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So you’ve started an online business, nailed the value proposition, financial plan, and marketing, and hit the level of growth you were aiming for. That’s fantastic news! But the work doesn’t stop there, and it isn’t quite as simple as carrying on in that vein until you’re making millions, because greater success also poses technical and logistical challenges.

After all, a website that remains as smooth as butter with a hundred visitors might slow to a crawl with two hundred simultaneous users and stop functioning entirely with three hundred all issuing requests at the same time. And then there’s the added demand of handling a workload that can easily surge out of control.

Here’s how I recommend you go about scaling up your online business to meet demand and support further growth.

Use Automation Tools

As an online business owner, automation should be your best friend. Using computer software to carry out everyday processes without needing your input, you can achieve vastly improved levels of efficiency and free up a great deal of time as a result. Automated systems also have the effect of eliminating the trivial errors that humans so frequently produce.

WordPress websites can quickly and easily be made more efficient through the use of plugins such as Yoast SEO or CoSchedule, or there’s downloadable software, cloud solutions, or further add-ons or widgets (depending on the specific system in use). You can deal with a wide variety of common business processes using automation, such as the following:

  • Taking payment from a variety of sources
  • Acknowledging and tracking received requests
  • Optimising pages for SEO and readability
  • Establishing and maintaining detailed performance logs
  • Allocating and tracking employee tasks
  • Promoting content through social media

Aside from the technical elements of online retail, you should also prioritize automating as much as possible of your marketing plan through a tool such as ActiveCampaign or Ontraport. If you define all the parameters for how you want your customers to be sorted when your numbers are still manageable by hand, you’ll position yourself to truly benefit from a huge influx of traffic.

Automation can truly be transformative. For instance, Affinity Management Group added PerfectForms to their sales process and found that their resource costs went down while they yielded response rates 4 to 5 times higher than their industry standard.

You can also delegate various tasks through outsourcing to save even more time. If you put a trustworthy party in charge of your website maintenance, for instance, then you can forget about the technical parts and stick to your business model.

Future-Proof Your Technology

Everything from the computers you work on to the software you run can present a bottleneck for scaling. Small businesses in particular can get into ruts of using complex processes and workarounds to continue using outdated technology, but it’s unlikely to be fit for purpose with a tripled workload. Investing in tech now means saving time and money later.

For instance, picking up an existing business (as opposed to building one from scratch) is an increasingly-popular option today because you get to avoid a lot of the technical hassle involved with creating your own. In the ecommerce world, for instance, there are plenty of businesses for sale on optimised systems that make it so much easier to scale smoothly to meet expanding demand. The back-end software and hardware are updated and upgraded for you. This user-friendly advancement is a huge part of why WordPress is such a popular platform.

If your business website isn’t running on a hosting setup that has sufficient room for expansion, you’ll need to look into moving it to one that does. Whether this will involve migrating to an out-of-the-box solution of the kind you can get through Shopify, Yo!Kart or Tictail (among many others) or finding a custom dedicated solution with the pricing model and level of flexibility you need, well, that will depend on your particular requirements.

The best hosting solutions can rapidly divert resources to handle not only high levels of traffic but also seasonal or event-based spikes. When Concrete Solutions moved ecommerce site Casa & Video to Amazon Web Services, their Infrastructure Manager Daniel Ferreira gave the following explanation:

“The elasticity and robustness of AWS attracted our attention, especially the elasticity that could quickly leverage the business and respond to seasonality that, in our case, happens on holidays.”

Take a look at as many comparisons as you can, such as this one, and aim to spend a little more on hosting than you think you need to, just to be safe. Perhaps your current hosting can handle it, and that’s good news if so, but know that arrangements can change. If you keep in mind that you may need to change your setup on little notice, you’ll be ready for it if it happens.

Plan to Meet Increased Demand

As noted earlier, scaling presents various logistical challenges, and one of them is meeting a significant increase in demand. However smooth a business setup might be, there will always be a practical cap on how quickly it can resolve its workload, and growing past your current limits will inevitably lead to a grinding halt in operation and a punishing blow to your perceived level of professionalism.

To prevent reaching a point of failure, make absolutely sure that your process is rock-solid and capable not only of meeting the level of demand you’re aiming for but actually comfortably exceeding it. That way, if you become the victim of your own success, you’ll have the time you need to scale back down a little without suffering a catastrophic shutdown.

On the topic of shutdowns, do you have the funds to cover a brief operation failure? Things may have proceeded very smoothly for you so far, but it only takes one natural disaster or case of equipment failure to trip you up, and the larger your business gets, the more resources it will drain while it remains out of order. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

And examine your sales funnel. Is it fit for purpose at scale? How much of it requires day-to-day intervention on your part, and how much has been systemised well enough to carry on functioning without in-depth supervision? You should look to systemise as much as possible, per Ryain Weiss, Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer.com:

“When something works, don’t just high-five your team and move on to the next thing on your to-do list. Instead, figure out exactly what you did, step-by-step, to achieve that result. Write it down, and then try to repeat that result following your newly-created, step-by-step process. If you achieve the same result, then hand the process to someone else, and see if they also get the same result.”

As you do so, reach out to owners of comparable businesses (avoiding competitors, of course) to see if they can offer you any specific advice. You may well discover that they know exactly what position you’re in and can steer you clear of a roadblock you might otherwise crash into.

Get the Right Staff

With a limited workload, a one-person operation can be effective — but an individual simply doesn’t have the time or energy to do everything required to grow and scale a business, even considering the relative convenience of selling online.

That’s why you need to patiently assemble the best team you can to support you in your efforts. You may find it tempting to focus on being frugal, but firing employees who aren’t performing or don’t fit their positions is a messy process, as is hiring replacements. You want to get it right the first time, even if that means paying more than you originally intended. It’s an investment in your future — choose wisely.

On that note, try to keep an open mind about your staffing setup, because you aren’t obliged to stick to the classic office arrangement. If you’re not totally sold on local candidates, look elsewhere. Consider remote staff, even overseas if that’s where the best options are (virtual assistants are also an option, though they may not be the long-term solution you need). You may lose something in convenience and team coherence, but you’ll get much more varied experience, and save on the overheads of finding office space to accommodate everyone.

To figure out where you need staff, consider two things:

  • The parts of your business that are taking up the most of your time
  • The areas that could benefit you hugely with a bit more attention

For the former, Matt Lloyd, CEO and Founder of MOBE (a platform with over 750,000 subscribers) recommends picking up an administrative assistant and a salesperson to help you out, and uses the following reasoning:

“Think of it this way, if a golfer had to carry his own clubs in a major tournament, he’d be left with little energy when it comes to taking his shots!”

You should also think about your finances, as even though there are great tools you can use, they’re sufficiently advanced that they need expertise to use properly. It may well be worth hiring a financial expert to take care of that aspect of the business.

As for the latter, there are many avenues with potential you’ll never realise without giving them some meaningful attention. Social media is a big example. You can toil away at social media promotion on a semi-frequent basis and get nowhere at all, or you can hire someone who knows how to do it and discover how cost-effective social marketing can be.

Ultimately, with the right staff at your side, you’ll be in a position to get on with growing the business through sales and networking, knowing that all the tasks you don’t have time to do are in safe hands. You’ll also have their creativity and expertise to draw from as you look to the future. There’s simply no good reason not to hire the best people you can afford to.

Looking to take your online business to the next level through scaling? Make sure you know the risks and commit the time and resources necessary to preparing for the massive shift in operating requirements. It’s entirely possible to handle the shift gracefully if you think everything through beforehand, so make that your goal.

The post How To Successfully Scale Up Your Online Business appeared first on Newt Labs.

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Marketers say that anyone willing to sell a product or service should create the most accurate model of their buyer; it’s called a buyer persona. All marketing efforts revolve around this model. This business approach brings substantial sales’ growth, and it can be used in many different areas—for instance, WordPress security!

To strengthen your site’s security, you should create a hacker persona. Is your site bringing in constant, steady cash flow? If so, your site may attract skilled hackers, so you need to seriously invest in your site’s security. Is your site a part-time money-making activity? Most likely, your hacker persona will be a geek willing to learn the hacking ABCs, and you can defend your site by implementing a few proactive measures.

One of the most undervalued security measures is to use the latest version of WordPress. Updating your WordPress core is terribly simple, and it only takes a few minutes (including making a backup). Here are the reasons why you should update your WordPress websites core version.

1. New Features

Users’ needs evolve, and WordPress should satisfy them. It’s an open-source platform, and a plethora of developers have contributed small improvements. Others have proposed and implemented new features. Overall, WordPress evolves, and we benefit from new releases each year. Check out the Releases Archive to see what new features were brought to the table with each WordPress major version.

2. Speed

Speed is the new SEO, and each millisecond means years for users on the go. The most impatient human on Earth is the mobile user. WordPress developers work hard to make WordPress a blazingly fast platform. Update to the latest version of WordPress to take full advantage of its speed improvements.

3. Bug Fixes

Each new version of Android and iOS is the result of a huge army of skilled developers. In spite of that, the majority of new releases come with bugs—some are pretty important while others are negligible. The same happens with WordPress—nothing man-made is perfect. But by using the latest version of WordPress, you can reduce the number of bugs.

4. Security

Improving your site’s security is the primary reason for updating to the latest version of WordPress. It’s enough for hackers to know your WordPress version and identify your site’s vulnerabilities. This database stores WordPress vulnerabilities, so any hacker can consult it and attack your site based on the WordPress version you run.

While there are many advantages to using the latest version of WordPress, a terrible habit of WordPress users is to update WordPress core without making a backup. The update operation could fail, and the result is a site crash.

Another minor disadvantage of using the latest WordPress version is that your theme and some installed plugins might not to be compatible with it. Still, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and you should definitely use the latest version of WordPress.

How to Update Your WordPress Core 1. Dashboard Update

Updating your WordPress core is an elementary task. Go to your dashboard and click on Updates in the upper left corner. WordPress will notify you of the number of updates available, including the updates for your themes and plugins.

Users, who have installed WordPress 3.7 or newer, benefit from automatic updates for minor improvements. However WordPress 4.9.3 includes a bug, which broke the WordPress auto-update feature so you may need to manually update past this minor version to continue receiving automatic updates until the next major version.

Furthermore some argue that minor versions sometimes include too much and should have been made a major version, however I think this is an exception due to the fact that there are some GDPR considerations to include in core, while Automattic are gearing up for an overhaul on their content editor so they are aiming to reserve that as the very next major release.

Don’t forget to make a complete backup before updating the WordPress core. It may take five or ten minutes to perform a backup, but you will rest, assured that your site won’t be lost. If the WordPress update fails and you haven’t created a backup, you will spend considerably more time resolving the issue.

2. Automatic

I am featuring the possibility of updating to the latest version of WordPress automatically, but I don’t recommend doing it. The update may fail, and that means your site could crash, and you will disappoint visitors until you correct the failure. Your site could go down due to a WordPress update when you are on vacation and disconnected from the Internet. Hence, you could lose clients and hurt your brand.

To enable automatic WordPress core updates, add the following line of code to your site’s wp-config.php file:

define(‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true);

Additionally, you can enable automatic theme and plugin updates by inserting the following lines of code in the functions.php file:

add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_true’ );

add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_true’ );

Using Plugins

There are a few plugins that help webmasters update to the latest version of WordPress. Additionally, they can update themes and plugins and even create backup copies.

1. Easy Update Manager

Over 100,000 active installations and a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars makes Easy Update Manager the first option for many users. These stats don’t come out from thin air; the plugin does its job perfectly, and the interface is beautiful.

Easy Update Manager allows you to disable all updates (totally not recommended) or automatically update the WordPress core, themes, and plugins. The site’s admin and (optionally) other users are notified via email of any core update. A stand-apart feature is the option to switch on or off automatic updates for each of your plugins and themes.

Another worth-mentioning feature is the possibility of excluding users from performing updates.

2. Updater

Updater is a highly configurable plugin; you take the hassle out of updates once you set it up properly. It checks for updates for your themes, plugins, and WordPress core at specific intervals. Updater allows you to auto-update, and you will get an email when new updates are available or when the update is completed.

The premium version of this plugin comes with additional options, such as excluding specific plugins and themes or inactive plugins from automatic updates. On top of that, it creates complete backups before updating, and you can get support within one business day.

3. WP Updates Settings

WP Update Settings is another plugin that helps you deal with updates. Install, activate, and go to the settings area to configure it. All you have to do is to tick or untick some checkboxes.

Minor WordPress core updates are performed by default, and you can decide to do that for major updates, too. The plugin updates themes and plugins, and it notifies you after each update.

4. Automatic Plugin Updates

This plugin does what it’s name says: it enables automatic plugin updates. It has only two optional settings: exclude plugins from automatic updates and send an email notification when an update is performed.

Updating to the latest version of WordPress isn’t rocket science, but it can help you defend your site and make it load faster. Do you pay attention to update notifications? Is it a daily activity or something you ignore? Share your opinion with us, and let us know which method you use to update your WordPress website.

The post Why and How to Use the Latest Version of WordPress appeared first on Newt Labs.

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Often businesses have started different forms of online marketing without much clue of what they’re doing. After months of investing time, efforts, and resources, they don’t see significant improvement and form a permanent mental block against online marketing.

Customers get constantly bombarded with sales messages and over time, have learned to tune these messages out. Through inbound marketing strategies, we focus on distributing relevant content through different channels with a goal to stop chasing and spending on customers. Inbound marketing gives you high conversion rates with zero ad expenditure.

The reason it’s called “inbound” marketing is that we focus on attracting the customers naturally, not through paid ads or other forms of outbound marketing.

So, all strategies we will see in this article are focused on the customer and are fully opposite to those followed in outbound marketing.

Define your business

Every organization (big or small) needs to have a clear picture of its business verticals, goals in each vertical, revenue goals, and a sales process.

Unless you are the pioneer of your industry, you will have many competitors. So, it’s important to understand the state of your own industry too. You need to stay abreast of latest trends, current news, events, and marketplaces where you can list your company to generate more leads.

Define your customer Image Source: Wikipedia

To attract the customer to your brand, you must know what the customer likes, how they want it and how you can satisfy that need. To this effect, you must define a buyer persona.

Content Marketing Institute defines a buyer persona as a nine-part information document having the right depth and insight for the content team to find ideas that customers can identify with.

These 9 parts help define the customer profile:

  • A typical day-in-the-life of your customer
  • Professional problems of the customer which you can solve
  • Customer’s professional objectives
  • Relevant professional obstacles
  • Customer professionally placement
  • Any important information they may need (at each stage of the sales funnel) to make a professional purchase.
  • Any content preferences of your customer
  • Any favorite keywords or phrases of the customer? This gives a huge indication of the style they prefer and the information that is critical to them.
  • Buyer interaction scenarios for your ideal customer combining his/her professional tendencies and trigger points.
Create content that resonates with your buyer persona

CMI defines content marketing as:

…a strategic marketing approach to generate relevant and highly-valuable content on a consistent basis to form a long-term relationship with a well-defined customer.

Content marketing is a big part of inbound marketing. The buyer persona will be the input of your content team. The content your brand generates must be in-tune with the style and tone preferred by your customer. This can be found out by looking at the type of content they already engage with, on a daily basis.

Strengthen your SEO

The goal of SEO is to show Google you have content relevant to certain keywords, which visitors will find useful. For this, you have to get your content ranked on Google first.

To optimize your content for search engines, you need to focus on three important aspects:

  • On-page SEO: Insert your keywords in a healthy-ratio throughout your article, in images, and in the meta Also focus on adding long-tail keywords, which are more specific customizations of your original keywords. Long-tail keywords help you target customers who are closer to conversion in your funnel. Don’t overdo keywords; Google calls it keyword stuffing. And stuffed content never ranks well!
  • Interlinking: Don’t interlink just for the sake of driving traffic from one page to another. If you do that, you may end up with visitors only clicking and opening new tabs. Rather than focusing on “where should I drive traffic to?”, focus on “which articles on my website will the visitor find more relevant while reading the current article”.
  • Off-page SEO: To tell you the truth, content is king, and backlinks are the queen. Without backlinks, it is VERY, very hard to rank your content. Yes, there have been case studies where SEO experts have successfully ranked without building any backlinks but they usually target very low competition keywords. Not every business niche will have low competition keywords. The more backlinks you generate from relevant high authority sites, the more relevant your content appears to Google.

You can use paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush for competitor backlink analysis. Websites like SEO Tools Group Buy and Flikover provide group buy services where you can make use of their interface for using the paid tool. Group buy prices are usually much lower than buying your own account.

Lead Capture and Lead Nurturing

Select a reliable web host for your website so that you don’t lose traffic, leads, and customers because of hosting downtime. Plugins like Thrive Leads and OptinMonster can be integrated while setting up a website. They allow you to create beautiful and professional-looking designs for your email subscription pop-up boxes. These plugins are also highly optimized for conversion.

Once you have their email, the right way is plugging sales content sporadically and after you have given them enough high-value content through email. Once they have bought a service or a product from you, use this trust to make an upsell for higher-value products.

The whole idea of lead nurturing is that you need to sell the right product/service to the right customer, to someone who really needs it. Email is a great way to nurture your leads because it exposes them to your services and when they make a purchase, they are automatically qualified!

Wrapping up

Inbound marketing starts with getting a more refined picture of your own business and building a buyer persona that accurately reflects your ideal customer. The buyer persona will be an input to your content team, so make it as in-depth as possible with as many relevant professional details. The content marketing team will then focus on generating high-value, relevant content consistently.

Once you are able to capture users email addresses, you have given your brand an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with your customers. Use email to nurture leads and further strengthen your relationship with your customers.

The post Top Inbound Marketing Strategies for Business Growth appeared first on Newt Labs.

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The Newt Labs blog is at the core of a community that is growing each day, and we are proud of this fact. Reader satisfaction fuels us to write better and more valuable posts. We have covered a lot of topics—from WordPress basics to complex security threats. However, we have neglected a complicated aspect: how to value a website and generate the conditions for the best exit.

Selling a website is a complex activity that predominantly requires a strong business sense rather than WordPress or coding knowledge. You have to take into account a plethora of factors to correctly value a website. Much more, some elements are dependent on the seller while others are independent. The seller can improve a site’s traffic, but it’s almost impossible to make your website’s niche more attractive.

Unfortunately, there is no precise formula to determine how to value a website. All we can do is estimate. The exact price of your site is the amount of money in your bank account after you provide full site control to the buyer. Nothing more, nothing less!

In this article, I suggest one don’t and three do’s to evaluate your site, and as a bonus, I will share with you some useful tips to make the most profitable exit.

Do NOT Use Online Tools

Most likely, you’ll be tempted to use online calculators that give an instant value of your site. Don’t ever trust them. They are similar to an app where you upload a picture of a house, and it outputs the price. It’s true that the site’s stats are pivotal in determining the value of a website, but its price relies on other factors such as the website’s niche, the market sentiment, or the buyer’s desire, all of which can’t be determined by an app.

1. Revenue Multiple Method

According to this method, the value of a site is determined by the following formulas:

(12÷36) x Monthly Profit = Sale Price

or

(1÷3) x Annual Profit = Sale Price

These formulas are equivalent—the first one refers to the monthly profit while the second one refers to the annual profit. The idea behind this method is that the monthly gain determines the site’s price. Therefore, if you want to get wealth from it, you should do your best to grow the monthly profit.

The first factor of the equation price is called the multiple. Its value varies from 12 to 36, and it really makes a difference. A website that generates £1,000 monthly profit can be sold for £12,000 or £36,000. That’s a pretty significant difference, isn’t it?

The multiple reveals how the buyer and seller perceive the site. On the one hand, a trustworthy site that generates that profit for a year or more and relies on diverse income streams is a secure investment. Consequently, the buyers agree to pay more money because the acquisition is a sure bet. On the other hand, a freshly launched site that has a unique stream of income isn’t the safest bet in the world. As a result, the multiple reaches the minimum value for these sites.

The multiple is influenced by a few factors:

The Site’s Niche

A research study conducted by Digital Exits shows that the average multiple in 2016 was 2.27. The average multiple for e-commerce websites was 2.13 while the multiple for software businesses was 2.87. So check the industry average multiple to value your website as objectively as possible.

Market Sentiment

A broker or an experienced seller/buyer will quickly notice this aspect. Different factors such as the general economic state or trends determine effervescency or extreme prudence. Wait for the best moment to present your offer. For instance, the software business sites were highly appreciated in 2016, and most likely, it will be the same in 2017. Therefore, it’s time for a profitable exit if you own such a website.

Financial History

Everyone wants to run a risk-free business, but it’s an impossible dream. A tangible alternative is to own a business that is low risk, and a website might be a solution. Lots of buyers prefer a low-profit venture that is almost risk-free instead of a risky affair that might bring high margins.

A to-the-point financial history of a website is a huge advantage for both sellers and buyers. The seller can show that the asset for sale is healthy and safe while the buyer has precise information about it.

The multiple factor is sensitive to a good financial history. The older and more stable the income of a site is, the higher the multiple is.

Traffic Generated and Its Sources

A heavily visited site with multiple and evenly distributed sources of traffic is the best for affiliate marketing or advert displaying. Of course, the organic traffic share should be dominant. Consequently, the multiple factor would be in the maximum range.

A site that has a decent number of visitors coming from social sources isn’t too attractive for buyers. It’s risky and probably unprofitable. In this case, a buyer will ask for a low price.

Transferability

At first sight, transferability doesn’t look like a capital factor in the buying process. However, it’s top-priority in some situations.

Transferability refers to two separated points:

First, it’s about the seller’s influence. E-commerce or software sites aren’t amenable to the owner’s profile. Conversely, a blog is sensitive to the owner or content creator’s approach. The readers continuously visit a blog because they are eager to consume fresh content. Would they continue visiting a blog when the content creators are gone? Readers become familiar with a style and an approach, and no one can predict how they will react to a new team of content creators.

Don’t expect a fortune if you run a site where people know you and your style. The chances are that the buyer will lose a significant percentage of loyal readers just because you have left the site. Some of them will consider leaving a betrayal. Perhaps take into account various types of collaborations instead of selling the site.

Second, it’s about consultancy. You can expect a higher multiple if you offer support for three to six months. The buyer will be sure that you can help him when facing unexpected situations.

The revenue multiple is the most used method, so don’t ignore it if you plan to buy or sell a site. It’s a perfectible method—it doesn’t take into account important aspects such as traffic quality and the total number of backlinks. However, all of these drawbacks are corrected by adjusting the multiple factor.

2. Comparing Method

How do you value a website using this technique? It’s simple and efficient even though it may seem unprofessional. The comparing method means looking through a listing site or a marketplace to see the prices of other sites. Look for sites with similar revenue, traffic, age, and monetisation methods. The closer the values are, the better the estimated price will be.

Of course, it’s a matter of good luck to find sites with similar stats. You have to do gross estimations and extrapolate various average values. It makes sense to approximate by adding the price of a site with good metrics and reliable income streams.

3. Asset Value Method

Sites that generate no revenue are valued through this method. It means pricing a website from what it can achieve and not what it’s currently achieving. This method evaluates the potential or assets tied to the site (for example, the email list, qualified leads, and original content) and not the effective revenue. New sites or ones improperly managed might be evaluated with this method. The major flaw of this approach, however, is that a site’s value can vary a lot.

How to value a website isn’t rocket science, but it requires taking into account tens of elements. At some point, you probably were or will be lured into the idea of selling your site. Thousands of dollars might be the difference between a site prepared for sale and one sold without a strategy behind it. You will get the right price only if you prepare the site for sale months before selling it. Here is a small guide to optimise your site for the most profitable exit.

Improve the Website’s Performance and Design

Improve your site’s performance and design before listing it for sale. A fast-loading site and a modern design make up the first impression. You only have one chance because, in the www realm, the second chance is a fantasy. On top of that, it’s crystal clear what a seller will have to do: install a good-looking theme and use some plugins to improve the site’s speed.

Look for Stable and Diverse Income

As I already mentioned, a stable monthly income works as a magnet for many buyers. Months before selling a site, do your best to improve its profitability. Also, don’t rely on a single income stream. Let’s suppose that 75–80% of your total income is from affiliate marketing by selling the products of a single client. A buyer won’t appreciate this situation because that client could give up on the affiliate program at any time.

Each site has its speciality, and this tip might not be relevant in some cases. For instance, it’s pretty difficult to search for e-commerce sites that generate various income streams. However, try your best to create a stable and diverse income; stability and income variety are the most sought-after value for buyers.

Prepare the Documentation

Buyers don’t have the time and patience to ask sellers for various bits of information. If you fail to provide the proper site information backed by solid evidence, you will lose precious buyers. No matter how you plan to sell the site, this data is always required by buyers to make a complete opinion about your site:

The Site’s Purpose

Make the purpose of your site clear because the multiple from revenue method varies depending on the site’s destination. Also, let buyers know the platform you built the site on and its age.

Traffic Stats

No one will pay your site’s price without a clear perspective of the traffic generated. It’s not relevant to show Google Analytics stats for the last month. Show the traffic evolution for the last year, if possible. These stats should contain the monthly page views, unique visits, bounce rate, time on site, demographics, type of traffic, and organic traffic. The more data you provide, the more qualified buyers you will attract!

A List of Income

The income generated is probably the factor with the most weight. Each buyer makes up a strategy depending on this information. Practically, the acquisition ROI heavily relies on income.

A list of monthly income isn’t enough. Provide information about site’s monetisation and the revenue generated by each method. Try to back up your data with third-party agents. The buyers need to be sure that your data is accurate and that your sources are reliable.

A List of Expenses

Not only the income is capital, but also the expenses are essential. Be transparent and honest and show the buyers how you spend any money.

Additional Assets

95% of sites have a list of subscribers, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. Specify if you are selling these assets or if you are asking for an additional amount for them. Point out the number of subscribers, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers.

4. List for Sale

Create some buzz around your site to attract more people. Usually, this is not enough to sell it. There are a few places that should be on your radar:

Forums

Don’t put high expectations on forums, but they could work for low-priced sites. You don’t pay a fee, but the lack of a third party may create unwanted situations such as fraud and deceptive site stats. Digital Point forum is a reliable place, so give it a try.

Specialized Marketplaces

If you prefer a professional approach, opt for specialised marketplaces. These are well-known by buyers, and you can get a lot of exposure, but you have to pay a listing fee and a commission on the sale. Each market has its own policy in this regard, and I strongly recommend checking it out before taking any action. Here are a few marketplace suggestions:

Flippa

Flippa is probably the most famous marketplace, and it’s suitable for small- to medium-size sites. You can buy and sell apps, Amazon FBA businesses, and domains. Additionally, you decide how to sell: start an auction or set a fixed price.

A huge plus of Flippa is the filtering system and the menu. Both are optimised to find the sites you are interested in.

Empire Flippers

This marketplace is aimed at pricey websites. At the moment of writing this article, the cheapest site was £29,024. It’s a more professional marketplace, and your site will be in good hands. Empire Flippers’ brokers have a success rate of over 95%. Empire Flippers is practically a sure bet.

Freemarket

Freemarket comes with a clear advantage: no fee for listing your site. Instead, it takes 5% if you sell your site. This marketplace is suitable for low-traffic and low-income sites. You can participate as a bidder in an auction or directly buy the site by paying a fixed price.

Exchange

Exchange is a niche marketplace—it’s only for Shopify-based online stores. The marketplace brokers make sure that the info provided by sellers is accurate, and they help buyers and sellers transfer the sites. It’s a professional marketplace, so you can check offers without any worries related to data accuracy or possible fraud.

Brokerage Agencies

Some firms specialise in site brokerage. Usually, these firms focus on big sites that generate impressive amounts of money. Their services are competent, and they handle almost everything. Each agency has different types of commission structures, but you will have to pay a considerable fee for top-level services.

Have you ever sold a site or used a site marketplace? Share your experiences with us and let us know which part was the most difficult for you.

The post Beginner’s Guide: How to Value a Website appeared first on Newt Labs.

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It’s common knowledge that if you want to run a successful online business, you need a snappy website. Visitors are expecting almost imperceptible website load times — and this applies to both desktop and mobile.

But that’s just the beginning: modern consumers are beset on all sides by companies fighting for their attention. You don’t just need a fast website to succeed — you have to be speedy at everything else too!

If you’re too slow in these seven core areas, you might find yourself being overlooked.

Related reading: How To Boost Your WordPress Site and Business with Uptime Monitoring [Infographic]

Customer Support

When a user submits a support ticket every second counts. If you want to convert them into a paying customer, or retain them as one, you better act fast. This applies to all online businesses, but ecommerce brands and SaaS (Software as a Service) companies in particular should pay special attention to their customer support speed. Things can get messy when you’re playing the intermediary and you won’t always have the answer the customer is looking for right away, so it’s extra important to minimise unnecessary wait times.

In order to ensure the fastest possible customer service experience you might want to consider implementing a chatbot into your site. Chatbots can often solve issues by themselves in a matter of minutes, and if they can’t, they can still collect relevant information and transfer the visitor to a human customer support representative to finish the job. Zendesk is a popular and easy-to-use customer support software that integrates well with most websites.

If you’re uncomfortable with leaving your customers in the hands of an AI, then human virtual assistants are a way to bolster your customer support team and reduce customer wait times without breaking the bank.

Social Media Responses

Social media is all about interaction, so if you’re checking in on your social profiles a couple of times a week, then you won’t be getting the full benefit of social media for your business.

If you’re running a small business, you may be able to get away with checking your page every few hours and dishing out responses throughout your day whenever you get a break.

And if a customer has a problem, you don’t always have to solve it there and then — referring them to the relevant pages on your website could be enough and the fact that you responded at all will reassure them. Make sure that you set out clear expectations so that customers know when they are likely to hear back from you, and on what channels.

BuzzBundle (social media manager) pictured

If you want to get really serious with your social media, you can’t beat having a dedicated social media manager who can effectively manage your customer community for you.

Checkout Process

The all-important final step in any online sales funnel. A customer who has found the items they want and has reached your checkout page is like a basketball rolling around the rim of the hoop…

If your checkout process is long and requires the customer to do too much work, you could still lose them. This is especially true of mobile visitors: an unwieldy checkout process is ten times worse when it’s being navigated by your thumbs on a small screen.

Your checkout process should be quick and easy. Don’t force the customer to make an account on your website, have as many fields as possible auto-formatted, and support as many payment methods as possible.

If you’re in doubt over whether your checkout process needs work then an afternoon of testing via a service like VWO could pay off in the long run.

Follow Up Emails

Follow up emails are useful in a whole host of situations, but for you to see the best results, you need to send them out in a timely manner.

If a customer buys an item on your site and they get a thank you email 2 days later they’re just going to feel confused. Strike while the iron is hot and your follow up emails will succeed in their objective, whether that’s to make the customer feel valued, sign up for your newsletter, or summarise an interaction. You can automate a lot of your email sequences with an email tool like Moosend that has free templates and drip campaigns, but don’t forget to do your due diligence when it comes to email list data. With GDPR just around the corner, you don’t want to be making any mistakes with email.

Content Production

Whether it’s video, audio, or text — if your content production cycle is too long then your content will never be as relevant as it could be, and it probably won’t get the attention it deserves.

An easy way to make your content more appealing to every demographic is to make it relate to something that’s currently happening in the world.

This is easily done on holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, but when it comes to more spontaneous events like something that’s happening in the news, there’s nothing to do but work fast.

Freelance writers can help you scale, but it’s important that you take content production seriously as a business and get all the relevant stakeholders involved.

Shipping

It’s a Prime world, baby.

Shipping times matter for ecommerce; it’s one of many factors customers look at when comparing similar items across websites.

If the price is about the same, and both pages seem trustworthy, then offering faster shipping is a sure-fire way to guarantee that your site wins the sale.

Even if you’re charging slightly more than your competitors, adding faster shipping into the mix will be enough to offset that for many customers. Just how much the reduced shipping time is worth will depend on the customer and the item they’re buying.

People are more likely to want their tech gadgets as soon as possible and be willing to wait a little for that new coffee table.

If you are running a drop-shipping business, you will need to be super clear with customers (and suppliers) on acceptable wait times and always be willing to offer expedited or express delivery to help sweeten the deal.

Trends

No matter what you do online, making the most of the latest trends before your competition will give you a vital edge. And following trends isn’t just about what you stock or the services you offer; trends can be just as important to someone writing blog posts, or posting on social media.

Being aware of what’s going on in the world will help you brand stay relevant and show customers that you are innovating as a brand. Aesthetic tastes change fast so don’t get left behind.

These are the seven most time-sensitive areas for most businesses, but depending on what you do online, you might want to ignore some points and add others.

When in doubt, put yourself in the customers’ shoes and think about the interactions that they have with you and how you could improve them and save time.

The post 7 Things That Need To Be Fast (Other Than Your Website) appeared first on Newt Labs.

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Once upon a time, the majority of business owners invested significantly in their website. They hired the top website programmers, purchased expensive themes, and most importantly loaded up on their inventory. However, the tides have now changed, and everywhere you go, you are bound to see entrepreneurs operating on tighter budgets. And why shouldn’t they? Considering high taxes and the unemployment rate, business owners are always on the lookout to cut costs and save for rainy days.

So, in these circumstances, is it even possible for an entrepreneur with a great idea to launch their store? Since opening a brick-and-mortar location requires massive capital; can an aspiring businessperson succeed with a minor e-commerce store? The answer to both the questions are “yes, why not!”

Today, nearly 70% of British people prefer to shop online rather than in-store. In fact, Statista anticipates that the e-commerce industry will reach $4.5 trillion by the year 2021.

Online shopping gives people all over the world the freedom to shop from the comfort of their home or even on the go. Judging by the above numbers, it’s impossible not to assume success with an e-commerce store. Those who are on a low budget should also not fret. By making a few smart moves, there is a lot one can do (including selling) with a budget of £500 or even less.

To help you out, here are some tips that will get you started:

1. Use an inexpensive platform

Although there are several e-commerce platforms available, WordPress is undoubtedly the most affordable solution to set up your online store. The free and open-source platform accounts for more than 19.1 million live sites. Some studies also indicate that more than 42% of all e-commerce websites run on WordPress. Most importantly, WordPress is user-friendly and requires minimal technical knowledge for operation.

Once the registration process with WordPress is taken care of, you will have to pay a small amount for the domain and hosting. Without a domain name and hosting, your website won’t be able to go live and open for shoppers.

  • The domain name is basically the name of your website. Make sure you choose a catchy and easy-to-remember address so visitors can easily access your shop.
  • Hosting refers to the server that makes your site accessible to Internet users.

Both the domain name and hosting are available through several vendors including Siteground and Hostgator. The cost of both is less than £10 respectively. Do look out for coupons and discounts as most of these providers offer on-going sales.

2. Go for WooCommerce

As we are all aware, WordPress has an extensive library of plugins that website owners can make use of to manage their operations more efficiently. These include plugins for marketing and even solutions for spam. For e-commerce, we recommend WooCommerce, it’s free and offers your online store all the functionality it needs. It is easy to install, and there are no hidden costs associated with the plugin. Above all, WooCommerce features a secure payment portal enabling your customers to shop without hesitation.

Some e-commerce websites powered using the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress include All Blacks, Weber and Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

3. Ensure optimal site performance

Competition between e-stores is fierce. To stand out amidst the growing marketplace, a businessperson has to meet all ends and ensure that the visitors receive the best customer experience. This includes making the website mobile responsive, offering fast shipping, low costs, and an easy-to-navigate site that loads without any interruption.

Thankfully, WordPress offers several free (or budget-friendly) solutions to ensure that your website is running optimally at all times. Listed below are some of the vital features of a website, regardless of the niche.

  • Speed: According to a study, 47% of web users abandon a shopping cart if the site fails to load within 2-3 seconds. They are also more likely to share their bad experience with friends and family members resulting in negative word-of-mouth advertisement of your store. Thankfully, several free options are available including W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache that will help you speed up a WordPress website.
  • Responsiveness: Since more than 56% of consumers use their mobile devices to search for different products, having a mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable these days. Experts also believe that in the coming years, mobile devices will surpass the use of desktop as well. To make your site, mobile-friendly, make sure you use themes such as Storefront and landing that automatically adjusts to the screen of the user’s device.
  • SEO: Practicing SEO tactics is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. Free plugins like Yoast SEO, analyse web content and help your keywords to rank in the search engines. Above all, Yoast SEO is free for use and can dramatically help improve the SEO rating of your shop.
  • Visitor tracking: Tools such as Google Analytics for WordPress and Google Analytics by Yoast are free solutions for keeping track of visitors on your site. These plugins also give detailed reports on the buying habits of customers who visit your e-shop.
4. Use the power of social media

Your products will not sell by themselves once you have managed to build your online store. You need to market your products to your target audience, so they also visit your website and find something worth purchasing. However, traditional ways of advertising such as newspaper ads, TV commercials, and billboard can be quite expensive especially for an e-store that is on a tight budget. Luckily, social media provides such business owners an opportunity to market their website to a targeted demographic without spending a penny.

Today, the majority of mobile users have a social media account. Additionally, half of them prefer to connect with their favourite businesses through social media channels.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – these not only help in the promotion of companies but also enhance interaction between potential and current customers. In fact, 71% of customers who have a good experience with businesses through social media are more likely to recommend them to others.

Final words

As you can see, there are countless ways to launch a successful e-store without spending a significant amount. WordPress tools are mostly free or inexpensive, so you don’t have to worry much about being on a tight budget.

Good luck! Don’t forget to let us know which platform you’ve used and how your experience was with the tool.

The post 4 Tips to Launch a Successful WooCommerce Store For Under £500 appeared first on Newt Labs.

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A lot of times, we come across such websites, which appear to be inaccessible due to some unknown reason. A website’s downtime portrays a bad impression for the related business entity in the eyes of their site’s visitors.

The sole purpose of the existence of any website is its optimum accessibility for an audience from around the world, at all times. It is well expected of it to portray maximum uptime and cater to the informational needs of the people who are looking for relevant information at any time of the day.

To a very large extent, a website’s Uptime and Downtime counts for its popularity among the target audience. It can cost you money, loss of engagement and bad search engine reputation.

The Terminology: Uptime Vs. Downtime

For starters, a website’s Uptime is the duration for which the website is up and running for access. On the other hand, the website Downtime is the duration for which the website is inaccessible to the requesting site visitors.

Some factors that determine website Uptime/Downtime

  • Your choice of web hosting service and its type
  • Memory of the infrastructure
  • Software/Hardware in place
  • Security
  • Speed
Why is it so important?

Simply put, a balanced website will help you boost your business, bring in more visitors and enhance your SEO rankings. So, if you are not monitoring your website’s Uptime and Downtime cautiously, you would be putting these website positives in trouble.

With so many options to choose from, selecting the ideal website builder is a vital decision if you wish to aptly monitor your website’s Uptime and Downtime. Suggestively, WordPress is an easy to use content management system and it would minimize the involvement of professional help, hence reducing the load on your pocket. So, now let’s dive deeper to help you increase your website’s Uptime and minimize the downtime.

How to determine your website’s uptime and downtime?

If you weren’t already, now you are aware of the vital terminologies that your website’s uptime and downtime are. The next question in place would be how do you determine these stats because it is not possible for a real person to keep a check on the website 24/7/365. Also, this real person might not be technically sound to run these tests to ensure constant availability of the website functions. For such instances, many tools have braced the website market to help you do so. Let’s talk about the best ones.

Pingdom

If you have been a website owner for a significant period of time now, you have probably heard of this one. The Pingdom tool has been designed to test the loading speed of your website so that you can take corrective measures if things aren’t working well. It runs the ping test every 1 minute from several locations so that your website is properly monitored for any downtime. As a result, it provides performance-related statistics to help you make corrective changes for your WordPress website performance.

FYI, visitors tend to abandon a website if its loading speed is more than 3 seconds, says a report.

Uptime Robot

As the name clearly suggests, this website monitoring service runs multiple tests every 5 minutes which includes checking the HTTP(s), ping, port and keywords aspect. For any unusual activity, the users are alerted through SMS, email etc. One of their advanced features includes the option of the service ignoring any downtime during maintenance activity.

SiteUptime

Very similar to the above monitoring service, the SiteUptime service informs you well in advance before your visitors notice a glitch in the uptime. With a 2-minute time bar and 8 different locations, it checks your website from across 5 continents. Their standard plan will cost you $10/month whereas the Pro plan has been set at $20/month. With many monitoring options in place such as HTTP, SSL, web page content, custom TCP ports and six others, SiteUptime is one of the best website monitoring services out there.

Uptimia

Touted to be one of the world’s most reliable website monitoring services, Uptimia will hardly let you down. With a 30-day free trial in place, you rest assured that you pay for what actually works for your website. With 171 checkpoints, this service constantly monitors your website as often as 30 seconds. It also monitors the website speed and never gives out any false alerts with a triple check in system.

Bonus Mentions:

If you have a WordPress website that you wish to monitor for its Uptime and Downtime, you can try the two plugins that we have mentioned below to help you maintain your website’s performance.

JetPack

With over 4+ millions of trusted users, you could be making the best decision for your WordPress website, if you choose to get started with this plugin. Through its security and backup services, you can successfully monitor your website’s Uptime and Downtime through email alerts. Its site stats and analysis features are on point and can work wonders for your site’s performance.

ManageWP Worker

Easy to set-up and get started, ManageWP makes your WordPress website monitoring a hassle-free task. With its Uptime monitor, you won’t miss out on any important updates that could cost you the online reputation of your website. Available as a premium add-on, the monitoring service provides email and SMS notifications to keep you alerted. For $1/month, you can monitor a single website and for 25$/month, you can access the service for up to 100 websites per month.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is the audience that gets to testify your website for its performance, user-friendliness, and ease of navigation. Apart from monitoring the downtime and taking corrective measures, it is also imperative to maintain other performance checks on a daily basis, clear the dashboard clutter and secure your website so that it stands out for your target audience to see.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our WordPress Uptime and Downtime guide, kindly share them with us in the comments below.

The post How To Monitor the Uptime & Downtime of Your WordPress Website appeared first on Newt Labs.

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Today’s young generation is highly tech-savvy. They search their required info, products/services, etc on the Internet. This tendency has compelled entrepreneurs to reach out to new customers and clients with WordPress business websites and generate sufficient revenues every day/week/month/year.

Technical SEO tends to be done by digital marketing professionals to improve the search engine visibility of WordPress websites. It enables them to get traffic and generate leads. However, due to the rapidly increasing competition in web-based businesses, numerous SEO professionals use unethical SEO practices to gain illegitimate advantages over their competitors and be a leader in their industry sooner or later. By doing so, they engineer the possible demise of their online business.

All digital marketing professionals must always note that the healthy performance of websites largely depends on the purity of technical SEO. Unethical SEO practices are doomed to fail sooner or later. If you are an SEO geek who optimizes WordPress websites for different search engines and people, here are some Technical SEO Traps that should be avoided at costs:

1. Say No To Spamming Activities in Website Optimization

Although different search engines use different parameters to calculate rankings, relevancy, and usability of websites for targeted audiences, they all try to help visitors to find the required information as soon as possible. Their algorithms try to display the most authentic, up-to-date, and professional looking websites/web-pages in their search results.

A large number of entrepreneurs are extremely materialistic. They create numerous websites/blogs using content management systems and engage in spamming activities (technically known as BlackHat SEO) to promote their websites on the World Wide Web. If you are also engaged in such activities, just be careful.

If search engines come to know your dirty game, they will penalize your website or delete it from their indexes. In such an unpleasant scenario, your dream to become a tycoon in the online business world comes to an end. So, better avoid it completely. Just optimize your website using White Hat SEO tactics, make slow, but steady progress.

2. Keyword Stuffing

SEO professionals try to inject their high/low performing keywords into their content as much as possible so that search engines can display their content in the search results with all-important keywords/terms under their niche. In this process, they are keyword stuffing knowingly or unknowingly.

In simple terms, keyword stuffing is an unfair practice in which SEO professionals cross the maximum limit of keyword placement (approx 2.5%) within their content. If Google detects keyword stuffing, it can penalize your website, by downgrading its ranking in its search engine results pages, or even delete it from its index. It can also increase the bounce rate of your website and repel visitors away. So, it’s better to avoid this practice fully. Place only appropriate keywords in your content and strictly follow the maximum limit.

3. Unoptimised URL & 404 Pages

Due to the emergence of different content management systems, even non-technical people have started to create websites/blogs with the help of plugins/themes/extensions, widgets, and shortcodes. Such individuals have little knowledge of complex SEO tactics and terms and they heavily rely on the default settings.

For example, when you publish new content on your WordPress website, it automatically creates a default URL for it. In most cases, default URLs are messy and long and search engines tend to avoid them (when they have to display results to visitors) because of the need to evaluate such pages with complex parameters. Even visitors treat such URLs as SPAM and can be afraid of visiting them out of fear that they could be a victim of online hacking attempts. So, such pages can have a lower click through rate and a higher bounce rate, which reflects in website analytics and performance.

Whenever you upload new content to your website, just optimize its URL and make it user-friendly and search engine friendly by adding important keywords, terms, date, place, etc. Google prefers Websites/web pages with clean URLs so if you are on par with your competitor but you have clean URLs then Google will give your web page preference over theirs.

Sometimes you browse websites and see the message: Sorry, the page you are trying to reach is not found. It is actually a 404 page-which means non-existent URL. Due to various reasons (like website migration, deleting the live content, hacking, etc), a good number of web pages vanish almost every day. If webmasters don’t fix them, they result in 404 pages. The availability of too many 404 pages on your website can make it unimportant in the eyes of Google. So, you must eliminate 404 pages as soon as possible by using 301 redirects, which can be implemented by hand or by using a plugin.

4. Images with No ALT Text

Images have become part and parcel of website optimization. SEO professionals use attractive images to support text and catch the attention of their targeted audience but they can fail to implement image optimization practices. It doesn’t matter how good and attractive your image is, Google will not be happy if there is no ALT text.

Search engines are all about providing the best experience for everyone, so by adding some descriptive ALT text for your images you’ll be providing your visually impaired visitors with the next best experience of being able to fully see your chosen images. To be frank you should be doing this anyway regardless of any SEO benefits it may bring.

In addition to adding ALT text, reduce the size of your images by optimising them using a tool before uploading or by using a plugin post-upload. You can also lazy load your images to make your website or its pages faster. Well-optimized images are also shown in image search results so you can benefit from a number of SEO optimisations, which will benefit your business sooner or later.

5. The Use of Lousy Content For Website Optimization

All SEO professionals, who are under tremendous pressure to boost the ranking of websites for the generation of leads and business opportunities, always scream loud about the availability of search engine optimized, grammatically correct, fact-filled, informative, and customer-centric content, which can result in the production of low-quality content.

If a website is optimized with such low-quality content, Google can penalize it or erase it completely from its index. So, never use low-quality content for website optimization as you will be the sole loser at the end of the day. Just provide high-quality content to optimize WordPress websites. It will encourage Google and other search engines to display your websites for web pages in search results.

6. Too Much Affection for SEO Plugins/Extensions

The availability of lots of SEO plugins and Extensions allow SEO professionals to easily automate some website optimization activities to increase their productivity to a great extent, and meet ambitious targets easily. But, using too many SEO plugins/extensions can make your website slow. It can reduce all your website efforts as search engines and users, both, hate slow websites. So, it will be better for you to relinquish your needless affection for plugins and extensions. Just use them in restricted numbers.

Concluding Remarks

Optimising your website will help persuade search engines to display your website above your competitors, which can improve your business but there are a number of things to look out for, avoid and fix in order to be rewarded for your online efforts. By addressing the SEO blunders described in this article you’ll gain more visitors, to turn into leads and sales to help exceed your online goals.

The post How To Avoid SEO Traps For Your WordPress Website appeared first on Newt Labs.

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‘Creating better content’ is an expression hated by most marketers. The majority of content creators and marketers work hard to deliver the best content, but ‘best’ is a subjective term. What is best for me might be decent for you.

Marketers ignore cool ways of engaging with leads and customers while perpetually striving to craft 10X content. Sometimes, the proper content format is as important as its quality. In other words, you will have better results by delivering your content in suitable ways. It’s about aligning your content with the stage of your buyers. The HubSpot model of the buyer’s journey is the starting point of an effective content strategy.

Blog posts may never be dead, but in particular contexts, they perform decently to badly. At the same time, other types of content, such as webinars, drive a bunch of leads and sales. The secret is to juggle many kinds of content and find what works the best at the proper moment.

Apparently, webinars look like the appanage of the top 1,000 Forbes companies. The reality is that webinars require more resources than a blog post, but creating one is accessible for many people. Still, the ROI is incomparable, so you should give them a try.

In this article, you will learn what webinar marketing is and how to get the most from it. Stay tuned—there is a lot of valuable information.

What Webinar Marketing Is

The term ‘webinar’ comes from the expression ‘web seminar’. Webinar marketing is the procedure of using web seminars to connect with a group of people. The purpose of a webinar is to educate people and eventually convince them that your products or services are indispensable.

Webinars done right bring staggering amounts of leads and customers. These stats are relevant:

Webinars perform the best when attendees already have an idea about you; they should be in the evaluation stage of the buyer’s journey. The real struggle of webinar marketing is the effective creation of a webinar. Unlike blog posts or infographics, a webinar requires an entire logistic system and plenty of resources. Nothing significant is achieved with little effort, so check out our plan for webinar crafting. It’s perfectible, and we ask for your contribution. The more ideas you bring to the table, the better for all of us.

How to Create a Webinar

Carefully plan each step because you may end up with a budget loss and massive disappointment. To make the entire strategy of webinar creation more digestible, I have broken it down into three phases.

Pre-Execution Phase

The pre-execution phase refers to the early stages of conception. At this stage, you might conclude that you don’t have the entire arsenal required for a webinar and give up on doing one. Be objective and realistic with your potential!

1. Set Clear Goals

You can’t create a webinar just because it’s cool. Set clear and tangible goals before making any progress. A webinar might be used only to grow your email list or to educate people. You shouldn’t be afraid to state boldly that you want to sell more by leveraging webinars. You can’t measure the results if you don’t have solid and quantifiable goals.

2. Create a Webinar for Your Audience

It’s a no-brainer, but it wouldn’t have been mentioned so many times if marketers had done it right. A webinar should satisfy the requirements of the audience. You are creating the webinar for the audience and not an audience for your webinar!

Conceive the portrait of the average attendee and ask yourself which of their problems you can resolve. Find the best answers and determine the best approach to deliver your content. Is your average attendee a top executive or a CEO? If so, go for a formal approach. Is your attendee a freelancer, an entrepreneur, or a marketer? Then chose a friendly style and present plenty of practical pieces of advice.

3. Chose a Topic

Once you have penciled in the profiles of your attendees, you have to determine what topics might interest them. The truth is that no matter how cool you think your topic idea is, someone has created a webinar before you. However, nobody has presented your ideas about that topic! You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your webinar; it’s enough to present your contribution to the audience.

The topic must be in line with the audience’s needs. No one will invest their time for something that doesn’t resonate with their problems. There is no magic formula to find the best topics, but don’t disregard honest feedback from your blog’s visitors (if you have any). Create a list of topics and ask your subscribers for their opinions. Offer them an incentive, and you will have more accurate opinions.

4. Find Guests and Partners

Most webinars are 60 minutes long: 45 minutes for the presentation and 15 minutes for a Q&A session. This timeline is not carved in stone, but try to stick to it. Under these circumstances, a guest would spice up your webinar.

Search for industry experts and influencers and invite them to participate in your webinar. Prepare for rejection, especially in the early stages. However, the chances are that you will get a guest by smartly promoting your webinar.

Guests are necessary because it’s challenging to speak for 40–60 minutes without interruption, and attendees could get bored easily. Guests help you interact with attendees who will listen to at least two insightful opinions. Depending on the context, a partner who takes care of technical aspects will be a good fit for your team.

Marketing Phase

A webinar and a blog post aren’t different from this viewpoint. It’s not an exaggeration to say that effective creation makes up 20% of your endeavors, and promotion makes up the other 80%. If you don’t write down a marketing plan, you have already failed.

5. A Good Registration Page

There aren’t enough words to stress the importance of an effective registration page. It’s a landing page where potential attendees will read about your webinar and register to participate. Here are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind when crafting the registration page:

  • Create a unique, explicit, attractive, and memorable title. The title is what people will remember after leaving the registration page.
  • Feature the benefits to the attendees. State clearly what attendees will learn or get from your webinar. Mention that you offer a surprise for all attendees.
  • Design an eye-catching CTA button. It should be in contrast with the background and placed in the most visible spot. HubSpot has created many webinars, and action verbs as ‘Register’ work the best for its CTA copy.
  • Show who will be speaking at the webinar. Would you go to a movie starring some of your favourite actors or one starring people you’ve never heard of? The answer is obvious, and this situation is similar with a webinar.
  • Specify when and how the webinar will be accessible.
6. A Great Email Invitation

Georgiana from Unbounce said that 70% of their registrations come from email marketing. The majority of marketers agree that emails are vital to your webinar’s success. You have to craft a compelling email invitation to attract the desired number of participants.

Writing a good email is a never-ending topic. However, your invitation should be clear, precise, and informative. Make sure that your copy is in line with the preferences of the attendee profile.

Last, but not least, pay attention to your CTA button; it should be bold and touchable because the chances are that most of your email recipients use a mobile device.

7. A Thank-You Email

Confirmation emails are totally underrated by marketers. People are the most receptive in these cases, and you can nurture the relationship with your subscribers. Don’t forget to send a thank-you email to everyone who completed your registration page. Confirm that they successfully completed the registration form and include an “Add to your calendar” button to schedule the webinar. This way, you will increase your chances of converting them into attendees.

8. Social Media

Email is still king when it comes to webinar registration, but it doesn’t mean that social media and other marketing channels are useless. Use Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to gather more attendees. Invite your guests to spread the word by asking their followers and friends to participate in the webinar.

Think ahead and determine which social network your attendee profile uses. Corroborate all the data and create a working strategy for social media promotion.

9. Three Follow-up Email Reminders

On average, only half of the people who complete the registration form will attend the webinar. It’s up to you to improve this situation. Sending follow-up email reminders will considerably grow the number of attendees.

Even if many people truly want to watch your webinar, they may be distracted by other activities or simply forget about it. Send three email reminders: the first, a week before the webinar; the second, a day before; and the third, an hour before.

Effective Creation

If you plan it right, the execution will be simple. Altogether, a webinar is complex, and you might miss a few details. Read our suggestions for webinar creation to avoid missing the key elements.

10. Webinar Software

The quality of your webinar software significantly improves the chances of being a success. Attendees plan to get useful information from your webinar, and you shouldn’t disappoint them. Not many will spend three minutes in front of a black screen while you resolve a broadcasting problem.

Webinar software isn’t cheap, but the prices are reasonable compared to what you get. Zappier created a detailed list of the best webinar software. Check it out if you don’t have a clear idea of the proper software for your webinar.

A special mention goes to GotoWebinar, which is probably the most-used webinar software. It’s user-friendly, so your attendees will have a great experience regardless of their past experiences. It’s not only for hosting your webinar, but you get custom landing pages for registration, automated reminder emails, file sharing, live chat, and much more.

If you are on tight budget, you shouldn’t be disarmed. It’s not suitable for agencies, but you can use Facebook live or YouTube live streaming. For instance, Jorden Roper did a great job using Facebook live to present her courses. Attendees simply don’t care that it’s not a professional platform because she provides valuable tips for freelance writers. People who want more guidance can also buy her courses.

11. Don’t Be Salesy

A webinar is an educational tool, not just another method of making sales. Still, you can sell through a webinar. A good webinar is about how a product or service will improve the attendees’ workflow. Let the product or service convince them of its utility and don’t force them with tons of salesy messages.

Yes, it’s a blurred line between an invitation to buy a product or service and a salesy message. It involves cultural differences and personal approaches. This is another reason for knowing the attendees’ profile. Either way, for the first webinar, focus almost exclusively on the educational aspects.

12. Make Your Webinar Digestible

Do you remember that boring presentation full of text that hurt your eyes? I bet that you don’t know what the presentation was about, but you recall exactly how bored you were! Do not make the same mistake.

Most likely, you will use a slideshow. Don’t add too many words to each slide. It’s similar to a web page: too much content annoys the viewers. Also, when you display the slides, make sure that you discuss the same topic. Remember, a webinar educates, and humans learn the best when they see, read, and hear.

A joint message will make them learn faster and more easily about your product or services.

Another tip to make your webinar digestible is to add a personal touch. Present your ideas as though you were talking with a friend. A friendly approach makes people more curious about you. Even though you may hesitate now and then, your attendees will tolerate the hiccups because you are authentic, human, and emotional.

The most popular software solutions allow for attendee interaction. Ask for their feedback, create polls, let them ask questions, and interact with them. People will appreciate that you consider them part of the webinar and not just a number static. Certainly, you will sell if you convince them to participate actively.

13. Don’t Forget to Record It

There is life after you finish your webinar! Some of the people who register may not be able to attend your webinar. Others simply won’t be in the right mood. Don’t punish them and inform them that you regret their missing out. Rather, send an email with a link to the webinar recording.

Post Creation

Well, your webinar ran online, you crunched the figures, and overall, it was a success. You’ve done a deep analysis and identified the strong and weak points. Yet, it’s not enough. There are two things you can do to get the most from your webinar.

14. Nurture the Relationship

First, send the webinar recording to all users who registered for the webinar. Second, thank all attendees and offer a discount or bonus for their participation. Third, ask for feedback; the chances are that at this stage, attendees will be responsive and honest. Collect all the opinions and extract actionable tips for the next webinar.

15. Repurpose the Content

You did some strong research for the webinar—you spent ten hours or more gathering quality information and sharing it with participants. That’s not bad at all, but you can use this data to create another piece of content. Craft a compelling presentation and upload it to different sites like LinkedIn SlideShare, Scribd, or AuthorStream.

You now have a clear understanding of what webinar marketing is and how to leverage it. It’s not simple to hold a webinar, but the outcome rewards the efforts. Bear in mind that webinars aren’t only for big agencies—even solopreneurs can use them.

What do you think about webinars? How many webinars do you attend on average in a month? We look forward to your participation in the comments section below.

The post How To Leverage Webinar Marketing To Get More Customers appeared first on Newt Labs.

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From established businesses to small local businesses just starting their online journey, everyone needs to invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) if wanting to garner more exposure to their brand.

SEO helps to make your site user-friendly, which can provide your audience with an enhanced web browsing experience, leading to a higher number of conversions.

Without the proper knowledge of how SEO works, chances are that you might be committing SEO mistakes that could ruin your website.

Some of the common SEO mistakes that you might be making include:

  1. Non-mobile-friendly website design.
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  3. Over-optimization of keywords.
  4. Lack of interesting and benefit-focused content.
  5. Use of irrelevant images in blog posts.
  6. Not having a Social Media presence for your business.
  7. Lack of Local SEO.
  8. Not Tracking Analytics.

If you are new to the online world and have been doing SEO by yourself, we have an infographic guide with further SEO mistakes to help you identify issues, which might be hurting your site’s search engine ranking and traffic.

This guide provides you with 25+ common SEO mistakes that you can rectify. By following this guide and implementing the corrective measures suggested, you’ll be ensuring that your site is well-optimised for your sites visitors as well as search engines.

So, check out this infographic and optimize your site, in order to improve user experience and rank well on search engines.

25+ Common SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website (Infographic) by the team at bluehostcouponcodes.in

The post 25+ Common SEO Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Website (Infographic) appeared first on Newt Labs.

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