Tag Archives: content marketing

7 Reasons Visitors Leave Your Website

Web Development-StrategyI recently read an article outlining five (5) reasons why visitors leave your website. Although I agreed with the author, there are two more reasons why this occurs. First, let’s take a quick look at the difference between exit and bounce rates.

An exit rate is the number of visitors leaving a specific web page after arriving, whether viewed or quickly scanned/read. It’s not a single-page view where you go to a web page and leave. On the other hand, a bounce rate is the number of visitors leaving your website or page after coming to a specific web page, again, whether viewed or quickly scanned/read. It is normally a single-page view.

Now, the article I read discussed these five reasons why visitors leave your website:

  1. too many ads – is your website an ad magnet for affiliate marketing, and should it be?
  2. registration required to view content – sign up first, then read? Really.
  3. unremarkable or uninspiring content – be straightforward and to the point.
  4. slow load time – speed it up!
  5. empty coupon field – the invisible sale.

Here are two more reasons visitors are leaving your website:

  1. Broken links. If you don’t remember the last time you checked your website page and image links, make it a point to do so. This can make your snazzy website look unprofessional and cause visitors to not only leave, but not come back.
  2. Too much self-promotion. As a marketing professional, I understand you have to put a CTA (call-to-action) on your posts, but there is such a thing as “over-kill”. Your posts shouldn’t be a constant barrage of “buymystuff.com”. Balance your CTAs in articles and social media posts with content that educates and informs your viewers. Think “trusted resource”.

One last tip: Check your spelling and grammar. Nothing is more infuriating than reading through an article that has mistakes in punctuation, grammar and spelling. Hire a proofreader/editor and make sure they use more than just MS Word’s spell-checker.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Facebook Updates Notes, Plays Follow-The-Leader

FacebookIs Facebook playing “follow-the-leader” again? You decide. On October 4th, Small Business Trends reported that Facebook had finally — finally updated its Notes platform. Originally created back in 2009, the idea was to give businesses yet another reason to stay within its channel as the one-stop marketing tool. The platform then ignored this tool from 2010 until now.

Notes for Pages is different from Notes for personal profiles in both appearance and functionality. Pages will have basic editing options available, including the ability to upload a photo and create tags for targeted marketing. Publishing articles, however, has not changed. When you create the post and click the blue Publish button, the article posts at that point in time — there is no way to schedule the post to appear in your feed at a specific date or time.

Sounds a lot like LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform (a.k.a. L.I.P.P. — c’mon, LinkedIn!), doesn’t it? Facebook may have started this race, but with its simply yet rich built-in CRM and targeted business audience, LinkedIn captured both short and long-form writing. Curiosity asks two questions:

  1. Why is Facebook playing follow-the-leader?
  2. What can Facebook users hope to gain using this revised platform?

The answer to the first question is fairly obvious: recapturing marketshare. Facebook created Notes to compete with blogging platforms such as WordPress, Typepad, Blogger and the new Medium. Mark Zuckerberg saw how powerful these platforms were in regards to Google’s search capabilities, and, like other channels, wants people to stay on their site longer, so engineers delivered a basic product. As LinkedIn led the charge of keeping B2B owners on their channel longer, Facebook knew it would eventually have to update their tool or risk losing more business owners to the more professional channel. It remains to be seen whether or not business owners and brands will come to see Facebook as a strong contender for this arena. Also, will Facebook require more “pay to play” now that Notes has had its facelift? Stay tuned.

The second question truly depends on both the business and marketing strategy of the business. If your target market is using Facebook, then writing to solve their pain points and educating prospects about your products and services makes sense. This tool can definitely be used to increase reach and authority, but not all articles should be about sales. Keep in mind your Page followers will receive a notification each time you create a post. That doesn’t mean you should post three or four times a day! Instead, make your articles remarkable and deliberate in nature. It’s also not clear yet whether Google’s search algorithm will give less visibility from search results if you post the same article to both your blog and Facebook Notes. Think through your strategy; give your followers access to content they won’t find anywhere else. Quality eats frequency any day!

Is “Follow-The-Leader” Working?

Facebook had a great idea when engineers first created the Notes platform, but they let it die on the vine because they had no idea what people would use it for or how, and no strategy behind its implementation. They’ve also followed Pinterest by creating a purchasing arena to allow visitors to purchase an item directly from a Facebook Page, thus keeping folks in their channel a bit longer. In 2013 Facebook finally adopted the use of hashtags, but only after Twitter showed how this tool can be used for marketing. Is Facebook still relevant and edgy, or is “follow-the-leader” the only process they can improve upon? Time will tell, and the clock is ticking.

I’d like to know whether using Facebook Notes has brought you more success than other blogging platforms. Please share your comments below.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Are You Engaging?

Part 1 in a two-part series.

speech bubbles“Are you engaging or engaged?” That’s a lot like asking, “Are you winning?” You may be visible, but who’s listening? Moreover, who are you talking to, and about what? Do you know what it takes to be an engaged social/digital citizen?

  • Profile photo. No photo, no engagement. No one wants to talk to, or follow, the Invisible Man. Have your photo taken by a portrait studio and upload the web/internet/screen version to your social profiles.
  • Content. Write content that’s remarkable, impressionable, memorable. Occasionally, write something diametrically opposite to one of your colleagues’ viewpoints and invite a discussion.
  • Participation. Don’t be an ochlophobe if you can help it, especially online. There will always be someone who argues with what you post for the sake of arguing. The key is to not let it get to you. There are “experts” in your industry talking, posting, conversing with one another; catch up with them and learn from their experiences.
  • Lose the auto-bug. Have you been bitten by the auto-bug? Do you rely so much on automation you feel you can’t “stay on top of it” without using a program to auto-post for you? We depend so much on this facet we forget there are actual people reading our content, commenting, and waiting for a real response! This is where most people get lost in life, work, and yes — automation. Life happens; sometimes it’s unavoidable, sometimes not. Work happens, but we try to schedule around it for the most part. Automation, on the other hand, is mostly avoidable. How? Post during the day without your automation tool (i.e., Hootsuite) — post as yourself.
  • Don’t be “that” sales guy. Social media experts will argue amongst themselves about the 80/20 rule. I stand by it. For those of you who don’t know what the rule is: 80% of the content you post and/or should be educational and informational, with the remaining 20% an actual sales pitch. When you sell too much, you turn off your audience and their eyeballs. The most effective way to win is to both attract and retain viewers to your content. That means your content should solve a problem, inform/educate, and be THE BEST.

How engaged are you? Don’t ask Jean-Luc Picard; ask your followers.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

4 Blogging Strategy Commitments to Consider

old-fashioned typewriterCreating a blogging strategy is treated by many businesses like creating a New Year’s resolution. It is started with the best of intentions, but soon becomes a distracting, daunting task that is easily forgotten about until “next year”. At some point, “next year” doesn’t happen, so don’t wait for it!

The new year is just around the corner – can you believe it? What marketing strategies are you implementing in your business in the new year? Blogging should still be a cornerstone piece of your marketing strategy. Here are 4 commitments to put into action in the new year:

  1. Commit to the time. Pretty basic, right? Yet every day I see examples of blogs not being kept up (including mine, folks, admitting shamefully!). I know business owners who want to start blogging but “don’t have the time” to blog, nor do they know what to blog about. Set aside at least an hour a day to plan your writing around a type of theme — could be a holiday, a sporting event, or something around a descriptor of your business. For example, compare certain services or aspects of your business to that of a redwood tree. Add a tip your client can use that day. Still stuck? Ask your followers for suggestions. Still stuck, part deux? Google your competition and see what they’re writing about.
  2. Commit to the people.I have said this many times before, so it bears repeating here: you can’t do it all yourself. Whew! Now that that’s settled, I’ll explain this point. Many solepreneurs, entrepreneurs, and business owners don’t have the manpower to commit to the blogging process, yet they know they must blog for their business. Two solutions, either to incorporate together or use separately:
    1. Engage contributors. Ask colleagues and business associates (not competitors) if they would consider writing a monthly blog post. This gains more views from their readers while maintaining consistent content, delivered consistently.
    2. Curate content.Hand-pick the best articles and deliver in a weekly post from a platform such as Paper.li or Scoop.It — or, even better — your own newsletter or blog.
  3. Commit to the process. Be accountable to both your audience and yourself. Write down the process for creating and posting your company blog on a Google calendar, Google Docs or notepad. Share these notes with your team; afterward, create a editorial/posting calendar so you and your team will know which posts (and any attachments) are scheduled to post on which days and on what social media platforms. Marketing your business is about trial and error, measuring the success of each campaign, and commitment of time. Strive for consistency in both posting days/times and voice, and prepare your team to proactively respond to comments and reviews that will begin flowing.
  4. Commit to measure. In order to find out what your audience wants you to talk about, measure your posts to see if anyone has shared your content to their networks through other social media platforms. Keep an eye on which posts are getting the most activity; this will tell you what someone may be potentially interested in, and, by how much they are
    reading/sharing, where they may be in your sales funnel. TIP: moderate comments by responding in a more timely fashion and using the person’s first name. By knowing what is being shared or commented about, I will know what interests my audience. Still not sure? Put up a poll in Facebook and/or create a hashtag in Twitter, and simply askyour audience.

A goal without a strategy is just a wish. What commitments are you making for the new year? Share these with an accountability partner and stretch yourself toward success!

Now it’s your turn! What other commitments would you add to this list?

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

7 Potential Issues with LinkedIn’s New Publishing Platform

I am one of the very fortunate 25,000 folks chosen to beta-test this new publishing platform by #LinkedIn (thank you, LinkedIn!). I have found some questions that could become potential issues down the road.

LinkedIn Invitation To Publish-Uploading Images

  1. Image Upload. If you click the camera button on the far right, you should be able to upload an image. While I’m not finding a physical size restriction, the maximum allowed file size upload is 700KB. The images I attempted to upload to my first post were well under this file size, and I made sure the physical size was below 400 pixels wide, and I couldn’t upload the image. In fact, the only I found around this was to first publish my post, then go back to Edit This Post, and add the image. TIP: Take off the checkmark next to Twitter’s logo before the first post publish, otherwise you will have multiple instances of your post publishing. This might irritate the Twitter community. UPDATE: After my first post, I was able to upload images without having to publish first. Interesting.
  2. Hashtags thrown against the wall.

  3. No Code Allowed. This actually surprised me, as I can insert my own HTML code on my WordPress website. I wanted to change the color of the first word in my bulleted list to a blue and found it could not be done. If you do try to insert your own code, Preview the page first — you will see the actual HTML code rather than what the code should be allowed to change (i.e., font color, etc.). For some people this may be more of a cosmetic change, but to those of us who like to segregate our thoughts within our posts, the ability to change text color is nice and good for branding.
  4. Spaces Between Paragraphs. This missing feature also surprised me. The spacing I wanted to change was between bulleted or numeric lists, but so far I have not found a way. A bit disappointing but not a show-stopper.
  5. No Categories. I would like to see the ability to list my posts per category, according to my articles and authority. For example, I write about different aspects of inbound marketing and social media, and often divide between different social media platforms or updates on better inbound marketing practices for email, blogging, etc. It would be a great idea to have my articles tagged to categories and sub-categories to help make articles easier for my audience to find.
  6. Headings Have Large Spaces. I see a different heading or sub-heading style used on many different blogs, and many of these have an extra space between the heading and body text. I like to have my Headings stay with the body text it is segregated with (and make it a different color!). Again, this may be more a cosmetic change than a necessary one, but it would be a nice one!
  7. paper-supporting documents

  8. Support Docs Not Available. I do understand that, while in beta-test, these documents may not be readily accessible, but if you are going to select a specific group of people to test something, would you not want the supporting documentation checked to make sure everything reads well, can be easily followed, and does not skip steps? The lack of this information made trying to figure out image uploads unnecessarily frustrating. UPDATE: I did find a basic Overview on LinkedIn’s Help area that may be helpful to some.
  9. Downloading Posts. This question stems more from my curiosity and knowledge when advocating this platform’s use to one of my clients. I can see, rather quickly, people using this platform as their only blogging tool, which is fine, but then where are the posts stored? The way I advise and train my clients to write their articles is to use MS Word or Notepad and save the file, then do a copy/paste to the publishing platform. This does create some formatting headaches, but my clients can easily go through their articles to make sure they aren’t creating a duplicate. How, then, will LinkedIn handle this potential issue, or is this an issue at all? Time will tell.

Overall: I like the simplicity of this new platform offered by LinkedIn. It will be a great beginning point for those not used to writing blog articles. I also like the immediate status update to our both LinkedIn feeds and our Profiles (shows up below your name). I will be continuing my testing of this platform and appreciate any feedback you have. If you are one of the beta-testers, please comment or write me back with your experience so far and your recommendations.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.