Posts Tagged ‘Online Marketing’
Take a look at our newsletter for August, 2010. What’s inside:
- A 20% off coupon for Computer Repair
- A 20% off coupon for web design and development
- A 20% off coupon for SEO and online marketing
- Featured website project, Mr. AutoGlass
- Yahoo now powered by Bing
- Positioning your website for success, useful SEO tips for small business
Picture yourself standing in a supermarket aisle in front of the canned vegetables. You are making a new recipe tonight and it calls for one can of peas. You have never purchased a can of peas before and don’t have a preferred company or brand of peas in mind, so here you are with thirty different cans of peas in front of you to choose from. Each can has a unique label and manufacturer and most of them are exactly the same price. Which can do you pick up?
Next you walk over to the fruit aisle. You want to make an apple pie for dessert and look through all of the red apples in stock. It appears that some of the apples are old – they are withered and stale looking. The fresh apples are bright, crisp and fresh looking. Which ones do you choose for your pie?
Research has shown time and time again that looks sell. When people are presented with a choice between similar products that are similarly priced and offer similar features, they will almost always select the one with the brighter, more colorful packaging. A colorful, shiny label will always outsell a dull, bland one. A shiny, bright apple will sell faster than old fruit.
Studies are also very clear in identifying the unmatched power of the internet for business marketing. Search engines give your business power to place advertisements for your products and services directly in front of your target customers the moment they are searching for you. Google and Bing are supermarkets for business, and your products can be grouped with others in a similar category, just like cans of peas. Now, imagine a client searching the internet for your product or service, but really they are standing in the supermarket in front of cans of peas. What happens when YOUR can of peas (website) is placed on the shelf in front of them, right next to all of the cans of peas provided by your competitors?
Trying to design a do-it-yourself free website for your company, or going with the cheapest possible web design offering from the kid down the street working from his moms garage, is like one of those pea manufacturers handing a child a crayon and saying “Go ahead, design a label for our peas.” There are certain things that a professional marketing company will know about label design that a child will not. Important details will be missing from the final design such as branding, calls to action (buy these peas now!), ingredient labels, and all of the other secrets that are so important to help a consumer make the decision to purchase.
When a business website is designed by an amateur, cheaply without concern for quality, or by a web design firm that does understand online marketing, guess who buys the peas? No one. You could have the best peas in the entire world. They could be juicier, tastier and softer than all of your competitors peas. None of that will ever matter. Your potential customers will never get far enough along with your product to pick up your can of peas, read the label, or take it home to find out what’s inside. Considering the importance of online marketing to today’s business success, you could miss out on thousands of dollars in new sales. At the extreme, based on what your competitors are doing online, your business could fail due to an inability to compete in your industry.
“Build it and they will come” is absolutely incorrect when it comes to a new website for your business. Business web design and online marketing firms such as my PC Techs give your new website the upper hand. New websites designed by my PC Techs are built using cutting-edge technologies and incorporate the latest in coding and marketing techniques. With a my PC Techs website, you are getting much more than a new website. You get a proven marketing vehicle for your products and services.
As a business owner, you were probably quick to identify the need for a properly designed and well maintained company website, one that will provide your business with affordable marketing opportunities, help increase sales, and generate new business. You may have gone one step further, establishing a blog with the hopes that frequent posting to the blog will lead to increased exposure of your products and services to new clients. Blogs are invaluable tools for company employees, allowing them to post new articles, videos, press releases, and pages to a website. However, very few businesses are given proper advice or support when it comes to efficient ways to use a blog for business growth, sales, and lead generation.
There is a clear divide that most businesses face when it comes to internet marketing. Most companies find themselves, knowingly or not, increasing the amount of time and effort spent marketing online without generating any significant increase in relevant traffic that will result in new sales. This problem is mostly due to the fragmentation of the website services industry. When you hire a website design and development firm, there is a very good chance that the firm does not understand the importance of internet marketing. They may setup your blog in such a way that it’s practically worthless for the real power and purpose of blogging, which is website traffic and lead generation. Conversely, when employing an internet marketing solution or trying to do it internally, many of the people actually working on your online marketing lack proper website design and web development knowledge. You may, again, find yourself with blog content that does nothing more than take up space and does not result in exposure for your business.
The biggest culprits behind wasted blogging efforts are the online, free blog solutions. Many companies are either sold a free solution by improperly trained website and internet marketing companies or ask employees to establish them, not realizing the loss of productivity that will result. Free blog solutions lack several key benefits that properly developed and integrated blogs do not. Important tools, such as automatic link distribution and site cross-linking are typically not available. The bulk of your product, services, and marketing materials are generally not visible to visitors who click through to read an article on an external blog. Additionally, the majority of free blogs are hosted outside of the company domain and fail to provide fresh content associated with your website, which is extremely important and valuable for a company when it comes to search engine positioning.
Secondary blogs on free solutions, established outside of your company domain with alternative content, can be beneficial for SEO and page rank purposes. However, the primary blog for your business should always be properly hosted on your own website domain, linked correctly from your website navigation, and completely integrated into your existing website. If the URL to your website starts with a URL similar to www.azmassageforwellness.com, your main company blog should be referenced from within a sub-directory of that site, such as www.azmassageforwellness.com/blog. It should also be developed using recent, feature-rich blogging solutions such as the open source blog application WordPress. Finally, the blog should be a total integration, with blog pages sharing few differences in heading, navigation, and footer from your main website. Website developers that realize the importance of page rank, relevancy and online marketing will follow these guidelines to integrate blog solutions for your company that provide a deep set of features and support easy to use Plugins for SEO and link automation.
The reason all of this is important deals with the way search engines index and rank your website. When going through the pages on your site, a properly integrated blog appears to a search engine as part of your website. Every post that is made through the blog becomes an additional page of content for ranking purposes. Search engines love fresh content. The more fresh content you have, the more relevant your website appears to search engines and you will rank higher in search results and generate more new business as a result. It takes time, but after 100 or 200 good blog posts, your website should begin to see some significant benefit in search engines.
There are additional factors to consider when posting to a blog, outside the scope of this article, which are important to consider. A good internet marketing solution will provide you with training and will support your efforts by identifying effective keywords to use in posts. You should be provided tips that will help establish your blog in the community, giving you recognition as an expert in your field. Your website team should help you to identify ways to distribute your content and get your blog posts linked out to other websites. Finally, there should be a good level of customer support and interaction between you and the website team that designed your blog, so that you understand the most effective ways to utilize your blog and get the most value from your time invested.
A properly developed and utilized blog can be the most effective tool available for you to generate traffic and increase search engine positioning for your website. If you haven’t already, be sure to search for and consult with a comprehensive website design, development, and internet marketing firm. One that can provide a variety of effective solutions that work together to increase sales for your business.
Growing your business in this tough economy can present overwhelming challenges, especially if your approach relies on outdated marketing techniques. Despite economic indicators showing signs of rebound, the recovery is projected to be slow and difficult, and it appears that all of us are in the same boat. We will face increasing competition, reduced sales, and a shrinking number of prospective leads for some time to come.
With less income and reduced savings, it is very important for you to take a detailed look at how your marketing budget is being distributed. It is important to make every cent count in order to generate the biggest possible bang for the buck. While very few marketing opportunities can match the high impact and low cost of internet marketing, one strategy stands on a comparative level – business networking. Most business owners learn very quickly that word of mouth is one of the highest impact, lowest cost, and most effective forms of marketing available. Unfortunately, most do not know how to employ effective techniques to capitalize on this fact.
You want to put yourself in front of qualified prospects, and these days there are several hundred business networking opportunities available in the Phoenix, Arizona area alone. The choices are daunting and include dozens of business mixers, social events, leads groups, chamber of commerce events, business lunches and more each week. How can you sort through the clutter to find networking opportunities that represent the best ROI? The scope of information can quickly lead to overload, and at the end of the day you may find that you’ve invested a lot of valuable time but have gained very little result. To network effectively, you need to do more than just pass out business cards that will most likely later be thrown in the garbage.
Structured business networking offers several benefits that will help you maximize income and results in a minimal amount of time. Key features to look for in a highly effective, structured business networking event include:
- Exclusivity for your category, where competitors are not allowed to market products to your network simultaneously and drown out the effectiveness of your message.
- A sense of obligation between participants, where other network members are recognized or rewarded in some way for their referrals to your business.
- An opportunity to develop relationships with participants, where other members are encouraged and provided the opportunity to learn more about, and care about, your products and services.
- A good supply of local business and community leaders, where members have some significant impact in the community and are in a good position to serve as a strong source of unlimited referrals for your business.
- Quality control. Your networking group should have methods in place to properly verify each member for the highest possible integrity and quality of services. Businesses that cannot be verified as offering a superior quality of service should be excluded, ensuring that businesses you refer to your friends and colleagues will do a good job for you.
Most networking opportunities out there today fall short in at least one, or more, of these critical areas. Are you wasting valuable time and money with a buck-shot approach to marketing, instead of focusing your efforts to achieve greater results with less cost? As you can imagine, establishing your business as a quality services provider in a network of well-connected community leaders who are dedicated to your products and services can work wonders for your income potential. You will find yourself, over time, with a team of highly effective sales professionals working together to help you achieve success.
Tempe Professionals LeTip is one such structured business networking event and provides high quality business networking facilities for members based primarily in Ahwatukee, Chandler, Phoenix and Tempe. Member attendance is required, only one participant per business category is allowed, and members are expected to provide tips and remain loyal to their base. Relationships are formed amongst members through frequent, structured meetings.
There are other groups out there similar to Tempe Professionals that provide structured, effective networking. Chapters are usually established to focus efforts on a particular region, such as Scottsdale, the west valley, and more. If you find that the Tempe Professionals meeting area (in Chandler) is far away from your business location, contact me and I can help put you in touch with a similar chapter located near you.