Social media is about connecting. One of my pet peeves is for business websites to have social media icons to various platforms, but they have not updated them for months or sometimes years.
My rule is, if you are not using it – lose it!
We all have our favorite social media accounts to use and some of us will use more than others, but if you are going to have the icon on your website, you should try to do one update a week and at the minimum of once a month. If you cannot keep on top of that consider farming out your social media updates to an employee or contactor.
When you are operating in a competitive market, social media interaction may be the one thing that helps differentiate you from your competitors. Especially if you are providing value to users in the things you are doing on social media.
It does not have to be difficult to keep your platforms updated. You can use an application like Hootsuite or Sendible to schedule, repeat, and save updates to reuse. In fact with Hootsuite, you can even send the same update to multiple profiles with one click.
Seems simple, just install code and you’ve got a chat app. But not so fast. I am finding out from personal experience that not all chat apps are alike.
I started out with Drift and still have that chat app on my website. What I found as I used the app was it slowed my website to a crawl for load time. I think much of this is the code is installed in the head tag as instructions state, but may be better installed before the ending body tag </body>.
What is happening on my site is the page is taking so long to load and the navigation does not operate until the chat app function appears – I consider this very bad. Drift must have made a code change to the asynchronous code recently as the page load time was not an issue before but started about two weeks ago. As a result I have been actively looking for a website chat app replacement.
I have tried three Tawk.to, MyLiveChat, and now Pure Chat. I am using Pure Chat on my website right now and so far I do like the free version. What I consider important for a website chat app are the following:
Easy to install
Able to configure colors
Has a rock solid mobile app
Does not impact page load speed
So far Tawk.To and My Live Chat were too complicated for my needs and cumbersome to use. Pure Chat has easy set up and I do like the mobile app which is simple to use.
Here are a few web video tips you may find helpful as you consider if you are ready to expand your video postings on your website.
Google loves it when a site uses YouTube for videos, but customers hate putting web videos on YouTube due to the ad overlays.
I recently ran into an issue where we were putting a video on the home page of a website in a key position that is the very first thing any visitor will see. Once loaded to YouTube and embedded in the website my first reaction was URGH look at those ads mid-stream and at the end of the video that stay up obscuring my clients work.
There are two things that you can do to prevent ads on your videos. 1.) Turn off monetization in your YouTube account so ads do not appear on your videos. 2.) Use a free service like the Basic Vimeo account.
You can watch these videos for nice instructions on how to turn off ads in YouTube. It is a 2 step process. First turn off ads and then go into the info/settings of each video travel to the monetize section and turn off for each video. This video shows you how to turn off the pre-video ad in your channel settings. This is a nice video that explains the second process. What is important to know is that you are in control of the monetization of your own videos. But by default, it looks like if you don’t manually turn monetization off, Google will slap ads all over the start, middle and end of your video.
Alternatively you can use Vimeo. I like the interface and like that you can customize the player. The downside is that Google loves it’s owner properties. I see YouTube videos in the search results all the time, but would be hard pressed to say that I regularly see Vimeo videos in the search results.
The choice is yours which service you’ll use, but for now, I am actually using both.
If your business is pulling back where can you realistically chop in your marketing plan and not get hurt?
Social Media – if you are paying to update Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you could easily take a break to save money.
Blogging – try not to kill all your writing as the SEO juice you get from well-written blog posts helps you in the long run, but maybe consider moving from three days a week to two or from two days a week to one. Try to still keep the momentum up but maybe lower the word count or frequency.
Google AdWords – don’t touch it unless you absolutely have to. AdWords is hands down the best way to generate new leads and start cash pumping back into your business.
e-newsletters – they build loyalty and repeat business. Newsletters are especially important to businesses that have annual renewals for service plans like pest control firms and HVAC firms. If you chop this, your name is not kept in front of your customers and come time to renew, they may not see the value of renewing; which will hurt your sales even further.
I have been managing Google AdWords accounts for around thirteen years. This depth of experience has given me a unique point of view.
Here are a few nuggets to share with you on the topic of mobile.
1. Advertising in the mobile space has to be a part of your Google AdWords strategy. For some clients all leads will come in via mobile, for others just a part, and for some none.
2. If you are a lawyer, dentist, or a doctor where you have a mix of patient age groups, you will see strong activity in the mobile ad space and strong conversion activity there.
3. If your product or service deals with immediate decisions such as an animal emergency room your activity will be in the mobile ad space and nearly all of your lead conversions will be by phone.
4. Even if your business is tech software, know that although you may not get leads from mobile, early decision making and research is being done initially on mobile. It is better to control your ad spend on mobile in that case instead of totally moving out of mobile.
5. There is no single combination of what works best for businesses in mobile at this time and there does not seem to be one pattern of behavior that is repeated across diverse industries. What I have definitely seen is that mobile should be a very important part of every AdWords program.
My philosophy on blog writing is that it is only “content” if you are not using a keyword targeted strategy. But, that is truthfully not enough. If you are blogging but never know your placement, how can you know if you are improving and for that matter how can you know you have selected the “right” keywords to focus on.
Here’s where our optional specialized SEO reporting takes our blogging writing services from solely content creation to a content and SEO strategy.
In addition to blogging, we offer an add-on reporting component. We sell seats in our reporting interface that when tied in with our blog writing services and SEO consulting, give us a metric to measure our activity against.
When you are ready to move your blog writing services to a SEO-driven focus, call us at McCord Web Services. You’ll get great blog content PLUS a real SEO focus and strategy.