DIY Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "DIY"

1 Hints to maintain business social media while on holiday

Keep working while you play Write to RightEver wonder how you will keep your social media followers engaged whilst on holiday, while ill, during peak periods, or even when you need some time away from your devices? My family and I have just returned from a four-week overseas holiday (I feel refreshed and with a clearer direction for both of my businesses) and I maintained my Facebook post reach of 90%, engagement rate of 10% and increased my number of followers.

Even though I did have my smartphone with me, wifi connectivity was unreliable and patchy. The other issue that I had was being between 9 and 12 hours behind my regular time zone, meaning that ‘on the fly’ posting to my main follower base was not an option. I wanted a relaxing holiday, so in the four weeks leading up to my holiday I scheduled 70+ Facebook posts and four MailChimp newsletters. I did post occasionally to Instagram and used some time to increase my Twitter following.

 So how did I achieve this?

As I said earlier, I used the four weeks leading up to the break to schedule my content. I do not use a social media scheduler to post across multiple platforms, it doesn’t suit me or my business (in fact I have just read an email from Crush Social outlining why my approach is correct). In the past I have used the calendar on my phone to keep track of which day I am up to with my scheduling. This time I had a social media calendar.

 Social media calendars

There are a number of free and paid social media calendars on the internet. I have looked at a number of them and was lucky enough to receive one from Kellie O’Brien Media. It is a month-to-a-page calendar (affiliate link), BUT (and it’s a big one) the thing that stands out for me is the hints and the special dates. It is the special dates which helped me to determine posts when I had run out of my popular content (I will post later on this topic). The special dates include things like awareness weeks (or days), holidays, and sporting events. While Kellie has used Australian dates, a lot of these awareness events are international and it is these special dates that sets her calendar apart from the others available. (Note: while Kellie did provide me with the calendar, it was done so for user testing, my affiliate link was provided after)

Productivity is never an accident Write to Right

 Pinterest

I am an avid Pinner. I admit to having more than your average number of boards and a few secret ones too. While I do pin content from the internet to Pinterest, I most often repin. The key to Pinterest is to understand your ideal client & pin that. Tweet this  According to hubby, I spend too much time on there, but I see it as all valuable research time (ok, sometimes it’s like a rabbit hole).

If you are not on Pinterest, I would suggest having a look. Many businesses, including my own, use it to promote their own products. While I do not find it a good sales vehicle, it is handy for brand awareness. I would suggest starting with the ‘Popular’ pins and over time Pinterest will learn your tastes and customise your feed to suit. Follow the boards of your favourite Pinners or just follow them entirely (some people I follow entirely and others I select certain boards). The thing I like about Pinterest, is that in the main, you will be linked back to the original source. This is great for sharing the content directly and makes attribution simple.

Facebook Scheduling

I regularly schedule Facebook posts and have for a while now. I don’t like being flustered and pushed into posting content on the fly. I regularly check my Insights and I post when my followers are online (a great way to help engagement). Scheduling posts allows me to post when they are on, but I might not be.

I have found this recent video by The Stacey Harris on how to schedule a Facebook post.

MailChimp scheduling

If you have subscribed to Write to Right’s newsletter, you would have received my scheduled newsletters. (You haven’t? Head over and sign up now and receive a free set of my top social media hints) I use MailChimp as my email platform, there are dozens out there, but MailChimp is a well-known provider and integrates with my website.

Email lists are a fantastic way to reach your customers in a more personalised and direct mannerTweet this It’s also a fabulous way to offer digests of your social media content, deliver special offers and generally remind people that you are still there (let’s face it, not everyone spends as much time as I do on Facebook). So my email subscribers didn’t miss out, I scheduled my regular newsletter. Ok, so it didn’t contain new content (there’s nothing wrong with recycling and I will discuss this in another post), but it did help me to stay in front of mind whilst I was away. I found this great video from Chris Durnan, who details how to schedule a MailChimp campaign.

 

These are the main tools I used to keep my businesses running whilst I was away for four weeks. While they work for my businesses, they might not be right for yours. If you have any other tools or hints you would like to share, please leave a comment below. If you would like to learn more about writing for social media, please read my other blog posts.

1 6 big ways blogging benefits business – part 2

big ways your business benefits from bloggingLast week I let you in on the first half of why you should be blogging, how your business benefits from blogging, and a little bit on how you can go about it. This week I round out the series with three very ‘feel good’ reasons to get blogging.

  1. Research

Blogs are fantastic ways to find out more about your customers. You can uncover more about their demographic, their needs, or their preferences.

Start with your ideal customer (find out how to determine this in the online voice post) and start chatting to them. Ask some questions. I am fortunate enough to fall into the category of being my own ideal client, so I often discuss things which I feel are relevant to either my personal or business life. (Great when I have writer’s block)

Ask questions. Engaging in conversation is a great way for you to reveal your personality, develop relationships and learn. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, you never know who else is thinking the exact same. Ask a series of questions and pose answers or solutions. These solutions can prompt further discussions and learning.

Post a number of related topics over a number of posts to discover where your customer interest lies. Posts with more interaction could indicate more interest, allowing you to hone your subject matter. Running a series is a great way to promote a newsletter, RSS, or other subscription service you might have. Never neglect the opportunity to increase your subscriptions (sign up for mine over here and receive a free ebook).

  1. Social media content

Blogs provide fabulous content to share on all of your social media profiles.

They don’t just fill a hole, they provide a vehicle to drive content to your website (helpful if your sales are run through your site). When answering questions on a blog, try to incorporate your product, this allows for internal linking (read how it benefits your site), education, and drives sales. By linking to your blog post from social media you can receive numerous benefits.

If you use catchy pictures on your blog, these can provide useful and shareable content for your social media profiles. Having shareable content is a great way to increase marketing and social reach. Word of advice: when creating shareable content ensure your business name, logo, or website address are on the image; nothing worse than having great viral content and not profiting. (tweet this)

Pay attention to the following items in your blog post as they will be used by Facebook to generate supporting content for your link:
Blog title: this is used by Facebook as your title
First 20+ words: the first 20+ words are used to generate teaser content in the link, and
Meta-description: if you use a meta-description, Facebook will use this in the place of the first 20+ words.
As a WordPress User I have installed Yoast SEO, in their program you have the ability to customise the title and description used by a number of social media platforms, including Facebook. This can be useful if you want to undertake split testing or if you prefer not to show your Social Media followers a description filled with SEO keywords.

  1. Relationship building

Building relationships is my favourite reason, outside of education, to blog. When I blog I impart a little piece of my own personality. It might be the language I use or my experiences, but there is a little piece of me in every post. I think that doing this is important as it means that when you meet me, you already have a sense of who I am. If I have already shown you a little of myself, then we are on the road to developing a working relationship.

I have previously mentioned that many experts believe that it takes five touches before a customer will purchase. Blogging allows businesses to make another touch with a customer. Reaching out to them, where they are keeps you in mind. Even if they are not quite ready to purchase, a post gets you one step closer and can help keep you in front of mind.

If you blog to answer customer questions, or you answer their comments on your blog, you are showing them that you are listening. No one likes to be ignored, so listening and responding to customer needs is an important part of building relationships.

Why do you blog? What do you enjoy about blogging? Is there something you would like blogged about by Write to Right. Leave a comment below.

How Facebook does NOT influence sales

Meeting your client needs online - write to rightResearch just out of the US indicates that Facebook users are being turned off by hard sell in their Newsfeed. In fact, 95% of people say that social media has little to no effect on their buying behaviour. 94% say they use social media to catch up on what friends and family are up to. Only 29% say they use social media to follow trends or find product reviews. I think these statistics go some way to explaining why businesses have seen a decrease in direct sales on Facebook.

Now I know that we all have different audiences, and this research is broad, but I still believe that as social beings on social media, businesses can benefit from being social. (And this is what is recommended in the report) Now that DOES NOT mean not selling in your posts, it means not being SALES-Y.

The research recommends engaging Millenials, I believe you need to engage your ideal customer. If you have gone through your audience on your Facebook page, you will know the gender, age group, and location of the majority of your customers. If you are targeting your ideal customer, they should fall into this main group of Facebook likers. Use this data to drive your interactions. Imagine your ideal customer’s needs, problems, daily lives, or ask questions; then use this to develop content for them.

Did you notice the last part of the last sentence? “develop content for them” The key is that you need to write for your customer. You need to meet their needs, solve their problems.
People are time poor, but they do know what problems they need solved, so tell (sell) them how you solve them. (tweet this)
A list of features is nice, but it’s then up to me to work out if and how they will meet my needs.

Not sure what I mean by listing a benefit rather than a feature? In general, the benefit will contain verbs (help, stop, prevent, reduce) and the features will contain adjectives (bright, short, long, versatile). Don’t stress about making it a shopping list of benefits. I would aim for between three and five benefits (people retain between five and nine facts) per post. I like three. Why? I have a quirk about the number three, time is short (and three is small), and I was taught to present data in groups of three when trying to convince an audience. There is an added benefit to selling benefits; by doing so you are letting your customers know that you listen to their needs, you are interested, and you understand.

By showing your customers that you are listening, you allow a relationship to develop and facilitate conversations (and then conversions). I mentioned at the start that 95% of Facebook users are there for socialising. If you can bring a social aspect to your page, and particularly sales posts, you are meeting your customer’s need to socialise. Some customers are there to research, by answering customer questions on Facebook you will either answer their question and/or demonstrate that you are listening to your customers. I have previously mentioned the belief that it takes five touches before you make a sale. Being sociable will assist in making these touches and move your business closer to a sale.

Here’s an insight, all of these tips are equally applicable to your website. You can use them in your blog, just as I have here, or better still in your product descriptions. Your website is your way of reaching customers where they are, when they need your service/product; give it the best chance of meeting their needs.

Write to Right offers website checks to ensure that your site is in the best possible shape, meeting both your client’s and your business’ needs. Find out more about this quality service on the website. Alternatively, skip the queue and book your site in to gain an early advantage.

17 Facebook changes how it handles website links

Facebook monitoring business web links Write to RightIn the news this week, Facebook has announced two major changes to how it ranks the links pages share.

CHANGES

The first is the practise of ‘click-baiting’. Click-baiting is where a business will share a link to a website, but do not include descriptive or useful information about the linked page in the Facebook post. The example Facebook used was of a gossip magazine, linking to their website; the description did not accurately describe what the readers would find (they used a vague outline) and the associated photo didn’t provide any clues.

Their research has showed, the not so surprising finding, that people find this practise misleading and it was therefore unpopular with users. With this in mind they will be monitoring how long people stay on the linked page and then rank the associated Facebook post accordingly. The longer people stay on the linked page (indicating that it is interesting) the greater the ranking it will receive and more likely it will be to appear in Newsfeeds. Should the link and post be misleading (meaning people quickly follow the link and realise it’s not what they were expecting to see and leave) then the post will not be highly ranked by Facebook and it is unlikely to appear in the Newsfeed.

The second change was how Facebook would rank the way businesses posted links.

Some businesses will paste a link into their post from a website and then allow Facebook to display the associated image and description in the post. This is how I share links and I have previously described how doing this is beneficial to your page.

Other businesses will paste the link into a photo post, where they have uploaded a photo and then add the link into the description.

Facebook has done some research and found that the majority of users will click through when the business shares a link with the associated site information, rather than those who add it as a photo description.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN

For businesses who use click-baiting, you will see a decline in your reach. What I would encourage businesses to do is to be honest, accurate, and sociable. Your Facebook page is there to build a relationship. I mentioned last week that researchers believe it takes five touches to gain a customer, so use your touches wisely. Think about your core beliefs, I discussed this in finding your online voice, and if honesty/integrity/truth are on your list then click-baiting shouldn’t be in your tool box.

I admit, that before reading this Facebook article, I often deleted the link address from my posts as I thought they looked ‘ugly and clunky’. I am now leaving the links in, as a little extra information. I used to use link shortening, my website even has it as an add-on (I also used Bitly), as a way to provide the link for mobile devices (and to make my posts look tidier). I am going to rethink using shot links. If you prefer the look of the shorter links, try editing the link to provide a more meaningful link than the randomly generated list of letters and numbers.

What it means for your website content will ultimately depend on the platform you use. Both of my sites are WordPress, so my products, pages and posts all have: at least one image (I don’t always set them as featured), and a meta-description.

I use Yoast for my SEO and a recent addition to the tool is the ability to add a Social Media description. This description, as you can imagine, is what is displayed when you link to that item on a social media platform (like Facebook). Ordinarily Facebook will take the first few lines of your content and add it as a description, with the image, when you upload a link. If you specify a meta-description, it will use this data instead of the first few lines. If you use Yoast’s Social description, it will use this data. This is handy as you can then tailor your descriptions for your audience and/or SEO.

Write to Right offer website health checks, where one of the tasks is to check the meta-descriptions on your pages/products. Now that you have read about how you can use this information to benefit your business and would like to know more about how Write to Right can help, please use the contact form and we can discuss your needs.

16 Linking in your website

Benefits of internal website links - Write to RightSearch engines ‘crawl’ through websites looking for the words your customer enters into the search box. Deep, and meaningful, website links allow for more pages to be returned from your website (increasing its ranking); it also gives you the means to increase your customer relationships and sales.

The search engine looks in different places on your website to find the searched words, here are some of the places it searches:
– page title
– meta-descriptions
– keywords
– image names
– image descriptions, and
– content.

The more you use the searched words (keywords), the higher you will appear in a search. Be warned, don’t stuff all the keywords into your content or you will make the page an unintelligent mess.

Savvy website owners, who remember the days of website crawlers, ensure that they cross-link their website. When a search engine comes across a link to another page, post, or product, it will follow this link and search the page for the information listed above. The higher the number of instances it finds for the searched words, the higher your website will be returned in the search.

Here are some useful ways to increase the links in your website:

– Recommended products
– Upsells
– ‘People also bought’
– Testimonials, and
– Links between related blog posts or products.

Recommended products

‘Would you like fries with that?’ It sounds cliché, but you’ve worked hard to get your customer to your website – make the most of it. Suggest another product, you never know they might have been looking for that too! Don’t waste their time though (remember, we are increasingly time poor), send them to products that you know will help.

Here’s a freebie hint: when you get them to the recommended product, make sure you sell them the benefits of the product AND link them off to another product.

Upsells

‘Would you like to super-size that?’ OK, so you don’t always have to sell something bigger, but make sure you sell something more. Is there a little (or large) something extra, that would coordinate with the item they are buying? Do you have it packaged in a set with something else? Both of these are opportunities to upsell. Don’t forget my freebie hint: sell the benefits & link on!

‘People also bought’

Peer pressure, kids are fabulous at it and adults aren’t immune. Customers like to know that others share their tastes. They like to know that others trust your products. They like to know that the benefits you are selling are true & others have benefitted. Please be honest though, you will lose the opportunity to have a repeat customer if you lead them up the garden path.

How do you find out what others buy? You can trawl through your sales records, but many e-commerce platforms will tell you the ‘most popular’ item on your website – so use that! Alternatively, if you use a webmaster tool such as Google Analytics, you can look at the products with the most hits and promote that item. Better still, do both!

Testimonials

Following on from ‘people also bought’, is linking to your testimonials (or reviews). One of the most powerful sales tools available is the endorsement of another person. It instils confidence in your customer that you have met the needs of others, and are more likely to meet theirs. This personal interaction helps, not only to instil trust but, to develop a relationship with your customer. Sales are founded on strong relationships (one of the key benefits of social media); testimonials allow customers to ‘hear’ what others say, foster trust, a sense of brand identity, all leading to a development of a relationship. Think of it as beginning a new friendship: you see someone you like, you hear someone say nice things about them, it sparks your curiosity, and you go over and have a chat.

Links between related blog posts or products

Blog posts are a fabulous way to create content to keep your website current (a key to achieving a high Google rank), a way to create content for your social media, a way to sell benefits, and a great way to engender trust and build relationships.

When you link to related posts, you are helping to answer more of your customer’s questions, building trust, and building relationships. When you link blog posts to products you are educating and selling benefits.

Linking across your site ensures that search engines find more of your site, if they find more of your site – so will your customers.

I hope this encourages you to dig deeper into your website. If you would like Write to Right to check your site to ensure that it has all the right words in all the right places, then contact us or have a look through our Website Health Check packages.

6

Writing for online without sounding like an utter know it all

Write to Right - Finding your online voice part 1Ever wondered how to write about yourself online without sounding like a “complete dork” or a “know-it-all”? Finding that happy medium to sell yourself positively online can be difficult. The following steps will give you and therefore your business a strong, client-focused and cohesive online presence.

Know your business

Does your business have a mission statement? Do you know why you are spending your time in business?

If you don’t have one then this is where you need to start. These questions set the foundations of how others see your business. Here are some simple prompts to help you write your mission:
Who– who are you, are you a multi-national, family company, or sole trader? Who are your customers? Are they families, singles, seniors, small business, multi-nationals?
What– What is it that you do? What do you sell?
Why– Why do customers use your business? What is the benefit to them?
Where– Where can they find you? Are you a bricks & mortar, online, franchise?

Do you have a vision statement? Do you know where you want your business to be in one year, three years, or five years?

This is where you have to be SMARTER. Make sure your vision is:
Specific– No wishy-washy motherhood statements. Say exactly where you want to be, put a dollar figure to it.
Measurable– If it can’t be measured, then how can you look back and see if you have achieved it? It also means that it’s likely to be a motherhood statement and you are less likely to hold yourself to account.
Achievable– The goal has to be appropriate and able to be attained in the given timeframe.
Reportable– You have to make yourself accountable for the goal and the only way to do that is to make it reportable. That could be in your end of year financial report, quarterly reports, cash flow reports, stakeholder reports, or reportable to a mentor/friend.
Time-sensitive– The goal has to have a deadline. Don’t make it a moveable goal or you are less likely to set tasks to achieve the goal.
Evaluated– Is it reasonable, achievable, and how does it compare to others in your industry?
Reviewed– How often will it be reviewed so you know that you are on track?

I like the added aspects of evaluation and review. These not only speak to the quality assurer in me, they are best practice in project management. I use many aspects of project management in my own business, especially review. Many businesses underestimate the value of reviewing, especially when things don’t turn out as anticipated. I think I will write more on this in the future as I can see a whole blog post on this topic.

Know your ideal customer

Marketing experts have a number of ways to determine your ideal client. I use scripts to determine my ideal client. When you script your ideal client you write a little story about who they are. It’s like writing an online dating profile for your soul mate.
Demographics– What is their age (or age range), gender, family status, and employment status. This is all about who they are.
Preferences- What are their values, likes, and dislikes? Do they differ between the ones they hold personally, for their family, or for their business?
Daily activities– How do they spend their day? Do they work 9-5 in an office? Do they work part-time? Do they work in an office or from home? Are they running around after the kids? Are they single living a laissez-faire lifestyle? Are they retirees? Do they play sports? Write about how they fill their day/weekend.
Write up this narrative, and don’t worry you can have more than one (though it’s easiest to pitch to one client) and it can change over time. Just make sure you keep this person firmly in your sights.

Work out where these overlap

Where do your mission and visions cross? Are there any common words or themes? Where does you ideal customer meet with your mission? With your vision? List the adjectives, or find relevant adjectives, to describe these intersections. These are the words you use to drive your interactions. There’s a word of warning, they must be for your client. If you start writing about the business it becomes about you. You don’t need to sell to, or convince, you. Unless your ideal client is a competitor, don’t write about your industry either. Your customer doesn’t want to know why your industry does xyz, they have a need and want you to meet it. It’s why they are at your website/Facebook/Google+ (or other platform, more on this soon).

Go back and look at the list and where it meets your ideal client. What words help to meet their needs? What benefits are they looking for? Remember you wrote out their preferences, look to these for inspiration on how they want to be sold to and what needs you need to meet. Now, what are the benefits of your product or service and how do you meet your idea customer’s needs?

So now you have the adjectives to help describe your product or service and you have the benefits you need to include when you write those descriptions. But which tone do you use?

Finding your voice

Look at your adjectives, benefits, and your ideal customer – what language suits these best? Will they appreciate slang, a conversational tone, factual, or formal speech?

I would suggest that if your business has more than one person writing for it that you establish a style guide. While I use the Commonwealth Style Manual for proofreading, I also worked with a departmental style guide. This certainly helped when writing for different media and clients. There were guides for press releases, ministerials, client letters, and an overarching guide. Unless you are a business with a few hundred staff who communicate across many media and stakeholders, you are unlikely to need this many guides. However, a document that outlines your mission, vision, ideal client, benefits, key adjectives, and preferred tone is a great start. From here it can evolve to including which messages are distributed over particular media. You can even detail how minutes will be taken and distributed.

Style guides are beneficial for copywriters and copy editors. It allows us an insight into the back end of your business and means that we can easily support you and help you to achieve your outcomes. It also saves lengthy discussions when engaging us to undertake work for your business: saving you time and money.

In Part 2

Find out how to use these skills online. Learn how to customise your content for different social media platforms. Find out how to ensure your brand’s profile. Hear how to instil a piece of yourself into the business and online.

Make sure you Follow this blog by signing up for email updates.

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1 Errors Small Business Website owners make which are killing their sales

Smart business owners know that the best place to sell, outside of their bricks and mortar, is online. Some have tried Facebook, but with declining reach, the smartest ones are moving to web sales. Sadly, it’s no ‘Field of Dreams’; if you build it, there’s no guarantee that they will come. Sound familiar? Struggling to get customers to your site?

Languishing in the back pages of Google

Google is the most used search engine. Like Facebook, Google has its own methods for working out the ranking for pages in a search result. I don’t know of many small businesses that would pay for Google rankings, and to be honest if you pay, your result is only as good as the amount you or your competitor pays (the more the better).

Focusing on the following hints will boost you through Google. How do I know? I did it. I moved my website from page 16 at launch to the first listing on page 2. I also have related content listed on page 1, this links to my website. So I am on page 1 and 2 of Google Search. Follow these steps to get there too.

Complacent about Key words

Key words are that: key. If you do not use the words in your website that your customers use in their searches then you are starting behind the eight ball. There are a number of ways to find out what these words are: trial and error, ask your customers, put yourself in your customer’s shoes, Google Analytics, or paying SEO experts.

But be warned, don’t make your website a gobbledegook mess of keywords. Google has its ways of weeding out nonsensical pages. This is where SEO experts and copywriters can fail. These businesses don’t understand the intricate details of your business, quite like you. You know the benefits for your customers, you know how they use your goods or services. You know what makes your business unique.

Skimping on spelling

Don’t think spelling on your website is important, think again.

Research shows that 59% of customers will not buy from a website with spelling errors. That’s a lot of lost revenue. Why? Quality. Customers believe that if you don’t value the basic skill of spelling, then you are less likely to value them or quality service.

But what does this have to do with Google? Have you ever misspelt something in a Google search? It autocorrects. I’m sorry to say Google will not autocorrect your website. If you type words incorrectly in your website, then that is how they will be indexed by Google and how people will have to type them in a search. Small problem, Google autocorrects searches. See the problem?

Skimping on links

Remember how I said I was on page 2 AND page 1, well my page 1 results are my social media pages (Google + and Facebook). I know many businesses start on Facebook and with the declining reach they develop a website, you might be one of them.

Don’t get caught up trying to fill Facebook or G+ (or any other platform) with new content, link to your website. Links on Facebook are not just a simple way to populate posts, they are actually a highly respected (and ranked) post type for the platform. Using links to your site drives traffic to where the sales take place. (You can also set up a tab to import your shop into Facebook, more on that another post) Google likes inbound links (coming in to your site) as they are third party endorsements.

Link within your site. Linking within your site allows for cross promotion and cross or upselling. Internal links also work as when Google searches your page the internal links direct it through your site. The more pages Google sees, the more pages it knows of to put in its search results, the more often you are seen in Google.

Like to know more? Not sure you could do this all yourself? Don’t have enough time to go through it all yourself?

Based on my experience managing websites and proofreading and copy editing for the federal government I am offering my skills to businesses to improve their website results. Having your website appear higher in Google search results will mean more customers to your site (most people will stop searching at page 3 of Google).

What is involved?

Write to Right offer two levels of health checks. The first is for larger sites or those businesses after a more comprehensive service; the second is for smaller sites or those looking to brush up their essential pages.

To book you website health check, contact us.

What do others say about the Website Health Check?

“Kara has provided me with feedback on many aspects of my business page with regard to professional written communication. She is very knowledgeable, helpful and does not miss a thing! I know I can rely on her to pick up on my typos, spelling errors, punctuation and even grammatical errors. It is worth having Kara take a look at your written communication, whether you are in business and would like to appear professional, or whether you are doing a job  application that needs to be perfect! Highly recommended!” – Jacqui, Celestial Photography

Comprehensive Website Health Check

This health check is for businesses looking to grab those 59% of customers who are put off by errors on their website. It’s for businesses that rely on their website to sell their products and services 24/7. It’s a check for businesses that pride themselves on their excellence and attention to detail.

This check will:

• Focus on the top ten non-product pages on your site
• Advise if your content achieves its aim
• Includes at least ten, researched, keyword suggestions for you to use to help increase your search engine ranking
• Assess your content for optimal layout, helping to get your message across sooner and potentially reduce ‘bouncing’ from your site
• Ensure links on these pages are functional and appropriate
• Check for your social media integration and offer suggestions for your site as a whole
• Include an Excel spreadsheet report for you, or your developer, to keep for implementation, and
• Free email follow-up one month after the report is delivered.

This premium service is offered to you for the introductory price of $185. It is a small price to pay when it has the potential to turn up to 59% of your web traffic into paying clients.

 Book your comprehensive website health check by contacting us.

 Essentials website health check

This health check is for those smaller sites with fewer non-product pages. It is perfect for those businesses just starting out but still pride themselves on how their business is presented to the public.

This check will:

• Focus on the top five non-product pages on your site
• Advise if your content achieves its aim
• Includes at least five, researched, keyword suggestions for you to use to help increase your search engine ranking
• Ensure links on these pages are functional and appropriate
• Check for your social media integration and offer suggestions for your site as a whole, and
• Include an Excel spreadsheet report for you, or your developer, to keep for implementation.

This essentials health check is a wise investment at $95 and a fantastic way to ensure you are starting out on the right foot.

Is your site larger than average or do you want more?

If your site has more than ten non-product pages, or you would like to include your product pages, we can perform a more comprehensive check for $80/hr and includes all of the elements in the comprehensive website health check. Write to Right is able to offer proofreading & copy editing for all other documents, please contact us for our full list of fees.

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6 Online messages influence our experience of emotions, which may affect a variety of offline behaviours.

Write to Right - How Facebook proved being positive makes moneyReleased today, Facebook shows that seeing more positive emotions on Facebook leads to more positive posts and vice versa.

The 2012 research has been written up by Kramer et al. (2014) and describes how they manipulated newsfeeds in English speaking participants to show either less positive or negative posts by their friends. They found a strong link in seeing positive emotions in Facebook Newsfeeds leading to more positive emotions in individual posts, which disproves the adage that “exposure to the happiness of others may actually be depressing to us”.

So I wonder if that is what friends think, then how does that influence business pages? Facebook business pages rely on people (friends) sharing your posts, liking them, commenting on them; all of which appear in their friends’ newsfeed and activity feed. So if business is positive in their emotions on their Facebook page, will that increase sales?

Influencers of customer emotions and their behaviour

Mazaheri et al. (2011) found in their research of Canadians that customer attitudes on the site positively (and significantly) influenced their service attitudes and that service attitudes influenced buying intention. They also found that the perceived entertainment value of the site positively influenced customer attitudes. Varhagen & van Dolen (2011), took this intention one step further showing that positive intention lead to actual purchases.

Businesses rely on likes, comments & shares of their Facebook posts to increase their customer base, increase brand awareness and boost sales. Whilst product scarcity can drive sales, the Facebook research shows that post emotion drives user emotion. It also shows that user emotion can drive offline behaviour. This links with the 2011 research by Mazaheri et al and Varhagen & van Dolen.

What do businesses need to consider?

Varhagen & van Dolen (2011) found that “Consumer behaviour is likely to be dominated by positive emotions and less by negative emotions”.

Businesses need to consider why they have a Facebook page. Is it there to entertain? Is it there to inform? Is it there to drive sales? If your Facebook page exists to do any of these things then you need to pay attention to the Facebook research.

So, if your Facebook page is entertaining, then this will increase how customers view your business. If they view it more positively, they are more likely to view the service they receive as positive. If they believe that the service they will receive is positive, then they are more likely to want to purchase from you. If they want to purchase from you, they will.

  1. Positive emotion in your posts = positive emotion in your customers posts on Facebook.
  2. Positive emotions on Facebook leads to positive emotions offline.
  3. Positive emotions on a website (or Facebook page) leads to positive opinions towards service.
  4. Positive opinions of service leads to positive purchase intentions.
  5. Positive intentions lead to purchases.

So it’s true! Being positive on your Facebook page, really does make for good business and makes you money! Read more on the topic of how to handle negative business situations in a positive manner.

Edit:

In 2015 I wrote the following in response to research by Buffer into neurochemistry and social media use.

It’s timely that I came across a Buffer Social article outlining the brain chemistry response to social media and how it influences our behaviour. In summary, they found two main changes. The first was a rise in Dopamine, the chemical responsible for want and need. Dopamine production, is stimulated in response to small snippets of information paired with a reward. That sounds like most social media platforms! Oxytocin was the second neurotransmitter, this is the love hormone and is incredibly powerful in maternal bonding. Researchers saw an increase in Oxytocin equal to what some would experience at their own wedding in just 10 minutes of social media use.

You can read my full article here: https://www.karalambert.com/facebook/fomo-and-social-media/

 

References:

Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory, and Jeffrey T. Hancock (2014). Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111, 24, pp 8788-90.

Ebrahim Mazaheri, Marie-Odile Richard, Miche Laroche, (2011). Online consumer behaviour: Comparing Canadian and Chinese website visitors. Journal of Business Research (Vol. 64), (Issue 9), pp. 959-965.

Tibert Verhagen and Willemijn van Dolen (2011). The influence of online store beliefs on consumer online impulse buying: A model and empirical application. Information and Management, 48, pp 320-327.

 

 

33 Why you aren’t getting the sales on Facebook any more

7 reasons you dont sell on Facebook

Facebook is social media, not a sales platform. Here are 7 ways to be social, increase interaction & drive sales.

Facebook, although it has the plug-ins for shops, is not a reliable way to sell; it doesn’t pass on notifications or messages, it loses comments & if it gets really huffy it will stop you from accessing/commenting/posting. The main problem with selling exclusively on Facebook is that the content below your main page level (photos, shops, events) is not indexed for internet searches, so unless a person is on Facebook (and many people aren’t) your business is not going to make a sale. Facebook is part of the group of social media platforms, in the beginning it was quite easy to generate sales, however, user behaviour is changing. Facebook is returning to a social medium, where people escape from their chaotic/dreary/mundane lives. So, how can you help them to escape AND generate engagement, customer base and sales?

1. Laugh

Make them laugh, share a joke, share a funny photo, share a funny story. It turns frowns upside down. Best of all, research shows that if you help someone feel better, you feel better too.

~ People like to laugh; it releases chemicals in our brain that make us feel good. ~

2. Cry

I haven’t done this on my pages, but I have seen it done quite successfully. I have seen businesses share their struggles with cancer, when they have welcomed a new family member into their arms (be it a human or fur baby), when they have said goodbye to a family member, or when they just don’t feel as if they can continue their business.

I am not suggesting that your posts always relate to these things, too much doom and gloom does not make for a very sociable page. I’m also not suggesting that you whinge about not being seen in Facebook feeds, or declining sales – that said, I have seen a great spin on driving sales by tying the need for sales to fund a common purpose (buying a special birthday gift, wanting a new appliance). Just make yourself approachable.

3. Relate

I do this on my other business page, where most of my customers are parents. I share with them things I have done to make my life easier. I share with them if I have a bad day and need another coffee (or am waiting until bedtime/wine o’clock). I know of businesses that get fabulous interaction from sharing their struggles with mental illness, cyber-bullying or David & Goliath stories. It creates rapport and if your customers ever see you face-to-face it means that you have one less barrier to overcome – trust. If they feel that they already know you, that you are like a friend, then they can trust you.

~ People like to know that you are a real person, that you are not some faceless selling machine. ~ (Tweet this!)

4. Applaud

Certainly applaud your successes – business award nominations and signing a major retail customer instil confidence through third-party endorsement. Applaud customers who share their creations using your products, show them how proud you are that they have succeeded (and you have helped them to get there). Applaud friends in business, celebrate their triumphs and share the love. Remember that helping others makes you feel good long after the act of helping is over.

5. Teach

Set up a regular post and teach your customers something that relates directly to your business. My other business is making hair accessories and every Sunday night I share a hair tutorial I have found. Sometimes it is a way to improve a technique, sometimes it is a new technique, and sometimes it’s a new style. I have likers who tune in every Sunday just to see the tutorial. My likers will comment, tag and share the tutorials; all of which increase engagement on my page, improving my Edgerank and how often Facebook shows the page in Newsfeeds. I will occasionally share styles that use accessories and I will link to the related accessory in the post comments.

If you are in a service industry teach them something about what you do or teach them what they need to do to make working with you easier (eg. an accountant shares an idea on organising receipts for tax time). Teaching creates a relationship and trust; it shows customers that you are willing to share what you know with them.

~ Teaching opens a door. ~

6. Inspire

On my other business page I do this when I am making my kids’ birthday cakes. I share the photos of the cakes my kids want to have and how they end up. My customers love it, they are parents and like to see that human side and where my ideas come from (I share blogs I use for inspiration).

On Monday mornings I share an inspirational quote, an affirmation or a wish. It removes a feeling of doom and gloom often linked to Mondays. It makes me feel good as I believe that it will make someone’s day better and it reminds me of how I want to live my life.

Inspiring others not only lifts the other person up, it lifts you up.

7. Share

Ask them to share your page, ask them to share their fears, ask them to share ideas on how to use your product or ask them to share photos of themselves using your product.
Share your website, share products from your website, or share your blog from your website. Ask them to share their favourite items from your site in one post, get them to share it publicly in their newsfeed and to use a specific hashtag for it so you can see. Sharing your website does a number of things:

– it drives traffic to your site

– it increases your Edgeranking by linking to a verified source, and

– it is where your checkout is and where the buyers need to be.

~ People love to share things, so ask them to share. ~ (Tweet this!)

Facebook is a fabulous marketing tool, but it’s just that, a way to market your business. It is not a reliable way to sell your product. There are sociable ways to incorporate sales into your Facebook content; you just need to think socially.

Let me know in the comments what other ways you like to be sociable on your Facebook business page.

Want to learn more about writing for Facebook? Follow our two part series on finding your online voice.

4 Why you can write your own content for your website

Write to Right - The art of a proofreaderCopywriters are great, but they don’t know your business. When you are developing a business website, it needs to speak your customer’s language. It needs to be an extension of who you are offline. I don’t know of a better person to articulate that than you.

A business website is there to sell your products or services when you can’t be. Sure a copywriter can be briefed, they know the right words to use to get great search results, they can say the same thing a dozen different ways; but are they the right people to be selling your business?
If you were to engage a copywriter you would need to brief them on the ‘who, what, why’ of ‘you, your business and your customer’. Sounds to me you are doing a lot of the writing already.

What do you need to do instead?
Know your customer. How old are they? Are they a particular gender? Are they educated? What do they do for work? What problem are they coming to you to fix? How do they like to shop?

Know your product or service. What is it? How will it help your customer? How does it solve their problems? Why is it different?

Know your competition. How do they solve customer problems? How do they do things differently?

Know yourself. What image do you want to portray?

In my years of e-business project management I learnt to talk to the business first. They hold the knowledge and the vision, not the person building the widget.

From here all I can advise is to plan, write & review. If you will be maintaining your own website don’t be afraid to try different writing styles or tone; by experimenting you will soon see what appeals to your customers. Please plan your writing. Plan what website pages you will have, how your customers will use them (not just read them) & what you want to gain from the page. Put your customer first when you are writing.

– Put your customer first when you are writing. – (Tweet it!)

Remember that people want to know “What’s in it for me?” so tell them how they will benefit. You are the one who knows best how they will benefit. Plan the content. Write the most important benefits at the top of the page. Use visual cues, like bold or italic font, to keep their eye active and moving down the page. Plan these cues when you are planning your page.
Draft your pages in a word processing program. You can copy & paste from most and keep the formatting. You can move paragraphs around and remove any duplicated information.
Check your pages against your plan. Does it meet the customer’s needs? Will it adequately sell your business when you aren’t physically online? Leave it overnight and check it again tomorrow. Have it proofread (you knew I would mention it somewhere). After you have uploaded it to your site, give it a few weeks, a few months and review the page. Does it still help your business? Repeat the cycle.

– Plan, write, check, repeat – (Tweet it!)

Write to Right offer a range of proofreading and editing services for documents and specialised packages for websites. If you choose to write your own content, it’s prudent to have someone else check your work. Let Write to Right make your business communication its best.

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