First things first: How to start selling online

So, you have a great new product. Yours is special. Yours is unique.

It can help many people: (check boxes below)
___ be successful
___ be happy
___ feel beautiful
___ spend more time with their family and friends
___ work more efficiently
___ become a Guardian of the Milky Way Galaxy
___ other: fill in the blank ________________________

But sadly, you have a stack of boxes sitting in your ex-roommate’s bedroom. You’re relying on your BFFs to tell their BFFs about your widget; then drive over and sell them the inventory from the trunk of your car; and then ask them for cash or to Venmo you.

You want an online store, but don’t know how to get started. You’re a product maker, not a website maker.

Here’s how you can get started selling online:

    1. Decide on your budget. It’s best for all to know that upfront, so we’re not pricing an Amazon-look-alike site when you can only afford a simple buy now one-page website.
    2. Who is your target market? Who would most benefit from your product?
    3. Understand how your product benefits your customer. NOT a list of features.
    4. What would those folks in your target market search for online to find a product like yours?
    5. What does success look like to you? Do you want to sell one widget a month? Do you need to sell 1,000 widget a month just to break even?
    6. Take some awesome pictures or how-to or testimonial videos of your product. Depending on your budget and product, you can hire a professional or take your own. There are some inexpensive light boxes available now, or even some DIY YouTube videos on how to build your own. Stuck? Ask us for referrals.

UmeWorks can help you set up your online store.

  1. Set up a free initial consultation call with us.
    Don’t worry you don’t know everything your website needs. Review the How to Get Started items above, and then let’s talk. It’s our job to ask you the questions about your business and product to figure out how we can build an ecommerce website for your needs within your budget including:

    • SEO’ing your website
    • Capturing leads online
  2. We build your ecommerce site.
  3. We work with you to create an online marketing strategy.
  4. You sell!
  5. You empty that spare bedroom.
  6. Time to refill it!

READY? Set up a free initial consultation with UmeWorks now.

Why is it important to keep your website updated?

Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content Is King” back in 1996, and more than two decades later, the 3-lettered title is still the most popular maxim in the digital marketing world. To ensure that this famous marketing catchphrase better suits the present moment, it has been modified to emphasize the critical need for fresh content above all else. Today, “Fresh Content Is King”, which means that you need to keep your website updated if you want to stand out from the competition.

Why Fresh Content is Important to a Website’s Search Engine Rankings

All search engines rely on webcrawlers (a.k.a. robots or bots) to identify and index content that’s to be included in search results. The webcrawlers index websites based upon various algorithmic factors, including how frequently a website is updated.

Websites that don’t have updates of any kind are viewed by search engines as “dead” entities that have no life and nothing new to offer. So, such websites are ranked lowly on search engines. Being ranked low is something that you wouldn’t want for your website.

As you keep your website updated with new articles, images and videos, the more frequently webcrawlers will notice each new activity you make and report to their respective search engines. When search engines take note of your regular updates, your website will have the opportunity to attain higher rankings based on the content you provide.

It’s a well-known fact that a site’s search engine ranking has a huge impact on the number of visitors and potential customers it attracts. By earning a high ranking, your site’s prominence is highly likely to improve among visitors and potential customers.

How to Clean Content to Keep your Website Updated

Since search engines like to reward websites that are continually updated by ranking them highly, “cleaning” up your website is certainly a good idea. The process of cleaning up your website may involve:

  • Removing outdated and irrelevant posts and replacing them with fresh, relevant content.
  • Removing service pages for services your company no longer offers and replacing them with new service pages that you company currently offers.
  • Removing old photos that are no longer in use and replacing them with new ones.
  • Removing old bios and profiles of former employees and replacing them with those of new employees.
  • Removing broken links and replacing them with working outbound links.

Cleaning up your website can be an intricate task, but it’s all worth it. When you keep your website updated, you’ll not only breathe new life into it, but you’ll also improve its search engine ranking, attract more potential customers, and ultimately boost your sales.

Want help with your website and Internet presence?  Contact UmeWorks in Torrance at 323 638-9328 or info@umeworks.com to discuss your website needs.

Request a Free Website Evaluation

Could Your Business Benefit from Offering Online Appointment Scheduling?

A growing number of service-oriented businesses, such as hair salons, barbers, personal trainers, massage spas and health spas, are utilizing online appointment scheduling and are changing the way they interact with their customers. Because many of these appointment systems are mobile-friendly, people are able to connect with these businesses wherever they already are, providing the 24/7 convenience today’s consumers demand. Allowing your customer to connect with you at any time of the day will keep them coming back.

Depending on your business’ needs and which system is selected, the many advantages of utilizing online appointment scheduling can include the following:

  1. Saving time spent booking appointments
  2. Needing fewer staff members to manage appointments.
  3. Easier management of staff schedules. Booking is real-time and staff is immediately notified when an appointment has been scheduled for them.
  4. Flexibility to choose when to collect payment: upfront collection at time of booking, or after services have been delivered.
  5. Clients are notified of cancellation policies and any fees incurred.
  6. Automated reminders to clients reduce the number of no-shows, which costs some organizations several thousands of dollars each year. By switching to online scheduling, some see a 50% or greater reduction in no-shows.
  7. Business or financial reports can be generated and provide informative data such as the number of no shows, the number of appointments each staff member completes, comparisons of location-to-location productivity, or the number of appointments that were booked because of a marketing promotion.
  8. Be integrated with back-office software to reduce amount of time spent on bookkeeping.

These benefits would be attractive to most companies, and especially to small businesses with limited staff resources. But the positive returns from using online scheduling do not end there.

Businesses will also notice:

  1. More appointments

    • People spend so much of their time online and appreciate companies who make it convenient to do business with them. There’s no waiting, as often happens with phone scheduling and they can book appointments at any time of the day.
    • Integrating your booking system with social media makes it convenient for people to make bookings when they’re already on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
    • Include Customer Review integration to encourage NEW customers to book the first appointment with you online!
  2. Customer retention

    • Encourage customers to return, sooner. Send seasonal deals, or a birthday greeting with a coupon. Set these up once and let them run automatically.
  3. Increased revenue

    • Online booking makes your business available 24/7, allowing you to receive more bookings than you would via phone. You can also offer items your customers can purchase like gift certificates, promotional items or services, while they are booking their appointment.
  4. Increased efficiency

    • The calendar would also show you where there are gaps between appointments. You can utilize the time with special demonstrations or promotions that can be marketed ahead of time.
    • You can also assign resources (like a room or equipment) to specific services to help you prevent duplicate booking.
  5. Lower overhead

    • Fewer overhead costs because the need for a person(s) to handle reservations is eliminated.

Technological advances have changed consumer expectations and customers have become accustomed to getting what they want sooner than later. They appreciate businesses that provide services quickly, at a time or location that is always convenient; positive experiences with these businesses will encourage customers to return time and time again and they, in turn, will influence others to do the same.

Ready to get started with online appointment scheduling for your business? Fill out our checklist and send to UmeWorks to start discussing your business’ scheduling needs.

GET ONLINE BOOKING

How to Like a Facebook Page From Another Page

How to Like a Facebook page

As a business owner, do you ever wonder (or want to be reminded) of how you can Like another Facebook Business Page as your page, vs. as an individual? Perhaps you have a partner, a colleague or a member of your business networking group you’d like to help promote. Or perhaps you’d like to ask another business to promote your Facebook Page to help your company get more visibility.

No need to “Google” it – here are the instructions right here:

How to Like a Facebook Page as your Page:

    1. Go to the Page you want to like.
    2. Click below the Page’s cover photo.
    3. Select Like As Your Page.
    4. Select a Page and Submit.

To see a list of all the Pages that your Page has liked, go to your Page and scroll down to Pages liked by this Page in the right column.

To see posts from pages that you’ve liked as your Page, go to your Page and click See Pages Feed in the right column of your Page.

Want help with your website and Internet presence? Contact UmeWorks in Torrance at 323 638-9328 or info@umeworks.com to discuss your website needs.

Why Having a Child Theme is Important for Your WordPress Website

You and your website designer have finally selected the WordPress theme (from the thousands that are available) that you feel is the best fit for your website. However, it’s not completely matching your vision and you want to make adjustments to the design. This is where using a child theme comes in.

It’s important to understand what a child theme is and its relationship to the original, or “parent” theme. The parent theme is “a complete theme which includes all of the required WordPress template files and assets for the theme to work.” The child theme inherits the look and functionality of the parent theme but can be used to modify any part of the theme without touching the parent’s core files and assets. The child theme overwrites specific assets of the parent theme, while maintaining the rest from the parent.

Benefits of Child Themes:

  • Allows you to easily reproduce or move your modifications
  • Keeps your customizations separate from parent theme functions
  • Parent themes can be updated without deleting your modifications
  • Save on development time as you are not starting from scratch

Although it may initially feel a bit intimidating, it is not that difficult to create a child theme in WordPress. There are three main steps to set up a child theme:

  1. Create a theme folder in your wp-content/themes folder.
  2. Create a stylesheet that you will put in that child theme folder that designates the parent theme stylesheet.
  3. Enqueue stylesheet by creating a functions.php file for your child theme and include the enqueue PHP script.

For the full instructions on how to do this, visit the WordPress theme handbook page.

You should avoid making changes directly to the parent theme files, as your customizations will be lost once the theme is updated. Some people will then skip theme updates in order to avoid this, but it is not advisable to do so; the updates may include important bug fixes and new features and skipping them could result in security and compatibility problems.

For Website Owners, your Key Take-Away is this:

Before you engage a new website designer, be sure s/he understands the importance of Child Themes, and plans to implement one on your new WordPress website to prevent problems and unnecessary work maintaining your site in the future.

UmeWorks has built many WordPress websites and implements child themes as part of our usual practice. If you want an experienced website designer and developer, schedule a free initial phone consultation with UmeWorks to discuss your website needs.

Contact UmeWorks Today