You are squandering your most valuable resource and you don’t even know you are doing it. What resource am I talking about? Your customers! User experience is the single most valuable piece of feedback you can receive, yet it is all but ignored by most webmasters in favor of paid testers and market research.
Design is serious business. Failing to have an interface that is attractive and enhanced for customer interaction can lose you a lot of profits. A study done by Adobe found that brands with a focus on design outperformed on the S&P index by 219% over a ten year period. The best way to make sure you design is really on point and that your product/services are at their peak is to take customer feedback as your primary concern.
How User Experience Makes Conversion Rates Explode
Everyone wants better conversions and user experience is among the greatest tools to get you there. It all comes down to a single simple principle: when your users are happy they will be loyal to your brand. Pretty easy, right?
Making signing up, navigating and using your site, whether it is a dashboard, app or product checkout cart, will make them convert from ‘maybes’ to ‘yes pleases’ faster than any other tactic you could use.
Let’s say that you have created a landing page for a new product that is going to be launched in the next few weeks. Your goal is to get as many pre-signups as possible in anticipation for that release. So you provide a signup form on the landing page where new users can fill out their information to open an account.
Only one problem: you didn’t say on the landing page that the product had not launched yet. They thought they were signing up for a service, only to get a message saying that they will be alerted once it is up and running. This annoys the user and when they go to their inbox and see a confirmation email to verify their information they instead hit the Spam button and forget ever wanting to try that service.
Another example: you have a mobile app that brings your brand right into people’s phones…a great idea, given the prevalence of app for ecommerce these days. But the menu button is halfway covered by an ad. Half the time the use clicks the menu they get an ad taking them to a chrome tab and away from your app.
Within a week you see your uninstalls overtaking your installs. Your users have become so frustrated by the poor design of your interface that they have decided to go with a competitor. You have lost conversions, and perhaps lost lifelong users because you didn’t properly check the user experience.
How To Make Sure Your Users Walk Away With a Great Experience
There are a few very simple steps you can use to make sure this never happens. Once you have improved overall user experience you will be amazed at how your conversion rates begin to climb, without a single marketing tweak or extra dollar spent on advertising.
Make the right first impression. How long does it take for a user to gain an impression of your website? A minute? Twenty seconds? Actually, the answer is 50 milliseconds. You read that right, according to research Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada, it takes only only 5% of a second to gain an impression of a website. That is barely enough time for the brain to process any visual information at all.
So your clock starts the literal moment a web page is loaded. If you don’t manage to snag their attention right away they may never get to the point of using the features you have to offer. They might not even make it from the homescreen!
Make it easy to understand everything
Over the past couple of years we have seen a design standard developing for startups that are selling a service. They tend to be one page with folding or grid sections. But most interestingly, they look like infographics.
This trend shows us something very important, which is that it is crucial for conversions that you give all information clearly, succinctly, visually and in a way that it is immediately easy to understand what is being offered. All of these sites have price, feature, about and other pages. But the pertinent info is right there, detailed on that single first page.
Some people don’t even bother going to any other page because the sign-up is right there, where all the important details are. Download the blogging guides to better understand WordPress usability.
Constantly look for bugs, glitches, and dead links.
I knew a startup founder who had developed a platform for freelancers. He hired some people for initial testing but didn’t retain them for further work, nor did he isolate any of his budget for regular testing. His reasoning?
“If something is wrong on the dashboard the customers will let us know.”
Yikes! Not only does this put a burden on users that isn’t their responsibility, but it is making their experience a negative one. He was working on a freemium model, relying on customers to switch to a paid service for access to more features.
Why would they pay for features when the ones they go for free didn’t work properly? Make sure you are always looking for bugs and problems through regular testing. Stick to a good trusted hosting services. If you do miss one make sure you thank the user letting you know and get it fixed right away, after sending a notice out to all users that you are working on the problem.
In the end you need good design, a solid product and good customer service in order to create a positive user experience. This is what is going to up your conversion rate, because you are making it easy, helpful and positive every time a user ends up on your site, app, service or uses your product. Before long your brand will become one of the highly touted ones, which will lead to more users to impress!
Have an idea to add to the ones above? Let us know in the comments!
A Blogger’s Guide to Selling on eBay
Blogging is fun, from starting one and driving lots of traffic to it before enjoying the results. However, you’ve probably outgrown being a blogger throughout all those years.
If you’re looking to doing more than just write posts on your blog, then this post is perfect for you.
Offering products and services is nothing new to some popular bloggers. Sometimes, it makes sense to sell products based on what your niche is about. Problem is, most bloggers aren’t sure where to host their new ecommerce business.
It is not advisable to open a store section on their website. This is because your readers are usually on your blog to read and gain information, not buy.
Here’s where looking at a dedicated marketplace comes in.
You can just add a store section on your website and redirect or provide a link to a selling page like eBay.
Benefits of selling on eBay as a blogger
Selling on eBay is a good starting point for a blogger-turned-ecommerce owner. Here are the reasons why:
- eBay is a high traffic channel
- People go to eBay with the main purpose of buying
- Their website is secure, responsive, and reliable
- There are various payment options available
- You can build your blog’s audience through their market
Of course, what you sell should be highly relevant to your blog if you want to maintain your brand. For instance, if you blog about mountain climbing then selling mountain climbing gears makes sense.
How to start your eBay store
Here’s a checklist for you to tick before you launch your new venture:
Create your store name and URL
Shoppers remember your store name. Mirror what your blog name is to what your eBay store’s name and URL. Your store name also becomes your URL which matters for Google.
Optimize your product description
Product descriptions matter for Google, too.
You will about what the product’s attributes are like size, color, and weight, but you can also attach some keywords to it.
Since you’re a blogger, you probably know the importance of using keywords in all of your posts.
Identify delivery method
If you sell physical products, do not forget to add a shipping method to all your product listings. Not all of your items’ size and weight are the same, therefore, the costs for shipping them may vary.
Good thing in selling on eBay is you can ship your products from the comfort of your home. But you can always look for third-party fulfillment service partner that can do the work for you.
You can offer free postage as well which does attract more eyes to your listing.
Know the potential costs
eBay offers up to 50 free listings per month but if you’ve used up all of those listings, you’ll have to pay for the extra. If you only have a few products to sell then this choosing this option is your best bet.
Here are the four main fees that eBay has for their sellers:
- Insertion fees
- Final value fees
- Listing upgrades
- Fees in select categories
Be wary of scammers
eBay seems to be the playground of a lot of online scammers. Sometimes, buyers claim to overpay for their products accidentally and ask for it back. And when you wire the money back, you’ll find that the transfer was a fake and the scammer ran away with your money.
Learn how to spot scammers and remember these things at all times:
- When you are selling to someone you don’t know, it is better and safer to accept cash or credit card payments. Don’t just accept checks or money orders immediately.
- Never accept overpayments and people claiming to send what seems to be an invisible transfer to your account
- When meeting with a buyer through a local pick up, choose a place that is safe and accessible to the public. Never ever invite them to your home.
Focus on customer satisfaction
Your customers are the people you want to build trust and rapport with. Always keep your focus on satisfying your customers. For example, you can include handwritten messages or a small token on your product boxes.
There is one business called HEX that could build their customers’ loyalty through personalized thank you notes.
Respond to all feedbacks
How do you know if you have happy customers?
It usually shows in their comments and feedbacks.
You must address all feedbacks, good and bad, at all times. When people make the effort of leaving a review on your eBay store, never leave them hanging.
You should always thank people who gave you good reviews and recommended your products.
Reviews that criticizes your products can give you an insight on where to improve.
Mention your store on your blog posts
Even though you plan to sell on eBay, your blog’s audience is definitely your target buyers too. Don’t miss out on mentioning on some of your blogs you sell products they may be interested in.
Don’t go overboard and keep your sales talk on the side and not your main goal.
For example, you can have a few lines on your posts that talks about a specific gear you sell, you can just hyperlink your product’s URL and mention some of its features.
Remember that your readers are still on your blog to be informed and not to be sold to.
Selling on eBay as a blogger is tough but rewarding
Jason Acidre, owner of Avaris.io once said, “With eBay’s free listing option, it never hurts to open up a store even when you’re committed to a full-time blog.” For more information about selling on eBay here’s a guide for you to sell with confidence.
Just know and understand that the market is different and how you market your product is going to be different from how you market your blog.
Simple Link Building Ideas that All Bloggers Should Do
Ah, link building. It’s a real pain in the ass.
I won’t lie – link building is a tedious and time-consuming process of acquiring backlinks from authoritative websites so you can increase your organic search ranking for your target keyword.
This reason, unfortunately, is also what makes link building a vital part of your marketing strategy. You need to actively find websites where you can leave a link to your blog so you can drive more referral traffic from organic search.
“It is necessary for enhancing the SEO of any website because Google’s algorithms consider backlinks to be important ranking factors for rankings,” says SEO Resellers Canada. “It is a difficult and time-consuming process, which is why it is recommended to get it done by SEO experts.”
As a blogger, you probably don’t have any clue where to begin. After all, you’re all about writing content alone!
However, there are simple link building ideas that you can implement on your blog even if you have zero SEO experience.
In this post, I will detail the different link building ideas that you should start doing for your blog.
Optimize your content for target keyword
As a content creator, you need to make your posts the best they can possibly be. That includes optimizing their on-page factors to make your content found much easier on search engines.
To do this, you need to find the most appropriate target keyword for each post.
Assuming that you haven’t optimized your blog content yet with the right keyword, you need to find the search phrase that encapsulates what you have written about the topic. At the same time, you need to find a target keyword that people search on Google the most.
Striking the balance between both factors will help increase the chances of your blog post to rank for its keyword and attract more organic traffic.
Not to mention, you wouldn’t know which anchor text you’ll use to link out to your posts. Doing so allows you to further optimize your site and makes it easier for people to find on search engines!
To help you identify what keywords to target, Ubersuggest will not only help you find keyword ideas from your initial search, but it will also show the approximate search volume of each. It’s the first free SEO tool that reveals search volume outside of Google Keyword Planner, which only shows the range of volume search a keyword gets every month.
The information provided by Ubersuggest will help you find specific keyword phrases for your content with the most search volume. As a result, you not only increase your organic search traffic but also set the foundation of your link building strategy.
Part of being a blogger is forming relationships with other bloggers.
Doing so opens up your blog to more opportunities for your blog. You can collaborate with other bloggers on a blog post, join roundup posts where bloggers feature your answer to a particular question related to your expertise and many others that will help elevate your brand and drive more traffic to your site.
To get to this stage in your blogging career, you need to comment on the posts of bloggers.
And I don’t mean, “Thanks for this post!” kind of comments. You need to actually share insights that help move the discussion.
The best blog posts help engage with their respective audiences and encourage them to comment on what they think about the post. Some comments can even go as long as a blog post due to the sheer value and information that the user shared in his/her comment.
So where link building fit into commenting on blogs?
When commenting, you can include a link to your blog when filling out information about yourself before typing out your comments. The anchor text will be the name that you entered in the form, so when people click on your name, they will be led straight to your blog. This form of link building is a great way to increase awareness about your blog by association with your name.
If you want to link to your blog posts, you can include a link to it in the comment body. Normally, you paste the URL of your blog post after introducing to readers about your post that helps you explain the talking points in your comment.
That said, you can’t just link out to any random post on your blog. The page you plan on linking to in your comment must be relevant to readers so the blog owner will approve your comment and not flag it as spam.
For maximum effect, you need to comment on at least five blogs a day. It will help you become more visible in the blogging community especially if you’re sharing super actionable ideas and insights. At the same time, you can build links to your blog and posts if done correctly!
Related: 5 Tips for Better Blog Commenting
Use Drop my Link
As mentioned, link building is a thorn in my side as a blogger. I hate it. And yet I’m compelled to do it because it’s a crucial piece of the puzzle in my blog marketing strategy.
What grinds my gears about link building is the thought process that goes into coming up with a sustainable link building campaign.
To maximize the effect of your link building efforts, you need to organize the different tactics that you will use on top of the research that you will have to conduct to find opportunities that you can capitalize based on your competition.
Just typing out how to come up with a link building strategy is already tiring me out!
HOWEVER, there’s a way around all this process:
While there’s no doubt that developing a campaign using different and effective link building tactics is the best way to go, some bloggers don’t need a sophisticated plan to be easily found on Google.
All they need is Drop My Link.
Upon signing up for a free account, all you need to do is type your keyword and choose the category and footprint to reveal hundreds of link building opportunities for your blog from Google Search.
Whether it’s writing guest posts, commenting on blogs, acquiring links on resource pages, and more, Drop My Link takes away the guesswork from your link building. You can get straight to the meat by identifying sites where you can, as the name of the site says, drop your link!
Wrapping it up
It’s okay if you hate link building. However, you can’t hate it because it’s difficult to do. After all, if link building is easy, then everybody would be doing it!
The tips above should help get your feet wet on how to build links to your blog. Whether you’re a newbie blogger or just really lazy when it comes to building links (such as myself), then follow the ideas above and make the most out of your blogging.
How to Make Blogs from Boring Niches Interesting
Boring niches are a big pain-in-the-neck for writers. Not only are they tiring to write about, but they also lead to lower traffic.
Imagine writing a blog about metal work and flooring. Sure, there are things to write about, but it would mostly be technical stuff.
HOWEVER, it doesn’t have to be the case!
There’s a way around that, and it’s all about finding a way to make your content interesting for your target readers. When you do, you’ll be surprised that the niche you’re writing for isn’t that boring!
Read on to know how to make your “boring” niche blog appealing!
Creating content is all about understanding your target audience’s wants regardless of your niche. Here are the best ways to spruce up your content and make a niche interesting:
1. Write in First Person
Individuals do the writing, not the company. This is where most blogs got it wrong. Write in the first-person to connect efficiently with the customers. It isn’t natural to say “we” when you’re the only one writing. Say “I” instead — common sense, I should say!
An excellent example of this is Fiskarettes, a company that makes scissors, paper cutting tools, and gardening equipment. They didn’t settle for just that as they mingled with their community of customers.
This enabled them to have taglines that commonly use the word “you” to have a more personalized connection with their customers. Though this sounds simple, using the right choice of words, in this case, pronouns, has a significant effect on your business’ salability.
Give a personalized approach to your clients or readers to improve your connection with them. Also, encourage your customers to be active in the community just like what Fiskarettes did. It’s all about socializing with them, and that’s what makes their boring niche interesting.
2. Tell a story
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can make your boring niche interesting. Think of it as a dynamic strategy that motivates the reader to finish the entire article. Stories like a failed launch, a five-year-slump, or a rags-to-riches story are fascinating to read. Sprinkle these stories on your blog, and you’ll surely get more traffic.
Salesforce is a good example of a business that uses the power of storytelling to capture people’s attention. It’s a blog that gives social media tutorials. However, it does more than that as it does it by diversifying their content.
They create how-to guides, do expert interviews, and come up with case studies which create “fluidity” in their content. Readers are then curious and motivated enough to continue reading up to their heart’s content.
Telling a story makes your content easy-to-read. Be straightforward and describe a product or issue in the simplest way possible. Strip away all the technicalities and explain it as it is. What it is, how it works, and the benefits you can get are the essential parts of an article. Also, inject a bit of fun to lighten up the mood.
3. Provide statistics
Providing statistics makes something look big. Describing how a hydroelectric power plant works won’t get you lots of readers. But if you said that this hydroelectric power plant could power 5 million homes, then that would surely capture people’s attention. Look for huge points and make a big deal out of it.
Kogan, an online electronics store draws inspiration from this strategy. They have a gimmick where they tax a client if it’s found out that they’re using Internet Explorer.
Though they don’t use numbers, it’s evident that many people can attest to the “inefficiency” of the browser.
Technical blogs are full of “unrelatable” information for common people. You can solve this problem by using stats. Find a statistic of a certain issue and use it as a title. “How One Article Got Viewed 1M Times Through Facebook” will capture everyone’s attention even if the content features a lot of technical information. Graphs, inside information, and tables are also sure-fire ways to make your readers interested.
4. Get a personality
Blogs that talk about tech, finance, and B2Bs are the less attractive of niches. The reason is that bloggers think that these areas are exclusively for their readers — tech enthusiasts, analysts, and entrepreneurs. It then becomes an “undecipherable” article that only a few people can understand. Little do they know that there are also other people who want to learn from it!
Ukelele Hunt is a site that’s all about ukeleles. And we all know that not everyone is into ukes! So what they did was that they developed their personality.
They have their distinct theme and vibe that you’ll only find in them. They also have their blog, tutorials, chord guides, reviews, and even eBooks — all with the Ukelele Hunt brand.
Talk in a personal voice, but don’t sacrifice professionalism. You can be professional, but don’t be too formal, rigid, or stiff. Talk like how a person talks to another person. Share real-life examples if needed, and always write with attitude and emotions. This gives your blog post a more personal touch to it.
Also, make your blog interactive. It makes your blog appealing. Engage with your readers and make them participate in your blog. You can do this by having viewing options where your readers can change how they want to read your article. It could be a slider, read more button, or call-to-action popups.
Content is the lifeblood of blogs, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the only important thing. Web design also plays a huge role in a blog’s attractiveness. Make sure that your blog isn’t overly stuffed with unnecessary buttons and features. Keep it simple but sleek, compact but jam-packed with useful features. The header, content area, footer, and sidebar are all you need. Also be up-to-date with the latest web design trends.
Take for example Elite Legal Marketing, a digital marketing firm that specializes in web design, SEO, and content production. Their site features all these characteristics.
This makes the blog user-friendly, attractive, and more likely to get more leads. Their site entices people to avail their services even if the niche they’re specializing in isn’t that popular. It’s not about the niche; it’s about how you use that niche to your advantage!
Leave a mark on social media
You’d be missing out a huge market if you won’t use social media. There are 2.5 billion active social media users, and each of them can be your follower. Using social media makes your blog reachable, knowing that almost everyone is into it. Promote your content on targeted channels where your audience is found. Doing so makes follower interaction and acquisition easier.
Take for example Fractl, a content marketing agency that uses social media to rake in higher traffic. They have this strategy called “tangential” marketing where they write about things that aren’t offered by the business. Surprisingly, they get lots of social shares, proving that the content is interesting. This enables them to expand and make their niche more attractive.
Your niche might not be that popular, but you can use that to your advantage with the help of social media. You have fewer competitors when promoting a blog who’s niche isn’t that entertaining. Let’s say you have a blog that sells different kinds of cactus. You then create social media accounts on different networks. Getting followers and clients is a piece-of-cake. It’s easier for you to penetrate the market because there are not many cactus businesses online.
Everything is possible if you know how. Boring niches might be “irredeemable,” but with the help of this article, you can turn it into something more interesting. Just remember to write with attitude, be professional, and be creative as possible. A good example would be to adapt to the niche market and audience. Know what they like and give it to them. When you do, then your blog will surely gain traffic (lots of it).
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