Showing posts with label Websites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Websites. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2017

Your Web Site: Your Largest Marketing Tool

The computer age is here and with it is a great vehicle for marketing your services. Because you are not selling a packaged product, you don't need to store inventory but what you do need is a great web site. Here are a few things, in Q&A form, to think about before you dive in:

Q: What is my market target for my site?
A: People who have a computer and researching Surrogacy and ART. Assume that they Know Nothing!

Q: Do I need a High Tech site?
A: No, you need something that is memorable, easy to understand, and easy to navigate.

Q: Do I need to spend a lot of money on my site?
A: I don't think so. There are several places on the net that will let you design your site using their templates and host it besides. It is pretty easy to use one of these sites...Or you can hire LaMothe Services to teach you how to make and maintain your own site.

Q. How do I market my site?
A. This goes hand in hand with marketing your business. I will get into more detail later but the most common ways are using the search engines, link and banner exchanges, and placement of your site address on your other marketing materials.

Q. Should I have a banner ad made up the same time I have my site made?
A. It's a good idea and be sure to link it color and design-wise with your site. Think about what you actually need to have on the banner...your logo? your phone number? your web site? your motto? You have limited space so really think of what you want to put on your banner ad.

Look around at some of your competition out there and what they have on their sites. What do you see? What "feeling" do you want your visitors to have regarding your agency the minute they see your home page? Do you want to have photos of the women who have signed on with you to be surrogates? Do you just want to have descriptions of who is looking to be matched or do you want to "pitch" your business personally and have people call you directly? What about your fees? Is it better to list them along with your services and "weed out" people that can't afford to pay what you are asking or would you rather entice your prospective clients to call so you can talk to them personally and tell them exactly what you are willing to do for them.

I will be touching on these topics frequently. A great web site is one step closer to showing the world how responsible, organized, and dependable you are. Remember, YOU are the agency!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

8 Quick Tips To Improve Your Website By V. Summers

As a business owner, you have an incredible opportunity to get it together when it comes to your website being a key tool to generate traffic, appeal to visitors and, ultimately, provide a powerful gateway to more clients + sales along with more revenue + profit.

So, if you aren’t generating biz from your website, here are a few tweaks you could make to enjoy more traffic and appeal much more to your audience:

1. Valuable content hidden “below the fold.” Research tells us you have seconds to capture your website visitor’s attention. If your visitors need to scroll down your home page to view valuable content about your services and/or products, you’ll most likely lose them. Similarly, if you have a call to action to subscribe to your e-newsletter or blog (which, good God, I hope you do!), place it where it will be visible without scrolling down the page.

2. Jumbled page. Some websites have too much going on; they look unprofessional and, quite frankly, like a hodgepodge of different things lumped onto one site. Others have ads that fill every nook and cranny. What can I say? Such sites are overwhelming.

Today, as small-business owners, you have the incredible opportunity like never before in history to have an online presence for little cost that competes successfully with the biggest players in your industry. Ensuring you have a website, brand and overall look that are professional and uncluttered is essential to driving big sales and big business through your website!

3. No call to action. What do you want your visitors to do when they visit your site? To subscribe? To call your business for more information or an appointment? To leave a blog comment? To buy? Your job is not to give everything you have; your job is to give your visitor enough to take the next step.

Let them know what to expect and, if your request is reasonable, they may very well comply. If you don’t ask, they may not know what to do, and they’ll leave–perhaps forever–without taking action.

4. Distracting ads. Unless you are going to rake in big bucks with pop-up ads, blinking ads, glaring banners, sexy ads, etc.–just leave them off your precious web pages. Why water down your message and brand with these type of ads that yield little ROI?
Remember the saying “KISS’–Keep It Simple, Stupid.” There’s something to it when it comes to ensuring that your website makes you money! If your ads are your content, then please disregard everything you’ve read on this blog.

5. Making it all about you. The old broken-down model of websites for us business owners is one that somewhat mirrors a print brochure and, sadly, a lot of business owners have yet to get the “WIFM” online marketing memo. Meaning, ‘What’s in it for me?’

How many “I’s” and “we’s” do you have on your website’s home page vs. “you’s”? Communicating to your visitor in a value-added direct tone that makes it all about them by emphasizing the “you’s” is a key ingredient to any successful online presence. In fact, go count the “you’s” now on your home page–there should be a ratio of at least 75 percent “you’s” vs. 25 percent” I’s” and “we’s.” Be prepared to be awakened to quick, powerful shifts you can make ASAP with your home page to begin!

6. Difficult to connect. Write for your ideal demographic only. I am not seeking to connect with everyone; I am seeking to connect with entrepreneurs who are committed to growing their sales and revenue and to being more profitable –oh, and are interested in using the internet to help support growth, too. If you visited my website and you are not an entrepreneur or at least not one looking for new marketing and business success solutions–you will not stay on the site very long.

However, if you are my target market, you will stay and most likely subscribe to our e-newsletter list–yep, our “call to action.” That’s what research shows via our analytics.

7. Spelling and grammar mistakes. There ain’t no excuse for bad spellin and grammar. However, I would be fibbing if I told you we haven’t had typos on our home page before, ‘cuz we have.

But you want to do your best to have a system to continually check for these errors on an ongoing basis. We happen to love Microsoft Word in this office and are continually running new content through the program to ensure that we address these errors. Like right now, as I write this article for you!

8. Old content. Fresh content is good for driving traffic via search engine optimization, as Google rewards you for “fresh, relevant, good quality content” and for attracting repeat visitors, along with more business. Think about it, do you really want to work with a company that has old content that looks circa 1999?

The more you see a business grow and innovate, doesn’t it attract you to want to do more business with it? If a business has content that appears the most relevant to your needs today in this current market cycle, doesn’t it also create a level of immediate trust that the business knows what it is doing with its products and/or services? That it is a true expert at what it does?

Your website is kind of like your credit score, in that it’s a moving picture, not stagnant. The more effort you put into it being great, the more business it will drive for you and fuel your overall company growth. You need to remember, as you expand your online presence, that your website will expand with you.

You will learn more about what does and does not work. What to upgrade and what to let go of. This is the beauty of the internet; it is always changing, and it is always open for business. Make a plan to implement these steps and re-review your site on an ongoing basis (i.e., every 30 to 90 days at minimum) to ensure that it upgrades with you as you grow your business.

Monday, June 29, 2009

All Websites Are International

I think that this article could also be entitled "Selling Concepts" because that is what it's mostly about. The majority of people who read my blog are selling a service and, as I talked about earlier, in essence, selling themselves.( Meaning their reputations) Having said that, reading below maybe an eye opener for those just starting out with their business...moving it from the dream to the machine! ( get the picture!)

All Websites Are International

Tip O'Neill, the late Speaker of The House of Representatives is often quoted as saying "All politics is local," meaning a politician that helps a constituent with a problem is likely to win that vote based on the personal assistance provided, irrespective of that politician's stance on the larger, more weighty, geo-political issues. What then of business, is all business local or international?

Shopping Is An Experience

The world has changed dramatically since the days when neighborhood shopping was the main option, and people relied on their local merchants for products and services. The world of commerce today seems to be divided between two competing scenarios: on the one hand, people are more mobile than ever before, and more willing to travel to buy what they want, even with wildly fluctuating energy costs; and on the other hand, people are busier than ever and use the Internet to seek out the companies, products, and services they want and need.

What seems to be consistent is the underlying need to feel something, to experience the process. The higher the value, the greater the psychological component to the buying experience. The same is true for products and services that are considered non-essential.

People Wonder Why They Can't Sell More Stuff

We all have our favorite stores and websites, where we know we will be looked-after with more than the ubiquitous and perfunctory, "have a nice day," but sadly that sense of service is all but lost in a misguided rush to pseudo efficiency. Brick and mortar stores with their part-time, minimum wage time-fillers whose only talent seems to be a vacant blank stare accompanied by "that's not my department" is bad enough. But what of websites that don't accept phone calls, or any other kind of inquiry other than a form email that you can be assured will be answered in a week or two, along with a request for more information that generally corresponds to the information you've already provided - that's what passes for website service today. And people wonder why they can't sell more stuff.

The Web Is An International Venue

The Web of course presents one additional wrinkle to the service issue, one that puts a premium on communicating your message effectively: the Web is an international venue. No matter what you do, or where you're located, you can be sure people from all parts of the world are visiting your website if you have something of value to say. This then puts a premium on your ability to articulate a coherent message, one that eliminates the need for visitors to phone Mumbai, Beijing, or Lickskillet, Ohio.

English speaking companies have a hard enough time communicating effectively, but what of non-English speaking companies trying to break into the North American market? You find websites in many different languages, catering to local markets, but if you're looking for North American exposure, you best deliver your message in the language of the Web, and like it or not, that language is English.

Words Have Meaning

Far be it from me to criticize CBS news anchor Katie Couric, who generally does a fine job, but when she refers to the Democrats winning the House, Senate, and Presidency as "single party rule" it raises the hackles on the back of my neck. Words have meaning and presentation has impact. But I am not just talking about proper grammar, syntax, and usage, something many of us stumble over at times, but what of idiom, metaphor, and voice; elements that are just as important in effective marketing communication as proper usage.

Years ago while visiting London, England I passed a store with the sign that read "Fags and Mags," a disconcerting message until I got acclimatized to the British slang. When it comes to marketing, you can get away with a lot, but even countries that speak the same language have different patois, slang, and cultural references.

One of the great advantages of being from Canada with its proximity to the USA, its historical ties to the British Commonwealth, and its multicultural population is that we understand these differences and can translate them into effective North American marketing campaigns.

Crafting Your Web Marketing Message

What do you sell? A seemingly simple question any business executive should be able to answer, but can they answer it accurately? Ask yourself: do you sell a product, a service, or a concept? Does a shoe store sell shoes, or comfort and status? Does an accountant sell auditing services, or legitimacy and security? Does a politician sell tax cuts, or a better future?

When it comes to marketing you have to think concepts; if you build your advertising around products or services rather than concepts you will never be able to develop an effective campaign, let alone an effective website presentation.

Take Target and Walmart for example: they both sell similar products for the most part, a problem many retailers and most distributors have but refuse to face. Target markets itself as the leader in low priced, designer-styled merchandise, a distinct marketing position compared to Walmart that markets itself as the low priced leader and the heck with design. Each company delivers a unique marketing concept, one targeting consumers interested in price alone, the other aimed at shoppers who want a little style with their bargains: two different concepts, two different brand positions, and two different marketing strategies.

We All Sell Concepts Not Products and Services

One way or another we all sell a concept no matter what the product or service. When a client approaches us with the question "why aren't we selling more stuff?" a quick review of their site usually provides the answer: their website is not articulating in any meaningful, memorable manner, the conceptual premium their product or service delivers.

Before you invest in a new website or Web marketing campaign, decide what concept you are actually delivering. That concept is the basis of your marketing strategy and it informs what you say and how you say it.

Selling Concepts Is All About The Presentation

The recent US election is a great example of how to sell a concept. Putting all political bias aside look at the difference between how Obama approached his speeches and how McCain approached his. Of course both men talked about their policies and how they would handle different domestic and international situations.

McCain spoke to his constituency and delivered what they wanted to hear, but his words and presentation style fell far short of motivating the undecided or converting non-believers. Accusing a fellow Senator and Harvard Law alumni, with red baiting language like "redistributing the wealth" was obvious code language that failed the sniff test to all but his staunch backers.

Compare McCain's efforts to motivate through distrust and fear to Obama's message of hope, with his "Yes We Can" catchphrase echoing the American 'can do' spirit and traditional approach to solving problems. Not only did Obama say the right words to motivate his audience, he delivered his message with the motivational rhythm and cadence of an inspirational preacher.

Whether you're selling a political agenda or carbonated sugar water, you must learn to communicate your marketing concept in a way that people will understand, remember, and act upon.

Concepts Are Universal

The Web is an international venue. If you have something of value to say or sell, you will attract an international audience. Foreign companies that want to access the USA market must learn to speak "American" or hire a marketing communication company that does. American companies that want to grow beyond their local markets must learn to think concepts, the universal language of sales.


About the Author: Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit,, and Contact at or telephone (905) 764-1246.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Want Free Search Engine Traffic? Choose the Correct Keywords!

Just so you know, I used the information below to change/add to my Keywords and Meta Tag list! I used the Wordtracker and KeywordDiscovery...both worked great and best of all it's FREE! Because we have been on the topic of marketing your website, we also need to address how to get that Search Engine Traffic! So I hope this helps you as much as it helps us at!


Want Free Search Engine Traffic? Choose the Correct Keywords!

If content is king, make your keywords your servants! It's pretty simple; good keywords bring lots of traffic, bad ones don't. If you want that free search engine traffic, the first thing you need to do is to find out what exactly it is that people are searching for in the area that you are interested in. Then you pick key words that relate to your topic of interest, and that people are really searching for. You can have the best content in the world, but if you optimize for the wrong keywords you still won't get that sought after traffic.

For example, let's assume I am going to build a site about water heaters, and I want people to come to my site. I need to find out what kind of information about water heaters that people are looking for so I can build pages optimized for the keywords that people are really using.

The first thing I do is go to a keyword tool to do my keyword research. There are a number of keyword tools online, my favorite is Wordtracker. Others include KeywordDiscovery, and the Google AdWords suggestion tool There is simply no substitute for doing your keyword research. With these tools you can put in a seed word or phrase, and the tools will provide you with lists of related keywords and keyword phrases that are searched for, and how many times per month they are searched for. Using these tools there are ways to estimate the size of the market for products and services, ways to optimize you web pages, find new niche markets, and much more.

With Wordtracker I find quickly that many more people search for "tankless water heater" than search for water heater...which surprises me. Nearly as many people search for "hot water heater" as search for "water heater". Wordtracker also informs me that there are far fewer websites trying to be ranked high for "hot water heater" than for "water heater". Ah-Ha! I'll be sure to optimize a few pages for "hot water heater". In fact, I find that the terms "tankless water heater", "tankless hot water heater", "tankless water heaters", "electric tankless water heaters", and "tankless heaters" all have more people searching for them than "water heater".

Single word keywords are very difficult to get high rankings for, so it's wise to shoot for longer keyword phrases. Three and four word phrases are what I use most often.

After finding out what information people are looking for, and what keywords they are using to find that information, you can build the appropriate pages and optimize them for those keywords that have significant traffic searching for them.

Now that we have our keyword list and we are ready to build our pages, where do we put the keywords?

The first and probably one of the most important places to have your keywords are in the title tag. This is one of the tags in the head section of the html code of your web page and lists the title that is displayed in the web browser. Internet Explorer displays this tag in the top bar of the browser window. It's very important that you always write for humans. The search engines are getting smarter and smarter, and they are looking for sites optimized for humans, not search engines.

Get some of your keywords into the keyword meta tag, not crucial but it won't hurt.

Make sure you have some keywords in your Alt tags for your images...don't overdo it though. Write it for humans, but try to work a few keywords in if you can. Alt tags are displayed as a popup when you pass your mouse over an image.

The Description Meta Tag is still a valuable place to use your keywords. Many search engines will look at the description Meta tag for keywords to compare against your body copy. Yahoo uses your description tag as the description of your site in their listings. Consider the description tag just like it is named, a concise description of your site. Keep under 50 words.

Your body copy is obviously a very important place for placement of your keywords. Remember, write for humans. If your keywords don't appear in your body copy, you won't place high in the search engine results for those keywords. Work your keyword into the text appropriately. Select one or two keywords and make the page specifically about those keywords.

Use your keywords appropriately for humans on your site where you can. This will increase your search engine effectiveness.


About the Author: William Lund has been a webmaster since 1998. His website provides free information about website design, development, promotion, and monetization. For more about keywords and other website topics visit: Lund One Web Marketing and More. Mr. Lund Also has a blog: Pondering Everything