Your 2021 Marketing Technology planning should be happening right now!
There’s never been a New Year more people are ready to celebrate than 2021. We all know how difficult 2020 has been on our mental and physical health, our financial health and our business health.
Whether your business is on fire right now with E-Commerce holiday sales, or you’re beginning to wind down and focus on some strategic planning, here are some reminders of marketing technology you should be evaluating and possibly updating before 2021.
1. Website Hosting for SMB E-Commerce and Lead Generation Websites
There’s probably not a single tool you use for the health and wellness of your business than your website hosting. Yet, there’s also not a more overlooked, underrated tool in your toolbox than your website hosting. If you’re paying for bottom tier hosting on a hosting plan for your website, chances are, your website’s performance is pretty slow. If you’re using the common website builder themes with heavy use of plugins, then take that slow website speed down a notch to a crawl.
Not sure how slow your site really is? Use Google’s Page Speed Insights for a simple look at it. The speed of your website is so critical to not only your user experience, but your SEO, and your sales and lead generation. We all know this and if feels redundant to even write it. However, if you evaluate your hosting, chances are you’re on a baby tier hosting plan that is costing you more than it is saving you on sales or leads.
There are a lot of choices available for website hosting, but we’re particular fans of WP Engine for website hosting. It’s a game-changer using the right hosting, and in our experience, they’ve been one of the best and most affordable to do business with.
2. Email Marketing Service Providers for SMB Marketing
Email Marketing is a critical tool for growing your business. There are many who have a love/hate relationship with email marketing. Email Service Providers (ESP) come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re just starting out, or trying to make a leap to more effective marketing communications, here are a list of some ESPs you should consider based on your current and future needs. Note, we do not recommend one over the other as they all serve different levels from budget to functionality. However, we include all of them because we have worked on each of them for various clients and trust the experience they provided.
3. Cyber Security Insurance & E-Commerce Tax Solutions
Many people think Cyber Security is simply about getting hacked and exposing data. But there are several factors and expenses that can go into a cyber threat. The money lost isn’t just potential damages, it includes revenue lost to your business in the event your website or E-Commerce store goes down due to a cyber threat.
Many insurance companies offer a form of cyber insurance, but you should shop around to ensure they include a comprehensive policy to protect your business. Finding the right agent who understands the Internet space will be important to protecting your business.
The tax code for E-Commerce businesses is getting more and more complicated. If you’re opening a new store, or intend to grow your E-Commerce business next year, you should evaluate the best way to create clean accounting. An accountant experienced in working with E-Commerce businesses will be able to help you reduce costly tax and accounting mistakes as your business goes from bricks-to-clicks.
It never fails. With the turn of the year, so goes your copyright dates in your website footer. Ever go to a website that looks old and the copyright is from three years ago? Make sure it’s not you next year. Always update your copyright protection on your website. People do steal content and you want to be sure that you are clearly protecting your content with an updated copyright as well as just instilling more customer confidence by not looking like you haven’t been open for business for a while with an outdated copyright.
5. Google Analytics can tell you more than you may realize
Surprisingly, many businesses with a website never finish the process of installing Google Analytics. Nothing is more disappointing to a client who wishes to improve their website’s performance than to find out they don’t have Google Analytics properly installed on their website. If you don’t know if it’s installed because you either don’t know your GA account information, or don’t have access to it right now, here are some simple instructions.
Using Chrome or Safari:
1. Load the website
2. Right Click the page and click “View Page Source”
3. You’ll see several blocks of code, do a “Find” and look for Google Analytics. If you have it installed, you should see it highlight on the page (as pictured). If you do not see that, chances are it’s not installed or not activated on your site.
If you find you don’t have Google Analytics, no fear. Creating a Google Analytics account is free. To install it, you can contact a developer and it’s a fairly painless process.
Once installed, you should be sure that all of your Analytics tools are connected and pulling in data. The more you dig in, the more you’ll learn about your website’s value in your organization.
6. Evaluate Your SMB Website’s User Experience
When developing a website, a lot businesses ask for feedback from friends, family and clients. The trouble is, they don’t always ask the right questions. As we outlined in our Linkedin Article “Where is the Single-Point-of-Failure for Your Website Conversions?”, we outlined some homegrown user tests practices you can use to improve the performance of your website.
As we pointed out in the article, your clients don’t visit your website to see what colors you use, or if there are any typos. They are looking for a solution and need to find out as quickly as possible if you can solve their problem.
Use some down time to create some homegrown user tests by asking the right questions about your website.
Happy New Year!
If you have questions about any of these tips, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to point you in the right direction for how you can make your website more effective so that it will perform as a sales engine for your business.