Category Archives: Tools

Intro to URL shorteners

URL shortenersSometimes you just need a shorter web address also known as a URL. So this is an intro to URL shorteners.

These are useful to share long addresses in email and social media. This especially true where sharing URLs on Twitter where a tweet is limited to 140 characters. I also use shortened addresses when sharing Google Maps URLs and Amazon addresses. That’s why I like to use any one of the following four shortcut services.

Bit.ly

The Bit.ly web address shortener offers a lots of cool features. It tracks clicks to each shortened URL. And, you can assign titles and tags to help manage them. Here is what a link to the Famous Quotes site http://quotehamster.com looks like http://bit.ly/2gyiJEK using the Bit.ly service. I also like that it is SEO friendly and since the site has a high domain authority that is handy to improve backlinks when you use it to point to a website of your choice.

TinyURL.com

TinyURL.com was the original web address shortener. The site is a bit old and tired. Still, it is quick to use and a wonderful free service. No SEO benefit to using this one though. Here what the site http://awesomelifeclub.com looks like when you shorten one of its longer addresses with TinyURL.com: http://tinyurl.com/y9wlqf26

Goo.gl

Google also got into the web address shortener game. Its Goo.gl service can track clicks. This data is public and is easy to access. Here is a page from the website http://rollerderbyroster.com shortened with Goo.gl URL shortener.  goo.gl/27dovs

Custom URL shorteners

Finally, if you want to use your own web domain as a shortener, then can register our own shorter address at Hover.com and use the company’s built in address shortening builder for free.

For example, here at Cyberwalker we registered http://cwd.link at Hover and so we have a series of short addresses used with it. For example this address http://cwd.link/dsnyc points to one of our client’s New York City location sites which has a long address of https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/geographic/new-york-city-data-recovery/.

The service is available for any domain registered with Hover. And is accessible from the control panel where you manage or domains. Get $2 off our first domain with Hover using this link: https://hover.com/XYxr7Luk

What is Leadpages?

 9 ways you can use the landing page tool to grow your online business

I thought was cool recently when in the same week I got two calls from two of our clients with three days asking – Hey Andy, What is LeadPages? What is LeadPages? It's a tool to get leads from the webIn both cases the clients were looking to grow their online businesses. Coordinating with SEO services like Sage Mauk Brooklyn SEO is one way to help your business grow by taking full advantage of Google Traffic. They had discovered that it was hard to change and customize landing pages for their web sites when driving traffic to a particular page. One client had concluded they needed a landing page tool and let to the question – What is leadpages used for? I came across it and I am wondering if it is what is need?

The other client had heard it mentioned by a family member and was wondering if they needed it sight unseen.

In both cases I heartily recommended it because they both were driving traffic through  ads. One client has a food business and was getting good traffic by ad placement on a niche food blogger. The other one was buying Facebook ads for its industrial products  Shopify store.

The landing page tool that’s ‘waaaaay’ better

When I discovered LeadPages I had already tried a competitor and saw the value of creating landing pages for our company’s various online initiatives, but a colleague told me to dump the tool I was using in favor of LeadPages because it was “waaaaay” better. I am not ordinarily swayed by such surfer dude endorsements, but this guy is pretty successful in digital marketing so I usually follow his lead on such things.

And in turn this is my invitation to you to try it out and see what it can do for your business.

What is LeadPages?

Let’s start with a definition. LeadPages is an online tool used to capture email subscribers. That is the primary function of the landing page tool. It is a templated and hosted tool that you can use to give away lead magnets, register people into webinars, and design landing pages to drive people into your email list.

LeadPages also offers templates for things like squeeze pages, video landing pages, sales pages and thank you pages. We use it every day at Cyberwalker Digital in the digital marketing work we do.

LeadPages landing pages examples
Examples of some landing pages that can be created with LeadPages

What LeadPages is NOT

LeadPages isn’t an email marketing platform that you use to send emails from (although the company does offer a platform called Drip which does that and works with LeadPages).

If you use Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, Aweber or MailChimp then LeadPages can be used for – actually integrated – with these platforms to help you grow your email list on these sites so you get more subscribers.

LeadPages they offers dozens of templates to help you create high-converting landing pages and allows you to easily send lead magnets to your subscribers. What else can LeadPages do? We let’s review what the landing page tool can do and how it can help your business grow.

What is LeadPages used for?

LeadPages has a ton of great features, so lets examine it key features for online business owners, and content marketers who are considering buying a LeadPages subscription.

1. Send Lead Magnets

lead magnet
Example of a Leadpages lead magnet landing page

A lead magnet is a digital giveaway like an ebook, video, coupon or seminar access that can be emailed to a subscriber once they sign up for your email list.

Some people call this process a bribe. But I like to think of it as a trade. Something like: I’ll give you this cool free thing if you give me your email address and agree to let me email you on a fairly regular basis, with the agreement that you can unsubscribe at any time and that I won’t send you anything that is spammy or sell your address to a third party.

LeadPages makes it easy to store and send a lead magnet when someone signs up on your Leadpages subscriber box or the opt-in box on a landing page. See a lead magnet page example here. You can also use your own email platform to send a lead magnet. You don’t have to use LeadPages feature to do this.

2. Create a Sales Page

When you are selling a product online you will always want to design a lengthy sales page to provide the product benefits and answer the prospective buyer’s questions, dispel their doubts and drive them to a registration pages where you close the deal and transact the sale. LeadPages makes this easy to do with its 350+ templates that can be customized to your content, you brand, your content and drive to your shopping cart.

What is leadpages used for3. Design a Squeeze Page

Sometimes you want to drive a prospective customer toward a single act, usually to register or sign-up or possibly to buy something. For this you’ll need a squeeze page. It’s a simple page that provides content of some kind and issues a call to action.So what is Leadpages squeeze page capability?  Squeeze pages are easy to design in LeadPages, especially if you want to use video from YouTube, Vimeo or hosted on your servers.

4. Make an Upsell Thank You Page

One of my favorite tactics in digital marketing is to offer an upsell after a subscriber has opted in. You have their attention and they are in a YES frame of mind so offering them something else on a thank you page is really effective in increasing your level of engagement. LeadPages has some great templates for this purpose where you thank the usr and direct them to their next action. This is usually driving them to either another sales or squeeze page. Or to your sales cart (in another tool – LeadPages does not provide shopping cart technology)

5. Deploy a pop-up sign-up box

LeadPages offers a version of it tool to just popu open an opt inbox on an existing content page. You set up the LeadBox to trigger when a graphic or link on a page is clicked. It works like this. Click Here.

6. Run A/B tests

When a landing page is not converting it is really handy to tweak it in different ways by changing colors, text, images and increasing or decreasing content. LeadPages let’s you test pages side by side and against each other. It serves up different versions to your site visitors and collects conversion data so you can see which version of your landing pages is more effective at driving them to action.

7. Seamless email platform integration

We use Infusionsoft as our primary email marketing platform so it is important that it can integrate with any marketing tool we use. The good news is LeadPages integrates well with Infusionsoft as well as pretty much every dominant email platform available today. That includes:

  1. Infusionsoft (as mentioned)
  2. MailChimp
  3. Aweber
  4. Constant Contact
  5. GetResponse
  6. Marketo
  7. Drip (An email automation software owned by LeadPages)

8. Hosted Video Pages

We develop a  lot of courses at Cyberwalker Digital, and it’s very handy to offer some of our content for free  as we promote the course. LeadPages lets you easily create video pages with call to actions. 9. Integrate Shopify buttons to create an enhanced sales page

Using Shopify button code you can build LeadPages that drive to a Shopify product page. This is really handy if you want to design a more robust product sales page and drive drive traffic directly to Shopify’s checkout cart.

What is LeadPages 2.0?

Recently LeadPages upgraded their tools to give you more freedom to design or customize a landing page. They introduced a drag and drop tool that allows you to select page elements and drag them into position. Previous to this you were limited in drastically changing page elements. You could customize, but within a framework. So if you have been wondering what is LeadPages plan to improve their tools, well the new version of the product has just arrived. (However, the company is constantly improving the tool beyond the major revisions.)

The new system let’s you work with a page to pretty much strip it bare and start again. To change the layout. Or simply edit small details. And all without thinking about any HTML, CSS or Javascript code. It is landing page design for non-programmers.

The new version of LeadPages also let you do A/B testing not just between versions by between versions of pages that used different initial templates.

What else? I still have question about what is LeadPages used for?

You can ask us in the pop up box below. We will answer you personally via email.

Your opinion posts are mostly useless in content marketing

Your opinion posts are mostly useless in content marketingBe sparing about opinion-based content. Typically nobody cares about your published opinion unless it’s about major issues impacting your customers and industry…and it offers a solution that is verifiable.

Most of the time your opinion laid out like a blog post will either infuriate a potential customer – or more likely bore them. Everyone has an opinion. Why is yours more important than others? A consumer that reads your opinion will not likely drive a sale. Except…

The Two Exceptions to the Rule

Of course there are exceptions to this rule.

Exception 1) If you are a somebody then your opinion may count. When Barack Obama has an opinion people listen. When Warren Buffet has an opinion people listen. If you are the president of an association or a leader among a large group of people or a newspaper editor, your opinion may matter. And it might drive popular opinion. Hollywood stars have this kind of clout.

Exception 2) If you produce comparative content, like a review that compares three products or summarizes a product category then your opinion has value. But only as a service to provide contrasting information that helps a person make a buying choice.

Otherwise, keep your opinion to yourself in content marketing. Nobody cares what you think. The irony is the people that ignore this tip will write their opinion anyway. And their mom, their spouse and a guy that clicks on it by accident will see it.  And it will be lost in the depths of the Internet.

 More Digital Marketing Tips >>

Free Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed eBook

4 FREE digital tools that will save you time and money

If you are busy marketing professional or an entrepreneur there are 4 FREE digital marketing tools, available online, that will make your life a lot easier.  Below, is a quick look at each one and a brief explanation of how it works.

4 FREE digital tools that will save your life:

moqups

1. Moqups:  Use moqups.com to create web design blueprints and charts. It helps you to create a framework to work from. Use it as a personal guide if you are building your own site. Or, give it to your web designer so they can capture your vision. Alternately, you can use Moqups to create charts and blueprints to use with your clients.

Awesome digital tool: Snagit

2. Snagit: Opt for a free trial version or purchase Snagit for a very low price of $49.95. Snagit allows you to take pictures of your computer screen. If something on your web site doesn’t look right you can take a picture and send it to your programmer so they understand what you are seeing. You can also use this tool to crop images.  (*We used Snagit for all the images in this post) Or, use Snagit it to record videos.

Bannersnack is an incredible free web tool

3. Bannersnack: If you want to create your own advertisements for the web you can use Bannersnack. It’s easy, just drag and drop. They have existing templates that you can choose from. You can also find out which of your ads are converting by using Bannersnack for search retargeting, website retargeting and contextual targeting.

4. Canva: Want to look like you’ve hired a graphic designer? Use Canva to create free and low-cost designs for the web and print. You can create everything from images for Facebook and Twitter to giant promotional posters for print.  Drag and drop everything into existing templates so what you create looks professional. A CWD favorite.

Use Canva to create professional graphic designs

Looking for more free digital marketing advice? Get your free ebook: Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed. Click the button below to get yours now:

Free Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed eBook

 

 

Fill your restaurant or business using web marketing

Why is your restaurant or small storefront business empty Monday through Thursday? Do people stop eating or living? No. People go out less, but that doesn’t mean they are not in need of your business and what it offers. So use the down time to shake up some more business and get them in when its quieter. Here’s how using the web.

Storefront small businesses and restaurants don’t always use the web well to interact with their customers, however their customer are using the web to find them (or their competitors) so what follows are some tips on using the web to engage customers and keep your cash register ringing all week long.

When using the web to communicate, remember it doesn’t take a lot of customers to have a thriving business. An active list of 500 to 1000 regular customers can make a small business thrive. So building contacts through social media like Twitter and Facebook, email lists and even basic email. Here are some tips and tricks that should help.

1. Capture customer info and talk to them – Offer your customers a reason to receive email from you. A weekly draw or coupons or specials. Send seasonal events or products or services. Then offer a weekly or monthly newsletter. Use mailchimp.com or constantcontact.com. For small lists these services are free.

2.Use a fish bowl – Have a weekly draw from business cards that your customers put in a fishbowl. Put those customers on your mailing list and send them reasons to open the email. 10% off coupon, 2 for 1 deals, seasonal specials and the like. It doesn’t have to take long to do. A twice weekly send on Wednesdays and Sundays to promote for the weekdays and weekend is ideal.

3. Use social media: Build a Facebook page for your business and sign up for a Twitter account. Then start posting information about your specialty. If you are a sushi restaurant (for example) then educate your followers using social media about Japanese food and culture. Use Hootsuite to schedule regular blasts of information to Twitter daily. Here’s an example post: “Did you know that okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake that contains cabbage and a mix of ingredients. The word means: as you like it.” Add a link back to your business if possible. This is a good role for a young person on your staff. If you become a source of information about what you are good at people who are interested will follow and become customers.

4. Don’t over sell on the web: People don’t want to be sold to. They want to be served. Treat your restaurant and storefront communications like you treat them at the cash or at the table. Mention and offer. Don’t sell and pitch. That should be reflected in all your web interactions.

5. Be responsive – You would never ignore the phone at your business or let it ring a long time. So be sure to respond quickly in any web communications. Check email one or twice a day. And when you post your email address let people know what turnaround response time they can expect from email.

Do you have a web marketing tip? Enter it in he comments below.

Learn about your site's popularity through Alexa.com

If you want to understand how your site racks up against other sites in your country or against all Internet sites then you’ll want to head on over to Alexa.com.

This web property, owned by Amazon, keeps track of each website gathering intelligence about the top web sites on the web. To use the site simply type in the URL of your web site in the search bar and Alexa spits out a wealth of stats on your site.

This is gleaned primarily from users of the Alexa toolbar, but also the company says, from other unnamed sources.

The data you want to look at is your site rank on the Internet and also in your country if you have geographically relevant content.

Sites linking in to your site shows its popularity (and likelihood of search engine love). If you are in the top 100,000 sites you’ll see traffic flow, audience snapshot, search queries ad various other useful information.

As you an see we didn’t do very well, but this is typical when a site is new. If you check Alexa.com today against the image captured in this post you’ll see we are coming along quite nicely since Feb 2012.

Start your web site at the beginning (we started with WordPress!)

As we build WebMogul101.com,we thought it might be fun to chronicle the process in this blog, so that we can show you what techniques we use to build web properties from the group up often without much of a budget. After all that’s what you are here for — to learn how build a web property.

So it should be noted that as I write this, it is being created in a generic WordPress installation on a server that our webmaster deployed.

We like WordPress because its a very versatile (and free) content management system that originally was designed to power blogs. However its become much more than that and is the basis for many big brand and high traffic web sites.

If you don’t have a webmaster that’s ok. Just find a web host (a company that can give you some webspace) that can install WordPress for you. One place to do that is wordpress.com. 🙂

But many web hosts offer deployment of WordPress in the control panel of the service.

In my next post I’ll show you what we did at the beginning to get the site up and running.

-Andy Walker
28 Feb 2012