Author Archives: Asmae Fahmy

Web Design

How to Make Your Wuilt Website

كيفية انشاء موقع ويب أو تصميم موقع
Congratulations! You’ve chosen to make your website with Wuilt. You’ve ditched the drag-and-drops, said no to the complicated codes, and didn’t look twice at hiring an overpriced freelancer.
 
Now you’re here: the place where everything is already made for you.
 
Still, we know that the website building process can be tricky, and you might have some questions about how our builder works. We’ve broken everything down from designing to publishing to get you live as quickly and simply as possible.

What is Wuilt?

Wuilt is a website builder that reduces the website building process to three simple steps.
Everything your website needs has been prepped and prepared, so all you have to do decide how you want it to look. 
 
Wuilt is a platform that lets you enter in your information and have a website. Just like that. 
 
Our slogan is “Watch Your Website Build Itself,” and our entire business rests on the idea of letting you sit back, type in some information, flip through some design options, and then be able to publish you website in minutes. 
 
It’s all about simplicity. We’re the only website builder that emphasizes this process of automation, and we aim to include that in every feature and step available within our builder. 

How To Get Started 

Once you make an account, the first thing you’ll need to do is complete three wizard steps to fill out your business’ information.
 
First, you’ll type in your main business information. 
 
This includes the name, industry, and any background information that will be used to create the Home and About Us pages.
 
Don’t worry, you can always go back and edit this information later.
 
 
Next you will add your services. Here you can add the service name as well as any relevant descriptive information. Some companies choose to use this section to showcase their products.
 
 
Finally, you’ll add your contact information and your location if it’s relevant.
 
 
Once you do that, you will automatically have your very own website.
Emma's Bakery
 
You’ll see that the three wizard steps were used to make the four main pages of your website (Home, About Us, Services and Contact). You’ll also notice that the industry that was put in (Bakery) has been used to automatically insert images onto your website.
 
If you want, you can leave your website at just that. However, you now have the option of adding more pages and subpages, as well as changing the photos, colors, fonts, and adding different sections, forms, icons and links.
 
We’ll show you how to do all of these things below.
 
Let’s get started. 

Inside the Editor 

Sections

Sections are the strips of content that make up all pages. Think of them as the building blocks of your website. Some section examples include galleries, testimonials, call to actions and content.  
 
 
You might have a pages with only one section, and another with dozens of different sections. That’s your call. You’ll find, however, that all sections have already been pre-designed for your convenience. You can mix and match between different designs, and customize the interior content as you please.
 
To add a section, simply press on the “Add Section” icon that appears inside of a previous section. From there, you can browse the section designs by clicking on the “Next” and “Previous” arrows until you settle on your favorite.

Content Blocks

Content blocks are the pieces of information that make up a section. Here, they’re the individual blocks that say “SEM Marketing,” “Content Marketing,” and “Social Media Marketing.”
 
 
Content blocks offer a lot flexibility. You can add as many or as little of them as you want and change the text, images and icons inside of them. You can use them to highlight your services, photos, projects or more. To add more content blocks, all you have to do is press on the plus sign that appears at the top of a content block. This will duplicate it. You can move content blocks around with the arrows, and delete them with the trash can icon.

Font Pairings

A font is the overall design of a word’s letters. Different fonts have different styles, which all grant your website a distinct look and feel.
 
Most website builders give you the freedom to use as many font styles as you want. You can highlight your headlines with Helvetica, separate your subtext with Seravek, or carve your captions out with Comic Sans. However, as a general design rule, you should only use about two fonts, and should make sure that their styles are always in harmony.                                                                                                              
This is why we created our font-pairing system. We’ve sorted through hundreds of different fonts to match them together in the best possible way. You’ll have one font for all your headlines, and another for the rest of your content. 
 
To select your font combination, look for the font icon in the Action Bar. You can try out dozens of different designs until you find your favorite.                   

Color Palettes

The best websites work off of a few colors that are evenly distributed them throughout their pages. To help you achieve visual synchronization, we’ve handpicked a range of beautiful color palettes for you to choose from. This saves you the time and hassle of having to do it yourself.
 
Depending on the theme of your business, you can use colors to set a mood, trigger a response, or fuel an emotion. All you have to do is click on the color palette icon and choose your favorite scheme. We automatically update your site with the colors, arranging them accordingly.    
 
 
After you’ve selected your palette, you can then decide how pigmented you want your colors to appear. You can opt for muted shades, or go the bolder route. No matter the case, know that they’re guaranteed to make your business look its best.  
 

Languages

At Wuilt, we have two options for your website’s interface: English or Arabic.
This can initially be decided in the beginning of the website creation process, or you can change it later from inside the editor. 
 
You can also add multiple language translations.
 
Once you add a new language, you can decide whether you want it to be enabled or disabled.
 
To enable a language, simply click on the “Enable” Button. That language will then appear as a translated option on your website.
 
If you change your mind, you can always go back and press “Disable” to remove that language from your website.
 
To make a new language a default language (meaning that’s the main language that will appear when someone goes onto your website) you just have to press “Make Default.”  

Responsiveness

When we talk about responsiveness, we’re talking about the quality that makes your website look good on all devices, whether it’s desktops, tablets or cellphones.
 
If you’ve ever made the window of a browser smaller or opened a website on your cell phone and noticed that it looked completely different, that means that website isn’t responsive. 
 
At Wuilt, however, our websites are automatically made responsive, so that you don’t have to design three different versions of your website.
 
To view what your website will look like on a different device, simply click on one of these icons:
 
 
If you click on the mobile devices icon, for example, you’ll see that your website will look like this:
 
Mobile view

Shutterstock

Shutterstock is the platform where Wuilt websites get their pictures from. All our websites automatically come with Shutterstock images based on the content initially entered in the wizard.
 
Shutterstock is the most popular stock agency in the market, with over 226 million stock images available.
 
You’ll notice that all Shutterstock photos initially have watermarks, which is the light text on top of a photo that says Shutterstock.
 
 
Free users can’t remove this watermark, but premium users get two free photos. To remove your watermark, click on the image you want to purchase and press “Remove Watermark.” You can do this for up to two images, and then purchase as many additional extra images as you want.
 

Images

If you want to upload any of your own images, hover over any image and click on the “Edit Image” icon that appears.
 
Bakery
 
From there, you can click on the “Upload” button at the top and choose any image from your desktop.
 
Upload

Assets

Assets is the place where all your images are stored.
 
This includes any images you may have uploaded to your website, or any images that you purchased from Shutterstock.
 

Pages

Pages are what divide the main content of your website.
 
You can make a page for just about anything – services, team members, projects and more. These are what will show up at the navigation bar at the top of a website.
Pages

Subpages

You can further divide any pages you want into subpages. An example of this is the services page. When you initially type in your different services, they’re automatically made into different subpages.
 
This is what they would look like on the homepage: 
 
The top four words are the pages, while the three words that appear below the arrow are the subpages.
 
To add a subpage, simply press the add subpage icon in in the tab for any page.
 
Subpages

Editing Icons

Icons are small images and symbols that are meant to be a representation of something. They are really simple and can communicate almost anything.
 
Icons appear in a few section designs throughout your website. 
 
One section they appear in is the “Services” section design, such as this one:
 
 
To edit an icon, hover over any icon and then click on the “Edit” button. You can then search through hundreds of different options here:
 

Linking

Linking is the tool that lets you place links within your website. It means a user can click a button that will take them somewhere else. 
 
To edit a link, click on the Icon that appears next to Visit Link.
 
 
Once you click on that, you will have the option of adding four different types of links: website pages, website URLs, phone numbers, and email addresses. 
 
When you link a website page, you will be choosing any of the pages you already made, such as “About Us.” That means that when a user clicks a button above, they will automatically be redirected to your About Us page.
 
 
If you want to link an email, a pop-up with your email will automatically appear. The same thing applies to adding a phone number. 
 
 
To paste a URL, simply copy and paste any external URL. When someone clicks on the button, they will be taken to a new website. That website can come up as a new tab in their browser, or take over the tab that your current website is on.
 

Social Links

If you want to add a social media link to your website, simply hover over any social media icon and click “Edit.”
 
 
This will take you to Social Links section, where you can connect Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
 
To do so, simply copy and paste a link.

Editing Contact Forms

Forms are the areas of your website where visitors can ask you questions or leave you any feedback. They show up in the contact form page and look like this:
 
Contact
 
You have full control of what the subject fields say, as well as how many content blocks you want inside. For example, you can only keep the “Name” and “Phone” option if you’d like, or add something completely different.
 
To control where the message written goes to and edit your automatic response, click on “Edit Form Action,” which appears when you hover over the send button.
 
 
This is where you enter in the email that a user’s message will be sent to. You can also write a thank you message that will appear once a user has submitted their form.

Call to Action Section

A Call to Action is the part of your website that is pushing people to act. It’s the quote that’s meant to encourage an immediate response or sale. 
 
On Wuilt, it looks like this: 
 
 
This section can be added to any page (and it’s good to actually put it in multiple pages), but it is not recommended to be its own page. You can modify the content inside each Call to Action.

Testimonials Section

Testimonials are quotes from customers where they share their experience with your business. You can add a testimonials section to any page of your website, or make a separate page just for testimonials. 
 

Logos Section

Your logos section is your place to establish your credibility by listing some examples of the companies who have used your services. You can upload their logos and choose to write a description about their experience with you, or leave that part blank.
 
Logos

Publishing Your Website

Once you’re satisfied with your website, it’s time to let your prospective clients start seeing it.
 
To publish your website, click on the “Publish” icon in the top right-hand corner. From there, you can either choose to use a Wuilt subdomain (available for all free Wuilt users) or upgrade to get your own free domain or connect a preexisting one.
 
Publish
 
Before we go any further, let’s quickly break down the difference between a subdomain and a domain.

Domain vs. Subdomain

A domain is a website’s unique identifying name. It’s the part of the URL that comes after https:// that people write into their browsers to search for a website.
 
With a domain, you have the freedom to choose any name for your website (as long as it’s not already taken by somebody else).
 
A traditional domain has only your selected name:
Yoursitename.com
 
A subdomain, on the other hand, makes you add content before your domain name:
Sitename.wuiltsite.com
 
That means it’s essentially a smaller domain that’s part of a larger domain. 
 

What are the benefits of having a domain?

The main benefit of having a domain is that it makes your website look professional.
 
It gives a website a unique online identity. Something short that a user can easily type into their search bar without having to Google your name. It puts the spotlight on you.
 
Having your own domain makes your website memorable. 

What is the harm in having a subdomain?

First off, your website is going to automatically look cheap. Subdomains weakens a users’ trust in you because they assume you don’t have the proper resources to buy your own domain name. 
 
If your competitors have a domain while you’re sporting a subdomain, visitors will assume your competition is more established than you are.
 
Plus, since subdomains are usually so long, they’re hard to remember, making it hard for your business to stand out.

Purchasing a domain with Wuilt

To purchase a domain with Wuilt, you must first upgrade to a premium plan.
 
There are two ways to purchase a domain within Wuilt. 
 
Option 1:
 
If you’re a free user, you can purchase a domain by hitting “Publish” and then choosing the upgrade option.
 
Publish Now
 
Once you go through the process of paying for a premium plan, you can go back to the editor and hit “Publish” again. This time, you’ll have more choices, and can choose the Purchase a new domain option. 
 
 
You’ll have to make sure your desired domain is not already taken. Try to make your domain a play on your business’ name, and try to avoid adding any symbols inside of it.
 
 
Emmasbakery.com, for example, was taken by another website, so we had to add to make some changes to it. There are also suggested domain names that appear below. 
 
Once you do that, you will officially have your own domain! 
 
Option 2:
 
Another option for purchasing a domain is to go to My Websites, and click on Domain Settings.
 
 
You’ll then be taken through the same process featured above. 

Connecting your own domain 

If you have already have a domain and want to use that, you can easily connect it to your new website.
 
First, make sure you’re a premium user. You can easily upgrade using the “Upgrade” icon on the top right-hand side corner.
 
After you’ve upgraded to premium, you have two options.
 
You can click on the “Publish” button, and then choose on the second option – “Use a Domain You Already Own.”
 
 
Then, you’ll type your domain name here.
 
You’ll then have to configure it. This means you’ll log into your service provider. Once there, you’ll have to change your CNAME record, which is what connects one domain name to another. You can change it to connect to your Wuilt website.
 
 
The second option you have is to go on Domain Settings in the “My Websites” page and select “Connect Existing Domain.” This will then take you through the same process mention above.

Using a Free Wuilt Subdomain

If you’re a free user, you can still publish with a subdomain.
 
Just type in the domain of your choice once you click on “Publish.”
 
 
Your website will then appear as subdomain.wuiltsite.com.
 
Once you choose your subdomain, you cannot go back and change it. – is this true?

Upgrading to Premium

Upgrading to premium is the best way to market yourself to potential clients.
 
One of the biggest benefits premium users get is the option to purchase or connect a custom domain.
 
Beyond that, you’ll get two free Shutterstock photos, which are some of the highest quality images on the internet.
 
You’ll get many additional features such as unlimited bandwidth, storage space, and pages, and the ability to remove Wuilt ads.

A Final Note

While we hope we’ve clarified everything here, you may still have some additional questions.
 
That’s okay – we’re here for you.
 
We have a passionate Customer Support team that’s available 24/7 on live chat or email. You can reach them for any concern, and they’ll walk you through it.
 
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Grow Your Online Presence

Top 5 Web Analytics Tools for 2019

Top 5 Web Analytics Tools for 2019

It’s no secret that data is one of the most valuable commodities in the market. In fact, in 2017, the Economist found that data holds more value than oil.

In the ever-competitive digital field, you need to arm your website with the best tools to thrive. Web analytics are essential because they provide insight into things such as your traffic, audience, page views, clicks, conversion rates and more. They then analyze these factors to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

With all the different data resources available, the options might seem overwhelming. To simplify the process, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite web analytic tools. Here are the top web analytics tools that you’ll need this year.

Google Analytics

Perhaps the most popular of the available analytics options, Google Analytics is a hotspot for both newcomers and professionals alike. Research by Econsultancy even found that it was used by over 70% of companies. The best part? Its most basic option is free, offering 20 custom metrics and 200 views per property.

The platform shows you which keywords are leading people to your website. This will help you optimize your site based on the most relevant search terms. It’s crucial for knowing the best SEO practices, with excellent, up-to-date statistics.

Google Analytics give you an in-depth look into your visitors’ dispositions. It allows you to examine their demographic information, personas, how they landed on your website, and why they did or didn’t convert. The platform’s dashboard offers a heavy flow of data, including how you can allocate your budget intelligently. It helps you separate practical methods from ineffective ones, and shows which third party websites are generating the most traffic.

Crazy Egg

Hatched by entrepreneurs Neil Patel and Hiten Shah, Crazy Egg helps you track your  visitors’ activity through a well-executed heat map.

The platform uses mouse tracking technology to create a visual portrayal of the parts of your page that people are clicking on the most. It shows factors such as where your site traffic is coming from (Facebook, Twitter, organic search, etc.), and which parts of the page are interacted with while which parts are ignored. Hot spots are represented by a bold red, while not-so-hot spots come out in lighter variations.

Crazy Egg also boasts a scroll map option, which splits the page up in vertical streaks to show which areas have the most interactions. This is perfect for analyzing any long-form copy, since you can see what’s being skimmed and what’s being skipped.

The platform is not difficult to navigate. It has an easy sign-up option that asks you to  enter the link of the website you want analyzed. Plus, the whole process is relatively affordable, with the basic package totaling $29 a month.

As a whole, Crazy Egg helps you narrow in on what to focus on for your optimization and how to position the most crucial aspects of your page. It different from other data tools in its interactive format: showing data visually, without any raw numbers.

Clicky

Used by an enormous chunk of the world’s internet – over 1 million websites – Clicky is quickly making its dent in the web analytics field. The platform takes a bottom-up approach, placing a large emphasis on the smallest of details. Its biggest perk is its real-time monitoring capabilities, where you can actively track visitor engagement. That means you can see how many visitors are currently on your site, as well as what they’re doing and when they’re leaving.

Clicky offers a heat map option that shows a visual depiction of the parts of your website that are most clicked on. You can view them by page, visitor or segment.

The platform also offers a Twitter tool, letting users search business mentions on Twitter.

And if your site suffers from a flaky server, then you won’t have to constantly refresh it. Clicky monitors your site from seven different locations around the world to let you know whenever it goes offline.

The platform is free if you’re only analyzing one website. It also offers monthly subscription plans from $9.99 a month to $79.99 a year.

 ClickTale

If you have a lot of visitors on your site who aren’t converting, ClickTale can help you figure out why. The platform offers a qualitative customer analysis, tracking the entire choreography of a visitor’s actions.

A heat map displays the level of engagement spread out though out your site. It can show you how your most engaged users act in comparison to your most disengaged ones. If you find that people are getting to a Call to Action (CTA) but not clicking it, it might be because of a design or copy error. This is something that you can later modify and test. If visitors aren’t even reaching your CTA, then you’ll know you need to move it higher.

ClickTale can help you fix all your website glitches – seeing where people pause, stutter and leave. It might even show you that people are clicking on things that aren’t links, which means you should probably make them into links.

Matomo

Matomo, formerly known as Piwik, is an open-source analytics platform that prioritizes a user’s control over his data. The platform is similar to Google Analytics, except that you have to host Matomo on your own server. It’s also free, making it perfect for small business owners who aren’t looking to splurge on tracking data.

Matomo offers the ability to track site searches and running campaigns. It offers great real-time analytics, which you can view on their mobile app. You can track multiple websites on one dashboard. The platform also helps you set your overall website goals and tie them into your marketing campaign. It emphasizes simplicity when it comes to gathering raw data.

Takeaway:

  • Website analytic tools are important because they provide valuable insight into how your website is performing
  • Google Analytics offers a free tool that shows you which keywords are bringing people to your site
  • Crazy Egg displays a detailed heat map that tracks mouse movement
  • Clicky is known for its real-time monitoring abilities
  • ClickTale records your visitors’ actions to show you what they’re doing on your website

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grow Your Online Presence

A Beginner’s Guide to Split Testing

Split Testing

Trying to increase your conversion rates can seem like playing a game of darts blindfolded, aimlessly throwing out darts without knowing what’s causing you to hit your target.

You can change your website’s design, content, or implement different marketing campaigns, but ultimately still decide that the only thing increasing your conversions is a fine line between good lack and sheer chance. A/B testing, however, can help to eliminate that blindfold.

An A/B test compares two different versions of the same webpage and measures to see which performs better. Its takes the guesswork out of knowing which aspects of your pages are causing your audience to convert and which are making them quietly hit the exit button.

Since web visitors have shorter attention spans than print readers, you only have a short period of time to really grab their attention. According to Incapsula, most web users expect their websites to load in less than four seconds, so you only have a few fleeting seconds to make a lasting impression. A/B testing will show you the best way to do that for your audience. Even Bill Gates stressed the importance of split testing, stating, in 2008, that we should use A/B testing a lot more than we do.

Before starting an A/B test

The first step to any successful split testing campaign is to do the proper research. You need to observe and record your current web traffic over a period of time, so that you have a baseline to compare your tests to. The standard number for marketers here is three months, but you can play around with that. At Wuilt, we have our own built-in analytics system to measure your traffic, and third party tools such as Google Analytics are also a great option for this.

An important thing to research in this stage too is your audience. Sometimes it can be all too tempting to Google “Successful Split Testing Campaigns” and try to mimic what’s worked for others. However, every audience demographic is different, so it’s crucial to study your distinct target customers to know how to best target them. Make sure you really know them before you set out to speak to them. This will make all the difference in a prosperous A/B campaign.

After that, review your distinct goals – do you want to increase your web traffic, conversions, shares, or email subscribers? Setting out distinct, actionable goals gives you something to actively measure and assess. You can also use this opportunity to review your business objective – making sure it’s both relevant and realistic.

You can, for example, say you want to increase your lead generation sign ups on your blog by 30%, and then use your split tests to see which marketing effort is making your goals more feasible. Or you can say you want to increase your monthly sales by 70%. These kinds of goals are beneficial because they can actually be quantified and measured.

How to split test

When you’re making a split test, the key is to start small, at least in the beginning. Change only one or two things in each version, that way you’re able to know which changes led to the final results. It’s similar to conducting a scientific experiment, where only one variable is measured at a time and everything else is controlled so as to not skew the data.

There are multiple features that you can actively split test. If you want to test your content, you can change the structure, wording, or placement of it on the page. You can also play with the font size, color and style, and the amount of content written.

Call to Actions (CTAs) are a go-to for split testers. These are the buttons that ultimately push people to make a conversion. You can play around with their effectiveness by testing the content written in them – such as Show Now vs. Sign up Now. You can also test their design, color schemes and placement.

Other physical properties that you can measure with an A/B test include your logos, headings, images and badges.

And don’t discredit social media! You can use A/B testing on the size, placement and wording of your sharing buttons.

To start your split testing campaigns, make two copies of a landing page or website. Leave one as is, and then change only one testable feature on the second site.

Once you’ve done that, you can then showcase each version to a different segment of your audience, and compare conversion and bounce rates to measure success rates. You can even post the two versions on social media and ask your followers which they prefer.

If you don’t want to do this all manually, there are many split test softwares that automatically do this for you, such as Optimizely (which has over 330,000 active websites) or VWO (with 78,000 active websites).

Tips and Tricks

The problem with A/B testing is that oftentimes people don’t do the right types of testing. In fact, a study by VWO discovered that only 14% of split tests produced feasible results. Really, only one in seven tests yields a statistically significant result, something that makes most A/B testing efforts seem futile.

If you’re noticing a lull in your conversions even though you’re conducting A/B tests, considering using a different approach. While it’s usually ideal to test for only one variable at a time, sometimes you need to take the full-fledged approach and alter everything – copy, placements, colors, and designs. Think big.

37 Signals did this when they wanted to boost their conversion rate for Highrise. They redesigned their homepage and had a 102.50% increase in their conversions. They changed everything from their background images to their headlines to their CTAs. The results spoke for themselves.

Obviously this could have gone severely wrong, but in this case it was immensely successful.

Another important thing to do for your campaigns is wait. A huge mistake companies make is when they pause their tests once their conversion rates start to sink. Sometimes if you give your tests a week or so to develop you’ll see them actually rise in success.

Remember that there’s no magic formula for A/B testing. It just takes research, strategizing, and a lot of trial and error.

Takeaway:

  • A/B testing shows different versions of your websites to your audience to see which performs best
  • Before testing, conduct proper audience research on your audience and set your business goals
  • Split testing leads to Growth hacking
  • When you’re doing an A/B test, you can test your fonts, images, content, design, logos, social media buttons and more
  • Make sure to test for things that are relevant to your audience
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Marketing

6 Content Marketing Strategies to Boost Engagement

Content Marketing

No marketing campaign is complete without the use of content marketing.

Creating audience-focused content is one of the most effective methods to gain exposure, trust and authority in your field.

According to Kissmetrics, content marketing is 62% less expensive than other methods, and delivers triple the amount of leads.

However, content marketing involves a lot more than writing keyword-rich blog posts and laying them out on your website. In order to curate successful response rates, you have to make sure your content is engaging and share-worthy.

Here are some content marketing strategies to keep your audience reading.

1. Incorporate powerful visuals

One of the things a blog gets its power from is its pictures.

Seeing a stream of long, uninterrupted text without any visuals to break it up can be headache-inducing. In the age of Instagram, we’re used to scrolling through feeds with endlessly changing views, our attention spans shifting and refocusing in mere seconds.

That’s why images can provide so much value for blog posts. They strip away any dullness and keep the reader from being overwhelmed with too many sentences. And, since the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, your reader is more likely to retain information that’s layered between (or inside) images.

The key here, though, is to use engaging visuals.

Your average run-of-the-mill stock photo just won’t cut it.

Oftentimes marketers make the mistake of viewing their blogs as a package with a checklist of spare parts that need to fill the empty space. Headline? Check. Word count? Check. Call to Action? Check. Photo? Check.

Beyond that, sometimes little to no thought is put into the quality of said-photos. If your visuals are bland and lacking vivacity, then the eye will simply glaze over them in the same way it can tire of text.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to hire Annie Leibovitz to run your photography department (or that you even need a photography department) but it does mean that you need to invest more time and thought into the visuals adorning your articles.

Consider downloading free, high-quality stock photos from websites such as Unsplash and Negative Space, which offer thousands of professional options.

Another thing you can consider using is infographics. Infographics let you merge your data into an interesting, visually appealing exhibit that condenses complex information into something understandable.

And if you don’t have any design skills, don’t fret. Free tools such as Canva that make infographics for you are available so the process doesn’t have to be too daunting.

2. Look for qualities that make you share-worthy

So often we marketers tend to get lost in a sea of stress and deadlines. We forgot who we’re writing for and end up regurgitating information that only the most avid reader will find and finish.

That has to change.

A shareable blog post is one that’s overflowing with personality.

Be bold and humorous – maybe even a little bit risqué, if the subject calls for it.

You’ll notice that oftentimes the things that go viral are the things that take chances. Either in their topic choices or in the way they’re written.

According to BuzzSumo, articles that go viral share a few common characteristics, including images, an appeal to the emotions, a trustworthy vibe, a long length (3,000 to 10,000 words), a listicle/how-to format and at least a few retweets by an influencer.

The fact is that even if you have a Ph.D. in the field you’re writing about, if your article reads like a textbook, it won’t do much to stimulate the mind, attention span or share post button. Word of mouth spreads for posts that are brimming with exciting information that’s not oversaturated with thesaurus-worthy adjectives.

We’re not saying to go all out and use emojis, but try to be enthusiastic about your stories and offer a fresh perspective. Push yourself to write more. Crafting a 2,000-3,000-word article may take a few more hours, but the difference in end-results is definitely worth the effort.

Don’t be afraid to try out something new and out of your comfort zone.

3. Know your ideal audience, and then find them

To kick off any successful marketing campaign, you need to know exactly who you’re marketing to.

Start with creating in-depth buyer personas. These are fictional generalizations about your ideal customers – characteristics you need to know in order to be able to formulate copy that attracts them.

You can analyze your customer data base or conduct thorough interviews with existing customers to come up with your personas. If you’re a startup without a lot of data, you can dig into your competitors’ buyer data to create your customer profile.

Once you know who you’re looking for, you need to do the next step: find them.

This is something many people fail to do. They dedicate themselves thoroughly to writing content and then aimlessly share it on their Facebook pages without a second thought as to who is reading it.

Do research on where your ideal buyer is online, and then go there. They might land on your blog organically though search traffic, or they might stumble on there through somewhere else such as LinkedIn.

Make sure your content is then written with your ideal buyer in mind, and that all your headlines and extra copy are formulated to stimulate their interest.

4. Focus on usefulness

Another note on writing your blog posts: you don’t have to shoot for a Pulitzer, just for practicality.

Sometimes content writers push themselves to create Fitzgerald-worthy prose, getting lost in the narrative instead of in its function, which is simply to be useful.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Just think about what your ideal reader needs, and try to fill that with your words.

Your sentences don’t have to flow like Hemingway’s or convey deep truths like Austen’s. You just have to write in the type of way that would let people benefit from the overall experience. Focusing on content that is helpful is one way to do that.

5. Repurpose your greatest hits

Repurposing your content is all about taking the best aspects of your previous pieces and breathing new life into them.

When you do this, make sure you’re only focusing on content that’s evergreen. If you turn a previously trending topic into an infographic a few months later, the initial interest may have expired. Instead, think about stories that are always being searched for.

Repurposing old content takes a lot less time than creating entirely new bodies of work. It’s all about shifting mediums here. You can turn an article into a video, a video into a listicle, a listicle into a podcast.

Think about the type of content you’re strongest in and build off of that. For example, if your blog posts tend to be on the photo-heavy side, then consider making a Pinterest board out of that content. NewBeauty Magazine, a popular beauty blog, has a dedicated Pinterest filled with sleek snapshots of skin, hair and nails complemented with excerpts of their advice.

The benefits of doing this are extensive. You have the potential to reach new audiences, strengthen your message and gain more organic search engine traffic.

6. Always test your content

Once you have the content that you think fits your profile, don’t stop there. Make sure it’s perfect by testing it over and over again.

Sometimes what you think works for your target demographic doesn’t always do its job.

There are plenty of different mediums to explore. Videos, podcasts, e-books, blog posts – think about all of them and test them out to see which one works best.

Don’t just make assumptions, see the results. You can do this by tracking click-through-rates on a web analytics tool or by seeing which type of posts are most engaged with on social media.

Takeaway:  

  • To get the most of your content marketing endeavors, make sure you fill your blog posts with photos
  • Study your buyer personas to find out who your ideal audience is, and then find them on specific media outlets
  • Try to write posts that are longer and backed by an influencer
  • Repurpose old content into different mediums
  • Focus on usefulness by writing what a reader needs
  • Measuring your content’s progress by testing it
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Grow Your Online Presence

What is Growth Hacking, And How do You Use it?

Sometimes, traditional marketing tactics just don’t cut it.

Sure, you can write the most enticing emails and create the most compelling landing pages and pick out the most persuading Call to Actions. Bid on a spot in Google. Paint your logo on a million billboards. Eat up the entirety of Facebook ad real estate.

But sometimes you need something else. Not necessarily a mechanism for exposure, but a cheat sheet for growth.

Sometimes you just need a hack.

That’s where growth hacking comes into play.

What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a relatively recent phenomenon. The idea partially blossomed out of black hat marketing practices, but recently evolved to become its own esteemed discipline, with theoretical, analytic and even academic backing.

While some controversy has attached itself to the name, the hack in question isn’t necessarily a manipulation or an aggression. Instead, it’s simply a shortcut focused on creativity, data and development.

Growth hacking is all about scale.

A growth hacker creates fresh, divergent ideas for acquiring new users. Fast. The field has mostly been linked to internet startups, implementing untraditional approaches for expansion.

Growth hacking is the most efficient practice in the market for growing pretty much any business. At the heart of it are a few essential elements: qualitative research, data analysis, swift idea testing, cross-functional teams and strict metric usage.

Growth hacker vs. Marketer

With startups flowering and dying out quicker than they were created, the marketing realm needed new some strategies.

That’s where Sean Ellis comes in.

Ellis helped multiple startups grow at incredible rates, from Dropbox to Eventbrite to LogMeIn.

The problem would come when he would try to find his replacement. Ellis would get hundreds of marketing applications, all strong, all qualified, but none of them exactly fitting what his job entails, because Ellis’s techniques don’t really follow the traditional marketing route. When you ask for a marketer, you get a marketer. And Ellis needed something else.

So Ellis coined the term growth hacker, and set out to find that instead. A growth hacker doesn’t take over a marketer’s role, doesn’t necessarily supplement or outrank it – it just has a different agenda in mind. According to Ellis’ post, “A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.”

Marketers obviously also care about growth too, but not with the same singular aim. They focus on a multitude of other factors that affect branding, product, pricing and image. They have to see things from a big picture. Growth hackers, on the other hand, are obsessive in their one pursuit, blocking out all other factors and funneling out all other obstacles to gain traction in the thing that matters most: growth.

What makes a good growth hacker?

 A growth hacker is scrappy.

He knows how to navigate the internet for leads, methods of exposure and social connections.

Growth hackers are a cocktail of characteristics that are rare to come by. They move fast, but take time to analyze data. They’re systematic, but firmly creative.

Growth hackers are devoutly studious in the science of people and products, and the connection between the two.

 They have to be tech-savvy. Not necessarily to the point where they have a coding degree and a keen understanding of SQL, but they need to know enough to be able to set out what others should do. They know SEO. Social media. Conversion rate optimization. They’re no stranger to the digital world, always on top of the latest technologies and internet services.

Growth hackers also have to be quick. In the beginning, startups only have so much time before their funds dry out and any initial hype fades away. In the ever-evolving internet field, growth hackers need to know how to respond quickly and efficiently while still retaining the big picture goals.

The most important thing a growth hacker is, though, is a problem solver. The kind of person who knows how to think outside of the box to implement new strategies, medias and methods of dissemination.

At the heart of growth hacking is an ability to understand five important metrics outlined by Dave McClure, the former marketing director of PayPal, who spearheaded multiple startups.

The metrics follow the funnel stages and have been condescended into the acronym AARRR. They include:

1. Acquisition: Attract new customers and get them to really know your brand

2. Activation: Work to make sure that customers believe in your product

3. Retention: Keep customers coming back

4. Revenue: Generate a steady stream of revenue

5. Referral: Incentivize your customers to tell their friends and family about your product

Growth hackers follow through every stage of this by testing for and measuring specific metrics that demonstrate how a product is performing.

Rewriting the product

First things first: the product.

The core of growth hacking strategy lies in a product’s ability to organically attract attention to itself, like a bonfire drawing people to its light. However, in order to do that, you have to first make sure that you have a product people actually want.

The easiest way to do that is to look for a product that solves a problem.

Ask questions, and see what people really need. What keeps them up at night. Then pose your product as the solution.

We did this with Wuilt. After years in the technology and digital marketing field, we were able to see what issues most business owners had, and the bulk of that laid in the difficulties of creating a website, be it through dysfunctional codes, or the lack of time and design experience required for drag-and-drop website builders. So we created a website builder that automatically makes websites based off of people’s content.

However, once you have that strong idea, get feedback on it. Don’t spend a year building your product in secret only to come out later and ask people what they think. Figure it out right away. We started an early access campaign for Wuilt as soon as possible, getting feedback from thousands of people in order to develop the builder into the next phase.

Instagram also did a remarkable job of this.

The company’s founder had originally developed an app called Burbn intended for whiskey lovers. However, after some research, they realized that the part people turned to the most was the photo sharing component.

So they did more research, realized the market was there. And then Instagram was born.

Instagram combined Burbn’s sharing mechanisms with the best elements of the available photo applications. It garnered instant celebrity status – as in, two million users in two months.

All of this goes back to the idea of redefining the product.

The development of the internet came with the development of a wide range of software-as-a-service products, all requiring a new type of thought process.

Makeup, motorcycles, even MacBooks – all of these products need someone to stand outside their door with an advertisement, trying to sell them to the masses. But a product on the internet can sell itself. Social media encourages users to get their friends on the platform in order to enhance their own experience. Uber lets you get discounts for inviting other people. A traditional product doesn’t do that.

The core of growth marketing goes down to making a product that drives traffic to itself.

Growth hack by knowing your ideal audience

Once you have the right product, you need to define its target audience.

The trick here is to smart small. Even though you believe your product is meant for everybody, you can’t market it that way. When you market to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. You should always start with a super niche audience, and then grow from there.

Dropbox, a case study for growth hacking done right, did this with their audience.

In the beginning, Dropbox’s advertising efforts were failing. An AdWords campaign wasn’t breaking out the revenue needed.

But founder Drew Houston understood his ideal demographic – techies and nerds – perfectly, and he knew how to target them. He introduced Dropbox at the place where they congregated every year: The TechCrunch 50.

From there, a viral video campaign was posted on Digg, a popular social news network where said-techies were already based. He drizzled the video with multiple elements of humor, including about 12 inside jokes.

Dropbox got 70,000 beta list sign-ups overnight.

Dropbox knew who they were advertising to and exactly what to say to them. This is an important distinction; showing that you are part of a community as opposed to just a traditional marketer.

Be specific about who you want. Like, super specific – a 17-year-old high school junior who spends most of her time on her cell phone, shops at Forever 21 and orders a caramel macchiato from Starbucks every morning, specific.

Uber did something similar when targeting their audience. They waited a year for the South by Southwest festival and gave free rides to the concert’s attendees – mostly hipsters and hippies. The company name effortlessly spread afterwards by word of mouth.

How to growth hack

 Now, it’s all about growing.

Once you’ve built a small, loyal following, focus on expanding to a platform where everyone is present. You’ll still be targeting your ideal audience, but in a much broader sense.

Here, it’s all about taking advantage of new systems and popular avenues and using them to your advantage.

Just look at McDonalds.

If one could say there was ever a pre-internet growth hack, we’d say it belonged to them.

When the interstate highway was built, McDonalds knew how many cars would be passing through it every day. So they painted the exits with their golden arches and let people’s hunger sweep them away.

They took advantage of a system that was already in place and infiltrated it to make it their own.

In modern times, that would mean to mark the invisible internet geography with your own McDonald’s signs, taking advantage of the places where you know they will be seen.

AirBNB is a fine example of this.

The service didn’t have much of a reach at first. They knew they had a powerful idea, but they lacked the proper tools to get it out there.

No one was searching for places on AirBNB, so they went to the place that was: Craigslist.

People posting their bedrooms on AirBNB were given the option to simultaneously post it on Craigslist, letting AirBNB reach their target audience without paying a penny.

It was ingenious. AirBNB was able to grow tremendously, washing away any competition (it’s safe to say Craigslist doesn’t let AirBNB users automatically post to their platform anymore).

It’s all about searching for those untapped opportunities. Testing and testing and testing. You should start by looking for a concrete hypothesis to test so that even if it falls apart, you know what went wrong and you can use that information to create a new experiment.

Hotmail did this in the simplest possible manner. Instead of pasting their logo all over the internet, they simply signed off every email that a Hotmail user sends with a small note: “PS: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail.”

Somehow, this small gesture worked. Sign-ups rose by 3,000 a day. In six months, the number of users was doubled – going from 500,000 to 1 million.

After drawing their initial users from Digg, Dropbox implemented a referral system that allowed them to grow to 15 million users in 15 months. Users were then rewarded extra space on Dropbox for completing various tasks: following them on Twitter, emailing a link to their friends, or sharing the service on Facebook.

Another way to growth hack is to let your product be an advertisement for itself. Not just in its magnetic quality, but in its physical properties. WordPress lets people create free websites. It is responsible for 29% of websites online. However, if you want a free website, you have to sport their name in your subdomain, making it so that all free websites appear with wordpress.com in them.

Apple also found a way to do this by simply changing the color of their products from the traditional black reserved for headphones, to a unique white. Anyone walking down the street with white headphones on is an automatic advertisement for the company. No logos needed.

What all of these examples share is a focus on ingenuity and development. Try to get into that mindset and see what works best for your business.

Growth hacking tactics have dismantled all the barriers between a product and its marketing procedures –somewhere in that space is where you can make your product grow at a rate you never would have thought possible.

Takeaway:

  • Growth hacking is all about creating fresh, divergent ideas for acquiring new users
  • Growth hackers are tech-savvy, quick and creative, differing from marketers in that their only true focus is on growth
  • To be successful at growth hacking, you have to target a specific audience initially, and then have them attract other people to your product
  • The core of growth marketing goes down to making a product that drives traffic to itself
  • Dropbox, AirBNB, Uber, Instagram, WordPress and Apple are a few examples of successful companies who saw their popularity rise from growth hacking

 

 

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5 Reasons Your Business Needs More Landing Pages

Why your business needs more landing pages

If you’re asking yourself whether you should invest in another landing page, the answer is yes. Always yes.

While landing pages may only demand one thing from a visitor, they offer plenty to you in return. Here, content operates as the currency, and your offers stands as the product. Eventually, the goal is to convert that content into revenue, and offer a more salient service in return.

It’s been proven that the more landing pages you create, the more powerful your online presence.

Here’s why you should consider adding 10-15 landing pages to your website.

1. You get more leads and conversions

Landing pages are like a goldmine for lead generation.

They let you garner interest for your brand, obtain contact information, and form a relationship through your content. Simply put, this is the most optimal way to convince people to convert. If you’re directing someone to your homepage instead of a specifically designed landing page, you’re missing out on many potential leads.

The number of landing pages you have is also important. According to HubSpot, landing pages don’t affect leads when you expand them from six to 10, but they do generate a 55% lead when you upgrade them anywhere from 10 to 15. Some companies even go as far as creating 40 different landing pages.

2. They have one clear purpose

Landing pages are made to zone in on only one element. Maybe you’re offering an E-book, a free consultation or a product sample. When a user clicks on a link to get there, they’re not flooded with 10 different Call to Actions (CTAs). Instead, there’s only one clear CTA that’s in harmony with their intentions.

When you simplify and condense the process, you have more opportunities for conversions. Other pages on your website can take on a broader approach, with extensive information that doesn’t guide people to one action. On landing pages, however, the message is as concrete as the mouse clicking on it.

3. You can segment your audience

This is probably one of the most beneficial effects of creating multiple landing pages. There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, so you can’t expect there to be a one-size-fits-all landing page.

Different people are drawn to different fonts, colors, offers, photos and deals. When you offer more variety, you’re giving people more opportunities to find something on your website that they may like.

Diverse options can make your brand accessible to a wider variation of people. For example, say you’re a skincare brand looking to generate leads. You can filter out your landing pages based on gender, age, ethnicity and skin type. Then, you can spotlight one aspect of your service. When you target your audience, you’re making them feeling like your brand belongs to them. Multiple pages help you achieve that.

4. You collect valuable customer information 

Understand the clientele your serving is one of the best things you can do for your business. That customer information is invaluable for structuring your services, posting on your social media accounts and targeting your audience with email and content marketing.

The data entered on your landing pages feeds you direct insight into the types of people interested in your product, and you can use that demographic information to further target them. You can study zip codes, ages and genders to really narrow in on who wants your products and how you can market it to them.

5. You get to A/B test

We cannot stress the importance of testing enough. Simply changing one color or one word on your landing pages can result in an enormous increase in conversions. And unfortunately, there’s no direct manual on how to do this. Something that worked for one landing page may not always work for another, depending on what the specific CTA is.

That’s the beauty of A/B testing: You have the power to test every aspect of a page. Creating multiple landing pages and measuring their success rates can increase your conversions. Not only are you actually generating more leads, but you’re learning what it is that generates those leads. And these are things you can apply to other aspects of your campaign.

Takeaway:

  • Creating anywhere from 10-15 landing pages can increase your leads and conversions
  • Landing pages are beneficial because they focus on only one CTA
  • You can use landing pages to segment your audience and appeal to a wider variety of people
  • Landing pages help you collect valuable consumer information that you can use to create marketing personas
  • Multiple landing pages let you test different aspects of your campaign

 

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