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Tropical Storm Isaac is bearing down on the West coast of Florida and it is causing havoc for one of my clients who runs an E-commerce store.  The owner of the site called me up today and asked if there was any way we could put a banner on the site letting visitors know that shipping would be delayed an extra day due to the storm.  Trying to figure out the best solution to his problem, the Hello Bar came to mind.  By adding a simple snippet of code to your website or content management system, you can have a nice little banner advertising just about whatever you want in a few minutes.

Example of the Hello Bar being used on a website

So then it got me  brainstorming, “What are some other ways that this nifty addition to a website could help out”?  Here are my top 5 suggestions.

1. Focusing Attention to Your Most Popular Content

Lets say you wrote a great piece of content on your blog that is very valuable to any user who comes along.  Many website visitors come through the homepage. If the blog section of the site isn’t properly advertised or linked to, there is a chance that few people will find that useful bit of information.  Here is where the Hello Bar comes in!  It can advertise that valuable content at the top of every page of your site for a period of time.  With the Hello Bar’s ability to adjust the color, you can make it a near permanent portion of your website with matching colors or you could use a contrasting color to really call attention to the content.  If you find it valuable in advertising your popular content, just adjust the headline and link to your most popular content.   Either way,  you are likely to get more traffic to the interior portions of a site especially one with bad site structure where that additional content isn’t linked to from the homepage and other pages very well.

2. Promote Job Listings on Your Careers Page

When I used to work at an Internet Marketing agency, we would use the Hello Bar to advertise recent job openings. A lot of the traffic to our site was from the company’s local geographic area and using the Hello Bar was a simple and effective way to get the word out that we were hiring. A great thing about the Hello Bar is that they provide click data in the back dashboard. There you are able to see, in realtime, how many people have clicked on your headline though the bar. Out of all the uses for the Hello Bar, using it to promote our available jobs from our careers page got the most clicks!

Example of using the Hello Bar to promote a job listing on a website

3. Promote Your Social Media Accounts & Branding

Depending on the type of website you have and its purpose, chances are you have social media accounts that you are using to help your brand. Where do most websites put their social network account links? Well, lets see…Waaayyyyyy at the bottom of the page! Scroll data suggests that 22% of visitors to a website actually make it all the way to the bottom. When using the Hello Bar, you can improve the follow rate of your social accounts by making the call to action more prominently displayed at the top of the site. Again, you can use the built-in click tracking to determine if the bar is improving your following. Occasionally editing the call to action or headline, can help you see what is getting the most people clicking to your social account pages.

!!!!Warning: depending on the type of site, you may not want people to have the option to leave the site by clicking a link in the hello bar. Use good discretion and if all else make the link open in a new tab/window when the user clicks on the link!!!!

Screenshot of the Hello Bar Analytics

4. Build Your Email List or Newsletter Subscribers Faster

For many websites that sell products or services, getting visitors to subscribe to an email list is where the real money is. By garnering more loyal subscribers to your newsletter or general mailing list, you are able to promote specials, events, and new services to your following. To get more users to sign-up to your mailing list, you need to advertise it more prominently. By using the Hello Bar, you are better able to remind people of the awesome advantages of being on your list.

5. Promote a Free or For Sale E-Book

Tim Ferris, author of “The Four Hour Work Week”  uses the Hello Bar quite heavily to promote his new book by linking right to it on Amazon. This is a powerful way to drive visitors, who already know and want what is in your book, to the right place to buy it. You can also use this same tactic if your site has an E-Book that they are giving away for free.

Tim Ferris Using the Hello Bar on his website to promote his book.

The folks over at App Storm have provided a nice guide for actually implementing the Hello Bar on your site. It is a robust and visually pleasing way to get all sorts of actions to happen that might have otherwise went unfulfilled.

Do you have any other suggestions in which the Hello Bar can be useful for a site? If you have used it in the past, what was it for? Let us know in the comments.