Virtual Biz Bits Blog

Get a Free Site Audit in 3 Easy Steps

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Member Posts | 0 comments

Get a Free Site Audit in 3 Easy Steps

By Jacqueline Davis

These days, a potential customer’s first impression of you will frequently be through your website. Tony Haile of Chartbeat recently shared that a stunning 55% of viewers spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. That’s not a lot of time to make a first impression.

We want to help you maximize that short window you have for a first impression by teaching you how to give your business’ website a site audit.  Some businesses will invest in hiring site auditing experts to do a deep cleaning evaluation of their website’s effectiveness, but there are some simple, basic steps you can take to determine if your website is the best it can be and gaining you more, not less, customers. Here are the three main areas you need to pay attention to as you upgrade your website.

1) Function

Navigation. Does your menu bar have all of the main pages listed on it? Are you missing important pages? Contact info page, an About page and a description of the services you offer or sell should be visible and accessible. Ideally, all of the main pages will be represented in your menu. You want to make it as easy as possible for readers to find the information they’re looking for.

Speaking of looking, you should also have an obvious Search Box. Many business owners think that this feature is irrelevant since they aren’t a media site; when most of your website remains static, it’s easy to pass over the need for this. If your website has more than five pages, you should have a search function within your site. It’s there for the in-a-rush customer who wants to find things for themselves.

Social links. Have a Facebook page? Put a linked icon on your homepage in the header or footer area. This is especially important if your website has begun to fall out of date in any way. Your business’ social platforms can be a new customers window into who you are right now, when your website hasn’t kept up with your business’ growth.

Readability. Your site needs to be easy to read. That means no artistic white font over a black background, no illegible cursive script in point 8 font. If you have to squint and lean closer to the computer screen to read your website, it’s time for a redesign.

2) Content

Clarity. Is the writing on your site clear and understandable? Will someone who isn’t familiar with your product be able to grasp what you’re talking about, or will they be confused by industry jargon? Are the benefits and advantages of buying from you clearly stated? Do you cite certifications and recognition that will give you credibility in your industry? For this part of evaluating your website, it’s good to bring someone else on board, preferably someone who wasn’t involved in writing your site, even better if it’s an attentive reader who doesn’t know anything about your business.

Keywords. Don’t forget the “boring”, obvious words. Your location, business industry, and products you offer should all be referred to in your text. Don’t forget to use common words for your business and product. Yes, you want to be original, but you also want to have the plainspoken search terms readers will use when they try to find you online.

3) Sales Funnel

Lead Conversion. You should have some way to collect potential customers email addresses on all pages of your site. Some businesses simply have a box that asks customer to sign up for their newsletter to receive updates. Some offer an incentive for handing over your email address, like a coupon or a free report on a subject their target customer is likely to be interested in.

Navigation Prompts. As your brand new customer navigates through your site, they should never come to the end of a page and find themselves thinking, “Where should I go next?” At the end of every page, tell your target customer what to do. Keep it in context with the individual page and remember what your end goal for every site visitor is. If you’re in e-commerce, you’ll want to make a sale or bare minimum, capture an email address. If you’re a consultant, your entire site will be focused on getting your customer to pick up the phone. It doesn’t have to be complicated or a big red arrow button. For example, at the bottom of Home, tell your reader to “Go here to learn more about our services.”

Finding a lot of things you want to improve? Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions you have about improving your website.

978-600-8218 
Info@VirtuallyHere.net

Spotlight Member of the Month – Jo Ann Plante

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Member of the Month | 0 comments

Spotlight Member of the Month                                                                                                                                                                                                                     – Jo Ann Plante

The NEVA blog will spotlight one member per month. This gives the member the opportunity to introduce herself and her business. Because this is the first post for the Our Members/Benefits section, I am going first. My name is Jo Ann Plante and my virtual business name is Virtual Colleague, LLC. I chose this name, because I partner with clients and share their project deadlines and goals. My business is located in Coventry, Rhode Island.

I decided to work virtually after I had my second lupus flare-up. I knew I had lupus, but it had been in remission for 20 years. It took over a year and a half to recuperate. When I started looking for work, I found that my age and being out of work were factors in not getting hired. I got angry and decided to take charge of my life, so I started my own business in 2013, so I could rest when I needed to and have less stress.

I specialize in writing projects and general administrative tasks. I offer a resume package consisting of four specific documents. I also write video scripts, articles, how-to manuals, press releases, web research, and copywriting. I offer proofreading and editing services and I write for two different blogs. I have always worked in either an administrative capacity or as a writer, so when I started my virtual assistant business, I chose to do the two things that I enjoy doing the most: working on my computer and writing. I even found time to write a fiction novel “Everyone Evelon”.

What sets my virtual business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, apart from the others is:

1) my extensive background in writing and a variety of administrative experience,

2) my volunteer work as an ESL tutor and my church help me to relate to different cultures and work ethics, and

3) the name “Virtual Colleague, LLC” suggests that my client and I are “partners” on the same level. When a client signs on with me, they get an administrative professional, who is proficient in what I offer and a business “partner”, who is both responsible and accountable for projects from inception to completion.

The best advice I can give anyone starting out as a virtual assistant is to persevere. It is not an easy business to get into, but it can be very rewarding. Education is important. Don’t pass up free webinars or eBooks or any form of education. You never know when a potential client will ask you, if you have that skill. If you’ve learned a little bit about it, you can master it quickly.

Networking and education are the two pillars of strength for a virtual assistant. I encourage our members to attend the in-person meetings and the conference calls. I always learn something from participating in them. It’s time well spent. Whatever your learning style is, use it to learn new things all the time. Read, watch, and/or listen to everything you can and you will become the “go to” virtual assistant.

Click here to visit my website.

 

 

 

NH Conference for Women, Nov 2015

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Conferences, Events | 0 comments

NH Conference for Women, Nov 2015

Seven of our members had a fantastic time at NH Conference for Women, Women Inspiring Women on November 13, 2015, getting inspired by Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles. Two members took advantage of the private lunch with Jack too. At the booth, we generated a lot of interest with our Wonder Woman stand-up figure. Check our FaceBook page for photos with attendees – they really had fun dressing up and getting into the act! One of our members, Christine Williams, as you can see in the photo above was also having fun dressing up. Many people stopped by the booth and asked about what we do and how it works. We heavily promoted the RFP option.

MegaBusiness Expo, Nov 2014

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Conferences, Events | 0 comments

MegaBusiness Expo, Nov 2014

We were at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA for the Mega Business Expo in November 2014. It was well attended, and we received a lot of interest with our Wheel of Services (shown below). Many people came back to our booth because it was busy when they went by and they wanted to check out the services wheel.

Bea Hait, Jeannette Tibbetts, Christine Bearse, Shannon Vanasse, Monica Bentley

Bea Hait, Jeannette Tibbetts, Christine Bearse, Shannon Vanasse, Monica Bentley

We didn’t give away all 21 of the prizes but we did a pretty good job! Jeannette Tibbetts did a great job on the Twitter campaign and we’ve been getting lots of followers since the show.

Delegation Webinar Replay

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Events, Webinars | 0 comments

Delegation Webinar Replay

NEVA presents Clear Your Plate; Learn to Delegate…

 

GO TO WEBINAR

10 Software Tools

Posted by on Jun 24, 2014 in Tech Tools & Events | 0 comments

The Yankee Diva
by Donna L. Benoit

tools10 Software Tools for Collaborating Virtual Assistants by Michael Hyatt.  Michael Hyatt has recently been named one of the top 10 online marketing experts to follow in 2014 by Forbes magazine.

He discusses various software programs that he himself uses with his virtual assistants.  Basecamp, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Group Me, Last Pass, Messages, Rhino Support, Skype, SnagIt and Sweet Process.

Honestly the Diva never heard of some of these until she read the article.  Check it out….

When Yankee Divas is not assisting Virtual Assistants with their overloads, Donna spends her time creating multi-media art.

CT Luncheon, Nov 2011

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Events, Luncheons | 0 comments

CT Luncheon, Nov 2011

Christine Bearse & Monica Bentley

Speed Networking on the Cape, Feb 2014

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Events, Luncheons | 0 comments

Speed Networking on the Cape, Feb 2014

Bea Hait and Morie Burke

Southern NH Business Expo, Oct 2013

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Conferences, Events | 0 comments

Southern NH Business Expo, Oct 2013

The Southern NH Expo took place on Thursday, October 17th in Milford, NH. Thank you to all our sponsors!Southern NH Expo
Part of our mission is to educate the public that Virtual Assistants are out there and how we can help businesses grow. We got that message across very well this year thanks to a planning session we had at the Worcester luncheon.

We had beautiful color brochures this year, changed our message and how we interact and had a busy socialmedia campaign that gained many followers. It was great to get in front of the public again and talk about our members and the VA industry as a whole. This year we noticed that more and more people know what a VA is but they are not exactly sure what they do. We spent our time explaining the many different specialties provided by our membership.

 

Southern NH Business Expo

Bernadette Raftery, Jeannette Tibbetts, Monica Bentley, Christine Bearse

We also talked to some businesses who are interested in reciprocal referrals and we’ll be looking further into that.

 

The following people helped set up, man and break down the booth; Anne Bole, Jeannette Tibbitts, Bernadette Raffery, Christine Bearse and Monica Bentley. We had a surprise visit by Sue Peel who lives in NH.
Photo: Bernadette Raffery, Jeannette Tibbets,
Monica Bentley and Christine Bearse. Anne Bole not available for photo.

We had lots of conversations with business owners as well as some other organizations that may be good partners for us.

 

MA Conference for Women, Dec 2011

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Conferences, Events | 0 comments

MA Conference for Women, Dec 2011

MA Conference for Women 2011

With our presence at the MA Conference For Women in December 2011 we were able to educate business owners who visited our booth about our industry.