Monday, July 27, 2015

Crucial List on Website Marketing for a Small Business and eCommerce

A business with a small budget for marketing can advantage these website ideas from an experienced marketing expert. Regardless of your budget, it is important to be creative with your marketing to gain the most from your efforts. Creative marketing captures and holds attention. It is vital to grab the prospect's interest first to incite any further action, such as a website visit, purchase, or call.

1.    Get a website

Today, most people will visit a website after they've viewed an advertisement, if they are interested. Everyone goes online to research, especially for bigger budget decisions. Thus, your website should be in tip-top shape. As a small business owner or sole proprietor, having a website is a top priority and it's very affordable. Many web hosts, like, have free websites when you buy a domain name and their hosting. Some even have eCommerce frameworks from which to build on, though you may need assistance with that. The point is to have a website, any website is better than none. Do the best with what you have and can do.

You can begin with a smaller budget website and after your business has grown, have it redesigned for marketing reasons. Marketing is a necessary means to grow your business big and quickly. Investing in marketing will pay back many times more than what's put in, but it's imperative to make smart and educated decisions.

A website legitimizes a business and makes known what is offered. Even if it's a small website consisting of a few pages, there are too many reasons to list on why every business should have a website. Profile pages on branded websites, such as Yelp, are a nice addition to your marketing mix. However, they will never match the capability of a website that can fully express your business offering. Get a website and a domain name unique to your business.

If you already have a website, and it is down a lot, I highly recommend upgrading your website host.

Losing website visitors, and thus customers, because your website is down is a tragedy. Spending an extra few dollars a month is well worth all the customers you may be losing.

2.    Get it professionally designed

I want to stress that a professionally designed website can go a long way in increasing your sales. However, it's important to choose the right website design company. There are many facets of website design that make some websites perform better than others, such as user-friendliness, the graphic design and images, and other factors. Of course, the content on the website, which is the meat of it, is going to make a big difference on how effective it is.

If your website looks like an ancient relic, an inference may be made about your product or service.

If your website looks like it was made in 1980, it was due an update decades ago, unless you're targeting a niche of hipster teeny boppers. If not, it is highly advisable to modernize the look of the website so that people won't draw the conclusion that perhaps your product or service also belongs in the 80's.

To give your website a more modernized look without spending a lot, update all the images and content, and simplify. Remove outdated graphics or elements. Add elements that are representative of your business now, such as social media buttons or links to your social media profiles, like Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to have professional looking photos of any employees that are on your site. 

3.    The right marketing creates customers

In short, the better the website, the better your sales. That concept can be applied to all marketing efforts. The better your ads, communication with customers, marketing strategy, and so on, the better your sales. Marketing, when done right, creates customers.

4.    Copywriting and graphic design should be carefully thought out

The same can be said of advertisements, the graphic design (including colors and images) and copywriting should reflect a professional image that uplifts your business. If the graphic design being used is one had since day one, it's probably outdated.

When marketing looks outdated, some people will assume the product or service is also outdated. You may have the best product or service around, your marketing should reflect that.

Do you want people to think you are not up to date in the industry, in the tools you use, in current trends with new technologies and business partners? Think of it this way... How would you feel, if you visited a dentist for a cleaning, laid back in your chair and he started to lay out his tools that appeared like they were from the Middle Ages? You probably wouldn't feel very comfortable or confident in his service. You might question whether he would give you the best dental cleaning. You may even excuse yourself to the restroom and run out.

5.    Contact information should be prominent on all pages of your website

The website should have contact information such as an online form, email link, and/or phone number displayed prominently. Don't hide the contact information or make people search endlessly through your site to find it. Don't make people do more than they have to. Research has shown that most people visit websites and make decisions within the first 30 seconds. Make it easy for people to contact you and place the contact information in a prominent section on every page.

Your profile pages, such as Facebook and Yelp, should have your contact information and a link to your website.

Contact information should be placed on all advertisements, whenever possible and where it makes sense.

6.    A phone number is good, a toll free number is better

A toll free number is especially important if you get or would like clients or customers outside of your local area, such as other cities or states. If the website engages in eCommerce, (it has a shopping cart), then a toll free number is highly recommended.

A phone number and website is usually the best contact information to display on all ads, either online or offline. Research has shown that having a phone number displayed increases sales. A toll free number is a great investment and shows people you are serious about doing business. Try and get a toll free number that is easy to remember; you can use word(s) describing your business, such as the service, product, or brand name.  There are many services with good rates on toll free numbers, such as and

Affordable online forms to put on your website are easy to implement at I've used all the company services I've recommend in this blog, in the past, for different businesses I've worked with. I recommend them because they are reliable, affordable, have great customer support and do a great job.

7.    Hire an experienced professional writer

Hiring an experienced professional writer to create the content for your website or copywriting for your ads is an investment that pays off in leaps and bounds. If you've never done it, then you simply don't know what you're missing. Like anything, it's important to hire the best writer; someone who has many years of marketing experience and is considered an expert in the industry. I've worked with leading internet marketing companies and consulted world known direct-response marketing leaders, like Guthy-Renker. These companies hire me because I have a very long track record of consistently generating top results for a wide range of businesses.

The key to winning in marketing is to make deliberate choices.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Business Internet Marketing and Online Method Types

Businesses have several types of internet marketing to choose from. The awareness of your product or service and the demand for it may be an important factor in choosing what online method is best for you. Although, the different internet marketing channels and types are available to all businesses, some will be more ideal than others.

Internet Marketing Types:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) – consists of doing work, such as quality writing, to raise search result rankings and place at the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing in the free organic listings.
  • Pay per click (PPC) – paying for each click to your website. The clicks vary in price and are controlled by the market in an auction based platform. In some industries, such as law, clicks can be over a hundred dollars on certain search phrases.
  • Press releases – writing that announces news about your business and is released to a public relations (PR) distribution network.
  • Email marketing – can be advertisements, newsletters, sales letters and more.
  • Affiliate programs – paying commissions to affiliates for online sales or qualified leads tracked by online technologies.
  • Ad network – image, text or video ads placed on a network of websites or one website.
  • Social media – posts or ads on social media sites.
Regardless of the method you choose, it is wise to have quality writing to get a higher response from your online advertising efforts. The writing and images, if any, will determine the effectiveness of the marketing campaign and, in turn, will affect your sales. It takes skill to write well in marketing, including targeted copy to a particular demographic and advantaging the method used.

Ideally, you want to do marketing research before you start working on your campaign and develop a strategy. The writing, design, and any media should support your online marketing strategy. The marketing campaign can span across the different types of channels and this can be very powerful.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Content Drives Conversation

If your content isn’t driving conversation, you’re doing it wrong. – Dan Roth

Learn more about SEO, content marketing and writing.

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Website Marketing for Small Business

With the advent of the internet, it has never been easier for small businesses to engage in marketing. If you don't have a website, who knows how many potential customers you are losing out on. Website marketing should be a top priority for your business. Today, consumers  expect businesses of all sizes and shapes to have websites. A website legitimizes a small business. Consumers also expect websites to contain the most up to date information about your service or product.

Updating your website shows you value and care about your customers by saving them from the trouble or frustration of misinformation. It is also courteous to have the most common questions answered. Having the most pertinent information about your service or product on a website can save you and your employees time by not having to explain everything, because the customer read the website.
Keeping the content on your website fresh is also important for search engine optimization (SEO), that is, what places your website at the top of Google, Yahoo, or Bing when people are searching for the service or product you offer.

A website is one of the most inexpensive, effective, and powerful forms of marketing. The yellow pages are an ancient relic; nowadays, everyone goes online when searching for a product or service. Most people go online to buy or research, either way, it is akin to having a 24 hour salesperson. That being said, the text on your website, (which is also called content), should be carefully planned and written.

Website content is as valuable and pivotal as your employees. The content on your website is a voice of your business. What makes it even more weighty is the fact that it has a certain permanence. Numerous customers and visitors to your website will read the content and build a mental image of your business. The content can either avert or convert customers.

The website content that is marketing your small business should be of the highest quality. Google and other search engines emphasize having high quality content on websites. Search engines love high quality content and they reward websites with such by placing them in top positions.

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