Posts

Video: Preparing for a New Website

As a business owner, build a strong online presence so you can sell your products and be recognized as an expert in your industry

Marketing Communications Specialist and web designer Caren Libby understands the needs of business owners and supports them each step of the way as they build a website that attracts their ideal customers. In this video, Caren introduces the importance of:

  • Building effective strategies to respond effectively to needs and wants of your target market
  • Becoming a trusted advisor in the lives of customers through consistent support and information
  • Making the complex simple for your clients and hand-holding them through the process
  • Determining your identity and the many different, yet consistent faces of it you create and promote
  • Clarifying all connections with your audience and communicating why they matter
  • Defining and implementing email marketing processes to create ongoing sales touches
  • Identifying and positioning a consistent look, feel and message in not only your website but all your collaterals
  • Measuring and tracking your client responses so you can continually improve relationships you are nurturing and cultivating

As founder of Image Media LLC, Caren Libby has been creating a powerful online presence for corporate, non-profit and small businesses since 2008. She provides photography, web design and marketing services that align her clients' business goals with a professional and dynamic web presence - from strategy to launch and beyond. You can contact Caren at caren@carenlibby.com.

Video: Brand Personas – What and Why

Creating Brand Personas can help build a stronger culture and brand for your business. Learn what larger corporations have been doing for quite some time now.

What is a brand persona? A fictional profile of customer types written down in plain English. Why create Brand Personas? They help you understand your customers better. Instead of nameless, faceless, demographic data that makes it harder for you to have empathy, create personas that allow you to understand that pain points of your customers. After all, Branding = Relationship. And you can’t build relationships if all you are basing your marketing on is statistics.

To truly understand your prospects and customers, you need to have a relationship and understand motivations and hardships. Creating Brand Personas can help you create a customer-centric culture and improve your marketing initiatives.

Video: Keyword Research – What and Why

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is forgetting about Keyword Research before executing online marketing tactics.

What is keyword research? It is research to find out how certain keywords will perform and generate traffic on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Why go through the trouble of keyword research? Google is the new Yellow Pages in today's world. Information is available 24/7 through the Internet and other media channels. Smart devices now connected us more than ever before and make content widely available for consumers to make more informed decisions. If you want your business to be found online, it is best to know what your audience is tying in rather than making assumptions. You can also learn a lot about what your competition is doing and why they may be outranking you on search results.

Keyword research can be considered a turbo boost on how to get more traffic.

Video: Business Websites

A brochure website is very static. There’s so much more business owners can do with their website to gain a greater return on investment.

Web development expert Cesar Keller answers the question, “what is the difference between a brochure website and a business website?” His answer is that a brochure website is a very static website, simply a dump of content. There’s so much more that business owners can do to gain a return on investment. Today’s websites include the brochure data but are capable of extending value way beyond that aspect alone. Cesar Keller reminds viewers that among other things, your website can:

  • Assist you in building a pipeline of prospects
  • Be a living, breathing mechanism that brings you business
  • Incorporate tools that automate the building of your business
  • Provide processes that automatically function to save you time and gain you connections
  • Help you to convert prospects by moving them through the process steps that ultimately lead to sales

To learn more about and see the results possible through the skills and proven track record of Cesar Keller and SimpleFlame, call Cesar at 314-266-3485 or email him at cesar@simpleflame.com

Writing for the Web

Content… it's the meat of your website.  A beautiful design can only get you so far.  It’s important to not only consider your message, but also refine the way you write your message for users to absorb on-screen.

 

Imagine how you feel when you visit a web site and immediately feel overwhelmed by small text and an abundance of content?  The messaging could be perfect, but the delivery of the message needs to be refined for the web medium.  Often times, companies approach content for their website like well-written documents, like reports, marketing literature, brochures, etc.  Web writing requires a unique approach, and in fact should seem very personable.  Besides some basic marketing writing tips, I will cover a few critical considerations that make a huge difference in how your website visitors digest your website information.

Write for Your Audience

As a rule of good marketing, make sure you have identified your target audience, and write to their needs, pain points or goals. It would be great to consider the following questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What content are they looking for?
  • What do they know about the topic/issue?
  • What are their reasons for reading this text/page?

In addition to identifying the information for your audience, also consider the relationship you want to create with your visitors, and ensure your tone matches.

Write for the Medium

This is where most people have the hardest time.  Writing for the Web is very different from writing for print. Visitors will not print your web pages and read them.  Users come to your site, and make a snap decision if this is “the right place”.  If they cannot figure out who you are, what you do and whether you are relevant to what they are looking for, they will leave.

People do not read a website, in the traditional sense.  79% of users scan the page instead of reading word-for-word. This could mainly be because reading from computer screens is 25% slower than from paper. It’s important to note that in our information age, attention is the scarce resource.  To ensure your content is digested, a good rule of thumb is to keep web content 50% of the word count of its paper equivalent.

In addition to text, since users like to scan, remember to vary your “content.”  Information can be presented a number of different ways on a website that is not as ideal in print. Take advantage of your medium.

Include Search-related Keywords

Besides direct traffic from clients and referred visitors, people find you, your services, solutions and/or products through search.  In fact, more than half of web users rely on search engines to navigate pages or find relevant information online. So it’s important to use keyword-rich, relevant query terms on pertinent pages that can be used to search for the topic of the page.  The reason this is so important is because search engine results only provide relevant queries, which is based on the relevancy of certain keywords used within the context of the page.  You hear people reference being at the top of Google. This is very true; people typically do not go past page 1 or 2 of a search query.

The best way to generate a list of your ideal keywords is to research common synonyms and generic terms used by customers or competing companies, and include those within the content of the page.

These tips help improve your visitor’s time on site and with conversions, even if that means a successful contact form submission. If you can talk the right talk to your identified audience, write specific to the web medium, understand how people use the web to digest information, and ultimately craft your message to be tracked appropriately by Google using relevant, keyword-rich content to your visitors, your web writing has worked for you.

For deeper strategies, techniques and takeaways on writing specifically for the web, read “Essential Strategies for Web Writing”, available to Academy members.