3 Easy Ways To Making Your Website More User-Friendly

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Google is constantly changing their metrics for ranking sites based on SEO searches. As a business owner, this constantly means you have to keep up with those changes to outrank competitors. Is a site which is SEO (keyword) friendly, and mobile navigability still a top priority? Or, has making a site easier to manoeuvre, and having faster loading rates more important? Regardless of the industry your business is in, if you want to rank atop the search engines, you need to make your site user-friendly. These are a few ways in which you can do just that, and improve site rank on Google, and other search engines.

1. Limit restrictions

You know those annoying popups which require you to input your email before a visitor can actually view your site? Or those annoying banner ads forcing visitors to click a link to move forward? Well these are things which are restricting your page from being user-friendly, and are in fact turning visitors away. Make the site as “limit-free” as possible. Remember, you are dealing with people, not programmers. Make the site as easy to use, navigate, and find content as possible.

2. KISS (keep it simple stupid)

In terms of having to create a username, make sure you make these easy for visitors to create. If they need to include: numbers, letters, symbols, etc, certain people are more likely to avoid creating a username. Also, make using features on the site simple. Allow visitors to “checkout” as a guest, rather than having to create an account when shopping online. Or make it easy for them to save usernames (and passwords if they choose to do so). This limits how much work they have to do when visiting your site, and makes it more likely they are going to visit again in the future.

3. State it up front

Lets take a shopping site as an example here. If you sell goods to consumers online, but do not ship to certain countries, clearly list this on the main page. Or if you only accept Paypal as a payment form, inform visitors of this on the homepage. It not only limits visitor frustration (who can’t order after having gone through several steps to reach the checkout page), but lets visitors know what is required, before they can shop on your site.

Regardless of your niche, industry, or end-customer, user-friendly sites are desired by all site visitors. In order to make your site a little easier to navigate and use, consider including a few of these programming features, when developing your online site for visitors.

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5 Tips To Increasing Website Conversion Rates

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One of the most important metrics to any online business or marketing campaign is your website’s conversion rate. It doesn’t matter if you drive millions of people to your website if none of them convert. What constitutes a conversion will depend, of course, on what your goal is. It could be content downloads, purchases, sign-ups to your email lists and more. However, in all cases, these conversions will either create immediate revenue or will push prospects to another phase in your funnel so that they convert into revenue later on down the line.

So, conversion rates will translate into revenues eventually. And that means ensuring you generate the best possible conversion rate, which shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Well, not really. Things are never that simple because there are so many factors to take into account that will affect whether or not a prospect converts. Here are 5 tips to help you improve your conversion rate.

Increase Your CTAs

An action is made up of four elements, namely opportunity, ability, willpower and incentive. In other words, you have to present users with the opportunity to convert, give them the means by which to do so, provide them with an enticement and then ensure that they carry through.

The first step is to provide them with the opportunity to convert, and that means having multiple calls-to-action on your website. Though quality is usually more important than quantity, in this case, both are equally as important. Providing plenty of opportunities is one of the simplest things you can change but it’s also the most overlooked.

So, make sure you post plenty of CTAs, providing visitors with the opportunity to sign up, purchase or download. Put them in the sidebar, in your posts, as popup offers and more. Don’t go crazy, though. You don’t want to alienate your prospects. Finding the sweet spot might be difficult but it’s nothing a little split testing won’t help you with.

Position Your CTA At the End of Compelling Content

One study discovered that conversion rates increased by 304% when the call-to-action was placed after a piece of compelling content. So, make sure your sales copy is stellar and then place the CTA at the end as your visitors will be more motivated to follow through once you’ve convinced them with your copy.

Make Conversions Easy

Some people just seem intent on sabotaging themselves. They force their users to fill out lengthy forms or their site is full of bugs, making it impossible for someone to convert. And most people will give up within a few seconds because our attention spans have shrunk to ridiculously low levels. So, to avoid your visitors jumping ship, make sure that your site is easy to navigate, functional and that all forms are easy and quick to fill out. It takes the tiniest obstacle for visitors to give up, losing you another conversion, so don’t give them the opportunity to bail.
Offer a Distraction-Free Environment

We’re already surrounded by myriad distractions, so the last thing you should be doing is providing your visitors with even more distractions when you want them to convert. Instead of placing your calls-to-action among a ton of other content that engages your visitors, try to keep the surrounding area as clutter-free as possible. Don’t stick it next to links for related content or next to a banner ad because your visitors’ attention will be divided and you could come out on the losing end. Remember, keep it as distraction-free as possible if you want to see your conversion rates increase.

Don’t Give Them Too Many Options

While options are usually a good thing, offering your prospects too many options can backfire. The more options someone has, the more likely they are to freeze and get stuck in analysis-paralysis mode. Generally, stick to two or three options at most, because it will be easier for your prospects to make a decision. Also, make sure the middle offer is the one you really want to sell because people generally tend to choose the middle one, a fact that has been proven by retailers and marketers repeatedly.

There are many other strategies and tactics to help you increase your website’s conversion rates, but these are certainly a good starting point. Beyond these, remember that the key is to actually work at it and once you’ve done your testing and established the best methodology, you can move on to other tactics to drive those conversions even higher.

 

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How To Test And Track Your Website Using Google Analytics

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Did you know that a whopping 93 percent of all online experiences start with a search engine? Or that 75 percent of online users never scroll past the first page of Google? It’s stats like these that can make or break your success on the Internet. If you want to track the number of consumers who visit your page from search engines, social media sites and elsewhere, you need a powerful analytics program that provides you with real-time insights and unparalleled intelligence. Here’s how to test and track your website using Google Analytics.

1. Measure Traffic Sources

Google Analytics is one of the world’s most popular analytics programs and boasts powerful metrics that pertain to your Internet presence. Use this tool to gauge the amount of traffic you receive on your website and where your visitors are coming from. Google Analytics displays key performance indicators — like the location of traffic sources and the number of people who visited your page within a given time frame —from a personalized dashboard, so you can access the latest insights all from one place. What’s more, all of this information is displayed through graphs, charts and other graphic elements, which makes it easier to consume the data.

2. Improve Sales

Google Analytics is a powerful marketing platform. Use it to find out how customers engage with your site, and which content is the most popular. Once you have discovered what consumers want from your site, you can make changes that increase the number of people who visit your pages and accelerate revenue. Countless studies have shown how analytics prove lucrative for lead and sales generation, and Google Analytics is ahead of the rest of the pack when it comes to delivering insights that you can count on.

3. Boost Your SEO Credentials

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a fundamental part of your digital marketing strategy. It lets you increase the rankings of your website on search engines like Google, so more consumers end up on your pages. Google Analytics is a great way to improve SEO because you can discover what changes you need to make in order to boost your rankings on the search engine results page. The vast amount of data at your fingertips lets you make small adjustments that will slowly increase your traffic stream over a period of weeks or months. You can change your meta-description, for example, or contact information, and see if there are any changes to your SEO.

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Ramping up Your Authority Online – Content Marketing

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Content Marketing TipsContent Marketing is somewhat of a buzzword today. Despite the fact that it is essentially the backbone of the Internet as we know it. Without content that has populated the early days of the web, in the form of content, we would not have what is freely available today.

Using content offers you the ability to increase your perceived authority online. Regardless of whether you are a solo blogger, entrepreneur or top level executive.

As Steve Olenski quite rightly points out:

But this is where content marketing comes in. It lets you go beyond simply promoting your products or services. Instead, you provide targeted content that your audience actually wants to read and share.

Unfortunately, I’m still seeing many e-commerce businesses that think content marketing simply means having a blog. And while a blog is a great start, content marketing mastery requires much more than a handful of blog posts.

Source: http://marketingland.com/master-content-marketing-e-commerce-company-183585

Before embarking on a content marketing journey, it is crucial that you understand what content should be created. Equally important is your targetted reader, which is ultimately described as your “ideal prospect/client”

A resource provided by Moz.com, located here, provides excellent ideas into various types of content. We recommended watching the video on that page too. In short and as provided by Moz, the following provide an overview of the types of content:

  • Blogs
  • Data
  • Pictures
  • Video
  • Interactive Content

Source: https://moz.com/academy/content-creation

Content Marketing Challenges

Of course there are challenges that are associated to content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute (an excellent resource: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/) posted this video on Youtube which we have embedded below for your benefit:

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Adult Coloring Books: The Latest Trend in Relaxation

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At some point in our lives, coloring books have made a cameo.

Kindergarten creative time that typically ended in tears because Jenny (don’t THINK I’ve let that one go!) stole your favorite blue crayon and ate it just to be spiteful. Trying to get the crazy child you babysat for the first time to sit still for more than 2 minutes so you could go to the bathroom. Showing your kiddo proper Crayola wrapper removal techniques. The general consensus was that coloring books were more used for soothing and relaxation than trying to unlock the inner Picasso in children.

It’s no surprise that this same concept can be geared towards adults needing to take a time out of the daily grind. But what thirty-something wants to sit and color 10 pages of Dora the Explorer and her adventure friends? Thanks to some incredibly talented artists like Johanna Basford and Angie Grace, adults have thousands of options for finding a creative outlet for stress relief and mental clarity.

There’s actually a long history of coloring for mental health reasons. Famed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that mandalas, sanskrit for “Sacred Circle”, represented the total personality (the Self) and that when the image showed up in dreams or art, it was typically indication of a movement toward a new self knowledge. He noticed many of his patients drawing these ancient symbols and encouraged them to explore the new sense of self awareness that accompanied their creative outlet.

Creating a calm environment for self exploration can be as simple as turning your iPhone off, making a cup of your favorite herbal tea and playing some soft music in the background. I like to light a little aromatherapy candle or simmer a pot of water, orange peels and cloves on the stove to engage all the senses!

Whether you’re trying to find the perfect “me” time to unwind at the end of the day or struggling with anxiety and depression, picking up a set of colored pencils and a copy of Christina Rose’s Mind Healing is definitely a less expensive alternative to that $ 2000 guided meditation your best friend signed both of you up for next weekend.

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Hurricane Garden Repair

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Nothing Lasts Forever … Even Warm October Rain

Kicking Your Garden Back into Shape after Hurricane Joaquin

Most health conscious Americans have one major thing in common: they LOVE fresh fruits and veggies!

If you’re lucky enough to have a green thumb and a sunny back yard, chances are there’s some delicious treats in there that may or may not have been put through the ringer thanks to Hurricane Joaquin.

Today, we’re going to give you a few tips that can help repair garden damage caused by standing water, strong winds and saltwater introduced into your perfectly pH balanced soil. It’s our Hurricane Garden Repair CHEAT SHEET!

Workin’ at the KALE WASH!

The first step to plants bouncing back is to eliminate any contaminants on the leaf or stem. I like to take a garden hose and spray everything down, but feel free to use a sponge if being more intimate with your plants is important to you. The main reason we do this is to get the salt water and mud off the plant so that any damage can heal without being infiltrated by disease. If there is sever saltwater damage, try using gypsum to replace the sodium with calcium, but only after you check with your extension agent first for the right amount for your particular soil.

Clean up and compost

The bacteria levels after a flood can be pretty high, which isn’t good for a lot of things outside of rapid decomposition. Gather up all the branches, leaves and twigs and place them in an already existing compost pile or start a new one if you haven’t got one going already. Storm debris breaks down relatively quickly, so as soon as it turns into that “black gold”, put it back in your garden beds or around the base of your trees and bushes. Ah, the circle of life.

Prune baby, prune

Once the mud and salt are washed away, you can assess the damage in order to see what’s a lost cause and what can be repaired. I would wait a couple days after your Kale Wash to see how the plant is bouncing back and if there’s any new growth. If you can spot new growth, it will be easy to see where to prune and how far back. Keep in mind, that extensive pruning can be pretty stressful for plants, so don’t go nuts. This is especially important for fruit trees and berry bushes, so try to refrain from testing out your homemade Edward Scissorhands costume on the apple trees.

Container garden quick fixes

If the potted plants on your deck have been standing in saltwater, you’ve got two options: replace or flush. Replace the old soil with fresh potting soil that’s high in organic matter and contains natural fertilizers like sea kelp, compost and worm castings or simply take a hose and heavily saturate the pot to flush out most of the moisture built up in there. You might not think adding water is a good tactic, but pushing the existing water containing bacteria and excess sodium down through the drain holes will do more good than harm. Don’t forget to fertilize after!

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Hurricane Life Hacks

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Hurricane season is upon us, and so are the same stories you read every year about stocking up on survival basics: water, canned goods, flashlights, batteries, the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series, etc …

But we’re not the type of folks who think about “the basics” of hurricane preparedness, are we? Whether you grew up with MacGyver teaching you how to repair a blown fuse with a chewing gum wrapper, or learned how to make a winter scarf out of snakes from Bear Grylls, the mantra is still the same: make the most out of something seemingly insignificant and look cool doing it!

These hurricane hacks will help keep your life as normal as possible while you save the world, or at least your neighborhood, and dub yourself the “Hurricane Hero of (insert your unfortunate coastal community here)”.

5 Important Hurricane Life Hacks

Headlamp Water Jug MEGA LIGHT

You can pick up an inexpensive camping (reading) headlamp at most stores near you for under $ 20 and turn one of your water jugs into a lamp that will light up an entire bedroom. Don’t have a water jug? Well, you’re not prepared for a storm, are you?!

Crayon Candles

Sure, you might think crayons are just for kids, but did you know that there are actually coloring books with stress relieving patterns out there for the overworked and underpaid thirty-something? Keeping a mega-box of crayons in your house at all times is not only great for artistic expression, it’s a blackout survival tool. Simply melt a bit of the bottom, stick it to a plate and light the top for a candle that will burn up to 30 minutes while you get your Water Jug Headlamp MEGA LIGHT up and running.

Terra Cotta Refrigerator

Stocking up sometimes means the fridge is overflowing with perishables you’re just not willing to go without. I dare Hurricane Joaquin to deny me the joys of coconut milk yogurt! Take two large terra-cotta flower pots (making sure one is at least 3 inches smaller than the other in diameter) and place the smaller one inside the larger. Fill the space between them with sand and put all your perishables inside the small one … just don’t put the eggs on the bottom.

Dryer Lint Fireballs

Dryer lint itself makes for a great ball of fire, but unfortunately it’s out just as quick as it’s lit. Add a bit of petroleum jelly to your lint balls, and VOILA … great balls of fire! Don’t have a steady stream of lint in your laundry room? Try using a 100% cotton ball instead.

Water Bob

Common sense tells you to stock up on water when a hurricane hits. What’s one place in your house that holds the most water? The bathtub! The fill up is easy, it’s the thoughts of your dad washing his man feet in your bathtub Big Gulp that’s a slight turn off. The Water Bob is basically a heavy duty (food grade) 100 gallon plastic bag that fits inside your tub and comes with a siphon for easy water jug filling. And, it’s under $ 20! That means you can put off cleaning the hair out of the drain for one more day.

Remember, hurricanes are some serious business so don’t go out there and build a water powered generator from your flooding front yard in the middle of the storm just yet. The most important thing is making sure your family is safe and has the tools necessary to keep a relatively normal life during a power outage.

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Faking the Fall: A Beach Dweller’s Guide to Autumn in the South

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Here at CBU headquarters, we get really into autumn. I, in particular, being a born and raised Mainer will do everything in my power to make fall come to life no matter where I happen to be in the world. A life without seeing the hues of reds, oranges and yellows glistening in the October sunshine and the smells of cinnamon and clove filling the cool breeze seemed unimaginable.

And then it happened: my perfect New England autumnal live was whisked off to Tampa Bay for work in the middle September and I had to trade cozy scarves for strappy sandals. Luckily, a great friend made me a “Fake the Fall” care package to ease my soul and it wound up being a great conversation starter between two very different sides of the seasonal spectrum.

Think you can’t get that pumpkin spiced feel outside of your latte or seasonal craft brew? Here’s a few quick tips to make the most of autumn, no matter where you are:

 

  • Bonfires – Sure, it’s 100 degrees during the day and the thought of turning on your oven for dinner is the most ridiculous thing you could think of. But once the sun begins to set and the cool breeze pushes in from the waves, nothing feels more like fall than sitting on the beach with a group of friends talking about the season premier of The Walking Dead.

 

  • Watch a scary movie – Nothing says fall quite like having the pumpkin spice scared out of you! Not in to scary movies? Try a Halloween rom-com or something silly like Hocus Pocus (your writer’s favorite!)

 

  • Break out the fall scents – We like to keep things quick and au natural here at Coffee Break University. A quick and easy way to get that delicious autumnal smell without harsh chemicals or an overwhelming trip to the shop that sells every candle on the face of the earth (you know the one) is to infuse water and add heat. Try slicing oranges and then combining them with cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves in a small pot with water and simmering on low. Want that great scent at the office? Try a mini crock pot or coffee mug warmer in lieu of your stovetop.

 

  • AC stands for more than “air conditioning” – Most of us have one very specific way to beat the heat: air conditioning. Why not make the most of that artificial coolness and get whisked away to The Smokey Mountains in September with a warm cup of apple cider and a lightweight sweater? CIDER HACK: Try jazzing up your cup with fresh cranberries and ginger. Yum!

 

  • Pumpkin EVERYTHING – Muffins, pies, bread, ravioli, soup and (my favorite) pancakes. Watching your calories but still wanting your entire body to permeate pumpkin? Try a sugar scrub on your face, neck and arms in the morning for that warm and fuzzy scent all day long. I mix equal parts coconut oil and raw sugar with a dab of pumpkin puree and splash of clove bud essential oil.

 

If none of these “Fake the Fall” tips seem to get you into the autumnal season, try taking a weekend trip to the closest leaf-peeper destination and put a few cinnamon sticks in your pocket for the drive. Sure, not everyone can pull of a Tampa-to-Maine trip JUST to see the leaves changes, but a quick shot up 75 will have you forgetting all about palm trees and flip flops.

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How To Find New Coaching Referrals

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Are you a life or business coach needing to find more business? Then you will enjoy reading our following three tips that offer insights and basic approaches for your own journey!

1) Join The Professional Coach Association

This tip is pretty straight forward: sign up and join the professional coach association. Doing so, will put you in touch with like minded individuals that have the same goals and passions you do. It will also give you a chance to network and find potentially new leads for clients.

2) Learn To Generate Your Own Referrals

Another idea for generating coaching referrals and business, is to create a referral technique. One way to do this, is to offer a discount to your current clients that recommend your services to their own friends and family. When someone signs a contract for your professional coaching skills, bonus your referee well so they will tell more people.

3) Learn To Create An Online Presence and Resource Niche

You should also focus on creating a strong online presence in order to generate even more referrals. This can be done by creating a web site or blog. Then, offer simple life and business tips on a regular basis. Be sure to create a strong portfolio and contact resources. That way, when people are browsing online for a life or business coach, they will be more likely to stumble on your sites.

Now you have three simple ideas to help create more clients for your professional coaching business!

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Selecting The Right Life Coach Certification Program

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If you are considering certification as a professional life coach, it is very important that you select a program backed by a professional coach association that can establish credibility for your practice. Your life coach certificate is essential for attracting and maintaining clients.

Look for organizations which have established a solid reputation and can provide testimonials from students who have gone on to create a successful life coaching practice. The ideal organization will have been in business for a lengthy period and also be a member in good standing of a professional coach association.You should also evaluate the course material to determine the breadth of coverage. Which topics will be covered by the instruction you receive? Does the course material provide adequate information on the various techniques you will need to build a successful practice? These are important questions. A reputable certification program will provide more than just a brief overview of coaching principles and tools.A final element to consider is whether the certification program includes tools and advice that will help you market your life coaching practice. You should regard this as an essential part of a thorough certification program.

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