As an entrepreneur, having a website is no longer “a good idea” or “helpful.” It’s vital. As of January, there were more than 3 billion active Internet users (an increase of 7 percent from 2014). With this exponential growth, staying on top of these trends will determine the success of your business both off and online.
While having a website is a step in the right direction, there are a few things most entrepreneurs may be missing that are affecting their conversion rates, online growth, and a genuine connection with their audience.
1. Speak to one person.
It is so easy to want to be liked by everyone and afraid of being in too much of a niche (or afraid of turning anyone away). However, even if you are just starting out, you need to start focusing on who you are speaking to throughout your website. This will come across in your copy, branding and even the images you use throughout your site. Why is this important? As Marie Forleo once said, “If you’re speaking to everyone you are speaking to no one.” Take time to narrow your target audience to one specific person. By doing so, you will not only become clear on what to include on your pages but you will also establish a stronger connection with your audience making them more inclined to subscribe to your offerings.
2. Stop focusing on social media.
Many entrepreneurs rely solely on social media as a way to interact with their audience. While there is nothing wrong with using it as a tool, the one important factor that is taken away is control. By only using social media to promote your business and engage with your audience, you are at the discretion of that platform as to what you can do, who will see your posts, and, should they close up in the morning, so will that list of followers. The solution? Ensure you have a clear opt-in on your homepage (Nathalie Lussier’s PopupAlly is a great tool for WordPress users) and regularly engage with those subscribers via email. Including a free offering (such as an e-book) is also a great way to encourage sign-ups, but always ensure you are offering something of value that would truly benefit your target market. You can then promote this offering on social media but the intention is now to drive people back to your website.
3. Invest in your photos.
This next tip is less obvious but can really slow down your online growth if it is missed: your photos. Even if your budget is small, I cannot stress how important it is to have professional photos of either yourself, your products or business on your website. No matter how “kind” your friend is to offer to take photos of you with her new camera, investing in a photo shoot with an experienced professional is the key to making a strong first impression and establishing credibility with new web visitors.
4. Be clear.
Think of your website as your “online storefront.” Whenever a new web visitor stops by your website, you want to make it clear exactly what you want them to do. Without an obvious “next step” on your homepage, your visitors will either lose interest or be confused and leave. Avoid cluttering your homepage as well and focus on a clear call to action above the page fold. Doing this will take out the guess work and you are now no longer relying on your web visitors to scroll through your page.
Use these tips throughout your website and I know you will notice a difference not only in your conversions but also the genuine connection you are making with your audience. While there is no “magic solution,” by knowing your website’s purpose and being clear, you will make the process so much easier and enjoyable for your web visitors.
Instagram is working on a new messaging app
Rivaling Snapchat, Threads will enable users to automatically share their location, movements, and battery life with their IG ‘close friends’ list
Now Facebook is a wasteland for your racist aunt and high school friends’ wedding photos, the platform is determined to maintain its social media stronghold via Instagram and WhatsApp (sorry, ‘Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook’). Its latest venture? A new messaging app called Threads.
As reported by The Verge, Threads will be a companion app to Instagram, promoting constant sharing between users and their IG ‘close friends’ list. The app will enable people to automatically share their location, movements, and battery life with each other, as well as send text, photo, and video messages.
The development could be seen as another attempt to rival Snapchat – which already lets users share their location – following Instagram’s introduction of Stories three years ago.
Instagram has been trying to develop the messaging side of its app since late 2017 when the company started working on Direct, a standalone camera-first app exclusively for DMs. The platform ceased work in May this year after research revealed users found it frustrating to switch apps when they wanted to send a message – although this is exactly what happened with Facebook Messenger in 2016.
Screenshots acquired by The Verge show that users have the option to switch on automatic sharing, but are also able to update their statuses manually. Although Threads encourages friends to share their location with one another, it will reportedly show updates like ‘on the move’, rather than a real-time location.
The app’s main feed will show all messages, as well as friends’ updates and active status, and will allow users to watch their close friends’ IG stories as opposed to having to go back to Instagram to view them.
This announcement comes after a number of updates to the platform, including the removal of likes, an anti-bullying feature, and a tool to report fake news. Although, there’s currently no launch date for Threads, and given Instagram’s history with fucked-up trials, it may never even materialise.
Massive change coming to WhatsApp with introduction of ads
WhatsApp will see a massive change by 2020 with the introduction of adverts into the instant messaging app.
It’s been rumoured for a while and now WhatsApp looks set to finally bring adverts to its popular messaging app.
The Facebook-owned firm revealed the news during its annual Marking Summit in the Netherlands, with a rollout expected next year.
Photos of the way these new adverts will look have even been posted online with attendee Olivier Ponteville, giving fans a closer look at what’s to come.
The image, which can be seen on Twitter, shows how ads currently appear on Facebook and Instagram with a WhatsApp screenshot then revealed with a full-screen advert.
According to technology website BGR, once the message appears users will be able to “swipe up when an ad appears for more information about the product or service being advertised.”
Adverts in WhatsApp have been spoken about for a while but this is the first evidence that things are changing within the popular service.
How fans react is yet to been seen but it’s unlikely to go down well with its billions of users.
The bad news is that it seems there’s nothing that can be done to stop this new feature from arriving within the app.
It seems almost certain that there will be no way to switch them off or hide these paid-for messages which may prove to be hugely irritating.
Facebook Messenger finally adds quoted replies
Today Facebook Messenger has added a sorely missing feature – quoted replies. This allows you to reply to a specific message in a conversation, and is incredibly helpful when you’re engaged in chats that have a big range of topics. Using the new feature, the people you’re talking to will now know exactly what you were replying to with that “LOL”, for example.
This has been a feature in WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, for a very long time, and it’s always been sort of a baffling omission in Messenger. So it’s good to finally see it there too.
In order to quote a specific message, long tap on it and you’ll see a new Reply button to the right of the reaction emojis. Tap that, write your reply, and, just like in WhatsApp, the message you’re replying to will appear above your reply. Easy. This potentially means you’ll have less misunderstandings with your friends as to which message was referencing what.
The feature is rolling out now on both iOS and Android.
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