How Do You Know When Your Website Needs Refresh

If you want your company to bring in the big bucks, you need a website that is accessible, functional, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. Your website is the backbone of your business; it’s time to start treating it that way. Here are six reasons why your website needs a refresh now more than ever:

Your website is your revenue center and not a cost center. 

Your website is your 24-hour storefront which is essentially the source of your revenue and profit. You wouldn’t let the front of your business look dated, so why would you neglect your website? Especially in this day and age, your website might arguably see more of your prospects than your store.

A good website is the first step in making a good impression.

Prospective clients will make their first point of contact with your business through your website if they’ve found you through a Google search or a link referral. It communicates who you are, what you do, and who you will help your customers become. Therefore, you need to make the best first impression so you can attract quality leads and jump-start the process of funneling in a return on your investment. 

A well-designed website is your primary profit center.

If you’re not getting inbound leads that are converting to sales for you, you’re doing it wrong.  But, as you may already have experienced, a gorgeous website may not be attracting leads, the “right leads”, or leads at all. If your website is difficult to navigate or if your content takes too long to load, you lose customer engagement. In today’s digital universe, engagement = money. 

Brand awareness and equity is everything.

Your website is the first touchpoint which gives a brand promise to the customer in terms of quality and other essential product features. If you have a bright, well-maintained site that has a great user experience, customers will assume you give the same time and attention to your clients, products and services. If your web experience is out of date and drab… well… you know. 

Accessibility and Ease of Use — We live in a world where everything can be accessed at our fingertips.

We can order dinner, buy a new pair of shoes, make reservations, and more — all from our smartphones. With that being said, your website must be responsive across all devices. All other marketing channels should be sending your prospects to your site for more information and to follow your call to action. If you aren’t doing this, none of your marketing is as effective as it can be. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering a refresh: 

  1. When was the last time I updated my site? Is the content, language, or design outdated?
  2. Is my mission/product/service/brand clearly communicated? 
  3. Do my buttons and links take me to the correct locations? 
  4. Am I encouraging my customers to take action? Is my call to action easily accessible and achievable? 
  5. Is my media slow to load? The longer your photos or videos take to load on a page the quicker the viewer is to abandon ship
  6. Is my website well organized? If your customers can’t find what they’re looking for within a couple of seconds, they’re likely to get frustrated and leave your site

Sometimes all you need is a little help, and that’s where CMG comes in! We provide 360 degree digital transformation, right from website creation, website refresh, assessment and search engine optimization to digital advertising. We will get you where you need to be in the digital transformation journey.

Are you wondering how your website stacks up against the competition? Our team will perform a free audit of your website to help you determine what updates may be needed. We’ve seen it all and can help you do it all. Hit us up today!

Get My Free Site Audit!

5 Things You’d Never Think of that Mess Up Your Website Data

I love digital marketing in part because it is so trackable.  But incorrect data can lead to uninformed decisions, bad choices, and lost revenue. Here are five common but rarely considered scenarios that could cause an irreversible period of inaccuracy in your website data.

1. You move content or change your URLs.

Like being able to do year-over-year comparisons? This becomes a manual process if you move content or restructure URLs in anyway. Give it some thought before changing your URLs or moving content. (And if you do: implement seo-friendly 301 redirects. WordPress site? You can implement 301s with a plugin.)

2. A change is made that breaks your internal/external filter.

Say you work for a large organization with hundreds or thousands of employees. You may want to filter internal visitors or create separate profiles to view external (customer) and internal (employee) data separately.

If your organization gets a new internet service provider or makes a similar change that affects internal IP addresses, then all internal traffic will suddenly be tracked as external, giving you a false spike in customer data.

Clean website data requires a good relationship with your IT department. Make sure to get a heads up before a major changes happen.

3. Google Analytics is tracking lower and uppercase versions of your URLs separately.

Website URLs are not case sensitive; users can type in mydomain.com/about or mydomain.com/About and arrive at the same web page.

But, without a lowercase filter, you can wind up with traffic to the same page tracked separately. This makes it hard to get accurate info on page paths, visit duration, bounce rate, and more.

Force Google Analytics to track all cases together by applying a lowercase filter on the request URL field. Here’s how to do it (see #3).

4. You launch a new site or a redesign, but forget to implement tracking code from Day One.

Want to track your heavily promoted site launch? Get your GA code in place! Don’t forget! WordPress site? Here’s a beginner’s tutorial for installing Google Analytics.

5. Tracking code is incorrectly placed.

Some developers place Google Analytics tracking at the very end of body content to help the page load more quickly – which is a misconception. Google Analytics tracking doesn’t affect page load speed. GA code should go just before the closing head tag. WordPress site? Place it in your header.php file.

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Problems with Google Analytics code can mess up long-term comparisons forever. It’s important to get it right from the beginning! Contact us today for a consultation or for more info – we’re happy to help.

Tips for Running Online Contests

With our three publications under one roof, we strive to give our readers quality content they’re interested in. In fact, we love our dedicated readers so much, we like to do special things for them whether it’s throwing a party (hello, free food and adult beverages!) or giving away awesome prizes. It’s a win-win situation for everyone – we get to make our readers happy, local businesses get promoted and a few lucky people get free stuff!

It’s nearly impossible to run a contest or promotion without doing it online. We’re so connected and on our devices anyway, why not enter your name or email for a prize, right? What do you have to lose?

Running contests online is a great way to increase your fan engagement and enthusiasm for your business. However, it requires a lot of initial planning so that the contest runs smoothly.

Here are a few steps for running a winning online contest:

1.HAVE A GOAL IN MIND

Running an online contest is a perfect opportunity to gather information that could benefit you. If you aren’t collecting information, you should be! What is the purpose of the contest? Are you trying to get newsletter subscriptions, expose certain products, gain Twitter followers or Facebook fans, or increase brand recognition? Knowing what your desired results are will help guide the planning process.

2. DECIDE WHAT THE PRIZE WILL BE

Does your prize encourage your demographic to enter? Nobody needs more cozies and branded clickable pens.

3. CHOOSE WHAT KIND OF PROMOTION YOU WANT TO HAVE

Our favorite platform to use for running any form of contest online is Woobox. It has the capability many types of promotions. When creating a contest, it’s important to know what kind of promotion you’re wanting to do. Check out all of the options here. We typically like to run sweepstakes for giving away prizes and polls for anything that involves voting.

4. MAKE A LANDING PAGE

Create a landing page to direct people to. This could be a Facebook app landing page, a post on your website, etc. The landing page should house all of the information about the contest – what it is, how to enter, the timeframe, and the rules.

5. BE CLEAR

Include Terms & Conditions outlining the contest rules. Include a privacy policy stating how entrant information will be used.

6. PROMOTE

No matter how great the giveaway, your content won’t promote itself. Consider using paid options on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to help spread the word.

 

NAP errors: a common problem for Mid-Missouri businesses

NAP – what the heck does that stand for?

In the world of web, NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. Over 50 online directories list business names, addresses, and phone numbers and affect what comes up when individuals search for businesses. Two of the most popular and important directories are Google My Business and Yelp.

NAP errors happen when inconsistent or incorrect name, address, or phone number information appears in these directory listings.

A Common Problem in Columbia and Jefferson City

We’ve found that NAP errors are extremely common in Mid-Missouri. Many Columbia and Jefferson City businesses experience 30%, 60%, or even 100% error rates.

Why worry about NAP errors?

Here are 4 reasons:

  • Today, 4 in 5 consumers search for local businesses online. Being found in local searches is critical to your success.
  • When consumers find incorrect information online, 73% lose trust in that business.
  • Incorrect information online causes small businesses to lose potential customers.

Fixing NAP Errors

How easy is it to fix NAP errors on your own? Not as easy as you’d think. It can be tricky to prove ownership and claim listings. The process is normally slow, laborious, and sometimes ineffective.

But, it can be done – just check with each directory to confirm the process for claiming and updating listings.

Here’s a list of the top 50 local directories.

Remember to keep an eye out – if listings aren’t claimed, they can be changed by competitors, and sometimes the directories change without permission if they detect new NAP information from another source.

A More Efficient and Effective Option

If you don’t have time to monitor 50 local directories on a monthly basis – then consider a power listing option. CMG offers a power listing service that due to unique integrations, can correct your NAP errors in one click.

In addition, you can add featured content (like special offers, photos, or menus) at any time. Small changes to directories each months helps boost your local search visibility.

And, as part of an overall reputation management offering, this system monitors online reviews and allows you to respond or share them with one click as well.

Interested in CMG’s power listing service? Contact us today or call Jamie: 573-480-1319.