About Laurel Lindsay

Laurel Stark née Lindsay has helped thousands of businesses get better results from their online marketing since she began her career as a web marketer in 2003. As a speaker, author and CEO of The New Media Group, she’s been featured on CNN, Entrepreneur.com, CTV and ShawTV.

How To Get Your Website To Show Up On Google. Part One: (for Beginners).

How to get your website to show up on google

How To Get Your Website To Show Up On Google. Part One: (for Beginners).

Have you ever wondered “How do I get my website to rank higher on Google?”

It’s a question I get asked a lot so I thought I would answer the question (or at least part of it, in today’s article).

The short answer is that there’s no short answer…

But really, the answer is a big one, so I’m gonna break it up into a couple of different posts for you.
What I’ll cover today are basics and first steps.

What do people search for, when they’re looking for what you sell?

Successfully arriving anywhere begins with knowing your destination.

As so with this exercise; the very first thing to do is determine where on Google you want to show up.

What words are your prospective clients typing into Google? Or, what are people searching for when they’ree looking for what you sell?

Typically, people type in a couple different types of words into Google, we call these keywords.

One type is location specific, so things like “vacuum repair, Vancouver,” “Vancouver vacuum repair,” “Vancouver vacuum sales,” so location specific. That’s one set.

Another type is kind of like a big ramble. If you think about how you use Google and what you type into Google, then this will give you a pretty good idea. Questions like, “Where do I get my vacuum fixed in Vancouver?” Or,”What’s the best vacuum repair store in Vancouver?” These types of things are called long tail keywords.

Ideally, you’ll have a list of two type of keywords, short and/or location specific keywords and long tail keywords, which are more sort of rambles or questions.

Compile a list of these key phrases first and get, 30 as a great place to start.

Then once you have these words, associate each keyword or group of keywords with a page on your website, or the pages that you want to show up on Google in response to those searches.

Put out the welcome mat and turn the lights on.

Making your website friendly and welcoming for Google and for your future customers involve many of the same activities.

There’s some pretty obvious stuff that you can start off with to make your website Google friendly. Look at your website from the perspective of whether or not your website is easy to use.

How fast does your website load?

There’s a bunch of different things that you can do to get your website to be sped up. One of those things is definitely making sure that your images are compressed. You can do all kinds of speed tests online and website developers can help you speed your site. That’s one really basic thing.

Is your website mobile friendly?

Another basic thing is looking and being sure that your website is mobile friendly so if you use a tablet or a phone to access your website, you can actually click on the buttons, it’s not impossible to use.

Is your website structure helpful?

Referring back to your list of keywords, all of the pages on your website should answer the questions, or at least be relevant to the key phrases that people are typing into Google.

The three little letters that mean a lot.

Every single page on your website should be what we call “search engine optimized.”, or SEO’d if you want to sound like a pro :-)
This means associating a specific target keyword or key phrase to each page and then optimized each page for that keyword or key phrase.

Say for example, we’re working with this vacuum store in Vancouver, so on the about page they should use those words quite a bit, and say why they are the best vacuum repair store in Vancouver, and how to find the best vacuum store in Vancouver, like where the address is, et cetera. You want to have a whole bunch of content that actually uses those words people are searching for.

Also, provide images, as they are very helpful.

Search engine optimization is also fairly technical, the page URL, for example, www.johnsvacuums.com/aboutbestvacuumstorevancouver – each page URLshould use the keywords as well.

If you have a WordPress site you can use this plugin called Yoast, it’s a fantastic plugin, it basically tells you exactly what to do.

You can download that and then optimize each page accordingly. That’s kind of an overview of your on-site optimization that you can do to help your website rank higher in Google.

Another thing, depending on the resources that you have, and the amount of time that you have, but generally I recommend blogging regularly.

This just shows Google that you are relevant site, and contender, and that your site isn’t old and outdated. Also gives lots of great content that you can share on social media. It’s great for your users as well. I recommend blogging, again, based on those keywords.

Blog for people, not robots!

Now, back in the day, it used to be that you would just write it for the search engines, and all the content on the website, it didn’t really matter if a human could read it.

But now, it definitely has to be relevant, it has to be readable, and it has to be useful to the person who is making that search.

It’s a tricky balance between making sure that the keywords are in there and it’s all based on a particular topic, as well as making sure that it’s coded appropriately according to Google, and people would actually stay on the page, and look at it, and find value in what it is that you’ve written there as well.

How did I do?

If you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network. In fact, just hit that share button right now and share away.

If you want more information, you can download more free resources here on my website at www.laurelannestark.com.

And if you disagree or think I missed anything, please weigh in in the comments section below.

Thanks for watching!

What The Heck To Post on Social Media (For Business)

wHAT SHOULD I POST
“What should I post on social media?”

The lady asking this question isn’t personally on social media all that much.

She was asking for work and she hadn’t posted to any of the business’ social media accounts for six months or so.
This is much more common than you might think.

If you’re in the same situation, I’m going to help walk you through creating a document that’s going to completely answer that question for you – for the rest of this year.

You will never have to think “Oh Jeez, What do I post on social media?” again!

What we’re going to create is what I call an editorial calendar.

It’s a plan for the year and days of the week we’re going to create in advance, so you stay up to date and have a record of what you’re going to post.
I usually create it as an Excel sheet and I put columns for every single month and have another tab for theme days of the week – like “Sneak a Peek Sundays”

If you don’t have an editorial calendar, following this plan, it will take you, I would say probably, 15 to 20 minutes to sit down and create that calendar.

The 15-20 minutes you spend today will pay off in dividends. Trust me on this one!

Get Festive!

First thing you want to do is grab a calendar, whether it’s paper or electronic, and take a look at all the holidays that happen every single year.

I mean, we all know the obvious ones around a typical holiday season. There’s smaller ones like St. Patrick’s Day that you might want to incorporate.

Once you populate your Excel spreadsheet with all the holidays that are happening in every single year, you’re already going to have so many more things that you could possibly post about on social media!

What’s Happening?

Then, I want you to take it a step further and take a look at the news and events that are happening internally within your company.

Perhaps you would attend a trade show every single year at the same time.
Perhaps it’s your really busy season every single year at the same time.
Perhaps there’s deadlines that your customers need to know about every single year at the same time.
Again, put these events in your editorial calendar so that way next time you take a look at it you know, “Oh. This is what’s coming up this month.”

Channel Your Inner Photographer

Second thing I want you to do, is start thinking about taking behind the scenes photos.

Put it in your calendar once a week to spend a few minutes taking pictures. People love photos of other people so take photos of your staff, your customers if they’ll let you. Post it on social and just do a little introduction as to who we’re looking at here.
This helps people to know, like and trust your business by providing a little bit behind the scenes.

Similarly, if you can’t get anyone to pose for a photo you can also just take pictures about what’s going on around the office. Perhaps someone dropped of donuts or perhaps your parking lot is icy. Seems again, like a little bit of an overshare, but this is the type of stuff that happens on social media, and again, will get people to know, like and trust you.

Change Your Perspective

Then, I want you to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers.

What do they care about?
What are they interested in?

In the case of, say for example, you are a contractor, your customers care about making their homes look good.

Perhaps you could share tips and trends about interior decorating or landscaping tips or trends in lighting. Stuff that’s going to be valuable for your customers.

Prove It!

Another thing that is really super powerful to share on social media is what I call “social proof.”

Social proof is the phenomenon where people make decisions based on the decisions that other people have made. By sharing testimonials and reviews on social media, you convince other people that you’re a trustworthy business to do business with.
Even if people are not posting these reviews on social media, you can go into your email and screencap those awesome comments you’re getting and share those on social as well.

Put it in your calendar once a week to spend a few minutes gathering and posting testimonials.

Educate & Influence:

Say, for example, you’re a drywall company, you can share educational things like, what people need to know before they shop for a drywall contractor.

Perhaps any safety information or certification that’s updated and going on. Things like that will really help you to fill up that content calendar with thoughtful, themed content each month.
Once you go through this process once, I promise you will have an editorial calendar that will be fantastic and work for you perfectly.

If you like this article, please share with your network!
You can visit me online for more marketing tips at www.laurelannestark.com

RIP LinkedIN

ByePlease, a moment of silence for the business-to-business social media networking site LinkedIN.

You may be thinking, “Laurel, what are you talking about ?  LinkedIn’s not dead.”

But you know what? I’m predicting it’s going to die in relevance, and here’s why:

The Gloves Are Off! Facebook vs. LinkedIn

Facebook announced recently it’s jumping into the job seeker’s marketplace, which was the reason that LinkedIn came to be in the first place – so job seekers could connect with employers and vice versa.

Now, Facebook is going to start letting employers actually post and advertise jobs on the newsfeed of Facebook.

Because pretty much everyone’s on Facebook I think they could have a real impact on LinkedIn’s market share.

 

LinkedIn’s going to h – e – double hockey sticks

Hockey analogies aside, sInce LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft I’ve been pessimistic about LinkedIn.

I don’t know about you, but my experience with Microsoft has been absolutely terrible.

It seems like their business model is going to take the LinkedIn contacts that you have and try to integrate them with the contacts that you have if you’re using Outlook, and to encourage you to continue to use Microsoft’s software.

I don’t know about your experience, but Outlook actually just, yeah, killed my computer, so I switched to Mac.

“ Microsoft buying LinkedIn makes me think they’re just going to ruin it. “

Historically, I love LinkedIn in terms of a lead generation source and to get me in front of the people that I am trying to market to, because of course, I’m in the business of helping to other businesses.

Since the acquisition, If you’ve been posting to Pulse, which is the LinkedIn blogging feature, you may have noticed that only a fraction of the people can actually see your blog posts than before.

Reach has declined, which means you’re not going to get as much exposure to your target audience as you would have before Microsoft took over.

Alignable, the rookie, might take it away!

Alignable is a relatively new social media networking site for businesses to connect with other local businesses and network within those local groups.

I’ve been on there playing around for a couple weeks now, and you know, I have to say, I really like it.

There’s an ease of use that’s there. You can promote your business for free. And so far, I’ve had a lot of success with it. Their customer service representatives have reached out to me via email and other platforms – amazing!

For these

These three points are just a few reasons LinkedIn is going to end up dying.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you use LinkedIn right now for business-to-business marketing?

Are you thinking about it?

Have you been doing it in the past and not so much now?

Are you going to use Alignable?

Please weigh in with your comments below. I’d love to hear what you have to say about my prediction.

Thanks so much for checking this post out, and you can visit me on my website or YouTube for more online marketing tips at www.laurelannestark.com.

Are women selling themselves short?

Are-women-selling-themselves-short

It’s the day after International Women’s Day.

I’m sure by now you’ve read statistics about the pay and promotion disparity between women and men in the workforce.

It’s 2017 and men are still getting paid more for the same role.

Realistically, we’re dealing with the legacy of a culture where only 100 short years ago women were granted the right to vote. Systems, be they private or public, tend to be slow to evolve and catch up with changing times. They tend to favour the status-quo.

I think we can all agree this sucks.

What I’m more interested in, however, is what we can do about it the other 364 days of the year.

I wonder, are the women inside these systems selling themselves short?

One thing I notice in my role as an online marketing consultant is that consistently more women then men devalue their professional worth.

My work for my clients essentially boils down to helping them sell themselves online.

I’ve met a few men with blustering egos, low value and huge price tags and a huge amount of women with staggering levels of talent and apologetic attitudes about asking for what they deserve as pay.

I suspect the cultural training for women to be nice or the media’s messages we are not good enough have roles to play in this self-sabotage phenomenon.

So what can we do about this?

I just finished reading Hidden Figures, about the hidden role female African American mathematicians played at NASA during the race to the moon.

These women were at a double disadvantage – race and gender. However, one of the main characters became the first female African American engineer at NASA by showing her value, stating her case and asking repeatedly for what she wanted.

I believe a consistent implementation of this very tactic would go a long way toward equalizing pay and promotion inequality.

As anyone with a background in sales will tell you, the way to get what you want is showing the value and asking for it, over and over again – despite how many times you’re told “no”.

Without these two critical steps, I am betting there is a slim chance anyone in a flawed system will be simply handed the promotion or raise.

If women aren’t consistently showing value and asking for more within these faulty systems, I believe we’ll continue to see the same dismal improvement percentages.

A great book on the topic is called What It Takes: Step up, Speak up, Move up, by Amy Henry (with a forward by Donald Trump, no less). Using the techniques in her book I asked for and doubled my salary, back when I still worked for someone else.

Starting with small asks is also a great way to build the confidence to ask for the raise or promotion.

Start with asking for one thing a day that makes you feel uncomfortable.

You will eventually become immune to the word no and you’ll be surprised at what people will say yes to!

I have been given many really nice pens because I ask the banker for his, I’ve received a free box donuts, 3 for the price of 2 zip line admission and discounts on clothes at big department stores…to name a few… and just because I stated my case and asked for what I wanted.

Audacious, yes and silly examples to be sure, but they illustrate my point.

You can’t get a YES if you don’t ask.

Developing the skill of showing value and asking is an invaluable one, whether you’re man or woman.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your comments below.

What my Dad’s Style and your website should have in common

What my dad's style and your website should have in common

Going to the mall as a young teen with my Dad was absolute torture.

I’d ask him to give me a ride and drop me off at the doors, but he’d always insist on entering the building with me.

I’d spend hours getting ready so I could look exactly like my posse of girlfriends, and my Dad would wear track pants WITH his dress shoes.

In PUBLIC.

I was basically a permanent cringe.

When I’d beg him to wear something else – ANYTHING else – he’d shrug his shoulders, refuse and and say, “well, it works for me”.

“It works for me”

Last week I posted an article warning against letting your website become the online equivalent of an 80’s perm.

But being outdated and unfashionable online is totally fine –  on ONE condition – that your website is working for you.

By working for you, I mean that it’s positively contributing to you achieving a specific goal.

Most of my clients tell me they want their websites to help them generate revenue.

If that’s your goal, than there are only a few basics you’ll need from your website.
In the case of your website, think like my dad (trends be darned!) to ensure your website works for you.

My big thumbs can’t click these tiny buttons!

It was 2015, in Nanton Alberta that I predicted you would see a decrease in where your website ranks on Google if you don’t have a mobile friendly website.

This may surprise you, but for the last few years, more people use their smartphones than desktops to navigate the web.

In 2017 the majority of web traffic is mobile.

So, if your website is next to impossible for the majority of people online to use, than it’s not exactly functional, is it?

What do I do next?

What action do you want your website visitors to take next?

Whether you want them to call you, give you their email address or shop online, it should be painfully obvious what the next step is.

All the visual indicators and functionality on each page of your website should lead to this action.

An example:

This is my home page.

screen_shot_2017_02_24_at_4.34.05_pm

With the funky orange arrow, you can tell exactly what I want you to do.

(Don’t be shy, you can feel free to head on over there and sign up for free online marketing tips)

Another example. Again using orange, you can tell we want you to Try TILOS.

screen_shot_2017_02_24_at_4.55.54_pm
I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Yeah? Prove it!

Sure, your website tells me you’re the best around, but I need you to prove it before I spend.

And I am not alone.

Most customers trust online reviews, or what other people say about you.

Take the time to ask for and collect customer reviews and post them on your website.

Literally, no-one can speak as powerfully to your potential customers as your existing ones.

This is called social proof, a phenomenon I discuss on CNN here.

In Summary:

Whether your website is the crocs with socks style or more haute couture, it should be mobile friendly, have a call to action and social proof.

In my opinion, these are the three most important factors in making sure your website works for you and aides in your sales process and revenue generation objectives.

Sharing is caring!
If you found this valuable (or humourous), don’t be shy, share this with your network.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…

Is your Dad more stylish than my Dad?
Did I miss a contender for the top three most important basics for a website in 2017?

What No One Will Tell You About Your Brand New Website

Reading a good book can change your outlook on life.

Philosophically speaking, you may even be a different person than you were before you read the book.

Most of the successful business owners I know are voracious readers, they have coaches and consultants and are in regular attendance at workshops and seminars.

Their growth game is strong.

The continued evolution of their offering, brand, services and approach to business and life has a downside no-one talks about.

Sometimes, you can evolve so fast, the online reflection of your business is outdated as soon as you launch.

Yep. Your website is outdated the minute you launch.

The text, images, wording…call to action, all of it is the product of your reality 3-6 months ago, when you were working to get it launched.

If you’re a perfectionist, or like the feeling of being done, once and for all, or even for this quarter, this can eat away at you.

Whether you change your hair as often as Madonna used to, or you’re committed to providing the best in service you possibly can, you’re going to be out of date.

It’s the side-effect of being an evolving entrepreneur.

And it’s ok!

The web has enabled you to become your own broadcaster – and that’s wonderful.

Just know that it’s iterative. Your website, your headshots, your official bio…all of it.

It’s all progress.

It’s never, ever going to be perfect.

And that’s ok.

Going into your new website development or product design or photo shoot or whatever it is with this knowledge can save you a ton of time and frustration.

It may never, ever, ever feel done, or perfect, or 100%.

But it can be an improvement on the last iteration.

Don’t let great be the enemy of good.

Just launch your website, then refine it.

Launch and refine, launch and refine, launch and refine.

That’s the evolutionary way.

But do continue to evolve your online presence on a somewhat regular basis.

Don’t just give up and settle for the online equivalent of an 80’s perm.

What no one will tell you about your brand new site

Case Study: Behind The Scenes of A Multilingual E-Commerce Website Launch

laurel-blog-tilos-americas

Friday January 6th 2017 at 12pm I clicked the refresh button on my browser and was overcome with excitement – my latest project was live and ready for public consumption.

www.tilosamericas.com is one of the larger projects I’ve worked on. Here I am sharing behind the scenes of what went into creating this multi-lingual ecommerce website.

Snapshot: the e-commerce website by the numbers:

Serves 23 countries, in 2 languages, over 72 pages with approx. 20,000 words, selling 22 products, completed in 7 weeks.

E-commerce website – client overview:

 

TILOS is a very specialized software tool that makes planning, executing and controlling linear infrastructure projects easier and more profitable.  

Petroglyph Project Analytics recently became the Authorized Dealer of TILOS across the Americas – North, Central and South America – and needed increased exposure online to get in front of their customers.

Objective:

Create a new website that would:

  • Be found on search engines.
  • Communicate the unique benefits of TILOS in a way that would generate leads and sales, across multiple cultures and languages.

E-commerce website- process:

Strategy First:

 

First, we worked to understand the target audience: what problems they were having, what questions they asked through different phases of their buying process, what they’d already tried and how TILOS could positively impact their daily work.  

Then, we got really clear on the benefits TILOS offers, specifically how it solves the target’s pain points in a way that is unique within the marketplace, who else was using the product and what they were saying about it.

Lastly, we conducted comprehensive keyword research to determine what the target customers were typing into search engines when they were looking for a solution to the problem TILOS solved. We also looked at the amount of demand for each keyword or phrase as well as the amount of competition for each phrase to create a nice balance of high traffic and very niche terms to target.

Creating The Brand:

It was really interesting to develop the key benefit statements and create the brand and identify the imagery to associate with each benefit statement.

We needed a message that could be instantly understood across multiple cultures and languages and decided to deliver the message with the use of vivid and stunning images of animals. This was a bold move in the conservative area of civil engineering, but one that dramatically conveys the message in a way that makes this website a memorable stand out from the sea of boring software websites.

Creating and Translating the Text.

Based on the target keywords and best practices for search optimization, a total of 72 pages were written and then translated into Spanish.

Finalizing the Design:

Now that we had the text and images, we crafted each page of the website around one purpose: asking the website visitor to take action.

The entire website is crafted around the call to action, which is for the visitor to request a free trial version of the software.

The call to action buttons and links are prominent and frequent – it’s obvious what the next logical step should be.

Additionally, we had to find a way to present a huge volume of content in a visually appealing way that wouldn’t intimidate website visitors. Some pages are close to 3,000 words! The use of visuals in the form of icons instantly transmit the message in a way that facilitates the scanning-instead-of-reading behaviour of online users today.

Building the Site:

Creating a multi-currency, multi-country, multi-lingual ecommerce website is not a simple task!

We built the website in WordPress and painstakingly developed the functionality that would identify the user’s location and language, displaying the correct text, product info and pricing as well as relevant taxes for each location.

The site also offers, administrator on-page search engine optimization support, social media sharing, blogging and lead-capture email newsletter integration capabilities as well as the integration with Salesforce and Desk.

Launching the site:

Once the website went live (on January 7th), we submitted the sitemap to Google and verified the website with Google search console. The target search keywords and terms were added to a tracking software to report on where the site is ranking for key terms within the first 30 days of launch.

What the client says:

wow

What it took:

From my perspective, as the lead web marketing strategist, copywriter and project manager on this project, I’ve slept, ate, and dreamed TILOS americas.com over these past 7 weeks.

It’s been an incredible journey, from a pile of dense technical white papers to a world-class online presence.

The team I worked with included: one extremely talented website developer, one lovely translator, two brilliant SEO and content experts and a very much appreciated Office Ninja.

Where we’re going from here:

We’ll be monitoring the initial search ranking performance of the just-launched site very closely and augmenting where needed with off-site search ranking tactics.

Work with me:

 

Do you want better results from your online marketing? Let’s chat! Visit me at

http://www.laurelastark.com/web-marketing-consultant-services/

Online Sales Funnel Creation: Case Study & Review

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-09-59-pm

Client Overview:

Mieke Lily Van Orden is the creative force behind Flux & Stone, a line of handmade artisan jewellery designed to make women feel beautiful.

Based in Victoria, BC, Mieke built her business over the last 4 years by showcasing her work in person at various shows and markets around BC.

Objective:

Mieke was active online, but wasn’t making any sales from her website or online efforts.

She wanted to start making sales from the web, and wanted to work less than her customary 12 hour market days, without compromising her revenue.

Solution:

Mieke & worked together over the course of 3 months to develop an optimized online sales funnel.

First we looked at what was working about her business, and what wasn’t.

  1. What customers were most profitable, and what areas of her business were causing profit leaks.
  2. What her existing sales process was, and how we could recreate that process online.
  3. What we could do to easily & quickly increase repeat business.
  4. What her existing online marketing process was.
  5. What parts of her website weren’t working or were neglected and needed to be updated.
  6. What her schedule was like and her strengths and preferences for what she should be delegating.
  7. Where she got stuck executing on strategy.

Then we created her online marketing plan which would show her exactly how to:

  1. Get in front of her target customers online.
  2. Increase repeat business from her current customers.
  3. Steadily build her email list of fans, customers and prospective customers.
  4. Leverage the time she was spending at markets to contribute to her online efforts.
  5. Schedule in various online marketing deliverables, in a way that worked for her based on daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

Lastly, we developed the online assets she needed to execute after we stopped working together:

  1. A new website showcasing her best selling items, where she could easily add new products from her phone.
  2. An email marketing campaign and list building strategy.
  3. A content calendar for her social media, including blog post topics
  4. A social media strategy and automated scheduling system.

Outcome:

I think Mieke and I both thought we’d be working solely on her online marketing, but what happened was I deployed my experience in creating business systems and optimizing operations to create a work day for Mieke that would work to optimize sales as well as her time.

Based on her routine what was already working for her and what she didn’t like we devised a program schedule and a system to help her stay on top of regular social media posts blogging and adding new inventory to her website.

We set her up with an easy to follow system of to-do’s each week and month and set her up with administrative support in the areas where she needed to delegate.

We also set up a comprehensive post sales follow-up system for her wholesale customers which were by far her most profitable area.

What The Client Says About Working With Me:

“To start with the woman just got me organized in a way that I hadn’t been before, and helped me schedule my life in a way that I hadn’t before.  What I thought I wanted from her, I actually got a whole different thing. Which was learning how to organize my life in a professional manner which will benefit me for years to come.

Would I recommend? Yes, Totally! I think that the things she taught me are so invaluable. I didn’t even use my google calendar before I met this woman. I’d wake up every day I’d wake up and think to myself, what are all the things I need to get done today and I would try and organize them all in my brain and all the time I was like forgetting somebody or forgetting something or not getting something done, and things were always taking longer and more energy than needed them to.

And these simple steps that this woman has shown me how to put everything into place and now I just wake up and I look at this calendar and I look at the schedule we’ve written out.

And I think that that is the most beautiful part of working with this woman is that she holds you accountable until the point that she actually sees you change.”

Check out Mieke’s new website at www.fluxandstone.com

If you would like to explore working with me to optimize your operations market and marketing for increased pleasure and profit please contact me at www.laurelannestark.com

Otherwise please join me in congratulating Mieke on presenting her beautiful work online in a way that she can be proud of.

Stop Doing This On Facebook To Get More Sales, Spend Less Money

stop-doing-this-on-facebook-for-more-sales-with-less-ad-spendYou know how to advertise on Facebook already.

Click boost post and you’re done, right?

Wrong.

Facebook has done a brilliant job of making it easy for small businesses to spend money on ads.

The trouble is, boosting your business page posts may not be providing the results you’re looking for.

Here’s some things you didn’t know about Facebook advertising that are going to help you skyrocket your sales this holiday season.

Stop Boosting Posts. Seriously.

If you haven’t heard of Facebook.com/powereditor yet, you’re welcome :-)

In all seriousness, the power editor offers a robust control panel for managing, and getting better results from your ads.

In fact, it’s a lot less expensive to advertise on Facebook using this tool.

Here are a few things it can do:

Retargeting using the Facebook Pixel.

Retargeting is advertising to people who have already been on your website. You may notice ads from bigger brand tend to “follow you around” online.

This is retargeting and you can do this too!

Why retarget?

People who have already visited your website are a lot closer to buying what you sell than people who have no idea who you are. Advertising to this group may produce a better return on your advertising dollar than a group of strangers.

How to enable retargeting:

Login to powereditor by going to facebook.com/powereditor and on the top left click on the 3 lines.

A new menu will show up, under assets, click on pixels. (see screenshot below)screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-2-40-15-pm

From there, click on Create Audience and fill out the pop up:screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-2-43-06-pm

Last step, under Actions, click on View Pixel Code.screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-2-43-24-pm

Copy and paste the code that displays and embed it on your website.

(If that’s greek to you, just email it to your website developer)screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-2-43-34-pm

Once the Facebook pixel is embedded and working properly, you can track visitors to your website, and then advertise specifically to website visitors on Facebook.

TIP: It can be a finicky to get this pixel to work – you need to check back in with the power editor and make sure your pixel has a green dot next to it before you can advertise to this group.

Setting Up Hyper-Targeted Facebook Ads.

You can target your ads very specifically using the power editor, which is great!  

The more closely you zero in your target market, the more affordable your ads will be and the bigger impact they will have.

If you’ve done any work with me or anyone else to develop your Customer Avatar, or Buyer Persona, this is where that work will come in really handy.

Let’s walk through creating a new Facebook ad using the power editor.

On the top left, click on Create Ad and you’ll get this screen:screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-2-48-57-pm

You’ll notice on the left there are three sections, Campaign, Ad Set and New Ad.

If you’ve done any work in Google Adwords, this will be very familiar, but if it isn’t…read on!

What I want to focus on here is the Audience options, under Ad Set.

Audience Targeting Options:

Remember that Facebook pixel you just embedded in your website?

This is where it comes in handy.

Under Custom Audience, this is where you can select people that have been to your website before. You’ll notice in the screenshot, that the pixel I just created shows up here.

By selecting this Pixel, you’ll target this ad campaign to people who have been to your website before.screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-5-40-31-pm

This option alone makes the power editor that much better than boosted posts.

Under location, be sure to check “people who live in this location” if that’s important to you.screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-5-46-56-pm

Lookalike Audience Targeting

If you’re not comfortable using retargeting, don’t have a website or just want another targeting option, lookalike audiences might be for you.

Just scroll down a bit more to detailed targeting, where things can get even more fun!

Here, you can create an audience based on their stated interests on Facebook, or other pages they like.

So, again, think about what Facebook pages your target audience would already like, or interests they have.

Type in and select these interests until you’re satisfied you’ve got a good match to your prospects.screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-5-49-31-pm

Create More Than One Ad

If you’ve done your homework, and know what your customers are interested in or care about, you can explicitly target the people most likely to buy from you, and skip the generic targeting available with boosted posts.

Usually, I create a few ads, one for each audience type and measure them against each other to see which one is the most effective.

Monitor Your Results Closely.

One of the reasons I love online marketing is that you can get exact data on performance, almost immediately.

I usually run my ads for 24-48 hours and then re-evaluate to see which ones are worth the money, and which ones aren’t

If you offer online shopping, be sure to offer a coupon code in your ads so you can get exact reporting as to what ads resulted in sales.

If not, you can still get decent numbers from the ads manager.

Here are some of my numbers. I LOVE that I can get video views for a penny.

There’s not much that you can get for an extinct coin these days!screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-6-12-34-pm

Tell me…

Do you think you’ll try Facebook editor after this?

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What To Do When You’ve Outgrown Your Business

reach-for-more

You know how to make money.

You’ve been running your business for awhile, and by all appearances, you’re a success.

The thing is, there’s this feeling. The feeling that you’re heart just isn’t in this anymore.

You’ve tried to ignore it and  rationalize it, but it just gets stronger.

The way you’re spending your days just feels “ugh”. Whether it’s because you seem to be constantly on the verge of burnout (lame). Or you have a gnawing sensation you have something else you should be doing.

It’s called the golden handcuffs.

When you’re business is working, on paper, the profits are there and demand is constant, it can be really really difficult to admit your business is not working for you personally.

And what a disheartening feeling.

You started your business so you could do things your way; have the freedom and enjoyment of directing your own destiny.

Yet, little by little, without you even noticing, your business has turned into a monster you created that doesn’t accurately reflect the life you want to live.

You’re doing things that provoke seething resentment and you’ve been running on caffeine and adrenaline for too long. You find yourself saying yes to things you don’t want to do. Your vision and clarity of focus are waning. You feel a bit lost.

You’ve worked your butt off to get here, and you should be grateful, you think. Especially given that it’s better than it was…the money is better, you’re not working quite so much as you used to. The fear around making the bills has disappeared somewhat.

But, in your bones, you know It’s not really working.

You want more.

But here lies the problem. Exactly how do you make the changes to renovate your business so it serves you?

Does it mean walking away from what you’ve built. Turning away hard won revenue?

Feeling trapped in your own business is a really awful feeling.

The good news is, this is exactly where you’re supposed to be.

These feelings are the sign you’re ready for bigger things. To step into the life and business you deserve.

Maybe what you long for is more time off, feeling like you’re making a bigger difference in people’s lives or having more flexibility.

Or maybe you simply want to get paid what you’re worth.

To get to where you want to go, first you have to know where you’re going- what’s missing, what you want- and what’s working about your business and life now.

Often, when I’m working with my clients to create an online sales funnel, these topics come up.

Many times, it’s about optimizing the sales funnel, business operations and the finances around what’s already working.

Recreating your business doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning it – but renovating it- to better suit what you’re passionate about, the people you want to work with and what you’re really good at

What’s amazing about this formula is that most of the time, it points the way to not only more enjoyment, but more profits.

Life is too short to settle. Especially in the business you built.

If this post resonated with you, why not take a few minutes and write down what’s working and what isn’t in your business.

It’s the first step to a more fulfilling and profitable working life.

If you would like to talk to me about optimizing your business by leveraging my 13+ years of sales, online marketing and entrepreneurship experience, please get in touch with me via my website at www.laurelannestark.com