BizSite Blog

The Most Important Question to Answer Before You Build Your Website

Carlfred Giles - Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Building a website can be fun. You’re putting your company out there for people all over the world to see. You get to tell others about your passion. You get share your service with the rest of the world. You get to SELL and make $$$!

Everyone needs a website. Years ago when telephones came about they were quickly adopted by businesses as the first means of customer contact. Today, would you open a business without a telephone? Of course not!  And so it now goes with websites. Websites legitimize your business and are the first thing people go to when trying to find your service (and for those of you still using a phone book, check out Google Places…)

 

So what’s the first thing you should do before creating your site?

Ask yourself why you need it.

Occasionally the simple answer is “just because everybody else has one”. If that’s your answer, then you need a brochure site. A brochure site is an information website that provides basic data about your business. Usually it has pictures, hours of operation, services provided, and contact info. Brochure websites can be REALLY cool – surely you’ve browsed through ours…

However, most companies if they really think about it, can use their website for more. MUCH more. And THIS is the most important question of all:How can I get the most use out of my website?”

 

Some obvious ways to maximize your site:


  • Calendar of events

  • Collect potential customer contact data

  • Take customer sign ups/waiting lists


But let’s go a step further and think about your business specifically: are you a church? Warehouse? Insurance agent? Hydraulic company? A cleaning service? What are the things that take the most administrative time and how can they be automated so that the public can help themselves? Do you get phone calls all the time asking what’s on your menu? Post it online. Does your secretary spend most of her time rescheduling appointments? Let clients do it themselves from your site. Is your cash flow slow at the first of each month because customers forget to pay? Make it easy for them by accepting payments online. Think of what would make your world perfect and easy, and start with that!

 

Other ideas for good use of your website:

  • Message boards

  • Payment collections

  • Customer/Product reviews

  • Appointment scheduling

  • Account login

  • Sell products/services

Instead of trying to model your website after your competitor, think about how you can make a website do a little extra work for you. And if you get us to design the site, you won’t have to worry about it looking as good as your competitor…it will look better…

5 Must-Read Marketing Books

Carlfred Giles - Sunday, December 30, 2012

Do you need a good read that will help you expand your career and business efforts? The New Year is the perfect time to pick up something new! If you’re a business owner or marketer who would like to pack something with a bit more substance into your suitcase or beach bag, consider these five must-read marketing books...

1. The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund

Instead of simply describing how to graft social media onto an existing marketing strategy, authors Baer and Naslund focus on changing organizations to respond more quickly to new developments. They argue that taking too much time to make informed business decisions about real-time crises can lead to extinction and provide seven shifts that can help a business move faster and smarter while becoming more social. The book’s format is highly interactive (especially its Kindle version) and provides real-life examples and advice.

2. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon

Described as a business book for people who don’t read business books, Different offers a unique combination of wit, insight, and compelling storytelling. Dr. Moon, a popular professor at Harvard Business School, looks at how some familiar brands like Apple, Ikea, and Harley Davidson have used product differentiation and unconventional marketing to break away from the competitive herd and transform their products into something new in the eyes of consumers.

3. Social Media and Public Relations: 8 New Practices for the PR Professional by Deirdre Breakenridge

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to gaining the social media skills needed by PR professionals, this is a good place to start. Breakenridge, a PR veteran and author who has worked with Fortune 500 companies, describes eight social media skills and mindsets that are needed for various PR jobs. Useful tips and strategies that target both PR novices and pros are presented in a straightforward, textbook-like style.

4. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Every professional can benefit from a professional network. Trust Agents describes how businesses and individuals can use social media tools to enhance their online reputation, foster trust, and build a positive brand image. Brogan and Smith are social media experts who espouse the idea that being helpful, establishing relationships and building trust online is the best way to leverage social media. Case studies that show the power of trust are included and actionable steps for using social media to earn trust are described in detail.

5. Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan

Youthful marketers are probably not familiar with the impact of the Grateful Dead on the music industry. Originating in San Francisco in the psychedelic ’60s, the Dead held the record as the top-grossing concert band for many years despite their lack of chart-topping hits. Scott and Halligan describe how these music pioneers used bootleg albums, direct mail, and the establishment of a Deadhead culture to build a dedicated community of fans. The authors then tie the Dead’s marketing strategy to today’s social media tools and describe how businesses can learn from the band’s success.

This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Harrison Kratz on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2tor — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to deliver a one of the top MBA programs online.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

smartphone traffic to Ecommerce sites up 103 percent since 2011

Chris Brown - Tuesday, September 04, 2012

How important is mobile optimization to your ecommerce website? If going mobile isn't already one of your priorities this year, you might want to clear some space in your strategy for it. The following infographic, brought to us by the folks over at digital marketing technology company Monetate, highlights the impressive growth in traffic (103%!) from smartphones to leading ecommerce websites over the past year.

The infographic also calls attention to the battle for smartphone supremacy between Android and iPhone devices, both of which represent the most growth in smartphone-driven traffic to ecommerce sites. Furthermore, the graphic analyzes the various shopping activities of smartphone users as well as the mobile marketing tactics currently being used by marketers, with website mobile optimization topping the list at 46%, followed closely by mobile apps (45%), and trailed by mobile email optimization at 35%. Check it out!

Read more here

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Why It’s Important To Have A Mobile Website

Chris Brown - Monday, July 23, 2012

These days everybody is obsessed with having the latest technology, which is why it’s more important than ever for small business owners to recognize the importance of having a company website so that new and existing customers can find out information about you whenever they want… Because if your business isn’t visible online, then it won’t been seen as up-to-date and relevant, so chances are people will look elsewhere for a company that is.
After all, they’re not going to spend a lot of time and effort looking through directories and newspapers etc. just to find you, when it would be much quicker and easier just to choose a company that is online.

But now, just having a website is no longer good enough, thanks to the surge in popularity of mobile devices, such as smart phones and IPads; which allow people to ‘surf the web’ whilst on the go.

This means your potential customers are no longer restricted to laptops or the humble PC when it comes to looking up businesses on the Internet…Now, they can be sitting on a bus, in a restaurant, or even shopping.

In fact, in 2011, 7.1% of all worldwide browsing activity was through mobile devices.
So if they’re Internet access isn’t restricted anymore then you need to make sure that their access to you isn’t either!…And this is where mobile websites come in. You might think a normal website is good enough because it can still be found using a mobile phone, but you’d be wrong.

The shocking fact is that 90% of small business websites don’t actually work on mobiles. They are difficult to navigate, the writing is too small, and the page is far too big for the screen…All extremely frustrating for any potential customers trying to quickly find information to get in touch with you…Perhaps so frustrating that they give up on your site and visit a rival’s whose site works perfectly on their phone.

This might not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that most of us only visit websites for phone numbers, addresses and opening hours, and that 41% of us browse these sites on our phones – A figure that by 2014 is predicted to rise to 80%…That’s a ridiculous amount of, not only potential customers, but also money, to miss out on for a problem that can be easily solved just by making sure you have a mobile website!

Because the whole point of mobile websites is that they are simple and easy to use with only the information a mobile user will be looking for.

That means prominent opening hours, map of where to find you, and a click to call phone number…After all, the easier it is to find this info, the quicker they can make that all important call to you!

For more BizSiteSolution information on our mobile opportunities: Click Here

Source: Click Here

Small Business Blog Marketing: What Does It Entail?

Carlfred Giles - Tuesday, August 02, 2011

log marketing can be quite complicated for anyone that has never even blogged before. If you are considering getting into small business blog marketing, you will want to first have a blog and see what that is like before you get into something more. Blogging requires dedication and patience. You have to update your blog on a regular basis in order to keep your readers happy. Doing so will keep them coming back for more and to see what you have new to say.

Small business blog marketing consists of blogging about your business. It definitely is a great tool that you should use to get your business out there and known by others. However, you will need to be patient because it is a long process that will require much of your attention. Just because you have a blog does not mean that someone is going to find it and read it. You are going to have to make it known. If you have a website for your business, you can link your blog to it and that will let the ones that know about your business and business website know about your blog as well.

Small business blog marketing is something that anyone can do. Having a blog and keeping it up to date with the latest information is not hard. All you need to have is a plan and you will be set to market any type of business from your blog. Whether you are selling a product or a service, it does not matter. A blog that is marketed the right way will be beneficial to any business whatever it might be.

So you are probably wondering how you are going to accomplish this small business blog marketing. When you are marketing a blog, you pretty much do it the same way that you would market a website. It is going to need keywords, and content. You can write the content yourself, or pay someone else to write it for you. That part is totally up to you. However you will want to be sure that the content is decent and something that your readers will want to read. This will keep them coming back. Make sure that the content is written from special keywords that you choose. You will also want to become familiar with SEO which is Search Engine Optimization. SEO will help you to optimize your blog to get a better ranking with the search engines.

Once you have chosen the keywords, and gotten some content published on your blog, you will be ready to get it out there some more. Link exchanges are wonderful for marketing your small business blog. You want to try and exchange links with sites that are relevant to yours, but not in direct competition. If you try to exchange links with sites in competition with yours, you are going to find that many of them will turn you down in fear of losing business to you.

Paid directories are a big part of small business blog marketing as well. You can pay some directories to list your blog URL in their directory under the specific category that it falls under. However, some of these even have specific qualifications that you must have to get in. Follow all of the application steps, and you should be ok. Just do not try to submit your blog to a directory that it does not qualify for, or fit in.

Another important thing to remember when you are into small business blog marketing is that if anyone leaves you a comment  on your blog, you should acknowledge it and respond. You can also comment on other blogs that are relevant to yours, and leave a link to your blog as well. This will help bring in visitors to your blog, and you will begin to see more and more traffic.

Small business blog marketing is not rocket science, however someone that has never marketed a single thing before in their life may have problems. Just be persistent, and don’t give up.


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