Category Archives: Blog

The Effectiveness of Email Marketing

There are many ways to attract customers to your business. In previous articles, we explored the ways quality web design and search engines optimization can turn visitors into customers. However, another aspect of bring traffic to your site is advertisement. One of the most powerful, yet simple methods of advertisement is email marketing.

Is Email Marketing Still Profitable?

When you hear email, you may wonder if email marketing is still useful. With social media now playing large roles in advertising businesses, you may assume that email lists are outdated. However, that is not the case. Email lists continue to be one of the most profitable methods of gaining customers.

Why is Email Marketing important?

It’s Cost Effective

While we can advertise our businesses in many ways, email marketing is an easy and often free method to get our product out there. Even email marketing software tends to be very affordable. Email Marketing offers some of the highest conversions rates when compared to other advertising methods, such as social media. This makes email marketing an option that gets the biggest bang for your buck, generating better results than its counterparts.

It’s Easy to Implement

Bringing traffic to your site can sometimes involve complicated software that can be hard to use and implement. Email on the other hand is simple and, for the most part, universal. A large part of the world uses email, which makes it not only easy to use as a business, but easy for customers to understand as well. Its accessible via multiple devices, scalable as your company grows its email list, and even measurable in terms of its effectiveness.

It Aids Customer Engagement & Retention

Part of creating traffic on your site is encouraging people who have already become customers to use your business’ products and services again in the future. Emails is a non-invasive method of reminding people that your business exist and has a lot to offer. Sharing information about your products via email not only reminds and educates people about your business, but also could compel them to purchase.

It Builds Relationships & Credibility

One aspect of your business that separates it from other competitors is your brand. A good email illustrates your values and mission, whether that be shared through your products, blogs, or personal stories. Your brand may be what keeps people coming to your business, making email a great way to remind them of what makes your company special. Email is also an easy way to share customer feedback, like the success stories of your products or services. They remind customers of the quality and expertise of your business.

Where can I start in using Email Marketing for my Business?

Want to learn more about email marketing? Amy Porterfield can help! Amy is an entrepreneur that aims to help other aspiring business owners reach their goals. Through podcasts and online courses, she helps business owners find the resources they need for success. Check out Amy Porterfield’s free guided activity “7 Places to Share Your Lead Magnet to Grow Your Email List With Quality Leads” to get started with your email marketing journey!

A Mindset for Success

In recent articles, we have discussed many ways that you can improve your business through optimizing your website. However, there are other factors that are key to success. One such factor is your mindset. How do you approach the changes and obstacles of life and your industry? Your mindset can determine how effective you are at dealing with the daily challenges of your company and its overall success. While mindsets can vary from person to person, lets look at some common business mindsets that can help you reach your goals.

Believe in Yourself & Your Company

Success in any endeavor takes time and patience. In order to remain resilient to the ups and downs of life, you must believe in your company and its potential. The same goes for yourself. Many people may experience a sense of imposter syndrome when facing the challenges that come with running their own business. They may feel they are somehow inadequate as an entrepreneur, or even feel that they don’t deserve the fruits of their labor. Avoiding such thoughts and remembering your potential will allow you to continue carving a path towards your goals.

Have a Plan to Reach Your Vision

In order to develop a plan, you need a vision to work towards. Where do you want to be personally? What are the goals you have for your company at the moment? Once you have those set, you can start working on a plan to reach your own personalized idea of success. As with any journey, your path wont always be easy. Thinking about the possible situations that could happen in the future and how you would deal with them can help prepare you for such hardships. Whether the obstacle is big or small, approach each problem with your vision in mind.

Keep Learning & Growing

One thing to keep in mind as your company grows is that your goals are not stagnant. Once you complete the goals you set out to achieve in the beginning, remember that you and your company can continue to grow beyond them. Trying new things and expanding your vision allow you to grow not only as a company, but as a person. If you believe in your own potential, you will accomplish more. Even if new challenges arise, another thing to keep in mind is that you have learned and accomplished so much already. Failure may occur at times, but you are not falling back down to where you first started, but onto the accomplishments you already achieved.

Failure is Necessary for Success

As mentioned in previous sections, failure is inevitable when pursuing new endeavors. While it may appear that other entrepreneurs are talented or just plain lucky, they were not born that way. They tried and failed multiple times to arrive at where they are today. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is what builds success. You learn from your mistakes and become better every day. Create your own sense of luck through optimizing your actions and decisions based on the obstacles your have struggled with.

Achieving My Own Success

Sometimes it may be hard to define exactly what your personal idea of success is. The same can go for identifying your current mindset. Amy Porterfield can help! Amy is an entrepreneur that aims to help other aspiring business owners reach their goals. Through podcasts and online courses, she helps business owners find the resources they need for success. Check out Amy Porterfield’s free guided activity “Working Better Than before: Redfining your Unique Vision of Success” to explore your vision.  

Creating Trust: Turning Visitors into Customers

There are many aspects of your website that encourage visitors to become customers of your business. One thing that these factors have in common is that they create a sense of trust between you and your customer. When you meet someone for the first time, the impression you create can determine if the individual wants to pursue a relationship with you. Creating a sense of competency, transparency, and relatability can go a long way in attracting customers to your business. Let’s explore some of the ways you can create trust through your business’ website.

Competency

Language

When a potential customer arrives at your site, they want to feel like you are an expert on your product. However, this requires that you not only understand your product, but also understand your customer. Avoid the use of jargon or complicated words in favor of clear, simple language that your customers can understand. You also want to emphasize how your product will improve their quality of life. Keeping your text focused on your customer will help keep them engaged. This will not only suggest to customers that you understand them and your product, but that you don’t need to hide behind complex language and irrelevant details.

Good Experiences

Another factor that suggests competency is utilizing customer stories to advertise your product. While we can say a lot about our products, our words may be considered biased to some customers. Text reviews, photographs of customers using your product, or even videos can help potential customers gain trust in your services. Make these stories visible on your website by sharing them in high traffic areas and near the products in question.

Visibility

Competency can go beyond your webpage. Using search engine optimizing (SEO) to your advantage can make your business more visible to potential customers. As discussed in our previous article, your position in search queries is determined by your rank. A higher rank indicates that both search engines and users find your site useful and relevant. We can further show how well our products are doing by showing our ratings or reviews in search results as well.

Transparency

Security

Keeping your customers informed on your company’s practices creates a sense of transparency. This can make customers more comfortable with your business. One way we can do this is by adding security seals to our pages. These seals are visual logos that link to the certificates that protects your site. Having security seals on your website makes it clear that you value your customer’s digital safety, encouraging trust. Another visual representation of security that people notice is the small lock that pops up in the address bar when a site is HTTPS enabled. Small things like these create good first impressions and impact your SEO ranking in a positive manner.

Location

Another small change that impacts your customers’ trust can be found in your contact page. While not applicable for all companies, including your physical store address can be to your benefit. Knowing that there is a physical location can reassure customers and offer them a different avenue to purchase your products as well as address questions or issues they may have.

Checkout Process

What happens during the checkout process of your site can impact the trust your customers have in your company. The uncertainty of how much an item will cost after tax, how long it could take to arrive, or if there will be certain options available can make potential customers wary to buy your product. Being forthright with such details in the beginning can ease such concerns. Explaining what will happen during the checkout process allows customers to understand what expectations they should have. If your checkout process has no surprises, your customers are more likely to feel comfortable enough to complete their purchase.

Relatability

Your Story

Last but not least, customers can at times feel like all companies care about is money. To avoid this perception, try sharing your story with your customers. What is your company’s mission and goals? How do you want to grow? These are aspects of life that we can all relate to, in one way or another. It establishes your company as not just a logo, but a place where people work and are trying to achieve things. Customers can find this relatable and humanizing, making them more willing to begin a relationship with your company.

Want to learn more?

We at BCSE are always here to help! If you are curious about how you can further create trust on your website, contact us! Carrie’s upcoming course, “The Converting Website”, will also explore many ways you can improve the conversion of your online business. Join the waitlist today to stay up to date with its release!

Product Descriptions: Making the Intangible Concrete

The popularity of E-Commerce has pushed all sorts of businesses to open online stores. Consumers can find almost any product with the click of a button using the internet. On top of that, search engines can provide a wide selection of companies to choose from. Making your company stand out is key to beating the competition. One way we can make our products stand out is through product descriptions.

What makes Product Descriptions so Important?

With brick-and-mortar stores, customers can walk into a store and physically interact with a product. They can see what it looks like on the shelf, can ask a nearby sales representative questions about it, and may even try out the product before purchasing it. Online stores do not have that luxury. Instead, we have to work harder to make these products feel like they are real.

Photographs and text descriptions are the most important selling points for online products. Quality images and informative text help make your product tangible for online customers. Understanding what your product is, how it works, and what it can do for the customer are key to converting users into customers.

How do I Improve my Product Descriptions?

Remember your Audience

The first step in making good product descriptions is to know your audience. You may understand your products like the back of your hand, but how do customers see your product? How do they talk about it and search for it online? Identifying the words, situations, and value of your product can help you optimize your product description.

While focusing on your product from the customer’s perspective, it is also important to identify the problem your product solves. A potential customer may not know the name of the product they are looking for. Instead, they may search for an unknown product that solves a specific issue. Incorporating these uses into your product description can help bring new customers to your site.

Keep it Simple

While we can go into grand detail about our products and share our feelings about how great they are, too much detail can push customers away. On one hand, your product description should stand out when compared to others. Using the generic manufacturer info alone to describe your product will cause your product to blend with similar items. on the other hand, however, over describing or relying on clichés and superlatives to make your item stand out can cause customers to distrust or misunderstand your product. Overall, it is best to keep your descriptions simple and straightforward.

In our previous article, we discussed search engine optimization. The use of keywords can help guide search engines through our site when determining our rank. While we want search engines to rank our content highly, user experience should always come first. We are writing product descriptions for humans, so our descriptions should convey the human value of the product rather than just the associated keywords.

Use your Story

Product descriptions are an avenue to establish a relationship with your customers. A defined voice or narrative through your product descriptions allow you to share a bit of who your company is. You want to show that your product is a good experience. Illustrating that through your story and goals can make your product more enticing and help your company stand out.

Another way to illustrate your company’s story is through user experiences. Who better to sell your product than customers who already bought it? Whether it be visuals of customers using the product or written reviews, customer stories can help explain your product to other potential customers.

Converting visitors into Customers

In her upcoming course, “The Converting Website,” Carrie will explore the variety of ways you can optimize your website to increase visitor to customer conversions. Join the waitlist today to stay up to date about the course’s release!

Create with Purpose: On-Page SEO & Ranking

In our previous article, we defined on-page search engine optimization (SEO). By improving the elements of our pages, we can improve our search engine ranking. The higher a webpage appears in search results, the more likely traffic will come to your business. Today, let’s take a look at some key factors that can improve your site’s ranking.

Websites that appear at the top of search engine results tend to have pages that have clear purpose. These pages contain hyper relevant content that is concise and organized. These qualities make it easy for both users and search engines to understand the value of a website. Being able to identity that value is what increases the rank of these pages.

Three key factors that need to reflect the value of your site in terms of on-page SEO are content, title tags, and URLs. By improving these three factors, search engines can better understand how useful your site is.

Content

Creating relevant content requires that there is a demand for your content. The demand could be as simple as the definition of a word or as complex as a specific product or service. As long as your page supplies for that demand, your ranking will increase. Concise, useful content that makes it clear what you are supplying will help bring customers your way.

Another consideration to account for is the reachability of your content. While the content of a page could be useful and in demand, if a search engine can’t see the page, it won’t be able to rank it. Reachable content is content that is visible and shared easily. This means that pages that are only accessible after a log in screen or pages that aren’t linkable will rank lower in search results. Ensuring that your pages are accessible will help bring your pages up the charts.

Title Tags

Title tags are the clickable headlines and short descriptions we see when looking at search results. These summaries are key to telling both users and search engines what your page is about. Like a sign on a physical store, accurate and concise title tags impact the traffic you attract. By clearly defining your page purpose in your title tags, you will improve SEO, user experience, and overall sharability.

URLs

Search engines value being able to understand your website through your URL structure. When looking at the URL of a site, being able to see where a user came from and logically how they ended up on the current page is considered when ranking. This means that the URL needs to reflect the page that is being illustrated.

Rather than having the homepage followed by a string of numbers as a page identifier, URLs should include human keywords. We should be able to see that we are diving down in specificity from the URL alone. By incorporating your page purpose clearly into the URL, search engines and users will better understand your page. Better user experience means better search engine ranking.

Want to learn more?

Carrie Saunder’s upcoming course, “The Converting Website,” will dive into SEO and other important factors that aim to optimize your website. Join the waitlist today to stay up to date on the classes release!

On-Page SEO at a Glance

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to bring relevant traffic to your website. By optimizing your pages, you can increase the position of your site in search engine results. In our previous article, we discussed SEO and some of the factors that are used to rank your site. Today, lets dive deeper and take a look at a specific category of SEO: on-page SEO.

What is On-Page SEO?

SEO is broken down into multiple directions we can take to improve our search engine ranking. On-page or on-site SEO focuses specifically on the optimization of your webpages’ content and elements.

On-page SEO’s goal is to make it easier for both search engines and human users to understand your website. By optimizing your webpage, you help both search engines and users understand your content and goals. Good on-page SEO helps search engines interrupt what users see on your page and what value they glean from it.

How Important are Keywords to On-Page SEO?

By analyzing webpages, search engines can determine what is considered high quality content to users. They then rank pages accordingly in their respective search queries. When thinking about users searching the internet, keywords may come to mind as an important factor.

In the past, the idea of keywords used to play a larger role in on-page SEO. However, search engines have become smarter and judge pages beyond what specific words they include in their content.

Today, search engines can understand webpages not only through keywords, but from synonyms, context, and specific combinations of words. This allows search engines to better measure the actual relevance of your page in a user’s search query. Keywords still matter, but are not the only thing you should be working on. Instead, understanding who your users are, what they want, and what content fulfills their needs is key to increasing your on-page SEO.

How is Good On-Page SEO Achieved?

Beyond keywords and quality content, a variety of factors are relevant when optimizing your page:

  • Linkage – Managing how many links are on your page can help increase the value of your content. If you have many links on one page, consider how relevant those links are to what you are trying to convey. Broken links can negatively impact your ranking, so making sure your links work is also important.
  • Speed As discussed in previous articles, slow pages affect user experience. If pages are slow to load, search engines will rank those pages lower than others.
  • Organization & Structure – Organization and structure are important when creating a website that is easy for search engines to understand. Check out our previous article where we define structured data and the structure you should use.
  • Metadata – Metadata acts as instructions for search engines that are reading your page. Including metadata can help search engines better understand your page’s intent. It also acts as a map when search engines explore your site, guiding them to the pages you want them to see.

Overall, good on-page SEO should equate to creating good user experience. So long as your users find value in your website, your site’s search engine ranking should increase.

Want to learn more?

Carrie Saunder’s upcoming course, “The Converting Website,” will dive into SEO and other important factors that aim to optimize your website. Join the waitlist today to stay up to date on the classes release!

Bring More Traffic to your Website – Technical SEO

To gain more customers, your business must be easy to find. With E-commerce businesses, many potential customers will be arriving to your site via search engines such as Google. Searching for products and services on Google will result in a hierarchy of websites that are ranked behind the scenes. The higher your site is on a Google search result, the more opportunity your business has to attract new customers.

In our previous article on how Google sees online businesses, we introduced the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a method to increase your site’s searchability and search result ranking. Let’s look at some technical aspects of your site that effect your site’s position in search results.

There are three key factors that determine good technical SEO: speed, crawlability, and understandability. These factors not only effect how Google sees your business, but effect user experience as well. Good user experience leads to good SEO, so optimizing your site’s searchability is beneficial to your business.

Speed

We come back to speed often because speed is one of the first things people notice when they arrive on your site. How fast does your site load? How long does it take to get from one page to the next? As discussed in our previous article on Google’s Core Web Vitals, speed plays a key role in determining the first impressions of your site not only for users, but for search engines as well. Search engines such as Google are aware that page speed impacts user experience. When ranking your website in search results, Google measures the speed of your site against a set of ideal metrics. If your page is slow, Google will push that page further down in the search results.

Crawlability

“Crawling” is a term used to describe search engine sending out a virtual robot to “read” your webpages. These bots go through your pages and click on the all the possible links they can find. How many dead ends the bots find and the structure of your data determines the crawlability of your site.

Due to the constant evolution of websites, broken links are not uncommon. These links are pages that don’t work and thus cannot populate their content to the user. While bots crawl your site, they note how many broken links they find. Broken links impact user experience as it causes annoyance and confusion. Search engines include this factor when ranking your page. Minimizing these dead ends benefits both users and search engine optimization.

Understandability

Understandability tends to be a question of how well structured your website is. As bots crawl your page, they attempt to understand what your page is doing. The bot interprets your goals and products based on the content it can read. How easy it is for the bot to understand your content effects its understanding of your business. This information is essential in helping search engines decide when to share your site as a search result. How the bot interprets your website’s purpose impacts your ranking as well as the audience search engines will send to your site.

Other aspects that impact the understandability of your pages include international reach and duplicate content. Having different sites for international audiences can confuse search engines if not defined. Due to different languages, search engines need to provide the proper page to the proper region and thus need to understand the page’s intended audience. Having the same content on pages can also confuse search engines on how they should rank your pages since they may all look the same. In the end, this may result in ranking them all lower.

Optimizing my Technical SEO

Interested in learning more about how you can increase your website’s search engine ranking? Reach out to BCSE! Interested in learning about tools and methods that you can use on your own to optimize your website? Join the wait list today for Carrie Saunders’ upcoming course, “The Converting Website.” This five-week course will explore a variety of ways to make your website turn visitors into customers!

Staying in Compliance – Colorado’s New Retail Delivery Fee

Starting July 1st, 2022, the state of Colorado will require retailers to collect a $0.27 fee any time they deliver taxable goods to an address in Colorado. With E-Commerce’s ability to interact with customers beyond state boundaries, this will impact many online businesses. Both in-state and out-of-state companies will have to add additional items to their checkout process in order to comply with Colorado’s new retail delivery fee.

What do I need to Know about the Colorado Retail Delivery Fee?

Any tangible taxable good delivered by a motor vehicle to a Colorado consumer will require the new retail delivery fee. Some other factors to consider concerning this scenario are:

  • Operation or ownership of the vehicle used to transport goods to a Colorado consumer does not affect the necessity of the retail delivery tax.
  • Whether your company is sending the good from inside the state of Colorado or out of state, the retail delivery tax still applies.
  • The inclusion of free shipping of your goods does not affect the necessity of the retail delivery tax.

Are there any Exceptions?

The exceptions concerning this tax are as follows:

  • Consumers such as government and charity organizations, which are exempt from state sales tax, are not affected by the retail delivery tax.
  • Nontaxable goods are not affected by the retail delivery tax as long as the property that the delivery is headed to is exempt from the state sales tax.

Note that if a mix of taxable and nontaxable goods are purchased together sent out for delivery in Colorado, the retail delivery tax will still apply.

What do I need to do to comply to this upcoming factor?

  • Be informed. Make sure that you know and understand the implications of this new fee and how it will impact you and your business. You can read more about this new tax here on the Colorado Department of Revenue webpage.
  • Add a $0 line item to your orders with the OF400000 tax code.
  • Include the retail delivery tax line on your customer’s invoices. This tax will need to be displayed separately from the total tax line.
  • Sign up for a tax compliant service. To learn more about this option, reach out to BCSE to get more information concerning a tax compliant service that keep your business up to date with these ever-changing tax requirements so you don’t have to!

Where can learn more about complying to this upcoming change?

BCSE is always here to help. If you have questions or concerns about this upcoming retail delivery fee, contact us and we will get you up to speed!

Common eCommerce Conversion Challenges

The world of eCommerce is full of challenges. Fast paced and competitive, one of the hardest aspects of eCommerce is adapting to the evolving expectations of your customers. Visitors of your site can decide whether or not to become customers with a click of a button, making it imperative that your platform is attractive and easy to use. Let’s look at some of the top eCommerce challenges that could be impacting your company’s conversions.

Speed

As seen in our previous article concerning Google’s Core Web Vitals, speed plays an important role in establishing a good first impression. How fast your site feels, which is determined by how quickly and smoothly your website loads for the user, can be one of the first things a user notices. If your site takes a long time to load, or loads unevenly, visitors may decide to hit the back button and look elsewhere for similar products or services.

Device Friendliness

Since users can access your site on multiple devices, how your site adapts between desktop and mobile can impact customer experience. Since smartphones allow customers to shop almost anywhere, having your site be navigable and optimized for use on mobile can be key to obtaining more customers. The easier it is for a user to scroll through your site, the more likely they will stay.

Unclear Goals

When someone arrives at your website, they should be able to determine fairly quickly what it is you are offering and how they can learn more about your product. This means that your site needs to have clear calls to action to guide them towards the end goal: becoming a paying customer. If becoming a customer is a complicated process, a user may opt to leave your site.

Complicated Checkout Process

Getting a visitor to the checkout process is the goal of most eCommerce businesses. However, a visitor arriving to the checkout form doesn’t mean they have become a customer yet. Depending on the length, clarity, and ease of use of your site’s check out process, a user still has the option of abandoning their cart. Making this final step easy and transparent can be imperative to converting customers.

How can I increase my Website’s Conversion Rate?

Want some tips and tricks on how to make your site convert more users to customers? Sign up for the BCSE Newsletter today and we will send you a 7-step guide on how to increase your eCommerce conversions and sales!

Important Metrics to Track in GA4

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a powerful analytics service that offers granular data about your site’s traffic engagement. In our previous article concerning GA4, we introduced GA4 and guided readers on how to start collecting data on their own websites. Next, lets explore a few important metrics to track as you use GA4.

GA4 has a variety of reports that can help you better understand how your site is turning visitors into customers. One of the pages you may visit often is “Report Snapshot” under “Reports.” While GA4 offers multiple metrics to explore user engagement, here are some important ones to keep your eye on while using this tool.

Users

Users is a major metric on GA4, taking up the majority of the “Report Snapshot.” In GA4, each user has a tag with a special ID to differentiated it from other users, even on different devices. This allows Google to identify new users from reoccurring ones.

Knowing how many new users are visiting your site can help establish if you are attracting new faces to your business. Such information can help identify if your website and advertising methods are working. Being able to identify reoccurring visitors helps measure if your website leaves a good impression. Returning visitors may mean returning customers, after all.

Other user reports such as demographic, activity, and retention can help further granulate who your users are and how your users see your website. Overall, user metrics are essential to understanding your ecommerce traffic flow.

Sessions

Sessions are a measurement of the volume of visits to your site. Moving beyond the number of users who arrive at your site, sessions keep track of how much time a user spends on your website. Located briefly on “Report Snapshot,” sessions do not take into consideration specific users. If a user interacts with your site on desktop, and then later visits your site on their phone, those interactions are two different sessions.

The sessions metrics plays a role in other reports that can help you understand more about how your users interact with your business. Average Engagement Time reports, can identify how long users stay on your pages. For example, you can track how long users stay on your home page. Depending on the length of time, your home page may have room for further optimization.

Another report that involves sessions is the Percentage of New Sessions report. This percentage compares new visitors and returning customers to see if you are retaining users. The “Session by Default Channel Grouping” report can identify where your customers are coming from. This helps you understand where your business advertisements are most successful, such as social media

Views

Views are visits to specific pages. With views, you can see what pages receive the most attention and what pages attract less traffic. High page views can help identify what kind of content users like. On the other hand, low page views can suggest disinterest or page issues that need addressed.

Views are also a good way to see how changes to your site impact traffic. We can compare views over time. By doing so, we can correlate changes in traffic to changes you may have made to your website.

Conversions

Conversions is one of the most important metrics GA4 has to offer. This metric is defined by how many visitors become customers. Customers are defined by how many visitors reach the page your business considers the end goal. This page could be a confirmation or thank you page, suggesting that the user has bought your product or signed up for your services.

Located at the bottom of your “Report Snapshot,” conversions are a great way to measure how well your website sells your business.

Want to Learn More?

BCSE is always here to help you with your website needs. However, if you want to learn more about how you can use GA4 to further your website, join the waitlist today for Carrie Saunder’s upcoming course! During the five-week course, “The Converting Website,” Carrie will explore GA4 and other powerful tools you can use to heighten your website.