Category

Websites

WordPress plugins – how many can you have?

By Internet marketing, Websites, WordPress No Comments

There is not a clear cut answer to this question.

However, in general terms, the answer is: ‘the fewer, the better’.

The Marketing Compass recommends that you don’t have more than 20 plugins (there is a WordPress Group there). Even this number feels quite high.

At the time of writing, there are some 50,000 WordPress plugins available.

Popular plugins include Akismet (anti-spam); forms (numerous plugins offer form creation capabilities); Google Analytics (so that you can get analytics working throughout your site): Jetpack (site performance and many helpful features); MailChimp (email marketing); Yoast (which helps with SEO); and WooCommerce (ecommerce).

There are 7 plugins in the above list and it is easy to keep adding new ones. This happens when you think of something that you would like to do within your website. I know, as I have nine WordPress websites.

The challenges of having too many plugins start with website loading speed.

This is a Google SEO ranking factor.

If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load you have a problem.

Many website visitors will not hang around waiting for your site to appear.

What is more, plugin conflict can occur: i.e. one WordPress plugin can upset another plugin. If this happens to you, it is a good idea to backup your website before you start working on it.

Nigel Temple is a digital marketing consultant.

Increasing conversion rates

By Internet marketing, SEO, Success, Websites No Comments

Digital marketing definition of conversion rate

The percentage of website visitors that reach a given goal, i.e. reaching a specific web page; filling in a contact form; making an e-commerce purchase; registering as a user; subscribing to your newsletter; downloading a free trial; or asking you for more information.

The big question is: do you know what your conversion rate is for specific areas of your digital marketing process?

To increase conversion rates:

  • Increase the amount of website traffic that you receive by using more of the 300 promotional techniques that are available to you
  • Have a website that loads as quickly as possible
  • Write in the language of benefits, not the language of features
  • Pay more attention to your headlines; if they don’t like the headline the rest of the content is a waste of time
  • Pay more attention to the structure of your webcopy; I have spent 30 years studying this and I offer webcopywriting training – how much experience does your website writer (or writers) have?
  • Include social proof i.e testimonial statements, case studies etc
  • Include a guarantee that you will deliver whatever is promised
  • Consider the design of your page: does it work in relation to the conversion that you are trying to achieve? For example, is there too much clutter and too many distractions?
  • Ensure that optin boxes, forms etc are highly visible; ideally they should be visible when the screen loads; if this is not possible include signposting
  • Include more calls to action and make them stronger
  • Minimise the number of fields within enquiry forms
  • Did you know that green is the most effective colour for Buy Now buttons?
  • Test different approaches and variants
  • Continually measure what is working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly
  • You can measure sales, sales enquiries, contact forms filled in, registered users, number of downloads, number of unique visitors, number of pages read and many other things.

If you need help with conversation by all means get in touch – click here.

Digital marketing consultant

Choosing an internet marketing consultant

By Internet marketing, Nigel Temple, Promotional techniques, SEO, Social media, Websites

Impartial, independent third party advice and feedback on your internet marketing activities can make all the difference. Here is a checklist for choosing an internet marketing consultant:

* Begin by deciding what you want the consultant to help you with, i.e. creating an internet marketing plan, increasing traffic, a website review, web copywriting review, an SEO audit and feedback, improving social media engagement, improving conversion rates,  generating more enquiries / sales (or all of these).
* Look for someone with a wide range of experience in different industries
* Does their website give you confidence? Is it well designed, does it look professional and is it easy to navigate?
* Do they display testimonials within their website?
* Does the consultant also teach? Where have they taught internet marketing?
* Does the consultant understand web copywriting?
* Can they demonstrate a thorough understanding of SEO?
* Do they have professional marketing qualifications, for example a marketing degree?
* Has the consultant built any websites? How successful are these sites?
* How many clients has the consultant worked for?
* How quickly do they respond to your enquiry?

Choose three or four consultants and talk to them on the phone. Ask them to give you some initial feedback on your website. Request a written quotation for their services by email.

Read about Nigel’s digital marketing consultant services.

Here is some typical feedback:
“I revamped the site taking into your comments and the bookings have gone crazy. We’ve just had our best ever week! Thanks so much, your magic has worked!” ~ Neil Ross

Nigel Temple internet marketing consultantNigel Temple is an internet marketing consultant, author, speaker and trainer. He shows business owners, professionals and teams how to get better results from 21st century marketing – including online brand awareness, improved search engine rankings, social media effectiveness, website traffic and sales enquiries / sales.

Nigel has taught internet marketing since 2000. He served as a Faculty Member and Course Director at CIM (the Chartered Institute of Marketing) for 12 years. He led over 500 Business Link workshops, focusing on website effectiveness, SEO and social media. Today, he delivers internet marketing events for The Marketing Compass which provides impartial marketing advice for business owners. He has worked in dozens of countries around the world including the USA, Dubai and Japan.

To find out more about Nigel’s services email joanna@nigeltemple.com or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about 21st century marketing, social media and digital marketing. He has appeared within the national press and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions,

Here is an online SEO course.

Follow Nigel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nigeltemple

Should an image be included in a blog?

By Blogging, Internet marketing, Social media, Websites No Comments

For some time, I have been asking myself: should an image be included in a blog? I realise that this is not the greatest question facing humanity, but it certainly has been bugging me. I am a visual person and I like to see colourful images. However, when I create a blog I have noticed how time consuming it is to find an appropriate image that I like, download it, check the file size and if necessary shrink it, add some text and a logo and then upload it and check it within the blog entry. Phew!

Not that I mind the work involved. However, I want to ensure that I am using my time to the best effect. So I revisited two of my favourite bloggers: Seth Godin and Neil Patel and Voila! Neither of them use images in their (text based) blogs. By the way, in Neil’s case you have to click around a bit to find a text blog, in that he does a lot of video blogging. (He is famous for the Marketing School podcast).

Now let’s think about the blog entries themselves. When you visit someone’s blog, is it the big image at the top of the entry that you are interested in – or the words that they have written? I have been using ‘Set featured image’ within WordPress for some time, after I discovered that by doing this, the image appears properly within social media. The problem is that by doing this, the image dominates the screen when you visit the blog page.

In addition, an image can slow down the page loading speed (which is a Google Ranking factor, by the way). Have inadvertently uploaded some massive images to my blog, I started using Tinypng to shrink PNG and JPEG images.

I am an inveterate Mind Mapper and I use these ‘thought organisation diagrams’ in my marketing training and public speaking sessions. A Mind Mind or a process schematic would help my readers to understand the text – so that would be a good reason to include them. When I do, I must remember to add an alt tag. (So much to do, such little time).

PS As I am sure you know, blog, blog entry, and post mean the same thing.

What to look for in Google Analytics

By Google Analytics, Internet marketing, SEO, Websites

Here is a quick checklist of what to look for in Google Analytics. If you don’t use Google Analytics frequently, it can be confusing can’t it?

These are 3 key areas that I look at when I spend five minutes looking at Google Analytics for one of my websites or one of my clients. (Sometimes, I spend a lot longer).

Once you have logged in you will see a menu on the left hand side of the screen (if you are using a desktop / laptop). We are going to use:
Audience
Acquistion
Behaviour
….from this menu.

Audience / Overview – what are they doing when they visit?

Towards the top RHSide (Right Hand Side) of the screen, change the date range so that you are looking at three months. I have found that this is a reasonable time period, to measure changes.

If you have more than 5 minutes at your disposal, when you are working with Google Analytics, you can change the viewing period to see what difference it makes. However, for comparison purposes – it is important to stick to the same time period.

Within Audience / Overview you can see: Sessions. Users. Page views. Pages / Sessions. Bounce rate. Also, you can see a pie chart of new versus returning visitors. NB You can change the settings so that you can see different information.

Acquisition / Overview – where did the website visitors come from?

Within this view you can see:
Direct – i.e. visitors have typed your website address into a browser
Referral – they have found your website by clicking on a link in a website
Organic search – they found you via Google search
Social – they found you by clicking a link in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc
Email – they clicked on a link from an email, i.e. your website address if you place this after your name, phone number etc

Behaviour / Overview

Shows a list of the most popular pages within your website.

If you see:   /

….at top, or near the top of the list, this means ‘home page’. You can click any of the pages and drill down for more information.

Conclusion

It is a good idea to login to Google Analytics and make a note of some of the key stats, i.e. the ones that I have listed above, in a spreadsheet. Then login a week later and make a note of the new numbers within a separate row within the spreadsheet.

I always include Google Analytics when I build a website and I am always keen to show the website owner how to use the software in order to improve their website.

We have an SEO Group within The Marketing Compass website.

Website navigation bar tips

By Internet marketing, Webcopy, Websites, WordPress No Comments

Imagine that you are looking for a specific product or service that you market. Now take a look at your website. Does your navigation make it easy to find the relevant item? Is it easy to understand? Is everything in the right order?

Here is a simple navigation bar:

Home
About
Services (or Products)
Blog
Contact

Notice that there are only 5 options.

in general terms, fewer is better.

An upper limit would be 9 items.

Use drop downs to reveal other options.

Ensure that the menu works well on smartphones and other mobile devices.

If the customer hasn’t visited your site before, they will be looking for something. If they can’t find it quickly, they will disappear.

Visitors will spend a few seconds looking for what they’re after. If it is buried or difficult to find, you’re making them work too hard and they will go elsewhere.

My first book was about writing words for websites. During the research for this book, I looked at hundreds of website navigation bars.

By the way, there is a trend away from navigation bars altogether. Here an example: www.marketingrobot.co.uk

Website development

You have 1 second to convince customers to stay on your website

By Webcopy, Websites No Comments

Imagine that you are seeing your website homepage for the very first time.

The website has  1 second to convince you to ‘stick around town’.

Two types of people visit your site: strangers and friends. Strangers include people who are looking to buy and friends include customers and people that know you.

They are busy. They are on a mission. They want an answer to their question or a way to solve their problem and they want it now.

Online, first impressions count.  The customer’s heart will either sing or sink as they look at your site.

How many customers are you losing, by not passing the ‘1 second homepage’ test?

Website development

Website navigation bars – desktop and mobile

By Internet marketing, Websites, WordPress No Comments

There are many ways in which a website page can be designed. A key issue has become the number of website visitors that are using smartphones to browse websites. Across the board, this is now typically 60%. For consumer brands this can be much higher.

A key design element is the navigation bar. When I am asked about my website writing services, the nav bar forms an early part of the conversation. Here are some tips for you:

Navigation bars
Aim for between 7 and 9 items in your website nav bar
It is fine to use drop down menu items
Many successful / larger websites use secondary nav bar menus
Check to see how the nav bar looks on different devices
(mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers)
Within mobile phones, a standard menu can take up a lot of space at the top of the small screen; you can use a ‘hamburger icon’ or hamburger menu (AKA pancake or hotdog) which comprises three parallel horizontal lines ☰ which is usually positioned in the top left hand or top right hand corner of a mobile phone screen
A breadcrumb trail helps users to understand where they are in your website
Ideally, use only one word for each nav bar item.
For example, ‘About’ is better than ‘About us’

Lower case is easier to read than upper case. On this basis, it is better to have
Home About Services Contact …than HOME ABOUT SERVICES CONTACT

Within WordPress, by the way, it is easy to change your website’s menu structure as they have a drag and drop system.

My services include webcopy writing training:

Copywriting training for digital marketing communication

Tubebuddy review – YouTube productivity

By SEO, Videos, Websites No Comments


Are you using videos to market your business? If not, you should consider doing so.

Do you have a YouTube channel? Hopefully, you have answered ‘yes’ to this question as
there are over 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute of the day.
A billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube every single day.

Tubebuddy www.tubebuddy.com channel management browser plugin helps content creators,
brands and networks grow their brands directly from within YouTube.

Tubebuddy is a Chrome browser extension that integrates with your YouTube channel.

* Perform bulk updates to your videos, i.e. adding annotations or cards to all your videos with a few clicks.

* Create embed codes with the full list of options for adding videos or playlists to your website.

* Use Tubebuddy to perform Find/Replace routines on your videos.

* Generate professional custom thumbnails using screenshots and branding/text layers.

* Export your list of subscribers and their social profiles.

* Promote your new upload across all other videos.

* A series of End Screen Templates are available.

Tubebuddy is a paid for service and the pricing starts at US$9 per month.

If you are serious about your YouTube channel then Tubebuddy is worth looking at.