All posts by WEB ROI

Jason’s Tips: Digital Main Street Grant

Grant written in blocks

Last week, the Government of Ontario, in partnership with the Government of Canada launched it’s $57-million Digital Main Street Initiative. The initiative is aiding up to 22,900 small businesses to create, launch, and enhance their online presence and expand their reach to new customers in and beyond Ontario. Watch the WEB ROI Tip of the Week video for more details!

Today, small businesses can apply for grants up to $2500 each to assist them in building and enhancing their small business’ online presence.

The funding may be used by small businesses to support eligible costs to help implement their Digital Transformation Plan. These can include costs in relation to:

  • Digital marketing (the cost to hire a consultant/agency) to execute digital marketing initiative
  • Website development (develop a new website, redevelopment/improvements)
  • Software (graphic design, productivity software, database, social media software, (e.g. Hootsuite, Dropbox, Buffer)(; security software.
  • Optimizing websites for search (i.e. cost to hire a search optimization consultant)
  • setting up e-commerce, back-office solutions.
  • social media advertising
  • create customer databases
  • professional photography service for a website or e-commerce site
  • Digital training (courses)
  • Some hardware upgrades

Start your application process now, OR schedule a call and we will walk you through the process of getting qualified.

Learn more about the Digital Transformation Grant here

We’re here to help! Connect with us and we can help you with the process of collecting and activating your Digital Transformation.


How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos for Search Engines

Video Concept

There’s no question that video content is a major factor when it comes to getting more leads and conversions online in the modern business world. There’s also no question that when it comes to platforms, YouTube reigns supreme in the world of video. But what many people don’t know is that much like your website, simply putting out content is not enough; you also need to optimize it for search engines to get the best results. 

Keep reading to learn how to optimize your YouTube videos for search (SEO). These useful tips will help your videos get found when people are looking for what you have to offer. 

Insert Keywords Naturally into the Video Title 

The title of your video is usually enough to get viewers to watch, but it’s important that it’s relevant and includes the keywords you hope to rank for. Short, concise titles that are in exact alignment with what people are about to see and have keywords inserted so they sound natural will help your SEO efforts. 

Rename the Video File Using a Keyword 

Renaming the video file and adding a keyword or two is another YouTube video optimization best practice that is easy to implement. When the video is uploaded, YouTube can read the video file name to get an idea of what it’s about, so having commonly searched keywords in there will help.  

Be Consistent 

Consistency may not necessarily be an optimization tip for YouTube videos, but it will help you build a solid base of subscribers to enhance your reach. Staying top of mind will help with your followers and with search engines, as they see you are posting regularly and adding value to people’s YouTube experience. Additionally, accounts with many subscribers tend to rank higher in YouTube searches.  

Optimize the Description 

The video description is another good place for YouTube video search optimization. The official character limit for a description is 1,000 characters, but that doesn’t mean you have to use that many. Anyone that finds your video is looking to watch, not read. Typically, only 100 or so characters will show before the visitor has to click to read more, so use that space to add important links, Calls to Action (CTA) and similar information.  

Call to Action Concept

Use Appropriate Tags   

When you tag your video with relevant keywords, you let viewers know what it’s about and you also let YouTube know what it’s about. They use tags to determine the content and context of your video, but be careful to use tags that are relevant to the content of the video or you’ll end up having the opposite effect. 

Categorize the Video 

After your video is uploaded, you can go to ‘Advanced Settings’ to categorize it. This will help it get grouped with similar content so it gains more exposure and is added to a variety of playlists. Take some time to research what seems to be working well in different categories before you choose one for your video. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize your YouTube videos for SEO, get in touch with us at WEB ROI today. 


Jason’s Tips: Google My Business Attribute Changes

Update Concept

Google has released an update, adding 4 new attributes to Google My Business listings (Google Maps).

You will notice these 4 attributes appearing in business knowledge panels:

  • Online Care
  • Online Appointment
  • Online Estimates
  • Online Classes

Why this is important

Using attributes in your GMB listing can make your listing stand out and catch searchers’ attention by highlighting your most important service offerings

Traditionally, attributes have been used as triggers to drive visitors to your physical location, but with current restrictions on traffic levels and disinfecting requirements, many businesses are serving their clients online more than ever before.

Even as businesses reopen, consumers are feeling very cautious and are seeking online alternatives to services they used to access in person, such as doctors, fitness instructors, therapists, and others.

Traditionally, searchers would type in a query and then click a link to your website, landing page, or social media channel. But more and more, in recent years, we’ve seen searchers engaging directly from the search page, usually directly on the GMB listing. These new attributes make it even easier and more likely that searchers will convert to a lead or opportunity directly from your GMB listing.

How can you add Attributes to Your Google My Business Listing

  • Sign int to Google My Business
  • Open the location you’d like to manage
  • From the menu, click info
  • Find “Add Attributes” and click Edit
  • when finished, click Apply

**Note that available attributes may vary according to your business category.

I have created a video that outlines these changes and what that can mean for you. Check out the video here.

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call.


Don’t Lose Potential Customers: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Optimizing concept

Your Google My Business page, sometimes called your Google Page or business listing. This is the section that shows up on the right side of a Google search results page when you search for a business or business type. Here you will see the name of the business, the location, phone number, buttons to leave a review and visit the website. On mobile, this is often the first thing to show up when searching Google. Did you know as a business owner you have control over much of what appears here?  

Optimizing your Google My Business listing is incredibly important as this may be one of the first places that your customers find you. Ensuring you have accurate information allows shoppers to find you quickly and have the most accurate information.  

We have compiled a Google My Business optimization checklist of things you need to do for your business to make certain that your Google My Business page is working for you and ensuring you are not losing customers due to inaccurate information.  

Claim Your Listing 

The first step to take when optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) page is to verify your business. When you verify your business, you are ensuring that only you, the business owner, manager or marketing agency, can make modifications to your page. This ensures that all information will be accurate to your business page and will be managed correctly and to your standard.  

Take the time to create or claim a GMB listing, once you have created your GMB listing you will be asked to verify youlisting. Depending on the type of business you have you will have different ways of verifying your listing, which is determined by Google. The most common form of verification is via mail, in which you will receive a postcard with a PIN that you will use to verify your listing.  

A couple of benefits arise when you take the time to verify your business. When your business is verified you will be eligible to appear on Maps, Search and other Google services. Verifying your business is also the only way you can respond to reviews. The benefits of responding to reviews will be outlined in a later section.  

Complete Your Profile 

Once your GMB page has been verified you can take the necessary steps to update your profile with all the necessary information. This information will provide shoppers with all they need so they can interact with your business. The following are areas of your profile that should be completed:  

  • Address: Add your address, if you have multiple locations you can add them to your profile so you will be easier to find. 
  • Hours: Update your hours accordingly. Google has now added multiple ways to update hours based on different services. Have office hours but also have store front hours, you can now differentiate between the two.  
  • Type of Business & Description: Provide shoppers with information about your business, this also includes creating a description with keywords. Shoppers will read this and determine if they would like to work with you.  
  • Categories: Select the categories that your business falls into. This will help your business show up when people search for those categories (I.e. landscaper, landscape contractor, contractor).  
  • Q & AUpdate this section with your FAQ’s. This way you can stay on top of potential questions that shoppers may have. This also shows that you are intuitive to your customers’ needs and are willing to take proactive steps to help them.  

Upload concept

Upload Photos to Your Google My Business Page 

There are several different types of photos that you can add to your GMB page that will help you optimize your page. The following are the three types of photos you should have:  

  • Logo: Add your logo, so customers can easily recognize your brand when they search for you. 
  • Cover Photo: Add a cover photo that represents your company. Adding a cover photo does not guarantee that this will be the first picture someone sees. 
  • Additional Photos: These are photos that highlight your business and different areas of your business (I.e. products, store front, project photos etc.) 

These additional photos can also be optimized to better improve your position on a search, namely they help differentiate you from other businesses. Follow these guidelines when uploading photos to your GMB Page:  

  • Categorize Photos: When you categorize photos users can easily see pictures that are relevant to their purchase decision.  
  • Geo Tag Photos: Geotag photos so that your business becomes more relevant to customers searching for your services in a specific area. This again helps with visibility and differentiation.  
  • Update Frequently: Update your photos frequently, this will keep the content on your page relevant to users.  
  • Gather Photos from Customers: Happy customers will want to show off your products and services, ask them to take pictures and upload as you receive them to keep content relevant and meaningful.  

Photos are a visual representation of your business, take the opportunity to invest in good business specific photos that depict your business as customers would like to see it. Pictures of your exterior will allow users to easily identify your business. Interior photos will depict the environment that they will be stepping into, which will entice them to come visit your business. Other photos like team events, team members working together, products and services demonstrate company culture and provide customers with a glimpse into your business fostering trust. Which will entice customers to interact with your business.  

Utilize Updates and Posts 

Using the Posts functionality on Google My Business is a great way to engage and inform your clients before they get to your website. A post in not limited to one single style, you can upload a post that focuses on an update, an offer or a sale. Each has a specific function that can help you get accurate information to your potential clients.  


Using the posts functionality on GMB is a great way to update clients on any news. Are you open? Are you experiencing a higher than normal volume of calls and emails and won’t be able to reach everyone on time? Use this basic format to update your clients on any information that may be pertinent to them. Shoppers will likely see your Google My Business Page before reaching your website, informing them before they take extra steps will foster favour for your brand.  


You can easily post an offer on your Google My Business Page. Is there a new product you would like to inform your clients about? Use a post to show clients a photo of the product and highlight any information about the product 


Will there be a sale or event that you would like to inform shoppers about? Use a post to inform them of the sale or event timeline, what they can expect and even add a picture to highlight what will be on sale or what the event will be about.  

The benefit of using posts to inform your clients, is that you can direct them to your website for more information, the online shop, a form on your website and you can easily set up calls straight from the post. The options are endless! They all lead to happy clients that will be happy to work with you again and refer you to others. 

Gather Reviews  

You may think that gathering reviews is not a worthwhile investment. We are here to tell you that it is. When you respond to reviews on GMB, whether positive or negativeyou are building your customers trust. Replying to reviews demonstrates to shoppers that you are interested in your customers and what they have to say about their experience. This will also foster future reviews, as shoppers will have proof that you value them.  

The most important reason for replying to reviews is that it can increase leads. When you respond to reviews you are increasing your visibility on Google and thusly, more people are willing to visit your location and/or website.  

Should I Respond to Both Positive and Negative Reviews? 

Both positive and negative reviews are beneficial to your business, as they increase your visibility on Google. Take the time to respond to all reviews, this is your opportunity to thank those that had a great experience and to respond to those that had a negative experience.  

As mentioned, respond to the negative reviews. Let those shoppers know you value them and their experience and show them that you are willing to learn and improve your business. Apologize for what you can control and explain to them the things you cannot control but develop steps that can prevent these uncontrollable events from making a major difference. An example of an uncontrollable event is the weather. The weather has cancelled an event, in the future monitoring the weather and providing advance notice may mitigate the negative effects of the uncontrollable event  

When you respond to reviews you foster good relationships with your customers which will lead to more sales.  

When responding to reviewkeep in mind a few things:  

  • Be kind; regardless of the type of review  
  • Don’t get personal 
  • Keep your response short  
  • Thank ALL of your reviewers  
  • Do not use this as a sales opportunity  

Someone giving star rating on mobile

Ask For Reviews 

Ask for reviews! You would be surprised how many happy customers would love to leave a review highlighting your great services and/or products, but they simply don’t know how to do it. Direct customers to your GMB page and let them know easy it is to leave reviews via mobile devices or desktops and watch reviews come in.  

Ultimately, Google My Business is a great tool to use to put your business at the forefront of a shopper’s mind. When you have taken the time to optimize your GMB, customers will easily be able to find all the information they need, from store hours, updates and future events it is all there.  

Your Google My Business page is now considered an extension to your social media account, so use it to your advantage by consistently updating the information shoppers will see. 

Your Google My Business Page is likely the first page shoppers will see. Foster trust and brand recognition by constantly keeping information up to date. As a customer the easier it is to find the information that I need the more willing I will be to work with your business.  


Jason’s Tips: How Do You Know If Your Digital Marketing Is Working?

Meausing business results concept

Do you know how well your marketing is working?

Sure, it may be easy to ask people how they heard about you, but do you do that consistently? Does your staff?

We’ve surveyed small business owners over the past 3 years:

  • 98% say lead generation is important for their business
  • 58% say they do not get enough leads to meet their sales objectives
  • 54% say they struggle to measure their marketing success
  • 43% say they are disappointed with the ROI from their marketing efforts

Without proper metrics in place, it’s hard to get a real picture of how effective your digital marketing actually is. After 15 years in the digital marketing industry, it’s exceptionally rare for us to see proper metrics setup on a business website. In today’s website ROI video tip I highlight some of the important metrics you should have in place and why they are important.

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call.

Have a great week!


Jason’s Tips: Choosing an eCommerce Platform

eCommerce concept

With retail lockdowns and restrictions, many consumers have become a lot more familiar and comfortable with purchasing online. Even before COVID-19, it was projected that by the end of 2021, global retail eCommerce sales will reach $4.9 trillion (Shopify Plus, 2019) and global B2B eCommerce sales is predicted to reach over $6.6 trillion by the end of 2020 (Frost and Sullivan, 2017). By the year 2040, up to 95% of shopping will be facilitated by eCommerce (Nasdaq, 2017).

Perhaps you’ve been considering making the leap to ecommerce for your retail or service business. I want to provide some helpful tips when it comes to choosing a platform to develop your eCommerce store on.

Did you know that Shopify powers over a million merchants in 175 countries? Or that WordPress powers 36% of all the world’s websites?

Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most common eCommerce Platforms, but when choosing between them or perhaps choosing another option, such as Bigcommerce or Magento would be more fitting under certain circumstances.

So, today, I’m interviewing our Managing Director, Denise Bowen, for her input on how to choose an eCommerce platform for your business. Check out the video here.

For more information on preparing your business for eCommerce, check out our Blog: 10 Things to Consider so Your eCommerce Does Not Flop.

And if you’d like to discuss opportunities for transitioning your retail, service or B2B operation to eCommerce, let’s have a free consultation.


Jason’s Tips: The Value of Content Marketing

Increase profits and leads concept

What is the most valuable thing you can do to attract the right audience to your website and convert them into opportunities, leads and sales?


Google sees 5.6 Billion searches a day, or 63,000 per second. The results that are shown on Google Search Results Page, are generated from the content on websites. Google has to decide which pieces of content are the most relevant for a specific search query and then it displays them in order of relevance.

So the simplest and most valuable way to grow your traffic, get more leads and sales and grow your bottom line profit, is to create more content that provides value to the audience you are trying to attract. That is called content marketing.

Content marketing is done in the form of blogs, video, infographics, white papers and more.

So if you want to drive your business to the next level, you should be implementing a content marketing program. Most businesses we meet, struggle to find the time and focus to generate the content they need to keep things going and growing. So for our clients, we do the content marketing for them. Our team will help you form a content strategy, including topics and a calendar for content creation and publication. Our writers will research and write on the topic which is then presented to you for approval.

The results of content marketing can be staggering. For example:

This client manufactures adhesives (glues) for various industrial applications. They have seen over 20,000 visits to their website so far this year, with 84% of that traffic from organic search (SEO). That is over 15,400 organic visits. And the home page is not even in the top 5 landing pages for this traffic. Almost all of the traffic came from blogs. You can see in the graph below that 6% of that organic traffic came from “other” landing pages, meaning there are many, many pages of content that are attracting these visits

If you do not have an effective content marketing strategy in place, you are probably missing out on a lot.



I hope this is a helpful tip. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call.

Have a great week!


10 Things to Consider So Your E-Commerce Does Not Flop

E-commerce concept

Over the last several weeks we have all undergone changes in the way e go about our daily lives. For the average retail store those challenges are more pronounced as they were forced to temporarily close.

During this time, the rise of innovation has been able to propel us into a new wave of internet and commerce. Large companies like TJX; the owners of Marshalls, Home Sense, and Winners, have started selling gift cards online, this ensures they have income while they can’t sell products in store. Grocery and hardware stores are investing in their curbside pickup, click and collect and delivery options. Forcing companies online has proven to be beneficial for some. GameStop; EBGames in Canada, and Gap inc. are re-evaluating the need for brick and mortar stores, they will be closing locations and moving most of their sales online.

On a smaller scale some of our local clients selling anything from pool chemicals to landscaping supplies have adapted and moved their store online. Companies large and small have been making the shift towards e-commerce so they can bridge the gap in sales while their retail stores were temporarily closed.

Is e-commerce something you have been considering for a while? We have compiled a list of 10 things to consider when building out your e-commerce. Read on to learn more. Check out our T5 video where we highlight these considerations.

Consideration 1: How is Your Website Built?

A question you will need to consider is, is your current site built in a way to support an ecommerce platform? Or will you need to build out a separate shop? Each of these come with a different set of challenges and timelines.

If you are currently in the process of building a new website, but do not know if you would like to start an ecommerce store, consider building your website on a platform that can support ecommerce in the future. When you decide to move forward with ecommerce you can transition towards an ecommerce website without the need for a new build.

Consideration 2: Product Inventory Master Sheet

In order to easily assess your product inventory a master sheet of all your products should be created. This master list should have all your products with their SKU’s. High resolution professional images should be taken of all your products and the different options available of each product.

This will easily allow you to assess your products, which ones can be easily sold online, and which ones may require more work to set up for better user experience.

Consideration 3: Details That Should Be Found on The Product Master Sheet

In your product master sheet you should also have all the product details such as; sizes, specs, materials, colours, dimensions, weight and all options available for each product. You should have images of each colour or option available, especially if they are visibly different.

The dimensions and weight of each product will be need for the shipping process. Depending on the size and weight of the product you may need to consider special shipping/delivery options to accommodate the product.

Gathering all of this information is time consuming, but in doing so you will have a comprehensive product master list which will make adding products and their details to your website easier. These pictures and details also help the user make an informed decision, enhancing their user experience.

Consideration 4: Payment Gateways

Once you know what products are available to sell, you will have to consider your payment gateway. Simply, a payment gateway allows you to accept credit card payments by transferring money from your customers bank accounts into your merchant (business bank) account. Keep in mind, this is not a free service and the middleman needs to get paid.

Good news, if you already accept credit cards in store you already have a payment gateway. While online terms can be different than the instore terms, generally, there are 2 main fee structures. Flat monthly fee, meaning you will pay for the gateway service regardless of the number or value of entries or a percentage fee, meaning the gateway will take a cut; usually a certain percent, of each sale. You will want to consider each fee structure based on your product pricing and your estimated number of online transactions each month to figure out which one makes sense for you.

Consideration 5: Fulfillment and Shipping

Fulfillment and Shipment simply put is how are you going to get purchases to your customers. This includes gathering the products, packaging them properly and getting them delivered to your customers in a timely and cost-effective manner.

As stated, fulfillment is how the products will be gathered and packaged for delivery. Will you have staff available to prepare the orders for shipping or pick up. Will you require other materials such as boxes bags, tape or labels? How will you keep track of orders and if they have been prepared?

Once the order has been packaged how will it be delivered to the customer. If you are offering delivery you will want to consider some third-party shippers, it may be Canada post, UPS or another shipping company. You may also consider using a larger shipping organizer that may encompass multiple shipping companies. Another option available is to deliver the products yourself. This will require you to hire drivers, possibly purchase trucks and it would also require extra coding. Finally, a simple solution is in-store or curbside pickup.

Though instore or curbside pickup is easier there are still logistical aspects to consider. If they are coming to pick up, is there going to be a designated area for pick up, what will the customer need in order to pick it up? Answering these questions will help you streamline the traffic in store by tracking who is coming in for pick up or to shop instore.

Consideration 6: Management of Inventory

You are set up to get orders, but how will you be managing inventory? Will you instore and online inventory be the same or different? If they are the same, they must be connected dynamically so you can easily keep track of what your instore and online sales are.

What happens when a product is out of stock, will it automatically show on up on the website? What steps need to be taken to accurately portray how much product is left. This would change if your instore and online inventory are the same. These are important things to consider when thinking about products and how to manage your inventory.

Correctly managing your inventory ensures that you have an up to date count on products, and you can continuously order products in a timely manner to fulfill your customers needs.

Consideration 7: Coupons and Promotions

When setting up your e-commerce, are there coupons or promotions that you would like to offer? You will have to determine any limits to the quantity or minimum spend on the coupon or promotion prior to promoting the coupon or promotion.

These offers can help bring customers to your site and entice them to purchase products online.

Consideration 8: Return Policies and Refunds

Like any retail store you likely have a refund/return policy. The same will have to apply to your online store. Some things to consider are, what will your refund/return policy be? Will this policy be different than your instore policy?

One major question to consider is how will the return be facilitated? You will need to consider how customers will return the unwanted product, will it be to the store or will they have to mail it back? Who would cover the return delivery charge?

Consideration 9: Store Platform

You know how your website is built, you have all your products and you have set up payment, now you need to consider which platform you should build your ecommerce site on. There are many options, to name a few you can use Shopify, WooCommerce, Big Commerce and Magento. There are several factors that will need to be considered when choosing a platform such as; customizations, ease of use, features, payment options, integrations, design and support.

Determine which platform works for you and your customer base. Can your customers easily navigate the website, are you able to add additional plug-ins as necessary, when you determine which one works best for your ecommerce site you now need to consider how the rest of your website will look. As a digital marketing company, we know it is very important to have additional content (non-ecommerce) on the site. This is essential for optimization and ranking.

Consideration 10: User Experience

The final and arguably the most important consideration is user experience. User experience comes into play throughout the entire build of your e-commerce website. From choosing the best platform, the correct payment gateway, products that are correctly labeled, available, packaged and delivered everything must be done so potential customers make a purchase and want to continue to make purchases.

A couple of questions to consider are how easy it for users to know what you offer, how easy is it to shop for products and find exactly what they are looking for. Additionally, the checkout process needs to be smooth and secure. The last thing you want is to lose a customer because they are confused or tired of your site.

One additional quick note is that e-commerce is not just for retailers, if you offer a service, you can begin taking payments online to make your offerings more valuable.

Marketing Concept

How to Market Your E-Commerce Website

Getting your e-commerce site up and running is only the start of the battle. Now you need to get users to your website. Here are some ways you can marketing you ecommerce.

Google Paid Ads

Online products open you up to a whole new word of effectiveness with paid ads. Shopping ads on Google search results, video ads and retargeting.

You can include shopping ads on your Google search results, ads can be a simple image, video or a retargeting ad.

What is a retargeting ad? Imagine you are considering buying a new pair of sneakers. After browsing different sites for sneakers, you start to notice ads for these shoes on other sites following you around tempting you to eventually make that purchase. That is retargeting and while it may seem a little invasive it is extremely effective. Some ecommerce retail businesses see an average of 128% increase in conversions with retargeting. This does vary by industry but is an easy way to target your products to potential customers.

Social Media

Another useful advertising tool is social media. Consider yourself, how many times have you seen an ad for a product and decided to check out the company’s website? 11% of people who see ads for a product on Instagram follow through to a purchase. That’s a huge group you don’t want to miss out on! Social media is not only a great tool to get your ads out there, but it is also an effective tool to inform your followers of product updates and other major news.

Email Campaigns

Another great method for marketing your e-commerce is using an email campaign. Let your customer database know that you offer e-commerce. Use this same method to inform your customers of new products and promotions. These campaigns can be broad and sent to your whole customer database or you can segment your customers. Segmenting your customers allows you to create email campaigns that specifically target customers based on their interests. This will also provide your customers with relevant information and they will be more likely to click through to your website.

Cart Abandonment Emails

Another important use of emails are cart abandonment emails. A whopping 69% of online carts are abandoned by users, don’t miss your chance to get those users back to your online store to make their purchase. Cart abandonment emails can be triggered when a customers adds something to their and leaves the site without removing that item. The email can simply say “Did you forget something” or can even offer a discount to get them to complete the purchase.

These have proven success. 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened, with 21% of all cart abandonment emails being clicked on which translates in about 50% of those clicks resulting in a purchase.

How to Help with Conversions

There are a few different extras to add to your products to help users make a purchase. Reviews on specific products can make a huge difference. 37% of shoppers rely on reviews from sites when making a purchase decision. Whereas, 63% of consumers find product reviews through a search engine query.

Most importantly, 87% of consumers place as much trust in an online product review as they would word-of-mouth. With the whole world being mostly online, this creates a large opportunity.

Get your happy customers to right reviews, you would be surprised how many happy customers want to provide a positive review.

Having a variety of mediums to present and inform customer of your product is an added benefit that will help convert customers. These different mediums can include a product video of the product in use and technical sheets or guides if applicable. You want to provide as much valuable information to the customer so they can easily make a decision.

How to Track Your Performance

Having the ability to track your performance is imperative to your success. If you can correctly identify how your customers are interacting with your site, you can accurately target and advertise to potential customers.

The best way to track performance is to analyze sales and results. You will need to have a proper tracking system in place. This tracking system will identify the channels that lead to customers landing on your page, how well yours ads are performing, and lastly which products are the most popular. Tracking and analyzing sales gives you the information to respond in real time to customers needs and wants.

Additional Advice

When beginning this process, think about the full scope of the project. Will you be starting with a limited number of products? Will you want to add more product categories or other delivery options in the future? When you take the time to consider all your present and future plans, you can set up the website correctly so any future changes can be easily made.

If you are thinking about adding ecommerce to your website and you have any questions or would like more information please email and we would be happy to help.

Jason’s Tips: The Holy Grail of Website ROI

Digital marketing concept

Here we are 10 weeks into this lockdown, and today some businesses in Ontario are finally starting to open. Now is the time to start amping up your online marketing again and start the recovery process for your business.

For many marketers, when they think of online marketing, the thing that comes to mind is social media. We would never disagree with the importance of using social media to engage your audience of fans and followers to encourage repeat purchases, recommendations to friends and family or colleagues, and even attracting the demographics that you are trying to connect with. These are all very important aspects of a successful and profitable online presence.

However, unless it’s to ask social connections for specific recommendations, no one is going to social media to search for products or services to buy. So, while social media can play an important part of your website return on investment, it is not where we recommend to our clients that they start with their online marketing focus.

1. Converting more visitors to opportunities

A couple years ago we created this Website ROI Pyramid, which illustrates where you should focus your resources first, to get the best Return on Investment from you online presence. The pyramid is one of the most solid structures in architecture. And the most important part of the pyramid, that makes it work, is the base.

Conversion Pyramid

In our illustration, the base is a website that includes Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) principles. These are all the things that, when someone lands on your website, will attract their attention, differentiate your services from your competitors, educate and influence your audience to engage with you.

If you don’t start with CRO, everything else you do could be a waste of time, energy and money because people may land on your website and be unimpressed, confused about what do to or how to engage with you, annoyed with a poor user experience, or frustrated because it’s not easy to find the information they need and make a decision on what to do next.

To help understand the value of CRO, imagine you have a website that gets 1000 visitors a month on average and converts 2% of them to a phone call, lead form, subscriber, or other form of conversion. That means you get 20 leads a month.

Now imagine you made some improvements to your website to improve your conversion rate to 8% (our average for our clients in 2019 was 9.5%). That means that by investing in CRO, you have effectively increase your leadflow by 4x (80 leads) before investing in any additional traffic.

Depending on your website age and technology, you may be able to make a few cosmetic enhancements on your existing website which will make a measurable difference in your WEB ROI. Or, you may need to design and build a new website in order to accomplish your goals. The best way to find out is to do an initial website assessment.

2. Get found by those who need you now

Once your website is built and optimized for attracting, engaging and converting visitors into leads or sales, you are ready to start driving traffic.

To start generating an immediate ROI, we recommend starting with people who are actively searching for your products or services. That means optimizing your website content and all your online properties, like your Google My Business (GMB) page so that you show up on the first 3 in the map and in the organic search engine results for important phrases that people are searching for.

A well optimized website will bring you returns for the long haul, but it does take time and effort to grow and maintain your organic search results. In fact, it should be an ongoing effort and continuous strategy including content marketing and building quality backlinks to your website. Your content marketing (blogs, videos, infographics etc), should always be shared with your social media audience, which is good for both engaging your audience as well as attracting new followers.

To supplement your organic SEO efforts, you should include Google Search Advertising (PPC), so that you can always show up on the first page for whatever phrases you would like to target. With PPC you can narrowly target by geography and well defined keyword phrases, including negative words that you do not want your ads to appear for.

I often get the argument that “I never click on those ads”, so assuming that they won’t work. Or perhaps you’ve tried Google ads and were disappointed with the ROI. That is exactly why step 1 is so important. Your website needs to do its job of converting opportunities, otherwise you are just wasting money.

There are also many ways to burn through your ad spend if you are not advanced in how to effectively structure and manage your Google ads campaigns.

3. Nurture and Re target

Not everyone who engages with you is necessarily ready to buy now. But, now you have at least started the conversation. This is where you need to continue providing value to your audience. We use email marketing and marketing automation tools for this. There are a ton of ways to continually provide your audience with valuable information that caters to their interests and needs.

We are not proponents of spamming or sending to a list of people who don’t know who you are or have not shown some interest in your company. However, email marketing and marketing automation have proven to be both very cost effective and a very successful means of communicating with your audience and converting marketing qualified leads into sales.

Re-targeting is what you see when you visit someone’s website and then you seem to be followed around by them, seeing their ads pop up in different places as you surf the web. This is a great reminder for those who have visited your website and perhaps did not convert initially. Data suggests that visitors who click on re-targeting ads have a much higher likelihood of converting into a lead.

Social media marketing concept

4. Social Media & Display Advertising

Only once the first 4 tiers of the pyramid are functioning well and generating a positive WEB ROI, do we recommend spending resources on social media and display advertising.

Posting content to your social channels is valuable at any time. Just remember that you are only reaching a finite audience of those who follow you on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn algorithms have a significant influence on who sees your content. It can be a very time consuming process to create engaging content and grow your audience.

The reason we don’t recommend starting with an organic social strategy, is that the lower hanging fruit, so to speak, is the people who are actively searching. And they are not searching on social media. So our recommendation is to use your internal staff resources to post content that you think will engage your audience, but don’t spend money on social media marketing until you have the other tiers fully covered and if you have not exhausted all your financial resources, then you can invest in social media marketing.

And finally, targeted display advertising on social media channels and other online properties can be beneficial. Keep in mind that it requires a high number of impressions on your ads to get clicked on and there has to be a strategy for converting those clicks into opportunities. Usually this involves the creation of campaign landing pages and funnels, which requires a lot of expertise.

We’re here to help

This one was a bit long,  but I think this is one of the most important tips I’ve ever shared. This pyramid is literally the pulse of our company and the secret to our client’s success. To check out the video I made that highlights the Holy Grail here.

If you would like to discuss how to implement these strategies in your business, get in touch.


Jason’s Tips: Are You Ready To Open?

We are open sign

Ontario and Quebec are beginning to reopen. Now it’s time to start figuring out how your business will operate within the new normal.

I’ve been thinking a lot about retail in particular, especially those that sell high end products. Consumers are unlikely to start flooding into store and having long face to face conversations with sales staff, which is so common when purchasing high end products.

One of our clients in particular, upgraded their website to eCommerce about a year and a half ago. It turned out to be a very good decision as they are still able to sell about $200K a month online, despite their 10, 000 square foot showroom being closed.

If you’re in retail, you need to get your online store setup as soon as possible. A friend of  mine recently built an eCommerce store on Shopify fior his health food store. Other than it taking the better part of a week fir him to builf and there being certain limitatiions with the template used, the fact is he is now selling products online. This has enabled him to generate revenue during the lock-down. Even though his business is considered essential, it’s a small store and the foot traffic dropped drastically, so online sales became a necessity.

Assuming all retail is open by the end of June (or sooner), do you feel ready to accommodate sales with distancing requirements and limited physical exposure?

The subject of this week’s tip is “partnership”. We would like to be our partner in making your business eCommerce ready. We can assist you or your team in building an eCommerce store with a full product catalogue, descriptions and selling points. Even using video demonstrations of some of your top selling products.

I have created a video about eCommerce and what it may mean for you moving forward.

You can give our office a call or book a meeting with me to discuss the possibilities.