Browsing Posts tagged Content Development

The rule for SEO is always “the earlier the better”.

Google now uses hundreds of factors in their ranking algorithm and of course the number grows every month. Two of the factors that have long affected rankings are the “on-site” and “on-page” elements. Primarily these refer to the navigation structure, link text, headings and the written content of the site.

Because many of the decisions made during the site design and development process will impact the navigation structure, link text, headings, the written content and other SEO factors it is best if an SEO expert is involved in these decisions from the beginning. This inevitably saves time and money.

Blogs are Good, Easy, Effective, and Fun. Really they are. 

You, yes you, can easily create and maintain and you don’t even need a webmaster.

I love WordPress. It’s simple. Go to www.wordpress.com and click on the “sign up” tab in the upper right-hand corner. Create your account and then begin designing your blog. Choose a name blog that is appropriate to your company/industry and is appealing to readers.

Another (and in my mind much better) way to use WordPress is as a Content Management System (CMS), like this site. I personally have 14 wordpress “mini sites” and have many clients with them. They are really a terrific alternative for small businesses. If you need help with a WordPress site let me know.

Once you set up your blog, it’s time to start creating content. Content can be anything you want it to be, but it should obviously be relevant to your target audience. You can find many posts here on my blog about writing compelling and Search Engine Optimized content.

You might consider writing about:

  • Tips that your reads might find helpful
  • Product features
  • Book reviews
  • Tutorials and how-to guides
  • Interviews with people your readers will find interesting or can learn from

Encourage your readers to ask questions, comments, or feedback. If they leave a comment, be sure to respond to them— everyone likes to be noticed.

It is also important to contribute to your blog regularly (at least once a week). This will ensure that your content is fresh and that your visitors keep coming back and it is actually easier than it sounds. For example I’m writing this post early on Sunday, October 30th and I’m scheduling it to post on my blog a month from now on November 29th. For me scheduling is one of the great things about a blog. I can write my posts when I have the time and am in the mood and I can schedule them way into the future.

Find what works for you and keep it consistent and keep it real and of course have fun with it!

Have you had any particular success with Blogs? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and experiences!

The nature of business has changed. We want to know more about the business and the people in the business. We like the story. The “About” pages of websites are often among the most visited pages.

A few years ago I interviewed the owners of a website that offered skis, snow boards and related items. During the interview the mentioned how a change in their About page from what they called “boring corporate” to “edgy personal” was responsible for a nearly 30% increase in sales. The fact is I have heard and read about dozens and dozens of companies that have had similar experiences.

The bottom-line is simply this: Have an “about us” page that is real. Tell your story and let your visitors know who you are. You will personally connect with your visitors by being honest. Use a conversational writing style, and including real testimonials from other customers and be sure to include photos of those on your team, your customers if possible and anything else that will help visitors feel personally connected to you and your business.

Have you had any particular success with visitors “connecting” with your website? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and experiences!

Does your website have a GREAT call-to-action?

A call-to-action is the primary reason those of us in business have websites. Sure we want to inform people about our products or services but ultimately we want people to buy what we are offering. Of course the sale doesn’t always occur on the website, often the purpose of a website is to “generate leads”, but still the visitor must fill out a form or call you, both are call-to-action.

Every type of website you can think of has, or should have, a call-to-action.

Calls-to-action , when done well, provides focus and direction to your visitors. It makes it very clear to them just what you would ultimately like them to do.  Examples of a call-to-action include:

  • Make a donation
  • Request an appointment
  • Purchase a product
  • Complete an information form
  • Register for an event or program
  • Subscribe to a newsletter or Blog
  • Call the office
  • Request a quote

Creating a GREAT call-to-action

While every website and business is different there are some general guidelines you can follow when making your call-to-action Remember you should continually test whether your calls-to-action can be improved. Google has some excellent free tools available that will help. Their analytics tool will tell you what people are looking at on your website, while their website optimizer can help you test different combinations of calls-to-action in order to see which works best.

Writing your call-to-action

Words matter. Some words encourage, motivate and even compel people to take action while others don’t. With that in mind, here are some tips for writing effective calls-to-action:

  • Building Desire – Before someone will follow one of your calls-to-action, they first must have a desire for what it is you are offering. By explaining the BENEFITS they will experience by taking that action you are asking them to take you will help give them the motivation to actually do so.
  • Use action-oriented words – Words like “click here” are action words they suggest taking and action and while “click here” is a start you may find the that other approaches will work even better. For example- “Enjoy what you see? Click here to subscribe to our blog for free updates!” is ok while “Enjoy what you see? Subscribe to our blog for free updates!”  Notice the difference? The second one has the desired action contained within the link text.
  • Every page should have a call-to-action– You should include at least one call-to-action within the content on every page of your website – no page should be a dead-end. Ending your content with a call-to-action tells visitors what the next step is and keeps them moving through your website.
  • Avoid confusion –Too many calls-to-action on can be confusing for your visitors. Limit yourself to only a few, and keep them distinct so visitors know what the primary call-to-action is, as well as what you want them to do first.
  • Simple and clear – More people fill out clear short form than long tedious forms. Only ask for absolutely essential information on the initial form. You can always request more info in a follow-up email.

Designing your call-to-action

There has been a tremendous amount of research done on calls-to-action. Here’s some of the Best Practices :

  • Above the fold and in the Eye Path – Your call-to-action must be seen. This means keep it high on the page and prominent enough to not get lost in the surrounding content.
  • Images will draw the eye – Images or icons get people’s attention, they get noticed by your eyes before written content does. Buttons do the same thing and are great to use because they stand out against text and imply action by their very nature.
  • Stand out –There is no “best color” for buttons. The basic rule to use a button color that stands out from the rest of the site.
  • White space – White space around your call-to-action will help it stand out and the eyes of your visitors will naturally be drawn to it. If your call-to-action is squeezed into the surrounding content it will be less effective.
  • Bigger is often better – Those who test and study website conversion analytics often find that increasing the size of a button will increase its effectiveness.Here’s an example of different button colors and content form my presentation on Website Conversion Improvement

Creating effective calls-to-action can have HUGE impact on the effectiveness of your website and the profitability of your business so I hope you found this information helpful and that you will use it to objectively examine your website and its current calls-to-action. Of course I’m always available if you have any questions or if you would like an objective outside opinion.

Have you had any particular success working with calls-to-action on your website or on a website you’ve done for a client? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and experiences!

Imagine… you change the words on the page of your website and 184% more visitors become customers or leads. How much would that be worth to you per month? Per Year? Watch this video very closely (it’s only 2 1/2 minutes) and be sure to visit the link below to learn more.
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Be sure to visit WhichTestWon.com to learn more about this test and hundreds of others.

Online email marketing can make the difference between success and failure. A very personal example is this- Yesterday one of the subscribers to my emails signed up for my Internet marketing coaching program, of course that’s not a big deal, but what makes my point is this. This new client was first added to my list nearly 5 years ago! Now, after hundreds of e-mails from me, he has become a client.

I have dozens and dozens of similar stories, but staying in touch with people over a long period of time is NOT the biggest benefit of email marketing online. The best thing about it is what happens, or at least can happen, in the short term.

Thousands of people have bought my products or services after just 1, 2 or 3 e-mails. By adding value to people, by helping them solve their problems, by demonstrating expertise and by being there when they need what you provide, email marketing can help you nurture relationships and maintain top of mind awareness.

In the video below I show how Insionsoft , the marketing software, is using a an excellent online e-mail marketing strategy to build their customer base.
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Free Report: Internet Marketing Guide

The “About Page” of your website could have a dramatic impact on the results produced by your website. I have added a video to mine and I would love to hear what you think about it. Here’s the link- http://imgmembers.com/about-ed/

I’ll talk more about “About Pages” in the next few days.

 Please your comments below…

SEO for your blog posts is essential. Here’s a personal example:

I was looking at the Google Analytics on this site yesterday and I noticed that out of the last 4,471 visitors to come to the site 3,444 (77%) of them entered the site through a blog page and only 23% entered through the home page or other non-blog pages.

SEO blog tips 

The starting point for any SEO, including blog posts, is identifying the keywords. I use the Google Keyword Tool for this. It’s fast and easy. For example on the post I’m optimizing it for SEO for blog, SEO blog tips and blog and SEO. These are all terms that get thousands of searches per month and competition is relatively light.

It will take a few days for Google to get this page indexed but in a week or so I’ll report back on how it’s ranking.

Once I have identified the keywords I’m going to SEO the blog post for, in this case SEO for blogs, SEO blog tips and blog and SEO, I want to add those keywords into the text of the blog post. You will notice that I have used “SEO for blog” in the headline, the title tag and in the first paragraph. I have also included the keywords throughout the content, including ” blog and SEO” right here. :-) Obviously I’m doing this as an example, but you will notice that many of my blog posts use this SEO formula, it really is a useful tip for blog SEO. :-)

I will also add some optimized inbound links to this posts after it is up.

SEO for blog posts is really a pretty simple process. Identify the keywords you are going to optimize the post for, add them in the title, the title tag and the content. Once the site is live add some optimized links… that’s about it.

Remember to Google on “SEO for blog”, “SEO blog tips” and “blog and SEO” anytime after August 17, 2011 and see where this post is ranking. Of course there is no guarantee. I may have first page rankings on one or more of the keywords and I may not. Some posts are SEO homeruns, some strike outs, but most are solid singles. You get first page rankings for important but not highly competitive, high search volume keywords and if you keep at it it WILL add up. This website is a perfect example, 77% of the visitors “landing”  Search Engine Optimized blog posts.

MarketingSherpa just posted a fascinating Case Study. Find out why — and how — a restaurant chain completely revamped its website to improve usability and customer interaction and accomplished the entire redesign in just eight weeks. Even if your business is almost completely built around customer visits to a physical location, your online presence should still be a major part of marketing efforts. This presence can enhance and improve your brand, or, if poorly executed, actually turn off current and potential customers. Read more (only available until June 12, 2011)

To see the current version f the website in the case study visit- http://www.proteinbarchicago.com/

If you would like help redesigning your website request a NO OBLIGATION QUOTE  at http://internetmarketinggroup.com/

A value proposition is a statement from a business to a potential customer that promises to improve the buyer’s situation by offering a specific benefit or set of benefits.  A compelling value proposition induces the potential customer to buy.

“You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.”

That’s just incredibly compelling!

This is the Value Proposition for Internet Marketing Group-

“Our clients average 29.3 new “Top 10″ rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo!
and a 59.8% increase in website traffic within the first 3 months.”

It doesn’t quite have the ring to it that Domino’s has but I think it speaks to my customer base.

If you are interested in developing or improving your Value Proposition I recommend you watch this Marketing Experiments webinar. Dr. McGlaughlin does an outstanding job of explaining how to develop an exceptional Value Proposition-

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