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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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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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