3 Signs Your Website Needs a Redesign

Your website is one of the most important business tools you have. It doesn't matter how amazing your products are or the kind of top-notch customer service you offer if you can't create a positive, and memorable user experience online.

This begins with strong web design. Your online performance is also determined by things like a good social media presence and positive reviews, but the right web design is vital.

Not sure if your website looks good enough?

Here are 3 signs you need a website redesign right away.

1. Your Bounce Rates Are Skyrocketing

Imagine if someone walked into your brick and mortar business then walked right out. Even imagine if you had a date with someone, they saw you when they walked up...and just walked right back out. It would be hard to convince them to come back, especially if they were thoroughly underwhelmed.

This is essentially what happens when your landing pages have high bounce rates. People are clicking on your website then leaving it right away because they don't like what they see or are feeling.

Bounce rates are one of the biggest red flags that something with your web design isn't right. Not to mention, the more bounce rates you have, the lower your search rankings will fall.

2. Your Conversions Are Low

Maybe the problem isn't with getting people to stick around and explore your website. Maybe you're having trouble turning traffic into conversions?

Better use of opt-ins and a stronger lead generation strategy can help you with that. All you need is a little A/B testing and a fresh set of eyes to see where your biggest conversion opportunities are. Still, it's best to leave this to the professionals than to try handling it yourself.

3. You're Not On-Trend

Consider this: if your website was built 3-5 years ago and you haven't touched it since, you need a new design ASAP. Even a site from 2 years ago could use a touch-up, that's just how web design works.

Industry trends are constantly changing, and consumers are paying more attention than you might think. If they go to a competitor site and find engaging graphics and clean navigation settings, they're going to set your website to that same standard. If you fall short, they'll move on.

You need to stay on trend to stay relevant. This isn't to say you should roll out an entirely new web design every few months, but a few tweaks here and there wouldn't hurt.

Most importantly, if you still don't have a beautiful mobile website, you're seriously behind! This is a must-have tool if you expect to do well on search and reach consumers!

Get the Website Redesign You Need

It's one thing to read about the areas in which your website might need some work and another to actually do something about it! Whether you can relate to one of the signs on this list or your site is experiencing all of these problems, you need to invest in a redesign.

A website redesign might be the online boost you've been looking for! It improves your search performance, your branding efforts, and your overall online reputation. It also might help you generate better leads and overall sales, which means more money for your business!

To get the professional help you need, click here.

How to Create a Landing Page You Can Use for Lead Generation

Did you know that 11 is the average number of form fields on a landing page? However, if you reduce this to only four, you could increase conversions by as much as 120%!

This is one of the many things to consider when you create a landing page.

With that in mind, let's dive into our top pieces of advice so that you can enjoy a boost in conversions!

1. Create a Catchy Headline

It's essential you craft a catchy headline. Period.

It should:

This is the most crucial element on the page, so be sure to spend plenty of time on this.

Try split testing different headlines to see which works best. This does takes time, but it's the only way you'll find a winning formula.

2. Craft Compelling Copy

Your copy needs to communicate whatever you're offering, as concisely as possible.

Here are two practical tips to consider while drafting your copy:

  1. Focus on the benefits rather than the features, i.e., how does the product/service/giveaway positively impact the user's life?
  2. Craft your text, so readers feel like you're speaking directly to them. For example, you should always use words like; 'you,' 'you're,' 'you'll,' etc.
  3. Use compelling and vivid words. Attaining bushel of money is much more desirable and vivid than saying you're client will get a lot of money.

This kind of language helps your audience engage with your content and hence, boost conversions.

Most importantly, you need to ensure the copy on your landing page matches whatever you promised when your visitor made their initial click.

So, whatever method of marketing you used to get them to your landing page, i.e., a blog post, Facebook ad, YouTube video, etc.; there needs to be a seamless transition.

If you don't match your messaging, it'll confuse your audience which is not good for conversions.

3. Insert a Clear Call to Action

Your call to action (CTA) needs to be clear.

Top Tip: ensure the color of your CTA button is contrasting to the rest of the page, you want it to stand out.

Last but not least, customize your CTA copy, so it tells the audience exactly what they need to do. For example:

You get the idea!

4. Use Professional Looking Imagery

All high converting landing pages boast professional looking images. Not only are they visually pleasing, but they're also useful for explaining what you're offering.

Alternatively, you might find that a video resonates better with your audience. You'll have to split test this to find out what works best for your industry.

Were These Tips on How to Create a Landing Page Interesting?

If you found this article on how to create a landing page handy, then check out our 'lead generation' blog. We discuss everything from how to use Google AdWords, to creating a B2B lead generation strategy. Enjoy!

Alternatively, for more information on the kind of stuff we get into, be sure to take a look at our case studies!

What is Lead Nurturing? A Complete Guide

We know that businesses rely on leads but, a lot of the time we only think about generating them. There are other ways to improve the number of sales earned from leads. Here's where lead nurturing comes in.

Lead generation is only half the story. Your team can generate thousands of leads but, if they don't close them the effort is moot. That's why nurturing your leads is a must to adequately grow your business.

Not sure what we're talking about? We'll tell you all about it and how you can set up your own nurture campaign. Read on to learn more!

Lead Nurturing: The Essential Guide

Before we discuss how you can set up your nurturing campaign, let's discuss the basics. What is nurturing leads? How can you do it?

Nurturing leads creates a connection with your client throughout the complete sales process. Experts have found that almost 80 percent of new leads never become a sale. That's why you need to set up your nurturing campaign to convert those leads into sales.

If you generate leads but do not nurture them, your sales will end up being more expensive. All businesses are driven by return on investment. To increase ROI, you've to get the right leads for your nurturing campaign.

How to Get the Right Leads for Your Nurture Campaign?

Now, not all leads are the same. When it comes to the leads for your nurturing campaign, the key will be knowing when your customer becomes a buyer. Experts have found that 50 percent of your leads aren't ready to buy right away.

But, how can you know when your customer is ready to buy? If you set up the right pinpointing system, your nurturing campaign will be a success.

Your lead scoring system must fit your brand. You design your business with a customer in mind. Who's your customer? What's their budget?

These are just some of the questions that can point you in the right direction. Any lead scoring system must look at the lead fit, interest, behavior, and overall buying mindset.

Before ever targeting a lead, you've got to make sure they will fit your audience and brand. Do they really even need your products or services? You can know this through measures like analyzing demographics, budget, and possibly business size.

Once you gauge this information, you'll know if they're interested in your products or services. The lead interest is when you track a customer's interest in your brand. Are they engaging with your brand online?  How are they engaging? Are they engaging by visiting your website or certain product or service pages?  Are they visiting your social media or checking out particular videos? You should establish your system to keep track of these corresponding behaviors.

Their actions will tell you when  ready to they'rebuy. Continuous engagement with pricing pages and demos can be a sign that they're ready to buy your product.

Your nurturing campaign will move your customer through these corresponding buying stages. Your system overall will depend on the product and services you offer. You must design your sales funnel to guide your customer thoroughly, as well as make the process simple and easy for them to do so.

How to Nurture Leads?

Nurturing leads can sound more complicated than it really is. Your content marketing nurturing campaign needs to begin once you find the right lead. This content will guide your customer all the way to buying.

Before setting up your campaign, you must understand the buying stages your customer goes through. Experts have found that companies that put in place the right nurturing campaign generate 50 percent more sales. That's why you need to accurately time when you nurture your customer.

Here are some effective tactics to nurture your leads in the right way:

1. Nurture Your Leads on Multiple Channels

Not all customers are the same. That's why to have a successful nurturing campaign, you can't have a one size fits all approach. You must know your lead fits your audience.

But not all of them will engage with your brand the same way either. Some might engage on multiple platforms or only stick to one of them. That's why you must be sure to nurture your leads on multiple channels.

If your current approach is the typical generic email campaign, you need to start thinking outside of just email. Email open rates keep going down, so you need to market on other platforms like social media or possibly even consider items like Google adwords.

It's recommended you develop a great multi-channel approach. It should include a combination of social media, targeted ads, direct sales, and other strategies. You should aim to find a balanced approach that matches to your brand and audience overall.

2. Following up at the Right Time

Like they say, you need to get it while it's hot. Leads aren't an exception to this rule. Your nurture campaign must include following up at the right time.

Most businesses wait as long as 42 hours to follow up on a lead. You should aim to follow up with that lead as soon as possible. An automated follow-up campaign can help you with this problem.

Yet, many customers may prefer a personalized email or phone call. Regardless, you should aim to contact the customer quickly.

But, your team should always utilize a well-researched call or email. Your customer needs to feel that you understand their needs, not that your simply just interested in the sale. This will improve the overall effectiveness of your sales.

3. Sales and Marketing Teams Working Together to Nurture Leads

Experts have found an increase in conversion rates when sales and marketing teams work together to nurture leads. To do this, you must find out when the marketing or sales team is handling the customer. You've got to develop a strategy to integrate both teams in the nurturing campaign.

An example would be how the marketing team engages with the client through social media. Yet, your sales team would start working with the customer when they ask for pricing or detailed information on a social media post.

Will a Nurture Campaign Improve Your Sales?

Yes, a nurture campaign can increase your sales. Lead nurturing is an absolute must to grow your company. If you focus only on generating the leads, you might not bring in the number of sales you're aiming for.

Remember you must generate the right lead and guide them through the buying stages. Every business has it's own needs. That's why you should aim to develop a lead nurture strategy that creates synergy between your teams and fits your customer.

Now you know the basics about setting up a nurture campaign. Want to learn how to generate the right lead for it?

Check out our blog post to learn more.

A Complete Guide to Automated Lead Generation

Did you know that 63% of businesses confess their top marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads? The quality of those leads is another common obstacle. 68% of B2B professionals say increasing the quality of leads is their top priority.

But how?

Acquiring more leads and pinning down better leads takes either a chunk of money or a brilliant marketing director, right? There's no way a team can pull it off without at least one of those assets. You've just got to buckle down and work with what you've got...

Or do you?

What if we were to say that you can increase the number of leads you obtain each month and spend less money doing it? We're talking about high-quality leads that'll increase your conversion rates. If you want to learn how automated lead generation can change your business, read on.

What is Automated Lead Generation?

New software gives you the ability to automate your lead generation processes. You can create better leads without the investments traditional outreach requires.

The software has been around for a decade, though recent advances in technology have brought it back into the limelight. Expert marketers now rely on it. It streamlines their approach and cuts their workload in half.

Email marketing is at the core of it all. It helps sellers connect with hundreds of thousands of consumers with the click of a button. The software in question has been built to simplify the email marketing process.

ActiveCampaign and email gives you the power to automate your entire system. They have something for every part of your sales funnel.

First, a potential customer signs up for your email list. Then, you send them a sequence of letters designed to build trust and brand awareness. Finally, you sell to them.

You can then study your metrics to learn from your successes and failures alike.

As your skills develop, you can broaden your audience. You'll also grow more adept at building automated campaigns. With this kind of software, you can run a campaign with a quarter of the effort.

Best of all, you'll double the quality of your leads overnight.

Drip Campaigns

What is a drip campaign, you ask? It's what experts call an email marketing campaign. New software gives marketers the power to send personalized, automated emails to prospects. Which email the software sends can be tailored to your prospect's overall behaviors.

What the emails say and when the emails are sent is determined by the actions of your prospect. If they don't open your first email, for instance, a follow-up email is sent the next day. If they do open your first email, they might get a letter built for someone further down your sales funnel. And it might not arrive until three days later.

This process of spacing out the emails is akin to a dripping faucet, hence the name. These drip campaigns have been around since the advent of the internet. The difference is they now run themselves after your initial setup.

Most programs come with powerful segmentation capabilities. They enable marketers to divide their leads database by channel, industry, and/or the stage of their buyer's journey. This kind of segmentation is what improves your lead quality.

The leads who head to your landing page will be leads at the bottom of your funnel. Your software will supply useful resources to the rest, building trust and awareness. It'll nurture them until they're ready to convert.

Landing Pages

If email is the right hand of an automated marketing campaign, landing pages are the left. They act as your closer. They're meant only for the leads at the bottom of your funnel.

Modern marketing automated programs (MAPs) include options for creating and deploying landing pages. Any information your prospects give you on these pages is automatically uploaded to their profiles. These profiles store every scrap of relevant data you've been given accordingly.

The program stores their new data alongside their other stuff. Address, best times to reach them, and stage of their buyer's journey all land next to one another. Marketers used to keep track of all this information by hand. Now it happens in the blink of an eye.

A well-designed landing page will skyrocket your conversion rates. That's true especially when you factor in metrics and testing.

A/B Testing

A scientific approach to marketing first became popular in the 1950s. That's when Hopkins wrote his classic work, "Scientific Advertising." Thanks to advances in computer science the field has exploded in recent years.

Nowadays, you can't call yourself a true digital marketer (or even business person) without relying on quality metrics. A/B testing is one of the most popular routes to acquire metrics on things like click-through rates and conversion rates. With that information, you can better personalize your campaign to suit your buyer's need.

With automated software, the process is simple. Essentially you create two versions of the same piece of marketing material. Examples include landing pages, emails, social media ads, etc.

Each version is the same except for one particular element. It may be a word in your headline; it may be the color of your background or the graphic you use. Choose a single element that you think may need tweaking.

After you create two versions, run them as you would normally. The software will record important data about how your audience responded to both versions. After you run them for a week or two, you can read the results and change your strategy accordingly.

Rinse and repeat.

What's Next?

Well, what did you decide? Is automated lead generation for you? Can you see where it fits into your marketing strategy?

Automated internet marketing may sound difficult, but the core elements are fairly simple. Start with the basics: email, landing pages, and thorough scientific testing.

Master each element before you move on to the next. Do that, and you'll be swimming in more leads than you can handle. Just remember to send us a postcard when you make it to the big leagues.

If you're need of assistance with lead generation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

So long and good luck!

Marketing Automation for Small Business: A Complete Guide

Marketing automation has seen a meteoric rise over just the last few years. What was once deemed necessary only for large companies is now used by companies regardless of size or industry.

With 80% of marketers reporting that marketing automation helped them increase leads which contributed to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity, it's easy to see why this technology has been widely embraced.

Read on to learn about marketing automation for small business.

What is Marketing Automation for Small Business?

The problem is that marketing automation sounds like the worst kind of marketing; impersonal and robotic. This could not be further from the truth. Marketing automation makes it easier to treat customers according to their unique needs. This is better than treating them as if they're all the same.

Marketing automation tools are software that take over repetitive marketing actions. Consider the time it takes you to manage your social media accounts or set up your email marketing campaigns. Marketing automation helps you complete these tasks more effectively so you can focus on actually running your business. This also allows you to pursue tasks that actually move the needle for your business, instead of being caught up in the minutia.

Unfortunately, marketing automation will only get you so far. You'll still need to participate in your marketing efforts with things like creating a great content strategy and testing your email campaigns. The best way to think about marketing automation is to see it as a supplement to your marketing plan.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

You don't need to be a marketer to take advantage of the benefits of marketing automation. With more tools at your disposal than ever, it's easy for a small business owner to get started and enjoy the following benefits and more.

You Can Spend Less Time on Marketing and Focus On Your Business

The biggest benefit of marketing automation is that it takes over some of the repetitive daily marketing tasks. If you have a social media or marketing manager, that's great. But if not, how many hours a day are you spending on social media or writing individual emails to your clients? What about follow ups?

Imagine if you had to sit down every hour to post on Twitter, every other hour for Facebook and once or twice a day to Instagram. For each of those posts, you need to write the copy, find an image (or edit it for performance) and then post to the correct account. With a social media automation tool, you can spend an hour at the beginning of the week creating and scheduling those posts ahead of time.

You Can Anticipate Customer's Needs

While marketers are often focused on acquiring new leads and converting them into customers, it's important to look after your current customers as well. Remember that keeping your customers is definitely cheaper than attracting new ones!

Marketing automation software offers analytics that can be used to discover insights about customer behavior. Using these insights, business owners can try to predict customer needs and offer relevant products to their customers.

One example of this is when you sign up to receive emails from your favorite consumer goods stores. When your birthday is approaching, often these companies will send you an email offering you a discount on a product as a way to say happy birthday.

You Can Monitor Your Campaigns

Marketing automation software tracks a variety of data for your campaigns. If you're not tracking the performance of your campaigns, then how can you determine if they're successful?

Social media automation software gives you much more insight than just the number of interactions or followers you have on a platform. For example, you can use analytics on Instagram to see which of your posts led to people visiting or following your profile.

Email automation software is really an absolute necessity if you're running an email marketing campaign. The software gives you data on a range of metrics. This can include the number of times your email is opened and at what time, how long people spend reading it and whether or not they are following any of the links.

You wouldn't want to be wasting time on an email campaign and learn that no one is even reading your emails!

What to Look For When Researching Marketing Automation Tools

Ultimately, it's impossible to rank marketing automation tools. It really depends on where your focus is. Some marketers are looking for tools to help with lead generation and lead nurturing.

Others are focused on customer engagement or marketing productivity. Regardless, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when choosing the best marketing automation software for your business.

Once you've narrowed your selection down to a few tools, you need to get a full understanding of how the licensing fee will work. For example, email marketing automation software is usually charged based on the size of your email list.

Additionally, how long of a license do you need to purchase and does it need to be paid in advance?

Once you find a platform with a license that matches your business, look at how other similar companies have fared using the software. The company should be able to provide you with case studies highlighting businesses that have used their software in the past. And don't just trust the company on this one.

Request contact info for these companies so that you can get a first-hand account of their user experience.

Finally, find out if user training is included. Often it is charged separately so you'll need to factor that into your marketing budget.

Marketing Automation Will Help You Achieve Your Marketing Objectives

Lead generation through email and social media marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other uses of marketing automation for small business. It's ability to improve campaign targeting and measurability will help business.

Looking for more ways to generate leads? Contact us today to talk about how you can improve your digital marketing strategy.

Google Adwords Lead Generation: A Complete Guide

There are various ways you can advertise your products and services using the Web. And one of the best ways to get quick results is to use Google Adwords.

Now, if you're not already using Adwords lead generation, then it's time to reconsider your strategy. After all, Google owns 87% of the search engine market share. And 75% of clicks go to pages found on the first page of Google - exactly where your ad will show up.

What's great about Google Adwords is that the ads blend in with the search results, making them look like ordinary links. This is why it's recommended that you use hyperlinks and ad copy that's informative and contains a CTA to help draw more Google leads.

Let's take a closer look at what you can do to use Google Adwords for increased lead generation.

Create a Landing Page that's Google Optimized

How important is it to have a landing page that's Google-friendly? Well, Google disabled a whopping 780 million ads back in 2015 because of policy violations!

Needless to say, Google does not play when it comes to optimization, even when it comes to your advertisements. But how can you ensure your landing page won't lead to your ad's removal?

It's simple, really. First, you need to ensure your landing page experience is a good one. In other words, your visitors find it helpful - not misleading! In a nutshell, Google likes landing pages that are:

Clearly explain your offer in the beginning and throughout the landing page. And it should be directly related to the ad the user clicks on to arrive to the page.

Then second, you must learn and follow Google's policies. There are certain types of content and practices that are prohibited. For instance, you can't promote shady or immoral products and services. And the landing page should be a part of a larger website.

If your landing page and website are set up solely to collect user data, you'll correspondingly receive a penalty. It's alright to collect information, but that shouldn't be the only purpose of your site.

Target Negative Keywords

The keywords you select for Adwords lead generation is key to your success. However, while you're targeting key phrases your audience is using, you should also hone in on the ones they're not.

Negative keywords are terms that you don't want to show up for. By adding these to your campaigns you can ensure your ads don't show up in the search results for these key phrases. In other words, you won't get clicks from groups of people who aren't actually looking for your product or service.

For example, if you're a dentist that offers non-cosmetic dental services, then "cosmetic dentist" would be a negative keyword phrase to include.

You should brainstorm and research various other negative keywords you may show up for and add them accordingly. This way, you don't end up paying more money for a campaign that's not converting.

Use Exact Match and Phrase Match Keywords

Besides negative keywords, there are other types of search terms to be aware of. For instance, there's exact match, broad match, modified broad match, and phrase match.

An exact match keyword is the strictest type of keyword. It's where you require users to type in an exact match of your chosen keyword in order for the ad to display. Now, this is something you want to use in certain cases where you want more control over the groups you're targeting.

Phrase match keywords aren't as strict as exact match, but more strict than modified broad match keywords. In this case, the user is required to enter the entire phrase in their search and in the same order.

For instance, if your keyword is cosmetic dentist services, then you may show up in searches for phrases like "cosmetic dentist in LA" and "affordable cosmetic dentist."

However, you wouldn't show up in results for "affordable dentist cosmetic services" and "dentist cosmetic procedures."

Use Broad Match and Modified Broad Match Keywords

In many cases, brands use flexible keyword settings in Google Adwords campaigns. But again, it depends on the industry and consumer group your campaign is for.

If you're not too worried about attracting the wrong audience and you're already making use of negative keywords, then you can use broad and modified broad match keywords without worry.

Broad match settings allow your ads to display even when users type in non-matching keywords. For instance, key phrases with synonyms and variations of the keywords you select.

For instance, "cosmetic dentist" may show up in search results for "teeth whitening dentist" and "tooth repair dentist."

Then the modified broad match setting is similar but a bit stricter. You can choose which keywords have to be in the phrase in order for your ads to show up.

This still allows flexibility in the search results it shows up in but ensures a higher chance of relevancy based on the keywords you choose.

For example, you can have cosmetic + dentist + LA as your must-have keywords. And then your ad will show up in search results for key phrases like "cosmetic dentist in the LA area" and "cosmetic dentist."

A/B Testing FOR Adwords Lead Generation

Both your headline and your ad copy must be A/B tested to get the best results from your Google Adwords campaign. You'll need to keep a close eye on your Google Analytics to see which ads are performing well.

Then for those that aren't, you can tweak one thing at a time and monitor whether the results improve. For instance, you can change the headline or the CTA. This will allow you to identify exactly what increased your CTR and conversions.

Get Expert Help with Your Adwords Campaign

Generating Google leads can potentially propel you ahead of your competition. However, if you're not knowledgeable about developing a thorough campaign for Adwords lead generation, then you may not actualize these results.

This is why it's recommended to work with experts that know the ins and outs of Google Adwords. At HookLead, we both educate and assist our customers with lead generation.

We can help you build a strategy that generates qualified leads that convert. Contact us today to learn more!

8 Tips for How to Improve a Website With a Better Web Design

Is your website easy to navigate? Do your visitors know what your company does? Is the layout understandable? Are you getting enough readership on your blog?

If you answered 'no' to any of these questions, it might be time to rethink your website design and learn how to improve a website.

The internet is full of poorly made websites that miss the mark--both on their technical elements and their graphic design. In order to stand out from the crowd, you have to create a functional, interactive, and beautiful website design.

It's time to end low-quality, poorly designed websites, once and for all! Here are some web design tips on how to improve a website--so you can be sure you're headed in the right direction.

7 Tips for How to Improve a Website with a Better Web Design

In the digital age, it's not enough to just have an online presence. To bring readers to your site and keep them engaged, your website design needs to be at the top of its game.

Let's take a look at some tips, tricks, and shortcuts for creating cutting edge website design.

1. Keep It Simple

55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website. This short attention span means that you need to create a powerful first impression--without overwhelming the visitor.

Avoid using complicated animations, bad stock photos, or long blocks of content without any breaks. Instead, grab the reader's focus with short sections of content broken up by headers, bullet points, numbered lists, and relevant photographs.

Don't use overused terminology like groundbreaking, innovative, next generation, or cutting edge. These words are used by thousands of companies out there, and a lot of them will have lost meaning with the readers.

2. Don't Shy Away From White Space

For a clean, readable web design that hits on your brand's aesthetics, white space can be a powerful tool.

Also known as "negative space," white space refers to the areas around elements on a page--like text or photos--that are empty. It's an essential design element, allowing you to break up your content and make the website more readable.

Look through your website and identify pages that are lacking white space. This is a great opportunity to find content that isn't necessary to the purpose of the page--like a misplaced photo or a block of text that isn't concise enough. Then reorganize your content so that it flows well and leaves plenty of open space.

3. Design Without Color First

Simplicity is key. If you overload your website with too many colors and design elements, you'll lose the reader's focus.

When you're designing the website, try shifting everything into a gray-scale visual design. Starting out with shades of gray will help you assess your website's design from a fresh perspective. After you've added photography, include color to your website, one at a time.

This will help to prevent an "over-designed" website and highlight only the most relevant design elements.

4. Simplify Navigation

Limiting your visitors' navigation options might seem like a poor choice, but it can actually help make your content simpler and easier to understand.

Instead of overwhelming your visitors with all the different links and pages, keep things streamlined to guide them to your best content.

To make your website's navigation the best that it can be, you need to make sure that visitors can easily find what they're looking for! Try to avoid multi-tier drop-down navigation and long lists of links in the header or sidebar.

Unless readers can find exactly what they're looking for within less than a minute of scrolling through your website, they'll leave and find a competitor that offers a better user experience. Make sure your website design is clean, easy to use, and responsive for mobile users.

5. Use the Squint Test

The only way to assess the successful (and unsuccessful) aspects of your website is to see it from the visitor's perspective. It's easy to get caught up in the design of it all and forget who you're creating the website for.

To perform the squint test, back up a few feet from your computer screen and squint. While most of your screen will become blurry and unfocused, the larger, more colorful, and more prominent features will stand out right away.

With this method, you can quickly identify what a first-time visitor is more likely to notice when they're skimming your website.

Are these features the most important part of your website? Are they what you want your visitors to notice first? This is a good opportunity to evaluate the features that stick out the most and make adjustments.

6. Use Social Media Share Buttons

A well-designed website doesn't mean much if you aren't using it to share what you have to offer. Social share buttons aren't just links to your social media page--they're usually icons throughout your website which allows you to share the page without clogging up your site with more links. It's a subtle and less pushy way to advertise your social media accounts.

Place share buttons for platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest throughout your site. You can put them in your header, footer, or sidebar.

7. Use Colors Properly

Nothing kills a website design faster than a terrible color scheme. If your colors are clashing or don't match with the tone of your business, your website might seem tacky and unprofessional.

To help you find a great color, you might consider taking some inspiration from nature. You can use your own camera to take pictures of the nature around your city or find one on the web. Then use a color picker to select a proper color.

When it comes to natural, gorgeous colors, mother nature's color palette tends to never fail. Nonetheless, this may not match your industry so do be sure to consider what your market audience likes.

The Bottom Line

Are you ready to put a plan in place to renovate your website? Are you hoping to take your website design to the next level?

With these web design tips, you can learn how to improve a website with enhanced web design techniques--for both the aesthetics and the navigation.

Looking for more website design tips and tricks? Check out our blog for more.

Google Adwords for Beginners: How to Start Your First Campaign

Google Adwords is a great tool that gives you access to the vast majority of Internet users, but it may leave some wondering about Google Adwords for beginners. While a significant amount of the internet is shrouded in the Deep Web, most users only access the visible part, which Google has documented and indexed for its search engine.

This means that using Google's advertising platform gives you access to nearly any kind of Internet user that you desire. Not only that, but it's relatively cheap and easy to use. Online advertising may instill fear in some because it seems like we would need to be really tech-savvy to do it effectively.

This is simply not true, and we'll explain why as there is a definitely possibility for google adwords for beginners. We'll also show you how to get started with your first ad campaign!

Google Adwords for Beginners

First, make sure you understand at least a little bit about how Google Adwords works, as well as some of the terminology that gets thrown around in the process. This is where we'll go into Google Adwords for beginners.

Adwords is an advertising platform that allows users to access specific niches and audiences to get more of a return on their advertising efforts.

As we mentioned before, this is especially great with Google because it's the world's most popular search engine! That title allows the platform to access user data on a huge scale.

If you're familiar with search engine optimization, you already have a leg up because a lot of the same terms are used with Google Adwords! The main thing that needs to be understood is the use of "keywords."

Keywords

Keyword optimization is essentially the process of figuring out what people search online in order to find products that are the same or similar to your own.

For example, if someone was trying to find affordable socks in bulk, they might type "cheap bulk socks" into Google. This would then pull up the sites that have those three words most often on their pages.

There are a number of methods to find out which keywords will work best for you. Be sure to use the following tips to optimize your keywords as they're possibly the most important aspect of your advertising efforts.

You might consider finding a competitor analysis site that allows you to investigate your competitor's search engine optimization strategies. By choosing a successful competitor site and looking into its keywords, you can see exactly what's working for them and why.

You can also find out just who is looking up specific keywords! Demographic information like area, age, income, and other data can often be looked at through competitor analysis. This also ultimately helps you better define your potential audience and their characteristics (which will help you further with your own strategy).

So, if you want to market toward people of a certain age within your specific region, you should be able to find out what those people are searching for on the Internet.

Keyword optimization is absolutely crucial for your website! Similar to those is that with Adwords, keywords are used in a very similar manner. We'll work the use of these corresponding keywords into our next section: campaigns.

Campaigns

You can think of Adwords campaigns as a mission to access users who are interested in your products or services. If you had a fishing website, for example, you'd likely want to target people looking for boating equipment, fishing poles, safety gear, hooks, and so on.

You could have a campaign for each one of these things. So you might have a bait campaign, a boating equipment campaign, and a fishing pole campaign. Diversifying your efforts in this way allows you to reach the breadth of your target demographic instead of focusing on just one, broader audience.

Each campaign will have three keywords.

Let's take the fishing pole campaign, for example. The keywords for that campaign might be "great rods," "strong fishing line," and "unique reels." When users type those keywords into a search engine, Google will go ahead and place your advertisement somewhere on the user's screen.

This would be happening with all of your campaigns simultaneously, bringing potentially huge results to your website.

You might be thinking, "what if I pay money to launch campaigns, but they don't bring me back any results?" Google has an interesting payment method that will likely ease your concerns.

How Does Payment Work?

Google Adwords operates on a "pay-per-click" platform. This means that even if you put out a large number of ads, you won't need to pay a dime until someone clicks on them. The rate that you pay per click is determined by a number of factors, but it often depends on how competitive your market is and the corresponding desire for that keyword or phrase.

The nice thing is that you can set limits on the amount that you want to spend within a certain time period. If your ads turn out to be hugely successful overnight and you get 10,000 clicks, you won't need to pay $10,000 dollars unless that number is within your budget.

Google will stop displaying your ad once you've reached the limit of your budget. This means you won't have to worry about going overboard on your monthly advertising budget!

The Text in Your Ad

The ads are typically comprised of a headline, description, and destination URL. The headline is typically two 30-character lines that appear either side by side or separate. This depends on the size of the screen where they are displayed.

The description gets around 80 characters that should go over the main selling points of your advertisement. This is your opportunity to catch the reader if the headline already properly catches their attention! Finally, the target URL should be strategically well placed on your website.

Don't Slack on Optimization

This has been an overview of Google Adwords for beginners, but there is still a lot to learn about Adwords and other ways to get traffic to your site! SEO, lead generation, and advertising are all essential things in today's market!

If you need more information on how to improve your online presence, we've got everything you need!

5 Essential Online Tools For Real Estate Brokerages

Are you a real estate company looking for online tools for real estate brokerages to boost steady streams of leads to your business?

Real estate and owning your own brokerage tends to be a hot business for many and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. In order to streamline your schedule and find new clients to bring in more listings, you have to be on top of the latest trends in the real estate market.

Some important marketing strategies are vital to organizing your company and succeeding as an independent brokerage.

These are five essential tools for real estate brokerages that you need to learn about if you want a successful career in the industry in 2018.

1. Matterport 3D Virtual Tours

Looking for a new way to create 3D virtual digital images for each one of your properties?

Using a program like Matterport will be a great asset to your life as a real estate brokerage. Matterport has the ability to make 3D floorplans that all of your potential clients can view online. One can view and compare available homes on the market using Matterport software with it's state-of-the-art virtual tour capabilities.

Take a 3D walkthrough of each home using photo galleries, fly-through videos, and 360-degree panoramas.

Instead of calling up your clients and briefly mentioning how a home looks, you can stay connected through this unique software to provide clients with detailed images of every part of their potential home. Let your clients visualize how their family will live comfortably once they send in an offer.

Your clients can view each property with expert virtual tours offered by this exclusive online software to show off 360-degree perspectives of each room. Buyers can look through each and every room for a completely immersive experience.

Cut down on costs-per listing with the Matterport virtual tour software, too. Bring all of your important listings to life using virtual programs like Matterport because you can simply document all of the rooms in the houses without the need to take photographs and print anything out.

2. Social Media Presence

Another tip for growing your online presence as a high-end real estate brokerage is to have a prominent social media following online.

From a strong following of Facebook fans to followers on Instagram, you need to keep up with times and set up accounts on all of the major social media channels(be you must be strategic in how you use each platform). You can use each of them to grow your following and post high-quality photos advertising your latest properties to hit the market in your top-selling neighborhoods.

People are constantly on their phones, so why not tap into this essential step to boost your following as a real estate brokerage? Social media can be huge for your client potential.

Invite your friends and family to follow you on Facebook and Instagram once you create business pages. New clients will be found through Facebook and Instagram so be sure to have an active profile on these platforms to build up new followings.

There should also be a place where old clients can leave kind reviews about their experience working with you as a real estate team. It's important to leave a good impression with your previous clients and positive feedback will no doubt create more leads.

3. DocuSign

When it comes to getting the appropriate documents signed by your clients, using software such as DocuSign will be absolutely beneficial for your business.

Electronic signatures are a tool of the future. Be sure to enable this software on your team website to allow your clients to approve documents at their convenience. Over 250,000 companies use DocuSign right now, so you can trust it for your business.

Make deals happen faster with DocuSign as one of the best real estate sales tools to increase your stream of leads this year.

4. More Tools for Real Estate Agents: Use RealScout

Turn your leads into real clients using RealScout. Check out the virtual images available on RealScout for each new property listing associated with your account. Your brand will be visible on the site, too.

When your client has a question, he or she can also get in touch with you immediately. Prospective clients can also learn more about your previous sales by searching for your name as a company.

As an independent brokerage, you need to find a competitive edge over big name brand companies. Stand out as an individual brokerage by using an online resource like RealScout. Agents and clients can work together to find the best end result.

5. Hutch Staging Software

Want to transform the rooms in your listing properties without physically arranging the furniture? Try using Hutch instead.

Eliminate the need to constantly move around furniture and home decor objects in each property you list by investing in high-end staging software from Hutch.

Visualize while you decorate each room in the home. Upload the photos using their online website in a flash. Pick the furniture of your choice to place in each room to customize the overall look and feel in a personalized manner catered to each specific client's needs.

There's also an app connected to this unique software so you can take your work with you wherever you go. Free shipping and free returns are also great perks to using this software as a real estate agent.

Achieve Your Real Estate Goals

These are the five best tools for real estate brokerage to utilize as a professional company. We hope these tools will be put to use to help you grow your social media presence in order to hit major goals as a team.

With online tools, you'll never solely rely on complicated strategies to spread the word about your properties using social media incorrectly ever again. Be sure to use the right social media strategy, and you'll be gaining more clients shortly thereafter.

Use the power of the Internet to explore new ways to approach the real estate market as a brokerage in 2018. Connect with clients much faster than ever before with these five essential online tools today.

Contact us today at Hooklead to learn more about real estate marketing to boost your business marketing strategy.

7 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Website Conversion Rates

Did you know the Internet bombards the average web surfer with over 2,900 media messages per day? Did you also know the average user only pays attention to 52?

We live in an age of information overload. Capturing the eyes, clicks, and wallets of the eCommerce crowd has become harder than ever....but it's not exactly impossible.

Make no mistake that website conversion rates bring in sales. To improve the latter requires improving the former. But are you maybe unsure how?

The trick is the setup. Once you have a system in place, you can automate it and focus more on content creation. These seven tips will help get you started.

Stick to the Basics

Before we get into any advanced tricks, let's talk about the basics. You need them to generate traffic, not to mention conversions.

What are the basics? You must first consider the building blocks of SEO, and they can be broken them down into three categories:

  1. Site Optimization
  2. Site Load Times
  3. Mobile Optimization

Site Optimization

Site optimization refers to your site's ease of use, as well as its content quality. Years ago web designers used flashy animation to get user attention. In today's world, that's just a distraction.

Your website should feature a simple design. If it doesn't, users may get frustrated and leave. Not only is your traffic heading straight out the door, so is your potential money!

Finally, you should optimize your content with the user in mind. Write what they want to know. Use strong keywords and backlinks to boost its SERP rankings. Content isn't site filler; it's your absolute bankroll.

Site Load Times

Slow load times also contribute to negative conversion rates. On average, a load time of three seconds is where you ideally want to be. If it's between four and six seconds, you have a problem.

Anything beyond that, well, you get the idea. Design plays a role in load times, too.

Remember those flashy animations? They slow down a site, hence why designers ditched them for a more straightforward look.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization is mandatory. Mobile traffic accounts for almost half of all web traffic! That's right, half, 49.7% to be exact.

So how do you optimize for mobile users?

  1. Decrease your page load times
  2. Reformat your content to fit on a mobile screen
  3. Have simple navigation to account for bigger fingers.

These three elements will get your foot in the door, conversion-wise. But a well-run site isn't enough to get sales.

eCommerce shoppers are protective of their information. They can spot corporate fluff a mile away.

So, how do you reach them?

Use Visuals

You've probably heard this one. But it works. Internet users--and people in general--are visual learners.

Visual content outperforms text-only content hand over fist. It's easier to digest. Customers can gain as much insight from a quick video as they can a lengthy product description.

An excellent example is a webinar. Webinars function as lead magnets. They give customers specific knowledge they can't get anywhere else.

It also comes in a video format, making it accessible anywhere. If you don't believe it, look at the numbers.

Adobe found that 51% of site visitors registered for a webinar. 19%, meanwhile, participated in a product demo afterward.

Use Email

With the advent of social media, you might think email is going the way of the payphone. You'd be wrong.

Email is still a marketer's best conversion tool. In fact, it's 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter.

With it, you gain an email subscriber list you can control. Plus, you get an easy way to earn new leads, nurture current ones with specialized content, and create conversions.

Implementing email subscription is simple, too. Place forms strategically on your website, either as a side-bar, pop-up, or end-of-post form.

Once users opt in, you can nurture them. We'll get to that later.

Make the Process Simple

You've heard of the KISS method, right? Keep It Simple, Stupid? You should apply that method to your conversion process as well.

Complications will keep users away. Instead, be sure to give them simple options. For example, place your phone number at the top of the page.

Users will see it as soon as your site loads. It will connect them to you, giving you the chance to build a relationship.

Chatbots and question forms help too. They give users a chance to have a question answered, building your credibility with them.

Be Honest

People don't connect with businesses. They connect with people and stories. What's more, they're smart enough to know when you're lying.

So be honest. Tell customers what they'll get when they subscribe to your site. Tell them what they'll get when they buy your product.

Finally, tell them about you. An "About Us" page gives you the chance to share your story with your customers. It gives them an opportunity to relate to you.

That connection will increase conversion rates faster than any promotion.

Nurture Your Leads

Email marketing is just one part of a lead generation strategy. Once you capture a lead, you have to nurture it into a customer. But how do you do that?

Think of it like the hot and cold game. Hot leads are ready to buy right away. Cold leads aren't willing to buy yet, but they might with the right motivation.

That motivation comes in the form of specialized content:

Start with personalized messages. You'll establish trust with the customer and learn about them. Once you know their interests, send a newsletter. It'll inform them about your site and what you offer.

Send discounts last, as they are direct product offerings. Customize them to reflect your lead's interest.

Free Your Content

This next one may seem counter-intuitive. Most sites feature forms that trade customer information for product information.

But what if you gave it away?

Think about it. Everyone loves free stuff. People will flock to your site and download your product.

More downloads equal more shares and more reads. More shares and reads equal more engagement. More engagement equals, you guessed it, higher conversions!

Now, it's not without drawbacks. Not everyone will convert, and a distraction could bounce them away. The only way to know it works is to try it.

Start Increasing Your Website Conversion Rate Today

Website conversion is the way you make money in the digital market. SEO basics will start you off on the right foot, but to make the sale you have to do the work!

Use visuals, email, nurture your leads, and you can make money in your sleep. Got another question? At Hooklead, we're experts at online marketing and lead generation.

Check out our blog for more insightful articles or contact us if you need any assistance.