Learn how to use the Search Queries feature in Google Webmaster Tools to make improvements to your site.
Pinterest has taken the social media world by storm. Initially, the site was written off as a niche site that had little potential for growth, but with millions of users on board, the site is now one of the most popular social networks in the U.S..
Not surprisingly, companies are starting to jump aboard the Pinterest bandwagon, seeing opportunities to enhance their marketing efforts. Of course, like any other marketing medium, there are some major dos and don’ts when it comes to marketing on Pinterest. Your success, in large part, depends on your ability to avoid making these major mistakes.
You should encourage people to Pin your content, and you should make it as easy as possible for them to do so. The simplest way to do this is to add a HYPERLINK “http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/” “Pin It” button (find the “Pin It Button for Web Sites” at this link about ¾ of the way down the page) to the pages of your website and blog. That way, whenever a Pinterest user finds something interesting on your website, they can just click the “Pin It” button and share it with their followers.
People love to see remarkable, unique, and interesting things on Pinterest. You don’t see a lot of stale, typical pictures and content being shared. If you’re Pinning uninteresting, subpar content, your followers will soon stop paying attention to you and abandon you.
Before you Pin anything, ask yourself a simple question, “Who cares?” If you truly believe people will care about what you’re going to Pin, go for it. If not, don’t Pin it.
The cool thing about Pinterest is that it allows you to organize the content you share, creating simple, easy-to-use navigation for visitors to your page. Rather than Pinning everything to a single, disorganized board, create category-specific boards so your followers can easily find the content they’re looking for. Furthermore, this shows that you “get” Pinterest and aren’t just some company half-heartedly trying to jump on the bandwagon.
Yes, you can promote your brand using Pinterest, but that doesn’t mean that every single thing you share should be an ad for your company. Your ultimate goal should be to create a valuable experience for your users. This might mean sharing content that’s not directly from your brand. You can also share content from other websites that you think your followers will find useful, such as how-to information or even funny images.
If you want to build a successful Pinterest presence, you need to understand what your followers want. What type of content are they most interested in liking and sharing? The simplest way to do this is to pay attention to the activity of your followers on Pinterest. Go to their pages. See what they’re Pinning and liking. Then, just keep this in mind as you curate content for your Pinterest page.
Pinterest can be a great tool for driving traffic to your website, increasing brand awareness, making sales, and much more, but it takes time. You will not see results overnight, so if that’s what you’re expecting, don’t waste your time. But if you avoid these mistakes and consistently work on engaging your followers and building a strong Pinterest presence, you will begin to see results over time.
What are some other major Pinterest mistakes to avoid? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Perfection. Every company strives for it, but none ever achieve it. We all desire to please our customers, but the truth is that dealing with angry customers is just a part of doing business. Sometimes, we make mistakes that draw the ire of customers. Other times, a customer is being unreasonable and is simply impossible to please, so there’s nothing you can do to make them happy.
Now, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media outlets, angry customers have a bigger platform than ever before to vent and tear your company apart. Remember the old rule, a happy customer tells only a few people, but an angry customer tells dozens (now potentially millions, thanks to social media).
With that in mind, it’s absolutely essential that you understand how to respond when an angry customer attacks. Here are some general guidelines to help you out.
You need to identify what has the customer so riled up before you can address the situation. There’s a good chance they will be pretty detailed in their complaint, so you can use that information to do a little research on your side and figure out exactly what happened and where things went wrong. If the angry customer doesn’t provide any details and just says something along the lines of “(insert company name here) sucks!” then you’ll need to engage the customer to find out exactly what has them so upset.
Responding to customer complaints in a timely manner can help diffuse the situation and show other customers that you really do value your customers. But just be careful that you don’t respond so fast that your emotions get the better of you and you end up in a fight with the customer. Calm down for a second and think about what you’re typing.
Does anyone enjoy apologizing? It’s difficult to swallow your pride and say “I’m sorry,” but it can be the key to diffusing a nasty situation and even winning back an angry customer. Show your human side when you apologize. You don’t have to go into detail about the situation, but just apologize to the customer for their bad experience and let them know that you’ll do whatever it takes to keep it from happening again.
Sometimes, you won’t be able to resolve the issue by commenting back and forth on Facebook or sending 140-character Tweets to the angry customer. You may need to take the conversation elsewhere, like to email, over the phone, or even in person. The whole world might not need to see the nastiness that ensues.
If all goes well, you can win back the angry customer and make them happy once again. If so, ask the customer if they would consider either deleting their original angry post or at least amending it to let everyone know that the situation has been resolved.
Have you ever dealt with an angry customer on one of your social networking pages? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment.
A fine-tuned landing page can be an endless source of new leads and more sales for your company. It can make your PPC and email marketing efforts well worth the time and money they take to get off the ground, and it can turn your website into your company’s best sales tool.
The problem? Most landing pages aren’t “fine-tuned.” In fact, if we can be brutally honest, most landing pages stink. Instead of bringing in the customers, they drive them away, thanks to some key mistakes that kill conversion rates.
So, if you have a landing page that’s just not generating the conversion rate you’d hoped for, listen up. You might be making one or more of these 9 huge landing page mistakes.
Lack of a strong, benefit-driven headline—Your headline will often make or break your landing page. If it doesn’t immediately grab the visitor’s attention and make them interested in reading through the rest of your page, you’ve failed and the visitor will click away. Have a strong, clear headline that is focused on a key benefit of whatever it is that you’re selling.
No call to action above the fold—Did you know that web users spend most of their time looking at content that’s above the fold on a website? In other words, people don’t like to scroll down. That means you need to put your call to action above the fold on your landing page, ensuring that visitors can easily see it as soon as they arrive on the page.
Unnecessary design elements—Clutter is the enemy of every landing page. Your landing page doesn’t need to have any elements that don’t contribute to getting the conversion. Eliminate any ads, irrelevant banners, etc. to keep the visitors focused on your key sales message.
Disconnect between the ad and the landing page content—If your PPC ad or email link promises one thing but your landing page delivers another, visitors will bounce at extraordinarily high rates. There must be consistency between what the ad link promises and what you deliver on your landing page if you want to get conversions.
No testimonials—Customers don’t trust you. At least, not yet. Of course, you’re going to say that your products are great, but what do real customers actually think? By including testimonials from satisfied customers on your landing page, you add credibility to your message.
Navigation that leads visitors away from the landing page—Landing pages shouldn’t have the typical navigation that you have on your main website. You don’t want people to leave your landing page. If you’ve done your job properly, your landing page will deliver exactly what the visitor is looking for, so they won’t need to go anywhere else on your site.
Asking for too much—An effective landing page asks visitors to take one specific action. If you ask a visitor to do too many different things, they’ll end up doing nothing at all.
Ignoring design basics—Design matters. People do “judge a book by its cover” so if your landing page design looks tacky, cheap, and unprofessional, customers won’t trust you and won’t do business with you.
Having an unclear call to action—Above all else, your landing page needs to have a clear, compelling call to action that explains exactly what action it is that you want the visitor to take. If you want them to fill out a form on the page, tell them to fill out a form. If you want them to place an order now, tell them to place their order now. Be clear. Be concise. And be compelling.
What are some other critical landing page mistakes? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
These days, consumers turn to websites like Yelp and Angie’s List to research companies before doing business with them. That’s because consumers want to see what real customers have to say about a company to see if they can trust them enough to buy from them.
Needless to say, if your company’s pages on these consumer review websites are filled with negative reviews, you’re going to lose a lot of potential new customers.
But what can you do? You can’t stop an unhappy customer from posting a negative review of your company. Are there at least steps you can take to mitigate the damage of negative reviews? You bet there are, and this post is going to outline some simple strategies for handling negative online reviews from customers.
Actively monitor the web for new customer reviews. The first thing you have to do is be proactive in monitoring your reputation online. Too many companies don’t even realize that they’re being ripped to shred all over the internet. How can you stay on top of everything? There are many things you can do, from setting up a Google Alert to track mentions of your company to claiming your business page on Yelp.
Respond quickly to negative reviews. The longer you wait to respond to a negative review, the worse thing can get. The customer can get more upset, and the people who see the negative review without a company response will assume you just don’t care what your customers think. You need to be quick to respond, but you have to be careful that you don’t respond emotionally. Take a second to get a deep breath and cool down (you’ll probably be a little upset at what you’ve just read) before responding.
Don’t be defensive or argumentative. The negative review will probably contain some information that you don’t agree with or that makes you downright angry. However, this isn’t the time to get defensive or to start a fight with the upset customer. Doing so only makes your company look unprofessional, uncaring, and unwilling to make things right. Your goal isn’t to flame the customer; it’s to win them back and show other customers how great your company really is.
Apologize. It takes a big person to apologize. In fact, apologizing is often the hardest thing to do. But sometimes, you have to swallow your pride and apologize to the customer to make the situation better. Note: Apologizing isn’t the same as admitting guilt. You can simply say, “I sincerely apologize that you had a poor experience with our company…” and mean it, without necessarily admitting that you were in the wrong. A heartfelt, human-sounding (no corporate speak) apology can go a long way to resolving a nasty situation.
Find a solution. Most bad situations have a solution. Angry customers can often be buttered up and won back. The key is to focus on finding a solution. Maybe you can offer the customer a freebie. If you don’t know how to solve the situation, just ask the customer what you can do to make them happy. Believe me, they know what they want, and they’ll gladly tell you. If it’s something reasonable, give it to them.
Have you ever had to deal with any negative online reviews for your company? What did you do? Let us know by leaving a comment.