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How to improve the design of your website.

1.Add a value proposition

The value proposition communicates to your visitors what you do and why you do it.

Put your value proposition on the home page of your website, as a headline if possible. Add it also on your blog and on your social networks. You must make your users know exactly what they will get if they hire you, if they buy your product, if they subscribe to your newsletter or if they read your blog.

According to Joe Pullizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, our value proposition should include the following elements:

  • Our company.
  • Our audience.
  • What information.
  • What a benefit.

As an illustrative example, we are going to see the value proposition of Orbit Media Solutions:

“On the Orbit blog (our company) digital marketers (our audience) can find expert and practical advice on web design and content marketing (what information). Our goal is to help you get better results with your website (what a benefit). ”

2.Website navigation

The navigation of your website has two purposes:

Help the user find what they are looking for.
Improve your search engine rankings.
Your visitors should always be your priority. Use descriptive navigation that speaks in the language of your users. Don’t use slang. You must be empathetic and know how to choose the words that they would use to find your products.

The design of a website will be better the fewer clicks the user has to make.

“Empathy is the greatest marketing skill.”

3.Text of the call to action

The call to action, or CTA, is one of the most important elements of web design. Once you have users on your website interested in what you do, you must tell them what you want them to do.

Calls to action usually appear in the form of buttons with the following texts: “Download it now”, “Get a free sample”, “Subscribe”, “Open an account”, etc. The button text must start with a verb. Otherwise it is not a call to action. “More information”, for example, is not a call to action.

4.The colors of the CTA


The CTA button should stand out from the rest of the elements of a web design. A good idea is to use complementary colors. This way you will make sure to get the user’s attention.

5.The distance test


Open your web page in the browser, get up from your desk and take ten steps back. Could you tell what your company does just by taking a look? If not, you need to reinforce your message and be more specific.

Unbounce is a good example of this technique. When you open their website you know exactly what you can achieve: “Build a landing page quickly and get more conversions.”

6.Social Proof


Use social evidence and testimonials so that your potential customers have one more reason to trust your company. Try to include these testimonials in the home so that users can see it the first time they visit your website.

7.Who we are


Like the social proofs and testimonials, the “Who we are” page gives your website a point of trust. Let your visitors know who is behind the company.

Plus, using individual team pages gives you a chance to rank on search engines when users specifically search for those names.

8.Mobile-friendly


On April 21, 2015 Google updated its mobile search ranking algorithm. Mobile-friendly web pages are now ranked higher in search results for mobile devices.
Put the most important message at the top and give your users a good reason to scroll if necessary. If you try to put everything up there your website will look too chaotic and messy.

And there is a good reason for this. Google wants users to have a good experience when browsing a website. So if you don’t have a mobile version of your page or a responsive website you will be missing out on many conversion opportunities.

9.Internal linking


Do not let your users reach a dead end on your website. Always keep them moving. All pages must contain a link or contact form. The home page should link to all the others. It’s a good idea to also include the name of the landing page in the link so that the user knows where to go once they click.

10.Long trips

Many web design and online marketing professionals believe that important information should be placed above the fold of the page. But scrolling down is a natural action for internet users.

Yes, more attention is paid to the things above this cut because it is the first thing you see. But that doesn’t mean you have to put all the information there.

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Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth

Growing a business isn’t easy. First, you need a viable idea. From there, you need to discover a profitable niche, define a target demographic and have something of value to sell them. Whether you’re peddling products, services or information, getting the word out has become increasingly burdensome. And without the right marketing strategies to fuel your growth, churning a profit and staying afloat is virtually impossible.

However, identifying the right strategies to market your business is often likened to rocket science. How do you get your message to the right audience and do it effectively? How do you boost visibility and increase sales while sustaining a profit with a converting offer? Today, with so much vying for our attention from social media, to search engine optimization, blogging and pay-per-click advertising, it’s easy to see why most are ready to pull their hair out.

The truth is that what got you to this point in business is likely not going to get you to the next level. If you’re feeling stuck, join the fray. Most entrepreneurs are so busy working “in” their businesses that they fail to work “on” their businesses. As a result of dealing with the day-to-day operations of a company that includes customer hand-holding, supply-chain demands and more, we often neglect to wield the right marketing strategies that will help fuel our business’s growth.

What does it take to do that? Simply put, you have to take a step back for a moment. You have to analyze and understand the basic mechanics of your message and how to effectively reach a larger audience without losing your shirt. The secret to all of this? No matter what marketing strategy you use, if you don’t have an effective sales funnel and optimize your conversions, you’ll just be throwing money away.

What are the best marketing strategies to use?
Most businesses are faced with a conundrum. It’s a Catch-22. There’s a clear need for increased visibility to drastically improve sales. But in order to get more visibility, businesses have to spend more money. When that well runs dry, what are you supposed to do?

There is no obvious and clear answer to that question that covers all situations. But there are things that can be done today, right now, even on a shoestring budget, to reach more customers without breaking the bank. However, it all boils down to time. If you lack the money, you sure better have the time to put in the sweat equity.

Either way you slice it, as long as the fundamentals of a sound business are there and you’re working tirelessly to build an authentic relationship with the consumer by sincerely trying to add value, then there are 10 go-to strategies you can use to market any business online.

1. Use social media.

You can’t ignore social media. That’s where all the so-called magic is happening. Some businesses have been built solely on the backs of social media. It can be intimidating at first. Sure. But as you build momentum, you’ll find posting on social media to get easier and easier over time.

Of course, you could also hire a social media manager if you have money to burn. But if you don’t, just be yourself. Be authentic. Post your thoughts. Post your products. Post anything that you find relevant and useful that would help your audience either learn more about you and your business, or about the industry that you’re in.

Use direct messages on platforms like Instagram and even Snapchat or Twitter to reach out to other successful businesses or even to communicate with potential customers who might be looking for your products and services. This is very powerful marketing.

2. Create video tutorials.

One of the most effective ways to get the word out on your business is to create video tutorials. Teach people something useful. Walk them through it. Hold their hands. Step-by-step tutorials are all the rage. The better you are at this, and the more value you provide, the quicker you can boost your visibility, and ultimately, your sales.

Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. Whenever someone wants to learn something visually, they head there. You’ve likely done it yourself countless times. So just ask yourself what you could teach in your business that would help consumers solve some pain point? What got you into business in the first place?

The hardest part? Hearing your own voice playing back and even seeing yourself. Now, you don’t have to appear visually on camera, but you’ll likely need to be heard. You get used to it over time. But you can’t ignore the visibility and reach of YouTube so get out there and start making authentic and useful videos today, right now.

3. Start blogging now.

Sure, you could start a blog. If you don’t have a blog for your business, then you need to start one immediately. But you don’t just have to blog on your own blog. Most people find blogging mundane because they lack the visibility. The truth is that your blog is going to be like a barren desert unless you know what you’re doing.

But this isn’t just about posting your ideas on your own blog. You should start authority blogging. Use platforms like Medium to post content. Answer questions on Quora and Reddit. Or get out there onto LinkedIn’s publishing platform. These are all authority domains that anyone can post on, which have massive audiences, giving you instant and immediate reach right now.

When you do blog, ensure that you blog effectively. Don’t post thin content. Think about adding value. Worried about revealing all your business secrets? Don’t be. Give away the farm. Give people so much value that you instantly become an authority in their eyes. This is one of the most powerful strategies you can use to market any business.

4. Understand search engine optimization.

This is an area of marketing that I’m incredibly passionate about. But it’s also an area that many people are deathly frightened by. Yes, SEO can be frightening. But it can also be powerful. And when you learn to leverage it and you learn SEO the right way, the sky truly is the limit.

There are companies out there who teach you how to use shady PBNs and other link schemes to “trick” Google. It might get short-term results, but in the long term, you’ll land in hot water. You can’t take shortcuts with SEO. Just like in business, you have to put in the work and the time if you want to see the results.

Some tips for doing this the right way? Don’t spam keywords. Hands down. This is one of the biggest mistakes most people make. Create your content for humans while also paying homage to search engines. But more importantly, ensure that whatever it is that you’re conveying is insightful, engaging, unique and adds a tremendous amount of value.

5. Leverage influencers.

Want to get the word out there and boost your visibility on social media without taking years to build the audience? Then you should certainly leverage influencers. But the key is to find the right influencer. You don’t have to go with influencers with millions of followers. You could opt for micro-influencers with tens of thousands or even a hundred thousand followers.

The trick? Find the right influencer in your niche so that you’re targeting the right audience. It’s not just about spreading your message. It’s about spreading your message to the right consumer base. If you can do that properly, then you can likely reach a sizable audience for not much money invested when you think about the potential profit it can return.

If your sales systems and products are in place, then this makes sense. If you have an offer that’s clearly converting, and it’s simply about more visibility, then this is likely the right marketing strategy for you right now. Assess the situation and reach out to influencers and gauge their pricing. Do small tests and see what works, then scale.

6. Build a great lead magnet.

So much effectiveness in marketing really does boil down to creating a great lead magnet. I’ve found that the right lead magnet presented to the right audience can have explosive results. The best way to do this is if you can identify the right pain points and present a solution in your lead magnet, then you’re well on your way.

What problem are consumers facing in your niche? What made you get into business in the first place? Ask yourself these questions before building out your lead magnet. The better you identify the problem or pain points at the outset, the better you’ll be at actually addressing that with a solution in your lead magnet.

What type of lead magnet should you build? That could either be an ebook, a cheat sheet, a checklist, a video and others. Of course, it’s not just about the lead magnet. You have to have a squeeze page with sizzling sales copy to get people to drop into your funnel. But it all starts with a great lead magnet. The better it is, the more effective you’ll be at reaching your audience.

7. Use Facebook ads with re-targeting.

One of the most powerful methods you can use to market just about anything these days are Facebook ads. With Facebook, you can reach a very specific audience and you can do it very easily. You can target by interest, age, relationships status, geographic location, and so much much more.

But the trick here to getting great results isn’t just about click-traffic. You have to focus on conversions and re-targeting through pixels. If you don’t know how to install the Facebook Pixel on your site, then you absolutely must learn how to do this right now. Even if you’re not running Facebook ads, you can build your audience with a pixel.

Pixels track everyone who comes to your site, and you can build custom audiences around them. For example, if you post content about how to learn to drive a semi-truck, and you track visitors with pixels, you can then market truck driving certification to people who have already shown an interest in that already because they visited that specific page. And your conversions will skyrocket.

8. Use LinkedIn the right way.

Do you have a video on your LinkedIn profile? Did you know that you can easily add one? Why not take the time to introduce yourself and your business. Link that to your profile description. This is an easy way to passively market your business, and when it’s done right, it can lead to shocking results.

If you have lots of connections on LinkedIn and you’re not really posting on there, start immediately. You can reach a large audience, especially when your posts go viral. This is a great place to convey the entrepreneurial journey. Talk about your challenges and tell stories. The more effective your stories, the larger your potential reach when you go viral.

You can also reach out to other businesses and collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs on LinkedIn. It’s a great go-to resource for all things business and too many people overlook this.

9. Create an affiliate program.

Most people don’t understand the power of affiliate marketing. Affiliates can provide massive fuel for growth. But approaching the right partners isn’t always that easy. You have to have good conversion if you want the bigger affiliate to take you seriously.

I’ve found that navigating the affiliate minefield can be tricky. It takes persistence and it takes true grit to make it through. Most of us get discouraged after a few setbacks, but you can’t allow emotions to get in the way when it comes to affiliate. Build an affiliate program and start reaching out to potential affiliate who can assist you.

There are loads of websites you can use as well such as E. Brian Ross’s JVZoo, or Tim and Eileen Barber’s ClickBank and Commission Junction to get the word out.

10. Use Email Marketing Sequences

Part of any good sales funnel is going to be an email marketing sequence. These are the automated messages that go out to users once they subscribe to your list. Use your email sequence to build a relationship with the subscriber. Be authentic and transparent. And convey your journey.

Use the email responses and clicks to segment your list. For example, if someone clicks on a specific link, they’ve clearly shown an interest in something. Tag that subscriber to market to them later. If someone buys, tag them as a buyer. Identifying your buyers and the interests of your subscribers is huge for segmenting.

When you do send broadcasts, split test. Split test everything, in fact, You never really do know what’s going to be the most effective until you pull the trigger and really test it out. This will help you understand what your audience responds to better, making you a better communicator, and better able to sell to your customers.

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Develop Your Startup Idea

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR STARTUP IDEA
Have you ever had a genius business idea struck you only to fizzle out in the end because you have no idea of how to bring your startup idea to the next level? Well, to help you get started, here is a concrete step by step guide to develop your startup idea.

1.Consider and analyse the relevant markets

Firstly, consider the market niche(s) that your startup idea is applicable to. What are the needs of the industry and its consumers? Are there any unresolved problems faced by the industry? Is your startup idea going to bring resolutions and improvements to the situation? You can refer to industry-specific authority sites to keep you constantly updated with the latest trends. For example, Techcrunch is an excellent technology blog that talks about the latest products, and shares the latest news in the tech world. It also profiles new startups and provides an overview of up and coming fledglings in the market.

An excellent source of inspiration is TED, which is famous for its widely known slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It is a treasure chest of information about everything imaginable under the sky. It is incepted as a conference where experts in various niches convene to share their insights on issues that can bring about revelations and raise awareness. Presenters usually have around 18 minutes to talk about their topic and the focus of their presentation can span from the latest advancements in a field of discipline to societal issues that they wish to heighten the awareness of. After attending the talks or watching its videos, you will leave feeling more inspired than ever

2.Note down your ideas and expand them

At this stage, you might have identified needs or areas that can be improved upon. Note them down with a tool such as Evernote. Evernote allows you to save clippings of web pages, images and even attached documents and powerpoint slides. You can create several notes and sort them out according to topics and genre. Evernote can be accessed via various platforms such as windows, ios and android. A simple click of the sync button will ensure that your notes are synchronized across all platforms.

3.Carry out competitive analysis

Competitive analysis is a great way of comparing and predicting how your business will stand up against your competitors in the industry. Is your business able to fill in a void that’s left untouched by others?

Here’s how to go about executing your competitive analysis:

4.Model your business

If the idea of creating a business plan seems too tedious and clunky, you will delight in using Leancanvas and Canvanizer. They are templates that emulate a one page business model. It is easy to add and update the model. You also get to enjoy a clear overview of the following nine building blocks of your business model: customer segments, value propositions, channels(to reach out to clients), customer relationship, revenue streams, key resources, activities that create value, key partners, and cost structure.

5.Create/design/sketch your mockup and then test it

The time has long past the stage where you have draw sketches on a whiteboard and scribble all over the place. Online tools such as Balsamiq and Framebox allows you to create wireframes and export it in different formats such as jpg or pdf. There are several buttons or components of a web application for you to choose so you can put together your sketch easily. Want to get feedback on your mockup sans unnecessary distractions and confusion? InfluenceApp is the way to go. You can upload your design in various formats and assimilate the rest of the documents to form a complete presentation. You can then share the final mockup with your teammates simply by sharing a URL, and they can provide feedback simply by pinning comments on the specific elements of the design. It’s that easy!

6.Execute a market survey

No business ought to be launched without the execution of a market survey. Websites such as Survey Monkey allows you to create an online questionnaire and send the URL to your targeted audience. This transcends geographic boundaries which is one major advantage compared to on-field survey as you can gain a broader, global perspective.

Another alternative is to conduct a focus group session before or after the completion of your Minimum Viable Product. This is where you invite people from your targeted demographics to participate in a group discussion on the products or services. A focus group can help you achieve the following:

· Finding out consumer’s first impression of the product or services based on packaging and marketing campaign

· Gathering customer’s real time feedback on the virtues and vices of the products/services

· Tweaking your marketing strategies and improving your product before the final deliverable

7.Develop your final product

The next step would be to implement the tweaks and necessary adjustments to create the final product. During this stage, there are several project management softwares to help you keep tab of the progress. Trello and Agile Zen are some good recommendations. The template is divided into different stages (or boards) where individuals can be assigned to be in charge of different sections. Tasks can be moved from one stage to another, e.g. from backlog to working to approved. This gives a very clear picture of the progress of each project segment and what needs to be done.

8.Gathering customer feedback and measuring your business results

There are lots of uncertainties about a business but what if you can get answers to the burning questions you have if things aren’t going as expected? Kissinsights help you to reach out to your audience. You can install it on your website and visitors will be prompted with two questions when directed to your home page. You have the flexibility to control who is exposed to the survey. Another tool that you should not miss out is Kissmetrics. It tracks the surfing and purchasing behaviour of your visitors and provides you with valuable information such as where they came from. This handy information helps you to further refine your marketing strategies and improve your site navigation.

The last two steps will be revisited again and again as your business continuously develops and adapts to the market.