How to Create Sign-Up and Contact Forms That Win Customers at High Rates

Believe it or not, there is a science to contact and sign-up forms. Assuming everything else on your website is the same, you can get dramatically more (or less) customers depending on the design of your sign-up or contact form.

So what should you do or not do?

Well, it depends on your goals.

If you want to talk to as many customers as possible, for example, you make your form fast and easy to fill out. You use the fewest fields possible.

But, perhaps you want to talk to more of a certain kind of customer. This would most likely be the case for more business-to-business companies. Then, you make your form longer and include more fields.

Not only do you understand more about your customer, but only customers who really have a stronger interest in what you have will actually take the time to fill out the form.

So, you spend more of your time talking to the right kind of customer rather than weeding through and trying to find the one you want.

Let’s talk about some of the specifics:

  1. Less than 5 fields = more customers

Forms with fewer than 5 fields to fill out result in a nearly 20% conversion rate. If you’re business-to-consumer, cut your form to fewer than 5 fields.

  1. Offer Rewards for Signing Up

This works for both business and consumer customers. The incentive may vary, but the concept works.

In both cases, those who join your email list will become your best customers. Only people and businesses who really love what you do join.

In other words, lists are a reliable source of recurring profit (usually for years to come).

For consumers, you may offer a 10% discount on their next purchase, or free shipping. For businesses, you might offer content with exclusive data or a guide on how to get more value from your products or services.

With incentives, there’s actually dozens of approaches. And you never know which one works best until you test and compare.

What does not work is saying,”Subscribe to our blog!” or “Join our email list!” Neither motivates your website visitors in any way.

  1. Make Sure Your Form Allows Autofill

Regardless of the length of your form, the customer doesn’t want to waste their precious time filling out their information if they don’t have to.

Do you know how many times they do this a day?

So, make sure your form allows the browser to autofill information. It’s a small thing.

And in fact, all these suggestions are small. But paying attention to the small stuff makes a big difference with forms and the business you win from them.

How to Manage Your Brand’s Reputation Online

Your company has a reputation online. It works differently than in the real world. But, you can legitimately quantify your company’s name online.

You have all the review sites. Facebook lets users review your company. There’s all sorts of independent/niche review sites beyond the big names you know. You have what people say on Twitter and other social media sites.

Good (and bad) word about your company spreads fast. And of course, the actions online users take factor into how your site ranks.

So how do you stay on top of what people have to say about you?

Here’s how:

  1. Keep Running A Customer-First Business

You sow what you reap. Take care of your customers in the real world, and they’ll take care of you – online and off.

There is a huge benefit to frequent negative online reviews: you can find out about problems in your business fast. Before the internet, you had to wait for a customer brave enough to be honest…or until you reviewed your financials.

And there’s another huge benefit to poor reviews: you can quickly turn them into a huge win. Fix the problem publicly by telling the user how you’ll remedy the situation. That way, other users can see you care.

And when you have solved the situation to their liking, ask them to update their review of you. That scores huge points with other readers of the review because they now have the confidence you care about every single one of your customers.

  1. Earn Positive Reviews

Not all negative reviews can be corrected. Unfortunately, some customers just won’t follow through.

So your next best bet lies in earning positive reviews. Learn, from your customer’s perspective, what an exceptional service experience is like in your niche. Even ask your customers outright,”What could we do to deliver you a truly exceptional experience today?”

Then, follow up with them by email and give them direct links to the sites you want to land reviews on.

Follow up a couple times.

Those positive reviews will eventually bury anything negative anyone has to say about you. And assuming you change what led to those negative reviews, your reputation will only improve.

  1. Use Reputation Monitoring Software

Trying to monitor your reputation across all these different websites can be an exhausting nightmare.

No worry…software can come to the rescue! Top tools like Grade.us and ReviewTrackers centralize the tracking of your online reputation. At some point, for every business, it becomes impossible to do it on your own.

Try not to view monitoring and managing your online reputation as a pain-in-the-keister. Because, positive reviews, and fixed negative ones, help you attract higher rankings and more customers.

What you do always comes back to you. And now you know how to make sure good comes back your company as you manage your online reputation.

How B2B Buyers and Decision Makers Engage with Content

B2B types are savvy, well-researched individuals. But the face of who makes buying decisions is changing.

Millenials are now gaining a strong role in the decision-making process. Some are the decision makers. And many do the research which later gets presented to all involved in the process.

So, as research happens, how does it actually occur? What should you do to make sure you garner interest?

Here’s some tips to guide your content creation:

  1. Write About Technology

Research has proven technology is the single most popular topic consumed by online B2B buyers.

It’s what they want to know. So give it to them. Show buyers how your company uses technology to deliver additional value your competitors don’t offer.

What if you don’t have any great technological advancements on the horizon?

No worries. Discuss industry updates and future trends. Your content doesn’t need to be about you. It simply has to be useful.

  1. How to Maximize Social Media Effectiveness

Consumers browse through social media aimlessly, not looking for anything in particular. They really want to find something of interest, but they’re not even sure what that might be.

B2B buyers’ minds work differently.

They look for something useful and actionable. And they use LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to find it. They use other social media too. But your time and money are best spent on these social media channels.

  1. Email Marketing Still Works

You’d think B2B buyers get so many daily emails that they go nuts and probably don’t really care for email communication.

It’s partially true. They do get a lot of email. Around 120 emails daily.

However, 77% of B2B buyers still maintain they prefer email communication.

It’s the right way to contact them. So, they key lies in standing out.

That means learning how to write subject lines and message bodies that immediately capture interest.

  1. You Do Need Proper Optimization

Yes. Just like consumers, B2B buyers also use Google searches to find products and services they need.

71% of B2B buyers begin their research with a generic Google search.

So, you need to be found. And you must have an interesting, valuable search listing that’s worth clicking on.

That’s a brief overview of how B2B buyers engage with content. Now it’s up to you to give them an experience so valuable it would be stupid for them not to choose you!

The Future of Negative SEO Attacks

You’ve heard us talk about negative SEO before. Basically, it’s an active attempt on your competitor’s part to completely ruin your search rankings.

Yes, they can do that. And they can get away with it. But that doesn’t mean you have to live your life in fear that your whole business could disappear in an instant.

It simply means you have to be alert, have an SEO on your side who knows how to monitor this, and take prudent action should the problem ever arise. You can stop your competitors if you find yourself a target of negative SEO.

Here’s what dishonest competitors may do:

  1. Link from Known Bad Websites

Popular link analysis tools make bad websites a part of their available data. They don’t do it for the bad guys. They do it for the good guys so they know where not to link and when to act should a bad link appear.

However, as with anything, some use it for good purposes, while others use it for dishonest purposes.

Fortunately, you can tell Google to ignore those links when calculating rankings. That’s not a simple process. But you can do it.

  1. Fake or Anonymous Press Releases

This one hasn’t actually gained a lot of steam yet. Google has devalued links coming from press releases because SEOs have abused them to generate positive links in the past.

However, it wouldn’t be hard for a competitor to make up a phony news story to damage your reputation, and also to drive poor-quality links to your site.

  1. Duplicating Content

This one’s an oldie but a goodie (for the bad guys). Competitors can set a proxy website (one that conceals their location/identity) to index, crawl, and then duplicate your website.

For now, Google remains fairly adept at understanding which website was the original and ranking that. However, this tactic’s power could improve as Google chooses to focus on brands and reputations versus URLs.

  1. Mass Manipulation of Third-Party Review Sites

These niche sites drive a significant amount of qualified traffic to your website. However, a competitor could pay a cheap service in a third-world country to register user accounts en masse which would then begin to inundate that site (and perhaps social media profiles too) with fraudulent negative reviews.

The success of this strategy relies on the third-party sites’ desire to monitor such reviews. They likely would have such an interest in doing so because sites that get overrun with these reviews would lose credibility with legitimate users. And that in turn would ruin their profitability.

I don’t write this post to scare you. But you do have to be aware of dangers like these (and others). And that’s why it’s important to have a SEO company watching your six.

 

 

Where Great Content Ideas Come From

How do some websites (perhaps your competitor’s) always seem to nail it with their content?

They have several comments and dozens of shares. Your SEO shows you the nice amount of backlinks they have.

…And it seems like this comes rather easily to other sites.

Meanwhile, you struggle along. And you don’t seem to get anywhere.

So how do you find those truly amazing, can’t-fail ideas?

Here’s how:

  1. Where Great Content Ideas Don’t Come From

First, understand how great ideas come about (usually). They don’t come from the author’s own head.

In other words, authors don’t simply sit around daydreaming, and then one magical moment they have this amazing idea, and BOOM! great content is born.

There is a bit of an exception to this. For example, some authors know their audience so well that they can accurately anticipate exactly what they will like. They’re kinda like the Steve Jobs of their niche: they know what their audience wants before their audience knows it.

…But that’s rare. And hard. It takes years of experience creating content to get that skill. And even then, authors don’t always succeed.

Remember the golden rule of content: there’s a huge difference between what your audience wants and what you think they want.

  1. Keep a Swipe File

What’s a “swipe file?”

It’s simply a list of all the various content ideas you have.

As soon as you come across an idea, however you come across it, and you think your audience would like it, write it down in your “swipe file.”

Also keep a note of how you found the idea.

Typically, you’ll have dozens or hundreds of ideas, while only a few will actually turn into content.

  1. The True Source of Great Content

Your audience, market, or customers, whatever you want to call them, are the most consistent source of great content ideas.

Think of ideas that come from your own mind as “home runs.” When one hits and does well, that’s awesome! But, you’re going to strike out a lot too.

When you get ideas from your audience, you’ll hit a much better average overall. More shares, links, and sales come in as a result.

To get ideas, just ask your customers what problems they have. What’s their greatest fear? What really makes them angry?

Study high-performing posts on your competitor’s blogs.

Think of the questions customers ask you over and over.

Those are solid, consistent ways to generate content ideas that hold your audience’s interest…and turn them into happy, paying customers.

You can sprinkle some of your own ideas in too to see how they work. Then, once you gather data of how well your audience likes those posts by measuring shares, links, bounce rate, and time on-page, you can begin to learn how to give them more of what they want.

As you get further into this process, you’ll find great content ideas all around you.

You won’t have nearly enough time to create them all.

But you will have a reliable, consistent system for generating posts that fascinate and drive sales.

Google Releases (Yet Another) Core Algorithm Update

 

Well, should you just throw your arms up in the air and pound your head against the wall?

Google’s at it again.

They released the major “Medic” update in August.

And now here in late September, they’ve released another core algorithm update.

This one doesn’t have a name yet.

And, it’s definitely not as widespread as the “Medic” update.

But, it’s still strong enough to catch the notice of many SEOs.

No details have yet been released on what the update does.

And to be honest, it really doesn’t matter. You can’t keep up with all of Google’s updates anyway. But, you can stick to the core principles Google wants to see so you won’t get hammered hard by any update.

Google Offers Nearly Unbelievable Advice to Sites Looking to Improve Rankings

In March, Google released a shocking Tweet about algorithm updates. They said this on March 12, 2018:

“There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

Wait a minute? What?

In other words, you’re not doing anything wrong. And you can still lose your rankings?

Yes.

You see, Google acts on what’s really a capitalist principle: the best, most popular pages get the highest treatment in its search rankings.

Over time, Google’s been working at making sure the truly greatest pages make it to the top of search.

So technically, you can be doing nothing wrong, but still lose ground in search.

How Should You Respond?

Well, Google’s trying to be as fair as possible. They want pages their searchers want to use at the top of their rankings because that keeps people using Google.

So, if someone’s beating you in search, you simply have to analyze their website and top it.

Because content quality is the most significant component of search rankings, spend most of your time figuring out how you can top their content.

Find the most popular sites centered around your topic and top their content…even if that means you cut your posting frequency from five times to one per month.

That one post could then generate shares, comments, and links and keep visitors reading for several minutes.

Those are the signals Google wants to see because they prove searchers like what you have to say.

And then you simply repeat and master the process like none of your competitors can.

Easy to say. Difficult to do.

But it’s certainly the key to success in search.

via GIPHY