How Site Evaluator Metrics Saves You Time and Money 

A website owner like you can be beset with various problems from day the day your website is up and running. This is because there are technological aspects of your business website that you have to be aware of when managing your online presence. Even though your content and images appeal easily to website visitors, there is a need to know if your business is faring well with competitors and if it is really patronized by many.

As we all know, a website is a huge investment in time, effort and money. Some small business owners hire the best teams to learn how the Internet can bring them good financial status as they know that they are not quite familiar with how several online processes work. These are people who are bent on taking back what they have cashed out the surest way possible.

With processes, we mean there is really an enormous list with which ordinary people are not familiar. So, if you are still trying to find out where you have gone amiss, then, most likely, you have been losing money already. You don’t need to panic. There are easy ways you can use to get your desired business outcome in time which requires effort and patience.

Why evaluating your website saves you time and money?

Website evaluation is the ultimate means of accelerating your online business success as it helps you understand why visitors are either flocking or fleeing your website. Fast Track’s Site Evaluator uses several metrics to evaluate your site’s ability to draw in people. If continually monitored and results are intelligently analyzed, your business is set to receive higher revenues using the shortest possible time.

Without knowing which way your site is going can be devastating to your purse that’s why Site Evaluator was developed to help you with this major issue.

Advantages of Using the Site Evaluator

There are several reasons why this website evaluator can make you save on time and money. It helps your business website the following:

Site Accessibility: There are sites that seem to deprive individuals who have disabilities like auditory or verbal, visual, neurological or cognitive deficiencies; include those who have temporary impediments as well. These people also like to visit websites to learn new technologies that can add to their knowledge. Using W3C and alternative text to create easy navigation would mean no visitor is lost and additional visitors for competing websites can be trimmed down.

Website Performance: A slow loading site drives away possible earning opportunities and creates negative impact on a company’s reputation. Images that are too big and placing unnecessary codes on the pages challenge the way your site behaves when clicked. If this happens, visitors are turned away just like turning away future revenues. Site Evaluator will tell you if there is a need to compress image sizes or weed out broken links.

Social Media Optimization: There are more than a couple of ways to improve your online presence and many have depended on social media to optimize their websites as well. But not all business owners know how they rate when it comes to this category. So, if you fail in this department, we would be the first ones to know. We will see to it that all social networking sites would partake of your content by means of integrating into your site all social networking buttons and see to it that there are no broken links.’

Site Availability: An ideal site responds to users at any time and that means continuous flow of business. Although no website can promise to cater to its users 24/7, Site Evaluator says being available for a little less than 100% is fair enough. We measure a site’s availability by means of the entire of number of days in a year it is on and by the web hosting company it is associated with. This guarantees good availability score for your online business.

Website Security: Security is imperative for a website so as to protect its users and to cultivate trust and loyalty. It also reinforces website rankings because if more users see that their information details are safe from hackers, more users will feel secure to share their information in your website forms.  This is paramount if you are an eCommerce site and requires users to fill in online payment forms. Greater customer trust means happy customers. Happy customers would likely mean repeat orders from you and/or refer you to their friends and families. 

Site Support: A website that has full customer support creates a more loyal audience. Customers expect their issues or even the simplest questions are addressed fast and easy. Several websites lack contact forms, chat support pop-ins or forums that can provide the right solutions anytime of the day. Site evaluator measures your site by means of feedback or communication between you and your customers.

Marketing Metric: As majority of websites that exist today function as marketing tools, there is a need to maximize effectiveness through the use of various industries’ best practices like creating active blogs and integration of social media among others. Site Evaluator assesses your marketing metrics via lead generation, mobile, SEO, blogging, and Social media scores. If you don’t have forums, blogs or RSS feeds, and most especially, an integrated social media, then, expect to get a low score on this category.

Search Engine Optimization: Websites that have good search engine rankings get the most number of viewers and customers alike.  Without effective keywords, descriptions or meta-tags, you can never compete with others who have this capability. Site Evaluator helps you see where your site is at and makes you know the difference between an entirely optimized site and one that is haphazardly done.

Site Usability: To optimize usability, your site must have a search function to make it easy-to-use and convenient for your visitors. This makes them find the right kind of product that you are selling or the type of service they are looking for. If not, possible buyers will tend to abandon your site and transfer to another that can offer them ease. Always remember that online competition is stiff and a flick of a finger can change the course of your website’s financial status. Our company can suggest ideas that may cause your business topple others after learning where you have committed a blunder.

As nothing comes for free these days, you can get a good bargain even though you’d pay more in getting the services of experts. But while not all experts are excellent in this field, we can assure you that all benefits will be yours once you have tried our Site Evaluator. We know how much you need this tool and we know that by helping you implement it on your site, you would come close to becoming a successful online business entrepreneur in the long haul. And what else? It’s totally FREE!

View User Profile for Crista McCandless Crista is a self-proclaimed geek who loves fiction, data analysis, growth hacking and everything Tolkien. At Fast Track, she helps businesses identify areas to improve and grow online with her ninja moves. She manages the digital strategy, including online marketing and search engine optimization. Follow her musings about world domination in Twitter as @crista_mcc.
Posted by Crista McCandless Monday, June 20, 2016 10:03:00 AM Categories: marketing tips Site Evaluator web trends

SMB Tips: 15 Social Media Mistakes Brands Need To Avoid 

Knowing what social media marketing is not enough. Understanding how it works is the main menu for your online success. Here's 15 social media mistakes some businesses tend to overlook and how you can avoid them.

Social Media Mistakes Brands Need To Avoid

If you’re a smart marketer, one strategy that you’re probably using to attract new customers is social media.  When done right, social media  becomes a means to connect and engage with targeted customers through sharing useful content, as well as information about your products or services.

However, there are still many businesses that just don't get it right when it comes to social media marketing. As a result, the incurred social media mistakes they've made become time-wasters, or worst, lost profit.

Below is a list of social media mistakes that you may be doing unknowingly:

(1) You have no plan

Before launching any tactic using social media, take a look at your objectives.. You should define your target audience, research your competition, select the right tools of the trade, and produce content before you post your first social media update. Without planning, you might end up appearing disorganized and unprepared.

(2) Going solo

If you have a business that needs a couple of people in order to work, it's the same with your social media campaigns. You don't have to have a separate team, but at least one or two people handling the tasks of strategizing, planning, creating content and design, promotion, branding, and monitoring. Doing it alone is not only stressful, but can also be chaotic.

(3) Being predictable with your content

It's not fun seeing the same updates over and over again on all of your social media accounts. Without creativity and careful thought in your content, your followers may end up clicking the 'unlike' or 'unfollow' button.

(4) Can't write?

Social media updates are not as long as a blog post. These updates should be professionally written, with the audience in mind, and with a dash of creativity and wit to capture their attention. If you can't do this, hire a professional writer who can channel the right tone and provide quality content consistently.

(5) Not posting updates in real-time

While it's okay to schedule updates on social media, it's not as engaging as a real-time updates that have commentaries instantaneously. Not sharing content in real-time may even deter your target audience.

(6) Spreading yourself too thin

If you're trying to post on  all social media networks, stop. Take a look at where your audiences are - are they on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+? If you are chasing after possible leads, it's best to focus on a few social media networks where they congregate. Rather than signing up for almost every social network, it's better to focus on a few where you can get the most targeted leads.

(7) Missing in action

If you are or if you have an erratic social media manager, it's difficult to gain results from inconsistent updates. Promoting your business and pushing your brand forward requires a  constant stream of updates to let your followers know that you're there and always available.

(8) You're unprofessional and careless

Typographical errors, grammar mistakes, and being too informal in creating updates puts your brand at risk. You'll be seen as unprofessional and people who follow you might think that you're not serious about your business. Social media marketing may not require everyone to be too formal, but you can be neutral, friendly, and accommodating, while maintaining a professional approach.

(9) Faking it

Being authentic, honest, and transparent can help win more followers and potential clients because you are not hiding behind a façade. You can provide opinions and facts to influence people with your genuineness. Always say what you mean and mean what you say. because it's your brand you're putting out there.

(10) You're too self-centered

It's not always about you. Always provide information that will help your followers, even if it’s not your content. . Be sure to share links to resources that your audience  can benefit from and also make sure to mention and thank the rightful owners.

(11) Why so serious?

Add a sense of humor when needed. You can add a bit of fun in your updates and promotions to lighten up the mood and engage  your followers. When an occasion calls for it, see to it that your updates are appropriate and light-hearted, without deviating from your content.

(12) You're being too safe

Don't be bland in engaging with your followers. You can be bold and expressive without offending.. Show personality in your updates and engagements, but do avoid arguments and being controversial. Keep it professional, honest, and creative with your responses.

(13) Where are the photos?

Adding photos or any shareable imagery, especially for social media updates, is the norm. Visual content attracts more attention than bland and wordy messaging. Use stock images, candid photos, Instagram, vine, and video to match your updates.

(14) Not checking the numbers

Defining your goals and developing a method for measuring your social media will help you see the results of your efforts. It's not enough that you're promoting your brand to followers if you cannot see any result.

(15) Not setting a budget

While organic search still lives, it's not always a reliable source of new leads. If you want to get your brand out there and be seen, it's best to spend a little for social media - either for tools, apps, or services.

Check your own strategies and see what needs to changed. There's always a chance you're making a few of these social media mistakes and now is the time to correct them.

If you need help and guidance in your social media marketing techniques, call us now. We can help you improve it for better results.

View User Profile for Crista McCandless Crista is a self-proclaimed geek who loves fiction, data analysis, growth hacking and everything Tolkien. At Fast Track, she helps businesses identify areas to improve and grow online with her ninja moves. She manages the digital strategy, including online marketing and search engine optimization. Follow her musings about world domination in Twitter as @crista_mcc.
Posted by Crista McCandless Monday, July 20, 2015 10:24:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C marketing tips online marketing small business tips SMB social media social media marketing

7 Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Web Support Team 

web support team

Hiring a remote team of web developers and designers is the norm. Many small to medium online businesses go this route because of two major reasons: cost and efficiency.

Let's face it, not every business owner knows how to develop a website from the ground up. Many of them are just starting to realize the benefits of having an online presence even with a brick-and-mortar store. There are those who are just learning how to use the internet for their businesses –that’s why it’s the perfect opportunity for outsourced web support teams to provide their expert services.

One of the best solutions is to use one or a few of the numerous tools and apps available that allow remote teams to work cohesively.

However, it is the selection process that poses a lot of challenges. If you’re having this dilemma, here are seven qualities that every business owner should look for in an outsourced web support team.

(1) Expertise

In your quest for accelerated business success, it is important to find and partner with a web support team that is backed with years of experience. Since web development, design and optimization are crucial in meeting your business goals, this team should possess professionalism, expert knowledge, and skills. Teams are also expected to be up-to-date and in line with the latest web development and design trends.

(2) Fast turnaround time

Look for outsourced web support teams with short work cycles. This gives both parties the opportunity to take a peak of the website in action. Web support companies usually have outsourced people in different corners of the globe, making it possible to complete web projects in the shortest amount of time.

(3) Range of quality services

Typically for outsourced web development and design teams provide a wide range of skills and expertise. You’ll l find quality web services that include development, design, hosting, quality assurance and testing, site maintenance and audit, support, software design, and business analysis, just to name a few.

(4) Cost-effective rates

A combination of flexible rates and packaged fees are predominant among web support companies. This allows clients from various industries with varying budgets to avail of the services they can afford. If you belong to the small to medium businesses group, there will always be a type of service package that's suitable for your budget.

(5) Flexible options

Another quality that benefits online businesses is the flexibility of web support providers. They offer several options with regards to payment schedule, and team assignment. You can even request for a specific team or individuals to consistently work for you.

(6) Effective communication

Communication is a top priority among remote web support teams since it fosters trust, credibility, and coordination among team members and their respective clients. Good teams utilize all communication channels to support both internal and external needs of clients and their projects. Among the best practices involve proper documentation and relay of information such as project status, time spent, issues and resolutions, among others.

(7) Great customer service

Of course, any company - whether online or offline - should always aim for great customer service. Those handling this department should be able to address both technical and non-technical inquiries of clients, as well as deliver accurate and swift information from web support to client.

Are you looking for a web support team to help drive your online business ahead of the competition?

Fast Track offers a wide range of web services to Fortune 50 companies since 1999. Get in touch with us and let's begin this journey.

View User Profile for Shirish Sharma Shirish Sharma is a Project and Account Manager for Fast Track, Seattle, handling multiple Microsoft accounts. Shirish is a proactive, energetic, detail-oriented and versatile technical project manager with more than ten years' experience. He has successfully delivered high-quality Microsoft projects and has vast experience in software development life cycle. He holds a B.E. in Computer Technology from Nagpur University in Nagpur, India and a PG Diploma in Advanced Computing from the CDAC (Infoway Technologies) in Pune, India. Follow Shirish on Twitter as @ShirishTweets.

20 Free Site Evaluation Tools for Small Business 

free website evaluation tools

Improving the quality of website is crucial for small business owners. You may have all the features that a site could have, the topnotch content your copywriters have written specifically for your target market, and a user-friendly interface that any visitor on your site will find helpful. However, if your site is loading too slow, not properly optimized for search and visitors, and is not being linked to by relevant sites, it would be difficult for visitors to find you on the web.

To ensure that your site will be found in the soonest possible time and manner, you can make use of free site evaluation tools to help improve your website's performance and quality.

Built With

Built With is an excellent SEO tool for finding 'hidden' technical details about your site. It can provide information about your server details, hosting, name server, email service, CMS platform used (WordPress, Magento, Drupal, etc.), and many others. Built With can also go deeper in determining if your site uses plug-ins, which JavaScript libraries are used, if there are widgets and analytics tools, and others. It can also give you a quick look at the site's meta data (meta tags, descriptions), meta robots, and if there are Open Graph meta tags.

Google Page Speed Insight

Google Page Speed Insight generates a report which suggests how you can improve your site's load time. Simply enter your site's URL in order for the tool to generate this report. The report is broken down into either a Desktop or Mobile report.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is an SEO spider which crawls websites and reports any errors. If there are bad links, it will generate a report with the 302's and 404's it finds.

Copyscape

Copyscape's free tool can find duplicate content. Enter your site's URL in order for the tool to check the web for any duplicate pages. You may also use any of its free banners on your site to deter anyone from copying content. 

NTopic

NTopic is a tool which lets you see the relevancy score of a page's target keyword. You can use this tool in finding out which target keywords your competitors are using, so you can use them to your own advantage - such as creating content for marketing purposes and short social media descriptions.

SEMrush

SEMrush is quite popular among SEO professionals. It can generate reports that are rich in data, but the most relevant is the report for keywords. Like NTopic, you can use SEMrush in finding out what target keywords are being used by your competitors.

Word Stream Free Keyword Tool

The limited free edition of Word Stream provides suggested keywords based on broad matches. This free tool also provides relative search volume estimates and generates a list of longtail keywords which can be very useful in your content marketing efforts and blog posting.

Get Listed

Moz now owns Get Listed, which is a tool that crawls the major business directories online, and extracts business names and locations (via zip code), and identifies missing listings in the results. This tool is great for showing your clients missed opportunities and low-hanging fruit.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is a great tool for competitor analysis. It generates a list of inbound links and provides their own SERP ranking score - Page Authority and Domain Authority - which is regarded to have the highest correlation to SERP rankings.

Anchor Text Over Optimization Tool

This is a tool for discovering potential anchor text issues quickly. You can check for over optimized anchor text for incoming links.

Similar Web

Similar Web can check for missing data that are not included in Google Analytics. It provides estimates such as traffic, referring sites, ads, etc.

Circle Count

Circle Count is the number of people on your Google+ circle. You can use it to track followers and shares.

Share Tally

Share Tally provides a bird's eye view of a web page's social activity. You can generate an instant report of social sharing activities all across major social networks. This tool can help you determine which social media network is performing well for your own website or your clients'.

Follower Wonk

Another of Moz's free site evaluation tool is Follower Wonk. It is a Twitter analytics tool which helps you precisely analyze any Twitter user. You can generate reports based on geographical locations, keywords, and many others.

Pingdom Full Page Test

Pingdom Full Page Test is a site speed analyzer which identifies bottlenecks and measures site performance in seconds. It also tells you the best places on your site that need updates, so you can change it and reap rewards with little effort.

Hubspot Marketing Grader

Hubspot offers a free marketing grader which evaluates your site by grading its weaknesses and strengths by assessing the landing pages, social media connectivity, and many others. It will also compare your site to competitor sites to help identify the areas where your competitor attracts customers.

SEOQuake

SEOQuake is a toolbar which can be used on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers. It analyzes internal and external links, provides Alexa and Google Index scores, and PageRank. It can also measure keyword density of web pages and provides diagnosis of areas on your website which might be needing improvement.

Hubshout

Hubshout has a website grader that provides in-depth site evaluation and backlink scorecard which is specifically useful in checking if your site is at par with your competitor or not.

WebsiteOptimization

WebsiteOptimization has a technical site evaluator and SEO analysis tool that tests your site to see if it's optimized. It also provides suggestions on how to improve your site. You can also make use of their spell checker for your site pages.

Site Evaluator

Site Evaluator provides a free comprehensive evaluation of your web site and analyzes over 60 key metrics that can tell you how to improve your site’s visibility, traffic, and revenue.

A site evaluator is more than just a handy tool to find out about your own website. You can always check your competitors, your clients' websites and their competitors to help you improve site performance and quality.

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Posted by Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:05:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C marketing tips SEO Site Evaluator SMB web trends

Creating Better Converting Landing Pages 

creating better converting landing pages

When designing landing pages, there are a couple key challenges that you’ll face when optimizing your pages for the highest possible conversions. First, you’ll face various visitors from difference sources, whether through paid, social or email campaigns.  Remember to use the same language used in the campaign.  Visitors see this as “message match”, and this helps to develop trust with the customer and eventually convert them.

People who visit your landing pages need to be persuaded to purchase through the use of targeted messaging.  But with all of the different visitors, campaigns and locations, how can you set up landing pages specific to all of different targets?  They key is to generally define audience ‘types’ and then create landing pages with specific messages to these targets.

The next challenge is to capture the data that you need from the site visitor in the hopes of creating a conversion.  This usually involves having some kind of form on the page.  Asking visitors to fill out a form can be challenging, so the less fields to fill, the better.  Remember that people don’t give their information easily, so designing the page with branded visuals helps in portraying trust and authority for your brand.

Why take time to optimize your landing page?

It expedites the sales process.  Capturing data from your prospects helps you to expedite your sales process.  One you have their information, you can place them in to your sales cycle and eventually turn them into customers.

It will lower your cost per lead.  When your landing pages become more successful, your cost per lead goes down.  It’s important to drive traffic to your landing pages to promote their success.  A lot of time and money goes into creating your campaigns, be sure to make them pay off as much as possible.

What do you need to include on your page?

Here is a short list of items that should be on every landing page:

  • Logo
  • Offer.  The images and text on the page should answer this one question for your visitors:  “What can you do for me”.  This should be the first thing they see when they visit the page.
  • Large, beautiful image.  The image should relate to the text and offer in some way. 
  • Call to action.  Your call to action should be clear and concise.  Be sure to make the steps obvious and easy to do.
  • No Navigation.  If possible, remove any non-essential navigation on the page.  You want page visitors to focus on your offer.
  • Form.  The length and usability of the form is crucial in getting conversions.  Remember that the lower the number of fields in your form, the greater number of leads you’ll receive.

Landing pages should be usable, readable, and persuasive and appear trustworthy. 

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Posted by Thursday, January 15, 2015 11:51:00 AM Categories: B2B B2C content development inbound marketing landing pages marketing tips SMB web trends website
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