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3 Web Design Tips to Help Convert Leads to Sales

Can you guess how long it takes for a person to form an opinion about your website?

The answer: 50 milliseconds.

In today's oversaturated digital marketplace, consumers have come to expect the very best in performance from a website, and when their expectations aren't met, they tend to move on just as quickly.

While a great deal of effort is placed on search engine optimization and other digital marketing techniques to attract prospective customers to your website, too many businesses fail to allocate enough resources to their actual web page.

In this post, we'll look at three simple but important factors that can help you transform your website's visitors from leads to customers.

Focus on Storytelling

Not only do you need a website that loads quickly, it is also important that you create a connection with your customers as soon as possible. Use images and videos to create a human face for your business and focus on creating engaging content that can keep prospective customers interacting with your website.

Create a Bold Landing Page

As we said above, people make their decisions quickly. In the past, all that was necessary was a clear, user-friendly layout in order to convince visitors to stay on your page. Using a bold, graphic landing page helps to establish the kind of company you are and can lend you legitimacy in the consumer's eyes.

Remember, your aesthetics should represent the culture and personality of your business, helping consumers feel a connection. As Randall Zaitz says on Chief Marketer:

A classic or timeless aesthetic can convey that your business has a solid foundation and that it’s here to stay. A gritty aesthetic can show that your company is tough and can tackle any job. Ultimately, you want your website's aesthetic to be a reflection of your business’s best qualities and values.

Mobile Compatibility

More and more, people are turning to their cell phones for Google searches in order to address urgent purchasing needs. That means the consumers that are most likely to purchase are using their mobile phones for their searches.

Here's the catch, Google has started using mobile friendliness to help rank businesses in their searches. That is why it is so important that your website be compatible with mobile devices.

While many people spend their energy and resources attracting consumers to their site, it won't do much good if these leads never convert to sales. By following these three simple web design guidelines, you can greatly improve your chances of converting your leads into sales.


Sign Up for our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Now!

It's hard to believe that time of year is already here. But, with the arrival of pumpkin spice everything also comes the launch of our Holiday Gift Guide! We are gearing up for another fabulous year of featuring small, mom-owned businesses, just like yours! We want to help you increase your holiday sales and build momentum heading into 2018! If you only advertise one place this holiday season; your holiday advertising should be with Market Mommy! Let us tell you why.

Each and every year (since 2009!) we've helped moms share their incredible businesses with thousands at holiday time. We hope this year will be even more spectacular; and we've made a few updates to help ensure everyone's success.

New, more modern design. Think, Real Simple's Holiday Gift Guide. Our HGG landing page will feature a product image for each category from our premium sponsors. The sleek design will focus on the images and draw your potential customers in! Then, once on the category page, our viewers will see a listing of great products offered by mom-owned businesses. Only one premium listing will be sold per category. So hurry on over and sign up now!

Expanded categories. This year we've added more options to our category list. As an advertiser, you choose which category your product and business is listed in. And, the best part is, if you don't see the perfect category for you; you have the option to create your own! Gifts for Her, Him, Baby; all the basics are available. We also have more unique categories like Gifts for Mompreneurs or pets!

Lower prices. We've simplified our listing options this year and are only offering premium and basic listings. One premium spot will be sold per category (so don't delay!). And, only up to 10 basic listings are available per category. Premium placements are $125 and include things like a sponsored blog post, extra social media coverage, product photos on our landing page, etc. $50 is an affordable option for a basic listing. It includes a product description, coverage in our e-newsletter and more. For a complete list of what's included, click here.

All gift guide sponsors will be featured on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. We'll also be emailing a guide out to our list of mom subscribers. This is exactly who you want your products in front of this holiday season! Moms do the majority of the holiday shopping, and mom business owners have a heart for other mompreneurs!

Last year, all of our advertisers said they were satisfied with their exposure. They used words like unique, useful and a good value to describe our holiday gift guide! They also all agreed that the holiday gift guide significantly increased their social media exposure.

"I was pleased with how the gift guide was set up and communicated. I think I received great exposure that I wouldn't have received otherwise. Thanks!

Won't you join us this year? You'll receive more than three months of excellent advertising for one low price! Let's get started!


Forget the Haters: 3 Financial Benefits Of Working From Home

More than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated each day, and in the era of ever-evolving technology, the opportunities for innovation are virtually never-ending. Both employers and employees are quickly learning to reap the benefits of technology, and telecommuting is just one example of the way technology has revolutionized the nature of work.

Workforce writer Ariel Parrella-Aureli agrees, and she feels as though millennials are the catalyst driving further technological developments and modernized work spaces.

"Gen Y pushes the need to create a balance between traditional corporate environments and make room for remote access employees that act as a second home for creativity, productivity and engagement through technology and collaboration," she writes.

Even though telecommuting situations aren't viable for all businesses, nearly six out of ten employers identify cost savings as a significant benefit to telecommuting. But telecommuting can save employees money as well.

Here are just a few ways employees can save money by telecommuting.

Less Work-Related Traveling

One clear financial advantage of having the ability to work from home is the reduction in gas and car maintenance costs that come with traveling to the office less often. Even if you take public transportation, you're saving on traveling costs.

Salary.com contributing writer and CEO of FlexJobs Sara Sutton Fell says, "If you work from home full-time, you immediately eliminate any costs associated with your commute, whether they be from driving to work or taking public transportation. Even if you’re walking or biking to work, you’ll wind up with lower bike maintenance costs and fewer pairs of sneakers to buy."

Convenience Of Technology

Even though technology requires an initial investment, it can come with significant cost savings. If you do have to purchase work-related equipment yourself, you can receive some serious deductions when tax season rolls around. But normally, employers foot the bill for telecommuting technology. This includes security-based technology, which is especially essential for telecommuting positions.

That's one reason the managed security services market, for example, is expected to almost double by 2020, from $17.02 billion to $33.68 billion. This is directly in line with the increase in telecommuting opportunities, which The NWI Times reports grew by 115% over the past ten years.

"Technologies such as the cloud, teleconferencing and virtual meeting software make it easier than ever for many white-collar jobs to be performed from anywhere," writes Craig Guillot.

Sometimes, employees are able to keep software and other technologies paid for by employers even after they've left the job. These cost savings are invaluable to driven workers looking to expand their skills and areas of expertise.

Fewer Professional Wardrobe and Laundering Expenses

One often overlooked aspect of working remotely is that there's no need to adhere to a company dress code. You don't need to don a suit every day, cover up any tattoos, or remove any piercing jewelry. Likewise, there's no need to purchase expensive designer clothes to impress superficial bosses. While it may seem like a small thing, the Department of Labor has found that working Americans spend about $1,881 on clothing and apparel each year. If even a quarter of that money is spent on professional clothing and/or dry cleaning services, you're already saving hundreds of dollars a year.

Ultimately, these are just a few of the many financial advantages that come with telecommuting. Brie Reynolds, FlexJobs senior career specialist, feels as though remote opportunities will only continue to expand.

"The rise of the knowledge economy means that more people's jobs are compatible with remote work than ever before," Brie says.


Sleepy Baby, Rested Mom: Here's What You Can Do If You Have a Restless Bundle of Joy on Your Hands

If having a newborn baby on your hands is one of the toughest jobs that you will ever have to encounter, raising a baby AND having to work full-time is, more often than not, utterly overwhelming.

It‘s a challenge faced by many busy mothers nowadays and it should not be taken lightly – doing it all (and doing it well) calls for some crafty time-management and compromises.


Sounds familiar?

Well, the good news is that there are things that even the busiest mothers can do in order to get their hectic schedules under control – and the best way to do that is to implement a few proven sleep training tips.

It all comes down to planning

As a working mom, you are sure to have the necessary skill of adhering to strict schedules already. All you have to do is push it just a tiny bit further and take the time to sleep-train your little one

Below are a few tips tailored specifically to those of us who are trying their best to fulfil their duties as both loving moms and hard-working enterpreneurs.

Going back to work after a time-off

An excellent strategy to implement in order to make the transition of going back to work easier on both you and your baby is starting to adhere to your weekday schedule at least a couple of weeks prior to leaving for work for the first time.

Wake your newborn up at the time that fits your working needs, follow the napping and feeding times that your nanny is likely to implement and use the bedtime that you will use once you are back at work. It is important to give yourself and your baby a chance to adjust to these changes – if you get this wrong, a sudden transition is very likely to go awry.

Timing the sleep-training

New mothers are often unsure about when to start sleep training their babies. The uncertainty is understandable – there is a lot of conflicting advice out there.

A common mistake is to start implementing the strategies when your baby is not ready for it, or delay it for too long.

The truth is that it all depends on the individual needs of your newborn – however, there‘s still some ball-park numbers you can use.

The four month mark is generally agreed to be a good choice

The trouble is that a lot of working mothers are going back to work, or are already back at it, at about the same time and balancing their work schedules in addition to the initial challenges of sleep training can be extremely difficult.

If you are only working during the weekdays, the best time to start sleep training your baby is undoubtedly Friday. The first few days are always the most chaotic and you will have some extra time to handle the chaos over the weekend. You might even consider taking a couple of days off in order to make the whole process easier to manage.

You can see more tips on the right ways to appraoch the sleep-training here.

Make sure the crib and the mattress are right

The right crib and mattress combo can do wonders for your baby‘s sleeping habits. In fact, getting it wrong here, at the very beggining, is the most common cause of facing some serious sleep issues in the months or years to come.

Before you head back to work, make sure that the newborn is as comfortable & safe as possible and make some adjustments if that is not the case.

The crib

Your chosen baby bed should be strong and sturdy – a teetering crib is not only unsafe, but it is also very likely to wake your baby up during the night or her/his daytime naps.

It‘s also likely to make the choice of the mattress more difficult – you can read some tips about choosing a safe baby crib here.

The best crib mattress

The crib mattress is the last „layer“ of the sleep enviroment plan and it‘s in direct contant with your baby. It‘s also the aspect that will have the most impact on their sleep habits.

That makes it critically important – you can see some guidelines of choosing right, and review of the top-rated toddler mattresses on TheSleepStudies here.

Stick to your chosen schedule at all times

Consistency is crucial to a successful sleep training regimen.

Identify some routines that are absolutely non-negotiable – such as the time when your baby is supposed to wake up and the time when s/he is going to go to sleep – and make sure to adhere to them.

Other elements within the baby‘s daily schedule, like napping and feeding times, can be ever so slightly adjusted in order to make room for the key ones.

Communicate with your caregivers

Not all working mothers have the luxury of a stay-at-home husband – this is where a nanny or a daycare provider comes in.

Make sure to let them know the exact goals and schedules of your ongoing sleep training, so that they can continue on working on them while you are away. If your chosen caregivers have their requirements as far as napping and feeding times are concerned, you should adjust the baby‘s sleep training accordingly.

Follow your newborn‘s overall sleep totals

Most babies do not sleep that well in daycare and if your little bundle is one of them, give her/him a chance to compensate for the lack of daytime shut-eye by offering an earlier bedtime or including some extra napping in your weekend schedule.

For more on the topic see these guides on Parents.com.

Use the skills you already have

Sleep training your baby is hard work and juggling a regular job on the side makes it that much harder.

What might make it easier for the working moms out there is the fact that both of the processes include a lot of the same skills: you have a strict schedule to stick to, you must be patient and persistent, you have to plan ahead and implement various strategies to achieve the desired result.

Look at it as a management task and remain consistent.

After the first few weeks of training, which are bound to be hectic, you are more than likely to have a much sleepier, calmer baby – which will, in turn, result in a rested, productive and happy m



Back-To-School Marketing Ideas For Your Small Business

Summer turning into Fall often comes with the scent of new books, fresh shoes, and sharpened pencils. Back-to-school time is right around the corner, and everyone is feeling an air of change. Not only does this bring new opportunities for the students around the country, but also for your small business.

"It's an important opportunity in itself, and it also kicks off fall, which of course leads into the critical post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping season," Square writes on their blog. "So if you make the right moves attracting and impressing shoppers at back-to-school time, you could be ensuring strong business for months to come."

The following are some tips to engage your customers during back-to-school season, getting your Fall off to a profitable start.

  1. Focus your social media.

    Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are some of the best social platforms for back-to-school messaging. People are either posting with anticipation or searching for information, so use hashtags well and brand your content accordingly. Social media is also a great place to post discount codes or promote partnerships with other businesses.

  2. Offer special promotions.
    Back-to-school promotions are great ways to get parents, students, and teachers more engaged with your business. If they see a solid deal on an item, they will be more likely to buy from you. Get creative with how you present these deals, and specify who exactly you market them to.

  3. Predict how customer behavior will shift.

    It's no question that consumer choices shift seasonally, but the Summer to Fall transition can be especially significant. Summer's carefree feeling shifts into something more serious in the Fall, as people start to think about holiday shopping and hosting their families. Back to school is often the start of preparation shopping, so keep this in mind.

  4. Think about all demographics.

    Remember that back-to-school encompasses many different ages. While three-fourths of young children are enrolled in a preschool program, over two-thirds of high school graduates are heading to college. You also have the parents, teachers, and professors to think about. Consider all of these, and then decide which are most appropriate to market to.

Seasonal marketing can be an effective method to keep your outreach fresh and relevant. If executed well, your business may experience boosts during these times of transitions. Taking advantage of the upcoming back-to-school season can set you up for a successful and fulfilling end of the year.