And, of course, there's no one right answer for everyone. What suits a full-time online marketer with a team behind them isn't the same as what suits a small solo business with limited time to do their marketing in. And personal preferences play a role too.
But what I can tell you about are the tools I personally use. These are the ones that I've tested and I feel are the best to help me run my online business. They might well be a good fit for you too.
Ever done a Google search and noticed that some sites have star ratings next to their listings, while most don't?
If a site is showing up as 4 or 5-star, it's going to get more clicks than sites with no stars at all. And people visiting the site are going to be going there with a good impression before they even land on the site.
And although Google don't release details of their algorithm, many SEO experts believe that having good star ratings and reviews can help you move up the search results. If nothing else, because people are more likely to click to your site because of the star ratings that higher clickthrough rate will move you up the listings over time.
I've found that since implementing this I've gone up in the search results a couple of places for some of my main page 1 keywords.
As it turns out, despite the fact that hardly any sites have star rating in their search listings, it's pretty easy to make happen. It's fiddly, as you'll see, but relatively easy.
I implemented some simple changes to my site and within 4 days I had star ratings next to my site for searches for my name, and the next day the star ratings were there for other important keyword searches for me as you can see below.
You don’t need me to tell you that a responsive email list is the key to winning clients and selling products online.
For every clickbait headline from some attention-seeking guru proclaiming that email marketing is dead, there’s a ton of studies and analysis showing that email still drives exponentially more sales than any other channel, and is the preferred method of business communication across all age groups.
But, of course, knowing that building a responsive email list is key to your success and actually building one are two very different things.
In my early days online I did what most people do. I put a nice little “Subscribe to my Newsletter” box in the sidebar on my blog and waited for a flood of subscribers to come rolling in.
It didn't happen.
And there was far less competition back then, certainly in terms of people providing tips to consultants, coaches and other professionals about getting more clients.
It's even tougher to get subscribers today.
Today in almost every niche you can’t move for falling over newsletters and email courses. Today you have to work a lot harder to get the right email subscribers.
“Subscribe to my Newsletter” doesn’t cut it anymore. Nor does a simple box in your sidebar.
In this blog post, you’ll discover the three most important factors when it comes to turning visitors into your website into email subscribers. Get these three right as some of my students have done and you’ll often double or triple your email signup rate.
Ever been impressed with someone when you meet face to face, see them speak, or talk over the phone; only to visit their website and feel let down by their online presence?
Wonder if that might be happening when people first visit your site? It probably is if you're making some of these big web design mistakes.
Your website is the hub of your online marketing activity, and it's your clients' window in to your world. An effective “Client Winning Website” can have a big impact on your ability to attract and win clients. A bad one can put them off completely.
And it's not just the obvious things that can hurt you. Some of the most beautiful, professional looking websites can have huge problems when it comes to their effectiveness at getting you clients.
In this post we're going take a look at what, right now, are the biggest problems with most professional service websites and more importantly, what you can do to fix them.
It's difficult to move these days without hearing that “content marketing” is the future of marketing. If not the present or even the past.
It's somewhat trickier to pin down exactly what content marketing actually is.
The problem with most definitions of content marketing is that they confuse and blur rather than clarify. They talk about how content marketing is all about “creating and distributing valuable and relevant information” as if somehow in the past all you needed to do was send useless irrelevant information to customers and they'd bite your hands off to buy your products.
Creating valuable, interesting material that your customers and potential customers want to receive is good marketing. It's not specific to content marketing.
A couple of weeks ago I woke up to a nightmare scenario for any email marketer.
As I do most days, I tapped away to write an email I thought would be useful, interesting and fun for my subscribers. Job done, I shot off a test email to myself to make sure the links were all working.
5 minutes later, it hadn't arrived in my inbox. Another 10 minutes and it still wasn’t there. I sent another one.
Then I spotted a notification that there were new emails in my Gmail promotions tab.
Surely not? Surely my own emails that I read on a regular basis aren't going into my promotions tab?
But yes, they were.
According to Email Deliverability expert Chris Lang, you get an 8-10% increase in opens and clicks simply by being in the primary tab rather than the promotions tab on Gmail.
That's a huge difference. And it's a direct hit on your revenue if email is a key part of your marketing.
Lang estimates that Gmail runs about 40% of the world's email behind the scenes. In my case, since my clients tend to be smaller businesses it's probably higher.
So ending up in the promotions tab is bad, bad news.
So why was I in there and more importantly: what could I do to get out? I started looking around for answers.
If you're a social media purist who believes that the only way to “correctly” use social media is for personal interaction then look away now. What I'm about to say will probably annoy the heck out of you.
Personally, I'm a pragmatist.
Not just with social media, but with all marketing.
I've had a bunch of questions in about the details of the survey we used to help launch Kathy's online training course recently.
Quick background: we've wanted to launch an online training course in Kathy's business for ages and a few weeks ago we finally bit the bullet.
But rather than jump straight into developing the course “blind” we decided we wanted to run a paid pilot first to make sure the concept was viable (a strategy Bryan Harris and Danny Iny have both written about).
I'm going to assume that if you're reading this, you already know two things:
Building an email list is the most powerful, most certain method of getting clients and growing your business online (hey, I have to say that, I wrote the #1 book on email marketing on Amazon after all ;)
Building an email list isn't easy. The vast majority of visitors to your website will leave without signing up.