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How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas

The post How to Write Blog Posts for Your Buyer Personas appeared first on HostGator Blog . Quick quiz for business bloggers: In one sentence, describe the audience for your blog. If you had your answer ready, you’re ready to write must-read content for your customers. If you had to stop and think about who your audience is, or if you said “everybody,” it’s time to get a clear picture of your readers so you can create more effective content. In both cases, the key is to research, build, and use buyer personas. Write for a Specific Persona If you aced the quiz, it’s because you have a customer persona . Personas are like character sketches for marketers and bloggers. They define types of audience members by their interests, age range, online behaviors, and shopping habits. You create personas based on data from your site analytics, social media monitoring, site-visitor surveys, and interviews with your readers and customers. If you’re just starting out, research the types of people you’d like to have in your audience. Start with the persona that represents the largest part of your audience. Let’s say you have a blog for your hobby farming supply business. Your primary persona might be a retired banking executive (let’s call her Daisy) in her early 60s whose partner is also retired. She recently bought a vintage farmhouse on a small acreage. Her interests are raising flowers and herbs for market and she’d also like to set up a duck pond and a rental cottage on her property. Daisy likes to carefully research purchases and she prioritizes quality over price. Here’s a sample persona template you can use to create your own website personas: Speak the Same Language as Your Customers Whoever your persona is, write in a voice that they’ll understand. Let’s stick with the hobby farm supply example for a bit. Maybe your background is in agribusiness. Daisy, your retired banking-executive persona, won’t know the ag jargon that you do. She searches for terms like “how much to feed ducks,” not “how to formulate balanced poultry rations.” Include the keywords she’s likely to use in your posts to show her you’re speaking to her, so she’ll stick around. Bonus: Better SEO is a natural outcome of using the phrases your personas use. Not sure how your persona talks about or searches for their interests? Look at your blog and social media comments and email messages from your customers. Monitor your Google Search Console data to see which keyphrases bring readers to your blog. And check out other blogs, vlogs, and podcasts in your niche. The goal isn’t to copy anyone else’s voice but to connect with prospective customers by speaking their language. Tailor Post Length to Your Audience and Your Goals How long should your business blog posts be? That depends on your goals for each post and the time your persona has to read it. Daisy is retired and has time to focus on her interests, but an audience of mid-career professionals with small children will have less time to read. Short and long posts both have their place on your posting schedule, but you’ll want to skew toward what your audience prefers. The Case for Short Blog Posts Short blog posts of at least 300 words are a great way to tackle niche topics. That’s good for readers who want specific information. It’s also good for SEO, because narrowly focused posts can help you rank well for longtail search phrases . For example, if the persona you’re writing for is a pet rabbit owner, it’s going to be hard to rank well for “rabbit care,” which generates more than 443 million results. By going into more detail with posts on “elderly rabbit grooming,” “safe chew toys for rabbits,” “how to build a rabbit castle” and so on, you’re more likely to reach readers searching for those topics. You can later compile all your short posts on one topic into a PDF to give away to readers who join your list. The Case for Long Blog Posts Long posts —1,000 words and more—are more challenging to write and require a bigger time commitment from you and your customers. Long content typically does well in search results, so it’s worth your time to create at least a few. These can be mega-posts that combine and expand on previous short posts. They can also be new content, like a list or a how-to guide, to promote an upcoming launch or new product. For example, if you’re preparing to start selling an online course , a long post that includes a sample of the class material can help prospective students decide to register. Take your time writing and editing long posts to make sure they deliver what your personas want to know, using the same language they do. And if you’re planning a product launch, review your current site hosting plan to make sure it can handle launch-related spikes in traffic. You may want to upgrade to a more powerful plan like HostGator Cloud Hosting for more speed and bandwidth, and add on CodeGuard daily backup service to easily restore your site if your launch-prep site changes temporarily break things. Pace Your Blog Posts Properly Ask your readers how often they want to hear from you, then build a calendar to match your persona’s preferences. If you don’t have a big audience yet, remember that most people are happy to read one or two new posts a week from a blog they value. Less than that is probably okay, too. Too-frequent posts may overwhelm subscribers and lead them to drop your blog. Save daily posting for when you can hire help, have a large audience, and have specific marketing goals that require lots of new content. Keep an eye on your blog, email, and sales metrics. Over time, you should see how your publishing schedule affects page views, time on the site, email opens and clickthroughs, unsubscribes, and conversions. Tweak the schedule if you need to so your readers stick around. Close with a Call to Action What separates good bloggers from great bloggers? Great bloggers who build thriving online communities and businesses have a clear goal for each blog post before they write it. Before you write, decide what you want your readers to do when they reach the end of your post. Do you want them to join your email list ? Share your post? Buy your duck brooders? Once you know, ask them to do it. Don’t assume it’s obvious. Life is filled with distractions, so make your calls to action clear: Join the list. Get the book. Register now. Reserve your appointment. There’s one other benefit to building personas before you blog. It helps to make your posts more conversational and builds rapport with your audience. So, whenever you’re ready to write, think about your persona, what they want to know, how much time they have to read, and the keywords they search for. Then you’re ready to write posts that will connect. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Use Facebook Messenger for eCommerce

The post How to Use Facebook Messenger for eCommerce appeared first on HostGator Blog . Facebook Messenger is no longer just an app you can use to message your friends. Now it’s an app where you can chat with your friends and shop at the exact same time. That’s right, Facebook Messenger is also a powerful tool for eCommerce. According to Statista, there are now 1.3 billion monthly active Facebook Messenger users worldwide. That’s a ton of users that you can interact with. But, don’t open Facebook Messenger and start messaging your followers at random, telling them to buy your products. Not only is that time consuming, but it’s also ineffective — and weird. So, how do you use Facebook Messenger successfully to impress your customers and grow your sales? Here’s how to use Facebook Messenger for eCommerce. 1. Convenient Customer Support With the advances in technology we have today, customers are no longer interested in calling your customer service line or waiting hours for you to answer a customer support email. In fact, 12% of Americans rate their number one frustration with customer service as “lack of speed”. They want lightning fast customer service and support, so your business needs to adapt. Luckily, with Facebook Messenger you can provide quick and convenient customer support to consumers around the clock, no matter where they are. But this doesn’t mean you need to be sitting around, Facebook Messenger app open, and answering customer support questions all day, you can use a Facebook Messenger chatbot to handle customer service for you. With a tool like Many Chat , you can easily create a Facebook Messenger chatbot to answer all of your customers’ pressing questions and concerns — without having to touch a line of code. With this tool, not only can users access your customer support right from Facebook, but you can also add a Facebook Messenger Customer Chat window to your eCommerce website . This way, all of your customers will be aware of your convenient customer support option, not just the ones who follow you on Facebook. 2. Generate Leads and Deliver Content Most users that visit your website will not buy anything from you on their first visit. They might be checking out what you have to offer, comparing prices, or reading reviews before they make the decision to purchase. So, instead of risking losing these visitors, take the opportunity to turn them into a lead. A highly effective way to turn consumers into leads is by offering a free gift like a coupon or exclusive content through an email signup optin on your website. But, for those users who would prefer not to get content via email, you can send their content via Facebook Messenger instead.   OptinMonster , a powerful lead generation tool for your website, now has a chatbot integration feature that allows you to do just that: Simply connect your OptinMonster account with your ManyChat account and you can drag and drop the Facebook Messenger block right inside your optin form. The users who previously would avoid signing up for your email list have a whole new avenue available to them, giving you more opportunity to generate leads. 3. Personalized Recommendations Personalization is important in eCommerce. In fact, 33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship last year did so because personalization was lacking. Luckily though, you can use Facebook Messenger to enhance personalization for your customers too. By using a chatbot for Facebook Messenger, you can give personalized recommendations to give your customers exactly what they want. That will not only impress them, but boost your sales as well. Take a look at this example from Lego. Their chatbot, named Ralph, can help customers find the perfect products by asking questions such as where they’re located , how old they are, budget, and interests. This added level of personalization will help prime your potential customers for checkout and make their overall shopping experience with your online store a breeze. 4. Offer Easy Checkout What if customers didn’t even have to visit your website to make a purchase? After all, the more options your online store provides for your customers to buy, the more opportunity you have to boost sales. Well, you can make that dream a reality with Facebook Messenger. With Facebook Messenger chatbots you’re not limited to giving users product recommendations; you can actually allow users to browse products and checkout right from the app. This option eliminates steps for the consumer; instead of asking them to visit your site to make the purchase, the checkout button is right there, making them more likely to take action. You can even send abandoned cart messages via Facebook Messenger that include a checkout button. So, no more losing out on potential sales. Consider adding urgency with a message like “Last chance to claim this offer!” to increase conversions even more. Your customers will love having the ability to shop at your online store without ever having to leave the Facebook Messenger app. Boost eCommerce Sales with Facebook Messenger Your target audience is probably on Facebook multiple times throughout the day — aren’t we all? Why shouldn’t your eCommerce business be there too? Don’t miss out on using this powerful social media messaging app for your eCommerce business. When you use Facebook Messenger for your eCommerce business you can increase customer satisfaction, generate a ton more leads, and boost your sales. Plus, it’s easy and affordable too. Start turning your instant messaging conversations into sales today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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The 5 Pages Every Website Needs

The post The 5 Pages Every Website Needs appeared first on HostGator Blog . Your website is an important part of your business. Without it, you can lose potential customers and miss out on revenue. Whether you sell jewelry or counseling services, your site must tell a compelling story of who you are, how you can help visitors, what you offer, and how people can contact you. This virtual welcome gives people peace of mind. At a minimum, you’ll want to include five specific pages on your website to do this.  5 Pages Every Website Needs Do you have them all? Read below.   1. Homepage The homepage is where all the action happens on your site. It’s the first thing visitors see, and it determines if an individual will browse around or say goodbye. When crafting your homepage, you must think from the customer’s perspective. From navigation bars to images to copy, you control your visitors’ first impression. Visitors should clearly understand the objective of your homepage in just a few seconds. You want them to see your logo with a visible call-to-action button. CarMax implements this strategy flawlessly with simple copy and a self-explanatory header photo. Both new visitors and returning customers get user-friendly directions. Avoid cluttering your homepage with multiple, irrelevant images. You also don’t want outrageous color patterns. Represent your small business well by aiming for simplicity in your design . If you’re creating a new site or rebuilding an old one, get feedback from your potential visitors. Running a small soft launch will give you incredible insight to enhance your homepage. Your homepage should improve how visitors perceive your small business. It’s your gateway to raising brand awareness and gaining more conversions.   2. About Page The About page is an opportunity to elaborate on your brand’s vision and accomplishments. Be bold in your statements and discuss how your goals will help customers. Storytelling is pivotal for this page. You want readers to relate to your brand values, join your journey, and share the message with their family members and friends. “An About us page is meant to connect emotionally with people. Hence, when you own a story that tells how you have touched lives, say it loud to the world. Such content humanizes your business supplying meaning and context for your product,” says Prince Kapoor , a digital marketing analyst at LoginRadius. Rent the Runway uses its About page to share the company’s vision and mission. It discusses why the co-founders started the brand and gives an explanation for their relentless confidence. Then, it concludes with an open-ended question for the reader. Consider adapting your About page to fit your audience’s needs. You may want to write it in multiple languages or make it easy to read with a timeline graph.   3. Products or Services Page The products and services page is the crux of most websites. It should convert a casual visitor into a frequent shopper. Rightfully so, you want to spend a considerable amount of time improving this page for the customer experience. When crafting a product description, you’ll want to sell the benefits, not the features. Tell a vivid story that emphasizes how buyers will feel after purchasing your product. You want them to feel a part of the product before they even receive it. Product photography plays an integral role, too. Highlight multiple angles of the product and allow users to zoom in and out. When applicable, shoot a short video to strengthen the visual experience. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics ’ product page offers a sleek, modern design. You don’t have to squint your eyes to see the product items. Shoppers also can visibly see the product’s star rating and price. If you sell services , write the same elaborate descriptions. Give your customers context into how you deliver your services. For example, a hairdresser may spotlight the in-store experience of a serene ambience with immediate service.   4. Blog Page The blog represents a major platform for your brand to talk directly with customers. You can feature product updates, the latest trends, and respond to buyers’ FAQs. Successful blogs are ongoing journeys, not destinations. Your blog must capture visitors’ attention and take them on your unique brand adventure. For instance, you may give them a behind-the-scenes look at product design or record a testimonial video with a happy customer. “Your blog posts can demonstrate your expertise in a particular subject area by sharing high-quality and relevant information with your readers. Over time, you can become known as a go-to resource that provides consistent and useful information,” writes Alyssa Gregory , an entrepreneur, writer, and marketer. The Slack blog coincides with the brand’s mission to be a collaboration hub. You can read articles about product tips, work culture, and productivity. It’s a true reflection of teamwork. In your blog, stay away from using your every post to sell products. Customers will quickly get annoyed and visit your competitor’s site. Instead, offer your visitors solutions and inspire them to live better.   5. Contact Page Communication helps build solid relationships with your customers. You get to learn about their needs and desires as it relates to your products. Plus, it opens the door to receiving critical feedback. Think of your contact page as a customer support tool. The priority is to deliver a superb service, no matter the visitor’s reason. You want customers to get accurate information as well. Depending on your type of business, you may post the brand’s physical address, email address, or phone number. If you have a live chat option, please express the availability of the support agents on the page. When customers land on Burger King’s contact page, they see an option to receive free food for completing a survey. They also can leave a message or call the fast food chain’s headquarters. Your contact page should be easily accessible. You don’t want customers clicking through five different pages to connect with your business. The contact page is the perfect spot to set customer expectations. Let your visitors know your response time and commit to that promise.   Upgrade Your Website Educate your visitors with key information about your business. Your website is an effective tool to boost brand awareness and earn more sales. Upgrade your site with all the pertinent pages. Get started building your website today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Use Customer Reviews to Get New Business

The post How to Use Customer Reviews to Get New Business appeared first on HostGator Blog . Social proof is a critical part of any freelancer’s marketing strategy. In particular, customer reviews can offer an inside look at your products and services. By using customer reviews, you can enhance the purchasing experience. Clients appreciate reading your current customers’ comments, assessing star ratings on specific items, and seeing product photos. It’s time to put your work and raving reviews in the spotlight. Here are five ways to take advantage of customer reviews. 1. Add Reviews to Your Website As a freelancer, you juggle multiple responsibilities. You’re fulfilling orders, invoicing customers, and sorting out paperwork. So, when it comes to finding new customers, you may feel overwhelmed and ready to give up. However, you can simplify the process by leveraging customer reviews on your website. You can place reviews on your home, portfolio, or testimonial pages. Give the reviews some flair by adding custom graphics or inserting block quotes. Business Casual Copywriting displays reviews in a prominent area of its website. The graphic adds to the brand’s personality and the review highlights what matters most to future customers. It’s essential to exhibit reviews that talk about your company’s services and business practices. You want buyers to get a holistic perspective about your brand. For example, if you sell animation services, you want reviews discussing your awesome designs and how you offer a speedy turnaround time. Are you ready to update your website with new reviews? Check out HostGator’s shared web hosting for an easy and affordable experience. 2. Mention Reviews in Paid Ads Most freelancers cringe at the thought of paid advertising because it can be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. You can ease your worries by using reviews to acquire new customers. The tangled web of paid advertising focuses on one primary thing—your copywriting. How you communicate with clients impacts the brand interaction. If your copy is too edgy, you could upset your customer base. But if your words are too vague, you may not attract any new buyers. A good starting point is to insert customer reviews in your ads. Unique testimonials provide a different viewpoint and will separate your brand from other competitors.   When venturing into paid ads, you’ll want to conduct lots of experiments on your copy. Chad Kearns , vice president of client solutions at Portent, elaborates about ad testing: “Writing great ad copy doesn’t always happen on your first try. By implementing ad tests you can see what resonates and what doesn’t with your customers. Continuing to test to find what works best is how you continue to find and write great PPC ads as your account management continues.” So, shake up your paid ad copy with customer reviews. It’s another avenue to present your solopreneur portfolio. 3. Share Reviews on Social Media Social media is a prime location to publicize customer satisfaction. According to Sprout Social , “social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through the channel.” Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you have an opportunity to invite more customers to your creative services. You can post exact quotes from customers and tag them in the comments. With their permission, you might consider including a photo of the individual to add credibility to their words. You can make it a part of your weekly schedule and post only reviews on a specific day. Below, email marketer Val Geisler posts a tweet highlighting praise from an individual in her Email Masters Incubator program. This message brings authenticity to her work and her clients’ success. You also could repost reviews directly from customers, so they appear in your timeline for followers to read. And don’t shy away from negative reviews. By replying to unfavorable posts, you show potential customers your commitment to offering high-quality service. It’s a win-win! 4. Spotlight Reviews in Online Community Groups Community groups have become an integral part of online culture, especially with the launch of tools like Slack. People are congregating to talk about everything from sports to pets. With a freelancing business, online community groups can serve as an effective way to meet new partners and introduce your services to potential customers. Start engaging with groups tailored to your customers’ needs. For instance, if you sell customized designer bracelets, you may want to join high-end fashion groups. When showcasing your solopreneur portfolio, you don’t need the highest customer rating or an overly bodacious review. Taral Patel , a digital marketer, explains: “They are not always a perfect rating either, and can contain suggestions and even negative feedback. However, all word of mouth advertising has value – good or bad – and it is important for brands to resist the urge to edit comments and reviews left by customer.” Moreover, be honest in your online community groups. Share real reviews from real customers. If someone has questions, give them a truthful response and your goals for improving the overall customer experience. 5. Include Reviews in Promotional Emails Constant Contact reports that 80% of professionals credit email marketing as a driver of customer acquisition and retention. When executed correctly, email becomes a powerful source to connect and persuade customers. Using email to deliver customer reviews is a sound strategy for communicating with your subscribers. Rather than tooting your own horn, you have a chance to send social proof to their inboxes. Reforge Growth Series adds multiple customer reviews to its emails to help boost trust about its program. These testimonials speak directly to what the individual learned and how they felt. Avoid overloading your promotional emails with unnecessary information. The clutter will only distract your recipients and cause them not to redeem your promotion. You also can reduce unnecessary spam to your email account with domain privacy . Promotional emails are practical for encouraging current customers to submit reviews. You can entice them to participate by giving away a cool swag bag or inviting them to a VIP customer event. Email marketing is a direct line of communication to your audience. Customer reviews improve the conversations. Earn More Customers with Reviews Customer reviews can connect your small business with more customers. Whether the reviews live on social media or paid ads, it’s a chance to tout your accolades. Need help getting more reviews for your business? check out our guides for small business owners and solopreneurs . Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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