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5 Ways To Boost Your Website’s Success In 2017

5 Ways To Boost Your Website’s Success In 2017

The New Year is upon us which means it’s time to set some new goals for 2017. Most resolve to lose a pound or two or find a new love interest in the year to come, but as a website owner, your goals are probably centered on the success of your online business.

Whether you’re a profitable blogger or an online retailer, the success of your website relies heavily on your ability to keep up with changing online marketing trends as well as shifts in consumer needs, wants, and demands.

If you’re looking to get a leg up on the New Year by setting your goals and making a plan for success before the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, you could probably stand to benefit from some helpful tips on how to boost your site’s success.

Here are five ways you can increase your site’s potential for success in the New Year.

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1. Build upon your online presence

No matter how great your product is or how much you’ve spent on designing an awesome website, none of that will matter if consumers can’t find your website. This is why it’s absolutely crucial for site owners to build and maintain an effective online presence. This will include things like keeping up on SEO to ensure consumers can find you when they search terms related to your site, establishing your brand on various social media channels, and creating and promoting quality content on your site to keep it in the public eye.

As a site owner, it will be important to track and implement consumer trends in each of these areas in 2017 to make sure you’re keeping up with the digital marketing tactics that are working and identifying ways you can implement them in your offsite and onsite strategies.

If you’re a bit new to the digital marketing world, I recommend checking out this guide which provides an excellent overview of how to build an effective online presence for your brand. Your tactics and approaches may vary with time, but focusing on the elements provided in this guide as you get started will help you move in the right direction.

2. Get to know your consumers

Whether you’re a business owner or a blogger, one of the most important things a site owner can do is to get to know the site’s consumers. What type of content does your consumer base like to see? Are there small tweaks you could make to your site to increase your ability to make an online sale? Are there any changes you could make to your product, service, or content to better meet the needs of your consumers?

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Things like A/B testing, consumer surveys, Google Analytics, and focus groups can help you get answers to these questions. You should plan to check your analytics at least every other day to identify consumer trends. As far as surveys, A/B testing, and focus groups go, trying out each of these tactics at least once throughout the course of the year could help you get the valuable insights you need to make profitable changes to your website and its offerings.

If you’ve yet to do any conversion rate optimization on your site, take a look at these simple site tweaks you can make to help you increase the rate at which your site is able to convert shoppers to customers.

3. Listen to the experts

One of the most difficult things a business owner can do is to listen to what experts in marketing and other creative areas have to say about their site. Although most business owners and bloggers understand that marketing professionals have a better grasp on marketing tactics and technical online marketing terms than they do, they often have a hard time taking new suggestions for their sites.

If you’re not working with an outside marketing pro, it’s still likely you’re neglecting what other marketing professionals have to say about the latest tactics because you’re busy working within your own company.

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You might be a bit strapped for time, but if you plan to manage any element of your site’s marketing, it’s absolutely essential that you stay up on the latest online marketing news. The field is ever-changing which means that if you miss a simple announcement from Google, you run the risk of pushing for outdated tactics that either don’t work or could leave you with a penalty.

Make a commitment to yourself to seek advice from and actually listen to experts. I recommend following a few different influencers on their blogs as well as on Twitter. Some of my favorite resources are the Moz blog, the Kissmetrics blog, and Rand Fishken’s Twitter account.

4. Re-evaluate and define key business goals

As your site grows, your goals as a business should grow along with it. This doesn’t mean that you should abandon your mission statement or values to accommodate growing trends, but it does mean that you should sit down at least once a year to re-evaluate where your site is headed and what you would like to see in the coming months. Even if your site is just a small blog at this point, you should still treat it like a profitable business as you set your goals and strategize for their execution if you want to see your audience grow and your potential profits rise.

If you’re not quite sure how to evaluate your site’s annual goals like a business owner would for his or her business, check out these five tips to get started.

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5. Hold yourself accountable for change

If you’re not strategic about the way you set your goals and track your accomplishments, it’s nearly impossible to maintain full understanding of how your site is performing and what you can do to improve upon its performance. This is why it is important to set up a system for self-accountability that involves goal setting, tracking, deadlines, and evaluation.

The first step in this process is to set specific numbers and time limits for your goals. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to determine why and how you either did or did not reach your goals. The next step is to set processes for how and when you will track your progress. Next, you’ll want to set deadlines for your goals and be sure to mark these on your calendar with notifications that let you know when it’s time to check in on how you’re doing. Finally, you’ll want to set a system for determining your success in your final evaluation at the end of 2017.

Creating a specific process will help you hold yourself accountable for successes and failures that occur throughout the year.

The process of setting a strategy for increased site success in 2017 will be a bit lengthy, but it will be well worth it when you have a direction and focus for increased profits and audience growth in the New Year!

Featured photo credit: iStock via istockphoto.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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