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Repurpose Marketing Content

Repurposing your content

How do you become more transparent?

Repurposing content is often one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to create an abundance of creative content, while at the same time extending the shelf life of your current marketing investment. Here are a few tips to help you creatively repurpose marketing content:

Combine related blog posts on specific topics into an e-book. Add content as needed to make it flow smoothly from one post to another.

Convert PowerPoint presentations into videos by adding animations, background music, or a voice-over. Maximize exposure by posting your videos on YouTube and sharing links via social media, your website, email, direct mail, and other marketing tools.

Turn publications or articles into podcasts by simply reading them aloud or having a narrative conversation about a topic of interest.

Create a company history timeline highlighting the stages and evolution of your business. Include news releases, company posts, social media announcements, and articles about your company.

Review unconventional content as well, such as an employee handbook that may include an introduction from the president outlining the company’s vision or a well-written summary of your target audience meant to educate new employees.

Archive your news releases in a “news” section on your company website to increase ongoing exposure.

Reuse parts of press releases, case studies, white papers, and other publications. Pull key quotes, stats, facts, and highlights, then use those materials in brochures, newsletters, blog posts, website pages, and email campaigns.

Create a landing page or microsite using in-depth product pages or articles that you’ve already written.

No matter how you repurpose your content, just remember that the more content you create, the easier it is to generate interest, educate and inform prospects and customers, and increase sales.

 

Take a look at a couple of books to review:  “The Referral Engine by John Jantsch”, andWhat would Google do?”, by Jeff Jarvis.  These two books take a look at how to move into the internet world and generate relationships with many nitches and personalization…. give us a call we can help you create that.

Invite Them and They Will Come

Some companies think that a beautiful new website will instantly attract visitors like a moth to a light bulb. However, unless you turn the light on and direct them where to go, your visitors may wander aimlessly into your competitor’s backyard. Here are a few mixed media marketing tips to draw visitors to your website:

    • Create a “web card” that highlights your site’s benefits and entices readers to visit. Mail them as postcards, hand them out at trade shows, distribute them with purchases, and so on.
    • Create videos and post them on YouTube. Not only does Google index your content, but viewers can embed your videos on their blogs and share them via social media.
    • Offer free original content or blog postings to other publications in your niche market. Be sure to include a link to your website to draw new visitors from these high-traffic sources.
    • Distribute news releases to print and web periodicals in your industry. Your website link will remain in news databases for several months and may improve traffic to your site and increase link popularity.
    • Create a short but sweet email signature that encourages readers to visit your new website.
    • Ask partnering or non-competing businesses to link to your site, and do the same in return.
    • Post your website on trade sites and in specialized directories.
    • Include your URL on everything you can think of, ranging from business cards, stationery, and marketing materials, to pens, shirts, hats, mugs, and more.
    • Promote an exciting contest or giveaway, and direct people to sign up on your website.
    • Encourage customer feedback through a survey on your website.
    • Increase your SEO by editing existing content, removing barriers to the indexing activities of search engines, and increasing the number of links your website receives from other web sources.
    • Create a Facebook or Twitter post announcing your website, and offer prizes for the first XX people who visit your website and sign up for your newsletter.
    • Encourage repeat visitors by offering a bookmark button on your website, such as AddThis, a free content-sharing platform that helps you integrate sharing tools into your website, spread your content, and increase social traffic.

Bounce ‘Em Back to Your Site

After all your work hard and marketing efforts enticing prospects to visit your website, it can be frustrating to see high bounce rates. Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term that represents the percentage of visitors who enter your website and bounce — or leave the site — rather than continuing to view other pages within your site or complete a desired action.
Here are a few common website mistakes that are often responsible for driving away potential customers:

    • The basics. An unattractive design, spelling errors, broken links, images that take forever to load, and other annoyances will quickly cause visitors to lose trust and confidence in your business.
    • Poor navigation. If visitors can’t tell where they are, where to click next, or how to get back to your homepage, they will likely just exit.
    • Complicated, lengthy web pages. Instead, provide information that is brief and organized with headlines and sub-headings, bulleted lists, and short paragraphs.
    • Too many distractions. Popup ads, flashing information, and similar devices can easily frustrate or lead visitors away from your site.
    • Dated content. How will visitors know if anything is the latest and greatest information if you don’t take the time to update key areas on your website?
    • Music or sound effects. These are not only annoying, but also embarrassing for visitors viewing your site from a public place. Users will likely close out of your site as quickly as possible.
    • No contact information. While a “contact us” form is helpful, your website should also include your telephone number and physical address. The more contact information you include, the more visitors will be reassured you are legit.
    • Asking too many questions. Requiring too much information from visitors may scare some away. Make it easy for visitors to request additional information by simply asking for their name and basic contact information. Also provide quick turnaround in response to show you respect their time.

Our creative team would love to help you develop outstanding marketing materials to supplement your website. Give us a call today!  We are here to help!

Domains and Hosting: The Basic Upkeeps of a Website

by Scott Prindle

I get questions from clients from time to time asking about various costs for keeping their website up and functional, so I thought I’d put together a small blog article to explain what the specific components are that require upkeep.

There are three major components to a website that have a recurring cost, two of which we’ll be discussing thoroughly: domains and hosting. The third, secure hosting, is more relevant for e-commerce solutions to establish a secure connection with your clients to protect their data when using your server. It’s a rather complicated topic, so a detailed explanation of that will be relegated to a later article.

Domains

Domains are fairly simple to understand and I’ll use an analogy I’ve started using more and more the past few months. Admittedly, this is simplifying the concept, but a domain is sort of like your public listing of your address in the phone book. Normally, a phone book consists of your name, and your address. The purpose of this listing is that if someone is trying to find you, they look your name up and find out your address and/or phone number.

When you purchase a domain online, you’re basically accomplishing the same thing as that listing. Typing in your websites domain in a browser causes your computer to ask the almighty internet to look up your address in the internet phone book and send you to the right place.

What you’re paying for when you purchase a domain is the ownership of that name in the phone book (www.yourdomain.com for example) and the ability to change what the address is for that listing. No one else can change that address unless your registration expires, which you can renew to prevent that from occurring.

Hosting

Continuing this analogy, hosting is the address listed in the phone book. When people look up your domain, they find the address to the computers running your website, and when they go to the address, the hosting computers will serve the website to your visitors. It is where the files for your website are physically located (most likely on a hard drive in a large batch of server towers).

What you are paying for with hosting is the upkeep cost of keeping the computers running and serving your website up when people visit from your phone book listing (domain). The hosting company will make sure the computers don’t break or that anyone loses access to your website (most tout a 99.99% uptime rate, whether that’s wholly true or not).

What makes this separation great?

One of the great benefits of this separation is that it allows you to keep control over your website and how it is served to your visitors. If you’re not happy with a website host, you can always move to a new one and change the address in your domain’s listing to the new host’s address. It should also be mentioned that you can also transfer a domain to a different registrar, though the service quality is generally less important than the hosting.

Our Practices

At Print & Copy Factory, we tend to handle domains for our clients, and run all of our websites through our particular host of choice. This allows us for easier maintenance, managing the listing’s settings, as well as helping you maintain control over your domains for the long term, by notifying you of when the domain is near expiration.

If you’ve ever owned a domain, you’ve probably received a large number of emails about your domain expiring trying to get you to renew your registration. A number of these emails turn out to be different registrars trying to mislead you toward registering with your registrar’s competition. It can often be difficult to spot these, unless you’re used to seeing them or are able to remember the specific company that you are registered with (I can’t fault you for not). This is why we generally try to handle the renewal process for our clients, allowing us to keep a well maintained record and keep track of when a domain needs to be renewed.

Conclusion

That just about covers the various elements of a website’s upkeep and what you’re paying for with each type of service. As always, if you have questions, feel free to email me at scott@printcopyfactory.com

Resources for Web Content and how to make your website better

Came across this great article on information regarding content and evaluation sites, that I wanted to re post in case it disappeared. Thanks Bryan for the great info- you rock!

Original post is from the website:  http://www.grokdotcom.com

33 Free Tools to Make Your Website Better

By Bryan Eisenberg

November 13th, 2008

free toolbox1. Site-Perf – get an accurate, realistic, and helpful estimation of your site’s loading speed. The script fully emulates natural browser behavior downloading your page with all the images, CSS, JS and other files – just like a regular user. A unique feature is that site-perf.com allows to measure packet loss ratio with reasonable precision.

2. Customer Focus Calculator – will analyze the words on your page and determine if your copy is more about yourself or your customer. This tool will measure if you are we-we-ing all over yourself.

3. BT Buckets – Engage your users with a free segmentation and behavioral targeting tool.

4. 4Q from IPerceptions – developed with web analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik. When evaluating how you website is doing obviously it helps to get your customers’ opinions. This free tool helps you answer four important questions:

* How satisfied are my visitors?
* What are my visitors at my website to do?
* Are they completing what they set out to do?
* If not, why not?
* If yes, what did they like best about the online experience?

5. What’s the Buzz? – a keyword research tool with one simple aim: to find out who’s talking about a certain keyword. To do that, it does five things:

* It displays the Technorati Blog Popularity Chart, showing how popular the keyword has been blogged about in the past 90 days
* It displays the Google Trends chart for the keyword
* It finds blog posts tagged with the keyword
* It finds blog posts containing the keyword (a straight-forward search)
* It finds social bookmarks tagged with the keywords

6. Bad Neighborhood Link Checker – scan the links on your website, and on the pages that your website is linking to, and flag possible problem areas.

7. Backlink Social Celebrity SEO Tool – discover who bookmarked a webpage and who linked to that webpage. The bookmarks are searched for in the various social bookmarking services, such as del.icio.us, Raw Sugar, and others. The backlinks are found using Google and Yahoo!.

8. Webbed-O-Meter 2.0 – can help track how effective you are at inspiring consumer generated content online, call it buzz marketing, social media marketing or viral marketing.

9. Website Grader – provides a score that incorporates things like website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors. It also provides some basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective.

10. Spider Simulator – help you find out for yourself how a search engine reacts to your pages and what can be done to boost your visibility.

11. Spider Test – Shows the source code of a page, all outbound links, and common words and phrases.

12. Google Analytics – web analytics with new “enterprise features” and a ton of plugins and hacks.

13. Google Website Optimizer – Free A/B and Multivariate Testing

14. Yahoo! Analytics – still in beta, but incredibly powerful. It is currently available with Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Standard, Professional, and Yahoo! Store plans.

15. Microsoft adCenter Analytics – by invitation only, but you can apply at the link provided.

16. Piwik – This is an open source web analytics solution.

17. Linkscape – allows access to link information on more than 30+ billion web pages across 200+ million domains.

18. BacklinkAnalysis – Get a look at what keywords websites are linking to you with.

19. Trifecta – Measures metrics to estimate the relative popularity and importance of Page, Blog or Domain.

20. Firebug – this plugin for Firefox provides a number of development tools. For the purposes of analysis, Firebug will allow you to monitor and debug HTML, CSS, and JavaScript from within your browser.

21. YSlow for Firebug – YSlow will analyze your page to make suggestions for how you can speed up the page. YSlow is integrated with Firebug.

22. Google Webmaster Tools – see which phrases your ranking well for, what pages are causing problems for Google when crawling your site, which pages are getting the most links, rss subscribers, etc.

23. Morgue File – offers free high resolution digital stock photography for either corporate or public use.

24. OpenAds – for sites that want to serve and track advertising.

25. Sitescore – analyzes the quality of incoming and outgoing links, keyword density, page titles, plagiarism, popularity rank, the usage of popups and the effectiveness of site’s structure. Sitescore also grades the printability, readability, spiderability and usability of the page as well as spelling and W3C compliance. This is no longer available for free, sorry.

26. mon.itor.us – use this to monitor uptime, website performance and other hosting abnormalities.

27. Orangoo Spell Check – spell check your website.

28. The Scrutinizer – offers 283 tools to test your website in one place.

29. Product Indexation Check – use this handy tool to check how many of your category or product pages are included in the major search engines.

30. Kamplye – allows your visitors to give feedback on your site, via a little button that sits at the edge of each webpage.

31. Google’s Free Custom Search Engine – create your own custom search engine, indexing your website or add additonal websites as well.

32. Feng-GUI – generates heatmaps for your website (upload a screenshot) by simulating human vision during the first five seconds of viewing your website.

33. Scrutinizer browser – a web browser, based upon the Adobe AIR toolkit and the WebKit browser, that offers a simulation of the human visual system. Using this simulation, you can get a better idea of how users interact with your site design.

What are some of your favorite free tools to make websites better? Are you having success? If you aren’t satisfied with your progress, or aren’t sure what to do with these tools, maybe you need an OnTarget subscription for continuous improvement. Contact us and find out how we can help.

Design Tip: Color Matching Your Photos Using Photoshop

By Scott Prindle

Keeping your advertising materials at a high caliber of professionalism can be a difficult thing to accomplish, especially when it comes to presenting new content to customers that haven’t been created/proofed by a marketer. We’ll be sharing a quick tip to help your content look more professional through the technique of color matching your photos using Adobe Photoshop.

A Trip to Share

So, let us say that we’ve had a company hike over on Mt. Baker, and wanted to share a set of photos from the adventure with our co-workers (these are taken from my own stash). Here we have our set of images for an article explaining our escapades. Not too bad since they’re all of similar landscapes, but the colors/tone are different because they were taken from different angles, locations, and time of day.
Four Photos from Skyline Divide of the Mt. Baker area.

Let’s Get Editing

The photos themselves don’t look bad, but you can definitely tell that they aren’t matching one another in tone and color. We can fix that with some simple changes in Photoshop, though. Why don’t you go ahead and open the four images in Photoshop.

Choosing a source image

Now that we’ve got the images loaded into Photoshop, you’ll want to look through them all and choose the photo that you want all the other photos to be matched to in color and tone. I went ahead and selected one of the full shots of Mt. Baker, as it has a variety of colors and with a solid balance of contrast and lightness.

The Chosen Source Image

Photoshop Match Color Tool

You’ve got your image set loaded in Photoshop, and you’ve chosen in your mind the photo that you want to match the rest of the set to. Great. Now let’s go ahead and start manipulating the photos to match the source image. Go ahead and navigate to the image you want to edit in Photoshop, and go to Image >> Adjustments >> Match Colors.

Match Color Menu Item

This will bring up a dialogue window that at first seems a little innocuous at first, but you’ll want to look for a dropdown menu labelled “Source” near the bottom of the window, and select the source image’s filename that you’ve opened from Photoshop. This will cause the image you are editing to adjust its color to the source image’s colors.

The Match Color dialogue

You’ll want to adjust the sliders according to your tastes, as settings for one photo may not work for another. There is no golden setting that will make things right, so a little play will be necessary. Anyway, after you’ve found the sweet spot, go ahead and click okay, and voila, you’ll have an edited photo that matches the color of the source image thanks to your efforts.

A single image editted to match the source

I should disclaim here that adjusting the images like this does not guarantee a great print result. You should note that the way your monitor displays an image doesn’t necessarily represent how the image will look like on paper.

After you’ve found settings to your liking, go ahead and confirm the changes, and you’ll have an image that matches the source image’s colors. Repeat this process for all the other images in the set, and you’ll have a presentation that has a level of polish that shows professionalism in your work.

Before and After comparison of editted image set

Conclusion

And there you have it, the overall effect creates an effect of cohesion between the set of images that would not have otherwise been there before. And while with the majority of this article I discuss matching these photos together, you can use it for any number of projects, whether you use it on a set of images on a brochure, your website, a technical manual for your products or a large advertisement poster. One thing I did not mention is that while this process is useful for matching images together, you’ll still want to make sure that the set of images match in some way to the color scheme of what you’ll be presenting them in.

For example, if you have a bunch of orange tinted photos, they’ll starkly contrast on a blue pallete. Basically, color theory is still ever present, but you can use this as just another tool in your toolbox to make a coherent and well designed marketing piece.

 

Let me know if this article was helpful down in the comments below or by firing me off an email at scott@printcopyfactory.com

Spreading the word about your website

So you’ve got your brand spankin’ new website, and you’re wanting to get some traffic to it to drum up business? We decided to come up with a multitude of ideas to help set you on the right path. While there is some overlap with some of my previous articles, the refresh will be useful, as each aspect, especially in the online section, synergize very strongly.

Direct Mail

One of the more traditional methods of marketing, creating a direct mail piece allows you to advertise directly through conventional mail systems with a postcard advertisement of some sort, whether it’s to alert customers to an event, or a new special. It’s best if you specifically target your mailing database’s demographic to something that is relevant to your industry.

For example, say your business is a pet store and there’s a coming sales event going on at the store in the coming month. To advertise for it, you could specifically target neighborhoods near your business, and within those specific demographics you could further break it down such as  by houses containing a pet owner, or by income levels of the property. Targeting a specific demographic like that would allow you to cut down on the cost of the mailing piece, removing people from the list that would be unlikely to find your piece of advertising useful.  (We have a whole class dedicated to this topic).

Local Signage

A fairly cheap method of marketing, yard signs are a good way to get started on increasing local exposure to your website. You can create yard signs, flyers, bulletin board pull tag signs, for example, to increase spread the word; you can even place a sticker in the your rear-view window. As a side tip, placing these in areas where people would be interested in your services or field of influence will increase your sign’s effectiveness.

This strategy is great to get an initial batch of visitors to your website, and is especially effective if your business is oriented locally. On the other side of the coin, this form of marketing is limited by your geographical range of the sign placement, as well as the time involved with the placement.

Search Engine Optimization

Content is King! One of the more important aspects of content creation for a website is knowing how important it is to properly infuse the site with content that will relate to Search Engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!) what your website is about, whether it’s lawn-mowing, cake-baking, or industrial excavation.

When you start thinking about your website content, think about what a customer would be visiting your website for. Ask yourself not what product they’re looking for, but rather what the solution you’re providing with your product or service is. If you cater your content to relate how you will solve your client’s problem, you’ll have a better chance of achieving stronger SEO.

You can do this by brainstorming words and phrases your customers would be trying to search when looking for solutions to the problem you’ve set your sights on optimizing for. For example, a website that sells hiking gear could list out all the products in their catalogue and approach SEO from purely selling their products. It’ll probably work, but it won’t be nearly as effective as if they also were able to convey through the use of their keywords and phrases that their products solved issues specifically related to hiking and how they solved those problems. If they were able to correctly convey that information to google, when people searched up how to solve those issues with hiking, then their hiking gear website would come up more often than just the straight catalogue site.

Now, this doesn’t touch the surface of SEO, and if you’re serious about working on improving your site’s SEO, I’d recommend researching the topic further. There’s a lot of intricacy to it, and it is constantly evolving, so it’s good to learn as much as possible about the topic. For example, searching a term like “hiking solutions” will output different results than “solutions hiking” (for the sake of clarity, it’s because the term in the front of the search phrase is given more weight than words at the end of the phrase). You might not know that unless you are familiar with the functionality of a search engine.

For more information on SEO, please check out SEO class and or read this introductory SEO article by SEO Moz.

Social Media

Taking advantage of Social Media can be a strong persuader of people to use your services. Create a public page on a social media site, and begin posting topics that are relevant and useful to your customer base. Don’t try and sell your services through these pages, but rather use it as a place to say “Hey, we think this information is really fun and useful. Oh, and by the way, if you’re interested, you can take a look at our products and services here”. Try and keep the type of posting to a 33% insights, 33% personal and 33% about the business.

This creates a no-pressure relationship that will naturally build stronger if the customer finds your content sharing intrinsically valuable. The power of Social Media kicks in when you have a number of these customers that value your social media efforts. When you make a post, you’re increasing the chances of others that value your content will share it, which is free advertising, as well as an implied endorsement of your products/services.

This can also be sweetened by rewarding subscribers through various promotional deal systems offered through social media websites, but that’s getting into a little more detail than is needed for an idea article.

Blogging

Blogging operates on a somewhat similar level as Social Media, but also helps greatly with SEO, and integrates strongly with both tools (this article being an example). We discussed earlier in the SEO section about how conveying to your customers how you solve their problems is one of the better ways of converting them to a customer, this is one of the better ways to accomplish that.

A blog is often a side-section of a website where companies post both formal and informal publications about topics related to their business and industry. It can be fun, silly, topical, or product related, but it needs to be informational, useful, and concise for your customers.

The reason why this is such a great place to develop your business’ marketing is that each article you post becomes a part of your website’s content that gets related to search engines. To use the hiking gear example above, you could make a post about regional openings of trails in the region, showing pictures of the trails taken by employees in their free time, and their experiences on the trails would be great ideas for content creation. This also works well as a way of sharing the company’s passion for their industry as well.

If you see a post online on another website that is related to a blog post from your website, you can make a comment on their blog describing your article and why it’s relevant to their article with a link.  The key is not come off as trying to sell or drive people there, but rather that you’re trying to share information to be helpful. A take-it-or-leave-it approach is especially important on the internet, as people quickly become dissuaded when they feel pressured by salesmanship.

Online Newsletter

Supplying articles and information rich in relevant content to your customers is a great method of establishing a loyal customer base. This can be done in a physical form, but you can capably make newsletters online for your customers. There are restrictions in regards to how one can send these online newsletters. You can find the guidelines for a well-operated newsletter at the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s website.

We tend to use a service called Mailchimp for our newsletters, as it helps automate the process of subscriptions and message delivery. We also offer to help perform newsletter creation and delivery for you at a nominal charge, but you are able to do it yourself with some tech savvy, time, and effort.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising, such as pay-per-click ads, are useful tools to supplement your more organic efforts at online marketing (SEO, social media, blogging). They are also more expensive from a monetary perspective. The other major drawback is that you can also spend a lot of money and not get a very big return on your investment unless you’re careful.

It’s best in this arena to start out small. Try making two variations of an ad on a small budget, and see how well the two of them perform. Make two variations of the version that performed better and see which of those variants worked better in round 2. You can repeat this process ad nauseum until you have a specific.

Conclusion

Admittedly, this is a bit of an exhaustive list, but it’s meant to give you ideas that you can implement right now to promote your business’ website. It barely touches the surfaces of these topics, however, but you can research these topics further on the internet or stop by and ask us for further help. We’re called “You’re Marketing Resource Center” for a reason, you know! You can learn more by searching these topics on Google, or by taking a look at our available classes in the near future.

The 411 on 404 Pages: Taking the Ugly Out of Errors

If prospects and customers make the effort to visit your website, the last thing you want them to do is experience a frustrating dead-end “404 error” message that discourages them from continuing. These messages commonly occur when a page has been renamed, removed, or moved from its previous location. Instead of losing potential business over a faulty link, here are a few ways to give an ugly error page a marketing makeover:

  • Customize your 404 page so it is recognizable as part of your website. Feature your web banner, logo, or a similar color scheme.
  • Provide the basic structure of your website’s navigation tools, so users can navigate elsewhere within your site without closing the webpage in frustration. Also consider including a home link as a convenient way to start over.
  • Include a friendly message that apologizes for the inconvenience.
  • Encourage users to continue searching by offering a “site search” box. Some users who are frustrated with an error message may be more likely to type in a keyword than spend time sorting through your website’s navigation.
  • Consider adding a lighthearted quote or humorous graphic to your 404 page that allows your website’s personality to shine through.
  • Provide an easy way for users to report broken links, such as including an automated “report this link” button that users can click to report the broken link to your web support team. Be sure to follow-up if broken links are reported.

Of course, the best way to avoid error messages is by frequently visiting your own website and clicking through pages and links to be sure everything is in working order. Websites are visited more often than many storefronts, so be sure to keep your site presentable and ready for business.

What Are Your Product Photos Saying?

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, have you ever thought about what your photos are saying? We live in a visual age, where images surround us. Whether on your website, marketing materials, billboards, or ads, the photos you choose to represent your products and services are very important. Here are a few tips to ensure your photos are saying what you want:

  • Don’t photograph your products on a cluttered shelf. Rather, depict them in use in an appropriate abstract environment or on a clean white background.
  • Save your originals, and don’t reduce their file size. You never know when you’ll need to re-purpose images, such as if you want a low-res image from your website to work in a high-resolution print brochure.
  • Take a lot of photos when you have the opportunity. You may be surprised how a new angle or different lighting can change the appeal and appearance of your products.
  • If images don’t do justice for your products, don’t use them. Consider posting a “photo coming soon” placeholder, rather than posting a poor-quality photo. But do so only if you fully intend to post an image later.
  • Adjust the resolution of photos on your website to ensure they won’t slow the load time for the page. Nothing is worse than a great photo nobody has the patience to download and see.
  • Use intriguing photos to supplement Facebook posts and create additional interest. Organize these photos into albums for easy viewing, and use relevant album names, such as “new products,” “seasonal promotions,” and so on.

Websites and Driving Traffic Toward Them

So, I had a client this morning inquire about getting their website on the top of search results, which is a great question, so I thought I’d try to share some resources and information about it. Websites are seemingly straightforward at a glance but there are countless aspects to each that require a lot of considerations to make when building and utilizing them. I’d like to share some information on a couple of different topics, but the main point of each is to optimize traffic toward your website through Social Media and Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization

One of the major factors in how you are ranked in search results is the content of your website. If a website is not updated frequently, its pagerank will be lower, as a more up-to-date website tends to have, well, more up-to-date information. Having consistent content creation for your website gives search engines something new to parse each time they analyze your website for content, increasing your pagerank.

Not only that, but your website will contain a much larger repertoire of content that contains keywords. When a search engine looks at your website content, they’ll note these keywords and relate them to your website. So when someone searches for that keyword at a search engine like Google, you’ll be considered more strongly by the indexing robots because of that article you wrote about weather winterization for a heating or house-siding business, in example.

One caveat to this is that it is an organic process that occurs over time. You can’t expect to write an article and have your website instantly become #1 for all the tangential topics related to your business. This is because your website is indexed periodically by search engine indexing robots,  as it takes time to calculate where you’ll fit into the pageranks with the advent of new content. It is a slow process that will over time develop into a more lucrative return, given consistent effort and management.

Social Media

Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google+ are powerful tools for leveraging your business to customers, but how does one best utilize these networks to drive traffic to your website? You, as the business owner need to entice users to get involved, whether through special deals (facebook just rolled out an updated check-in deals mechanism on their website), offers, providing content, hosting events at your business, etc. But one great way to reach out to customers is through Content Creation.

Content Creation

Creating content for your customers that is relevant, interesting, and engaging is extremely important for using the internet as a business tool. Engaging your customers with articles that help them better use your products or services helps develop a relationship with them that only increases over time. Consistent content creation through the blog also allows you to pop up on Social Media news feeds by sharing the articles on your business page. This not only increases awareness of your business by popping up in a fan’s newsfeed, but also links people back to your website.

Your website’s main purpose may not be to blog, but the driving content will bring your customer to your website, which is the important consideration. If they read the article, that’s great, mission accomplished. They may not need your services at this time, but you’ve enriched their experience, which will increase the relationship between you and that customer. Not only will traffic be brought to your site, increasing chances of people to look at other things on your site, such as your products and services, but you’ll also develop a marketing team out of this customer base that reads your content.

This is the underlying strategy of Social Media Marketing. To entice your customer base through instrinsic value to do marketing for you– by sharing the content you’ve created through deals, articles, etc., but also the more basic sharing: word-of-mouth recommendations.

Some Last Thoughts

All of these tools are at your disposal as a means of increasing your business’ online presence, driving traffic to your website, developing stronger relations with your customers, and increasing your pagerank in search results. The main advantage of these strategies is that they are cost-efficient and sustainable, and all it takes is time and effort(I can hear the groans already!). None of them are a magic bullet that’ll solve all of your pageranking blues, propelling you into sky-high success, but when managed properly and consistent, these avenues of communication can be a powerful utility among your toolset.

By Scott Prindle

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