Category Archives: Tips

Introducing Our Summer Intern, William McCord

William McCord, Our Summer Intern
William McCord, Our Summer Intern

William McCord, my 20 year old son, has joined the firm for the summer in a Computer Science internship.

William is a rising Junior in Computer Science with an interest in programming, GIS, and cyber security at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

With a passion for computer programming, he is already helping to implement and tweak complex scripts for AdWords account management as well as fine-tuning his HTML and CSS skills for website design.

This summer, he will be focusing on WordPress management, site design customization, website security, mobile-friendly e-newsletters, and AdWords script programming.

He is a incredibly fast learner, innovative, and a hard worker. We are excited to welcome him into our office.

The Trouble with Travel

The Trouble with Travel is Staying Connected.
The Trouble with Travel is Staying Connected.

Travel, it’s fun and exciting, but the trouble with travel is that internet and phone connectivity can bring your business to a halt fast!

Here’s How I Handle the Trouble with Travel

  1. Be prepared.
  2. Stay powered up with portable power packs.
  3. Make sure you have a mobile phone Travel Pass.
  4. Review connectivity in your destinations.
  5. Be prepared to pay for Internet access at hotels.
  6. Get your files into the cloud for easy access.
  7. Have an answering service or staff for backup.
  8. Don’t take on any work that has deadlines close to your trip.
  9. Take a tablet and a smartphone. No need for a laptop.
  10. Create a customer care plan in your absence.

I have personally found that US travel is easier for me than international travel, but with the right tools and expectations, international travel can also be managed easily enough.

Internet connectivity does allow me to work anywhere in the world, but all Internet connections and data networks are NOT equal. I try to keep things I really need to be connected to for an hour each night at the hotel purchasing hi-speed Internet access. I use data for quick responses to emails with my smartphone through out the day.

The more you travel, the better you get at managing what you can do and what you’d better defer to your return home.

If you have your own travel tips you live by, share them by clicking comments.

 

Site Chat = Leads + Sales

Online Site Chat Let's You Connect Immediately.
Online Site Chat Let’s You Connect Immediately.

Site chat apps do generate leads which do turn into sales.  I am a living testimony to that. Since I have installed the Drift app, which is an online chat app, I have had about 5 chats, some just about questions but two about services. One moved into contract and has spent about $4,000 for my services.

I’d say that having the chat function on my website has been good for business. What’s even better is that I am always on, but do not always enter a response immediately to a chat. Even with a live chat function, you can have weekends and a real life. Your business does not need to own you.

I do feel that my prospects do like the friendliness and immediacy of  live chat. The paid version of Drift, which I am using as a free version, does has an automated bot that fills in the gaps with responses which is nice and I may upgrade to it if I get more big sales.

I find that the really serious clients start out on the chat app but then move readily to email and then to phone calls. The client that found me via my online site chat closed in less than one week.

So, if you are looking for more sales, I do recommend installing on your website an online chat function. Drift is just one of them to consider, but there are others.

What to Do About a High Bounce Rate Part Two

High Bounce Rate – Continued from Monday April 3, 2017.

Google Partner Badge
McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

Dealing with a high bounce rate on your website? Here are my recommendations for what to do to try to solve the problem.

 

First, don’t get spun up. Not every page needs to have a low bounce rate of 40% to 65%. I have found that blog posts and informational articles, which may be driving traffic to your website, may also have a high bounce rate.

If this is the case, I recommend the following actions:

Put the page to work for you. Feature your newsletter subscription link, video links, and even AdSense advertising ads on those high traffic, yet high bounce rate pages. Understand that they are doorways into your site and work to market your own site on these pages with banners, icons, and interactivity like video embeds.

Second, if you have content and service pages that are really meaningful to your business and they have a bounce rate in the high 70%’s, I would tag them for a content review.

If this is the case, I recommend the following actions:

Review your meta tags, you may be getting traffic that is not targeted to your page content. Review your meta title and meta description tags. Do they make sense based on the content of the page? Should they be updated to be more reflective of what the reader will find when they click in?

Review your page content with a careful eye for detail. Are you supplying content that is engaging or just supplying information. Do you have a call to action on the page, do you have links to your contact form, are you using an app like Drift to get the person online chatting with you, are you addressing a pain point and supplying solutions with related information on other pages drawing the reader in farther to your content?

Are you driving untargeted Google AdWords traffic to your page and paying for a click where what you are offering on your page does not match keywords that are being triggered? As AdWords experts find out more about our programs to solve this issue.

We offer professional by the hour content consulting and website content writing services. I invite you to visit my website to learn more about how we can help you to lower a high bounce rate on your website.

What to Do About a High Bounce Rate Part One

Bounce rate is determined to be high if it is over 75%, however there can be acceptable reasons for a high bounce rate, but a high bounce rate does  require careful review.

What is the Bounce Rate?

What's your page bounce rate? Is it too high?
What’s your page bounce rate? Is it too high?

The bounce rate is recorded for you in Google Analytics by page in the Behavior section > Site Content section, and as a site average on the overview page.

 

Several years ago the average and target bounce rate for a good website was 46.9%. Now with more users on mobile devices, the bounce rate has skyrocketed.

Google states that this drastic change to bounce rate is due in part to the fact that mobile users may start a search on your site and move to a desktop to finish up a review or purchase. Page views have also decreased in this same time period from over 3 or so pages viewed per session to now about 1.5 pages per session – all driven by mobile activity.

Identifying a High Bounce Rate

To address a website’s high bounce rate, knowledge is power.  First, it is important to understand what causes a high bounce rate.

  1. You’ll get a high bounce rate if the page content does not engage the reader. This is a good flag to review your page and consider additions, video, additional links to other information.
  2. You’ll get a high bounce rate if the content is not what the reader was looking for. This is a good flag to review your content, your meta tags, and your paid advertising.
  3. You’ll get a high bounce rate if you supplied the content the reader wanted and they had no need to go further. It is not uncommon to see how bounce rates on articles and blog posts.

What Should You Do Next?

You’ll want to look at the pages that have a high bounce rate score and identify if changes should be done to the content. Check out my Wednesday post this week for the continuation of this article.

 

Drift – Much More Than a Messaging App – Part Two

Continued from Wednesday.

The Drift messaging app for websites is on target with my needs.
The Drift messaging app for websites is on target with my needs.

Implementation of the Drift code on my website, to enable clients to use the app, took under five minutes, as I use header includes.

As I have tested out the application, I have found that it sends emails to the user to remind them of their appointment with you and also saves their email in the Drift application.

So, my concern with getting the prospect’s phone number in the initial conversation with the bot is moot. As the appointment approaches, I  can directly contact the client and make calling arrangements on my own. I can even communicate using the email link for appointment confirmation via the Drift app to ask for the phone number.

Drift has a mobile app which allows you to respond to website messages while you are out of the office and on the go. Talk about instant communication!

Once the appointment is scheduled by the prospect, within seconds the appointment appeared in my own Google Calendar. I was even able to select my own Google category for incoming calls so they would be marked and colored properly in my calendar.

I have to say that the Drift app has some very nice new features that I have not seen before in other calendaring or messaging apps. I do like some of the automation features and the ability to interact with prospects immediately when they really have a question while they are sitting on my website.

I do recommend that you check out the free version of Drift. At the very minimum, you will have a really nice website chat app and if you upgrade, you will get some really nice features that are unique to Drift – like the bot, team settings, and auto response functions.