All posts by WEB ROI

Things That Slow Down Your Small Business Website

Slow loading website

Each time someone visits your website, that’s a good thing. You never know when a visitor will become a lead, and ultimately become a paying customer.

What’s not so good? The fact you have exactly three seconds to make your impression.

That’s how long on average people are willing to wait for your site to load (it’s six seconds for mobile websites).

So a slow-loading site can mean a loss of business along with the loss of patience. Your speed has a direct impact on your conversion rates.

Even Google will become impatient. It has announced that there will be a penalty for slow-loading sites. So as your loading speed plunges, so will your Google ranking, which can have a damaging effect on your bottom line.

The reasons for a slow site need to be uncovered, like the ones for bad content, so you can sharpen your competitive edge to keep and convert traffic.

You have an image problem

No, this has nothing to do with the public perception of your small business.

Let’s go back the early days of dial-up Internet. Back then, it took forever to load a large image.

With high speed now the norm, everything loads faster, but unnecessarily large photos can still take a toll and make a loading-speed difference that loses business.

So your images should be:

  • Optimized.
  • Adequately sized. Why use bandwidth-hogging, print-quality pictures, for example, when lean web resolution will do?
  • In the right file format. JPEGs, for example, are generally leaner than .png or .gif image formats.

Server issues

Imagine putting a riding lawnmower engine inside a Porsche body.

No matter how nice the car looks, it’s just won’t get anywhere quickly.

The same applies to your small business website. No matter how well you’ve built your site, no matter how appealing it looks, if it is housed on a slow server, it will load slowly.

Poor server performance is the fault of your web host. If you have a substandard hosting plan, you are probably sharing a server with a lot of other businesses (maybe even your top competitors) with the consequent traffic jams and slowdowns.

Another issue may be the server’s location. Think about it:

Off shore web hosting

  • Your business is located in Oakville.
  • Your customers come from Oakville, Milton, Burlington, and other surrounding areas.
  • You’re active in your local community.

So why on earth is your server located in, say, Australia?

Although we live in a high-speed world, the time it takes data to travel across the ocean (the distance between Sydney, Australia and Oakville, Ontario is 15,532 kms) can take a toll on loading speed.

Too many elements

Slowdowns happen not only because you have large image and multimedia files, but also because you have too many page elements.

Every small element, whether it’s…

  • JavaScript
  • Social sharing file.
  • CSS file.
  • Company logo.
  • Anything else.

….requires a separate file request.

So let’s do some math:

  • A webpage with 75 elements.
  • 100 visitors are on that page at the same time.
  • That’s 7,500 file requests all at once (75 x 100 = 7,500).

With numbers like that, server performance and site speed will suffer.

Similarly, in WordPress, if you are running a lot of plug-ins, each one has its own file to load, which can add up to a staggering weight if you aren’t careful. You need to ask yourself what plug-ins are essential.

Unnecessary page redirects

If you’re on the highway and get redirected to an alternate route, then your journey is going to take more time.

In the same vein, if you do a page redirect unnecessarily, then you wind up wasting valuable time.

Other reasons for slow-loading pages

404 error

There are more speed traps for your site than we can list here, and they’re all technical in nature. Some of the chief ones include:

  • Poorly handled heavy traffic.
  • Code density.
  • Not caching your site.
  • An outdated CMS.
  • Social media scripts.
  • Excessive use of ads.
  • 404 errors.
  • Big background files.
  • Music played during loading.

Tired of your slow website? Have WEB ROI speed it up quickly for you

If you want to learn how to speed up your website and keep it purring along, contact WEB ROI today for your FREE consultation.

We will, of course, respond to all your questions quickly, and we can tell you what you need to remove from your site to make it more effective.

WEB ROI is a customer-focused web development company that takes pride in the results that we deliver and the differences we can make in businesses like yours.

How to Get More Action on Your Promotions

If you’re looking to grow your business and reward current customers, you have to be engaging in promotions. This marketing tactic gets the attention of potential clients while making your existing ones feel appreciated.

You probably already know that promotions are important, but you might not understand why establishing an online presence will increase the awareness of promotions and turn web visitors in customers.

Read on to find out how you can more effectively capture your target market.

Promotion marketingWhy Should You Embrace Promotions?

Promotions are probably the best way to gain new customers, whether it’s through:

Potential clients are attracted to deals. Everyone likes to feel like they are saving.

Not only will promotions drive sales, but they can also help you build your client mailing list. This information is invaluable to business growth.

It helps you more appropriately target not only your sales efforts but also allows you to hone your services to those consuming them.

Promotions are a major way that a company can show that it cares for its clients. Current clients will feel like you truly appreciate their business.

And most importantly, they build loyalty. These featured deals show that a business understands and can meet the needs of their audience.

Ultimately, you will be rewarded for rewarding your clients.

Make Your Promotions Stand Out

25% promo code

There’s hardly a point in creating promotions if no one sees them, let alone uses them.

A large portion of every adult’s day is consumed by devices, whether it’s a computer, television, or phone screen.

However, there has been a significant shift in the way people are shopping.

Most web browsing and social media scrolling are done on mobile. So not only must you have a website but you also need it to be mobile friendly, so your prospective clients can access your content and get in touch easily.

Now That You Know Where Your Clients Are Shopping, You Have To Get Their Attention

So consider paid online ads to drive business traffic to your website.

These ads can appear when people search using terms related to your industry, or they can be specifically targeted to individuals who have shown a historical interest in your field or your business.

Advertising any promotions on your homepage is also effective for converting visitors into leads.

Show a bit of your company’s personality by tailoring your deals to events or holidays or through fun, exciting bonuses in newsletters. You can even use referral rewards for your current client base.

All at once, this tactic will help grow your contact list, sales, and inspire customer loyalty.

How to Take Advantage of Digital Marketing

If you’re not enthusiastic about marketing or your business doesn’t have a permanent staff member who is, you ought to consider retaining some outside help.

Digital marketing mix

A digital marketing agency can help you optimize your presence online, which will undoubtedly increase the leads you generate.

Instead of struggling to do it yourself or straining your promotions department (if you have one), hire a supplementary service provider. Here a few ways digital marketers can help you:

 

  • Website Design: if you don’t have a website, or yours isn’t doing the job, a marketing team can dedicate the time to creating a user-friendly site with clear, conversion-driving landings and easy to complete contact forms.

 

  • SEO: you’ve probably heard this term, search engine optimization, but digital marketers know precisely what content, down to the word, will increase your likelihood of being seen on the ever-growing internet.

 

  • Pay Per Click (PPC): this is the technique by which you build links back to your website and promotions from paid ads. Your agency will know where and how this clickable feature should be placed to attract your ideal client.

 

  • Email Marketing: you already have a client list with their contact information, and as your digital marketer builds your base through the efforts mentioned here, you can reach even more leads. Emails give you a chance to provide updates on your products and service and also surprise customers with new promotional offers.

 

  • Social Media: a digital marketing agency understands the opportunities social media can afford. These platforms must be strategically used to deliver unique, informative, and engaging content that builds loyalty, but also to share promotions that will ultimately turn those likes into leads.

Your digital marketing agency can help you will these vital aspects of a business committed to growing in the current market.

Promotions are an essential part of retaining and attracting new customers.

In this age, your business will rely heavily on the success of your online marketing techniques.

Develop creative and engaging advertisements that will entice your audience to take advantage of your discounted services and come back for more.

If this is new to your business or you could use a little extra help, contact the digital marketing experts at WEB ROI to see how they can boost your business.

Should You List Your Competitor’s Name & Product Info On Your Website?

You and your top competitor sell very similar products and services. But upon closer inspection, you realize that your offering is:

Product / service comparison table

  • Less expensive.
  • Better performing.
  • Backed by a superior guarantee.
  • Rated higher and recommended more.

The light bulb goes off.

Rather than having customers hop from one website to the next looking for comparative information, why not present it on yours, side-by-side, in an easy-to-understand table?

When they see how awesome you are, they’ll contact you ASAP and place a big order.

Easy-peasy, right?

Well….

Canada gavelThis is actually covered under Canadian advertising and marketing law

It’s called comparative advertising.

Originally, comparative advertising was put in place for print or television ads. Over time, it’s been modified to include digital marketing too.

In short, you can refer to your competitors, as long as you abide by the following edict:

  • Compare with care.

So, what does that mean, exactly?

And, more importantly, what does that mean for your company?

Just the facts, ma’am

Let’s say you’re in charge of marketing for a landscape supplier. You and your top competitor both sell topsoil.

On your website, social media pages, and email marketing, you say something like:

  • More people buy our topsoil vs. company X because ours is better.

You actually cannot make that claim because it’s subjective (based on a personal opinion). It needs to be objective (just the facts, ma’am).

Without hard data, you can’t prove:

  • If more people buy topsoil from you vs. them. For example, do you sell in bulk, while they sell in bags only?
  • If yours is better. Just because customers say they prefer your topsoil does not mean that it’s actually a superior product.

Want to talk about your competitors on your website? Go ahead. But any claim you make must be verified and/or substantiated.

So, if your topsoil and theirs was tested by an independent third-party – and the results came back that yours is indeed better – you can say that (as long as people can check out the testing).

Otherwise, you just can’t without inviting trouble.

What about pricing information?

Just above, this blog talked about objective vs. subjective information.

Saying your topsoil is better is subjective, because you believe it to be.

Comparing prices

But saying your topsoil is less expensive is objective, because you can prove it is by grabbing that info from your competitor’s website.

Equally as important is that customers can also visit your competition and verify that, yup, your topsoil is a better deal than theirs.

As with anything regarding the law, there are some caveats to be mindful of:

  • Pricing changes. If your competitor suddenly decides to lower their price, you have to be aware of it and update your digital marketing accordingly.
  • Inaccurate comparisons. Yes, a hatchback sedan is less expensive than a luxury roadster, but they’re not really the same at all.
  • Technicalities: The airline industry gets dinged for this pretty hard. They advertise $100 flights, but the end price is three times that amount because of extra fees. Any associated costs must be included.

Using prices in comparative advertising is a double-edged sword.

On one hand, it’s relatively easy to collect. On the other hand, it’s very fluid and can change at any time.

Make sure you tread carefully.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

If your competitor’s product has a distinct advantage over yours (or if yours has a distinct disadvantage over theirs), you have to acknowledge it somehow.

Here’s a simple example.

Again, let’s pretend you’re a landscape supplier. You and your competitor both make your own ice melt. However, theirs is effective to -30°C and yours only works to -15°C.

In your comparison table, you cannot simply say something generic like “effective in cold weather.”

And you can’t deceive by omission, either.

If there’s a tangible difference between you and them – something which can be measured – you need to include that info.

Other things you should keep in mind

Even if you don’t directly name your competitor, you’re still responsible

  • Ever see toilet paper ads comparing “the bird brand” to “the bear brand?” Are the names listed? No. Is it obvious they’re referring to Swan and Charmin? Yup.

No logos

  • Don’t place your competitor’s logos on your comparison table. They don’t belong to you and you can be sued for copyright infringement (yikes).

Play fair

  • Comparative advertising should be apples-to-apples. Saying something like “don’t buy topsoil from company X because the owner got busted for a DUI once” is a no-no. That’s disparaging and has nothing to do with topsoil at all.

It could backfire

  • Even if your comparison table is legit, and even if your product comes out on top in many categories, cynical shoppers may say “well, yeah, of course they’re going to make themselves look good on their own website.”

Closing arguments

When looking for a product or service, many people are going to visit multiple websites to collect as much info as possible.

Obviously, when they get to yours, you want to keep them there as much as possible.

Comparative advertising is a great way to showcase all relevant details in one spot. In fact, there are websites dedicated exclusively to providing this information.

As long as your bases are covered, comparative advertising can be an effective tool. The trick being there are a lot of bases to cover.

Looking for more info? Want to know how WEB ROI can give you a competitive advantage?

Let’s talk about it. Contact us for a FREE consultation.

We’ll talk about your business, your competitors, and how you can (smartly and safely) get ahead of them.

There’s No Such Thing as a Boring Industry – Only Boring Content

Homer is Bored

Once at WEB ROI, a client who runs a self-storage business came in for their annual review.

After going over things like search engine optimization (SEO) performance and measuring overall results, the discussion shifted to content

That’s when the client leaned in, and said something to the effect of:

I work in self-storage. It’s boring. Nobody’s going to read anything I put out. I can’t believe anyone does read blogs about self-storage. Who reads stuff about self-storage?

And another client – a landscape supplier – recently said:

One on hand, I feel sorry for your content writer because all he writes about is topsoil. On the other hand, I am absolutely amazed he comes up with what he does. It’s friggin’ TOPSOIL!

We hear it all the time. People believe their industry is sooooo uninteresting, there’s no sense to invest in content marketing.

Well, how can this be put delicately? That’s bloody wrong.

Every company – whether it’s self-storage, landscape supplies, or shower curtain rings – has great stories to tell about it, the products or services they offer, and the people they serve.

If something is helpful, it cannot be boring

Let’s use the self-storage client mentioned at the beginning of this blog as an example.

Now, he might think the following content topics are boring and lame:

  • How to prepare your belongings for self-storage.
  • Storage mistakes to avoid while you’re moving.
  • Can you write off your storage unit at tax time?

And actually, they are dull because he’s not looking for a self-storage unit.

However, if somebody was in the market for a storage rental, those topics (and others) would be very interesting, timely, and relevant.

Content isn’t boring to people that need it. On the contrary, they’ll find it extremely helpful.

  • THE BOTTOM LINE….As long as your content is educational; there will be an audience for it even if it’s something mundane like “Should you rent two smaller units or one large one?”

Your content should sound human…just like you

Let’s say you’re giving someone directions to reach your business location. When they reach a stop sign, you want them to turn right.

You could say:

Robot content writer

Please bring your vehicle to a speed not exceeding zero miles per hour at this coordinate in space and time as there is other vehicular traffic moving in a direction perpendicular to your own and may intersect with your vehicle’s current trajectory. At the instance where the space and time coordinates you currently occupy are unimpeded, proceed to alter your vehicle’s route by executing a right-hand turn manoeuver. (The first sentence in this quote comes from Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan).

Or you could say:

Turn right at the stop sign.

When content is easy to read and understand, it becomes interesting.

When it sounds like it was written by someone who swallowed a thesaurus, it gets boring and useless real quick.

Here’s another way to look at it: Stephen Hawking is one the greatest minds the world will ever see. His intelligence is off the charts.

He’s written essays on the most complex and challenging astronomical problems and theories.

Yet, his most popular book is A Brief History of Time because he wrote it for people like you and I; easy to read and not intimidating at all.

In fact, the story goes that Hawking’s publisher told him for every scientific equation he left in the book; he would lose 50% of his readers. So he removed all of them except one: E=mc2.

  • THE BOTTOM LINE….Simple is always better. Trying to make your business sound like something it’s not will make your content seem boring and alienate the people you’re trying to reach.

Use analogies to make your point

Sometimes, you need more than a quick little social media post to get your message across.

In those instances, you want to relate your content to a real-world scenario people can imagine themselves in and understand.

Movie sign

Case in point:

Whenever WEB ROI discusses content marketing with potential clients, inevitably the same question comes up:

Why do I need content marketing?

Now, we could show them things like:

  • Charts.
  • Graphs.
  • Statistical data highlighting when websites have a solid content strategy in place, they perform better than those who don’t.

But that’s…boring.

If digital marketing isn’t a passion of yours, you’re not interested in hearing about things like bounce rates and click paths.

What if content marketing was explained using something everyone can relate to: Going to the movies.

In short:

  • A website is like a theatre and the content is the movie being shown. When that movie first comes out, everybody wants to check it out.
  • However, if that theatre doesn’t show different movies (aka fresh content), people stop visiting it. There’s no point in going back when there’s nothing new to see.
  • Instead, people will check out a theatre which is always adding new movies to see (aka your competitor who is always updating their website).

Most people go to the movies, right? Most people don’t go see the same movie again and again, right?

This analogy takes something that’s a bit hard to explain and makes it into something which everyone can understand.

(Oh, feel free to use this analogy if you’re trying to convince your manager to invest in content marketing).

  • THE BOTTOM LINE…There’s always a real-world equivalent to a complex topic which anyone can relate to. When you find out what it is, you’re on your way to developing winning content.

Make boring content a thing of the past with WEB ROI

Look, we get it. You manufacture shoelace nibs and think it’s as dull as dishwater.

But there are people who are interested in what your business is all about.

When you find a creative way to tell your story, they’ll:

  • Notice it.
  • Appreciate it.
  • Share it with others who have the same interest.

And eventually….they’ll contact YOU when it’s time to place an order.

Ready to transform your idea of content from boring to bodacious?

Let’s talk. Contact us now for a FREE consultation.

3 Storytelling Techniques for Your Business

What’s your job?

Now, as the Grand Poobah of Marketing for your company, you probably think your job is to:

Grand Poobah

If that’s what you think, well, you’re right.

You’re also a bit off the mark, too.

You aren’t just a marketer. You’re a storyteller. A bard. A minstrel. A raconteur…

(Okay, maybe not. But they all have something in common).

They (and you) are tasked to connect with people in such a way that they can’t imagine not having you in their life.

Storytelling is the Best Marketing

(Holy cow, that sounds pretty epic).

The tactics listed at the very top of this blog? They’re tools you can (and should) use to help you connect with your target audience.

While those strategies are effective, there are other things you can (and should) be doing to really stand out and make a statement.

And here they are…

Employee testimonials.

Answer this question honestly:

  • Would you do business with a company if everyone hated working there?

You might. You might not. At the very least, you’d seriously think about it.

Remember, we’ve already established that your primary responsibility is to tell a great story about your business.

Employee testimonials

And what does every great story need?

Characters!

Walk around your office. Ask people why they like working there. Take their pictures.

Then, give those characters some personality so that people can know your company better:

  • Fred in accounting who’s been there the longest? He’s the wise old sage.
  • Tina the receptionist? She’s the gatekeeper of the castle.
  • Brent in shipping and receiving? He’s the joker.

This is all about taking your team page to the next level.

If website visitors get a real sense of the culture and environment of your business (and if it meshes with their sensibilities), they’re more likely to fill out a form and become a lead.

Forgetting the follow-up sequel.

According to Stuart J. Davidson (a social media marketing expert):

  • It takes 3 – 4 email interactions (and sometimes more) to convert a lead into a paying customer.

Sooooo, when someone expresses interest in what you have to offer, are you:

  • Keeping in touch with them, or…
  • Hoping they’ll contact you when they’re ready to buy?

Follow Up

‘Cause if it’s the latter, guess what? It ain’t gonna happen.

The moment that person finishes reading the first email you send, they’ll forget about you…until you send them another email.

Remember that storyteller thing we keep mentioning?

There’s no way you can tell your full story in one email.

But, a little bit at a time, you can convince and entice people to do business with you with things like:

Skipping segmentation.

Picture this:

  • You just bought a $25,000 car.
  • As you finish the paperwork and take ownership of the keys, the salesperson asks if you’d like to buy another car.

Umm, no.

Email segmentation

A better idea would be if the salesperson asks if you want information on things like:

  • Keeping your car clean.
  • An easy-to-follow maintenance schedule.
  • Installing car seats for your kids.

Not everyone is at the same page in the story you’re trying to tell.

Some people are just getting started. Others are in the middle. And others have reached the end (which hopefully means they’ve bought from you).

Asking everyone to buy from you will alienate or confuse:

  • People who just made a purchase.
  • Folks who are just getting to know you.

Conversely, giving everyone helpful tips on using your product or service annoys people who, you know, don’t actually use your product and service.

Take a look at your contact list. Whether it’s 50 or 5,000, chances are not everyone is in the same place or looking for the same info.

Find out where they are. Then, give ‘em what they want.

Nothing beats a good story.

If all things are equal (price, quality, selection, location, etc.), what separates you from the competition?

What's Your Brand Story

Right: The story you can tell and how it makes people feel when they read it or see it.

How important is crafting the right story? In the words of one our longest clients, Lawrence Park Complete Garden Care:

  • “Our old website was frustrating. Finding the right way to express ourselves is always a difficult and time-consuming process. WEB ROI helped us define our message” (in order to reach the right target audience).

Yeah, it’s important.

If you’re having trouble getting the word out, let’s talk about it.

Book a FREE consultation. We’ll chat about your business, what’s preventing you from telling its awesome story, and how we can change that for you.

SEO Basics You May Have Forgotten About

According to Moz.com, Google changes its search engine optimization algorithm 500-600 times/year

According to Link-Assistant.com, Google has rolled out 9 “major” updates which have targeted things such as:

Panda. Penguin, Hummingbird

  • Duplicate content (Panda)
  • Paid links (Penguin)
  • Keyword stuffing (Hummingbird)
  • Mobile user experience (“Mobilegeddon”)

(Holy cow, that’s a lot of changes).

As the marketing point person for your company, you’re responsible for:

Needless to say, you’re busy.

Because you’ve got so much going on, it’s not that hard to lose sight of tried-and-true search engine optimization (SEO) basics.

So, consider this a bit of a refresher and rediscover some easy-to-follow SEO fundamentals.

It’s all about the user experience

The scenario: You’re in the middle of a busy day when someone knocks on your door and asks for:

  • A new sale banner to be added to the website in 10 minutes.
  • Homepage links to your free eBook offer.
  • Newly written content to go under your about us section.

After you implement those requests, you realize that:

Good vs Bad UX

  • Your website isn’t as clean as it should be.
  • It now takes longer for people to navigate from one page to another.
  • The new page in your about us section really doesn’t belong there.
  • None of the new additions to your website have been optimized.

Guess what? Google will notice that too.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of continually adding to your website, trying to squeeze and place new things wherever there’s room.

But do that too many times, and your SEO ranking will get dinged (not to mention visitors will become annoyed).

Get back to basics by…

Asking the following questions:

  • Will this new content be great, or is it a blog just for the sake of a blog?
  • What benefit are we giving people by adding this content?
  • Is it possible something gets taken away or lost?
  • Will this look good and work on all mobile and desktop browsers?

Look, we totally understand at WEB ROI: It’s hard to step back and take time when a request is considered “urgent.”

But remember: Everything you do is for your customers/website visitors and not you.

So, if it doesn’t benefit the people visiting and using your website, don’t do it.

Maximize your meta title tag

The next time you search for something in Google, take a close look at the results page.

The biggest, easiest-to-read, and most visually appealing element is the title tag.

Not having an optimized title tag (or – shudder – no title tag at all) is absolutely brutal because:

  • Google and other search engines won’t know what your page is about.
  • Neither will people.

Unless someone enters your site directly, the title tag is the first experience people will have with your business.

It can be positive, like this:

  • Relevant Title Tag | Tell Me What I’ll Learn On This Page | WEB ROI

Or negative, like this:

  • Bad tag – A bunch of Stuffed keywords here | Desperate plea for People to…

As advanced as Google has become over the years, the importance of title tags haven’t really changed all that much.

Get back to basics by…

  • Don’t let publishing sites like WordPress auto-generate a title tag for you. Manually tweak it so it’s appealing to people and search engines.
  • Establish a set pattern for your title tags and don’t deviate from it. Make certain your keywords and company name are in there.
  • Never ever stuff your meta title tags with keywords….EVER (not that you would anyway, you’re better than that).

You need MORE content

Content is King

What’s that saying?

Right: Content is king.

Even though you know how important content is, you haven’t been able to keep up with it for a variety of reasons:

  • Too busy working on other marketing activities like lead nurturing and reporting.
  • Writer’s block (hey, it happens).
  • There’s no one available to produce quality content on a consistent basis.

Question for you: What’s worse…?

  • Producing crummy content just for the sake of “getting it up there?”
  • Not producing content for weeks at a time?

The answer: They’re both terrible.

In a perfect world, you’d have unlimited time, resources, and effort to creating and sharing kick-ass content regularly.

In reality, that ain’t gonna happen.

Still, you have to keep on pumping out excellent, useful, and informative content. And don’t lean on the excuse that people won’t read it.

If it’s good, it’ll get found and shared.

Get back to basics by…

  • Create and stick to a rock-solid content calendar and don’t let anything detract from it.
  • Look at the current content on your website; if there’s anything that sucks and has no value, either make it better or get rid of it.
  • Rediscover your target audience and find out what kind of content matters to them and dedicate yourself to delivering it.

One last thing: Producing more, awesome content is an SEO basic you really can’t deviate from.

So, if you aren’t able to allocate enough time to doing it properly, outsource it to someone who can.

Your SEO (and your company) will thank you for it.

Let's Talk

Need a little bit of help? Need someone to do it all? That’s WEB ROI

As mentioned off the top, search engine optimization changes at a lightning-fast pace. It won’t slow down so you can “catch up.”

Ignoring the basics isn’t going to help, either.

If your SEO has been MIA lately, don’t let it wither. Instead, let WEB ROI take care of it.

We’ll develop a plan to:

  • Improve your ranking.
  • Keep your ranking high.

And when Google introduces Giraffe, Ape, or whatever the next SEO update is, we’ll make all the necessary changes for you.

We do the work. You get the glory.

Sound good? Ready to start?

Awesome. Book a FREE consultation with our team today.

5 Signs You’re Ready to Boost Your SEO Budget

5 Signs

Each month, you spend the same on search engine optimization. And each month, you (more or less) see the same results.

But lately, your SEO program isn’t growing as it once did:

  • Big traffic numbers have taken a hit
  • Conversions are down
  • You’ve dropped a few spots in the Google search results

Now, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost your mojo.

On the contrary, it could mean that your current budget has done all that it can for you (especially if you’ve noticed any of these 5 signs).

Sign 1: You’ve achieved positive results

 

Your current SEO budget is delivering good news, such as:

  • More organic traffic
  • Lower bounce rates
  • Higher keyword rankings

That’s awesome. And you love sharing those positive performance reports with your manager.

But you know that your SEO momentum will stall if you keep doing the same thing (or spending the same amount).

You’ve reached your foundational goals. Your boss is happy. Boosting budget allows you to set bigger, better, and more rewarding SEO targets.

Sign 2: Your program has hit a wall

Your consistent SEO growth has now plateaued a bit. It’s not improving, but it’s not getting worse either.

It’s spinning its wheels and getting you nowhere.

That doesn’t mean you’ve done anything “wrong” – actually, it’s the opposite: You’ve pretty much maximized all you can get from your budget.

Good stuff. It’s also a sign that it’s time to increase your spending.

If your budget stays the same, and your competitors increase theirs, they’ll surpass you. Pretty soon, a page 1 ranking could become page 2. And that will definitely, incredibly suck.

Sign 3: You’ve exhausted every free option possible

Free SEO

In addition to watching your SEO budget like a hawk, you scour and take advantage of free options like:

Free is good. But attracting new customers is your ultimate goal.

Using free tactics is a great way to enhance your campaign, but it can’t sustain it over the long term.

Use free strategies to boost your SEO campaign. When they stop yielding results, that’s a good sign your budget needs to increase.

Sign 4: You’re overworked

SEO is incredibly important. You know it. Your boss knows it. Everyone knows it.

Overworked

But you have other marketing responsibilities too:

If you’re spending all your time (even weekends) on SEO and not enough on other aspects, you’re going to fall down a rabbit hole of frustration and fatigue.

That’s not good for anyone; especially you.

Boosting your SEO budget also means outsourcing to an agency (ideal if you have good results so far) or hiring an assistant.

Sign 5: You already know how you’d spend the extra money

DO NOT ask for an increase in budget until you’re prepared to explain how you’d spend it.

Research your opportunities, such as:

  • Producing high value content (videos, case studies, etc.)
  • Hiring an agency to handle the workload
  • Redesigning your current website
  • Enhancing your local SEO tactics

Afterwards, put all that information in a cool, easy-to-understand manner. Your manager will appreciate that.

Be proactive. Think of all the questions people may ask about this request. This shows you’ve done your homework and that you care about the results, not just the dollars and cents.

Ready to Rock Your Marketing? Contact WEB ROI

You want the best of both worlds:

Marketing rockstar

  • The resources (time/budget/experience) needed to implement all your digital marketing strategies.
  • The awesome results which leads to a promotion, better job, another promotion, your own cottage in Muskoka and – not one, but two – Ferraris in your driveway.

The solution? WEB ROI.

WEB ROI is a full-service digital marketing machine which delivers everything you need to take your marketing from just OK to mic-drop worthy:

  • SEO and PPC
  • Website design
  • Social media marketing
  • Lead nurturing
  • Content marketing
  • Analytics and reporting

We’ll do the work. You get the credit.

Contact Us for a Free, No Obligation Introductory Chat

You tell us what you want from your web company and we’ll show you how our team delivers it.

4 A/B Tests on Your Call-To-Action Buttons You Really Need to Try

A/B Testing

Put on your helmet. Strap on your boots. Get ready to rumble because your manager has a mission for you:

  • “Get more conversions from our website without making too many changes to it. ASAP, please”

In other words…make the website do better without, you know, doing much to it.

Now, there are some options available to you:

All of which can yield results.

But if you want to make a quick, measurable impact (and in the process, really wow your boss), you should run the following A/B tests on the most crucial element of any website:

Your calls-to-action (CTA).

A quick refresher on why your CTA is such a big deal

Your call-to-action (CTA) button is the most important element on your website. End of story.

When done right, it tells people:

  • What to do.
  • When to do it.
  • What to expect.

So you may have to run a few A/B tests to find a CTA that works best for your business needs.

Red Submit Button1. Test the text

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your current CTA says “SUBMIT”, please change it ASAP. Nobody likes to “SUBMIT” to anything and it’s not doing your business any favours.

Your CTA copy button is incredibly influential; meaning you can (and should) test various aspects of it:

  • Make it longer…or shorter.
  • Use adjectives and verbs.
  • Pack it with power words.
  • Elicit an emotion (anger, frustration, annoyance, etc.).

There’s more to this than simply changing “START NOW” to “BEGIN NOW”. You should tap into why people visit your site.

What problems are they looking to solve? What roadblocks are in their way? How can you help them?

And then, communicate that into an easy-to-read, eye-catching button.

2. Test the colour

Sometimes a red button beats a blue button.

Sometimes a green button beats an orange button.

The only way you can know for sure is to test ‘em.

The beauty of this test is twofold:

  • Running it is simple. Just change the colour of the button, measure the results, and determine a winner.
  • Explaining it to your manager is also simple. “Boss, we’re gonna change the colour of the button and see which colour people like better. That’s it.”

3. Test the location

Where’s your CTA button right now?

And, more importantly, why is it there?

The justification for placing it above the fold is that people need to see it immediately as soon as they hit your page.

The justification for sticking it at the bottom of a page is to allow people to read all your great content and be so excited when they reach the end they just have to click it.

Move your CTA button around:

  1. Up.
  2. Down.
  3. Left.
  4. Right.

Or have multiple CTA buttons in multiple locations.

Explore its relationship with the text on the page. Is there a compelling piece of content that leads nicely into your CTA?

Should it be at the end of a paragraph? Indented at the beginning? Even in the middle of a single section of text?

Brush font

4. Test the fontTattoo font

Did you know there are over 700 different fonts available?

Now, you don’t need to test every single font type out there (you’d go mad otherwise).

But, you should examine the current font of your CTA button and ask yourself:

  • Does it complement the font selection used in the copy?
  • If it was made smaller; would it be too hard to read?
  • If serifs were added to it, would that look better?
  • Should the font be the same as the web content?

Before changing Franklin Gothic Book to Malgun Gothic, you should consult with an experienced web designer.

The last thing you want to do is create such an odd mix that it becomes off-putting and messes up the structure of your landing page being tested.

One more thing: If you have a bunch of fonts you’d like to check out, feel free to run an A/B/C/D test.

Puzzled man

How should you test?

Now that you know what to test, you need to determine how to test them.

Will you…?

  • Use specialized A/B testing software programs?
  • Run test and control campaigns in Google analytics?
  • Rely on public A/B testing forums?
  • Establish parameters (i.e people from one geographic area sees version “A”, another area sees version “B”; Version “A” runs for 12 hours, then version “B” runs for another 12 hours)

There are many factors you need to consider before you begin testing your CTA buttons.

If you don’t choose the right ones (or if you aren’t sure how to interpret the data), you could get some misleading information about your test results.

And that ain’t good.

Test….and keep testing

The results of A/B tests are never meant to be permanent.

They can guide your web design efforts for a little while. But eventually, you’ll need to test your calls-to-action again.

Just because an orange button which reads “SUBSCRIBE NOW” does well today, doesn’t mean it’ll do well in 6 months.

So, as you develop the marketing plan for your business, always allocate time and resources for A/B testing.

If you do it proactively, you won’t have to worry about squeezing it in (especially during a busy time where you’d rather not be testing).

Plus, your boss will love the proactive foresight you display in planning ahead for A/B tests.

winner

We’ll run the test…you get the glory

You know the importance of your CTA buttons.

And you know the value of running A/B tests.

In fact, the two go together like PB& J.

So, if you’re looking for help running a simple A/B test on your calls-to-action (or want to do something more dramatic), we want you to tell us.

No matter what you want to test – or for how long – we can plan it, execute it, and monitor it for you.

We’ll do the work. And if your test idea does well (which it should, because you’re awesome), you’ll get the glory.

Ready?

Contact Us for a Free, No Obligation Introductory Chat

You tell us what you want from your web company and we’ll show you how our team delivers it.

Need a New Website? 5 Things to Convince Your Boss.

Sad website

Each time you look at your company website, a little piece of your soul dies.

That’s because:

  • The content’s all wrong
  • It takes waaaay too long to load
  • There’s no mobile responsiveness
  • SEO is MIA

In short, the website sucks. You know it. Your customers know it.

Your boss doesn’t, though.

Sadly, you can’t put if off any longer. Your organization needs a new website in the worst possible way.

That’s the easy part.

The hard part? Getting your boss on board with it.

1. Show your boss….out-of-date information

Scour your website and jot down things like:

  • Is there a coupon on your website….from 2012?
  • On your team page, are there pics of employees…who no longer work there?
  • Does your events page mention you’ll be attending…a 2008 trade show?
  • Are there products on your catalogue…your company no longer offers?

Once you have your collection of expired info; go to your boss and casually ask things like:

  • “Are we still offering that discount from 2012?”
  • “Does so-and-so still work here?”
  • “Will we be attending the 2008 trade show?”
  • “Do we still sell such-and-such a product?”

After your boss looks at you like you have three heads, they’ll probably give you the most annoyed “no” answer you can imagine.

That’s when you turn on the charm and calmly explain this out-of-date information is still prominently displayed on your website and that it:

  • Gives a bad impression
  • Annoys people

Not mobile friendly and mobile friendly websites

2. Show your boss…how bad it looks on mobile

As a savvy marketing expert, you already know more people surf the web on mobile devices vs. desktop or traditional computers.

And you also know that Google penalizes websites which aren’t mobile-friendly.

Now, your boss needs to know that.

Have him or her call up your website on their mobile device and have them perform a simple task, such as:

  • Visit your product catalogue
  • Click on a particular item
  • Submit a contact form for additional information

While they’re doing that, secretly time them.

When they’re done, ask them about their experience. How the site looked on their device? How long it took pages to load? Could they complete the task?

Chances are, it was frustrating to them.

Now explain that, for customers, they would have given up less than 3 seconds in and gone somewhere else if they felt annoyed by your mobile website.

Then, explain that Google also finds it frustrating and punishes your website by making it harder to find.

3. Show your boss…it’s not on Google

When was the last time you did any significant search engine optimization to your website? We’re talking things like:

  • Keyword research
  • Fresh content
  • Fix duplicate H1 tags
  • Upload fresh videos and pictures
  • Incorporate a linking strategy

Well, if your website is woefully out-of-date (as mentioned earlier in this blog), you probably haven’t.

Do a bit of keyword research and find the terms people would associate with your company and its products and services.

Then, enter those terms into Google. When your company doesn’t appear, take a screenshot.

Show that screenshot to your boss and explain that these are the terms our customers are using when looking for us – but they can’t find us.

You can also tell him/her that:

  • 65% of prospective customers use Google as their primary search engine
  • 91% of people look for something else if you aren’t on page one of Google

In short:

Almost everyone uses Google (which we’re not on) and almost everyone bails on page 1 (which we’re also not on).

4. Show your boss…some analytical data

Now, if your boss isn’t a numbers person, inundating him/her with charts, graphs, and other mumbo-jumbo won’t help your cause.

But you do need to measure results; the trick is communicating that information in an impactful, easy-to-understand way.

For example:

  • Bounce rate as: they came (to the website), they saw (the content on the website), they left (because they hated it).
  • Conversion rate as: how many people did the thing we need them to do on our website (fill out a form, download a guide, etc.).
  • Traffic as: how many people actually arrived at the site.

Now, Google is full of fantastic analytical data. To get your point across, though, you really only need the three listed above.

5. Show your boss…the competition’s websites

Good vs bad website

Nobody wants to have the worst anything; and that includes websites.

Find the websites of your top competition and show your boss what you’re up against, such as:

Digital marketing moves fast. What works one day can be passé (or even detrimental to your business) the next.

If your website looks old, then it probably is.

And if your competitor’s website looks cool, modern, and relevant, then it definitely is.

Angry boss

Things you shouldn’t say

Your company needs a new website. That’s obvious.

And you’ve collected evidence that it’s a good idea, too.

Before visiting your boss and making your pitch, here are some things you shouldn’t say:

  • Our website sucks and I’m embarrassed to send anyone to it
  • Let’s find a cheap redesign company on Kijiji
  • You know, we can build and run it ourselves
  • Whoever built our website is an idiot (especially if it’s the boss or one of his family members)

Boss, we need a new website…

Your website is the #1 destination people visit when they want to learn about your company.

Not the yellow pages.

Not making a phone call.

Not social media.

Your website.

And if it has the issues mentioned above, it’s hurting your business.

Now, when your boss asks “how much is this gonna cost”, you can say that you booked a FREE consultation with WEB ROI to review your website, identify areas of opportunity, and eliminate the frustrations you have with it.

Your boss will love that.

Schedule your FREE website consultation today

The Best of Money-Making Monday for 2017.

Merry Christmas from WEB ROI

The entire team here at WEB ROI wants to wish a very Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year, too) to you and your families.

As this is a time of year to be reflective, we’d like to say thank you to all our clients, supporters and partners for making 2017 such a success.

Some highlights include:

  • Launching brand new client websites (highlights include: Painting By The Whitehouse, Homes By Jalaj, Multi-Storage, and Green Scene Landscaping).
  • Numerous website redesigns (such as for Lawrence Park Complete Garden Care, Elreg Distributors Ltd., and George Sinclair Construction).
  • Welcoming back old friends (Kyle Gellatly) and adding new members (Tiffany Armstrong, Denise Bowen) to the WEB ROI family.

It was also an incredibly busy year ever posting and sharing blogs with you all. 

You were certainly passionate about reading and sharing them. 

Before putting a bow on 2017, let’s take one last look at the Money-Making Monday blog topics which resonated with you the most.

Not using social mediaNot Using Social Media? That’s Bad.

The first blog of 2017 focused on social media marketing.

(After all, in 2017, it’s strange if your business isn’t on social media).

In short, too many businesses still don’t think they need a social media presence.

And those who do are making the critical mistake of using their personal Facebook or Twitter pages to promote or share company updates.

Plus, not using social media robs you of other benefits like:

If you weren’t able to hop on the social media train in 2017 (and it’s showing no signs of slowing down), there’s no better time than 2018 (or sooner) for your business to jump aboard.

Missed this blog the first time? Read it here

Thumbs-upWhat Makes a Good Social Post? (Infographic)

After learning why you need to be on social media, the next logical step was learning what to say.

The first WEB ROI infographic of the year expanded upon January’s topic about social media marketing.

While it seems easy to write something and post/tweet it with the click of a button, there’s much more behind crafting an effective social media post.

Such as:

  • Posts need to build towards something (don’t just ask for people to buy from you)
  • Share info and tips which are helpful (don’t just ask for people to buy from you)
  • Talk and talk back when folks say something (don’t just ask for people to buy from you)

Notice a pattern?

Effective social posts (the kinds people will share with friends) are more about who’s reading them as opposed to who’s writing them.

Missed this blog the first time? Read it here

Local SEONot Doing Local SEO Like This? You’re Missing Out.

This may have been the most popular Money-Making Monday blog of the entire year.

A quick refresher on local SEO:

  • Local SEO is a super-targeted digital marketing strategy focused on connecting your business with consumers in your immediate area.

Let’s say you have a home improvement business in Hamilton, ON. If someone finds you in Hamilton New Zealand, well, that doesn’t really help you now does it?

Of course not.

You need your company to be found by people who are nearby AND looking for the products or services you offer.

That’s what local SEO can do for you.

Missed this blog the first time? Read it here

Trash can5 Things to Remove From Your Website Now

Business owners want their websites to be full of things like:

  • Email contact addresses
  • Videos
  • Lots of content

While those things can be good, they can also negatively impact your website’s performance, as August’s blog attests to.

That’s because while you might think they’re important to have, the people you’re trying to attract don’t.

If they see them on your site, they might end up leaving. And once they’re gone, it’s very unlikely they’ll come back.

Missed this blog the first time? Read it here

Hammering the competitionContractors, Hammer the Competition.

This blog took direct aim at the very competitive contractor industry.

It seems that there’s too many contractors and not enough high-quality, big money jobs to go around.

Since the majority of people head to the Internet when researching a company, that’s where you have the best chance of getting found first.

If you’re a contractor, here’s how you can hammer the competition online:

  • Showcase the best work your company has done with high-quality pictures.
  • Find the right keywords people use when looking for you.
  • Invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to target the best possible leads.
  • Patiently nurture leads until they’re ready to buy from you.

You know the quality of your work speaks for itself.

But if customers can’t find your website, they’ll never see it for themselves. Instead, they’ll see the quality of your competitor’s work.

Missed this blog the first time? Read it here

Merry Christmas & Happy New YearMerry Christmas. Happy New Year.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is around the corner and that 2017 is almost over.

The past year marked WEB ROI’s 12th anniversary providing business owners like you with full-service digital marketing designed to get more leads and deliver a tangible return on investment.

And, as always, it’s been our pleasure to do so.

No matter how you plan on spending the holidays, and who you’ll spend them with, we hope they’re full of family, friends and fun.

See you in 2018!

Holiday giftAn early, FREE, Christmas gift from WEB ROI

Can’t wait to open what’s under the tree?

Here’s an early Christmas gift that won’t cost you anything.

Contact us for a FREE 30 minute business consultation.

It’s just a conversation about where your business is at, where you want it to be, and how digital marketing can help get it there for you.

It’s FREE with no obligation on your part to purchase or do anything.

Take advantage now. Book your FREE 30 minute business consultation today.

Book Your FREE Consultation Now