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4 Ways You Profit From Stronger CRM Capability

Posted Thu, May 9, 2013 by Julie Short

Too many businesses look to sales and marketing when searching for revenue growth. Or, they look to sales and marketing without going further (or shall we say deeper) to find new profit opportunities. That's a shame, because retaining current customers and expanding those accounts is often a much better, more-efficient strategy.

Let's be clear: there is nothing wrong with trying to break into new markets, and reach new people. Still, studies have shown time and time again that the biggest and most frequent orders (or the most profitable accounts, if you sell services) tend to come from repeat buyers.

Of course, the best way to encourage customers to stay with you is through robust CRM. The better job you're doing of getting to know your customers, keeping in touch with them, and maintaining things like account details and points of contact, the easier it's going to be to grow those accounts. 

In fact, here are four ways you profit from stronger CRM:

1. Fewer accounts that slip away or are lost to competitors. Marketing experts will tell you that most sales are made, and most accounts are won, on a "top of mind" basis. In other words, the more intentional you are about contacting important customers regularly, the more you just happen to be "at the right place at the right time."

2. Better follow-up on sales opportunities. A good CRM package doesn't just keep account details, but can help you track new opportunities. That's important, because without these kinds of tools, it's easy to lose track of possible sales, especially when they don't finalize immediately. Few businesses can afford to let potential customers slip through the cracks, and CRM functionality can make all the difference.

3. More targeted marketing opportunities. In a perfect world, you could match a personalized sales message to each single client or opportunity. Since that's not normally possible, however, your best option is to use strong CRM systems that differentiate your customers and prospects into groups, allowing you to send timely, targeted offers to different buyers in each major category.

4. Less time wasted for your sales and customer service teams. One of the "soft costs" associated with poor CRM is the waste of time shared by business owners, managers, and employees. Your team has better things to do, so why not let your CRM system take care of routine tracking and account maintenance activities?

For most businesses, there is more revenue growth to be found within current accounts then there is in new ones, at least in the short term. Are you making the most of CRM and sales opportunities within your roster of existing buyers? If not, let the WebRevelation team show you how easy it is to enhance those relationships with streamlined CRM solutions.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


Why Automated CRM Isn't a Luxury Anymore

Posted Tue, May 7, 2013 by Julie Short

Customer relationship management tools that are integrated into your business website used to take a backseat to other features, like marketing platforms are interesting designs. With the cost of acquiring new customers going up, however, maintaining the right relationships (and keeping track of details like accurate contact information) is more important than ever. 

If that sounds like an overstatement, consider things in a different light: the bulk of the money you'll make this year is probably from existing customers. The more efficient your CRM systems are, the more of that revenue you can gather and keep… and the less of it you'll see "spill out" to your competitors.

That makes automated CRM features important to the bottom line. Here are three features we are helping our customers to implement and profit from:

1. Custom programming for web databases. Having your website be able to collect information from customers and store it in a database is a good start, but what if you have extra fields, need stronger analytics, or want to do some processing that requires advanced functionality?

In that case, custom programming can be the perfect solution. By allowing you to tailor your CRM package to immediate and long-term needs, it can help you reach new levels of effectiveness (and ROI) with marketing and account management.

2. Automated responses and follow-ups. Automated messages and reminders can serve a number of functions, from simple straightforward marketing to account updates, data collection, and so much more. What's best about these solutions is that they are easy to implement, and take an enormous burden off of you and your employees.

That means your team can focus its energy where it matters, without having to worry that customers and sales opportunities are going to "slip through the cracks." Even just a few automated tools can drastically transform your business.

3. Advanced customer differentiation and marketing profiles. In 2013, knowing your customer is every bit as important as finding more of them. By using automated tracking systems, you can learn to identify different segments of your customer base, and even customize your marketing seamlessly.

For that reason, automated CRM that helps you gather, track, and utilize customer analytics can show a high return on investment very quickly.

Not only is automated CRM more important than it used to be, but it's also getting more affordable and easier to implement. To see how small changes in your business could benefit you in a big way, call 972-478-7127 to set up a free consultation and CRM demo.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


Are You Making the Most of Your Biggest Customer Service Tool?

Posted Thu, May 2, 2013 by Julie Short

Business owners and executives often like to think that customer service begins and ends with personal interactions – the telephone conversations and e-mails they exchange with buyers. As important as these encounters are, however, the reality is that your website can be your most important customer service tool. That's because it's the one part of your company that buyers interact with the most, reaching more customers, more often, than you or your employees could ever hope to.

With that in mind, are you making the most of your business website as a crucial customer service tool? Most companies we meet with aren't. Here are a few ways to use your business website to keep more buyers and grow customer relationships:

Post FAQs and downloadable documents online. A lot of what customers really want to know (that is, common customer service inquiries) can be covered in frequently asked questions and downloadable documents like product manuals. By making those available online, and easy to find, you cut down the time needed for your staff and your customers.

Have an easy navigation structure with clear contact information for different parts of your company. Few things are as frustrating as coming to a business website and knowing that the information you're looking for simply has to be there… if only you could find it. Make pages simple to navigate, and ensure that it's always easy to reach a member of your team by telephone or e-mail.

Allow customers to change their own orders and account details. Depending on your web structure, this could require a bit of custom programming, but it's well worth the effort. That's because, despite the old advice that building customer relationships is all about being friendly and personal, many of your buyers want to be able to save time by changing orders and account details without picking up the phone or stopping by in person.

Make your website mobile-friendly. Nearly everyone is attached to a smart phone or tablet these days, and if your customers can't access your business website through mobile devices, then you're missing out on opportunities to make them happier.

Customer service is about a lot more than simply being friendly when you see your most important buyers. By upgrading your business website, you make it easier for them to do the things they want and need to – and that's what strong customer relationships, and brand loyalty, are really all about.

Need help upgrading your business website, or putting together a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy? Let the team at WebRevelation help! It only takes one quick phone call - 972-478-7127 - to setup a free consultation.

Posted in : Websites , Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : website


Optimizing Web Content As You Write

Posted Tue, April 30, 2013 by Julie Short

Search and social media technologies have evolved vastly in the last few years by modifying and building tools to make digital media landscape more accurate, useful and interactive. 

SEO isn’t a purely a technical concept. At its core, SEO revolves around marketing. As technology changed and evolved, SEO became more content centric. SEO gives brands with good content, especially smaller operations, the ability to put themselves in a winning position. SEO boils down to technology and human behavior. Content marketing and content management systems play a large part in this relationship. 

The Shift
In the past, content marketing and SEO departments generally have been separate disciplines. Originally, CMS systems weren’t designed with SEO as we know it in mind. SEO was a totally different game. Mastering SEO would help brands trick their way to the top of search engines. Uploading thin content just to have something on your website, forgetting about design and focusing on rankings are ways of the pasts. 

As Google has shifted to focus on quality, relevance and content, it's essential that brands bridge this gap and time lag between authoring and optimizing content. Published content that isn't search engine friendly with errors that can be easily penalized by Google. To make the most of this content marketing opportunity and it's important to optimize content as you write it.

Integrating your content and SEO process provides you with learning, scale, and efficiency across content and SEO teams. Users can create and optimize in sync without having to switch from SEO tools to CMS systems. 

The result is great content that is SEO friendly that allows you to maximize results from search (search rankings, traffic, conversions, and revenue).
As an organization you can coordinate content creation across SEO and editorial teams to ensure the content turns is optimized, of high quality and produced efficiently. Any content changes can also go live sooner and impact results faster.

The Relationship Between CMS and Content Creation
Having a content management system empowers people within your organization to actively contribute relevant content to your website. What type of content am I talking about? This content could be blogs, news, adding to your growing portfolio as you complete new projects or adapting your descriptive information to reflect your evolving business. Your business is alive and changing. Search engines reward websites that regularly contribute quality content because they expect for your site to be an extension of your living business. 

SEO as You Go
Before you start adding content to your site, make a strategy. What do you want to accomplish with your site? What does your target audience search for online? Those are the kinds of topics you want to address within your site. Here’s some SEO best practices to apply to your content as you write:

  • Create a simple directory. Avoid having subdirectories and using directory names that have no relation to the content in them. 
  • Improve your URL structure. URLs that are simple to understand and easy to remember will help people reach your content. Use real words in URLs. 
  • Use brief, but descriptive titles. If it’s too long, search engines will only show a portion of it in the search result. 
  • Accurately describe page content. Titles that don’t specifically describe what they’re about could get lost in search. Often, inferences won’t cut it, even if they’re cute or funny. Be as direct as possible. 
  • Customize your post by being as unique as possible in content descriptions. Also, mention any sub-topics in the content. 
  • Offer exclusive content. When you’re writing something, find your unique perspective and insight. Ask yourself, what can I offer that will set this apart from anything else online?
  • Write content that’s easy to read. You’re not writing a scientific study. Make sure what you’re writing isn’t boring. Don’t fill sentences with unnecessary or difficult to understand words and ideas. 
  • Organization is key. Don’t write a long block of content. Break things up with subheads and bullet points. 
  • Create content directed at the user, not the search engine. Your content should be easily accessible to search engines, but should accommodate the visitor’s needs as well. 

Concluding Thoughts
Empowering content writers with SEO capabilities allows your business to scale the impact of your SEO team. Technology and CMS integration enables your content team to make optimizations that drive traffic and conversions. SEO professionals can also analyze error distribution, identify common SEO errors and the source of these errors, and take corrective action.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : content , google , seo


How Being Active On Google+ Will Improve Your Search Traffic

Posted Thu, April 25, 2013 by Julie Short


After Google Plus was launched a year and a half ago, it became clear it would alter a lot of things we knew about search engine optimization. It’s existence also changed the predictability of Google’s search engine. 

They added a personal element to search. Most small brands discovered over the past 18 months they don’t know how to work with this new element in search to increase traffic, and continue delivering quality content. In this blog, you’ll find some suggestions to utilize Google+ work for your search traffic’s benefit.

You’ve got to think about Google’s search engine like a giant web instead of an engine.

Before Google+, search traffic was much more predictable. While Google constantly changed their algorithm, search was a predictable flow; it was, keywords + backlinks + quality content + competition = winner. The Google+ era completely transformed the system, so you had to actually participate on social platform for more traffic. It’s a brilliant, dirty trick, but it’s their world and we’re just all trying to succeed in it and reach as many eyes as possible. 

In the past, a site with no history could, when created in accordance with Google’s rules, drive massive traffic. That’s a big reason a lot of people are still struggling with the new rules. Now, the process works in reverse. The more attention and authority you have the more traffic you receive.

You need to connect with your market on Google+, so they can drive traffic to your site. The larger your Google Plus network, the more chances you have to drive traffic. You want to activate as many people to advocate and share your brand. You’ve got to strive to be relevant instead of just existing in the Google universe. 

What You Should Do Now
First, start connecting with your target market on Google+. Add them to your circles. An easy way to do this is add shared circles from other Google+ users. You would be surprised at the number of users who have hundreds of people in their circle, and can provide you with access to their circle for free. All you have to do is add the circle to your list of circles. 

Second, join relevant Google+ Communities. If you want to find the best prospects for your business, you might want to consider joining Google+ Communities. If you have ever participated in a forum or Facebook group, you can easily use a Google+ community.

Third, add your name to Google Authorship. Google is starting to help bloggers increase their personal search relevance by creating Google Authorship. Google Authorship links content you write on certain sites to notify Google of your status as an author on a particular site. If anyone blogs on multiple sites you can increase your authorship, and in essence carry your Google reputation across the search spectrum.

Google+ has changed the search and social media game. Are more people still using Facebook for daily social media use? Yes. But, ask yourself how many people use Google on a daily basis. Driving the most people to your basic information is what you’re striving for. One of the best things about this is that you’ve got a great, low-cost opportunity with Google+ to drive additional search traffic to your website. 

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : google+


Designing for Content, Not Screen Width

Posted Tue, April 23, 2013 by Julie Short

Some designers still heavily factor in screen sizes into the website design process. Some designers still think in pixels, but things have changed a lot in the last few years. The modern designer must put content at the forefront of the creative process. 

Does Size Really Matter?
Most people agree size matters, but over the last decade, technological advances have changed the game. Some spent countless hours designing to fit all the different screen sizes and trending devices people are using to access the web. Designers tend to develop a site according to screen width, i.e. 320, 768 and 1024 pixels. In reality, the opposite exists. 

Varying screen sizes makes it tough to restrict to one single common width size. Creating a bunch of designs based on the screen size isn’t a viable option either for designers. Normally, designers tend to create three static layouts that keep alignment with the nearest width. This approach is much better, when compared to the desktop only, static site as it caters to at least one column, a simplified version for the mobile and also a touch-friendly version for the tablet. 

Thinking In Percentages
Creating designs for your responsive layout requires you to set many of the dimensions in percentages. This approach ensures that your content grows and shrinks, on an even basis, depending upon the variable screen sizes and also on the screen size it is being viewed on. Your content will cover up to 90%, instead of maybe 50% of the screen. This is possible as the content is centered on a screen size that is a few pixels smaller than the next available breakpoint.

Choose breakpoints based on the area where your content breaks, instead of the device screen widths. Rather than creating a design and then trying to fit it in the screen slot, you should find out the width at which your content begins to struggle. If you start with a 1400 wide design and slowly shrink the browser until a content piece breaks the layout or gets close enough, then that determines the next breakpoint. It doesn’t really matter whether it is at 1200, 800 or 673, if the content works great, then you should not look at changing the layout. You might end up with strange numbers and also might have several breakpoints as well.

Content Focus
Earlier we talked about picking your breakpoints based on where your content breaks and not your screen width. Do it this way because there’s too many different devices out there with different screen widths and they keep making new ones. It’s impossible to decide on consistent breakpoints for all these devices. So, let the content be the deciding factor. 

Concluding Thoughts
The point is to not get hung up on how something looks on the latest iPad or the new Nexus, but to make sure your breakpoints are suited to your content and that your design looks good no matter what screen it’s on. Determining a set of definite breakpoints, for responsive projects is tough, as more and more screen sizes are making a beeline into the horizon every day. Relying on these tips will help your content br displayed in the best possible way. 

Posted in : Website Content | 
Tags : content


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