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Friday, 21 September 2012 09:36
A recent survey indicates 90% of small business owners use social media and 74% of the survey respondents "percieve social networking as valuable -- if not more valuable -- than networking in-person. " The survey also indicates that these businesses gain at least one quarter of new customers online.
People are far more valuable that online networking. Without them, there is no reason to network at all. But when it comes to a successful business, generating as much qualified traffic to your business as possible is invaluable. You need to connect with the people that value your goods and services most.
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 08:10
Want to give your website a boost? Think about testimonials.
You’ve heard all the marketing talk about people relying on friends’ and family’s referrals for where they take their business. You know that “friends and family” has expanded to include those people who have never been met face-to-face, but are Internet connections.
Hearing that a “regular guy” just like you had a great experience or got great service from a business goes a long way to generating that click to “contact us” you want to hear on your website.
Of course, the testimonials have to be true … that goes without saying. However, there are a few things you can focus on to make them most effective:
- Be specific. Exactly what service or product was used? Who exactly was the person that provided great service or help when it was needed most? What exactly was the outcome that was of benefit to the customer?
- Be timely. Are there certain products or services that you provide on a cyclical or seasonal basis? Make sure the testimonials coordinate with those on your website. When it’s time to service snow blowers, you don’t want a testimonial about the great service you provide on lawn mowers.
- Be local. If you are a business that focuses on the local market, note that the testimonials are local, too. Susie, in Avon says … can mean more than Susie says … From the local angle, potential customers know that the testimonial is based on local services and products AND that they are just like those he needs. Think about gardening zones. A gardener in Zone 5 (like in Central Indiana) is not going to want to hear much about what the gardener in Zone 10 (southern Florida) says. Don’t make the customer wonder.
Capture all the great things your customers say – and share them with all the potential customers who find you on the Internet.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:06
You’ve got a great idea for a business – some product or service that is going to rock the world. Great. Now what?
You’ve got to give it a name and an image (speaking visually here). Some business owners, like Razor Suleman, name their company and then later discover, oops, maybe that wasn’t really what my company is all about. In 2002, Suleman started I Love Rewards. As he grew, the company expanded and he discovered his customers – and potential customers – were confused. That is never a good thing. You can spend your time explaining what you REALLY do – or you can spend your time winning and servicing customers.
So what you name your business and the logo you want to represent your business are important and require serious consideration – and development.
- Being too abstract means customers won’t know what you do at a glance – and may just glance over your contact information.
- Being too specific (as Suleman discovered) may pigeon-hole you.
- Selecting a name that can be interpreted in different ways can be a problem, too. What really will you find at “The Hot Spot”?
Consider what these logos say to customers:
- Ben Franklin holding a watch
- A cuddly soft, cream colored teddy bear
- A shark fin driving through open water
Monday, 17 October 2011 10:02
The SEO world is a topsy-turvy world of continual change. Those of us in it are accustomed to it, but for our clients, it is unnerving. We understand how you may feel, really, because we at one time or another felt the same way. That’s why I would give you a couple things to hang your hat on that have remained pretty constant in the SEO world:
- Good content rules. Through all the changes with Google and Panda and everyone else, one thing remains clear: useful and unique content has always been a benefit to sites and their SEO endeavors. Weak and “gaming” content is the target for many of the efforts by Google. They want to provide the best product they can find over the Internet to the people searching for it – isn’t that we all want?
- Expert voices cut through mire. Yes, keywords and long-tail phrases matter. However, when those are used by a site that has built up a good warehouse of information for the consumer, expert voices are established and become a resource. When the resource is acknowledged with links, the expert (and the site) gains even more credibility – and recognition by the search engines.
The bottom line is that if you want to optimize search, you have to consider your web presence the same way you consider your products and services. Develop it by sharing the expertise and knowledge you have so anyone looking for help in your industry or niche will find you – on top!
Monday, 03 October 2011 07:23
Why do you think prospective customers would come to a website and then leave (without so much as a squinch of time to leave a “Hey, how you doing?”)
Two reasons come to top of mind.
First and foremost – to keep web surfer’s interest, you have to be, well, interesting! If the site is lovely to look at but has no meat to it, it’s just not enough to keep anyone hanging around.
Solve that by providing some useful and interesting content – landing pages or a blog. (It will also have a positive impact on your search results and traffic.)
The second reason for quick defections: the site is difficult to navigate. In the language of web designers, it’s not “intuitive.” Surfers who have to search for navigation tools or can’t figure out how to access information are out the door. The other part of that is the speed of download. Videos, tons of pictures and content can be pretty and flashy, but might take a long time to load, which prospects might be unwilling to wait for so they’re gone before the site even comes up.
The words of wisdom here: just like in training, everything on your site must be user friendly and purposeful – and geared toward the visitor.Just like you wouldn’t serve a turkey dinner to a pool party for 8-year-olds, don’t serve up a website that is flashy, shallow and slow if you want good results.