It’s 2014. Did You Update Your Website Today?
It’s 2014. Did You Update Your Website Today?
If you have a storefront, office, or even a place to live, do you leave everything the same there each day? Probably not. At home you have dishes, laundry and probably need to replace the toilet paper or you’ll find yourself in a terrible situation. At your office, mail comes in, paperwork is done each day, and you probably need to replace the toilet paper there too. A storefront? If you have inventory and have any business at all, you’ll need to restock, sweep, vacuum and otherwise keep the top sellers (and most profitable items) in prime locations for people to buy, or people who wander in will wander back out since nothing seems new. And don’t forget to restock your toilet paper.
All joking aside, the fact is that your website, social media and email have to be updated, refreshed, and paid attention to at least weekly.
No More “Set It And Go.”
In 1997-2006 (and even a little further into 2008), you could get away with the Set-It-And-Go mentality. After all, your website was an online catalog, brochure, or something to just give you credibility with an official domain name and home on the internet.
Today you’ve got about three seconds to grab someone’s attention, although this number varies depending on the user’s system. For example, someone using an older system may be used to pages loading in 5-10 seconds, so they will wait that long. On the average, however, the quicker the better.
Each person is searching for something to solve a problem they have. Whether it’s to find the best price on a flat screen TV, how to get past a spot in Battlefield 4, or how to earn $1 Million dollars by selling eBooks. And if you don’t have that answer for them they will ‘bounce’ and look for that information somewhere else.
Here are some things to do and NOT do as often as you can to make sure your site reflects the best aspects of your business.
Top Five Things NOT to Do On Your Website
- “Welcome” of any kind. While it may be a common practice in physical locations to welcome a guest coming through your doors, it simply wastes the user’s time and takes up the first crucial 1-3 seconds of time they are making a decision about your site.
- Talk about yourself. Make no mistake, while it is very important to build your credibility, share testimonials, and otherwise explain why you and your company are the best answer to their prayers, you simply must resist the urge to tell them right away. A website visitor who has found the right place will most assuredly keep reading and searching your site for more information.
- Cram it all ‘above the fold.’ While it is true that nearly 80% of website visitors DON’T scroll down on a landing page or home page, the number you don’t often hear is that the people that DO scroll are probably the ones most interested in buying. So make sure you’ve got a ‘payoff’ for those that are truly interested. Remember the ol’ 80/20 rule: 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients (of course this statistic is used for work, effort and more).
- Give too many choices. This is a key idea. Limit yourself to a maximum of THREE CHOICES or solutions to a visitors problem. To do more is confusing and leads to decision paralysis. Our example is ourselves: Online Presence with Pride.™ While we showcase some work and ideas, we give three options: Get Started, Learn More, and Just News. If a potential client is looking to enhance their website “Online Presence” is a key term. Same with Social Media, email marketing, SEO and content. IF the 20% keep scrolling, we have plenty to share…and we do.
- Have more than a couple of ads. Nearly all ads, especially affiliate ads, tend to give you the code to embed on your website. It usually involves that a website visitor hits your home page, which then triggers the code to go and fetch the affiliate advertiser’s graphics and any other scripts they have you using. This slows the load time as well as distracts from your primary service. You could lose the visitor to your affiliate. And while that might be profitable, they may not return.
Things you SHOULD Do to Ensure a Healthy Website
- One overriding message. This is also known as a USP or Unique Sales Proposition. If you sell widgets, say, “We Sell Widgets to Make Your Life Better. Click Here to Buy.” If you know people come to you for one or more problems, address that right away. An example: “Air Conditioning on the fritz? Contact us today and Chill Out.” People need to know you can solve their problem. A great book called Don’t Make Me Think is all about simplifying the buying process and in your communications.
- Be assumptive. Ask for the close. Here’s where you don’t want to waste their time. If you have what they need, make it easy for them to buy or take action. Remember there are three states of buyers: Ready Now, Maybe Later, and Just Browsing. Your site should close the “Ready Now” buyers and begin building trust with the “Maybe Later” buyers.
- Update weekly. This is a stumbling block for nearly everyone. But it is imperative to update your website and work on engaging your visitors. An hour or two one weekend can yield 2-3 articles that can be scheduled to post the entire month. You can also get guests to write for your website. They can be professionals, friends or even clients who feel compelled to write and help promote your business.
- Test your forms (and functionality) once a week. With regular security updates being made on your site through a hosting company can render some things inoperable. Most updates are scheduled and you should get some notification that it is being done. At that point, definitely take a few moments to review your site and test the forms. It may seem a bit annoying, but having your website hacked is much worse and costly.
- Share your website. Most people are stuck in the ‘set-it-and-go’ mode. Or the Field of Dreams thought of “If you build it, they will come.” Neither are correct. Share your website with everyone. Share your blog posts (which point to your site). And ask for others to share your site. Worried about bothering people? Be funny or helpful AND share at the same time.
There are more specific strategies for all the steps above, but these steps will help you in Search Engines and for humans looking for what you have to help them most.
And, please, don’t forget to refill the toilet paper.
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Do you know the three R’s of successful project management?
They are real time, relationship and responsibility. These three R’s of project management can transform an idea into a successfully completed project. When planning a project it is important to give real time schedules in which a project can be finished. To do this, it’s important to make a plan of action. You want to include when will the project start, how long it will take, review points, due date and finalizing with the client.
Maintaining a positive, cooperative relationship with co-workers and clients is also essential to quality project management. Good communication is the key to these relationships. Take a few minutes to email, call and keep the other team members and the client informed about the current project stage.
Assigning individual responsibilities for the tasks and taking responsibilty for the overall project can be the difference between success and failure! Your name is on you work. Do a job that you want to stand behind. Not all projects succeed, but they do teach us about our weaknesses, strengths and where to improve. Practicing the three R’s of project management is your stepping stone to success.
Project management is a dynamic and multifaceted discipline that requires skillful navigation in a variety of domains. From time management to relationship building and taking on leadership roles, the foundational pillars of project management are rooted in the ability to balance and coordinate tasks to ensure a project’s success. Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or new to the field, understanding the complexities of time, relationships, and responsibilities is essential in any project’s execution. In this article, we will explore some key insights and strategies to help you excel in these three critical areas of project management.
As a project manager, one of the most important responsibilities you have is managing time expectations. With time being one of the most limited resources we have, it's essential that projects are completed on time and within budget. This can be a challenge, but with proper planning, it's possible to give realistic schedules in which a project can be finished. Planning a project is a key part of managing time expectations. You want to make sure you have a clear understanding of what the project entails, who will be involved, and what resources will be needed. Once you have a good understanding of the project, you can begin to develop a plan of action. Your plan should include when the project will start, how long it will take, review points, due dates, and finalizing with the client. It's important to break the project down into manageable tasks and assign responsibilities to team members. This ensures that everyone knows what they are responsible for and can work towards a common goal. When developing your plan, it's important to take into account potential roadblocks that could arise during the project. It's unrealistic to expect everything to go smoothly, so be sure to build in some flexibility into your schedule. This will allow you to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and still keep the project on track. Regular review points throughout the project are crucial to managing time expectations. This allows you to keep track of progress, identify any areas where things are falling behind, and make adjustments as needed. By staying on top of the project throughout its lifecycle, you can avoid any surprises that could impact the timeline. Another important step to managing time expectations is to set due dates and communicate them clearly. Make sure all team members know when their tasks are due, and build in ample time for review and feedback. By setting due dates, you can ensure that the project stays on track and that everyone is working towards the same deadlines. Finally, it's important to finalize the project with the client. This is when you will deliver the finished product or service and get feedback. Make sure that the client understands the timeline and is on board with the schedule. If there are any changes or delays, be sure to communicate them clearly. In conclusion, managing time expectations in project management is a critical task. By planning the project properly, breaking it down into manageable tasks, building in flexibility, setting due dates, and communicating clearly with the client, you can ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. Remember to stay on top of progress and make adjustments as needed. By doing so, you'll be able to deliver successful projects that meet or exceed customer expectations.
Maintaining a positive, cooperative relationship with co-workers and clients is essential to quality project management. Successful project management cannot be achieved without effective communication, and strong communication skills are the key to building solid professional relationships. To be successful in any project management endeavor, project managers must put in the effort to maintain strong relationships with all stakeholders involved, including fellow team members and clients. First and foremost, good communication is fundamental to building cooperative relationships. Communication is more than just exchanging information; it is about connecting with others. Effective communication is about understanding the emotions and intentions behind the information being shared. When communication is practiced adequately, it is possible to build strong relationships with team members and clients. There are many ways to build good communication with co-workers and clients. One way is to take a few minutes to send an email, give a call or send a text with updates about the project. Keeping the other team members and clients in the loop about the current project stage not only helps maintain a positive relationship but is essential to effective project management. In addition to keeping team members informed, it is equally important to listen actively when communicating with them. Active listening means making a conscious effort to hear and interpret what the speaker is saying. It is an essential tool for fostering open communication and building robust professional relationships. Another way to establish a cooperative relationship with co-workers and clients is to practice empathy. By putting yourself in the other peoples' shoes and understanding their point of view, it is possible to build trust and establish a rapport that leads to effective communication. Empathy is also an important trait to have when working on projects, and it can be essential for identifying and addressing any concerns the team may have. Setting realistic expectations and following through on commitments is another key to maintaining strong professional relationships. Establishing clear timelines and keeping the team and clients informed of the progress of the project can help to prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications. Furthermore, it shows that the project management team is committed to delivering quality work on time. In conclusion, maintaining positive and cooperative relationships with co-workers and clients is essential to quality project management. Good communication is the key to building these relationships, and communicating through various channels, such as emails, texts, and phone calls, is necessary to keep all stakeholders informed. Active listening, empathy, setting expectations and following through on commitments are all essential skills that can help to establish and maintain strong professional relationships. Remember, effective project management is about more than just getting the job done; it is also about building and maintaining relationships that enable everyone to work efficiently and effectively.
As a project manager, your reputation is on the line with every project you oversee. To ensure that you are consistently delivering quality work, it is essential to create an atmosphere of responsibility in your team. Whether you're just beginning your career as a project manager or are a seasoned professional, the following tips will help you achieve this goal. Firstly, it is important to establish clear roles and expectations for each member of your team. This will help everyone understand their individual responsibilities and what is expected of them in terms of contributing to the project's success. Being transparent with your team members will give them a sense of ownership to execute their tasks with care and consideration. Secondly, it's important to conduct periodic check-ins with individual team members to evaluate their progress and provide them with feedback. Frequent communication will allow for any issues to be addressed promptly, and it will also ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the project's progress. Another key aspect of creating responsibility in project management is to lead by example. As the project manager, your actions will significantly impact your team's behavior. When your team sees that you are taking responsibility for your work, they will be more likely to do the same. It's also essential to demonstrate integrity and honesty in all of your dealings. Additionally, making sure that everyone has access to project-related data is important. This equates to having a clear understanding of what is happening on the project in real-time. Evidently, regular updates, progress reports and status updates will work best for all stakeholders. Finally, the most crucial element of ensuring responsibility in project management is developing a team culture based on accountability. To achieve this, you should strive to create an environment that encourages your team members to take ownership of their work, hold themselves accountable for their actions, and commit to doing their best to achieve excellent results. In conclusion, project management is not easy, and it requires an excellent level of commitment and responsibility. It is vital to establish clear goals and expectations, monitor progress consistently, take responsibility for your own work, and lead by example. By doing this, you will cultivate a team culture of responsibility that will lead to successful projects and a successful career as a project manager. Remember, ultimately your name is on your work, and your reputation hangs on your ability to be a responsible and capable project manager.
In conclusion, mastering the three R's of Project Management (time, relationships, and responsibility) is essential to ensure project success. Time management skills ensure timely delivery of the project, developing positive relationships with team members and stakeholders improve collaboration and communication, and taking responsibility can foster a sense of ownership and accountability. These skills also translate well into other areas of life. Remember, managing projects can be challenging, but developing these skills can go a long way in making the process smoother for everyone involved. So, start mastering these R's today and take your projects to the next level!
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