PivotPath

50 best CTA (Call to Action) buttons

One of the most important elements of your landing page or website is the CTA (Call To Action) buttons.

By clicking on a CTA button, a website visitor becomes a potential client.

This is the first step in to the decision buying process and the beginning of the customer journey. 

To effectively maximize conversions, a landing page or a home page should have these call to action cues in place, making it an integral part of the overall design. Strategic placement, colors, and using the appropriate call to action words are factors that should be considered as these help drive the diverse actions based on the conversion goal. 

So how you you exactly successfully boost conversions with the use of CTA buttons? Here are a few helpful  insights when creating Call to Action buttons:  

Ensure your Call To Action beckons to your target audience. 

Some call to action buttons are so benign that your website visitors just pass right through it. Though there may be a variety of reasons why they do, ensure that the call to action resounds to their purpose of why there are on your landing page in the first place.

Is their goal to learn more?

Or to buy?

Or perhaps to get a free trial? 

How do you ensure you capture their goals in line with yours? One important thing is to make a call to action phrase concise and accurate. Avoid using words that are too general like” next” instead say “Read More”. Using a lengthy content on the CTA can confuse your website visitors so use phrases that immediately lead them to make a decision. 

You can also create pop ups that contain multiple calls to action to further maximize the space and create more user benefit. Creating secondary CTA’s show your visitors that you care about them, and you are not only after them for email sign ups. In fact, you can create CTA’s that make them download and get free content or a free gift, without them consciously knowing that they will be included in the regular mailing list. Talk about strategic. 

Make it visually appealing. 

Nothing ruins a great landing page content than poorly designed CTA’s. First of all, start with color and contrast. If you create CTA’s that just blend into the background, then chances are they are not noticeable at first glance, and might be missed altogether. Ensure that your CTAs complement the landing page theme, and use colors that pop right out of the screen. 

Using adorable word plays certainly make you more lovable to your website visitors. For example, if you have a pet care website, use common pet language or do a wordplay on food names for your bakery / cafe website to make the CTA’s more relatable and hence, more clickable. Also, if ever you use images on your pop ups, ensure that they do relate to the CTA button to send a clear message. Again, to avoid confusion and more importantly to guide them in making fast and solid buyer decisions while they are on your website. 

Placement is key.  

As much as possible, create a call to action button on every page of your website to boost engagement and maximize conversions. Place them in a way that it pops out when they scroll from top to bottom and from left to right- ensuring at the same time they have read just enough of your content to make a decision. 

Another way is to create CTAs that pop out when your user reaches the bottom of the page, or about to click on the X button on the top right of the screen. Phrases like ‘Before you go….” or Want to learn more..” are effective ways to keep your visitors on your website.  Avoid putting too much CTA’s though, or just because you can. You do not want to overcrowd your page and overwhelm your visitors – and most of all confuse them which buttons they need to click.

Having considered these insights, here are some samples of the most effective CTA buttons, or at least the most commonly used. Use these examples to guide you, especially when you are just starting out. Remember, how you select the most appropriate CTA depends on you your conversion goal.

Let’s dive right in. 

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And so much more.. You can also mix and match these CTA phrases, or you can create your own tweaks to customize them according to your product or service that you offer. One important thing to note as well, make sure your Call to Action buttons appeal to your target audience’s benefit – ensure that they learn from your content just enough to leave them wanting for more – thus they click on THE button. 

It also helps to scope out your competitor’s call to action buttons, as well as top websites to see what CTA’s work best on which product or service type and use them on your landing page or homepage. Remember, these CTAs are not carved in stone, so feel free to tweak these buttons depending on your campaign.  

Measure your goals and see how effective/ ineffective your CTAs are by looking at your conversion rate goal metrics. Once you have started on these metrics, try your hand at A/B Testing your landing pages using different types of CTA’s too see which campaign is more effective in terms of conversion rates. 

Of course, no matter how awesome these page pop ups you have created, there will always be visitors who will not click – so ensure that you give them an option to decline graciously, without creating buyer remorse or guilt. Instead, give them an option to decline temporarily – for example  – “No , not right now” or “No thanks, I’m good for now”, “Maybe later”.  

Call to Action buttons have great impact when it comes to content marketing, so make use of it as much as possible. Take your time and customize them accordingly and effectively to create a seamless and successful marketing  campaign.

Frustrated with your in-house team? We can help!

Why In-house brand marketing is NOT the way

As a small to medium sized enterprise, you may struggle whether you should create your own in-house marketing team or completely outsource the marketing to an agency. A few considerations come to mind while you are trying to decide. 

Though most big companies have their own in-house brand marketing teams, others prefer to leave it to the experts. According to the Wall Street Journal,  there is a rise in the demand for In-house agencies, due to some budget cutbacks. However, if you are thinking of doing the same for your business- think again. It might not be all coming up roses – as you have a few major disadvantages to consider. Here are a few reasons why:

Lack of industry experience and perspective

Frustrated with your in-house team? We can help!
Frustrated with your in-house team? We can help!

Having a team solely focused on your products and services can go both ways. Of course, there will be a strong and solid foundation of product knowledge, background and brand loyalty. However, compared to an agency, they might fall behind in terms of having flexibility in learning new ways in regards to tailoring marketing tactics and strategy for different companies. 

One of the best advantages of hiring an agency is their fresh perspective to your campaign because the ideas will be coming in from different directions. There is no one size fits all brand marketing strategy, and having a pair of fresh, unbiased eyes from the ‘outside’ always helps pivot your vision.

With PivotPath, we take pride in having worked with a dynamic list of clients, and with those experiences, we bring fresh ideas to the table – that is because we understand that each business has its own unique character and needs. We also know that your business needs to create its own identity and build a niche in your industry so we will always ensure that we will build you campaigns that are custom-fit to your marketing goals.  

Lesser HR responsibilities

In a fast-paced environment, results need to be delivered – fast. Having to onboard an in-house team takes more time (and much more money) than you might think. Not only is your business responsible for recruitment, but you also have to consider the time to do the interviews and the on-boarding. As an SMB, this will be more of a hassle than a benefit as you need to spend more time keeping the business on track rather than conducting interviews all day. Also, what if you succeed and hire an entire team of think-tanks only to find out that same new hire leaves within two weeks post-hire?  Then you have to undergo the process of hiring again. 

Hiring a dedicated firm takes off this heavyweight off your shoulders as you only need to keep track of their deliverables and spend more time implementing marketing plans and campaigns rather than manage the team yourself. PivotPath can relieve you of that worry. You can take the marketing load off and we will take care of your campaigns from start to finish, and do it all over again. We have assembled a team of marketing experts dedicated entirely to run projects, and we run it like a well-oiled machine. All you have to do and step back, relax and let us roll up our sleeves for you. 

Limited Resources

Having an in-house marketing team means you employ a small team, which might limit your business from successfully achieving goals and KPIs. Training and teaching learn new skills also costs time and money. Hiring an agency like PivotPath assures you that there is a pool of industry experts – on whatever brand marketing and copywriting service you need.

Thinking about hiring a Brand Strategy expert? We can provide you one at once and can jump in on your campaign asap- compared to having someone learn and train for the job and may result in a hit or miss. 

If you are a SMBE looking for an innovative, out of the box firm delivering fast results and premium products and services at value pricing, look no further. Our goal is for you to help you achieve your goals. We will focus on your brand with the same passion and dedication as we do with ours. 

Reach out to us today, and let us know how we can help you tell your story.

[Infographic] The Power Of Psychology In Marketing

Human behavior is fascinating. Especially when it comes to human behavior in Marketing.

As marketers, we employ several psychology principles and apply them to influence and compel the buying decisions of the consumer.

There is so much written out there in terms of psychology and marketing, moreso now in the age of digital marketing.

In this article, we discuss a few basic (but powerful) behavioral principles that are relevant to this day and age.  

Part of being a great marketer is having the ability to go beyond basic demographics and segmentation to understand why people behave the way they do. So how do you exactly compel your audience to engage and buy? 

FOMO or Fear of Missing Out 

Nobody likes to miss out, or feel out of place. Once this feeling kicks in to a customer, it compels them to make a purchase or a buying decision. This principle is one of the most  common marketing ploys used to capture the target audiences’ attention. Phrases like: “ 3 people are looking into the same rooms in the Bay Area, only 2 rooms left – Book Now”. Or “Free gift box to our first 50 customers – sign up now!” , “Only 2 seats left, book your trip now.”

In terms of content marketing, try to get people’s FOMO by creating gated content or exclusive memberships. Have your existing audience share the content to their friends as a way of letting them know what they are missing out.

get your audience to sign up to join your community with exclusive membership benefits such as free monthly webinars. or an interactive community forum that has a plethora of useful resources. Humans beings are social by nature. the need to belong and to be in the know is an instinct.  

The Social Proof 

Everyone wants in on it. And in works in conjunction with FOMO if used correctly. Getting someone you trust to influence your followers is a way to catch serious FOMO.

According to B2B partners, “Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect the appropriate behaviour in a given situation.” 

And just like FOMO, it compels customers the urge to conform. 

Partnering with a well-known blogger in your market niche is an effective way to persuade your market that your content has the credibility and authority. It is endorsed by someone who is an expert in your market.

For example, if you are a digital marketer and want to sell your SEO and content marketing services, you can try to reach out to well known influencers such as Neil Patel: one who can deliver the last word about Digital Marketing. Once your audience sees that you are endorsed by someone influential, they follow suit. Thus increasing traffic, and followers. 

Another way to boost your traffic would be to ask your popular customers to post testimonials on your website and Google for Likes, Shares and Tweets.

Authority 

Become an authority in your market niche by creating content that compels and appeals to human needs and emotions. It can certainly add to the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand’s presence.

For example, going on Facebook Live and doing a live demo session of trying out different types of face creams, or cooking a pie or a dish ( 5 Sunday Brunch Ideas Your Family Will Love). Or a whiteboard session of How to Effectively Budget Your Salary Every Month – can do wonders to your website or account authority.   

Another way is to title your content with your weakness. Really? Weakness? Have you ever read a blog post such as “ How I Failed My 25 Year Marriage”. “ Why I Quit College”, or something similar? Admitting weaknesses can be a tactic on getting your target audience’s attention because admitting a mistake or a weakness is just being human. 

A lot of people can relate. 

Sharing stories that resound to other people’s experiences is a great way to boost conversions. “ How I Lost 80 lbs. In 6 Months”, “: How To Get Over Your Ex.” Being as relatable as possible puts you at a better authority position to your audience.  

Reciprocity

Audiences respond more when they are given a freebie without asking for anything in return: psychology. Or so they think. Free samples and teasers are the best ways to use the reciprocity principle. What people do not know generally is that they have already given out their information, such as their email address.

From a business’ perspective, offer free downloads or free white papers of useful content. This will give the impression that you are offering your website visitors something of value at no cost from their end. Once they are inside the loop, they continue their customer journey by subscribing to webinars, answering surveys, and signing up for weekly webinars.

Extra note: send Thank you’s and Holiday greetings to your audiences as part of an email campaign. It is a great way to send assurance that they are appreciated. Providing free features or product boosts for free at some point in the engagement will nail customer loyalty- especially when you ask them to share your content to their social media accounts.  

The power of understanding human behavior in marketing does not mean you need to take a psychology course – instead by putting yourself in your audience’s shoes is a great first start. Ask yourself, what do I need, or what I want as a consumer, then think of the ways how your products and services appeal and resound to you and apply it to your own audience. It also helps to take a look at how your competitors use psychology of human behavior in their marketing to help you reposition your strategy. 

Digital marketing is not just about making a sale. It’s about inculcating to your audience some subtle cues about your products. A daily post about wellness, or a simple motivational quote – even without a product/service endorsement can go a long way as boosting your website traffic and maximizing conversions is all about how you engage your audience and how long you engage them for.  

Do you have other psychology concepts that you use that are effective? Share them here in our comments and let us know how it worked for you!  

Is your Content made of the Good Stuff?

How to create content that people want to actually read.

Creating quality content is a feat, it takes time to research and be creative with word to capture the target audience.  There is a lot of content out there – some with catchy and interesting titles but lacking in substance. Readers end up leaving the page even before they go through the entire post  – most likely because it just contains fluff, or you end up reading a sales pitch. 

So how do you capture the attention of your audience? One of the basic components of  good content is trust building between you and your audience. It starts by curating good content the reader would want to read – to either educate, inspire, motivate them. If you consistently provide quality, there is no need to hardsell – instead you have people going in to your sales pipeline effortlessly.  

Part of our advocacy is quality content. Here are our thoughts on how to create content that inspires loyal followers. 

Do your Homework 

Get your facts straight. Doing research is part of due diligence when writing good content. It isn’t just about sounding credible and trying to be an expert on a certain topic, as readers can spot pretentious writing a mile away. Instead, focus your energy on conducting thorough research on your topic. 

Here are some aspects you can include when researching:  

  • Learn more about your topics by surfing the web. Use the right keywords by searching and entering in the exact information you seek. For example: “How to rank on Page 1 on Google”, the more specific your keywords, the greater chances you will find relevant content  
  • Most relevant content is found on the top 3-5 pages on the search engine page results or as what internet marketers call “ the golden triangle”. So start from there. Read, and determine the scope of the topics covered on the article- and create an outline from the ideas that you get, and add your own. 
  • Once you have your outline, start adding your thoughts on the topics. Work on a catchy title, and catchy subheadings as well. Look into your competitor’s pages too and see how you can outrank them in terms of content.  
  • An important note, when you want to share statistics, facts and case studies to support your claim, ensure that these sites are given credit by backlinking to them. 

Catchy Titles and Subheadings 

We have all grown accustomed to attention grabbing titles online. It is always wise to invest time coming up with one. Titles represent a short description of what the content is all about – and of course you have to stay true to the title. Nothing disappoints a reader when they realize the post is not what they expected. That goes back to the building of trust between you and your readers.  

However, just because super creative titles are trending, doesn’t mean you jump in the bandwagon and copy the ones you like. Instead, get inspired and create unique titles of your own until you get it down to the perfect length; also, ensure it accurately represents what you are actually writing about.  In this article, we titled it “Is your Content made of the Good Stuff?”. However, other options could include:  

  • Quality Content: Are you doing it? Yay or Nay 
  • What Makes Up Good Content and Why People Want to Read 
  • How to Create Content People Care to Read
  • Free Guide: How to Write Quality Content to Gain More Followers 
  • 3 things you can do to make people read your content

And the list goes on and on. Of course, with titles you have to remember to Keep it Short and Simple, yet describes your article as accurately as possible. Also, most CMS like WordPress have a limit on the number of characters per title so ensure that you have title optimization in mind. Ensure your blog post title is no more than 60 characters.

A good title also depends on the emotions or behavior you want to evoke from your readers. Do you want them inspired and motivated? Do you want them to stay informed? What is the end goal of creating the content? Is it to get more social shares, to gain more followers, have them subscribe to your email list? Do you want them to purchase your product? Sign up for a webinar, etc.. Once you have determined the goal, ideas will flow.  Otherwise, people drop off your page and do not revisit your content again. 

Notice that most internet marketers use titles that immediately present what the reader can benefit from when they read your content. Take for example the title, “ Free Guide: How to Write Quality Content to Gain More Followers” or  “Be the next top blogger online: 3 things you can do to make people read your content”. These are titles that offer value proposition from the start of the article. 

Subheadings help organize your ideas throughout your article, so make sure that your content is optimized with subheadings that keep the readers remain interested. Also, subheadings provide navigation especially with long articles, and make your content SEO-friendly. 

Lastly, if you are running out of ideas, you can look into blog title Generators online. They are free and easy to use and is an effective guide to creating an SEO friendly title. Some blog title generators like Hubspot title generator are good resources for validating titles you may have in mind, and help optimize 

Make it SEO friendly 

Does it matter? Yes, and your readers may not notice as they read through the article that it has been optimized for SEO. Ensure that you have a list of secondary keywords and latent keywords to use all throughout the article. Aside from the major keywords you want to rank for of course.  

To structure your content in the most SEO friendly way, start with an optimized title. Continue on to optimize the sub paragraphs and subheadings, making sure that you do not veer off course the topic, as you group thoughts ideas and concepts into a bulleted, numbered or indented manner.

Also use proper grammar all throughout. Tools like Grammarly help you fine tune your spelling and language, and at the same time  improve your Readability score on CMS platforms WordPress.

In addition, the use of transitional words such “as” “such as”, “however” ”and” “in conclusion”, “moreover”, etc. helps organize paragraphs and optimize it for better readability. You can look up lists of transitional phrases online to use as a reference when you write your content.  If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin, then chances are, it will require you the use of this in most parts of your post. These phrases help link ideas together and keep your posts organized.  

For the rest of the content, keep your readers engaged by writing in a certain tone that appeals to most audiences. Make them feel you are talking to them directly, and set the tone that the article is about them, not you. How they benefit, what can they can out of it and how they can improve out of it – If you are writing it essay-like on boring topics such as the ‘potato famine in Ireland” – make sure it still resounds to the current times and what can everyone learn from it. In short, keep them engaged and interested.  

According to Neil Patel a good length of an article starts with 500 to 1500 words. Since Google likes content rich pages, ensure you update your posts until it reaches 2000 or more, keeping in mind to optimize sub-headings accordingly and use internal links for added reader benefits.  

Creating good content takes time and effort but it should be something that you enjoy doing and have a good grasp on. Nowadays, it is not only what you write about but also how you write it. By keeping in mind the to maintain the integrity of your topic, optimizing the title and the entire contents of the article and making it SEO friendly, you can be on the right track to getting more likes and shares on the articles that you share.  Remember, social media traffic is just as important so ensure that your article is directed accordingly and most of all, worth sharing. 

No time to write? PivotPath can help you get started on creating quality content posts that your readers will surely like and share on social media. Let us know what your ideas are and we can brainstorm together to come up with an optimized content calendar.  Learn more. 

improve your site

10 Ways to Improve Your Website

improve your site

In a rapidly changing world of technology, it’s easy for your website to be out of date. We constantly need to look into ways to improve it and stay updated. Of course, it helps when your website is built with a strong foundation at the time of its conception. Even so, websites demand constant care and maintenance to thrive online. 

We often talk about online presence and what steps to take to improve and maintain our website. And a big portion of it is taking care of your business’ flagship as it runs 24/7, one of your most powerful assets for lead generation. You may be asking yourself, do I need to redesign or re-build it then? The answer is…Not necessarily. Sometimes, small tweaks here and there can make drastic improvements. 

At the core of these enhancements is User Experience and it is different for everyone who visits your website. What makes a great user experience then? By now, you have probably identified your audience or your website visitors, and by knowing who they are, what they need, and how you solve that challenge/”problem”. Your website must reflect that.

How exactly do you do that?  Here are 10 ways:  

Use more white space. 

Don’t be afraid of using white space on your website. Sometimes it may feel like its a bare piece of online space that needs to be filled with images or ads. White space makes your website simple and elegant thus allowing users to better focus on the more important elements such as content and images. Simplicity on your website’s background creates a more open, modern and fresh feel. 

Simple Navigation

Make it easy for your website visitors to go through your website. Ensure your navigation bar functions properly so your visitors stay longer on your site. Remember your navigation bar serves as a compass to your visitors so have it visible at all times. Make sure you label the pages on your menu distinctly and use familiar words so users can guess the content before the click. Remember, a poor navigation design can hurt your website’s bounce rate. The moment users can’t find the way around or have difficulty finding what they are looking for, then they will leave, causing your exit rates to increase. 

Optimized images (atl images)

Images bring life to your website whether it be via blogs or homepage. To optimize your images, check your competition if they are using the same stock photos, so ensure that your images are unique to your brand. If you are using stock photography, use images that do not use too many filters and use natural lighting. The more realistic it looks, the better. If you prefer to use illustrations, ensure that they are licensed and should follow a specific theme. Bear in mind, optimized images affect your SEO performance.  

Page Speed 

Your website shouldn't work at a snail's pace

Nothing is more frustrating than a slow website so make sure site speed is optimized. When you want to read or watch content, you want it right away. And waiting for a website to load is just a deal-breaker. Users leave- at once. There goes your bounce rate. In this day and age where everyone uses all types of devices, mobile phones, smart TVs, you need to make sure your site is optimized across all mediums. 

So how do you go about fixing that page speed? Google is the best alternative as it offers information on your page speed, load time all across devices, and provides you with recommendations on how to improve it. 

Also, start by evaluating the images that you use, and see if they are compressed before they are loaded into the website. If not, look for websites like compressor.io to help you improve that page speed drastically. This all sound too draining and cumbersome? We can conduct a website analysis to determine the best ways to optimize your site and get it running!

Calls to Action to Website

This nifty feature is a powerful one when used. A call to action is a button/text that prompts the user to act. Common examples are: Learn More, Sign Up, Subscribe, Download Now, etc. One of the biggest considerations is the use of color. The psychology of color is known to be very effective at how website users respond to the call to action. So choose your colors well, taking into consideration, complementing colors, easy on the eyes, and colors that evoke your target behavior.. Also,  ensure your action words catch the user’s attention by using value offerings. This means that the actions will benefit the user and prompt them to move forward with the action.  

Social Share Buttons  

Since social media platforms have taken the world by storm, you would want your website to have a strong online presence on social media. Adding social share buttons on every page of your website are similar to calls to action- as it prompts the user to share your content to the word. Remember part of a solid SEO campaign would be to ensure you rank in social media traffic  – otherwise, it will be a little challenging and costly to rank your website without these buttons. Ensure that your social media links are properly configured on your website and your social media accounts are live and maintained.  

Testimonial Pages

Pages like testimonials give your website more credibility and allow you to showcase your top clients. If you have clients who have great things to say about you, go ahead and post their testimonials. Most users won’t go directly to a testimonial page so make sure you strategically place them on your homepage, or throughout the pages on your site. This is an extra selling point for your business so make sure you post a couple of testimonials from your top clients. Including their company name and logo can also bring your website some added benefits.  

Value Proposition 

Why do you need to do this?  Having a mission or vision statement, allows your users to know your services and products and why you are in business and how users will benefit if they buy or subscribe to your products and services. A value proposition statement should be found on the Home page section, as much as possible in the headline or near the headline.  

You can start your statement with title such as Who We Are, What We Do, or come up with a brief statement such as: “ We are an email marketing company from Nashville, with the goal to bring your business to the next level of digital transformation and capture your target audience with dynamic marketing campaigns custom fit to your business size and budget.” 

Sharing your business goals and objectives helps users determine if you are the right company they can bring their business into. Try to make sure that your mission/ vision helps them understand that you are there to help, and how beneficial you are to them.

Optimize responsive and mobile-friendliness 

If you haven’t worked on this optimization step, then chances are your site is not user-friendly on all types of devices. Since the core purpose of improving your website is User Experience, this is an essential element.  

Google may penalize sites that are not optimized for mobile devices and this is something you want to avoid. There is an emphasis on the importance of your website’s responsiveness as more users use mobile devices more than ever.

Remember, accessibility to all devices can be very assuring to your users, as they know that you can be accessed anytime, at any device with the same great positive user experience. This lowers bounce rates and increases website traffic and returning users.  

Be mindful of 404s. 

It is imperative that each link that your users’ click will take them to the page they want to go. Again, once users are directed to a blank page or a 404 page, this affects your user experience, affecting your bounce rate and overall website metrics; plus it’s annoying. 

How do you determine pages that have potential 404 errors?  Simply use this free tool by Google, called the Google Search Console. This is a webmaster tool that will crawl your pages and send you a report on pages with errors, that way you catch them early on and do a fix. If just in case one of your pages need more time to fix, or its been taken down due to some major redesign, ensure that you create page redirects or some creative 404 pages to let your users know you are aware and that page will be back soon. Here are some cool ideas and ways to show your 404 pages just in case. 

Make us your partner as you move into your business’ digital transformation. Get your free guide on The Use Content Marketing to Boost Your Website Traffic & Digital Presence.

5 Signs Your County needs a new website

Your county website should be all about functionality, efficiency and user experience. Anyone who visits a local government site (or any government site for that matter) expects only the best user experience to help them with any query.

Credibility is a big factor when it comes to websites and you would want to avoid a user interface that is slow, inefficient and does not provide the public the results they were expecting.  

What makes a government website different from a business website is that it serves the public sector, so the site is assumed to be created to provide the best service and the best state of the art website for your county.

More users are going online to find government sites to provide them with the service and information they need, so you need to have a strongly built website to create a positive user experience. If lately, you have been receiving feedback about having fewer visitors, then your county’s website might be due for a redesign.  

Here are some telltale signs that your county needs a new website:  

 Your county site is not mobile-friendly

Most people visit websites via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. So ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users. Many website developers now use a technique referred to as responsive design. Essentially, your website’s design and functionality are automatically reformatted and scaled to fit and function on mobile screen sizes.  Aside from functionality, having a mobile-friendly site gives the public the assurance that your website is accessible everywhere, anytime at the tip of their fingers. Positive user experience is of utmost importance. 

 So what does it mean that your site it not optimized for mobile devices? Try to browse and go your county’s site and see if it comes up as a “mini” version of your site. Does it show you the desktop version with letters are so small you have to pinch and adjust the screen to see? Then that means your website was not developed for a mobile browser-and its time to change that.  

 No Location data awareness 

Aside from being mobile-friendly, you would want to have a site that automatically detects your location. As soon as users log in, they should be asked to choose their location and show them a map of nearby government agencies that they are searching for. Location data from smartphones automatically detects user information based on their locations if users turn on the location function on their smartphones, and most likely most people today do. 

 The convenience your website detecting location is vital as the user needs to be guided on the right government agency they are looking for. No one wants to get misguided information online, most especially if its about government services. 

No county notification services

Offering free service to text subscribers with alerts such as traffic, weather, and emergency events, as well as reminders on important events can take your county’s website to the next level. Public service using notification services are widely used nowadays by top government sites. 

Combining features such as mapping and sign up options for newsletters and alerts make your county citizen’s feel that they are taken cared of by their city/county/state and have a sense of community and belonging. Add on social media links to the website and encourage engagement and social sharing, local awareness, and concern. 

Your website is slow 

A 3-second rule should apply to your website. It should load within that time, otherwise, your site might need troubleshooting, The problem with slow sites is that visitors leave because your site takes too long to load – thus creating a negative user experience. And this is something you want to fix right away. 

A good website should load fast on ANY browser, so if it loads faster on Firefox than on Chrome, then you might want to re-think and optimize your site speed optimization settings, especially if most of your users (via Google Analytics) are using Chrome. Whether it is on mobile or desktop, website speed is essential. If troubleshooting your website does not improve anything, then it’s time for a redesign. 

To determine this, PivotPath can run a website analysis and test your site speed. If it doesn’t load in three seconds, then reconsider your website’s design and interface as it may also be one of the causes why it is loading slow.

Your site design is out of date  

Consumer preferences change over time. Website design is just as important as site functionality. Aesthetics are important because first impressions do last. When your citizens visit your county’s website, you would want them to feel the pride of belonging to the locale. Images and welcoming content should resonate to its citizens- making them browse further and  discover. 

Having a beautifully designed website, with easy navigation and responsive and fast is essential to especially to a government website. Having a poorly functioning website will make you lose your citizen’s loyalty and gratitude, as well as make a really bad impression and representation of the local government; we are here to ensure that won’t be the case.  

If you have these 5 signs or symptoms on your website, then it’s time to take action. Here at PivotPath, we can help you create an extraordinary website for your county that makes a great impression, and give your website visitors the best user experience. 

Competitive Analysis Checklist: Understanding Your Brand Competitors

Your brand defines who you are and how you set yourself apart from your competitors. and it’s always good practice to know where you stand among other brand contenders. When it comes to creating a truly authentic brand, maintaining a competitive edge should always be the goal as this is what keeps you maintain your market share and position. 

So how do you stay on the cutting edge of things? PivotPath can show you how to monitor the attributes and actions that make up your industry’s competitive landscape so you can identify the opportunities and improve your brand identity and image. If you are looking into doing rebranding or repositioning your brand, this checklist will be a great start.

First things first. You need to build a strategy that will ensure you are effectively tracking your competition on a regular basis. Competitive analysis entails a more structured way of keeping tabs on competitors compared to just monitoring them on social media. Having this process in place helps you stay updated and get a more in-depth understanding of your industry’s key players. 

 In this post, we will share a checklist of some strategies to further your understanding of brand competitors, and how to maintain your foothold in the market. 

Research  

Start by compartmentalizing your competitors and similar brands into two types: 

  • Direct competitors – companies offering the same service or products in the same geographical area with the same target audience, fulfilling the same market need.
  • Indirect competitors  – companies offering the same service or products in the same geographical area but with a different target market or fulfilling a different market need. 

Categorize and Organize

Make a list of at least 5 -10 direct and indirect competitors and enter them into a spreadsheet. 

If you haven’t identified your competitors yet, then you can find them on search engines like Google or use tools such as SEMRush (free) or Ahrefs (paid). These tools provide a lot of insights as you go deep into your competitor research.  

Once you have them laid out on the spreadsheet, add the basic detailed company profile information such as:  

  • Annual revenue 
  • Products and services offered
  • Clients 
  • Number of offices and locations
  • Number of employees
  • Locations
  • Homepage / Website 
  • Social media accounts
  • Featured products 
  • Price and product range 
  • Selling point 
  • Target market 
  • Email marketing tactics
  • PPC campaigns 
  • Special offers and discounts  
  • Google and Yelp Reviews
  • Other significant attributes that you think are significant to you. 

Going through each of your identified competitors’ profiles allows you to step into your target market shoes and go through a customer journey. Take it further by subscribing to their newsletters and weekly blogs or webinars; be a part of their marketing circle so that you can gauge and compare how you fare versus your competition. 

Experiencing the competition by creating a database of their information will give you a lot of insight from a customer and a competitor’s perspective and soon enough you will know each one like the back of your hand.  

Check market positioning 

The best way to do this is to run website metrics and diagnostics with free tools like Google Analytics, SEMRush or if you have the budget, Ahrefs, Buzzsumo or Moz. These online tools will work their magic, providing a drill-down of where your brand is in terms of online presence, social media engagement, active users, sales, the locations of users/clients and the like. 

You can run weekly metrics and track your progress; at the same time, make the necessary adjustments you need to keep up (Paid Ad campaigns, social media engagement, SEO optimization, etc.).

Doing keyword research is also one of the best ways on how to determine where you stand among the competition. You can keyword research using Google Search Console, Ubersuggest, MOZ keyword explorer, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and more tools here

On a less technical side, you can go back to basics and make a list of all your brand strengths and weaknesses. Be objective when you do this, and make a consumer’s point of view when doing this. After that, create a list of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and compare notes. You will be surprised at how much you will learn if you do this process objectively. 

Reviews  

Google and Yelp reviews are also one of the best ways to understand your competition and a great opportunity to outdo them when it comes to customer engagements. Check their reviews and determine where the clients are from, and what products or services get most reviews.

You may also want to take a look at the number of reviews, and how responsive they are to their audience. Gauging customer experience through these reviews gives you the chance to look within your business and makes steps on how to improve. Doing this helps motivate you to optimize your business listings to be at par with the competition.  

Implement  

Data without action is a futile exercise. Having spent so much time collecting data and putting a plan or strategy into action will keep you from being blind-sided by your competitors. Once you have run a comparison between your product and your competitor, formulate a strategy based on your findings, and execute your plans, after which you can monitor and re-adjust as needed.  

Don’t have the time to collect competitor data? PivotPath can help you do your competitive brand analysis. Click here to get started.  

Business Blog: Why Blogs are Important for Your Business

For your business to establish a strong online presence, your blogs need to be an essential part of your social media outreach. With so many business blogs out there, you may wonder if it’s worth to do it all.  

Here are 3 great  reasons why business blogs can help you fulfill your corporate goals:  

Boost credibility and be an industry thought leader 

Whether your business is small or large, a blog is a great way to build your brand reputation as an informative resource to your audience. Not only that, creating relevant content that resonates with the subject matter increases your footprint and SER (search engine ranking). Search engine crawlers index websites that have highly relevant content and boosts a website’s ranking.

Timing and Consistency for posting business blogs is equally important, as it also enforces your authority on the search rankings. Once your audience notice your brand and credibility as an industry expert, you can eventually turn readers to highly convertible leads to promoters. 

Increase lead generation and marketing campaigns  

Providing value to your audience with well-organized and thoroughly written blogs strongly reinforce your lead generation initiatives. Content is one of the cornerstones of digital marketing. Relevant content will equate to an increase in attracted audience because the more the content resonates with them, the more loyalty you get. 

Building customer loyalty takes time and continuous engagement with your customers and potential leads. So posting regular blogs put you in a sweet spot between keeping customer loyalty and lead generation. 

Don’t have time or know what content to present? Create a content strategy calendar. Organize them into themes, or coincide them with holiday posts. Or create a series of How To’s with whitepaper downloads, or a series of blogs with webinar videos embedded into them discussing an array of interrelated topics.

You can also produce a series of webinars exclusively in exchange of them opting in to your weekly or monthly newsletter.  Speaking of which, newsletters are also an awesome way to engage customers, and potential leads. Ensure that your blogs or newsletters inspire and most importantly, provide premium value to your audience. 

Boost Customer Relationships 

After creating helpful and informative blogs, make sure you have an engaging comment section as well. Nothing inspires a business more than a comment section filled with fully engaged audience. 

Responding in a timely manner to the comments, and thanking them is a great way to start a community of followers. Keeping the conversation interesting, resourceful and healthy is a start to build more trust  and develop more customer relationships.

Making your audience feel that they have a voice in  your community assures consistent website visitors and boosts user rankings at the same time. This is also a great way to measure customer loyalty by measuring your returning and new visitors ratio from your website analytics. This way you can get actionable insights to improve your marketing campaigns. 

Looking into the demographics of your followers can help in determining whether or not your content connects with your targeted audience. This allows you to drill your market into smaller segments, micro-market to these segments, and re-target. 

A successful brand is not only due to an attractive packaging and branding, it is also about making sure that you inspire customer loyalty and a substantial following. Without engaging content, it will be a challenge establishing your online presence let alone become a thought leader.  

What Now?

It takes inspiration and creativity to  boost your credibility as a thought leader in your industry. Don’t write blogs for the sake of writing or because you grudgingly have to. Instead use it as a springboard to round out all the other elements that your business requires. Blogging boosts SEO and keeps your website’s ranking high in the search engine results. In return, Google recognizes your website to have a high domain authority. Who knows, you may even earn backlinks in the process. 

Always aim for your blogs to be engaging, short but simple, comprehensive yet easy to read, and credible enough for people to share. Keeping these in mind, you are on your way to reaching your organization goals as you grow your online presence.  

At PivotPath, we create content that resonates with your customers because it’s engineered for them. Our content marketing services draw on well-crafted strategies, data, and channel expertise to find synergy between creativity and proven tactics. It’s creative meets number-crunching, selling meets storytelling, left brain meets right brain — and it builds brands. Contact us today for a consultation.

PivotPath Tips Recession Proof Your Business

3 Ways to Recession Proof Your Small Business

In today’s economic environment, taking necessary steps to ensure your business survives a possible economic downturn is a vital part of forecasting. Doing so puts your start up at an advantage and better positioning for deft and adaptation in case of a recession.

While financial planning can help your business survive the tough times, it’s also good practice to recession proof your business starting now. Here are some ways to start being smart about your business.  

Focus on your Finances  

Recession proof your business

No matter what size your business is, it is wise to revolve your business decisions and strategies around your financial health, or your bottom line. Being financially-centered is a mark of business stability- and it all starts by setting up a financial dashboard. 

This allows you to run numbers and show significant key performance indicators to show current or historical financial health. By having this quick macro view of your financial performance, you are able to make sound and timely business decisions along the way, without so much digging into tons of files or paperwork. 

Another way to recession-proof your finances, is to track your cash flow. Of course, many business owners would say they do – but it’s important to look beyond the normal tracking cycle and put due diligence to work. 

Setting up a cash flow planner is one way of being able to track cash flow to show projected income and expenses for the quarter. This allows you to pinpoint the critical stages. This also allows you to plan your expenses carefully, and create other products and/or services to increase the cash-flow over time. 

If you are seeing a healthy influx of income vs expenses though, don’t get too excited and splurge. As a startup, running a tight ship on expenses should be the practice, and unplanned expenses or investments should be justified. As always, saving for a rainy day will help you weather the storm just in case. 

Maximize Your Marketing  

Marketing Strategy in Business

Let’s imagine you are nearing the end of the second quarter, and you already have reached your client quota for the year. Or you manage to land a big business with a client much earlier than forecasted. Sounds like you have all your financial goals achieved in such a short time so you feel you are all set. 

While that sounds like an ideal scenario, having achieved your targets at an early stage of the cycle means that you get to have more opportunities to uncover. Now is not the time to rest on your laurels; instead, continue to do capture sales and launch marketing campaigns –  as you can never tell what lies ahead with your existing client list.  

A consistent and strategic marketing plan in place will surely fill your sales pipeline with prospects to convert to qualified sales. Optimizing your marketing campaigns will also help capturing projected sales – so always keep it going and growing.  

In addition, continuing to increase your customer base by networking and actively engaging with your audience, offering promotions and deals on slow moving products and services, and expanding to unexplored markets are just other strategies to maximize your marketing budget. Remember, every dollar counts.

Innovate and Inspire 

Innovation in business

Startup businesses flourish when producing a premium product or service with value pricing. Think of edgy ways to market your niche, and help you stand apart from the competition. 

Whether it’s innovating a new product line, re-branding a product or a service to a potential market segment, or perform A/B testing on marketing campaigns, innovative measures can definitely help you uncover missed or potential opportunities.

Be in the know of the latest trends in your industry, attend webinars, keep a close watch on your competitors and always connect with the significant people in your network. Being inspired does not always mean coming up with the best and brightest ideas; it also means knowing where you stand in your industry, so that you can always stay one step ahead. 

Be bold, yet exercise prudence when necessary to prepare for those unforeseen seasons like a recession in entrepreneurship. No matter what the state of the economy is at any point, being financially-centered should always be the goal. 

How PivotPath can Maximize your Tourism Bureau Website

Are you currently on the quest for ways to boost your city, county, state, or nations’ tourism site? If you feel that you have exhausted all your marketing campaigns, look no further.

Being a city manager or clerk requires you to wear different hats everyday. Part of your job entails you perform sales and marketing as well as all the other tasks. With the help of PivotPath, you won’t have to miss time from important tasks or deals in the pipeline and can focus on more important matters.  Let’s get you one step closer to your goals of maximizing your tourism bureau website.

Here are the 4 things we can do for you: 

Branding Strategy

Creating a strategic plan for your tourism website increases your chances of success because it allows you to develop a step-by-step guide for your business initiatives. Most brilliant marketing plans go awry when it is not put into writing, so it is important to have a branding strategy document to use as a guide and update as your strategy evolves. 

It’s important for you to identify your goals and objectives for your website; as this will be the base of all marketing initiatives as we launch your marketing campaign. Is the goal of your tourism (CVB) site to attract tourists to the new shopping center? Beautiful wedding venues? Neighborhoods to reside?

From your goals, we will help you determine and segment your target audience. In this case, focus on each traveler type and hyper-target the marketing efforts to each. Then identify which marketing channels are most effective to use depending on the segment. This is a crucial step in every marketing campaign as you need to zero in on a target market and position strategic content to capture their attention for engagement

SEO-Optimization  

SEO or Search Engine Optimization requires a lot of time and attention but is essential to the success of your tourism/CVB website. Investing the time in SEO will tremendously help to gain visibility on the search engine results page.

The more website traffic you get, the more Google (and other search engines) remembers that your website has the authority and the relevant content that is worth ranking high in searches.  Not only that, you want repeat visitors on your website, so SEO is an essential part of this process to ensure repeat visits and social media shares. 

While it is necessary, SEO is not for the faint of heart; leave it to the experts. Here at PivotPath, we will optimize your website with an attractive custom theme, stunning photos that capture the audience’s attention, and SEO-optimized content that converts. Our SEO technical expertise can help you make that all happen. 

Content Marketing

Just like SEO, chances are you’ve heard of the quote, “Content is King”. Indeed it is. The key to a higher Google visibility is to ensure your website is more informative, valuable and useful than your competitors. Here at PivotPath, we will create a content strategy for your tourism or CVB website to make sure that you capture the right audience. We also develop a keyword strategy campaign to make your website more searchable and visible on Google or other search engines. 

Along with content, images are also part of content marketing. One crucial ingredient for a tourism website is stunning images of your locale to capture travelers and potential visitors. Since travelers do have quite a number of online travel resources they look to, it’s important that your website belongs to the short-list. Creating stunning videos of your area (city, county, state, etc.) is also another way to optimize content. 

Blog posts are another fun way to do content marketing – don’t have time? We can do that for you too. Blogs are a great way to feature travel spots and destinations and provide detailed descriptions of the place and what to expect, what to do and what not to do. Sharing helpful tips that travelers can use when visiting your place or share a top five must do list when traveling to your destination is a must. 

Social Media Marketing

Always an effective and efficient way to share your content to the world. But it’s not just a matter of posting any type of content on your social media accounts. There must be a strategy behind every successful social campaign. Just like content management, posts and images are planned strategically and set on a timely manner to capture the right audience. 

At PivotPath, we help you share your most unique experiences and events in your city, help you highlight what’s new in your area, especially with holiday posts to keep your visitors in the know about the latest events and the fun things to do when they visit.  Tools like SocialMention also help you in sharing user-generated content in social media. 

Extra Tourism Website Tip:

It is also important to optimize your website on the mobile version since most travelers rely on their phones as a source of information. We will help you optimize your website to be more mobile friendly and accessible. Take note that millenials and Gen-Z spend more time on their phones than any other device, and they do travel more than any generation, so ensure that your website is always on its uptime and accessible anytime. 

Bring your travel website to the next level – start marketing with PivotPath today.   

Government Marketing vs B2B and B2C: Know the Difference

Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), and Business-to-Government (B2G). We’ve all read these terms somewhere. What do these terms mean and why should it matter to you as a marketer? Or even as a consumer?

The steady rise of digital marketing is undeniable, and marketing companies have sprouted out of the woodwork as a result. With high technology as a steady partner, brand marketing companies thrive due to these innovations that are developed to support it.

So what do these differences between both marketing types mean to your agency? Is it really worth the effort in procuring the requirements to be a government contractor? 

B2B Marketing

Business-to-Business includes marketing to businesses that conduct business for a profit and to those organizations that have a non-profit charter. B2B  focuses on selling products and services to other businesses rather than to the government or specific consumers.

B2C Marketing

On the flip side, B2C, or business-to-consumer marketing, takes place when a business—such as an online store, manufacturer, online medical information organization—markets their products or services to the public. This involves identifying buyer personas, and engaging with them on the omni-channels such as social media, email marketing campaigns and customer calls. 

B2G Marketing

Government Marketing or B2G (Business to Government) is a derivative of B2B. As a small business, this involves bidding on contracts set by government agencies who are in search for marketing agencies to set up marketing campaigns for any type of industry. Most commonly, landing marketing government contracts are available to industries such as environmental, financial, information technology, logistics and energy.  

Government marketing is certainly a great resource to tap into. But how to get started on this venture requires a few different steps than what you are normally used to within other sectors. 

Here are some helpful steps to get started: 

  1. Do your research: Conduct thorough research on finding government consumers. Check the GSA schedules program or the Federal Procurement Data System database to search for potential markets. Look around for agencies that need your services and make them a priority in your list. 
  2. Register your SAM profile: This is a very essential step when you want to land a federal government contract, so be certain that your profile is optimized. Be very clear about your capabilities as a contractor by sharing your past successes and how they can benefit from your agency. Do extensive research on competitor companies. Remember, you will be bidding against a lot of competition so make sure you stand out in a unique way.

B2G marketing may use the same strategies of B2B, especially for marketing destination conventions and visitor or travel bureaus (CVB). Ensuring a solid marketing strategy for government marketing can help your agency reach new levels of success.

Defining the purpose, focus, and objective of a government agency’s CVB website will help gauge the targeted audience and user experience. Is the agency looking to promote a new shopping mall? Vast variety of wedding venues? Knowing this information will help in developing  SEO-optimized branding (website) and increase the agency’s web traffic. 

Create Engaging Marketing Content

Content marketing is identified as the top five marketing trends over the past years, simply because consumer behavior thrives on content. It’s not only important that your target markets read the content, but that they resonate with the messaging. Having your target consumers read and share your content increases brand credibility and consumer confidence.  

Whether you engage in either of these types of marketing, the most important thing to remember is to always, always know your market. Developing a solid marketing strategy for each different type of industry is made easier by the automated marketing tools available anywhere. And, being in such a competitive race, you have to clearly distinguish yourself from the rest. 

Ready to build or upgrade your CVB site? Contact PivotPath today for a consultation!