So if Wix makes it easy to build a website why is that a negative? If you approach building a website as an ‘easy’ task then you’ve started off on the wrong foot. I like to think I know what looks good but if I tried to design a home it would look shocking – I’m not an architect and would never pretend to be one, so why should you pretend to be a website developer when your business depends on your website?.
If it was ‘easy’ to build a website that works then there wouldn’t be hundreds of thousands of blog articles about search engine optimization (SEO), content structures, on and off site reputation management and conversion optimization.
Personally I think most companies, particularly small to medium ones, do not spend enough time on their website brief. Quite often it’s because they don’t know what to ask about or the web agencies don’t take the time to ask the right questions. Business owners shouldn’t necessarily know what questions to ask – your business is your specialty, you should be able to trust your web developer to ask the right questions.
Wix makes it easy to jump right in, throw together a web page and publish it. Before you do that you need to stop and think, and work out what your business needs for your online presence.
You need to consider how your content is going to be structured, what image sizes you upload, what page titles you will use, the header text for each page, the calls to action that appear in search engine results (SERPs) as well as conversion optimization. As well as that you need to ensure you have implemented some online tracking so you know how it’s performing, and set up essential Google tools to get insights from your website that may drive your marketing decisions.
Yes, I’ve seen expensive websites without Google Analytics installed – a fundamental oversight you shouldn’t really get when spending thousands of dollars. I’ve also had someone call me to make their website more visible. They spent $100 on their website with some random overseas company. How much business has that ‘cheap’ website cost them? It probably turns out the website has cost them thousands in lost business – there’s a worked example below.
This is why it shouldn’t be ‘easy’ to build a website. What looks good doesn’t necessarily perform well.
2. Wix Hides Complexities
Wooooaa! That’s another benefit I hear you shout! Hiding complexities in website development is not necessarily a good thing. Wix makes it easy to design websites like brochures and they’re not. What you see isn’t what Google sees. Although Google does take user experience into account it’s mostly around content and mobile friendliness and things like that. One of the most basic elements Google cares about are how your page titles are structured and what they tell about the page, yet for a few Wix websites I’ve seen, there is no attention paid to this despite Wix supporting SEO settings for pages.
Google doesn’t really care if your button looks nice, or your image is stunning. The search result below is quite typical when you don’t know what to do. There’s no call to action in the result, and the description doesn’t say what the page is about. If this is one of ten similar results I’d probably click on a more enticing one.
By hiding these complexities it makes it very easy to get really proud of your new website and go and shout about it to the world. You better keep shouting as that may end up being the best way to get your website found as Google may not find it.
You need to be aware of all the trickier bits that make up your web presence like SEO, off site business listings, reviews and more. A recent chart by specialist company MOZ showed your website only makes up an element of your online presence – there’s back links, business listings, citations and your website. Without all of those you may not get found by your customers, so unfortunately your pretty Wix website will fall short of the mark.
I’ve seen briefs and quotes that don’t reflect the most basic functionality a company needs, and they often treat SEO as an ‘optional extra’. It is not. It’s essential and often implementing simple steps will make a huge difference to your visibility.
3. Wix Hosts Your Website
If your website starts performing slower than normal a decent web host is a good place to start. If a website is based on one of the open source content management systems like WordPress or Drupal there’s a whole bunch of hosting companies wanting your dollar to host your website. Some are great, and some are bad.
Generally I don’t like the idea of using a proprietary content management system whether its a platform like Wix, or one developed by your agency. If you fall out with the third party or outgrow them you’ll more than likely need to start again. Whilst WordPress isn’t the only available platform, I’ve had business owners ask me if it’s a decent option or does it ‘only’ get used by bloggers? Techcrunch use WordPress and Mashable used to use it – I can safely say their sites are probably bigger that yours.
When you develop your website using Wix you have no place to go – they host your website and you can’t go elsewhere, which brings me to the next point.
4. You Cannot Migrate Your Wix Data Elsewhere Easily
So you get lucky and your website is performing well and you want to add features to it that aren’t supported within Wix, or want a major overhaul. Essentially you’ve outgrown your website.
If this happens it is very difficult to move your content away from Wix. If you had a WordPress based website you can keep all your content and apply another theme, or a customized theme (which is effectively a layout). Your website looks completely different but you don’t have to re-enter your content. There is still work to be done when you switch themes as they all have their own way of working, different image sizes in different slots, but you can keep all your content.
If you think you may outgrow Wix, maybe a full web development is outside of your budget right now, but remember to factor in that potential cost in the future.
5. Wix Isn’t Free – It May Be More Expensive Than You Think
Wix is a very attractive initial platform as the base offering is free. It’s a very effective sales technique that gets customers in the door. Mailchimp use a similar technique but even Mailchimp doesn’t allow you access to automated email sequences in their base offering – this is an essential part of email marketing. Which is why I strictly partner with Infusionsoft- but that’s another blog. 🙂
With the free plans you have Wix branding on your site, and the little icon shown in the browser bar will be a Wix logo. You also can’t add in Google Analytics tracking until you get onto a premium plan.
Premium plans start at a mere $4 or so per month so it’s not expensive by any means, and they go up to $24 per month.
When you start adding functionality Wix has an ‘app store’ so you can choose which apps to use. There’s loads of apps to choose from and many start with a ‘freemium’ offering with more functionality provided at a price so head back to that website brief and factor in what you want into your costs.
The largest cost of using Wix for many people is a hidden one. It’s the cost of websites built by users who may not know what makes a website really work, therefore it doesn’t get found, or it doesn’t function well. That lack of functionality is probably costing you business.
I compare this loss of business to a garage owner who had a cheap website built several years ago. It couldn’t be found. When a new website and offsite business listings were put live he was inundated with work. If you imagine he built that website in Wix (like some of his competitors have) without understanding the important elements of search engine visibility, the scenario below is an extremely conservative estimate of the amount of work lost :
Average workshop job is $200
One job a week comes through a new website = 52 x 200 = $10400 per year
Old website was live for 4 years = 4 x 10400 = $41600
That cheap website has cost him $41600 in lost revenue during 4 years.
In the USA, the average car repair cost in 2011 was $305.56, and I can safely assume that more than one job per week is brought in as a result of being found online. You can then consider the ongoing total customer value with regular servicing, road fitness tests and more, it’s perfectly feasible to think that this cheap website cost him a lot more than the face value.
5 customers per week at $305.56, over 4 years is $317,782.40 in lost revenue due to a bad website, and this is without value added upsells.
It is possible to build a decent revenue generating website using the Wix platform. The biggest problem with Wix is it makes it easy to create a website that you think is great and it has given a lot of people the perception of having a good website when that’s far from the truth.
Websites are not brochures and they shouldn’t be treated that way.
To bring revenue from a website you need to think of it as an online presence, ticking all the right boxes, and invest time and money to get it right.
Can you afford to lose $317,782.40 in your business?
If you would like independent help with your website brief, or want a health check done on your online presence, call me today for a free assesment and consult. 770-308-0315
If you’ve ever posted anything on social media as a small brand, you know how often if feels like you’re talking to a void. Too often, no one responds. No likes, comments, retweets—you get the idea.
Not so with Instagram. No matter how small your audience, your posts probably still receive at least a few likes and comments—especially if you use relevant hashtags. And with 500 million daily active users, it’s an enticing marketing channel.
The business case for Instagram ecommerce is strong. Not only does Instagram’s engagement demolish Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn, but, for brands, it even outperforms Facebook by a factor of ten.
It kind of makes you wonder why more brands aren’t on Instagram, right?
Instagram’s link problem
For a long time, the big problem with marketing on Instagram has been getting your fans on Instagram back to your website. Since you can’t place clickable links in organic posts, brands have to direct Instagram follows to the link in their bio instead—and continuously update that link as they post new products.
Although this isn’t ideal, Instagram has still been an impactful source of traffic and sales for many companies. In fact, Instagram was the most successful source of traffic in one of our case studies. All that traffic came from the same “link in bio.”
But here’s the really exciting part: You can include links to your website in your posts if you advertise on Instagram. In the example below, the “Shop Now” button takes readers directly to a product page.
Shopping on Instagram
Instagram is now partnering with Shopify to take things a step further and offering product tagging and a Shop tab directly inside the Instagram interface.
Shopping on Instagram provides a seamless customer checkout experience for anyone who discovers your products in their Instagram feed.
Add products to your Instagram posts and stories
Start tagging products in your posts and turning engagement into purchases with the shopping on Instagram sales channel.
With product tagging, ecommerce brands will have even more reason to start advertising on Instagram.
Introduction to how to advertise on Instagram
In the past, if you wanted to advertise on Instagram, you had use sponsored posts. This requires negotiating privately with Instagram influencers and asking them to promote your brand on their account. While this can be a very effective way to drive traffic and sales through Instagram advertising, it has limitations:
Requires reaching out and negotiating.
No accountability or recourse if they don’t deliver.
Limited audience targeting.
Sponsored posts still have their place in Instagram advertising. Getting someone else to promote your product carries solid benefits. It provides social proof, adding a cool factor to your business, and people are more likely to buy something when someone they trust bought it first. Plus, while you don’t have a lot of control over the influencers audience, at least you don’t have to make any decisions about who to target.
Sponsored posts are still a great way to do influencer outreach, especially if you sell a product. And they’re not the only way to leverage influencers. In October 2017, Instagram launched paid partnerships in an effort to increase transparency for users and provide influencers and brands alike with more Instagram advertising opportunities. The feature, available to accounts with lots of followers and engagement, offers more insights and reporting than standard sponsored posts.
How Instagram advertising works
Since late 2015, anyone can now learn how to create Instagram ads through Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform. With it, you have total control over your ads, how they appear, and who sees them. And unlike sponsored posts and paid partnerships, your ads get posted directly from your own account. The advantages to this method of Instagram advertising include:
Self-serve and instant.
Robust reporting so you’re in control.
Highly refined audience targeting.
What’s more, with Instagram’s move away from a chronological feed in favor of a curated feed, you never know how many of your followers will see your posts.
Types of Instagram ads
You can run five different types of Instagram ads:
1. Photo Ads
A Photo Ad is one simple photo in landscape or square format. These are the simplest in terms of visual asset needs, since you just need a single image. Here’s an example of a Photo Ad from outdoor ecommerce brand Fimbulvetr Snowshoes, which takes users to the product page of the snowshoe featured in the ad creative.
2. Video Ads
Instagram used to have a 15-second limit for videos, but it has since lifted that rule. Now, videos can be up to 60 seconds long and shot in landscape or square format. Dollar Shave Club uses the Video Ad format in its Instagram advertising to promote a new membership deal, highlighting the various products included in the deal.
3. Carousel Ads
An Instagram Carousel Ad can have anywhere from two to ten images and/or videos that users can view by swiping through. West Elm uses Carousel Ads to highlight their range of products for their Instagram advertising campaigns.
4. Slideshow Ads
Slideshow Ads are similar to video ads in that they appear as a video in users’ feeds. These ads, however, are made up of a series of still images which play as a video, much like a slideshow. You can add text and audio to your Slideshow Ads.
5. Stories Ads
Instagram Stories Ads is one of the newest kinds of ads available to businesses on the platform. Instagram Stories is similar to Snapchat in that it allows users, and brands, to share self-destructing photos and videos. Brands can also advertise on Instagram Stories with photo or video content.
The first Instagram ad is always the hardest. Once you’ve conquered your first one, it’ll be much easier the second time around.
Whether you have a website already or have one in the works, your online business won’t achieve its full profit potential without search engine optimization (SEO). Take advantage of a few SEO basics anybody can implement and see real results — no major technical experience or expertise needed.
Why Search Engine Optimization Is Vital for Your Online Business
The more SEO-centered your site is, the more attention it gets from Google, so the higher it appears in the search engine rankings. This matters because it’s important for people to see your business when they enter search keywords related to your business. The likelier they are to see it, the more likely they are to click on the link that sends them to your landing page, main website, or online store.
That’s free traffic from people actively searching for this information, making them more likely to take action, whether it’s to sign up for your email list or actually buy a product.
Traffic of this type often proves far more powerful and valuable than paid advertising such as pay-per-click or banner ads. Consider that, according to industry watch Conductor, at least 64 percent of the traffic to your website will come from SEO efforts, referred to as “organic” traffic. Jupiter Research says its 81 percent. Also important to note is that people who come to your site as organic traffic resulting from SEO efforts tend to have a higher lifetime value (they spend more money) than those who come in through paid advertising.
Statistics indicate that less than 5 percent of searchers go beyond the first page of a Google search. According to a study from Advanced Web Ranking, 67 percent of the clicks go to the first five results, with the #1 Spot taking in just over 30 percent of clicks.
So how to get Google’s attention, and increase all of these benefits? Luckily, we are experts in the field and Big Mountain Marketing adheres to the strict policies to ensure maximum presence for your brand.
Planning a B2B blog strategy for 2018 can help drive drive your company’s content marketing success. You can leverage your company blog to fuel a digital distribution strategy that attracts your target audience, builds brand trust, and ultimately moves prospects to a purchase decision.
89 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing and 63 percent of B2B marketers say their organization is very committed or extremely committed to content marketing.
45 percent of B2B marketers expect content marketing spending to remain the same over the next 12 months.
Brands are producing eight times more content than they were five years ago, while getting 89 percent less social sharing power.
52 percent of B2B marketers say blogs will be critical to content marketing success in 2017.
Their most recent study showed that 89 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing and 63 percent of B2B marketers say their organization is very committed or extremely committed to content marketing.
However, the same survey revealed that only 34 percent of B2B marketers would rate their organization’s use of content marketing as very effective or extremely effective.
So, we’re all bought into content marketing, but only a handful of us are really seeing predictable results.
The survey also shows that 52 percent of B2B marketers say blogs will be most critical to content marketing success in 2017, making it the top content marketing activity for B2B companies.
B2B marketers face increasing pressure to produce more blog content
We took a deep dive into this trend in our 2017 Blogging Report. We examined publication data for blog posts over the last five years to find out how blogging and blog sharing has changed. The results are staggering.
Over the past five years, the average number of blog posts published per brand per month increased by 800 percent. Across the same time frame, the average number of social shares per post (including shares from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest) decreased by 89 percent.
So this means brands are producing eight times more content than they were five years ago, while getting 89 percent less social sharing power. This finding is really surprising given that there are so many more people on social networks.
However, brands aren’t just producing more posts — they are producing longer posts.
Just over the past year, the length of blog posts has changed from an average of about 600 words per post to an average of about 700 words per post. That might not seem like a lot, but it is indicative of a growing pressure for brands to produce longer, more comprehensive content.
So, not only are marketers producing more blog posts and longer blog posts, they are losing the distribution power and reader interactions provided by social sharing.
And think about it, why are you blogging in the first place? You’re fueling your distribution strategy across social and email campaigns — but what we’re seeing is companies losing that distribution power from their company blogs.
That is a seriously troubling sign from a thought leadership, brand awareness, and community building perspective.
B2B content marketing budgets are largely expected to stay the same
On top of this, 45 percent of B2B marketers expect content marketing spending to remain the same over the next 12 months, while facing increasing pressure to produce more content that produces business results. That means that about half of you are expected to increase output on the same budget.
But how do B2B marketers produce better business results from their blogs on the same budget?
You have to do more with less. You need to concentrate on improving the impact of every piece of content — every blog post, so you can get the most out of your marketing budget and generate the results you and your company need.
In B2B content marketing, there are winners and there are losers
Let’s take a look at some clear winners and losers when it comes to blogging, focusing on B2B brands that are bucking content overload by producing less and getting more in return.
For example, I quickly pulled some interesting insights from TrackMaven on a few brands in the security software industry, including Splunk, AlienVault, Symantec, Microsoft Security, and Dell EMC.
In the last 90 days, Dell EMC has produced the fewest blog posts out of these five brands.
However, when you look at the average number of social shares per post over the same time period, Dell EMC beats all of the other brands.
Despite producing fewer blog posts compared to all of the other brands in this graph, Dell EMC was able to get a lot more distribution power out of those posts. This means they are really effective at using their blog as a hub to get their audience to engage with their content on social.
Let’s look at an example of a top performing blog post by Dell EMC to better understand their strategy.
You can see that the post does extremely well overall with about 1,000 total shares — but it does especially well with LinkedIn users, a priority channel for B2B companies, with almost 700 shares.
Dell EMC’s strategy of creating more shareable content fosters a feedback loop between their priority channel, being LinkedIn, and their blog, amplifying their distribution power.
Let’s take our blog analysis a step further and break down blogging success by topic. Ask yourself, is your brand’s blog owning the right topics and trends in your industry, compared to competitors? We’ll use some different brands in the software industry as an example.
Using TrackMaven, I pulled data on social shares for blog posts published by each brand over the past year, and divided them by topic. I used the topics security, analytics, business results, revenue, ROI, and software solution.
The greatest number of social shares stemmed from the security topic, which Adobe has the greatest ownership of with about 6,000 social shares. This data shows that there is a lot of interest in content about security issues, and Adobe has grabbed that opportunity with both hands. SAP, Microsoft, and IBM have a chance to grow their blogging share of voice on this topic, as they currently own smaller shares total shares.
The topic with the second greatest number of blog social shares is analytics. For this topic, Oracle owns the majority of the blog topic with over 5,000 social shares.
Using these comparisons is a great way to find blog topics your target audience is already engaged in, and to use your blogging strategy to grow your audience and get an edge over your competitors. The rise in content production and increased competition for readers’ attention means it’s becoming even more important to create shareable blog posts.
Creating a more shareable blog is easier than you think. Our 2017 Blogging Report provides a prescription of specific best practices to build the ultimate shareable blog.
I am very proud to announce that 6 winners fall under the Big Mountain Marketing Family. We are blessed and excited to work with these great local companies and look forward to growing with them in the future.
Consumers say negative interactions with staff is the top cause of bad brand experiences, according to recent research from InMoment.The report was based on data from a survey of 2,000 consumers and 1,000 employees of brands in the United States.
Nearly three-fourths of consumers (74%) say negative interactions with staff (poor attitude, lack of knowledge, etc.) is a cause of bad brand experiences.
In contrast, just 29% of brand employees surveyed say negative staff interactions play a major role in bad experiences.
Other top contributors to bad brand experiences cited by consumers are a lack of understanding of individual needs, no staff available to help when necessary, and delivering products/services that are not what are expected.
Companies significantly underestimate the impact of bad brand experiences, the survey found.
Some 23% of consumers say they would stop using a brand after a bad experience. However, just 6% of brand respondents say bad experiences lead consumers to stop using their products/services.
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