The Google Analytics Reports Every Website Owner Needs to Check

Google AnalyticsIf you know about Google Analytics, you know it’s useful for telling you where your traffic is coming from. But it can tell so much more. Here are 3 reports that every website owner needs to check. And don’t worry … they’re super easy to check and understand.

#1 How visitors are finding your site

You want to know how many people are finding your site, but you also want to know exactly how they are finding it. Without this information, you won’t know what is working and what isn’t. Go to your Google Analytics dashboard and choose the Acquisition tab on the left-hand side and then click All Traffic and Source/Medium. Here you will see if your traffic is coming from organic searches, social media, referrals and more.

#2 What keywords they are using

If people are finding you through the search engines, you want to know what people are plugging in to that search box to find you and Google Analytics is perfect for giving you this information. Visit Acquisition, Campaigns and then Organic Keywords. This will give you specific words and phrases people are searching for, but it will also show you the bounce rate for each keyword. Is the bounce rate high for certain keywords? Make sure those pages contain content that pertains to that specific keyword to give readers what they are searching for.

#3 What your visitors are looking at

Want to know which pages your visitors are viewing most? How long they spend on each page, and how quickly they leave those pages? Scroll down to Behavior, and then to Site Content. You can also check your stats to see how many unique page views you are getting and which page they are entering your website on. If you find there are some pages that just aren’t getting much traffic, you can go back and optimize those. Tweak the title, SEO, structure, etc. to see if you can earn them more attention.

Google Analytics can tell you so much more than how many views your site is getting. It can tell you exactly how people are finding you, what words they are searching for and which pages get the most views. Armed with this information, you can utilize specific channels and optimize for certain keywords to increase your traffic.



Writing Enticing and Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines For Your Emails

email subject linesYour subject line is the single most important sentence in all your emails.


It’s the first thing your readers see. A good subject line will make a bigger impact than a good email. Email subject lines have the power to get people to pay attention to the rest of your email. The more people who you get to open your email, the more click-throughs you’re going to get and the more sales you’ll get. Plain and simple.

So how do you write enticing and attention-grabbing subject lines?

Personalize It

Use their name in the subject. Some marketers think this is tacky, or that people get used to it or start to tune it out after a time.

They don’t.

This has been split tested time and again and again by marketers across many industries. Using a person’s name in the subject line gets a higher open rate than the same subject line without their name. Almost always.

Keep It Short and Simple

Different email clients have different subject line cut-off thresholds. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your subject lines under 50 characters.

This will keep your subjects from getting cut off. It’s also short enough that you can quickly snag someone’s attention. It doesn’t “feel” like a lot of work to read your subject line.

Tell ‘Em What They Get

How will it benefit their lives to read your email?

Magazines have tested this extensively. Headlines that imply a benefit outpull headlines that are only shocking, headlines that are only interesting or headlines that engender curiosity but don’t imply a benefit.

Always, always tell people what they’ll get by opening your email.

Make it Special

If possible, imply that you’re going to share something with them that nobody else is talking about. Something that you’ll only share once. Something that they would really benefit from learning.

When you make information exclusive and scarce, people get curious. Curious enough to open an email.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Imply that the information in your email is only good for a short time, or that an offer might expire. This technique is hard to get right, but can be extremely powerful.

If you lie to create urgency, you’ll lose credibility with your audience. If you make up deadlines that don’t exist, people will stop paying attention to your claims.

But if you look for genuine scarcity and learn to showcase it, you can powerfully boost your open rates while actually increasing credibility. After all, people are glad you brought something time sensitive to their attention before it was too late.

Always Test!

Finally, split test. Split test different styles of headlines. Different kinds of headlines work better for different kinds of audiences. Not all audiences respond to the same things. Learn what works best with your audience.

Remember – your subject lines are important. Critically important. Put a lot of time and energy into them. These tips will help you write some truly “knock it out of the park” subject lines.

How Publishing a Book Can Help Your Business

PublishingHow do you set yourself apart, increase your authority and boost your business?

You publish a book.

As a business owner, you may not have considered writing a book before. But the reality is, writing a book can really help you in your business. Here are some ways that publishing your own book can help you.

It increases your industry authority. Not everyone in your industry has published a book. Just writing one is a pretty awesome accomplishment. And it shows you know your stuff. Also, if your book gains some attention, you get immediately seen as an authority.

It can get you media coverage. If there haven’t been many books written about your industry, you’re in luck. Plan a media tour and land some great coverage. Any publicity will help promote your book, and in turn, your business.

It can land you other gigs. Media coverage can bring even more exposure. Speaking gigs, workshops, interviews, you name it. Having a published book makes you more desirable in the eyes of people looking for experts in your industry.

It helps you network with others in your industry. Are their others experts in your industry? Writing a book will help raise you up to their level. You may find book, your blog posts and your website link getting more tweets and more shares from these experts. And that can only be a good thing.

It helps you land clients. Books can help spread your message and help you reach people you may have been able to before. Also, a book can be a great marketing tool. Hand out free copies, or showcase stories in your book that potential customer can relate to.

It brings in residual income. Okay, so your goal with the book is to boost your current business, but some extra residual income can’t hurt, can it?

Writing a book can be a great asset to your business. It brings many benefits you may not have associated with writing a book. Don’t know how to write a book on your own? Hire a ghostwriter to help you!


Copyright Infringement – Do You Know What You Can and Can’t Share on Your Blog?

Did you know that articles that contain images get 94% more views?

Or that tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those that lack images?

Yes, adding images to your blog posts is important. But so is correctly crediting those images.

If you find your images online, they have been created by someone else and needs to be properly attributed. Fortunately, giving credit where credit is due is easy, if you know exactly what you are doing.

Check out this infographic to learn what copyright infringement is, where to find usable images and how to properly credit them.

Copyright Infringement: Images You Can and Can’t Share on Your Blog

Copyright Infringement: Images You Can and Can

5 Ways You Are Wasting Time Online Everyday

Wasting TimeDo you ever feel like your day slips away from you?

Even if you aren’t one of these people who spends hours on social media or spends time watching mindless YouTube videos, time can still get away from you without you even realizing it.

The reason for this? You are wasting precious time. There are things you can do to really streamline your day and utilize your time better. Here are 5 ways you may be wasting time online each day.

#1 Checking email too much

It’s important to be available and respond to emails in a timely manner, but obsessing over email can easily get out of hand. If you are one of those who habitually check their email (Me! That’s definitely me!) it’s time to ignore your email. Schedule certain times of day to check and respond to emails. Or try any of the other tips in this post about ignoring your email and becoming more productive.

#2 Putting off quick and easy tasks

If it’s something you can do in a matter of minutes, don’t put it off til later. It may not seem like putting something off is a huge time waster, but having to come back to something is. For example, if you put off responding to that email you just read, you’ll have to go back, find it in your inbox, reread it to make sure you respond correctly, and then type up your response. Yes, this doesn’t take that much time, but putting a bunch of little tasks only to have to do them all later can really add up.

#3 Not having a social media strategy

Even if you don’t spend hours a day on social media, if your posting strategy isn’t clear, you could still be wasting time online. Understand what results you want out of your social media marketing, and focus on the networks that will out you in front of your target audience. Also, schedule, schedule, schedule! There are so many amazing tools that will help you pre-schedule your post so you don’t have to log on multiple times a day just to post something. Speaking of scheduling …

#4 Not scheduling your time

If you aren’t managing your time, it could very well be managing you. Start by tracking your activities for a week. Use a pen and paper, spreadsheet or online software like Rescue Time to tell you just how you are spending your time. spend a little time each night to plan the next day to really help you focus on the important tasks first.

#5 Not outsourcing

There are many little things you do each day that can easily be outsourced. Checking and responding to email, posting on social media, content writing, meeting scheduling. These tasks aren’t necessarily the most glamourous, but they need to get done. Imagine how much more time you’d have if you hired someone else to take care of them for you.

How are you spending your time online each day? Are you doing things that are possibly wasting your time?


How to Step Up Your About Page

about pageDid you know that a business’ About page is one of the most visited pages on their website?

Which is fantastic … unless your About page isn’t that compelling. A good About page should accurately display who you are what your business is about. Here are super easy tweaks that can really step up your About page.

Get over yourself. Getting over your modesty is often the first hurdle when writing a great About page. While you don’t want to sound like you are bragging, this is the place to talk about yourself and your business.

Focus on your customers. I know this is your page, but forget about you. Focus on what you can do for your customers. Website visitors want to know how you can help them. How will they benefit from working with you and your business?

Add some facts. Talking your business up is great and all, but customers want facts. They want to know what you have accomplished. Let your numbers do the speaking for you. If you are still fairly new and don’t have the stats yet, don’t make anything up. Instead, describe what your business does and what will set up apart from everyone else.

Don’t add too much. You want to talk yourself up, but you don’t want to add too many accolades. Pick the best and most relevant awards, certifications and anything else your business has earned and highlight those.

Use real images. People want to know there are real people behind a business. Putting a face to a business gives you credibility, authority and a personality. Use high quality images of your face, your business, behind the scenes.

Keep on updating. A good About page is never done. There is always something new you can add to it. Mention a new major customer, add any new certifications and courses you have taken, talk about your newest location. Your About page should always be a work in progress because your business never stops growing.

As a business, your About page is where you can tell customers who you are and what you do. So make good use of this space. It’s the perfect page on your website to really talk yourself up. If your About page isn’t quite working for you like it should be, try these tweaks to step it up.

Top 7 Mistakes Small Businesses Make with Social Media

social mediaWe all know businesses need to be on social media to get ahead. It’s become a necessity. Social media has become another outlet to interact with customers, share useful information and drive traffic back to their business website.

Unfortunately, there are still some mistakes that some businesses are making, possibly hurting their chances of getting customers and website traffic. Here are the biggest 7 mistakes small businesses are making, and what you can do to fix them.

Mistake #1: Not posting often enough

Your social media pages need to be active. Consumers are going online to learn more about you and your business. If you’re never online, they will likely go elsewhere.

Ideally, businesses should be posting at least 3 times a day. At the very least. Depending on your business, more will probably work even better. For example, if you are a restaurant, you should be posting pictures of your daily specials each day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It’s a great way to get attention. Realtors can post images of houses they are listing. Think about what you can share and post often.

Mistake #2: Not posting information that relates well to your business

People are following you for a reason. It’s because they are interested in your business and your industry. So it makes sense that your followers would want to see information about your industry on your page.

Make sure you are posting interesting and useful information about your industry. Share news articles, blog posts, videos and interesting images that you find around the web. You can pretty much share anything you want, as long as it relates well to your business.

Mistake #3: Not posting good images

There is a reason why so many people are interested in videos, images, infographics and memes. People are visual. If you are not posting quality pictures, you stand a chance of looking a bit unprofessional.

The remedy for this mistake is easy: make sure your images are good. Whether you are posting pictures of your products, employees or anything about your business, make sure they are clear and of good quality.

Mistake #4: Not replying quickly to questions, concerns

Social media is another outlet for you to offer good customer service. Many people will turn to social media to vent their concerns or find the answers to their questions. Many businesses make the mistake of taking too long to reply, or ignoring them altogether.

If you notice any questions or comments, whether they are good or bad, respond to them. If it is a negative review or a gripe, do what you can to fix the situation. If it’s a nice comment or review, thank the person.

Mistake #5: Not engaging your audience

Social media is a place to market your business, but is also a place to be social.

Reply to general comments. Show your audience that there is a real person behind your social media accounts, and keep your messages light and fun.

Mistake #6: Not removing spam that other people have posted on your feeds

Unfortunately, with social media comes spam. Even if you haven’t posted it, if it is on your feed, it will reflect badly on your business.

Easy fix here. If you see spam, delete it. This does require checking in and monitoring your feed, but that’s something you’re doing anyway, right?

Mistake #7: Posting confidential information, or “too much information”

There’s a line between being open and honest, and posting too much information. Revealing too much, especially things that should be confidential, can actually jeopardize your business. For example, the owner of a restaurant I follow posted one day on their Facebook page that they would be closed that day because no one showed up for work. Someone asked how that could happen, and she replied that people these days have a lousy work ethic because their parents cannot be bothered to raise them properly and it makes it difficult for her to find good employees that want to work and do a good job. Woah.

Basically, think before you post. If it’s a bit too revealing or something you think you shouldn’t say, don’t post it.

Social media is all about being social and getting noticed. It’s a wonderful, effective way to market a small business. Unfortunately, there are some mistakes that businesses still commit. Are you making any of these mistakes? If you are, do what you can to fix them right away.


Image courtesy of Jason Howie on flickr

7 Easy Ways to Stay in Touch With Your Customers

phone callCustomer service doesn’t end after the sale.

Keeping in touch with your customers can help you make repeat sales, build consumer loyalty and increase your business. And it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are xx easy ways you can continue to stay in touch with your customers.

#1 Your blog. Your company’s blog can be used to educated and entertain, but it can also be used to share news and update customers on anything that is happening with your business. Make sure you allow readers to leave comments to encourage interaction.

#2 Email. Besides using your blog to announce updates, you can use your email list. Engage subscribers even more by sending coupons and special offers.

#3 Surveys. Collecting feedback is a great way to keep in touch, and learn more about your customers. You can send short surveys to your email list, ask questions on social media or ask customers as they check out in store. To create the perfect survey, you want to:

  • Include open-ended questions
  • Make sure your questions are worded without bias
  • Pick the survey method that best fits your audience: in-person, email, social media, in app, etc.

#4 Social media. Use your business social media accounts to share your updates and communicate openly with your customers. Share company news, blog posts, discounts and coupon codes. Listen to what your followers say and respond to both positive and negative comments.

#5 Phone calls. If you have gathered your customers’ phone numbers, you can always follow up with a phone call. Your phone call should not be to try to sell them something, but rather to check in and make sure they are satisfied with your product or service.

#6 Snail mail. No, snail mail isn’t’ dead. In fact, it’s the unexpectedness that makes it work. Send your customers postcards or even physical coupons. Snail mail can also be used to send surveys.

#7 Blog commenting. If you cater mostly to other businesses, chances are they run their own blogs. Subscribe to their blogs and leave thoughtful comments on their posts. Your customers will appreciate the support, and will see how much you value them.

Landing the sale is just the beginning. To really solidify your relationship with your customers, it’s important to stay in touch with them. Using any of these 7 methods to stay in touch with customers will help you get repeat sales and really grow your business.

Now to you: How do you stay in touch with your customers and clients? Leave a comment and share your best method.

Considering a Career Change? 5 Smart Things To Do First

considering_a_career_changeYou’re feeling bored. Restless. Perhaps completely unhappy.

If your current job isn’t cutting it anymore, it’s time for a change. But a complete career change isn’t something you should just jump into. Starting your new journey with some planning and research will ensure your transition will be a good one. Here are 5 smart things you should do before making any big changes.

#1 Research the position. Start by researching the field that you are interested in. You want to know as much as you can about it. What the position entails, what duties you would be in charge of, if people in this position are generally happy. Do an online search and check your local library for more information about the job. Speak to anyone you know in the field. Offer to take them out to lunch, or set up a meeting in their office so that you can ask questions about the new career you are considering.

#2 Do a job search. Go online and check sites like or LinkedIn to see how many opportunities there are, number of job listings, average pay. Also pay close attention to the type of businesses that are hiring for your specific position as you may find the types of companies are not to your liking.

#3 Update yourself. Would additional education help you land this new position? If yes, take any necessary courses before leaving your current job. You also want to update your resume and cover letter, making sure they reflect your most recent experience and credentials.

#4 Volunteer. Can you volunteer or work as an intern? Test the waters by finding a non-paid position you can do in your spare time. This will give you a taste of the job and will really tell you if it’s right for you or not.

#5 Plan ahead. Lastly, be realistic about your decision. Keep in mind that things many not go as planned; you may not land a secure position right away, or you may end up disliking the job. Make sure you have enough money saved up just in case.

Changing your career is a big deal. Before jumping all in, make sure you are prepared. Do any research, take any courses and make sure you have a back-up plan just in case.

Have you ever completely changed your career? What did you do to prepare?


Explaining Freelance Writer Prices

explaining_freelance_writer_prices-1You’ve decided that you need help writing your business content.


Then you start researching freelance writers and take a look at some of their prices.


While freelance writing prices may seem high, they are justifiable. Let’s take a closer look at how freelance writers come up with their prices.

Hourly vs. Fixed

I often see job listings that request the writer state their hourly rate. Personally, I’m not a fan of the hourly rate.

Why? An hourly rate means the writer really has no incentive to complete your job in a timely manner. What should take 1 hour could easily be stretched to 2.

Or, taking experience and typing speed into account, what one writer can get done in a couple hours could take another writer 4 or 5 hours. I just never felt that was a fair way to charge a client.

My preferred method for pricing (actually, it seems to be the preferred method for a lot of freelance writers) is to charge a fixed rate. This can be per blog post or total project, but the main factor here is that it’s a set price for the final product. A fixed rate gives both the writer and the client the billing agenda upfront. Everything from base price and any additional costs should be discussed before starting the project, leaving no room for surprises.

What You’re Paying For

You’re not just paying for content; many times you are also paying for everything else the writer can bring to the table.

Experience. Writer’s prices often reflect their experience. This takes into account how many years a writer has been working professionally, and also how experienced they are with the type of content you require.

Industry expertise. How well does the writer know your industry? You may find that those who are particularly skilled in the niche charge more, but they also bring with them knowledge that others can’t.

Turnaround time. If you need content in a hurry, chances are you will pay a little more. The definition of a “rush” job will vary from writer to writer, some counting a deadline in a couple days a rush job, others billing anything due in less than a week a rush.

Added value. Since you are seeking a writer for online content, you already know the true value doesn’t lie in the written words – it’s in what those words can do for your business. Besides being able to drive traffic to your site, many established writers can share your posts on their own social networks, bringing you even more exposure.


If you take a look at freelance writer prices, you may see that they vary greatly. As with most service-based jobs; you get what you pay for. While prices may seem high, an experienced freelance writer can offer your business so much more than just words on a page.