Victoria Byrne

Victoria Byrne

Victoria Byrne is the founder of Creative Marketing Services, CMS.  She has worked in corporate as well as small business marketing for over 15 years, helping her clients achieve optimal results through a combination of creative and cost effective marketing initiatives.  Victoria is a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and regularly speaks at educational seminars where she shares tips and advice on a variety of online marketing methods.

Running a Social Media Campaign on Facebook can be a great way to engage your fans, increase your fan base, collect new email contacts and grow your business!

Here are some tips for how to run a successful social media campaign:

 

  1. Type of Campaign – Determine which type of social campaign that you’re going to run. For example, are you going to feature an enter to win sweepstakes, coupon offer or free download, etc…
  2. Utilize an App or Service – It’s key to use a tool or app, such as Constant Contact Social Campaigns tool to setup and organize your campaign within your business Facebook page.  With this tool, you can easily create a professional-looking Facebook landing page with the details of your offer, publish/promote the campaign plus track your results.  It requires people to enter their email address in order to take advantage of your offer.  In addition, it provides a “Share” page which lets people easily share the offer with their personal connects on their own social media pages. Better yet, every entry will automatically be added to your email database within Constant Contact so you’ll be all set to market to these contacts in the future.
  3. Kick Start it with an Email Campaign – Create and send a dedicate email campaign to your current database with a direct link to the social campaigns tab within your Facebook timeline and encourage them to share it with their friends/family.This can help you convert your database into fans and bring more visibility to your campaign.Don’t forget to share this email on Facebook too so that your current fans can also participate in your social campaign. Your “raving fans” are the ones most likely to share your campaign with their friends on Facebook.
  4. Run Ads on Facebook – Running ads on Facebook for your campaign is a great way to reach beyond your current audience and we highly recommend it to fully optimize your results. You can create a very defined target audience based on geography, age, sex, etc. and key is to define their interests. Facebook ads can be very cost effective and are easy to setup. Remember to include the link to your social media tab within your ad so that you’re driving traffic directly to the campaign, rather than simply your Facebook page so they can take immediate action without having to search for the details. We recommend that you target people outside of your current fan base for these ads.
  5. Promote, Promote, Promote – Update your cover photo to include the details of your social campaign. Also, regularly feature the campaign on all of your social media sites during the life of your campaign. Within your posts ask your fans to “share” with their friends. We’ve seen great results from paying to “boost” your posts about the campaign on Facebook to your fans & their friends. Send a reminder email to your database 24 hours before the social campaign offer is set to expire.

Watch this video to see how quickly you can setup a social campaign in Constant Contact!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in running a social campaign? Try Constant Contact for FREE for 60 Days. Start Your FREE Trial Today!

 

 

I’ve been helping clients grow their businesses with email marketing for over 14 years and it’s truly one of the most cost effective ways to reach and engage your audience. Whether you’re marketing to consumers or businesses, you can’t beat it. The average return on investment is $41 per every $1 spent* and since it’s so cost effective, it’s easy to test and try new things to help get the best results.

Online marketing is constantly changing and evolving so it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and incorporate best practice in order to achieve optimal results.

Recent studies indicate that email marketing is on the rise and will increase over the next 5 years and to help you make the most out of your efforts, I’ve listed out the Top 10 Email Marketing Best Practices for Optimal Results.

Follow these email marketing best practices:

1. Mobile-Friendly
Between 55% - 65% of all emails are currently opened on mobile devices and in order to provide the best user experience, your top priority should be designing your email campaigns for mobile. On average people, check their phones 150 times per day. If readers have to “pinch” to “enlarge” to read your emails they’re not going to take the time to read your message and you have a higher likelihood that they will unsubscribe and you’ll lose them. Focus on a single column layout that will look great on mobile devices. Constant Contact has a number of great mobile responsive email templates that you can easily customize with your logo and branding so you’ll look great in the inbox! Don’t forget to send yourself a preview of your emails and open them on your smartphone/ mobile devices before hitting send.

2. Less is More
Since more than half of all emails are read on mobile devices, it’s important to keep your messaging concise and to the point. Avoid having lengthy content that goes on and on, instead include a catchy headline, excerpt and link to read more/buy today/register now which drives traffic to your website. If you’re using an email service provider, you’ll get detailed reporting including who clicked on which links. Think of your next email campaign design in terms of a picture, a paragraph and a call to action. Keep your audience focused on your message and avoid including a lot of links. Having fewer links within your email will likely results in a higher click thru rate.

3. Feature Call to Action
As you start working on your next email campaign, outline your goal and what action you want your readers to take. Feature a concise and compelling single call to action within the top 25% of your email so that it will appear above the scroll – especially on mobile devices. You want to make sure that it’s one of the first things your readers see when first opening your email.

4. Use Images & Videos to Increase Engagement
Just like with social media, it’s important to include visually stimulating images within your email campaigns to capture reader’s attention. It’s best to use a balance of text and images without over relying on images. For example, don’t include all of your content within a single image in the email. If your image doesn’t load for the reader, none of your messaging will reach them. We’ve seen that keeping the number of images within your email to 3-5 provides best results. Keep in mind that less is more. In addition, you can further increase engagement when including a video within your emails. An additional tip is to include the word “video” in your subject line.

5. Use a Permission Based List
When it comes to email marketing for your business it’s important that you keep in compliance and follow best practices. A key best practice is to utilize a permission based list and not through a purchased list or emails found online. You don’t want to be viewed as a spammer and while it can take time to build a quality list, it is well worth the effort. Permission based email lists consists of both explicit and implied consent. For example, your current customers follow under this umbrella because you have permission to contact them. If you’re at a networking event and exchange business cards with someone then that is also consider permission based since they provided you with their contact information. Based on our experience, we’ve found that if you specifically ask permission or give people the ability to opt-in (i.e. sign up form on your website), you’ll see best results. After all, your email marketing results largely depends on the quality of your database so this is not a place to take shortcuts.

If you’re using email marketing for your business, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act

6. Optimize the From Line – Will the Reader Recognize You?
You’ve taken the time to write great content for your email campaign and now you need to focus on getting your email opened. The top determining factor on whether or not someone is going to open your email is the “from line”. If they don’t recognize who the email is coming from, they are not going to open it, period. Your “from line” should include your company name as well as a recognizable email address. Avoid using generic email addresses like This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as they will have a higher likelihood of ending up in junk folders. Be consistent with how your audience knows you online, like on social media. Consider including your name followed by your company name if that will increase the likelihood of being recognized.

7. Create a Compelling & Short Subject
What’s going to help you stand out in the inbox? Creating a compelling subject line that will grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to open the email “now” is key. If the reader classifies the email as they’ll read it “later” that will more than likely become “never”. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and consider what’s in it for them/why they should open your email? Test different subject lines conducting A/B tests. Shorter subject lines consistently outperform longer subject lines so keep it to 5-7 words and be clear and creative. A good subject line can make all of the difference in how effective your campaign will be. Top performing subject lines include: discounts & offers, create a sense of urgency, ask questions, provide top tips, include a sense of mystery, personalize, exclusivity, entertain…bottom line is be creative!

8. Don’t Use Spam Tactics
Avoid using any spam tactics & terms. Be authentic in your messaging and don’t use trickery in your subject lines just to get the email opened. Avoid spam terms in your subject line like: refund, free, guarantee, urgent, fees, credit, act now, etc…Follow the best practices outlined in this article.

9. Test, Test, Test
Since email marketing is so cost effective, it makes it easy to test and try new things. As with ANY marketing method, the key to success with email marketing is to test, test and test some more! Take a close look at your email statistics to help determine the effectiveness of your campaigns. Conduct A/B Test for the following:

· Subject Lines

· Content

· Promotions

· Calls to Action

· Targeted Messages

· Day and Time of Day emails are sent

The more testing you conduct, the more educated you’ll be in regards to what’s working and what’s not.

10. Review & Analyze Reporting
One of the benefits of using an Email Service Provider is the detailed reports that you’ll receive for your campaigns. For example, what is your open rate? It is above your industry’s average? An open rate of 20-25% is considered to be a good open rate, on average. The more you can personalize and include relevant content for your readers, the more likely you are to build a strong following where your customers look forward to receiving your email, thus resulting in a significantly higher open rate. Review the following for each campaign:

· Open rate

· Click thru rate

· Bounce Rate

· Opt-outs

· Spam Reports

Review and analyze the reports for every campaign you send and use the insights to apply the knowledge you’ve gained into action items for your next campaign.

 

For best results, send email campaigns on a monthly, consistent basis to keep top of mind with your audience.

 

Ready to get started with email marketing? Sign up for a FREE 60 Day Trial to Constant Contact.

 

View Our Upcoming Seminars + Webinars on Email Marketing, Social Media & Websites/WordPress

 

*Sources: American Marketing Association, Adobe Systems Email Survey, Forbes.com, Constant Contact

 

These days it's reported that 65% or more of all emails are read on mobile devices so it's important that you're designing your email campaigns to provide the best user experience.  In other words, when creating your email newsletters or email promotions, no longer design them for the desktop user, but specifically design them for mobile.

5 Tips for Mobile-friendly Emails:

  1. Include One Call to Action
  2. Use a Single Column Layout
  3. Content - Less is More!
  4. Use Larger Fonts
  5. Test it Out!

Eliminate having a sidebar or multi-column layout, instead go with a single column which will render better on mobile devices.  If you're readers have to "pinch to enlarge" to read the content or have a challenge viewing the information that you're sharing with them, they're not going to spend the time to try to make it work and as a result you've lost the opportunity to engage your audience and share your message with them.

Instead use a single column layout, with one call to action (within the upper 25% of the email, above the scroll), focus on less is more when it comes to the content, use larger font sizes (22 pt for headlines, 12 pt for body content) and be sure to test it out!  Send yourself a test both on mobile as well as desktop, check all links, layout and spell check before scheduling your email.

The average person looks at their phone approximately 150 times per day, so don't miss the opportunity to connect with your target audience with a great looking mobile-friendly email!

For more email marketing tips, attend one of the free email marketing seminars presented by CMS.  View our upcoming list of events.

Friday, 28 November 2014 02:35

Responsive Website Design: Why You Need It

Having a strong mobile website presence is more important than ever because it is estimated that mobile internet usage will surpass desktop usage by the start of 2015, if not before.  More people are using mobile devices for everyday tasks that they used to rely on their desktops for, including: browsing the Internet, online shopping, social media and reading emails.  According to BrightEdge MobileShare Report, smartphone traffic increased 125% as compared to desktop growth, which increased only 12 percent over the past twelve months.

 

What is Responsive Website Design & Why You Need It?

Responsive Website Design is one of the hottest trends because it allows one site design to function and navigate seamlessly across different devices, thus eliminating the need for a separate mobile version of the website.  The layout changes based on the size of the screen that the website is being displayed on.  For example, on a smartphone, the content displays in a single column view, while on a tablet it may display in two columns.  Many WordPress themes include responsive designs, however not all have this feature so if you're starting to develop a new website, make sure that the theme incorporates this feature.

Responsive Website Design:

  • Website "responds" to the size of the screen being displayed on
  • Single design works on ALL devices/screen sizes
  • Eliminates the need for a secondary "mobile" version of the website - less to maintain
  • Provides a better user experience which can lead to higher conversion rates
  • Google recommended - view details as featured in an article by Search Engine Land

 

What is the percentage of traffic visiting your website on mobile devices?

If you have Google Analytics on your website, take the time to view the breakdown of traffic from desktop, tablet and mobile devices. If you have good engagement with visitors on desktop, how does this compare to the user experience on mobile devices?  For example, when it comes to mobile devices does the time on site or pages per visit drop off or does the bounce rate significantly increase? Those are clear indicators that visitors are not having a good user experience when viewing your website on a mobile device and it's time to take action to optimize your website to ensure you're providing a user friendly, strong mobile design.

With Google Analytics, you'll be able to view the following data by device (see screen shot example below):

  • Percentage of new users
  • New visits
  • Bounce rate
  • Pages per visit
  • Average visit duration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don't have Google Analytics, then we highly recommend that you create an account, after all it's FREE.  We suggest that you review your web stats, through Google Analytics, a minimum of at least once a month to monitor and track the effectiveness of your website.  Plus, you'll be able to see how your online marketing initiatives are measuring up.  What campaigns are driving quality traffic to your website, etc.  Google Analytics now has an app for the iPhone so you can view your web stats anytime and anywhere...how convenient is that?

How does your website measure up?

View your company's website on a smartphone or tablet and test the user experience.

  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • How's the font size/readability? 
    Do you have to "pinch to enlarge" in order to read the content or navigate the site?
  • Is the call(s) to action above the scroll?
  • Is the phone number click-able?
  • How well is your branding represented?
  • How quickly does your website load on mobile devices?  It is estimate that 75% of consumers will wait 5 seconds for a web page to load on mobile devices before abandonment.

 

Creative Marketing Services specializes in website optimization and responsive WordPress website designs so if you'd like to provide a better mobile user experience, contact us or give us a call at 949-916-7970 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you establish a strong mobile presence.

Monday, 03 November 2014 02:13

Online & On-Target for 2015

Online and On-Target Marketing Seminar

Join us for a morning of workshops, networking, and amazing resources for your business! We'll be covering the hottest online marketing topics and tools.

Take away tips, techniques and resources to help Grow Your Business in 2015!

FREE EVENT (registration required)

Register Now>>>

Why you don't want to miss this Mega Marketing Event:

  • Great opportunity to network with business owners
  • Meet local marketing professionals
  • Learn the latest Tools and Resources to Help Grow Your Business!
  • Leave ready to take ACTION!
  • Chance to WIN great prizes
  • It's FREE!

3 Marketing Workshops:

Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert

 

 

 

 

 

Our experts will explain the benefits of incorporating the latest tools to get the most out of your online marketing and tips for developing an effective plan to grow your business in 2015!

Workshop Topics:

  1. Your Digital Marketing Strategy: A 10 Point Plan to Grow Your Business
  2. DIY Video Marketing: 10 Tips for Success
  3. Create Emails that Rock...and Sell by Incorporating the Latest Trends

Event Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Event Location: Casino San Clemente

Register Now>>>

 

Friday, 17 April 2015 22:57

WordPress Bootcamp for Beginners

WordPress Bootcamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORDPRESS: Learn it Today, Use it Tonight & Start Saving Money Tomorrow!
Saturday, May 2, 2015


During this bootcamp, experts will demonstrate how to how to manage and maintain a blog or website with WordPress. Plus, you’ll walk away knowing the latest & greatest coolest tools designed to save you time and money.

  • Easy to Use, Maintain and Administer
  • Create Pages and Posts in Minutes
  • Add New Content Quickly & Easily
  • User-friendly interface: CMS (Content Management System)

WordPress Hands-on Laptop BootcampThe possibilities are endless with WordPress. Discovery why… Register today!

 

 

Who is this Seminar Designed for?
Businesses t
hat are …

  • Using WordPress for their blog
  • Using WordPress for their website
  • Considering making the switch to WordPress

What You'll Learn:

  • Why WordPress is so popular for business websites & blogs
  • How to install WordPress in five minutes
  • How to change permalinks
  • How to leverage the power & flexibility of WordPress to increase sales
  • How to choose the right theme
  • How to update & manage your blog or website
  • Top 10 Must Have Plugins
  • Learn the difference between Plugins and Widgets
  • User Roles
  • Maintenance & Security
  • Helpful WordPress Resources & Tips
  • How to measure & track results with Analytics

WordPress Bootcamp Only $139Hands-on: 1.5 - 2.0 hours

***Lunch Included***

Agenda:
10:45 AM  WordPress Presentation + Hands-on Session
12:30 PM  Lunch Provided
12:45 PM  WordPress Bootcamp Continues
2:30   PM   Program Ends

Extended Q&A Session

Class Size: Limited to 20 people

FREE Bonus Workshop - Supercharge Your Social Media +
WordPress 5 Best Practices
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Where:
National University, Costa Mesa

Cost: $139.00

 

 

Register Today!

Testimonials from prior CMS WordPress Bootcamps:

"We have spent 10's of thousands of dollars and not received the information obtained today!"

"Great workshop in a short time span"

 

 

WordPress Bootcamp Details

During the hands-on portion of the bootcamp, you'll be provided access to a "Creative Marketing Services practice site" where you'll get first hand experience with a WordPress theme.  Access to this "Creative Marketing Services practice site" will only be available during the bootcamp on May 2nd.

Note: This bootcamp will provide guidance for Getting Started with WordPress as well as tips and resources.  Participants should not expect to complete or build a website during the time allocated for the bootcamp. The tools, tips and resources provided will give participants great knowledge for getting started on their own following the bootcamp.  Participants will receive a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation following the event with a checklist for getting started with WordPress. Bootcamp instructors will be there to answer questions and provide tips/guidance; they will not be conducting any website development for the participants.

Bootcamp Requirements

  • -Participants must bring a working laptop with wireless Internet connection and have a current/up-to-date browser and OS.
  • -You must be familiar with your laptop and how to access the Internet using your laptop's wireless connection.
  • -Please note that access to the "Creative Marketing Services practice" WordPress site will only be made available on May 2nd.
  • -Laptops are required.  Tablets and iPads should not be used.  No time will be spent to trouble shoot laptop issues.
  • -The hands-on portion of the bootcamp will NOT be covering the following: styling, custom programming, plug-in conflicts and theme conflicts.
    • Reserve your spot and register today! 

     

    A portion of the proceeds from the WordPress Bootcamp will go to Score-OC.

    *Note: No refunds will be issued for no-shows, travel delays, missed sessions or cancellations. In the event there is insufficient enrollment in a course, you will be notified by email and refunded your full registration fee.

    Creative Marketing Services, LLC (CMS) is recognized for acheiving exemplary marketing results.

    CMS has received the 2013 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than half a million small organizations worldwide. Each year, Constant Contact bestows the All Star Award to a select group of businesses and nonprofits that are successfully leveraging online marketing tools. CMS is being recognized as a Solution Provider All Star for its success achieved on behalf of our clients. Campaign results ranked among the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer base.

    "We’re honored to be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong marketing results on behalf of our clients again this year. Constant Contact’s tools have helped us better manage customer relationships and engagement.” – Victoria Byrne, President of Creative Marketing Services, LLC (CMS).

    Constant Contact customers and Solution Providers using the company’s Email Marketing tools are eligible for this award. Constant Contact looked at the following criteria to select this year’s All Stars:

    • Level of engagement with email campaigns and events
    • Open, bounce, and click-through rates
    • Use of social sharing features
    • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
    • Use of reporting tools

    “We’re always delighted when small businesses and nonprofits are successful,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. “We’re honored to recognize CMS as an All Star, and to be able to shine the spotlight on its achievements in 2013.”

    About Constant Contact, Inc.

    Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. More than half a million
    small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use the company’s online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local
    deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys.  Only Constant Contact offers the proven combination of affordable tools and free KnowHow, including local seminars, personal coaching and award-winning product support. The company
    further supports small organizations through its extensive network of consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises and national associations.

     

    Sunday, 25 August 2013 01:47

    Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Email Database

    Email marketing can be the most cost-effective method to reach your target audience and therefore a top priority should be increasing the size of your permission based database.  There are a number of great ways to easily grow your email database and I’ve included the proven TOP 10 Methods here:

    1. Website
      Add an email sign up form to every page of your website.  Provide compelling benefits for subscribers, such as exclusive offers, expert tips, news, etc.

    2. Social Media
      Add email sign up form (or link to sign up form) to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  In addition, on a semi-regular basis create posts encouraging people to sign up and include link to the online form.  On Facebook you can add a tab where fans can Join Your List.

    3. Forward to a Friend Button
      Include a “Forward to a Friend” button in your email newsletter or campaign.  This will help reminder your subscribers to forward your email to friends or family that may benefit from your products, services or valuable tips that you’ve included in that issue.

    4. Join My Mailing List Button
      Include a “Join My Mailing List” button so when your subscribers forward your email their friends or family they can easily sign up to receive your future emails with one click of the button.

    5. Events 
      Make the most out of your events by including an email sign up form and include a sample of a past newsletter/ email campaign.  Also include a sign that includes bullet point with compelling benefits for subscribers and indicate how frequently they will receive emails from you.

    6. Showroom/ Office
      At your reception desk, add an email sign up form along with a sign that includes bullet point with compelling benefits for subscribers and indicate how frequently they will receive emails from you.

    7. Text to Join/ QR Code
      At events that you're participating at like trade shows, exhibits or presentations, create a "Text to Join" sign where people can text to sign up for your email newsletters (see CMS example to the right).  You can also create a QR Code where people can scan to opt-in to your list.  What great ways to streamline the opt-in process and eliminate the need for you to have to manually enter their data!  These tools are available from email service provider Constant Contact.

    8. New Customers
      Ask each new customer if they’d like to sign up to receive your email newsletters/ campaigns.  Give them the list of benefits for signing up and let them know that you will never share their information with anyone.

    9. Strategic Partners
      This is a great way to significantly expand your visibility.  Feature your strategic partner that may offer complementary products or services to your business in your email newsletter and include a link to their website or email sign up.  In turn, have your strategic partner feature your business in their email newsletter with a link to sign up for your emails. 

      Note: don’t just add your strategic partner’s email list into your database. These people have not given you their permission to email them and as a result you may get a high SPAM report which can have a negative effect on your email marketing.

    10. Contest or Sweepstakes
      Feature a contest or sweepstake which includes an exciting grand prize suited for your target audience when they agree to sign up for your emails.
    Note: Research official contest or sweepstakes rules and regulations prior to launching this promotion to make sure that it is in compliance.

     

    The homepage of your website is the most important page of your site.  It's where the majority of visitors enter your site and you only have a few seconds to grab their attention and connect with them.  It's key that visitors like your site and can find what they're looking for quickly and easily.  If not, they move on to another site and you're out of luck.

    To make sure that doesn't happen to you, we've included the following Website Checklist for Your Home Page with 10 "Must Have" Items to help you make the most of this upcoming Holiday season and all year round.

     

    1. Logo and Brand Identifier - Include your company logo and tagline at the top of the page so visitors will instantly know what website they are visiting.  Also include other branding elements (i.e. tagline, color scheme, key selling points, etc) so that you are consistent across all marketing vehicles.  Include images that clearly communicate and relate to what your business does.

    2. Phone Number - Feature your company's phone number prominently in the upper right hand corner of the home page as well as every page of the website.  You want to make it as easy as possible for clients and prospective clients to get in touch with you.  While most traffic will enter your website through the home page, they are many gates to entry for your site and you don't want people to have to search for your contact information.

    3. Contact Us - Include either a contact us page in the main navigation bar or an email link directly on the home page.  Again, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to contact you without having to search for your contact info.  Avoid including your actual email address on the website as this will increase the amount of SPAM in your inbox.  It's a best practice to use a contact form where you can collect basic information from the person so that you'll have better insight on them before contacting them.  Keep it short (around 5 data fields or so) and in addition to basic contact information, ask them to indicate what product(s) or service(s) they are interested in, how you can help them and how they heard about you so that you can track the source of your leads.  If you have a brick and mortar business, then also include the hours and days of the week that you are open.  Finally, include a "get directions" link.

    4. Clear Navigation- Include a simple navigation bar either across the top of the page or down the side of the page with working links.  If your site has numerous pages, then incorporate a drop down menu instead of trying to crowd too many links in the main navigation.  Also, be sure to test your links regularly or use Google Webmaster tools to make sure that they are working.  Broken links will lead to incomplete orders or traffic navigating away from your site.

    5. Compelling Headline -Include a strong headline that stands out and conveys why your audience should use your product or service.  In other words, what you can do for them?  Following the headline, include key marketing messaging via bullet points and focus on what sets you apart from your competition.

    6. Call to Action -What action do you want your visitors to take?  Do you want them to register for an event, sign up for a free trial or place an order or learn more about a product or service? Incorporate a clear call to action that stands out from the other content on the home page.  We've seen too many businesses that simply try to put everything including the kitchen sink on their home page.  Nobody wants to spend time to have to read through the muddle, instead keep the content on the home page limited to only the key marketing communications.  You have an entire website to house the majority of the content so keep the home page clean, simple and concise.

    7. Company Overview - At a glance, identify the products or services that your company provides.  Avoid going into too much detail on the home page because before you know it, there will be a ton of content on the homepage which visitors will not read.  Instead the idea is that you want to provide an overview which will hook the reader to want to learn more, therefore clicking through deeper within the site where you provide more details on a particular product or service. Include a "read more" link where the reader can learn more.  Also remember to include your keywords within the content of your website.

    8. Email Opt-In Form - Include an opt-in form on your home page as well as every page of the site for the reasons outlined above.  Be creative and provide reasons why a visitor should sign up to receive your company newsletter.  For example, include an overview of the type of information that is included, the frequency or include a special offer like a discount on their first order or maybe a free download as a thank you for signing up.  If you are using an email service provider like Constant Contact, the entries will automatically be added to your email database which will generate a welcome email that you can customize (i.e. include the coupon or link to download, etc.).

    9. Social Media Icons - It has been reported that only 20% of small businesses feature their social media icons on their website.  Whether your company is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, you want to promote your company's social media presence and provide a direct link to the social media site. Essentially, you want to give your audience a choice for how to connect with you while making it as easy as possible for them to do so.

    10. Google Analytics - Have your webmaster incorporate Google Analytics on every page of your website.  Google Analytics is free and provides an incredible amount of comprehensive data including metrics like: how many visitors were on your site, what percentage of the traffic was new (never been to your site before), how long are visitors staying on the site, what are the traffic sources, and what are the top content pages.  For any business, it is critical to track and measure metrics so that you can determine how effective any marketing initiative is performing.  It is no different when it comes to your website.  You want to track your website stats to determine the effectiveness of your website.  By tracking your website stats, you'll be able to see what's working and what is not.  It's a great way to test different content, offers or incentives to see which is best converting for your target audience.

    Saturday, 30 June 2012 19:21

    WordPress Hands-on Bootcamp

    WordPress Hands-on Bootcamp

    Maximize Your Website & Blog | Saturday, July 14th

    During this bootcamp, experts will demonstrate how to how to manage and maintain a blog or website with WordPress. Plus, you’ll walk away knowing the latest & greatest coolest tools designed to save you time and money.

    The possibilities are endless with WordPress. Discovery why… Register today!

    Who is this Seminar Designed for?
    Businesses t
    hat are …

    • Using WordPress for their blog
    • Using WordPress for their website
    • Considering making the switch to WordPress

    What You'll Learn:

    • Why WordPress is so popular for business websites & blogs
    • How to leverage the power & flexibility of WordPress to increase sales
    • How to choose the right theme
    • How to update & manage your blog or website
    • Top 10 Must Have Plugins
    • Learn the difference between Plugins and Widgets
    • Helpful WordPress Resources & Tips
    • How to measure & track results with Analytics

    Hands-on: 1.5 - 2.0 hours

    ***Lunch Included***

    Agenda:
    10:00 AM - 11:45 AM WordPress Presentation (demonstration only)
    11:45 AM - 12:00 PM Lunch Provided
    12:00 PM - 1:45 PM Hands-on Session

    Extended Q&A Session

    Class Size: Limited to 30 people

    FREE Bonus Workshop - Social Media Marketing Made Simple + WordPress Presentation
    8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

    Where:
    National University, Costa Mesa

      Cost: $139.00


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