website strategy

Website Redesign | Content Creation

by Christi on February 27, 2012

It is important to understand that original content is what will generate more traffic. Content creation is a continuous process that must be given priority. A blog is a great way to deliver fresh, new content.
Consider this:
• Blogging results in a 55% increase in website visitors.

• Search engines like fresh content, which will increase your number of indexed pages.

• People like fresh content:
• Companies that blog have 2x as many twitter followers than those that donʼt.
• Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those that donʼt.

Original content is your websiteʼs messenger: it will inform your prospects on what you do, and how passionately you do it. With a vast array of formats to create content on, you should always be continuously contributing original content to keep your prospects engaged and constantly interacting with your website.

Download the free eBook: 7 Steps to Website Redesign Success to see some other vehicles for original content.



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You many want an interactive and flashy homepage that entices your user; however, it is important to understand that fundamentals need to be addressed first. Always keep in mind what is most important to your visitors!

Homepage Redesign
Source: HubSpot, The Science of Website Redesign, June 2011

What is most important to your visitors is that they are able to find what they want. That makes sense. Remember, inbound marketing is all about being there when your customer is looking for you, giving them what they want and converting them into leads/customers for your business.

Your homepage is the face of your services or products. You only get one chance to impress that visitor, so make sure you carefully place the essentials you want them to know on your homepage. It should also act as a launching platform to places where they can contact you in the future (i.e. blog, social media, etc.)

In order to really get the most out of a website redesign, companies need to construct their website in the context of a greater Internet marketing strategy.You can get our checklist of the key issues to address on your homepage from our free eBook: 7 Steps to Website Redesign Success.




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Website Redesign | 2nd Step to Success

by Joe B on February 23, 2012

Insure that your Websiteʼs Assets are In Order and Safe

You can actually do more damage than good by trying to undertake a website redesign on your own without understanding how you must protect the existing assets of your current site.

  • Website assets such as content, inbound links, keyword rankings, and conversion tools are critical to a strong web presence.
  • To preserve your web presence, you must keep track these assets to insure that they are all transferred in the redesign process.

It is important to do an asset assessment before you embark on a website redesign.

If you do not fully understand the importance and practice of proper SEO, doing a website redesign can be more damaging than helpful. If you do not feel comfortable around SEO work, it may be best to hire specialists to perform the redesign so all the hard work you have put into making a web presence does not disappear. Be sure to ask your website designer if s/he understands the importance of maintaining your current website’s assets and of using 301 redirects in a website redesign. If not, find another website designer.

Don’t guess when doing a website redesign – find out how to do it right! Download our free ebook: 7 Steps to Successful Website Redesign today!

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Website Redesign | 1st Step to Success

by Christi on February 22, 2012

The 1st step to a successful website redesign is to determine why you need a redesign at all. Actually, website redesign is a continuous process that is just as much about functionality as it is design. There are definitely good reasons for a website redesign. To be successful you must think it through and set your redesign goals.

Wrong Reasons For Redesign
“We have a new corporate look and feel.”
“Itʼs been 12 months since our last redesign.”
“The CEO wants to do it.”

Right Reasons for Redesign
“Want to get found by more prospects.”
“Want to convert more prospects into leads and eventually, customers.”
“We want to improve branding.” (Only appropriate if oriented around one of the previous reasons.)

Misguided reasons for redesigning your website are driven by the thought that the freshness and “wow factor” of a new website will increase excitement over your brand. The main motivations behind website renovations should be to improve the performance of your website. A beautiful website, although intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, is secondary to a functional traffic and lead generating website.

Don’t guess – find out how to do it right! Download our free ebook: 7 Steps to Successful Website Redesign today!



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Internet Marketing Strategy

by Christi on February 17, 2012

Internet Marketing Improvement Steps

While you should try to reach long-term internet marketing goals, there are some short-term steps you should take to get there. The following are some elements of your website you can refine so you can reach your broader goals:

Keywords: Try new keywords or variations of keywords to see if they help you get found better. Since each page on your site can incorporate different keywords, there are tons of ways to do this.

On-Page SEO: See if changing a simple on-page factor can help boost visits. Examples of on-page factors are page title, meta description, and headings. As a simple test, try changing the page title of one of your web pages to see if you generate more traffic.

Conversions: Try new things with your conversion forms or landing pages. For example, try making the conversion form more prominently located on your web page.

Content Strategy: Determine which content is generating the most traffic. This could be an opportunity to either focus more on that kind of content, or refine your delivery of other content.

Social Media Promotions: Evaluate which social media channels are generating the most site visitors and leads. Again, you can either focus on your successful social media platforms, or try improving your performance in your less successful ones.

Lead Nurturing: Maybe you’re sending emails too frequently — or not frequently enough. Maybe the calls-to-action in your email are not appropriate for your audience. Always keep experimenting and testing.

Internet marketing may seem a bit daunting in the beginning. However, if you break it down into steps and tackle one at at time, it makes the process easier and you can more quickly start seeing results. Download the Essential Internet Marketing Guide today to see more information about all of the steps and to start seeing great results in your internet marketing today.



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Once you have your internet marketing strategies in place, you need to find the best way to use all the techniques to get found online and generate new customers.

5 Steps for Analyzing & Refining Internet Marketing Strategies

  1. Implement an Analytics Program: In order to analyze, you need to have an analytics program in place.
  2. Identify Opportunities: Figure out what you want to improve. Get in the mindset of constantly looking for new opportunities.
  3. Set a Metric for Success: Your metric should be quantifiable and involve a set time frame.
  4. Refine: Analyze how your programs performed and make changes.
  5. Evaluate: Determine if you’ve met your success metric. Continue to monitor it to make sure the improvement has a long-term effect.

Metrics to Analyze

Before diving into how to improve them, let’s first discuss what the relevant metrics are. This is just a minimal list of what you should be monitoring.

  • Website Grade: How well optimized is your website overall?
  • Traffic: Overall, how many people are coming to your website?
  • Leads: How much of this traffic are you converting into leads (e.g. potential customers)?
  • Customers: How many sales did you close this month?
  • Customer Acquisition Cost: How much are you investing to draw in each new customer?
  • New vs. Repeat Visitors: Of your overall traffic, how many visitors are returning to your site, and how many new people are finding you?
  • Effectiveness by Channel: What promotional channels or referring sources are sending you the most traffic?
  • Traffic by Keywords: Which keywords are drawing in the most visitors to your site?

Steps for Improvement

The following are some elements of your website you can refine so you can reach your broader goals:

  • Keywords: Try new keywords or variations of keywords to see if they help you get found better.
  • On-Page SEO: See if changing a simple on-page factor can help boost visits.
  • Conversions: Try new things with your conversion forms or landing pages.
  • Content Strategy: Determine which content is generating the most traffic.
  • Social Media Promotions: Evaluate which social media channels are generating the most site visitors and leads.
  • Lead Nurturing: Maybe you’re sending emails too frequently — or not frequently enough.

The key is to alway keep experimenting and testing.

Get more information on Analyzing & Refining Internet Marketing Strategies as part of a successful internet marketing strategy from the Free ebook: Essential Guide to Internet Marketing. Download it today!
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Are You Mobile Friendly?

by Christi on February 15, 2012

Having a mobile friendly website is essential to a successful internet marketing strategy. mobile strategySmart phones have changed the way people shop, communicate and live. According to a survey by telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson, 35 percent of Android and iPhone owners in the U.S. use apps such as Facebook before getting out of bed. In 2010, over 50% of internet access was done via a handheld device. Many of the under 30 crowd don’t have a land line and never use yellow pages.

We used to say if you aren’t on the web, you are invisible to much of your market. Now, you have to think about being found and seen on mobile or you will be invisible to much of your market.

  • Try it out and see. Look at how your website shows up on a mobile device (or if it can even be rendered by mobile). Does it need some work? Think about adding a mobile friendly version of your site that will render when it is being viewed on mobile.
  • Check out your social media presence. Are you building your network on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter? If someone asks, “Does anyone know someone who _______________?” (fill in the blank), will anyone think of you and your business? If you have social media accounts that you don’t use to engage and inform, you may not be on the radar for a recommendation.
  • Consider offering mobile coupons and running mobile ads to drive traffic to your location. Studies show that mobile ads are five times more effective than internet ads.

Get some great tips and advice for being not just mobile friendly but for using mobile as part of a successful internet marketing strategy from the Free ebook: Essential Guide to Internet Marketing. Download it today!



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Nurturing Leads With Email Marketing

by Joe B on February 14, 2012

Lead nurturing is the process of developing that relationship with your potential customer by sending targeted, relevant, and valuable messages to them in a timely manner. Companies that excel at lead nurturing are able to generate more sales-ready leads at a lower cost-per-lead.

Email Marketing Best Practices:

List Building

  • Create opt-in opportunities.
  • Give people a reason to opt-in.
  • Only send messages to people who have explicitly opted in.

Sending

  • Stay relevant.
  • Get personal. Use a name and email address in the “from” line of your email that your recipients will recognize.
  • Get into the mind of your recipient and ask, “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) Make the value clear in both the email body and the subject line.
  • Don’t rely on images.
  • Be consistent.
  • Brush up on CAN-SPAM regulations to make sure your email practices comply.

Converting

  • What do I do here? When someone opens your email, make it clear what they’re supposed to do.
  • The landing page is part of your email campaign. Make sure your email offer and landing page flow.

Measuring

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) measures response.
  • What about open rate? Open rate is an increasingly unreliable metric. Focus instead on how many clicks your email received.
  • Unsubscribe rate measures annoyance and spam. You want to make sure your unsubscribe rate does not exceed 5%.
  • Conversion rate measures actions. Test different landing pages to improve the conversion on your website.

Lead nurturing is all about developing relationships with your leads. Do it right and it can payoff big time.

For more information on nurturing leads with email marketing download our “Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing”.




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Create a Business Blog & Other Content

by Joe B on February 9, 2012

Business blogging and creating other content, like ebooks and webinars, are powerful ways to help more of the right people discover your business online.

How to Think About Business Blogging

When business blogging, try to think like a magazine publisher. The goal of your business blog should be to publish articles that are not promotional but instead share industry expertise.

Getting Set Up With Blogging

There are many paid and free tools available that will let you start blogging easily. The most important thing you can do when you first start blogging is to make sure your blog is a section of your business website. A blog makes your website more dynamic. Search engines reward higher rankings to websites that consistently add fresh content.

Blogging Platforms to Consider

Some of the blogging platforms for your business include HubSpot, WordPress, Drupal and Posterous. These platforms all offer a content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily add and update content without having to know any HTML code or calling you webmaster to post changes.

Key Components of a Great Blog Post

While it is important that your blogging software be easy to use, it is more important that the content you create be interesting.

A well-constructed blog post should include several key components:

  • An Attention-Grabbing Article Title
  • Well Written & Formatted Text
  • Images/Videos
  • Links
  • Call-to-Action

Deciding What to Blog About

A great way to start business blogging is to think about the 10 most common questions you get asked by prospective new customers. Take each one of those questions and write a short article explaining an answer. Use each of these articles as a blog article.

Convert Blog Visitors Into Leads

The purpose of your blog and your website is to help you get new customers. You do this by converting your visitors into leads, and then nurturing those leads until they become customers. You can convert your blog visitors into leads by using calls-to-action (CTAs). These CTAs work best if the offer is closely related to the subject matter of the blog post.

Other Types of Content

Blog content isn’t the only type of content you can be creating. Consider producing longer-form content items like ebooks, whitepapers, or research reports. Also consider using how-to videos, webinars, slideshows, etc.

For more tips about how to use internet marketing effectively, download the Essential Guide to Internet Marketing today!



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SEO and Keyword Strategy

by Christi on February 8, 2012

SEO New OrleansSEO (search engine optimization) is the next step in our internet marketing strategy. If you are following along as we go through the steps included in the Essential Guide to Internet Marketing, you will remember that the first step was researching keywords. Now that you have identified some good keywords, what should you do with them?

Keywords can help your site get found by search engines and that is what SEO is all about. SEO can be broken down into two categories:

On-page SEO – This refers to the way your content is presented to search engines and how your keywords are used on your site. This is something that you can improve immediately.

Off-page SEO – This refers to the authority your site has on the web. This can take some time to improve.

Even though on-page SEO accounts for less in how search engines rank your site. It is a good idea to correct this first because  it can be improved quickly and keyword placement is an essential part of on-page SEO.

Where should you place your keywords for good on-page SEO?

  1. Page Title – Page titles are the text you see at the top of your browser when you are on a web page. A page title can be edited in your site’s HTML. Be sure to include the keywords for your page in the page title. Your page title should be less than 70 characters and your keywords should be at the first of the title. Each page on your site gives you an opportunity to target different keywords that are relevant to your business and to your site’s visitors.
  2. Meta Description – While your page’s meta description does not directly influence your search engine rankings, it is still a good opportunity to include your keywords to help you attract visitors to your site. Your meta description is a summary of what your page is about. It is not seen on your page, but is shown by search engines when your site is included in search results.
  3. Headings – The text that is included in your headings (those that are surrounded by <Hx> tags in the html code) are seen by search engines as being important. Be sure to include your keywords in your headings.
  4. Images – Images can certainly enhance your visitors’ experience on your website. Images also give you an opportunity to use your keywords. You can use your keywords in your image file names as well as the images’ alt text. Don’t use images excessively because it can slow down the amount of time it takes your page to load which can negatively impact your search results.

As important as keywords are, it is also important that you don’t “keyword stuff.” That is, don’t just fill a page with your keywords. Not only will keyword stuffing make for a bad experience for your visitors, search engines can detect keyword stuffing and it can adversely affect your rankings. Trying to “trick” search engines is not a good SEO strategy.

To get more in-depth information about how to use your keywords effectively for SEO, (both on-page and off-page), download the Essential Guide to Internet Marketing. This guide will give you the essential  steps you need to set up and implement a successful internet marketing strategy.



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