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SEO is an Investment That Grows Your Business!

Search Engine Optimization is something we have all heard about, and it is considered good business to use SEO as part of effective professional website design. If you have not already introduced it as part of your marketing strategy, it’s time for you to get started.

Here are 5 reasons your website design and marketing strategy should include investing in effective SEO now.

1.  It Takes Time to See ROI – Get Started!

 

Well executed SEO can be very effective in creating excellent return on your investment. In fact, a recent survey shows that 94 percent of online marketers who have used SEO long enough plan to maintain current SEO budgets or increase them. The bad news is that most professional agencies charge clients thousands a month and that is understandably intimidating.

Considering all the benefits one can derive from SEO done right, the high price paid for SEO adds up to increased brand reputation and visibility, greater search traffic and referral traffic. All of these multiply exponentially over time which means increased ROI.

2.  Golden Age Of SEO

 

It may be true that some people would like to return to the era when black hat tactics and manipulations still worked. Those were the days when competitors could displace you and your brand with some underhanded strategies. As time goes on, search engines will become more effective with their evaluations of the quality of content and user experience. Don’t let yourself miss out, get involved right away before the potential for search visibility begins to decline as digital assistants and immediate answers take over search engine territory.

3.  Reap Greater Rewards By Compounding Returns Over Other Tactics

 

Compounding returns works because of the permanence of every action you take, each link you build, and every bit of content you post. This increases your search visibility and authority, grows your social followings, and the longer your content strategy continues you will reap conversions and referral traffic.

The sooner you start building your reputation and compounding your interest growth, the sooner you will reap the rewards.

4.  Don’t Let Your Competitors Pull Away

 

There is a significant cost to waiting too long to start utilizing SEO, particularly when your competitors already use it. The more time it takes you to get involved, the more you’ll lose out on high ranking positions for lucrative keywords and the more effectively they will build their defenses around their positions. Additionally, they will add more targeted keywords to their tactics and increasing their rankings.

5.  You’ve Nothing to Lose So Give It a Try

 

Don’t be intimidated by SEO agencies that try to get you to sign a six months contract or longer. You don’t have to do that since there are others that let you dip your toes in to see what you can accomplish. You have options. Talk to professionals, establish a budget and get started. Again, the results take time but you can make adjustments as you go. The sooner you get started the better your ROI will eventually be.

Don’t let the competition get ahead of you. It only gets harder to beat them the longer you wait.

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When it comes to Email Marketing, we use Mailchimp

Digital marketing is a complex arena, and your business must master a number of tools to see truly fantastic results. Several new and exciting resources have hit the market in recent times. However, it’s one of the oldest methods that forms the heartbeat of turning online interest into converted sales. Even in 2017, email marketing is king.  

 It might be an old concept, but email marketing has evolved massively over the years. Nowadays, there are many providers offering services built to generate the best possible result. Of all the solutions out there, MailChimp is our preferred option by far. Stop monkeying around, here’s what you need to know about the operator.  

What does MailChimp do?  

A successful email marketing strategy can be one of the most effective solutions in the digital arena. It offers entrepreneurs the chance to directly advertise products and services to their customers in a relaxed way. MailChimp sets out to help clients maximize their returns by ensuring those newsletters hit the mark time and time again.  

MailChimp allows users to create an array of newsletters, using varying templates and embedded media to stay fresh and on a brand. With the ability to save templates and info too, it’s a fast and efficient way of reaching your audience with a personalized and powerful touch.    

MailChimp makes sending newsletters and email correspondences to the masses easier than ever.    

 Getting to grips with MailChimp:

One of MailChimp’s great selling points is the fact that it’s so easy to use. When composing a newsletter, it’s important to remember that first impressions are everything. A simple drag and drop email creator allow for immense control and versatility. Adding text, images, dividers, and social media buttons can be completed in a matter of seconds. This ensures that the appearance hits just as hard as your punchy text.  

Managing campaigns is very easy too, thanks to easy reporting that illustrates the success and failure of a newsletter in easy terms. From checking how many times an email was opened to how many internal links were clicked, the data is clear to see.    

The client portal is very easy to navigate too while you can also encourage automation and other time-saving elements too. For a fast, pleasurable experience, MailChimp is the only email marketing service needed.  

What are MailChimp’s key features?

MailChimp serves the purpose of creating and monitoring newsletters better than its competitors. One of the main reasons for this is that it offers some brilliant features. These include:

  •  Time zone recognition. When you tell an email to be delivered at a time, it will adapt to different time zones to enable greater optimization. In a digital world where audiences can be universal, this tool is perfect.
  •  RSS to email automation. This means that your blog posts will automatically be emailed out to your audience, increasing engagement and traffic.
  •  Perfect integration with WordPress, Eventbrite, Survey Gizmo and other external platforms. Not only does this save time, but it also reduces the chance of mistakes and poor organization.   
  • A/B testing. If you’re caught between two ideas (such as email headlines), you can send each option to 20% of the audience. The results gained from comprehensive reports will then show you the best route to take for the remaining 60%.

The Conclusion

MailChimp is easy to use, creates beautiful designs boasting every media type you could ask for. Moreover, it works perfectly alongside WordPress and other key website creation tools. It even integrates with other marketing resources while reporting enables for the best results.

If that wasn’t enough, the service is free when sending emails to a list of fewer than 2,000 subscribers! It automatically removes subscribers that send your emails to their spam folder too. Reaching your full potential in the field of email marketing never seemed simpler.

Session Recording and Heat maps with Hotjar

Understanding your website visitors is essential these days. And this is what tools like Hotjar aim to help you with. If you want to find out more about it, read on now.

What Is It?

To put it simply, Hotjar is a suite of analytics tools that helps you with the collecting of qualitative data. They take things like user polls, heat maps and funnel tracking, and they bring them all together in one package. Having them together in the same place makes them easier to use and manage. Once you know where your visitors are clicking and how they’re interacting with your site, you can make changes to it.

It’s all about looking for new ways in which your business can improve its online presence. You can’t do that if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. Website enhancement and continual improvement are two of the things that these tools allow. One of the best tools offered by Hotjar are the heat maps, and you can find out more about why they’re so useful by continuing to read the Hotjar information below.

Why Do We Like It?

What makes Hotjar stand out from the rest is the way in which the package is so well-rounded. Sure, you can get plenty of apps that offer the individual things provided by Hotjar. But none of them bring all of these different tools together in one place and make it so easy for users to take advantage of them. This is why we use Hotjar and love what it offers us. We can use Hotjar in a variety of different ways, adapting our usage according the needs of our clients and their budgets.

No matter how or why you want to use Hotjar, there will be a plan option that suits you. There are not many apps or services that you can say that about. There are other tools out there, and it’s always a good idea to compare them to make sure that you are choosing the right analytics tools for you. Look at what Crazyegg Inspectlet and Mouseflow have to offer.

How Does It Help Us In Our Job?

When you’re using a service like this, you want it to help you with the work you do every day. Hotjar helps us to improve our conversion rate, as well as the overall user experience we offer. This is what’s most important to users, and that’s why it’s so good to be able to use tools that have a direct impact on those things.
So, how does Hotjar help us to improve things like the user experience and conversion rate? They do all that by providing the best metrics and data, which can then be used to make tangible improvements to our website. The most important metrics for us are user clicking behavior, mouse movement, and scrolling. These metrics and the data we get from them help us to understand users so much better. In turn, this leads to changes that improve outcomes.

How to Map your Process with Basecamp 3?

Introduction to Basecamp 3

Basecamp is a very popular project management tool, especially for those in a digital agency environment. It is used by lots of web companies to help them collaborate with clients as they manage their projects. Basecamp has had its first major redesign since 2012. Many tweaks, changes, and additions have been made to create a more powerful tool. Basecamp says they have taken their best ideas, layered in customer insight and feedback, added new stuff, and then created the best version of Basecamp ever.

Digital Project Management

In the ever-changing digital realm creating a process that is very transparent for everyone plus easily customizable and improved on the fly can be challenging. We at DBurns went on a journey before we finally established a productive flow.

With projects varying scope, industry, and goals, it was hard to create a structure that will allow our teams to move efficiently through the project, and still be able to suggest improvements without delaying or losing track of what we needed to change.

Project Managment Tools

We have switched back and forth from one system to the other. We tried Wrike, Asana, Roadmap, Trello, all great products but not exactly what we were looking for.

We have been using Basecamp since 2009, and late last year we decided to upgrade from Classic to Basecamp 3. This move allowed us to start with a clean state and rethink our processes, task structures, and automation to ensure all projects were running efficiently on time and budget.

Below I show how we structured our operations and to-dos with Basecamp.

How to Map Your Process on Basecamp

Up until recently, we had a Trello Board for each client which got copied from a template board we had with our process. Each Trello card contained “steps” so whoever was onboarding the project could clearly see what had been done or not and could also know what next steps to take.

Trello Process Mapping DBurns

Master Marketing Process Trello Board

Trello - Step by Step Process Mapping

Trello – Step by Step Process Mapping

To create this board, we followed these steps:

  1. List all services provided by your company
  2. Breakdown extensive services into sub-services
  3. Define with hands-on team members the steps needed to deliver a service from start to deliverable.
  4. Once all services and steps were mapped we created a Trello card for each of them

This setup worked perfectly for us initially, however, after a few months using it, our team was struggling to keep communication, files, and due dates updated across our client’s boards. Also in case, a team member had detected a hole in the process, or, wanted to suggest an improvement, it will be somewhat cumbersome. Getting it approved, published in the template board and then replicated into the on-going projects was a painful process, and ultimately our team would be demotivated to suggest changes.

With all these challenges, we needed to find a way where we could communicate, plan, set due dates, and manage all of our operations from one place. That’s when B3 came in handy.

Why Basecamp 3 is Better Than Basecamp Classic

You don’t have to switch from Basecamp Classic if you’re already a Basecamp customer. With traditional Basecamp, you can continue to manage your projects as usual and can keep using it that way forever if you wish. However, there’s no denying that Basecamp 3 is much better than Basecamp Classic. Basecamp 3 has many benefits over Basecamp Classic.

The interface of B3 is entirely new, and every tool on there has been updated in many ways. There’s also a brand new list of stuff you can take advantage of too. Key features include integrated chat, instant messaging, automatic check-ins, and more. There are also unlimited projects for users, whatever package you may be on. In the past, only premium users could enjoy limited projects on Basecamp. Even the entry level plan is unlimited in Basecamp 3.

Although there are a ton of benefits when using Basecamp 3, there are a couple of things that aren’t included in this version. The calendar has changed, so you get a line by line agenda view rather than the traditional grid view. None of the other changes made to B3 should be deal breakers for you, though. Many people find that these updated and added features are welcome additions to Basecamp. Most users find that B3 is even more straightforward, more powerful, and flexible than the traditional model.

How DBurns Benefits From Using Basecamp 3

We finally decided to migrate all of our projects over to Basecamp and centralized everything in it. First, we created a template project, which can be used to start new projects as well as to copy specific to-do lists from on project to the other. Below I show how we make it happen:

  1. Create a Project Template

    Basecamp 3 - Project Templates

    Basecamp 3 – Project Templates

  2. Each Trello card is now a “To-Do List.”

    Basecamp 3 - To-Do List Template

    Basecamp 3 – To-Do List Template

  3. Each step in the Trello card is now a to-do, which makes everything easier as we can set a due date or data range for each to-do. Each step/to-do is now open for communication between parties involved

    B3 - To-do Communication

    B3 – To-do Communication

  4. When someone has an idea, they simply post as a To-Do under our Company’s project, and they assign it to whoever needs to review and approve. Once the to-do is approved it gets closed, and the person who approved creates a to-do for the initiator to go ahead and add it to our project template and copy it to existent project

    Process Improvement Request

    Process Improvement Request

Below are a few extra points of how Basecamp 3 helps DBurns on our day-to-day operations.

  • Structured and Continuous Process Improvement: By using templates we can add process improvements on the fly and just copy those changes to existent running projects.
  • Simple to follow To-Dos, by using To-Do Lists grouped by feature rather than discipline, we can clearly see the progress of a project and how much is still left to be done.
  • Centralized Communication: We keep all of our communication in one place, for both, team and client-sides.
  • Less Third-Party Systems: Our project management infrastructure runs on three platforms, Basecamp 3, Toggl, G Suite, and Online Quickbooks.

How about you, what are other tools you use for project management and client communication?