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Strategies

3 Strategies to Follow When Your Site is Failing

It’s frustrating when your website isn’t succeeding in fulfilling its objective. At times, it can be unclear what the bottleneck is. I’ve concluded that having a fresh pair of eyes to go through your design and using web metrics are the best ways to pinpoint weak spots that hold back a website’s potential.

Here are 3 strategies you should consider if your website is struggling. We’ll cover:

  • Web analytics and split testing
  • In-person testing
  • Simplifying your sales process

If possible, implement these strategies ahead of time before you run into any issues. I’m going to cover why these strategies are effective and what they are good at resolving.

 

1. Analytics and Split Testing

If you don’t know when or where your users are leaving, then you’re missing ou; this is extremely unhelpful if you are selling something.

Analytics will let you see the average amount of time spent per page, and which page your customers are exiting your website from.

If a user views your website and leaves after visiting your homepage without going any further, then you know exactly what to change. If they are spending an excessive amount of time navigating through simple parts of your sales process, then you know something may be wrong, and you should address it.

AB split testing…is particularly good at resolving weak points on your website where visitors are…changing their minds

Depending on which page of your website they are on, you may want them spending more or less time on it. An abnormally high amount of users abandoning their shopping cart might mean your checkout isn’t providing the user with a positive experience.

AB split testing refers to displaying different versions of the same page to different visitors. It is particularly good at resolving weak points on your website where visitors are leaving or changing their minds about going ahead with what you want them to (e.g. buying a product).

Let’s say we have 2000 page visitors, and 70% are leaving immediately from the landing page, and 600 are proceeding forward (30% click-through rate). Instead of presenting one landing page to all visitors, we display two landing pages and show one landing page to half the visitors, and the second landing page to the other half.

We make some changes to the original landing page and send some of the users to the new version and some to the original version. We do this to see if the new landing page will have a better click-through than the original, 30%.

A quick example for a skydiving company: Group A visitors see ‘Book’ in a smaller sized button, whereas Group B visitors see ‘Skydive NOW!’ in a larger sized button. If the ‘Skydive NOW!’ button improves the number of bookings the site receives, we could consider using Group B as the new control and further work on optimising the booking page, perhaps by creating a modification in which ‘Skydive NOW!’ has a different color scheme or is placed in a different position on the page.

This could be a minor re-design, such as changing the color of a button, to something more enticing, or a major re-design.

You can also display more than two versions of a page simultaneously, making multiple modifications, displaying three or more versions to different users. In this case, we would have the original version, A, and two or more modified pages B, C … so on. This can make split testing quicker by immediately testing multiple possibilities but it adds complexity to the process.

 

2. In-Person Testing

In-person, or remote testing, is a strategy in which you recruit a user to test your website by undertaking various tasks e.g., Buy a specific product and ship it to your home, or find some specific information on your website.

This should be done regularly during the web building process as by doing so when you launch your website, you might uncover major or recurring problems that could have been prevented. If you do it in early development stages, you can use the information from the test to plan before you start building things that don’t work!

If your website is already live and you overlooked testing beforehand, it’s not too late

If your website is already live and you overlooked testing beforehand, it’s not too late. You can still employ a handful of individuals to test it now.

In-person testing is typically done where you supervise an individual and instruct them to carry out certain tasks and take note of how they are navigating your website by seeing the way they browse the page and/or move their mouse. Ask them to think out loud. You should also ask them why they selected that option over another, what they liked about a particular feature, etc. 



If you already know which areas of your website need to be worked on, but you’re unsure of how to improve on it, you could ask your tester for specific insight.

I typically choose three users for testing, as it’s quick, easy, cheap, and manages to uncover lots of flaws I may have overlooked. Having more users testing the website can be beneficial, but typically most users end up pointing out the same weaknesses.

This is an effective strategy because having a handful of people test your website is like having someone read over your writing. You may not pick up on your own mistakes, but someone else will. It’s also important to note that the way (you), a web-designer browses the web is different from how the average person browses the web. You may have a perfect understanding of what is happening on your website because you created it. Still, someone who is using it for the first time won’t have the same knowledge and experience as you and will try to undertake tasks in the simplest, most intuitive way.

Remote testing is the same principle as in-person testing but executed remotely. This may save you the hassle of meeting up, but might mean that you need to use software (such as a camcorder) to monitor their browsing, along with voice or video calling, to discuss the process with them.

 

3. Simplifying Your Sales Process

Are you taking care of your customers and guiding them through their purchases?

What happens after your user lands on your website? Is there a good value proposition (product, service, or information that is appealing) compelling them to purchase?

Excellent, now you need to make sure the process is transparent and straightforward.

Be upfront about any extra fees or shipping costs. Let them know how long shipping may take. Customers want to feel like they can trust you.

Customers want to feel like they can trust you

Write out an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) addressing common concerns a potential customer may have. E.g., Let’s say I’m buying a dual SIM mobile (two sim cards, one mobile), I want to know which country the product is from, I want to know about the warranty, I may especially want to know details about the phone will store numbers from different cards.

Have an FAQ section addressing general sales questions and a product-specific FAQ. Along with that, address the product specifications and show high-quality photos or videos.

When the customer is satisfied with what they’ve selected, make the checkout process easy. Allow guest checkout if it’s a suitable option for your website. 

Show your customers you care about them and create reasons for them to want to share your website and products. Once you’ve made your sale, send them a follow-up email or little thank you. This will lead to more engagement and a repeat customer. Remember, selling a product isn’t the end goal. Making someone become a lifelong customer is, and you need to facilitate that.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.



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6 Monetization Strategies Used by Pros

While anyone can enjoy uploading videos to YouTube for fun, the time might come when you want to actually earn an income from your content. If you’re thinking about spending serious time on your channel, you’ve probably wondered how to make money on YouTube.

The truth is that very few people will earn millions of dollars on YouTube. However, as a YouTuber, you have several options for monetizing your content. Let’s take a look at how to make money on YouTube by listing the most popular methods.

1. Advertising

Like most free services, YouTube is powered by advertising (unless you pay for YouTube Premium


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). Before you watch most videos, and sometimes in the middle of longer ones, you’ll have to watch a short ad. Some of the money from this goes to the channel, and the rest goes to YouTube itself.

YouTube has certain guidelines for when your channel is eligible for monetization (meaning ads show on your videos). At the time of writing, YouTube requires a channel to have 4,000 watch hours in the prior 12 months, plus 1,000 subscribers, for monetization. See the YouTube Partner Program overview page for more details.

This means you won’t be able to make money from ads until you start building a fanbase. When eligible, you’ll want to visit your Creator Studio, then click the Channel tab on the left. Under Status and Features, select Enable under Monetization to get started.

From there, you’ll need to link your AdSense account, choose what types of ads you’d like on your videos, and go through a review.

Unfortunately, there’s no simple formula for how much you can make through ads. It depends on how many people watch the full ad, how many viewers use an ad-blocker, and other factors. In addition, YouTube has experienced a lot of problems in the past few years with advertisers pulling their ads from the platform. This has led to the site demonetizing videos for a variety of reasons.

Overall, this means that when you’re starting out, ad revenue is not guaranteed. To deal with YouTube’s monetization issues


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, many creators are looking at other methods to make money on YouTube.

2. Product Placements

Product placement is an age-old advertising technique that’s common in TV shows and movies, and works for making money off YouTube as well. It essentially boils down to using specific brands in order to promote them. For example, a movie from Sony Pictures may include someone playing a PlayStation on a Sony TV.

On your YouTube channel, you may be able to strike a product placement deal with a company that’s relevant to the kind of content you produce. Of course, you’ll likely need to build a following before a brand will want to advertise with you.

The product placement doesn’t have to be the entire focus of your video—just part of it. Mentioning or using a brand in your video in a natural way is all that’s required. The Rhett and Link video embedded above is an example of product placement done well, as the music video stands on its own aside from the Buick promotion.

This is a solid advertising tactic because people can’t skip it. Additionally, viewers often feel a connection with their favorite content creators. This lends more authenticity to your recommendations, but you have to take care that this doesn’t backfire.

If you don’t make it clear that you’ve been paid for the promotion, or don’t actually like the product you’re reviewing, it could negatively affect your viewers’ opinion of you. Thankfully, YouTube includes a checkbox that lets people know a video contains sponsored content.

3. Sponsored Videos

Sponsored videos are similar to product placement, but with a few key differences. While product placement involves integrating a brand into an existing video, a sponsored video is entirely based around a brand.

If you run a gaming channel (one of the most popular types of YouTube channels


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) for instance, a developer might approach you to make a video about its game. Since you likely wouldn’t have played this game otherwise, you’ll let your viewers know that the developer paid you to make the video.

Sponsorships come in less drastic forms, too. Many YouTubers include a short sponsor message at the start of their videos. This is essentially a quick advertisement for a brand that’s separate from YouTube ads. Sometimes, these include a discount code for viewers to save a bit of money if they sign up for the service.

Like product placement, sponsored videos are a good alternative for making money, but you should be careful with them. If you don’t come across as genuine, your audience might find these videos in poor taste. Thus, you should try to avoid advertising sponsored content you’ve never actually used or don’t endorse.

4. Affiliate Links

You’ve probably heard of affiliate links, as many websites use affiliates to make money. Basically, affiliate links allow you to create a unique URL to a website. When anyone follows that link and buys a product, you get a small percentage of the sale.

These are pretty easy to set up, and don’t require sponsorship deals from brands. If you talk about a certain product in your video, you can include an affiliate link to its Amazon page in the description. Or you could add an affiliate link for services like Audible, where you’ll make some money if someone decides to sign up.

Affiliate links are a good passive source of income. After all, if someone is going to buy a product anyway, it doesn’t make any difference to them if they buy it through your affiliate link. Like the other methods, it’s a good idea to clearly disclose when you include affiliate links to your audience.

5. Fan Funding/Subscriptions

Many have turned to fan funding as an alternative way to make money. This involves joining a service like Patreon or SubscribeStar that lets fans donate some money each month to support their favorite channels.

Most creators who use a service like this offer tiers of rewards in exchange for their fans’ support. You might list their names at the end of each video, host a video chat with them every month, or provide behind-the-scenes clips. It’s a great way to connect the biggest fans with their favorite channels, and provides a fairly steady form of revenue not reliant on ads.

YouTube now offers its own way to do this through the Channel Membership feature. Once your channel meets certain guidelines, you can allow viewers to sponsor you monthly through YouTube in exchange for a few perks. It’s up to you if you’d rather do this on or off YouTube.

If you livestream on your channel, you can also use the Super Chat feature. This allows viewers to donate money in exchange for highlighting their message for a time during a stream.

6. Selling Merchandise

Another monetization option is creating merchandise to sell to your fans. Websites like TeePublic let you create custom designs for T-shirts, wall art, mugs, and more. Many creators offer designs featuring popular catchphrases, jokes, or art from their videos.

Once you’ve created some cool designs, let viewers know about them in a few videos. Include a link to your merchandise page in video descriptions, and anyone who’s interested can support you and get some cool swag at the same time.

Now You Know How to Make Money on YouTube

While you have many monetization options available to you, remember that making money from YouTube is not easy. You’ll have to produce quality content for some time in order to build the viewership required for ads, sponsorships, and more.

If you’re just starting out, focus on making awesome videos and do what you can to make YouTube a better place


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. And hopefully, over time, your audience will come. You can then look deeper into these monetization options once your channel becomes more popular.

Explore more about: Make Money Online, Online Advertising, Online Video, YouTube.



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10 Simple Strategies for Successful Content Marketing

Whether you are an established brand or a startup, content marketing is one thing you should be thinking about. In fact, 98% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are advocating for the trend and their reasoning is simple; it works.

In recent years, many startup founders have talked about how sales of their products skyrocketed after being featured in popular websites like Techcrunch and Business Insider. So, without beating around the bush, here are ten content marketing strategies that will propel your business to the next level:

 

1. Make it Short

While you can be proud of the long-form articles your team produces, the reality is that most people prefer short-form articles. In fact, according to research, most people prefer articles to be 1000-words and less. Another report found that readers spend about 15 seconds or less. This is because your readers have a short attention span and are on the look-out for the next interesting thing to read.

 

2. Use Visuals

As a follow-up to the first point, most people prefer quality visuals in the content. These visuals could be infographics, quality images, or video. The reasoning behind this is simple: When you visit a website, what do you look at first? Is it the sea of the words or the graphics on the site? The visuals have another advantage: They help in optimizing your content for search engines.

 

3. Keep Content Light

As a content manager, you might be proud of the formal content you produce. The truth is that readers are more interested in content that is formal but written in a fun, light way. Make the paragraphs short and add informal words. Doing this will make the content fun to read and more shareable.

 

4. Optimize Content for Search

As you write, remember that you are targeting people and search engines as well. Most people find your content by searching using the search engines. Therefore, you should ensure that your content is optimized for all the search engines. A few things that will help you in this are: Having a specific keyword in mind, having the keyword on the title and in the body of the article, and attributing all the visuals used in the article.

 

5. Write to go Viral

As a content marketer, your content should not be the same. Some of your content is not intended to go viral, and that is fine. At the same time, you should not be afraid of producing some written and visual content that is targeted to go viral. In the past few years, we have seen many companies move from zero sales to millions of dollars because of the viral content. A good example is Dollar Shave Club, a company that made millions of dollars from a simple YouTube ad.

 

6. Go Where Your Viewers Are

A common mistake we see with content marketers is to think that content is all about a blog. While a blog is essential, the reality is that it is not the end. A good way to approach content is to go where you are likely to find readers. In this, you should incorporate other mediums, where you are likely to find readers. These include tools like Medium, Facebook, Tik Tok, and Snapchat.

 

7. Quality Over Quantity

Another mistake we see marketers make is to focus on quantity of content over the quality. We see this all the time on social media where content marketers push hundreds of posts every day. When you focus on quantity, there is a likelihood that the quality of your work will decrease. If the quality decreases, the audience will keep on going down. Therefore, you are better-off, publishing new quality content once a week rather than low-quality content numerous times.

 

8. Focus on Your Niche

As a content manager, you are better-off focusing on a small niche than trying to conquer the world with your content. When you produce very wide content, there is a likelihood that fewer people will see it. This is because very popular niches have experts ready. A solution is to focus on you niche and a specific location. For example, as a Cyprus-based SEO company, we could have focused on getting clients from around the world but we decided to optimize our website for our country. Today, our website appears on the first page of Google when you search for our services in Cyprus.

 

9. Analyze, Analyze, Analyze

As a content manager, it is important for you to analyze every piece of content that you submit. By doing this, you will see how the different type of content performs for you. In fact, many CMOs are now using the various data analysis tools to evaluate the returns of all their content. There are many analysis tools that are available to you, mostly for free. For example, with Google Analytics, you can see the number of people who read your article or watch your video. Other tools will tell you where the traffic to the content came from, and the time you attract a large audience. Without in-depth analytics, your content marketing approach will be a costly waste of time.

 

10. Use Freelancers and Influencers

To attract a large audience at a fair price, you should invest in freelancers and influencers. In fact, more than 55% of companies in the US use freelancers for their content needs. A large number of others use influencers in the industry. Recently, we have seen a number of companies move from zero to be worth millions of dollars because of their partnerships with influencers. A good example of this is OnePlus, the Chinese company that is one of the fastest-growing smartphone brand by using influencers.

If you are just starting to implement content marketing or if you have been seeing wavering returns, we believe that these strategies will be a good starting point. They are not the end. As you will realize, content marketing is a journey.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.



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