BizSite Blog

Want To Get Noticed On The Internet? Heres How!

Carlfred Giles - Monday, June 24, 2013

 

The internet has changed the face of marketing. The ease in which it allows you to reach a worldwide audience is like nothing the world has seen before. So how can you use internet marketing to your advantage? This article will give you some great tips on how to get the most out of internet marketing.


An important tip regarding Internet marketing is to be sure that your site is not only viewable, but also user friendly to mobile devices. This is important with the popularity of smart phones, and the amount of web browsing that people use them for. Allow for easy page transitions and be sure that your content uses a low amount of bandwidth.

When a new customer purchases from your website, always show your appreciation. If you follow up with a "thank you" email with a personalized list of products they might also be interested in, you can remind new customers to return in the future and possibly compel more sales. Follow up with regular customers every few months as well.

Do not get caught up in trying to build your email list as large as you can get it. Numbers are good, but what's more significant is the quality of those subscribers on your list. Are they just a bunch of readers who won't remember you the next time you send out an email, or are they people who have a genuine interest in your niche?

When it comes to having the most informed customers you can in Internet business, it is important that you work to create a thorough FAQ section on your site. Even if you're only selling one or two products, include information about payments, returns, complaints, and other information your customers need to know.

Take advantage of the search engines, in order to find out who is linking to you. Many search engines have special codes that you can type before the website, which will give you different information. For example, typing "link:" before including your URL, will give you a list of all of the websites that are linking to yours.

If you have a linking system going on with other websites, make sure to check them frequently. The Internet is never constant, so sites come and go and sometimes, even change completely. Make sure that your links work and link to where they're supposed to so that your customers do not become irritated.

Replace banners by button ads. Buttons take less space and are much quicker to load. Make sure your buttons are attractive and present clearly what they redirect to. Do not have all your buttons in one area: place them in different parts of your pages. Use banner ads for your most important products only.

Re-evaluate your website periodically. What's working? What's outdated? What can be changed? Don't keep your website the same, because visitors have no way of knowing what is current information and what no longer applies. Making changes and freshening up things a bit keeps visitors aware that there is someone there, and that can build interest in what you have in store for them.

Always make sure that you're including useful content when you update your site or blog. Clean, professional-looking content is a must, but it must also be very helpful. Give away some tips, some new product information, or something similar in order to make your customers feel as if they're getting something for nothing.

The internet is an incredible tool, and anyone marketing a site, service, or product should use it to its fullest advantage. Now that you've read this article, you know a variety of tips and tricks to get great results from your internet marketing. Don't underestimate the internet. You'll be amazed at what it can do for you.

68 Percent of Small Businesses Plan to Increase Marketing Spending in 2013

Carlfred Giles - Friday, January 25, 2013

 

 

 97% of small businesses plan to increase spending (68%) or spend the same amount (29%) on marketing in 2013.
Increased Marketing Spending is Planned by Majority of Small Businesses In 2013

Results from a recent survey found that a majority of small businesses plan to increase their marketing spending in 2013 (68%), and 29% plan to spend the same amount. And, the results reveal that along with an increase in spending, small businesses will, naturally, increase their use of many marketing channels. The marketing channel that small businesses intend to increase their use of the most is e-mail, with 85% of those small businesses that responded indicating that they plan to increase their use of e-mail as a marketing channel. Other channels that small businesses plan to increase their use of include: their business website (74%), blogging (72%), Facebook (70%), online advertising (66%) and Twitter (58%). Given the decline of print media over the past decade, it is not too surprising that only 22% of the respondents indicated that they will increase their use of print advertising in the coming year.

How Much Time Do Small Businesses Currently Spend on Marketing Activities?

Currently, according to the survey results, nearly 25% of small businesses spend four or more hours per week on e-mail marketing, and more than 27% spend four or more hours marketing on Facebook (interestingly, 12.5% spend 7+ hours). For those small businesses that use their business website as a marketing channel, nearly 34% spend four or more hours per week working on their website. Marketing by blogging also takes four or more hours of time per week for nearly 30% of small business owners. However, Twitter is not such a time drain – of the small businesses that use Twitter for marketing purposes, more than half (52%) spend less than one hour on it per week, and less than 10% spend more than four hours using it per week. Who is spending this time? For 88% of the small businesses that responded to BizSite Solutions the Owner or CEO primarily fulfills the marketing function.

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

Next
 

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

A-Z Tips to Increase Site Visitors

Carlfred Giles - Saturday, September 17, 2011

We said A-Z and we meant it. Here are 26 sure-fire ways to increase web traffic and site visitors to your website. Use some or all of them, and let us know which ones worked best for you.

  1. Optimize your site (SEO).
    Win on the search engines when people search for keyword phrases related to your products or services.
    (More about search engine optimization.)

  2. Get your site listed in directories.
    Submit your site to all the major web directories. This will generate traffic directly from the directories themselves and will also help to improve your link popularity. That helps you win on Google!
    (More about web directories.)

  3. Get listed in search engines.
    Submit your site to all the major search engines.
    (More about search engines.)

  4. Get links to your site.
    Get people with complimentary sites to link to yours. You offer rental kayaks on the beach. Ask the local restaurant owners to link to you, and offer to link to them. Ask the local tour guides, the real estate agents, the night clubs, and everyone else. Links lead to clicks onto your website and help to improve your search engine rankings.

  5. Buy links to your site.
    Buy text links on other websites. That means more spiders stopping by, more people clicking through, and better search engine rankings.

  6. Buy banner ads.
    Buy banner ads on other websites. It helps to build brand recognition.

  7. Participate in a banner exchange program.
    It won't cost you anything, and will lead to a few extra visitors. Plus, you're spreading your brand all over the place.

  8. Participate in a WebRing.
    Connect your site with other sites in your niche.

  9. Pay for clicks to your site.
    Pay for clicks or inclusion on the search engines so that people will see your site in the sponsored links section of the search results when they search for keyword phrases related to your products or services.
    (More about pay per click.)

  10. Set up an affiliate marketing program.
    With affiliate marketing, you can either pay per click, pay per lead generated, pay per sale, or pay per customer acquired.

  11. Use smart public relations (PR).
    Get news coverage of your business and your site. Approach online and traditional media. This will often lead to others placing links pointing to your website, which leads to more clicks and also to improved search engine rankings.

  12. Use E-mail marketing.
    Ugly, but effective for the cost. Blast out your special offers, but be nice about it.

  13. Use off-line marketing.
    Promote your site. Put your url on all your license plates. Paint it on your car. Buy newspaper and yellow pages ads with your url. Put up flyers and stickers. Sponsor a little league team. Do anything and everything to spread the word about your website around your city.

  14. Run regular promotions.
    Stage regular giveaways and spread the word about it.

  15. Get published.
    Write articles for publication on other websites. The author profile will link to your site. The article will show that you're an expert.

  16. Publish yourself.
    Write articles for your own site regularly. This will help you to win on the search engines and gives your visitors a reason to come back over and over.

  17. Ask for reviews.
    Ask for reviews of your self-published articles on other webmasters' websites. Ask for reviews of your website, your products, your software, your services. These will usually include links to your articles.

  18. Write briefs.
    Write daily or weekly news briefs focusing in on your industry or specialty area. This keeps your site "fresh" in the eyes of the major search engines and helps you to spread a wide net when fishing for top search engine positions.

  19. Create a newsletter.
    Ask your visitors to sign up for your newsletter, and encourage them to send it along to people they know. Send a newsletter regularly with teasers or lead-ins to your in-depth new articles or with special offers and the latest products.

  20. Post in chat rooms.
    Become active in bulletin boards and chat rooms focusing on your industry. Leave inciteful comments, and people will click on your profile, then visit your site.

  21. Give away free stuff.
    Offer something people want at your site. Give them a reason to come back and get more. Offer free downloads and update them regularly. Offer coupons or discounts. Content content content.

  22. Give awards for excellent sites in your niche.
    This builds more links back to your site and establishes you as a credible reviewer, an expert in your space.

  23. Run a contest and promote it.
    Photo contests, essay contests, goofy contests, random drawings, anything. Example: Messiest Garage in America contest on OfftheFloor.com.

  24. Join your local business organizations.
    Chambers of Commerce and other organizations will often add your site to their member directory. That's an added advantage over the obvious business-building and networking opportunities.

  25. Create an RSS feed.
    Give people another way to interact with your content.

  26. Be accessible.
    Build your site so that it is accessible to all browsers and to PocketPC and Palm Pilot users. Don't forget, people with disabilities buy things too. Make your site Section 508 complaint. Your competition probably hasn't.

WE ARE BACK!

Carlfred Giles - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

After cleaning and rearranging some furniture in our house, the BizSite Solutions website is back up and running.

We improved the client pages and gave our portfolio page a new look  complete with client case studies.

Heads up - new videos are on their way from The WebSmart TV Series! Yes I said VIDEOS. We will be launching soon a WebSmart TV Series that will showcase our work and our clients along with expert opinons, discussions, testimonials, fun facts, tech toys and gadgets, a DID YOU KNOW? segment and more as we think of them

Follow us on Twitter: @bizsitesolu. Look for previews and flashbacks during this month!

Subscribe to our Youtube page: Youtube. (And watch some videos while you're there). We are also on Vimeo!

Like us on Facebook!

Sign up for our latest email newsletters, and get on our mailing list.

Tell your friends!

Thank you from Carlfred + the rest of the team, cast and crew.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

Carlfred Giles - Thursday, July 28, 2011

1. Your Business is Open to the World 24/7, 365 Days a Year
Unlike your company's office that may be open from 8-5, Monday thru Friday, your company 's website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are many different time zones that may affect your business, which is why being on the web makes it time convenient for everyone.

2. It's Your Online Brochure / Catalog That Can Be Changed at Anytime
A website is easier, cheaper and quicker to update than print material. Its' capacities are almost limitless which allow you to provide users with more comprehensive information. This will save you money on printing and distribution costs as well.

3. Reach New Markets with a Global Audience
On the Internet, you aren't that local little business anymore. You have the potential to be seen by millions across the globe. Did you ever think your company would have the possibility of doing business around the world? Well, now you can. Without a doubt, the Internet is the most cost effective way to trade nationally and internationally.

4. Improved Customer Service
By providing answers to questions on your website, sales and information requests can be processed automatically and immediately, whether someone is in the office or not. Online forms can be used to allow customers to request quotations or ask further information. Save costs by allowing users to download invoices, proposals and important documents.

5. Present a Professional Image
For a small business, a well-designed web site is a great way of instilling confidence and looking bigger than you actually are. In this day in age, customers assume that you already have a website. By now, your primary competitors probably already have a presence on the Internet. If they do, keep up with them and find ways to make yours better.

6. Sell Your Products
Why pay expensive rent, overhead, electric bills, and all the other costs that go along with owning a bricks-n-mortar business? Selling in cyberspace is much cheaper and a good way to supplement your offline business. Providing secure online ordering is very affordable for even the smallest businesses.
7. Promote Your Services
Lawyers, doctors, financial consultants, entertainers, realtors and all service oriented businesses should let customers know that they have a choice. Millions of users are referring to the web and are using company's websites to make major decisions when they need a specialized service.

8. Gather Information and Generate Valuable Leads
You can gather information about your customers and potential customers by using forms and surveys. Rather than going out and getting leads, let them come to you. This is a great tool for prospecting targeted customers looking to use your products and services.

9. Provides Instant Gratification
People are busy and don't like to wait for information. Give them what they want, when they want it. If your product is suitable, offer them free samples or trials to download. This includes pictures, brochures, software, videos, Power Point slides, music and more.

10. Great Recruiting Tool
Whether you are looking for talent or posting job opportunities with your company, your website is a great recruiting tool for building your business.

More Great Tips!

The Do's & Don'ts For Website Success!
• Do invest in a secure online ordering system.
• Do keep your audience in mind and create copy that personally speaks to them.
• Do create a clear and compelling sales message.
• Do update your site content and keep it fresh and current.
• Do anticipate and answer your visitor's questions.
• Do check your site to ensure all forms and links are working.
• Do include a call to action on each page. You won't get business if you don't ask for it.
• Do include your contact information.
• Do offer links to programs like Acrobat Reader needed to view your site information.
• Do choose a Web host that provides exceptional service, minimal down time, and consistent site backups.
• Do carefully check your content for spelling and grammar mistakes. Errors are unprofessional and show a lack of attention to detail.
• Do title each page to be search engine (and bookmark) friendly.
• Do use a URL and domain name that accurately reflects your business or company name and is easy to remember.

...and

• Don't confuse your visitor with too many topics on one page. Organize information logically.
• Don't let your site become outdated. Your credibility will disappear if you offer Mother 's Day specials just in time for Father's Day.
• Don't include too many colors, fonts, or font sizes that distracts your visitor.
• Don't yell at your visitor by using all capital letters.
• Don't take your customer's privacy for granted. Create a privacy policy and stick to it.
• Don't insult your customer by selling his information to third parties.
• Don't ignore or delay customer requests. Return all customer inquiries promptly because you never know whom they may recommend you to even if they don't buy from you.
• Don't add a “visitor count” to your site. No need to brag how many or show how few visit.
• Don't include graphics that fail to add importance to your site.
• Don't use silly clip art unless absolutely necessary.
• Don't add unnecessary "extras" that will take a particularly long time to load.
• Don't ignore customer complaints, just because you're on the Web doesn't mean your business won't be affected by dissatisfied customers sharing their experience with others.


Five Reasons Why You Need a .mobi Domain

Carlfred Giles - Friday, June 17, 2011

According to analysts group Quantcast, the mobile Web grew 148 percent worldwide in 2009. Obviously the mobile Web is exploding in popularity. If you’re looking to join the mobile revolution, you should get a .mobi domain. Here are five reasons why …

1. .mobi is emerging as the de facto standard for mobile internet domains
With the growth of the mobile Web comes the need for standardization to allow consumers to easily find mobile content. Numerous times in the past, competing technology standards have delayed widespread adoption. In the ‘70s, it was VCR versus Betamax. In the 1990s it was Digital Audio Tape versus MiniDisc versus CD. In both of these examples, it was the format that got in the lead first, and enjoyed the widest industry support, that eventually triumphed. Today the .mobi domain enjoys this same position as the most prevalent mobile domain in use and was founded by a veritable who’s who of the mobile Internet.

2. .mobi domains are white-listed by network level transcoders
Designing great mobile sites takes time and effort to get the most out of the limited screen resolution and navigation mechanisms of mobiles. Having created your mobile presence, the last thing you want is a third-party transcoder modifying your site … but this is exactly what happens when you use a non-standard domain name. By industry convention, .mobi sites are automatically white-listed by all network level transcoders so you can be 100% sure that your site will render as you intended on every mobile device.

3. .mobi domains offer better search engine performance
Search engine performance is crucial to the success of any business. Because every .mobi domain registered gets its own entry in the Internet Zone Files, which are the files that search engines use to start their crawls, your site will automatically perform better than if you use any other naming convention. Additionally, search engines detect when searches are being made from mobile devices and prioritize their results accordingly. Because .mobi sites are high-quality, made-for-mobile sites, they are automatically brought to the top of the mobile search results.

4. .mobi names are designed for mobile use
Despite having close to one million names, the reality is that a lot of great names are still available. And having short names is essential for mobile where entering long URLs can be cumbersome. This is great news for companies who did not get their first-preference .com address. With the mobile Web experiencing triple digit growth year-on-year, and forecast to continue doing so, creating a memorable mobile presence now represents a huge opportunity for future growth.

5. .mobi is actively promoted and industry supported
The goal of dotMobi – the company behind the .mobi  domain – is the widespread proliferation and usage of the mobile Web. For consumers, mobile content needs to be easily found and navigated. It’s this need for standards that prompted ICANN to make .mobi the only authorized top-level domain for finding mobile content. And by having the support of industry heavyweights such as Microsoft, Vodafone, Nokia and Google, dotMobi is able to promote a single, globally recognized, domain naming convention for the mobile Web: .mobi.

Source - DomainNews.com

10 Website Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Carlfred Giles - Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This article was originally published by Gregg Murray

The number of website strategies you need to implement for an effective online presence is a real head-spinner. I found it much easier to navigate once I created a list of the most important website strategies. Focus on these one or two at a time. As you do, you’ll find the process of creating or recreating your web presence much less stressful.

1. Simplicity
From the design of your website to the amount of content on the page, keeping things simple is one of the best things you can do to make life easier on yourself. A website with a clean design, simple navigation and ease of use is what will provide the safest solution to your web building dilemma. Not only will you save time, you’re also likely to save money. Even more importantly, your visitors will thank you.

Use my “Uncle Leo” test method to find out if your website is user-friendly enough to use. This is where you find the least technically-savvy person you know (I use Uncle Leo), have them go to your website, and ask them to find a specific piece of information or to take a certain action. If Uncle Leo can do it, then you know you’re on the right track. And that means you’ve done your job well. Here are a few more tips on keeping your website simple.

2. The Sales Funnel
Your website exists to help you build your business. By seeing your website as a potential sales funnel instead of just a flashy online brochure, you’ll generate more web leads and more opportunities for new business. The sales funnel process begins with driving potential customers to your site, keeping them there with a professional look and compelling content, inviting visitors to join your email list (throughout your site), and finally – following up with them to build trust, authority, and a bond. Once you have the sales funnel process incorporated into your website, you’ll find more potential customers reaching out to do business with you. Learn more about using your website as a sales funnel here.

3. Words That Connect
One of the most frequent mistakes I see solo-preneurs and entrepreneurs make is creating web copy that doesn’t connect with real people. This happens most often with us business and marketing folks over 40. We have a habit of taking our old media thoughts on copywriting and applying it to new media. In other words, we are more likely to keep things a bit stiff and stuffy instead of writing our web copy in a conversational tone. The Internet is the ultimate personal medium, and it’s important to keep the copy we feature on our website a bit more casual and conversational. If you can pull this off, your website visitors will feel more connected with you, and thus… BINGO… do more business with you. Here are some pointers on creating website copy that connects with your audience.

4. Make SEO Easy
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the key to being found online. Problem is, there’s information overload. People write books (really, really long books) getting into all the minutia of getting ranked higher in Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. The good news is that the 80/20 rule plays out big time with SEO strategies, and that means there are just a few things you need to do to achieve higher search rankings. This includes making sure your keywords are incorporated in your page title and your page description and are scattered at a 3-5% ratio throughout your web page. And if you’re targeting locally, always incorporate your city or town name as one of your primary keywords. Finally, take every opportunity to have your website linked to from other websites (and the bigger the better). Do just these items and your search ranking will make a huge leap. Need some pointers on SEO? Check out this free SEO lesson.

5. A Touch of Email Marketing
Emailing your clients and prospects is a dance of moderation. Send your peeps more email then they expect and they’ll leave you. Don’t email often enough and they’ll forget about you. So, what’s the right mix? For most entrepreneurs, once to twice a month is usually the sweet spot. Just remember that the key is to always provide helpful information up front in your emails and keep the pitch as secondary. If you do want to send a specific pitch to your email list, never do it twice in a row. A little bit of moderation will go a long way. Learn more about maximizing your email marketing.

6. Get Social
Without exception, I can’t think of a single business that won’t benefit from incorporating social media into their website strategy. The big three are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook is perfect for most small businesses, especially when you’re wanting to reach a local audience. Twitter is excellent for connecting with those that spend more time than most online. And LinkedIn is a great connection tool for any business professional. Pick one. You’ll love it… It’s easy, and it’s free. Get more out of your social media with this guide.

7. Blogs Required
You gotta’ have a blog built into your website. A blog allows you to easily create single page posts about events, specials, tips, and company information to your website visitors. Not only do you get the benefit of keeping your website content fresh, you are also creating new content that search engines are on the lookout for. It’s a big win-win. A blog post every week is great for entrepreneurs, but once every two weeks or even once a month will still serve you well. Learn more about business blogging here.

8. Google Tools
If you don’t have a Google account, get one, it’s free. Yes, you’ll have to get a Google email address, but you don’t have to use it, except as your login name to get the other free Google goodies. Once you have a Google account, you can access some super important free tools that will help increase your website traffic. My faves include Google Places, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster Tools. Even if you don’t know how to use these tools yet, go get your free Google account now, so you’ll be able to incorporate them soon.

9. Staying Connected
The biggest problem those of us have that already have a solid website is staying connected with our website visitors and those that are on our email list. The best advice I can give you is to always stay connected enough so that you’re not forgotten. That comes back to creating new and engaging blog post content several times a month and distributing great email content several times a month as well. I can’t tell you how often I’ve received a new and repeat business because I always find a way to stay in touch with my clients and prospects every 2-3 weeks. And with the quick access of Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, you can stay in touch with your social networking audience in no time as well.

10. Managing the Madness
Once the website is done, the email marketing is rolling, the blog is being updated, and the social media is in place, you have to manage the beast. Don’t beat yourself up. The secret to managing your website and online presence is “chunking.” That means instead of going to your website several times a week to do little things that can wait, keep a list and do it all at once as needed. My list every week usually has 3-5 things I may want to update. When I do them all at once, it saves my time and gives me more peace of mind… and those are two things no website owner wants to be without.

About the Author:
Gregg Murray is an award-winning website consultant, online marketing manager, and certified SEO. He is the author of Website Blueprint: The Beginners Guide for Small Business Owners and director of Website Elementary, an online home-study course for newbies. For more free website help, download Gregg’s Small Business Website Checklist.


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