Tag Archives: list

Five common reasons why visitors bounce from your website

Artistic model waving goodbye

Leaving, and probably not coming back.

Drawing visitors to your website is one thing; getting them to stick around and read your content is a whole other matter. If you find that visitors are leaving your website as quickly as they can, it could be due to one (or more) of the following five common reasons:

1. Your site takes too long to load.
This could be due to large graphics files, too many page elements, or an overly-complicated webpage layout. It could also be due to the web host you’re using, as hosting services put various limits on the amount of bandwidth you can use.

2. Pop-ups.
Few things are more annoying to web visitors than being confronted by a cascade of pop-ups. These days many people regard pop-ups as intrusive, and as a sign that your site may be unscrupulous or low-quality. Unless they are an essential part of your site, avoid using pop-ups.

3. Flashing graphics.
If you present visitors with headache-inducing flashing banner advertisements, you can expect them to leave your site fast. Flashing graphics are not just irritating to potential customers; they may also cause visual problems for some people, and these people are unlikely to ever return to your website.

4. Animations.
You may think it’s cute to have little ants wearing top-hats dancing across the screen, but try to imagine how distracting that will be for your visitors. Remember, you want visitors to read what you have written; any distractions will only draw their attention away from your content.

5. Video and audio files.
If you must include video or audio files on your website, make sure they don’t autoplay when visitors come to your site. Not only does it slow down the loading of your webpage, it will also frustrate visitors as they search for the mute button.

Photo credit by johnnyberg.

5 Simple Marketing Tips for Any Small Business

top 5 list on blackboardFIND the CLIENT is all about finding more clients so that you can get back to doing what you do best — sharing your skills. If you’re spending hours upon hours marketing your small business and you’re not seeing results, consider the following five small business marketing tips:

  1. Focus on search engine optimization. Choosing to invest in search engine optimization, or tweaking your website so it ranks higher in search engines, is one of the smartest decisions any small business owner can make because it can result in passive sales/lead generation. While you can only work a set amount of hours per day, your website can work 24 hours a day.
  2. Invest in social media. Similar to investing in search engine optimization, investing in social media is an effective marketing strategy. With a strong social media presence, you’ll be able to encourage your satisfied customers to speak on your behalf via their social networking accounts, which is far better for your bottom line than most other marketing strategies.
  3. Send free products to influential bloggers (including interesting eBooks you’ve written). Encouraging influential bloggers to review your product(s) is one of the most cost effective marketing techniques available. All you have to do is ship free versions of your product to a handful of people accompanied by a well-written letter. Even better, send an email first to gauge interest in your product. That way, you won’t end up sending something that is just going to be thrown out.
  4. Create frequent customer punch loyalty cards (or create an equivalent reward system to encourage loyalty among your customers). Perhaps the easiest way to drum up additional business is to tap into your existing customer base. If you’re marketing a restaurant, create a loyalty card that your staff punches every time someone orders a meal with the idea that every ninth meal is free, for example. This will allow you to convert infrequent customers into frequent customers with minimal effort. Though I provided a restaurant example, this idea of offering loyal customers a price break can apply to nearly any industry.
  5. If you’re going to distribute tangible marketing materials, opt for durable items. For example, instead of providing people with fliers, try experimenting with refrigerator magnets that people tend not to throw out. Though they’ll be a bit more expensive per item, from a business perspective, what you should really think about is how many times someone’s eyes will come into contact with the marketing message on the promotional item over its lifespan relative to its price.

Photo credit by ilco.

Top 7 Website Design Considerations

wwwMost business owners recognize the need for a website, only to not know where to turn for website design or, more so, what elements good websites have. Here are the top 7 issues we see in both website design and usability:

  • Unfortunately, we do judge books by their covers. Back when you were around 5 years old or so, you learned to read. And the format you followed was very simple: top-to-bottom and left-to-right. So, what do you think is the most looked at section on your website? That’s right, it’s the top left-hand corner. And we didn’t even need an expensive eye-tracking survey to prove it! What does your hot corner look like? Do I know what you do from the imagery or logo? Or are you leaving it up to me to figure it out?
  • Don’t make me think. When your first visitors show up, do they have to think about what you do, or where you are or how to contact your business? If this is the case, they’re probably hitting the back-button very fast. Don’t get funky with your page navigation – do what everyone else does: buttons down either the right or left side, or across the top (or some combination of these). And keep the navigation simple – let each button expand if there are multiple pages below it.
  • If you sell something, tell me what to do. It’s not only critical to include your phone number on all pages, but you’ve got to tell me what to do, and why I should do it. For example, if you’re an attorney, and you offer a consultation, telling me to “Call now for a free consultation” makes me want to call and get it.
  • Above the fold first. Back in the day, advertisements were sold based not only on the page, but where they were physically on the page. The best spots were “above the fold” – those sections you’d see if the newspaper were folded in half. Today, that “fold” line is the bottom of your browser screen. Think to your website – what do I see before I have to scroll down? Place your most important information, your call-to-action and your phone number very prominently above the fold for maximum impact.
  • There is a line between just enough and too much content. In today’s attention deficit society, too much content on any one page causes our minds to wander. Gone are the days when paragraph after paragraph of right and left justified text ruled. Today, content that works is like a news story – most important information first and lots of bullet points. If you have long content pages, break them up into easier to digest chunks.
  • Credibility and personality. When we come to your website, we need to quickly come to a conclusion that you’re a) legitimate and b) have a personality. Logos from business associations, awards, pictures with local flair, landmarks listed on your Maps & Directions page, etc. all help us understand who you are and what’s important.
  • Polished and waxed. Works just as well for websites as it does expensive sports cars. You can always tell how much the business owner cares by how well polished the website looks. Content that’s easy to read, words spelled correctly, colors and schemes that resonate with your business, images that match your clientele, etc.

No website is perfect, but if you follow these guidelines, you’ll likely see better results, more leads and happier customers.

Photo credit by elessar_x.

Four Ideas for Your Business Growth Goals

arrows pointing upIt’s that time of the year, when we make plans for our business’s growth in the new year. Here are four simple ideas (some would say the only ways you can grow a business) you can use to increase the revenues your business makes in 2011:

  1. Bring in more customers. Of course, they have to buy something for this to work!
  2. At each transaction, get each of your customers to buy more. Fast food restaurants have perfected the art of the upsell with their simple statement, “Do you want fries with that?”
  3. Once you’ve got them to buy more, create continuity by encouraging them to purchase more often. Think of ways to package up different items or make your service more consumable.
  4. Finally, and the easiest of the bunch for any business owner, is to increase your prices. But beware — most goods and services are relatively elastic, meaning that changes in price have relatively large effects on the quantity demanded (sorry for the Econ 101 lesson, but it’s important to keep this in mind).

Which one of these will you focus on first? Which one will you ignore?

Photo credit by svilen001.