How To Keep Your Website Fresh

Tips on Keeping Your Website Fresh!

The most engaging websites are those that draw in repeat visitors and retain them for an active and exploratory session.

Here are several easy-to-implement ideas to keep your website fresh and engaging.

Blog Posts

If you have a blog, be sure to maintain it with regular posts. These could be monthly, weekly, or daily depending on your goals and schedule availability. (Read this interesting article to see the surprising results one blogger experienced statistically and emotionally when he increased from weekly to daily blogging.)

If you haven’t yet started a blog, come up with a calendar for the next 3-6 months before publishing. This will help you avoid getting writer’s block and keep you motivated.

Here are a few ideas for simple blog posts that can add value content on a weekly basis:

  • Round-up of themed ideas/products relating to your industry. (Example: “15 Best Electronic Assembly Tools for 2015”)
  • Commentary on latest industry news bit. Provide basic advice with forecasts and your expert opinion.
  • Directions or video for unusual ways to use your product. Survey social media fans to get ideas.

Photos From Events

Did you recently host or attend an industry related event? Share photos! These photos may show the personality of your staff or retain a strict business appearance — you decide the tone of your business style. If you attend a conference, be sure to find out if photos are allowed before snapping away.

Create a basic photo album, but be sure to add descriptive headlines and notes to present an overall storyline. Share it on your social network with a link back to your site.

Slider Pics On Home Page

Most WordPress themes allow you to place a slider on your homepage. If it doesn’t, you can add a plugin like the Soliloquy slider plug-in, so you can add sliding images to your home page highlighting various new features, articles, products/services, and press releases. If you publish a new blog post, you should put up a new slider pic replacing the old blog post reference. Keep about 3-5 slider pics rotating. More than that will usually be less effective. Readers may need to see the same image rotate through twice for it to catch their attention.

Hire a designer or web developer to create a template to allow you to easily change out the text and photos on slider pics. This way you can always add new slider images as frequently as you may have need. One example of a sliding image feature can be seen on the LuckyFish Media home page.

Stay Inspired

One of the best things you can do to keep a creative outlook for your website is to visit others. Artists regularly use a similar practice to stay inspired, visiting galleries and museums to see refreshing imagery similar to or very unlike their own.

Take a few minutes each week to visit your competitor’s sites and your favorite industry sites. What new features do you see? In what ways have the graphics or images changed? What are they blogging about? Keep a notebook, tablet, or smartphone handy to jot a few notes. Put into practice your favorite ideas or present them to your web developer for consideration.

The Dos and Don’ts of Updating

Regularly review your site every 3-6 months to consider changes. This helps your website maintain more relevance with readers and with search engines algorithms. When updating your site, be sure to avoid certain website mistakes including outdated content, lack of calls to action, and/or inappropriate font text and size.

Need help keeping your WordPress site current with latest malware protection and plug-ins? Let LuckyFish Media handle your WordPress site updates!

3 Steps To Get More Email Subscribers

Email is not going to disappear. Possibly ever. Until the robots kill us all,” says Paul Buchheit, a founder of FriendFeed

Here are some phrases I’ve gotten when telling clients/friends the benefits of creating a good email list.

  • It’s too hard.
  • It takes too long to build a large subscriber list.
  • I don’t know where to start.
  • Social Media is better for getting new clients.
  • Email is old school, people don’t read newsletters.
  • Nobody wants to sign up for my newsletter
  • Newsletters are too hard to manage.

Now, let’s compare that with some real world statistics regarding email marketing (Source: http://www.emailisnotdead.com/)

  • 91% of consumers check their email daily
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as the result of an email marketing message
  • Email Marketing has a whopping ROI (return on investment) of 4,300%
  • 80% of content marketersuse email marketing – CMI “B2B Content Marketing Research” (2014)
  • Email is almost40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter – McKinsey & Company (2014)
  • 42% of businesses say email is one of their most effective lead generation channels. And for B2B marketers, 88% say email is the most effective lead generation tactic – Circle Research (2012)

Do you feel differently about Email Marketing now?

Here are a couple of tips and some suggestions on how to get started building your own email subscriber list.

1. Ask – If you don’t ask, you’ll never know

The first step to getting more email subscribers is to ask people to sign-up. If site visitors don’t know about your newsletter program, then it will be difficult to obtain new leads. Most importantly, you want to make sure that signing up for you email list is super easy.

Email sign-up forms that ask for too many details are seen as cumbersome by most folks. You can do a survey later, not at the time of sign-up. Think of this like eating a 5-course meal — do you prefer eating the salad, dessert, and entre all at once? Or is it better to space them apart so you can enjoy each step of the dinner?

Keep your sign-up form as brief as possible. I recommend a name and an email. That’s it. If it takes someone more than a few seconds to sign up, they won’t.

Here are the steps a new subscriber should go through if they sign up for your list.

Step 1: Enter their email address.

Step 2: Confirm their email address

Step 3: Start receiving emails from you 🙂

OK, You Convinced me, but what’s the best place for my Email Signup Form on my website?

Letting people know about your mailing list should be done in a classy, not “bashing visitors over the head”, way. Keep in mind, that many visitors don’t always come to your website in the same way. For example, some may start on your homepage, while others start on your blog page.

This is why I recommend having the option to sign up for you email list in a few locations, not just in one spot. Some suggestions might be; in your sidebar, underneath you website banner, at the end of your blog posts, and an unobtrusive pop up or slide in. (With a pop up or slide in, I recommend having the pop up come in at least 30 seconds into the visitors visit. If someone comes to your site and starts reading, and a pop up covers the screen, they will close it immediately. It may annoy them to the point where they may leave your site all together.)

Additional Quick Tips: Show an example of the kinds of information, coupons, etc. that may be found in the email, so visitors know what to expect. Also, send out your emails on a consistent basis. If you don’t send anything for 1 year, and then start sending out emails regarding your product, people will leave your list because they don’t remember who you are or why they signed up for your list in the first place.

2. Offer an Incentive – “Use a Carrot”

Generally speaking, people will not sign up for your newsletter just because they like you or think you are cool. By Offering a simple, but valuable, incentive to entice people to sign up you will have much better results. This could be an e-book you’ve published, a one-time coupon for your products, a free sample, an entry to a giveaway raffle, or some other creative offering. The point is, once you get a lead to sign-up for your emails, no matter the initial reason, they are more likely to return to your site in the future.

I highly recommend that whatever item you offer as a “carrot” that it be professional quality. If it’s not good enough to sell, it might not be good enough. If people download your eBook, only to find it’s very poor quality, it will give them the idea any future products you offer, will also be poor quality.

3. How to Get Started – Tools I recommend

If you are going to start an email list I recommend either MailChimp or Constant Contact. (Here’s a review of 6 email marketing software tools) MailChimp is dead simple to set up and allows you to create multiple lists, as well as an automation system. An automation system, will allow you to send a series of welcome emails to the new subscribers of your list. This is a great way to build a relationship with your new subscribers.

Another tool I recommend is Optinmonster. It’s a great WordPress plugin that will help you convert your visitors into subscribers and customers. It will allow you to start collecting email addresses very quickly.

I hope you enjoyed this tips. Now, go forth and get more people on your email list! 🙂

Do you need some assistance getting your online marketing started or sustained? Checkout LuckyFish Media services to improve your site goals.

3 Website Mistakes to Avoid

We’ve all come across ancient websites and nearly laughed aloud at the old style of graphics, simplicity of design, and often boring content. With ever-changing expectations for website design, how do you know if you site is making mistakes like these?

Take a look at these key website mistakes to avoid to be sure your website is ready for modern audiences.

1. Out-of-Date Content

Providing website visitors with out-of-date content is one of the worst pitfalls for marketing your company image and value.

For example, if a user clicks your “News” tab and finds that the latest piece of news is from 2013, he or she is going to believe your entire website may not have been updated for years. This calls into question everything about your business  — standards, product usefulness, dedication to the industry, and plain and simple professionalism.

Many websites avoid dating content at all. Others regularly date items such as blog posts, news releases, and more. The important key is to regularly review and edit your site. If you choose to share news articles featuring your company or product, do so regularly. If you don’t have anything fresh to share, maybe it’s best to remove that portion of the site.

2. Lacking Calls to Action

Do you know what feature distinguished Facebook from other social media sites in the early race to domination? It was the “Like” button. Before Facebook introduced the “Like” button in 2009, users had to textually comment to show interaction with a post. The “Like” button is a simple call to action, but gets highly responsive results. One study of the “Like” button suggests that the history of “Liking” goes much deeper than the history of Facebook. This goes to show that a well researched call to action is worth investigating.

Informing website visitors what to do next or providing an interactive way to communicate preferences greatly lowers bounce rates and improves conversions. These next-step suggestions are called “Calls to Action”. Calls to action may be an anchored text link, an image button link with text, or a sentence including a quick link. Examples of each style:

Take a look at each page of your website, are you lacking calls to action? If so, this is one crucial component of your website you’ve got to improve immediately!

Which call to action style should you choose? Actually, the best way to answer this question is through testing. Set-up an A/B split test to present two different calls to actions to your site visitors in equal shares. Monitor which call to action style gets retains more visitors and/or leads to conversions. This will provide the best insight to which strategy, wording, colors, etc. are best for your particular business needs.

3. Inappropriate Font Size and Type

Font size and type play an important role in the emotions a website evokes on its readers. And now is the time to consider making font changes since recent browser support changes have made more font options a reality.

In a study about fonts by Microsoft and MIT researchers, many important findings about font size and type were discovered. More aesthetically pleasing fonts result in a happier mood and greater reading engagement. Secondarily, the happier mood encourages better cognitive abilities post-reading. Essentially, what this means is that it’s important to consider the font on your website if you want to influence your visitors in a particular way.

Different fonts may also evoke certain cultural emotions. For example, Helvetica font is what is used by the US government on tax forms. This association may produce unwanted side effects in mood. On the other hand, scripted fonts produce more romantic feelings, but are not easy to read for large bodies of text. In general, San-serif fonts like Arial and Calibri appear more informal than Serif fonts such as Times New Roman. A knowledgeable website designer should be able to help you consider which font is best for your purposes and audience.

Font size is just as vital as the type. Too small a font may be difficult for many readers and come across as intentionally misleading (as in the case of the “fine print” on giveaways.) For years it has been noted that font size 12pt and above is ideal, however many contemporary websites are moving towards fonts 20pt and larger. One recent study on font size suggests that these large fonts produce positive emotional responses. Again, these positive emotional responses are crucial to the actions of your website visitors.

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