817-283-3324
LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
WebRev Connect
smarter websites


Blog

 

Contact forms not working? Here's how to fix it

Posted Wed, April 30, 2014 by Julie Short

It seems like every single website has a contact form these days – but does that mean these forms are effective at generating more leads? As it turns out, success takes more than simply sticking a form online and hoping people fill it out. Use the following tips to make your contact form an effective way of attracting interest and leads.


1.    Keep your number of fields to a minimum. A HubSpot study showed that lowering the number of contact form fields from four to three raised response by almost 50 percent. Think about it: the more fields someone has to fill in, the more opportunities they’ll have to get bored, rethink giving out their information, and develop carpal tunnel.


2.    Don’t be nosy. To build on the minimum number of fields, avoid asking for any info that’s not totally necessary. In most cases, you can get what you need with a person’s name and some form of contact. Wait to get the more personal stuff until after you’ve already communicated with them and established trust.


3.    Loosen your grip on formatting. Don’t make your visitors angry because your form requires specific formatting. Remember that any information submitted via forms can be automatically standardized using specific coding on your back end. You can also guide users to use correct formatting in the first place by using ghost text – that light-colored suggest text that’s in the fields of some forms.


4.    Emphasize user-friendly formats. Highlight the field that the user's cursor is on; make it easy for them to debug things like incorrectly formatted email addresses; and set up all of the fields and buttons in a predictable sequence. Pay special attention to the "submit" and "cancel" buttons. Make sure that the submit button is the first thing after the last form field so that people who have been tabbing through the form don't accidentally hit cancel instead. (That’s the worst.)


5.    Let users know that you aren't a spammer. We come in peace! Tell visitors exactly what you'll do with their contact information. Assuming you don't intend to sell a list of email addresses, let people know that you won't sell, rent, or otherwise share their contact information.


6.    Make your drop-downs smarter. If you use a drop-down list for the country field, put the ones that your targeted audience comes from at the top. This is especially true if your would-be customers come from the USA or the UK. The letter "U" is a long way down from "A," and it's annoying to have to scroll so far to get to it. First world problems, right?


7.    Encourage browsing. Let people see your site before you ask them to fill out a contact form. A trend has emerged where sites will pop a newsletter signup window up right on top of the content when a visitor first arrives. While this guerilla tactic can work fine for newsletters, it's not so great for contact forms. In fact, it probably hurts your conversion rate. It makes more sense to give people a chance to see why you're worth communicating with before you ask them to do so.


If your contact forms haven't been bringing in the number of leads you're looking for, implement a few of these tips. By keeping things simple, you'll make it easy for people to fill out the form on a whim. Once they do so, your sales team can eventually turn these contacts into more customers.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content | 
Tags : contact forms , websites


5 Ways for Small Businesses to Streamline Inventory Management

Posted Wed, April 23, 2014 by Julie Short

Staying buttoned up and accountable with your business is crucial – and especially so in regards to your inventory. Inefficiencies or inaccuracies in inventory management can waste money for your company and lead to unsatisfactory customer experiences. We’ve rounded up five of our most effective ways to streamline your inventory management system – all of which are straightforward to implement and will work in the long-term.


1. Accept and utilize new technology.


Inventory management software can help you – you guessed it – streamline your inventory management system. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, for example, can successfully take charge of planning and tracking inventory – almost as well as (or even better than) a new employee could. This type of software can be customized to your business to handle sales tracking, purchasing, and the myriad other aspects of inventory.


2. Focus your energy.


Inventory itself is hard to get a handle on – so focus your energy on the following categories in order to keep track of it. Replenishment; safety; and prevention and anticipation of extra or obsolete stock.


3. Use a cross-functional team.


Most of the time, many different departments within an organization will be involved with inventory.  It makes sense then, to use a cross-functional team to plan out your inventory: everyone will be on the same page, and you might hear from departments that aren’t getting their needs met.  Plus, you’ll be able to ensure that the stock you order coordinates with a given marketing campaign or smaller team’s efforts.


4. Focus on the supply chain.


We said earlier to focus on replenishment, safety, and avoiding obsolete stock – but you should also be paying close attention to your supply chain. Review all the different parts in your supply chain and make sure they are all working efficiently... one cog can throw off the whole inventory wheel. If you don’t already have one, implement a distribution strategy to improve customer service and delivery time. Don’t forget to keep track of the location of your inventory - everything from raw materials to finished goods. You can use spreadsheets to keep tabs on this, but customized inventory management or ERP software will take the headache – and a lot of wasted time – out of the equation.


5. Reduce inventory.


You can also streamline your inventory system by carrying fewer items. Reduction might not be right for everyone, but there’s something to be said for curation over just collection. When you have larger numbers of fewer items overall, you’ll find that it’s easier to predict quantities and to lower your amount of safety stock. If you want to offload some of your existing stock without just waiting to use or sell it, you can try returning it; reselling to other companies; giving it to your employees; or selling to customers at a reduced price.


Your inventory might be considerable in volume, but there’s no need for it to be more of a burden than it’s worth. Get in touch with us to learn more about the crazy-good things a solid inventory management system can do for your company.

 

Posted in : Business Strategy , ERP | 
Tags : inventory , ERP


Is your accounting software system costing you money?

Posted Wed, April 16, 2014 by Julie Short

Computerized accounting isn’t inherently efficient.


At this point, nearly every business uses computers for its accounting. Software for the everyman – like Excel – makes the process extremely accessible to organizations of all sizes. So, as long as you are more advanced than pen and paper scribbling, you’re up to date – right? Everything seems to be running smoothly so, if it's not broken, why fix it? We have some answers to that question : some businesses have broken accounting systems and they don't even know it. Worse still, it's costing them time, money and customers.


Is it time to customize your accounting?


Every business is unique and has different needs and goals. Even two businesses in the same field offering the same products and services will each have their own set of priorities. Maybe it's customer retention, or maybe it’s market expansion. Perhaps cutting costs is a crucial goal; maybe you want to focus on adding new product lines. Whatever priorities a business sets for itself, accurate accounting systems are crucial to reaching those goals successfully.


Consider a recent article by Forbes writer Bill Conerly. Conerly posits that a business can be hemorrhaging cash, but without a clear, succinct vision of its cash flow, there is no way to correct the problem. Almost any accounting system can tell whether a business is generally profitable from month to month, but what happens when it shows a loss? Does the system show exactly where that loss has occurred? Without knowing precisely what's going on, Conerly explains, and being able to identify the exact dollar amount a project is costing or making your company, there is no way for a business to choose a clear solution to the problem.


This is where a customized accounting software system or custom-built application becomes invaluable. To succeed, every business needs an accounting system that can help it accurately track its income streams, overhead and costs. With that information in hand, all of those crucial business decisions about marketing, expansion, investments and project bids can be made with confidence and accuracy.


These signs point to an outdated accounting system!


Still on the fence? Not sure you need a new accounting software system? There are other telltale signs that it's time to give your accounting system an overhaul. Here are a few of them.

  • It's hard to find the data you need in time to make important, time-sensitive business decisions.
  • The data bases crucial to the running of your business have outdated or inaccurate information.
  • You've outgrown your data storage capacity.
  • An unexplained expense creep is cutting into your profit margins.
  • Security breaches are a growing concern -- for either you or your customers.
  • It's become difficult to anticipate cash-flow needs.
  • Reports and records have mathematical errors.
  • Your sales staff can't close deals because they can’t access necessary data.
  • Sloppy record keeping has triggered financial audits.
  • You need to do extensive research to find out if a given project, employee or department is showing a profit.

If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to look at your accounting system. After all, it's not just a record of your business activities – it's a vital business tool driving growth, sales and profits. Don't let an antiquated -- or nonexistent -- accounting software system keep your business in the Stone Age.

 

Posted in : e-commerce , CRM | 
Tags : accounting , web applications


6 Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media

Posted Wed, April 9, 2014 by Julie Short

We’ve discussed the benefits of claiming social media accounts for small businesses – and now we’re back on it to get into the specifics.


When it’s used effectively, social media has the potential to take your business to the next level. While the ultimate goal of social engagement and sharing is to convert leads into paying customers, the initial goal is to generate more leads to give your company a wide base of potential clients. If you’re an old pro at social media, you already know that having a meaningful network is much more useful than having thousands of followers or likes that you pay for. Before you can focus on conversion, you have to focus on establishing a solid following.


The good news: social media platforms are so wide-ranging and extensively used that they provide businesses with unprecedented opportunities to attract a broad consumer base. Below are some of our best tips for generating leads via social media platforms.


1. Build relationships.
Consumers tend to patronize businesses with which they feel a personal connection. Consumers want to know that you listen to them and will respond to their needs. Along that line of thinking, an easy way to build relationships using social media is to be responsive. Always respond to customer comments on your Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog – even if (especially if) they’re not flattering. Courteous, helpful responses from you will encourage people to keep coming back to your feed – and they often attract your followers’ friends as well. On the other hand, neglecting your pages makes you seem cold or unconcerned about your customers’ needs.


2. Cultivate your presence.
When you’re able to get someone’s contact information, be proactive about generating leads with it. Send out regular emails or even text messages with updates and deals to entice people to visit your web page or social media accounts. Millennials in particular tend to appreciate being recruited. They are aware that they have multiple options for goods and services, and a large part of their decisions rests upon how earnestly you try to connect with them.


3. Offer incentives.
All consumers like to find good deals, and you can generate leads by offering incentives in exchange for interest in your company. Offer coupons for discounted, upgraded, or free services to those who become your Facebook friend or refer other leads. Buying followers won’t do you any good in the long run – but drawing in followers with discounted products is an effective way to create new customers.


4. Keep your social media platforms current.
An outdated site or social media account is unlikely to draw much (positive) attention; visitors who do happen upon a neglected web page or Facebook account probably won’t return because your business doesn’t seem worth patronizing. If your website needs an update, call in the pros – they’ll know how to give your site a fresh look without disrupting your functionality (in fact, they’ll probably improve it).


Keep your social accounts current by making sure that any special deals are posted and by removing information about events and specials that have ended. To keep your website humming with activity, post regularly on your blog and participate frequently on Facebook and Twitter. You can share helpful industry-related information – for example, how to choose an event-appropriate dress if you’re in the fashion industry – or company-specific updates – like the flavor of the day if you are the owner of an ice cream shop.


And lest we forget: regularly updated websites, blogs, and social media accounts perform better in search engine rankings, which usually translates to better leads and conversion rates.


5. Ask for reviews.
Strong reviews can generate more leads. Ask current or past customers if they’d be willing to write a testimonial or reviews of your company for your website or online directories. To encourage them, send out text message or email reminders after they use your services – whether they are in your brick-and-mortar store or office or made an online purchase.


Another way to get people to write reviews for you: offer discounts or incentives on your social media accounts for everyone that fills out a survey or review for you. As much as positive feedback is a good thing, you don’t want a ton of canned reviews – readers appreciate honest, authentic feedback.


6. Stay relevant.
Focus on keeping your brand consistent and unified. Be sure that your website links to each of your social media accounts, and vice versa. You don’t want to deter any potential visitors with inconsistencies. Your social media accounts can serve as a place for your business to be more personable and transparent with customers – and to reinforce your existing branding. Some potential customers might find you via social media instead of your site, so remember to feature information about your company and who to contact on your social media profiles.

 

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : leads , social media


Can These Under-Utilized Social Media Platforms Boost Your Business?

Posted Wed, April 2, 2014 by Julie Short

Almost every small business owner is probably aware that Facebook and Twitter can have a positive impact on their business. Maybe you have invested some time in creating profiles on those social media sites. What you may not know is that there are a number of other, lesser-known (or simply under-utilized) social media sites that are proving to be enormously effective and could be sending new eyes to your website and bringing new business to your company. The following five "underdog" sites are on the rise in popularity, and small business owners are finding that they can be just as effective as Facebook and Twitter campaigns - maybe even more so!


Pinterest
As a small business owner, you may not initially consider Pinterest  as a beneficial platform due to its heavy focus on images rather than text. However, in many cases, those images can capture the imagination and interest of potential clients far better than words.

Pinterest can be utilized in several ways, but the regular creation of new boards, with images related to your business, tends to be what captures interest.

Even better, add a board with coupons or discounts for your business. Depending on your niche, this could generate a lot of traffic – after all, everyone loves a deal. Be sure to include your website link in your Pinterest profile, and pin images directly from your site as often as possible. These things make it easy for people to click on your links.


Instagram
Instagram is extremely popular, and its easy-to-use interface makes it a snap for the small business owner. Your smart phone is all you need to upload images to this platform. You can caption your images with a variety of hashtags related to your business. People searching for those hashtags can easily scroll through various pictures and land on your images.


You can post all kinds of images on Instagram, including product photos, ads, and coupons. Be sure to "follow" back people who "follow" you, and you'll find that your Instagram network will build itself organically and steadily. To be even more proactive, find people in your community or niche and follow them to get your business’s name out there.


YouTube
If you don’t explore the possibilities of YouTube for your business, you could be leaving out a major stream of revenue and clients. Your YouTube videos need not be long or even professionally produced commercials. Think about showcasing a few of your products or services in a video. Having a special? Make a quick video in which you detail the special and how viewers can get in on the deal.


YouTube is also a place where people search extensively for “how-to” -   if you have some shareable expertise, by all means, share it!


YouTube allows you to add links to your site, providing plenty of opportunities for new visitors and conversions. Once you’ve built up a nice following, you may want to begin placing some short ads on YouTube for a chance at an even broader revenue stream.


Foursquare
Foursquare is a tool that many small business owners are still neglecting - and it could be costing you a lot of new business. Foursquare was essentially created to tell people about local businesses, much like Yelp! and the old-school Yellow Pages. Your business is probably already on it, however, you can really flesh out the listing with lots of details – and pictures – and make it more enticing to people browsing for your product or service.


Foursquare makes it easy to place ads that draw in customers. Be sure to update the site with current info on deals and specials that potential customers will become aware of. You can even offer special deals just for Foursquare users, which will increase your reputation on the app.


Klout
Klout isn’t so much under-exposed as it is under-utilized. Klout creates a profile for you or your business and gives you a Klout score – a sort of grade for the quality and quantity of your social media engagement across multiple platforms; the more good content that you create and share, the higher your Klout score. The higher your score, the more you'll be seen, and the more new visitors you'll have.


Creating unique and engaging content for your business may not always be an easy job (one of many reasons for hiring a professional firm to do your strategic SEO marketing and content management!). However, if you put some time into placing great content on Klout – and really, almost any social media platform – you'll eventually notice some appreciable rewards.

 

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : SMM , SEO , marketing


Social Media Marketing: Essential and Within Reach for Small Business

Posted Wed, March 26, 2014 by Julie Short

Social media is here to stay, and thinking that it is just for making social connections may be a big mistake if you are a small business owner. A 2011 Nielsen report states that, “70% of active online adult social networkers shop online…12% more likely than the average adult internet user”.  The importance of social media for small business owners seems clear, so why might they shy away from being intentional regarding the use of social media? More importantly, as a small business owner, is there something more you should be doing?


Reason #1: Not Having a Plan
Many small business owners have gone at it haphazardly. They have tried to target everyone indiscriminately and ended up recruiting nobody, or they may not have known the most effective approaches, such as optimizing SEO strategies and selecting one or more platforms for their campaigns.


Solution: Hire a marketing firm to implement a social media campaign that can give the best results for the amount of money and effort invested.


Reason #2: Not Having the Time
Small business owners are working long hours already, and they may feel that they are unable to dedicate the additional hours necessary to implement an effective social media strategy. They may not realize that long hours are not necessary to see dividends in a social media campaign.


Solution: Strategize to create a targeted campaign that requires minimal hands-on work. A professional social media marketing company can assist with the initial launch of the campaign and then leave the small business owner with only small amounts of maintenance necessary as time passes. The use of local online directories allows customers to promote small businesses without too much effort or time on the part of the owner.


Reason #3: Thinking it Unnecessary
They may think that social media is optional and that they can continue growing their businesses without it. They may be unaware of the role and the possibilities of successful social media usage.


Solution: Research….look for case studies of small businesses that have implemented a social media strategy with positive results. They should see convincing data on the increase in sales or profits after the use of social media compared to before. In addition, small business owners will benefit greatly by becoming educated and aware of the implications of a social media focus…success might not be measured by direct sales only, but by an improved reputation and/or increased referrals.


Reason #4: Not Knowing How
Small business owners are likely talented experts in their own fields, but caterers, tailors, consultants, and printers etc. may have little or no knowledge of the impact or possibilities of social media as a viable business tool: and once they have become aware of it…may not know where to begin.


Solution: Get Help…You do not have to be a computer expert to implement an effective Social Media campaign, however, consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable Social Media Marketing (SMM) specialist can provide you with feasible ideas for simple but effective campaigns. There is no need to allow any of these reasons to prevent you from capitalizing on the opportunities that may be yours in the ever expanding world of Social Media.

 

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : SMM , social media , small business


< Previous
<< First
Go to > 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next >
Last >>
Blog Categories
RSS All Posts
RSS Announcements
RSS Blogging
RSS Business Strategy
RSS CRM
RSS e-commerce
RSS Email Marketing
RSS ERP
RSS Mobile Apps
RSS Mobile Websites
RSS Online Profile Management
RSS SEO/SMO/SMM
RSS Tips and Tricks
RSS Website Content
RSS Websites

GoogleRSS
YahooRSS
MSNRSS
Tags
small business apps content social proof marketing sem mobile websites lead generation accounting web applications seo search engine marketing customer loyalty pinterest chick-fil-a green sign-up chickfila pinning down the impact of pinterest pinterest users growth how to signup for pinterest account how to sign up for pinterest account how to sign up for pinterest pinterest account signup for pinterest account mobile website responsive design attracting hiring college graduates web conversion the mobile playbook google mobile mobile content mobile usage mobile expectations customer service store front reputation ecommerce tips search engines google places linkedin crm oil and gas website design mobile app websites content is king epr manufacturer blogging basics houzz idea book home builder custom home servers pci compliant webrevelation erp website advertising navigation social media email marketing attracting customers branding smm call to action buttons hr internet marketing professional website e-commerce reviews
Quicksearch
Email Signup  


Testimonials
I highly recommend WebRevelation and managing partner Julie Short. Julie has alw...
It has been a true blessing to find and work with WebRevelation. They have prove...
Contact Us

Web Design in Oklahoma
Call  405.607.0349

Web Design in Texas
Call  817.283.3324