignorance yet I am shocked by how few people use this approach when it comes to their business.

A simple way to apply this approach is to look at your websites statistics.  Hands up those people who haven’t looked at their stats in more than 6 months!  I can imagine there are a lots of hands.

Yet website stats can unlock a lot of information about how your business is performing.

Bounce rates are well known.  If you have lots of people visiting your website and leaving really quickly it means your website is not appealing / engaging or your visitors are coming from incorrect traffic sources.  Check this google link for more information: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009409?hl=en

But one of the most neglected stats is exit pages.  Some people get bounce and exit confused so to clarify if someone visits a single page on your site and then leaves this is a bounce.  If someone looks at a bunch of pages and then leaves, the last page they look at is the exit page.  Fr more information go here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2525491?hl=en

So why is exit of value?  If your visitors exit on a products / services page this can be telling.  It may indicate the content on this page is poor or customer is expecting something different.

If they exit on the contact page then this might indicate the website provided enough information for the potential customer to think about contacting you.  If your call / contact rates don’t align with these numbers you might think about making it easier for people to call or offering a compelling reason for people to pick up the phone.

So why not wipe the dust off your website stats and see what’s happening.  Of course if you don’t have any website statistics being generated on your site you need to act now.  Here is a link to get you started.  https://support.google.com/sites/answer/97459?hl=en

When you have your stats under control you can use a really cool method of tweaking your site until it is humming!  Test and Measure is the friend of anyone wanting to maximise their website impact and I will talk about it in the next article.

Subject Lines for Emails

July 20, 2018News

Think about your inbox at the end of the day.  It will be filled with a mix of business correspondence, sales and offers and spam.  We all click on our filter and decide what we will read and those emails that won’t be read.

So if business people have similar mindsets how you ensure your killer email is seen by your customer?  (I am going to assume you know that sending email that isn’t of value to your customers is a bad mistake!).  If you’ve done any email marketing before you should know the subject line is really important.  It needs to make your email stand out in crowded in boxes.  It may be the only visible content someone will glance at before deciding – read it or bin it.

At the same time, you know the subject line is something that get the spam filters twitchy.  Anything too outrageous and your email won’t make it to the inboxes at all.

Do you play it safe or go for gold?

Personally I check with the experts.  Many of the mailing services like Awebber and Mailchimp offer a checker to ensure you email has the greatest chance to be delivered but this is about the whole email.  What about the all important subject line?

I use two online resources to help me make an informed decision about what words to use.

If you have a subject line ready to go try this page: http://subjectline.com/ This website will give you feedback on the whole line.

This one will allow you to focus on single words and allow you to decide if a word should be included.  Some of the results might be a little shocking.  Words you might think create attention and drama may in fact be hampering your open rates.  Check them out – they are free and I have found them to be an invaluable resource.

Hey one last thing before I go, what is the one ingredient you should include in any email?  Check out my next article to see what is the ingredient that will transform your content and create a loyal following.

Split Testing

July 18, 2018News

Split testing is the way to be constantly checking on what is working in your marketplace and what is on its way out.

What is it and how does it work?

If you have some knowledge of the scientific approach to experimentation you would understand the fundamentals for split testing.  It involves the creation of two test conditions, one control and one test and sending traffic to both (potential customers) to see which one works best.

One of the simplest and most effective ways of doing this is to create two landing pages not visible to customers visiting your standard website.  On the two pages place different tests like different calls to action.

Now send a sample of 100 visitors to each.  Watch the stats and see which one creates the most interest.  If one of these calls to action work better than the current one on your site use it but don’t stop there.

Take the winning call to action and make two versions of it by tweaking it slightly.  Now repeat the process.  By doing this a number of times you can be sure, by scientific testing, the actionable items on your website have the best chance of generating persistent leads levels.  The key is making sure you understand the stats and being brave and trying new things.

There are other ticks to ensure you get the best value from this exercise however they would take too long to explain.  Call us if you want to get a bigger bang from your website.

Test and Measure

July 16, 2018News

Not sure if that new call to action will work?

Want to know if your landing pages are working?

Need to be sure you are getting the best value from your advertising?

Want to check if your sale is resonating with your customers?

There is a single answer to all of these questions.  Test and measure.  Why guess when you can try something and see if it works?

Imagine you have a new call to action (I will assume you have one of those 😊).  Take a benchmark in your stats and see if the new one does better or worse.

If the stats tell you it is working – great!  Now try again and refine it again to see if you can get another bump in user response.

If the stats tell you it isn’t working – great!  Go back to the original and go again making sure you learn from your mistakes.

Knowing more about your customers and what makes them react is always worthwhile.  A failed call to action will tell you about what not to use in all your marketing.  And a successful call to action might allow your business to reposition itself to maximise the benefit.

Of course, there is a super-fast, efficient way of doing all of this.  It’s become such a critical tool for anyone doing pay per click advertising that google has even added a toolset to support its paying customers.  I’ll tell you all about in the next article but a faster way to get the information is to shoot us an email or give us call.  Look forward to hearing from you.

Active Vs Passive Voice

July 13, 2018News

If you have children you will know the “I want” tone.  From an early age children learn that if they want something they ask for it.  Sometimes over and over again at an increasing pitch and volume.

As adults, we learnt this behaviour is impolite.  In Australian culture we rarely even ask, waiting to be invited.  On a side note we also never take the last one.  How many times have you been at a function when something delicious disappears until there is one left on the plate and it sits there waiting to be eaten.  I have an American friend who thinks this is super funny and swoops in to grab the last one knowing we are all too embarrassed to grab it.

Anyway, this ‘not asking’ thing is a problem.

Think about the content on your website or any of your marketing material.  How often in that content do you ask people to take action?  Like: call us today, or shoot us an email, or buy today.  If you are like most Australian business the number of calls to action is similar to the number of pieces of pizza left over at teenagers birthday party… none.  Or you have a few but they aren’t very good.

There is some simple psychology here.  People read in a passive mindset.  By asking them to contact you or to take action you are firing up a different part of their thought processes.  You are asking them to make a decision.  What harm is there in that?  If it’s on the back of good information they might be inclined to call and if it’s on the back of poor information… well don’t do that 😊

And… for those of you thinking why doesn’t the author follow his own advice?  Well… look around.  You are now on my company’s website.  Hopefully you will stay and check out some of the other amazing bits and pieces here and realise we need to talk.  So … call me 😊

Talking to everyone = talking to no one

July 12, 2018News

If your message isn’t specific it will become white noise.  Don’t believe me?

There was a study done recently where people were feigning grabbing kids from a shopping centre.  When a child called out help me, people ignored it.  Everyone thought someone else would take action.

But when a child was specific saying things like, ‘You in the blue shirt, help me!’ it changed the reaction immediately.

The person called on specifically almost always took action.

Marketing leverages the same process in a different way.  If you are specific in your language and in your pitch to a specific audience they will feel as if the message is specifically for them and they will find it hard to ignore.  They will subconsciously react before they have realised it.

This is why it’s really important to have a specific audience in mind when doing anything.  We often work through the building of avatars with clients to ensure they stay focused and unlock the very best outcomes.  Want to know more?  Contact us today.

Drive the journey

July 10, 2018News

Have you visited a casino?  Or perhaps a shopping centre?  These are good examples of places that intentionally drive your experience.  How?

They make it easy to enter but once you are inside they do a few interesting things like:

  1. They never show you a clock.
  2. They keep the lighting set in such a way that you can’t determine the time of the day. (In fact some the casinos in Vegas actually have fake day and night routines.)
  3. They make the exits hard to find.
  4. They place high volume transactional areas away from the entry to draw you past lots of distractors.

Why?

They want you to come deep into their spaces and then they want you to stay.  When you stay you keep spending.

What does this have to do with a website?  You can do the same thing as the casinos / shopping centres.  You can intentionally drive people into parts of your site that will covert sales.  Whether that’s a product or service or something else you know your customers value.   Generally though you want to do it by providing quick access rather than trying to make people stay.  But the theory holds true.

You just need to ensure the customer finds what they need quickly, efficiently.  You will get better traction and your customers will tell you your site is easy to navigate.  Try it.  Put a high sale item on the home page and see what happens.  Then try the same thing with a low seller and see if you can get it to sell more.

By the way… in the digital spaces Facebook and Youtube use the same strategies of keeping you on their site for as long as possible to sell you advertising space.  So this strategy works in the digital space.  So why not follow the example of the big players?  Not sure where to begin?  Send us a message and we will optimise your customer paths.

The most valuable real estate on your site

July 9, 2018News

You are probably familiar with the simple real estate axioms like location, location, location.

What a lot of other people don’t realise the same is also true with respect to the screen location and the placement of content on your website.    There have been a number of eye tracking studies performed to understand what people look at and if it varies and more importantly can it be influenced.

The standard “F” map still holds true and the inverted L is also still valid but the influence of images has always been a catalyst to break these standard consumption pathways, particularly if the image is provocative or if it resonates well with your target audience.

This article provides some excellent examples of this process: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/eye-tracking-studies/

The other thing to notice is the image of the baby.  The heat map gives a very strong message about how humans behave.  When there is an image of a face we respond very strongly to it.

From infancy we have been told to look people in the face.  Since then we have learnt the value of looking at the face to get social cues and nonverbal responses.  The face is super important to us.  This study highlights the value of a face in an image on websites.  Of course the image needs to be closely tied to a call to action to get any real value.

Anyway have a look at the article and tell me about your take on it.  If you want more information why not give us a call?

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