As divided as the world may feel right now on #allthethings, there is one thing everyone can agree on: things are weird.
You may be struggling with what to post on social media these days, or you may be struggling with what.the.heck.to.do.next.
Are your sales down? Are your sales up? Are you scrambling trying to figure out how exactly the economy is changing? Not to mention—theorizing if it’s going to ever go back to how we knew it to be a year ago?
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Stop trying to figure out all the things right now and just do.
But what should you be doing?
What to do in your business to prepare
Here is a list of 16 things you should be doing in your business right now to best prepare for the upcoming season.
1 | Set up Google Analytics. Hopefully, at this point you already have Google Analytics installed. But if you don’t, start here and make it happen. Once you have the basics of Google Analytics set up, consider these steps:
- Set up goals → How to set up goals in Google Analytics
- Set up custom reports → How to set up a custom report in Google Analytics
- Do you have content on a subdomain? That should also be measured. How to set up Google Analytics on a subdomain
- Are you measuring video views within Analytics? This can be done through Google Tag Manager → How to track video views
Who has access to your Google Analytics? Ensure you have removed any past contractors or employees from access.
2 | Update lead gens. Or if you don’t have one, make that happen right after Google Analytics is in place. A lead gen (or opt-in) is a way to invite users to join your email list by giving them something tangible, in return. This may be a checklist, an ebook, a free trial, or even a coupon to use on their first purchase. This needs to be visible and enticing. And should definitely be something more than ‘Join our newsletter.’
3 | Check your thank-you pages. While you are evaluating your lead gens, look at your thank-you pages. The thank-you page should outline what comes next (i.e. Your download is on its way to your inbox.) and is also a great place to offer related content. For example: did the visitor just subscribe for 5 Recipes for Chicken? Offer a link to a popular post that also includes using chicken on this thank-you page.
- Other ideas to include on a thank you page:
- Social follow buttons
- A one-question survey (this will help you segment your list)
4 | Update your sales pages. These pages are often created and forgotten. Take time to look back over each of them and make adjustments as needed.
- What to include on sales pages:
- SEO friendly <h1> and <h2> headers.
- Answers to your customers’ pain points. How will this service or product help them or move them forward?
- Clear and enticing call-to-action. Offer something more than BUY THIS NOW in a CTA box. Change the verbiage to I NEED THIS or YES! THIS WOULD HELP ME or something more catchy than BUY NOW.
- FAQs. Chances are if one or two people have had a similar question, others may be wondering the same. Answer these questions right here on your sales page to alleviate doubt and once again, be a step ahead of your potential customer.
5 | Gather testimonials. Reach out to your current or past customers for testimonials. Use these testimonials on your website (think: home page!) and for social posts. Nothing sells better than word of mouth, and incorporating testimonials (especially recent ones) is a great way to make this happen.
6 | Update your welcome series. You don’t have a welcome series of emails that are automatically sent as a sequence to your new subscribers? Make it happen.
7 | Audit your blog for conversions. Refer to Google Analytics and see which of your content gets the most traffic. [Note: depending on your niche, this may vary by season.] Ensure these articles are well optimized and offer a strong CTA (that is relevant to the content). This step can also help you with strategizing your content planning.
8 | Archive irrelevant content. As you are looking through your blog, you may find out-of-date articles or even articles that no longer align with your brand. Archive these posts. You can always go back and update the articles with out-of-date information, but all content on your site should align with your brand and product(s)/service.
9 | Clean up your email list. I had a conversation recently with a client in regards to this. I’ve referred to doing this for a year or longer with this particular client, and I realized recently that what they considered “cleaning up” was not what I was referring to. While this may seem 101 to many of you, let me explain in laments terms: cleaning up your email list is when you delete emails from your list that don’t open your emails. You may have a list of 60K emails. Great. But if only 4% of that 60K is opening your emails, why do you keep the rest? Delete those bad boys. If people remember you and want to (re) engage with you at a later date, they can always resubscribe. Having dead weight on your email list is serving no benefit to you and most likely costing you more money monthly.
Nervous about cleaning up your email list? If you don’t want to hit DELETE so quickly, create a re-engagement campaign. Send an email to your dormant (hasn’t opened an email in the last 6 months) list. Use a subject line such as “We haven’t heard from you in a while” or “Hey! Are you still interested in hearing about <your product/service/industry>?”
Here are 2 good examples of re-engagement emails:
10 | Do a system audit. What bells and whistles are you paying for each month or quarter? Or a year? This may take going through your PayPal statements or bank statements. Make a list of all charges you have for any service, tool, plugin, or service. Evaluate how often you use each and the return you receive from each. How effective are they? Is there a simpler or less expensive option available? Evaluating your systems and tools will most likely help you to find unnecessary expenses that you can eliminate to save money in your budget.
11 | Audit your social media channels. Is your branding consistent across the board? Do your profiles or descriptions need updating? Do your profiles offer a (current) CTA? Use these checklists below to audit your social media channels.
12 | Evaluate your pop-ups. Like lead gens, too often we set it and forget it. Which pages do you have pop-ups? Are you seeing a decent ROI? What’s the conversion rate on each? If you aren’t seeing a return from these, consider changing the messaging or your offering or even the layout. Ensure that each is mobile-friendly and easy for visitors to close if they aren’t interested.
13 | Check your Google Tag Manager. Ensure you are tracking all of your tracking tags in GTM. Often we have tracking codes on our site that we should be measuring in GTM. The Chrome extension Ghostery will show you which codes you have installed on your site. You can then compare with GTM to ensure they are all listed there.
Want to see what your competitors are using on their site? Use Ghostery to peek on them too.
14 | Update your Google My Business. Ensure your GMB profile has your correct contact information. Be sure you are using a UTM tracking code for your website link here.
15 | Ask for reviews. Similar to testimonials (and some you may be able to use as testimonials on your site!), reach out to current and past customers and ask for reviews on Google or Facebook. Asking for a Google or Facebook review is also a great piece to include in a follow-up email after purchases.
16 | Educate yourself. As a business owner (or simply as a human being), you should always be learning. Want to understand Facebook ads? Take that course. Catch up on listening to podcasts. Read that book that has been on your Amazon wishlist. Set aside time each day or week to invest in yourself—which in turn—will be investing in your business.
And get ready, friends. As hard as the season may seem today, a new season is coming.
And I want you to be ready.