10 Home Page Hacks To Grow Your Online Presence

Your homepage is traditionally the most visited page on your website. You only have a *few short seconds* to grab your reader’s attention, entice them to read more and click your Call-to-Action. This means your copy and imagery need to spark an instant attraction or chances are your potential lead will be a thing of the past.

Below is 10 Home Page Hacks to help you attract your target audience, design a killer user experience, and start converting more leads to grow your online business.

Simplify Your Navigation: If you have more than 5 or 6 tabs on your navigation structure, it’s time to think about consolidating information and simplifying that design. Less is more in this case and having ONLY your primary services or pages here will help minimize options + user distraction and return the focus to your selling points, opt-ins, and Call to Actions.

Create A Benefit-Drivin Headline: The real estate below your navigation should include a headline that instantly captures your readers attention and justifies why they searched out your website in the first place. Including a captivating image here is key in visually portraying your messaging and complementing your headlines goal. Emphasize the outcomes of working with your business. Think about the one thing your target audience wants and tell them how you can help them achieve it.

Who You Are: Introduce yourself and your services. You can add a few bits about your experience here, your goals for your business, and your mission and commitment to your customers/clients success.

Who Do You Help? This is your chance to tell the world who exactly you serve. Whether it’s the small business community, fitness professionals, the medical community, etc. Here is where you want to explain who your target audience is so visitors to your website immediately know that you’re going to be a good fit for them.

What Problems Do You Solve? Think about who your dream client/customer is. Envision their biggest struggle and show them that you understand what they’re going through by talking about their problem.

The Benefit Of Working With You: Here is your chance to delve into your specific service(s) that you offer and explain the benefits of working with you. What will your clients life be life afterwards? This is your chance to be specific.

Call To Action(s): Now that you’ve explained how amazing you are, you need to give your readers a chance to sign up for your service, contact you for a consultation, download a free offer, etc. Add your CTA’s around your home page so your reader doesn’t have to search too long and hard to find it.

A Photo of You: Readers like to put a face with a name. Add a photo of you or your team here to humanize yourself and help your readers get to know you.

Success Stories: This is a great opportunity to showcase your client testimonials. Place a few happy stories below your service descriptions to show that you have street cred in your industry. These help seal the deal because your readers can see that you’re an expert and really know your stuff.

Opt-In: If you don’t have an opt-in on your home page then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow your email list. Offer something enticing like free information (.pdf), free strategy session with you, or a useful e-guide. Software like LeadPages is an excellent list building tool and offers a *14 day trial* before making a commitment.

SEO Course To Grow Organic Traffic And Boost Your Business

 

Email List

Guest Post by:

Brandi Johnson - Hey BrandiBrandi Johnson: Hey Brandi
Marketing Made Easier – Just Ask.

With all the different ways that you can market your business, it can be challenging to know where to start. You’ll probably flock to social media channels where everything seems so bright and shiny and new.

But there’s one channel that’s been around since the early 90s that’s still as relevant today as it was then: email marketing.

If you haven’t started building your email list, or have been neglecting developing a real strategy for how to grow your list and capitalize on your subscribers, then here are five facts showing the benefits of email marketing for small business to give you the push you’ll need:

 You’d need over 42,000 Facebook followers to generate the same number of clicks as 1000 email subscribers. And that’s just based on average 7.19% click-thru rate on emails compared to an average Facebook engagement rate of 0.17%. With highly focused and segmented email marketing, you could see even better results. If you’re asking yourself “how can email marketing help my business?”, take a look at these stats:

 

According to Business2Community, For every $1 marketers spend on email, the average ROI is $32. That’s a 3200% ROI. Does your Instagram feed do that?

Your email list, while subject to laws like CAN-SPAM and CASL, isn’t subject to the whims of the mathematicians that write algorithms at Facebook and Instagram. For small businesses who aren’t investing in paid social advertising, changes like the one Facebook announced in January 2018 can be devastating for traffic, engagement, and sales.

Email marketing can work for virtually any industry. I am on the email list for an HVAC company that reminds me every month to change my furnace filter, to cover (and uncover) my air conditioning unit, and when to change the setting on my whole house humidifier. When my neighbor mentioned her AC needed to be serviced, guess who I referred her to.

Email marketing can drive additional repeat and referral business. It’s much more common to forward an email from a company to a friend who mentioned they need a product or service than to share a post and tag that same friend.

If you’d like to learn more about how to get started with email marketing, grow your list, or measure your results, check out my Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.

About The Author:

Brandi Johnson - Hey BrandiBrandi Johnson: Hey Brandi
Marketing Made Easier – Just Ask.

Brandi Johnson is a digital marketing coach with over 14 years of experience in content marketing, email marketing, and demand generation. She started HeyBrandi to help small businesses, solopreneurs and small marketing teams develop the skills they need to make their marketing effective and efficient.

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

Top 10 WordPres Plugins from Tap House Media

Tap House Media builds A LOT of WordPress websites. We see trends come and go, themes rise to the A+ list, and plugins become even more plentiful and powerful over time. I have my favorites — plugins that I use with every single website I build, ones that have stood the test of time and perform consistently without issues, and ones that have helped me grow my business. Lucky for you, most of them are in this list that we’re sharing. We want to spread the love (and our secret tips) for choosing the best WordPress plugins to accompany your website.

Below are our picks for 11 best WordPress plugins to help your business website perform optimally, generate leads, and stay safe and secure:

LeadPages logoLeadPages: LeadPages is definitely, without a doubt, one of the top lead generation software applications on the market. It comes with a plethora of integrations, including, yep, you guessed it, WordPress. This plugin allows you to incorporate your beautifully designed landing pages into your website and also connect your opt-in offers (*think – email signups) right into your website with timed displays, location variation, and more. This is a must-have for ANY business focused on generating more leads and growing their email list. Click below to try Leadpages for yourself!

WP Rocket: Website speed is important. Have you ever visited a website that took forever to load? What did you do? You peaced out of there and found something else, am I right? Let’s not let that happen to you. With WP Rocket, your website will be supercharged for speed with powerful caching, static file compression, database optimization, and more.

Mobile Monkey WordPress PluginMobile Monkey: Lead generation and list building have never been easier with this beauty of a plugin. Mobile Monkey harnesses the power of Facebook messenger to connect with your audience on a whole new level. Think drip campaigns, chatbots, scheduling, lead nurturing all through the most popular social media tool, Facebook. Set up intuitive workflows without using one line of code. Sounds amazing, right? This plugin is so genius it even answers FAQ’s so you’re not glued to your phone 24/7. Even better is that Mobile Monkey has a FREE option with everything you need to build and deploy powerful chatbots for websites, facebook ads, bulk messaging, and more. Thank you, Mobile Monkey!

Ewww Image OptimizerEwwww image optimizer: Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean ALL THE TIME, we see websites that are completely bogged down by imagery that is not optimized. Not everyone has software to do this before uploading their beautiful photographs to WordPress, we get it. But it’s important to have appropriately sized imagery on your website to increase speed, performance, and conversion rates. This FREE plugin does all that for you. Just install and watch your pics shrink and your website speed up.

Yoast SEO: OMG, if you don’t have this plugin installed you’re nuts! This WordPress SEO plugin is by far the best, easiest tool to increase your SEO reach out there. It’s extremely easy to use and offers tutorials on pretty much every option you’ll need to build your SEO profile. With easy title tag, metadata, and keyword integration, you’d be CRAY not to install this on your website. WordPress SEO is so very important to drive organic traffic to your website. Do it!

CSS Hero PluginCSS Hero: WordPress themes (templates) rely on CSS for their visual appearance. If you need to make customizations, you’ll need to learn a new language – CSS. Ain’t nobody got time for that! CSS Hero is a plugin that allows you to customize any WordPress theme without writing (or learning) a single line of code. If you find your theme has limitations, this plugin is a definite must-have for you.

Insert Headers & Footers Plugin, Tap House MediaInsert Headers & Footers: Chances are you’re using Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel to track visitors to your website. Good! Adding the accompanying code to your website can get tricky. You’ll want to stay away from adding it into your main theme files as that can get messy and potentially break your site – we’ve seen it happen. This plugin will allow you to add your tracking script to your theme files without a potentially fatal outcome. Two thumbs up for this one!

Backup Buddy PluginBackup Buddy: You need to back up your website often, especially if you’re making updates and blogging consistently. Anything can happen in cyberland and an attack on your hosting server can result in a website disaster. This plugin will allow you to automate your backups and send to a cloud storage space like Google or Dropbox for safe keeping.

WordFence WordPress PluginWordFence: Security is a necessity with open source software like WordPress. WordFence not only comes with robust login security features but their security scan component alerts you quickly in the event of a security issue. Other amazing features include security incident recovery tools and powerful blocking mechanisms for complex and brute force attacks.  

Monster Insights, WordPressMonster Insights: This is by far the BEST Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to connect your analytics right to your website so you can see stats fast and easy – no need to sign in to your analytics account. This will easily help you to measure your ROI and make informed decisions about advertising and optimizing your website.

WP Forms pluginWP Forms: Wp Forms is the most intuitive, lightweight, and easy to learn drag and drop contact form plugin out there. It’s our top pick for a contact form for so many reasons. It’s so simple to use, a WordPress beginner can handle it. Additional features include payment integration, order forms, file uploads, and more. There is a free version but we suggest springing for the pro version if you’re looking to expand on your capabilities. You won’t regret it!

With all the WordPress options floating around out there, we hope you found this list helpful in your next plugin decision-making process. Stay tuned for more tips and advice!!SEO Course To Grow Your Online Traffic

 

Anatomy of a Sales Funnel Tap House Media

In my opinion, lead generation is a term that ALL business-owners should become familiar with. With the massive growth of the internet, the world has changed from an informationless black hole to information abundance (dare I say overload) where anything can be researched on search engines like Google. It is a beautiful thing and has completely transformed the online buying process. But, with abundance comes competition and if you want to stand out in a saturated market and make your impact on the information seekers, you’ll need to strategize and build a system that targets your ideal clients and helps to grow your email list. Enter lead generation —  the process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline (or marketing funnel). It is a proven way to capture business leads and build long-lasting relationships with your customers. You’ve heard of the term “Sales Funnel” but what exactly does it entail and what are the steps to create one that converts leads?

Glad you asked! We’ll break down the sales funnel process with help from our friends over at LeadPages:

How to build a sales funnel

VISITOR:
A visitor has discovered your business or offer through one of your marketing channels, whether that’s your website, blog, or social media page, or perhaps Facebook advertising. On any of these channels, you’ll need to have a …

Tap House Media Sales Funnel example

 

CALL-TO-ACTION:
A call-to-action or CTA is an image, button, or message that calls website visitors to take some sort of action (Sign Up, Download, Get Started). When it comes to lead generation, this action should navigate to a …

Tap House Media Sales Funnel example CTA

 

LANDING PAGE:
A landing page is a web page a visitor lands on for a distinct purpose. This page should ONLY include information about the product, service, or offer in your advertisement. While a landing page can be used for various reasons, one of its most frequent uses is to capture leads through …

Tap House Media Landing page example with Lead pages

 

ONLINE FORM:
Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your site. They consist of a series of fields (name, email, etc.) that collect information in exchange for an …

Tap House Media Sales Funnel Offer example

 

OFFER:
An offer is the content or something of value that’s being “offered” on the landing page. The offer must have enough value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it.

Tap House Media Sales Funnel offer

LeadPages is our #1 recommendation for building effective landing pages that help generate leads, grow your email list and close sales. Click below to try Leadpages for FREE for 14 days!

two-women-on-computer

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a scary world for a blogger or business owner to enter. Especially if you’re fresh out of the gate. You know you need a content marketing system to help grow your following but how can you factor SEO into that plan if you’re a complete newbie? Understanding Google’s algorithm takes some practice but can be achieved with a bit of trial and error and on-page improvements to your posts.

SEO Strategy For Online Growth

If you’re just starting out, there’s really no need to get crazy with SEO quite yet. We suggest starting slow and mastering the basics before diving in head first. Read our suggestions for implementing simple SEO tips and tricks for 2019 that can make a HUGE impact on your Google rankings in as little as a few weeks.

Below are 7 easy search engine optimization techniques to improve your rankings and increase your organic traffic fast

 Research In Demand Keywords: Before pouring your heart and soul out online, head over to Google Keyword Planner and do a search for niche specific keywords related to your blog. You’re going to want to use keywords that have a high monthly search (10K – 100K) but low to medium competition. This is going to be your best bet for ranking on page 1 for your blog post.

*Note that If you choose to use a high competition keyword you’ll be going up against massive amounts of information that have already been written, published, and ranked on Google. So make things easy for yourself and choose keywords appropriately.*

The best part of Google Keyword Planner is that it offers “ideas” for related keywords that you can tie in and sprinkle around your post. Not only is Google Keyword Planner a powerful keyword research tool but also a fantastic brainstorming tool. Did I happen to mention it’s FREE?

 Improve Your Website Speed: I can’t stress enough how important this is! Did you know that even 1 second delay in page load time can lead to a WHOPPING 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction? Not to mention hurt your SEO rankings with our best pal, Google. Having a speedy website starts with a reliable website host. Do your research and choose a platform that has excellent customer reviews, guaranteed uptime, and fast servers. It’s also a good idea to boost website speed by using a CDN, a caching plugin, and an image optimizer.

To determine if you’re already lacking in the speed department, head to GTMetrix for detailed fix suggestions and issues affecting your website speed. Our suggestions for best WordPress hosting platforms with top-notch speed performance are WP Engine, InMotion Hosting, and SiteGround. For a more in-depth explanation of why we love these platforms, read our post Our Top Picks For WordPress Website Hosting.

 Start Writing Captivating Headlines: Writing strong headlines will be your best tool for luring readers. Telling your audience how you’ll solve their problem or answer their questions should be front and center in your post title. Using action or power words alongside your keyword(s) will intrigue your potential customers to read more. A few words to encourage clicks are must-have, hack, complete, ultimate, formula, epic. (i.e 10 Must-Have Plugins For Your WordPress Website or Our Ultimate Home Page Checklist To Convert Website Leads).

If you’re stuck in this department, borrow titles and descriptions from Google AdWord & Facebook Ads. Rember your readers are looking to solve a problem when searching on Google. Telling them how you’re going to do this in 10 words or less is going to be your best bet for getting clicks.

 Post Long, Engaging Content (at least 1,800 words): You’re the expert in your field, right? So hunker down and write a solid post complete with all those high searched (with low-medium competition) keywords strategically placed throughout your post. Writing valuable content takes time. You may work well with an outline or you could be a stream-of-conscious writer. Either way, make sure you have a plan to cover all your important pieces to your content puzzle complete with engaging imagery or videos. Of course, you’ll need to make your imagery SEO friendly with descriptive image names and alt text. Read more about SEO friendly imagery here.

SEO Course To Grow Organic Traffic And Boost Your Business

 Write Guest Posts On Other reputable Blogs: Being a guest blogger can give your website so much street cred through backlinking. A backlink is one of the most valuable pieces of SEO gold because it’s essentially a “vote of confidence” from one blog (or website) to another.  Receiving a popular backlink is a signal to search engines that your content is valuable and worthy of appearing on a search engine result page (SERP). If you belong to a few Facebook groups with good engagement, you could find bloggers in your niche to cross-promote with. I find that strategy to be the most user-friendly for bloggers who are just starting out as the group is usually a supportive community of people encouraging growth and success for their fellow entrepreneurs and bloggers. When you reach out for a guest post opportunity, make sure to include contextual links in your article, instead of just the author byline.

 Establish A Link Building Strategy: Breathe new life into a dying blog post or establish an interlinking system by adding links to other posts (created by you) in your article. This process will establish a site architecture with a crawlable link structure thus helping Google better understand what your content is about. Interlinking also encourages people to spend more time on your blog, which improves bounce rates, allowing Google to see you as a legit resource for your keyword(s). Woah, did you get all of that? Internal linking is really a super easy way to help your SEO improve with very little effort.

Start Using Pinterest: Last, but definitely not least, set up a Pinterest account for business and start pinning all of your blog posts. Somehow, in the midst of the social media rise, Pinterest got coupled in with platforms like Facebook and Twitter and became looked at as another social outlet. But it’s really not. The best way I can describe Pinterest is a hybrid between a visual search engine and social platform. As a visual search engine, your imagery and keywords play together to make magic happen. Millions of people are actively searching for information and solutions on Pinterest. What they receive are results in the form of Pins where you entice your potential reader to click for more information with captivating imagery and headlines. Brilliant, right?

Learning this platform takes a bit of time to master but with determination, you can start seeing MASSIVE traffic to your website even if you’re posts are fresh out of your computer. Already rocking Pinterest for your blog or website? Take it to the next level with promoted pins. We suggest starting with a free course with Monica from Redefining Mom. Click here to enroll.

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to make huge strides in your organic traffic. By starting with the information given above, you can lay a solid foundation to expand on. Being armed with information is always the first step to mastering any skill. And SEO and blogging go hand in hand. So, get looking on Google Keyword Planner and set forth and concur Google. If you’re ready to up your game, the search engine optimization course *SEO Demystified* will knock your socks off and open your eyes to a whole new world of search engine optimization techniques for you to try. Good luck!

SEO Course To Grow Your Online Traffic

WordPress 5.0 Update

WordPress 5.0 UpdateUnless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the latest WordPress update set to launch in late November (2018). Out of all the updates we’ve lived through over these last few years, 5.0 is set to be a game changer for a number of reasons. First, and most importantly, you can kiss the classic WP editor good-bye. It’s time to start thinking (and designing) in blocks. Say what? WordPress 5.0 will introduce a new way of building pages with its new Gutenberg visual editor. Ugh, why mess with perfection? Excellent question! Once installed, Gutenberg will allow users to design and edit their pages while simultaneously seeing what that page looks like in real time. Its interface will consist of blocks that you can drag and drop to create styled layouts that previously could only be achieved with additional CSS work. Not sounding so bad anymore, is it? So, what can you do to get ready for WordPress 5.0 before it officially drops?

Below are 5 ways to prepare so you can be cool, calm, and collected when Gutenberg takes over:

Backup your website before doing anything. Do it now!

Try out Gutenberg Editor by installing the WordPress Plugin on a staging website. DO NOT dive into this update head first. Get comfy with the new way of driving WordPress so you can assure your clients they’re (still) in good hands. This will also help you test plugins that may not be compatible.

Update plugins and do your research to see if they will work on the new platform. Old versions of plugins may not include any Gutenberg functionality and you’ll want to find replacements so your website, or your clients’ website, doesn’t break.

Install this plugin that lets you use the Classic WordPress Editor. Again, your plugins and even your theme may be outdated and not compatible with the new version of WordPress. Sucks, I know. But with this plugin, you’ll have time to continue using the old way of designing while you make a plan for some major updates. I’m talking a website redesign on a Gutenberg friendly theme. Start thinking about it.

Get educated. Read up on Gutenberg and its functionality. Check into your plugins support pages and see if the developer has plans to make necessary updates. Check in with your theme developers and make sure you’re covered. With all third-party additions to WordPress, we always recommend doing your research before downloading. It pays to purchase premium plugins and themes so you know there will be ongoing development work to coincide with major WordPress updates. Just sayin’.

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

Dr. Wilson of Acupetvet

 

Dr. Tasha Wilson loves needles – acupuncture needles, that is. She’s so confident in its ability to treat and heal chronic pain and disease that she’s set up shop in her Jeep and travels to her patient’s homes. For these pet owners, Dr. Wilson’s services have been a godsend! For injured and elderly dogs, receiving veterinary care at home makes it SO much easier to relax and find comfort. We’ve all seen that dog in the waiting room panting, hiding behind its owner, or worse, laying of the floor refusing to move. Yea, that’s stressful for all parties involved. Dr. Wilson wanted to make it easy for everyone and bring her healing tools to the animals. Mission complete!

Dr. Tasha Wilson of AcupetvetMy first encounter with Dr. Wilson was when I summoned her to help my elderly border collie, Maggie. Maggie was an amazing dog – the best! She caught frisbee’s, chased balls, and hiked mountains. She was so intelligent that I probably could have trained her to fetch me a beer from the fridge. She was 13.5 years old and hurtin’ from her years of adventure. I needed to find her treatment that didn’t involve sedation. She had a weak stomach and pills made her nauseous. Dr. Wilson began acupuncture and cold laser therapy treatment twice a week, eventually weaning her down to once a week. She was a NEW dog – spunky, happy, goofy. It was like voodoo magic. She thrived and Dr. Wilson and I connected often about Maggie’s progress and future treatment plan. Because of this service, Maggie went on to live to 15 years and 1-month-old – wicked old for a dog. She loved her family and smiled til the day she passed away.

When Dr. Wilson approached me about a website redesign, I jumped at the chance to turn her into a Tap House Media client. Her business is so unique and had so much potential for growth. I knew we could turn her website into a marketing platform that engaged potential clients and converted leads. We began with an updated UX experience and placed her most important services on the top navigation. We also strategically placed call-to-actions around the site making it easy for clients to schedule appointments. Giving the user an easy walk through on the home page was our goal. No fluff – just facts about Dr. Wilson and her service benefits. A strategic SEO strategy was implemented along with a lead generation campaign for her popular New Patient Package. Stay tuned for a blog in the works!

Find yourself intrigued? Take a browse through her website at acupetvet.net

 

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

Home page checklist

10 Ways To Build A Homepage Strategy That Converts

Building a homepage strategy for your website should be a priority. All other website pages should be strategically built around your homepage to compliment it’s aesthetic and vibe. Think of your website as your business’ virtual home. Before someone comes to your house, they call you to make sure you’re home, right? A business, a prospect or potential buyer will want to check out your website before they decide to invest in your goods or services OR if you’re a nonprofit, donate to your cause. Every business needs one, and a good one at that. And, if you’re not currently using your website as your most powerful marketing tool, you’re going to want to change that fast.

Websites are no longer static pieces of information on the internet. They’re functional first impressions that can make or break a sale or relationship with a potential follower/member/client.

Did you know when someone arrives at your site for the first time, it takes under two-tenths of a second for that visitor to form an opinion of the website, and, by association, the brand it represents? According to market research, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Website aesthetic – not the written content on the screen – is your first chance to reach out and grab your audience. Without quality design & functionality, your visitors likely won’t take the time to read the content you’ve invested in.

So what am I getting at?

Once you’ve identified your ideal client and you’re ready to share your brand with the world,  it’s now time to house that information strategically on your website with a striking homepage design to keep your prospects engaged.

Here is our Ultimate Home Page Checklist with 10 EASY ways to help you build a better homepage, attract your target audience, design a killer user experience, and start converting more leads to grow your online business.

5 Video Marketing Mistakes #2

Consider yourself a talker? That can be a good thing to break the ice at parties but when it comes to video marketing, too much chatter can have a negative effect on your performance. Keep your videos short and sweet and remember, social channels like Instagram only allow 1min tops for you to get your point across. So, write a script, practice it, and eliminate the fluff so your audience stays engaged and you reap the benefits of a successful video marketing campaign.

Check out our suggestions in our fifth video from our series 5 Video Marketing Mistakes.

6 types of video to use in your online marketing

Tap House Media RE

The Tap House Crew photographs a TON of homes during the busy Spring & Summer selling season. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly of home “staging”. We feel so passionate that professional photography + video can sell your home faster (and often for more $$$) that we put together a step by step guide for all the folks getting ready to sell.

Below is our ULTIMATE guide to prepare your home for a successful photography or video session.

Hire A Professional Stager

If it’s in the budget, it would be to your benefit to hire a professional who can take care of the furniture arrangement and decor. There will be a big difference in the final outcome of the photos when a professional stager is involved in the design of the room.

If it’s not in the budget, then there are some things that you can do on your own to make your space look good. We recommend checking out Pinterest for staging and furniture arrangement ideas. Also, Target and HomeGoods are awesome places to find small updates, like new furniture pillows and throw blankets, to accessorize your new, improved space.

 Deep Clean The House

This seems like a NO BRAINER, I know, but have you ever walked through a showing and wanted to immediately take a shower? I have. GROSS! Make a huge effort to clean the living daylights out of your home – get in corners, scrub the bathtub, clean the mirrors, etc. It makes a lasting difference to an interested buyer to see the space they are interested in purchasing at its cleanest and most sparkly. If this means hiring a professional cleaning service, so be it. Nothing will turn buyers off more and not show the full potential of your home than grime on the counters and the lingering smell of cigs and kitty litter. Don’t forget to steam clean the rugs too!!

 Get Rid Of Clutter

When it comes to showing a home and its true potential, less is always more. Removing clutter will open up a whole new world of possibilities for furniture rearranging and upgrades. Having a generic space is more appealing to a buyer and will allow them to imagine what their life could be like in the home. So, if you plan to sell your home in the near future, do yourself a solid and start throwing things out or donating items you don’t use anymore. Little by little your home space will open up and you’ll be free of messy closets and rooms. Just think, the more you purge, the less you have to take with you when you sell that amazing home of yours. It’s a win win situation!

 Remove Pets

Having a family pet make an appearance in a professional photo shoot can lend some character to a family home. I’m picturing a happy labrador retriever laying on the farmers porch next to a rocking chair on a beautiful afternoon. However, there is a time and a place for pet appearances and if you’re not a professional pet trainer as well, you better leave the fur babies out of the shot. Removing pets from the home temporarily also means getting rid of all traces of existence – fur covered dog bed, chew toys, water dishes, litter box, cat trees, leashes, etc.

 Get Your Exterior Ready

Having curb appeal matters! It’s your first chance to make a good impression. The front yard is the most important, but don’t neglect the back yard. Both need to make a statement equally.

Exterior tasks should include:

  • Weeding
  • Trim trees and shrubs
  • Remove leaves
  • Mow the lawn and edge with a trimmer
  • Wrap up garden hoses and put them away in the garage or shed
  • Pick up any items that may be laying around the yard, such as garden tools, garbage cans, toys, empty pots or pots with dead plants
  • Mulching
  • Move cars out of the driveway
  • Sweep the porch and sidewalks
  • If you have outdoor furniture, wipe it down and make sure that the cushions look clean and new

 Let There Be Light

Before The Tap House Crew arrives, do us a solid and let in the natural light. Open the blinds and curtains and turn on every light in the house. If you see a light is burned out, make sure to replace it with a high-wattage bulb to make the room brighter. If your home is dark, consider purchasing additional accent lamps from our favorite places – Target and HomeGoods.

 Bathrooms 101

This room needs some extra TLC. Don’t skimp on the deep clean here, people. Make mirrors shine and scrub the toilets and showers like your life depends on it. Also, place your best towels on the racks, remove soap dispensers, toothbrushes/toothpaste, shampoo from the shower and hanging door racks. Less is more when it comes to bathrooms!

 The Kitchen

Most people clutter their counters with everyday items – coffee pots, blenders, toasters, etc. This way, everything we need is right at our finger tips. However, when it comes to staging a kitchen, a cluttered counter will work against you. The first step here is to clear off the kitchen counters and de-clutter any large items (like your beloved crockpot). Next, remove items on the fridge doors – all of them. Clean appliances and keep your sink free of dishes. Bowls of fresh fruit or flowers are nice accents in a clean, de-cluttered kitchen.

 Bedrooms

De-cluttering is the name of the game in bedrooms as well! Make sure to remove any random items that may have snuck in over the years – exercise ball, thigh master, etc. Dress the beds with your best linens and fix any noticeable wrinkles. Pick up clothes, shoes or miscellaneous items from the floor. And last, open the curtains to let the sunlight in. Oh, and don’t forget to vacuum!

 Living Room/TV Area

Pay close attention to staging and decorating this room. This is the hub of family entertainment and an important factor in deciding whether or not to move a family to a home. We can’t stress this enough, reduce clutter to help this room look large, clean, and organized.  Clean up wires or cords behind electronics and put away children’s toys. Upgrade picture frames (if need be) and remove family portraits from the walls.  Make sure pictures/paintings are hung straight. Have a sweet fireplace? Turn that baby on during showings and the shoot.

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