Decrease Your Bounce Rate, Increase Loyal Customers

A poor bounce rate is a conundrum that a lot of businesses face. They are attracting a good amount of traffic to their website, but they don’t have many conversions to back it up. Of course, traffic means nothing if the people that are visiting your website are not interested in what you have to offer. So, where are you going wrong? Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can decrease your bounce rate in order to increase your loyal consumer base.

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Is your web design confused?

This is one of the main reasons for a high bounce rate. Does your branding reflect your business and the industry you operate in? If your web design is confused, it is going to dilute your brand identity, and it will immediately turn potential customers away. This often occurs when people work with web design and marketing businesses that have no experience in their area. If you run a law firm, for instance, a company like Foster Web Marketing would be ideal, as they cater to the legal sector and have an abundance of experience in this industry. It is so important to find designers that have experience in your niche, and check out their portfolio to see the work they have done so far.

Do you understand what your visitors are looking for?

As mentioned in the introduction, one of the biggest problems business owners face is that they have a tremendous amount of website traffic, but they can’t turn these users into customers. The main reason for this is because not all every user is your ideal consumer.  So, what happens is that someone gets directed to your page, and then they realise that you don’t offer what they are looking for, and then they leave. This is why your bounce rate is high.

To rectify this issue, you need to understand your website visitors. There are a number of ways you can do this, including:

  • Analyse onsite search trends – This is a good way to understand what your customers are expecting from your website. You can see what search terms they use, and whether your website is catering to what they want. If not, you can identify the gaps in your content and make the necessary changes.
  • Discover the highest converting pages on your website at present – You can learn what type of content attracts customers to your business by understanding the highest converting pages. You will probably find that there is a big difference between your highest converting content and your most popular content, and this signals that you need to make a change.
  • Find your most popular content – This leads on from the former point perfectly. You need to find your most popular posts and make sure they are optimised for boosting conversions.

Do you encourage new website users to opt-in to your email list?

If you don’t, now is the time to start. This is important because research indicates that to create a viable sales lead it takes six to eight touches. This is why collecting email addresses is a must. This enables you to keep in contact with your potential customer, ensuring the relationship is kept alive until they convert. Otherwise, how would you be able to encourage the six to eight touches until a sale takes place?

You need to have a careful and considered approach when encouraging people to sign up to your email list. You need to give them an incentive to do so. For example, you could offer valuable digital downloads, such as a whitepaper, cheat sheet, template, or eBook.

Do you re-engage abandoned visitors?

This is the final point to consider when it comes to your bounce rate. A lot of business owners simply give up on the users that have abandoned them after their first visit to their website. This is a big mistake, which can result in many opportunities lost. You shouldn’t give up on these users. Perhaps they simply were not ready to make a purchase from your website or sign up to your email list first time around?

You need to look for the most effective methods of re-engaging with these visitors. One of the ways you can do this is with social media. You can target people that have recently engaged with your website, creating posts that have been perfectly put together to appeal to them. You can also use on-site remarketing to appeal to abandoning visitors through targeted exit-intent popups.

All in all, reducing your bounce rate is of huge importance if you are to have a successful online presence. Use the tips that have been mentioned above to get started.

Powerful Ways To Push Your Online Company Forward

Online businesses have become a huge part of today’s market, and running one successfully requires you to stand out from the ever-growing competition. With many businesses selling a similar product or service as you, you have to find what separates you from them and use it to attract customers. There are several ways to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors and expand your business, but it completely depends on the type of product or service that you’re selling. This guide was made to help you turn things around if your business is stagnating, or even if you’re just starting a new one.

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Get to Know Your Competition

Every successful business owner will be able to tell you their main competitors from the top of their head. To be able to know where you’re heading, you need to know what you’re up against. The reason for this is because you want to stand out. If your competitors are using certain keywords or slogans, you want to stay as far away as possible from those because it’s going to be bad for you and them both. Since building a brand requires you to stay unique, it’s always good to know what your competition is doing and do it better.

Invest in Your Customer Service

Getting an audience is a tough task when you’re just starting an online business. But that’s not where it ends, because now you have to retain the audience, and the best way to do that is to have a great customer support. Treat your customers better than your competitors and they’ll most probably remain loyal to your product or service. People often underestimate the power of reputation, and word of mouth advertising is actually a great way to build it. An honest recommendation from a satisfied customer will guarantee you new customers, especially in the age of social media.

Build More Traffic

You can have a great product, excellent website, and wonderful customer service, but if you don’t have enough traffic you won’t be earning money. Building traffic is a process that requires focus, strategy, and persistence since you’ll potentially need a lot of trial and error to get it right. If you do manage to build lots of traffic, it will become considerably easier to generate income. If for some reason you can’t commit to this task entirely, there are companies out there like Agseosydney which will guarantee increased traffic on your website. They’ll optimize your SEO and help you manage your online reputation, thus directly increasing your income.

Follow the Latest Trends

There’s a new meme circling the internet that has millions of people jumping out of their chairs? Then you absolutely must know about it. If you’re to be successful in advertising your product, especially when it comes to social media, it’s imperative to keep track of current trends and potentially use them to your advantage. Being uninformed is no longer acceptable, especially when it comes to online businesses. Talk to your employees and encourage them to share their insight when it comes to current online trends.

Specialize Your Products

Ask yourself, what kind of problem will your customers solve if they pick you over your competitors? Let’s imagine that you’re selling cleaning products. If you advertise your company just as a cleaning products seller, how does that put you in an advantageous position compared to your competition? However, if you’re selling eco-friendly cleaning products that don’t negatively affect our environment, you’re good to go. Why is that? Because you just solved a problem for someone who lives by the green living philosophy and needs to clean their house. And by doing it, you effectively made yourself stand out from the crowd. So think about the ways on how to customize your products, and you’ll be doing yourself a favor too.

Conclusion

It takes time and focus to launch and grow a successful online business. This guide was made for you to help you make your business stand out from the crowd and show your unique qualities to your customers. Sometimes, an idea will fail and you’ll need to recognize that moment and learn from the experience, so that next time you may succeed. Just remember that if you have a strategy in place for both your products and your customers, you’ll already be a few steps ahead of your competition.

Dos and Don’ts of Using Social Media for Customer Service

Using social media for customer service makes sense for businesses and customers alike. J.D. Power published data showing  more than two-thirds of all customers who contacted a company via a social network did so for customer service. It is no surprise that companies have learned the benefits that come with a public display of customer service excellence.

Despite the attractiveness of leveraging social media as a customer service channel,  companies that have tried often deliver disappointing results. As an example, another study reveals that more than one-third of consumers who have tried to use social media to get help were disappointed.

Unlike traditional situations where customers privately interact with companies via either telephone or in-person visits, social media dialog occurs in public for everyone to see. Although this can present valuable opportunities, they may also lead to damaging negative publicity. Read the following dos and don’ts for great social media customer service.

DO

1. Respond quickly

Customers want immediate results. In response, you offer expedited shipping options, same day shipping and similar perks that compress the gap between order placement and fulfillment. Why stop there? Customers also want to receive prompt replies to their inquiries.

Did you know more than 40% of customers want to receive a response within one hour of contacting you? In fact, one third of your customers want to receive a response in 30 minutes. Even if you need more time to achieve a final resolution, a quick response to customer contacts to achieve a high level of satisfaction.

2. Be Polite and Empathetic

While online, people often speak more candidly than they might in face-to-face conversations. When an irate customer rants all over social media about a problem, you understandably might want to fire back in a similar manner. Don’t. Always use a respectful and empathetic tone when using social media for customer service.

When others see you and your team maintain a professional attitude under pressure, they will have confidence in your commitment to them. When an irate customer speaks via social media, accept their concerns as valid and guide them to possible resolutions.

A customer first attitude will make it much easier to find a mutually satisfactory resolutions. When this happens, your brand will shine.

3. Add a Personal Touch

Get personal with your customers, prospects and leads and you will endear them to you, your company and your brand. People want to feel important and valued, and allow that desire to guide their buying choices. Use names and personal details while interacting with customers and you will build long-lasting, profitable relationships.

With its Happiness Heroes initiative, Buffer sets a standard that every firm can follow. The brand’s cheery customer service specialists always sign their messages with their first names, helping to humanize the brand. As a result, the company has built a reputation as being friendly and helpful, leading to loyal customers who freely promote the brand.

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Another way to add a personal touch to your social media customer service effort is to write well. When you and your team take the time to properly spell words and construct grammatically correct sentences, you appear professional and communicate that you value your audience.

4. Admit You Made a Mistake

Sometimes your company will make a mistake and do something wrong. Win the hearts of the social media world by admitting the problem and apologizing. When you interact this way, you connect with customers who understand that “stuff happens.”

Rather than ignoring complaints or playing a blame game, take responsibility for mistakes that your company has made, take steps to make sure they never recur, and then take steps to make things right. When you take an open, honest and transparent approach, your customer service effort on social media will earn a solid reputation for your firm that will translate into sales revenue and profits.

DON’T

1. Let the Issue Linger for Too Long

In the hope that problems disappear, some people will either ignore or delete negative social media comments. Never let an uncomfortable situation cause you to run and hide. Doing so sends the wrong message to the public. In spite of the discomfort or embarrassment you feel when something goes wrong, you must promptly and positively respond to inspire confidence of the community of social media users.

Of course, every prompt response might not result in a positive result. In fact, some conversations involving complex issues can seem to drag on forever. In such circumstances, consider inviting customers to an offline channel where you can work together without exposing the extended saga to the world.

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In fact, after two interactions in public, moving to a private message other than social media might help create a positive customer experience and promote the reputation of your brand. By limiting the “dirty laundry” on your social media profiles you do yourself a favor while offering improved opportunities to affected customers.

2. Neglect Customer Feedback

Your exposure to the social media community gives you access to almost unlimited feedback streams that include both suggestions and criticisms. All such information comes to you free, at no cost, so make sure you and your team pays attention to it.

Some companies fail to spend the time or attention necessary to digest all the feedback left for them on social media, but they do so to their detriment. Even more so, businesses that acknowledge feedback and fail to act upon it hurt themselves. Act upon the information you receive via social media, even when it seems negative. Use it to improve your business.

3. Send Them to Another Channel

You’ve already learned about the damaging effect prolonged discussions can have on your brand. Aside from that, you need to accommodate your customers on the same channel that they choose to initiate contact. For example, if someone reaches out to you on Facebook, don’t immediately tell them to call your customer service telephone number.

Customers have a reason for contacting you via social media, so you should accommodate them on their preferred channel as long as possible.

4. Rely on Canned Responses

Automation has snagged many headlines in the marketing and tech world, but sometimes automation can cause major turnoffs. When you use social media for customer service, give your audience the luxury of interacting with a human being. If you lack the time to respond to comments, enlist the help of your staff. When your staff lacks the time, consider employing some remote workers to engage your customers.

Canned responses give your brand an inhuman, austere character and can quickly lead customers to wonder whether they will ever receive the attention they crave. A seemingly countless number of brands have tried to cut corners with automated responses and they have paid the price. Learn the lesson and rely on human, personal interactions instead.

Social media has forever changed the online landscape. Through it people interact with friends and their favorite brands. In contrast with companies that have made mistakes, learn from the above dos and don’ts to give your brand an edge over your competitors, and your firm a promising and profitable future.

Author byline:

Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon

The Beefcamp Bootcamp For Wimpy Websites

A website is either great or it’s not good enough for your business. There is no middle ground. There are the elements of a successful website that the brand, the customers, and the business needs. Then there are sites that lack those elements. So, what are the elements that your website is missing? That’s what we’re going to be looking at in the boot camp.

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Usability is number one

You would think that this is a no-brainer, but businesses consistency launch sites that are, in one way or another, broken. They have too many pages that could be condensed into one, or they’re missing the simple tricks of navigation like drop-down menus that allow them to unify several different pages under one category. Or they’re making one of the biggest mistakes in modern business and failing to make a responsive website that reads as well on mobile devices as it does on the PC. Make sure you have strangers testing your site on different devices and offer them objectives, like using certain services on the site. If they mention any barriers to those objectives, think about how you remove those barriers.

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Sites are more than just a text on background

A good brand needs a good brand image. This doesn’t just mean the colour and design of the formatting trims on the website. Instead, think about how you use images to communicate if they can deliver your message quicker than text. Go even further and use video marketing content on your pages to remove the effort from the user’s experience entirely. The best videos to use on sites are shorter ones. If it takes longer than thirty seconds, a significant portion of website users will simply ignore a video.

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Nothing works without visibility

If your website’s issue is the fact that no-one is browsing it, then you need to ask yourself why. For instance, if it doesn’t have high placement on search engines with the help of a search engine optimisation agency, then people simply might not be able to find it even when they’re looking for it. If you’re not using social media to highlight the different deals and pieces on content on the site, then people won’t think to check them out. Even the greatest designed sites won’t have much impact if they have no visibility.

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If you have something to say, say it

Content can be one of the greatest weapons a site can offer your business or your brand. It is your opportunity to offer expertise in advice articles that solve problems for even average web users who weren’t looking for your business. It gives you the chance to show that the site is alive and the business is ever-working by keeping the site up-to-date. It can even be used as a place to show positive proof of the business’s success, highlighting awards, industry updates and testimonials. If you have something to say, say it on the site with well-written content.

If you see anything mentioned in the points above that your site just doesn’t have, then it’s time to consider why and if it’s worth adding it. The website is the online face of your business. You wouldn’t meet a client in a customer without dressing professionally. Why would you let your website go out in just as bad a condition?

 

Putting Your Customers First Never Gets Old

When it comes right down to it, your customers are the reason you even have a business to begin with.

Stop for a moment and think about where you would be if it were not for the dedicated customers who buy products and/or services from you on a daily basis. In many cases, you’d be out looking for work.

With that being the case, no matter what line of business you are in, you have to give customers the attention they want and deserve. To not do so opens you up to problems, some of which you may not be able to overcome.

In always putting your customers first, make sure you do it in a way that gives them reason to reward you over time too.

Happy Customers Tend to Be Longtime Customers

So that you keep your customers around for as long as possible, keep these tips in mind:

  • Customer service second to none – First and foremost, your customer service must be nothing short of stellar on a daily basis. Remember, it just takes on bad customer service experience to send many customers fleeing; fleeing that is into the arms of your competition. Yes, you will have some customers who will feel that they got short-changed in terms of the service your business provided them, but do your best to reassure them that is simply not the case. In the event there is an issue with the service you gave them, do your best to give them reasons to stick by you. One of the ways to do this is by providing them a discount on their next purchase. You may have to twist an arm or two at times, but it will prove worth it over the long haul, notably for your company’s financial health;
  • Your niche truly does matter – What line of work you’re in certainly plays a major role in how you go about customer service. For instance, if you reside in the transportation industry, you know all too well how important timely and satisfactory service proves to be. In many cases, you only get one shot with a new customer to provide them with a winning experience. Drop the ball on this and there is a good chance they drive off elsewhere for their needs the next time around. In the event you offer ride sharing technology for your customers, make sure it is working properly, not a recipe for disaster. With millions of people needing to get from one place to another on a daily basis, your ride sharing operations need to be stellar, especially when it comes to delivering on-time service. From making sure the drivers do their jobs to your riders getting picked up in a timely manner, the key is to put forth a smooth operation. When you do that, customers tend to come back again and again.

Let’s Make a Deal

  • Deals are always a winner – Finally, are you offering your customer specials as often as possible? Although you can’t continually be lowering prices, you should put deals out there whenever the timing seems right. For instance, if you have some long-time customers, do you reward them? If not, what incentive do they have to stay with you for years to come? You can give them periodic discounts when they bring in new customers etc. By doing so, you give them more reason to not only stay with you, but also look around among friends and family to see who else they can get to do business with you.

If you have been a little lax up to now when it comes to putting customers first, the time to change that has definitely arrived.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business topics on the web.