Archive for the Websites Category

Pay Attention To Your Customers

Posted in Small Business, Uncategorized, Websites on April 10, 2012 by wolfwomyn

You know the more I have contact with potential customers out there, the more I hear that they are angry, frustrated, and just plain tired of hiring people who don’t listen to what they want.  Instead they put their hard earned funds into a person who is insistent on doing what they want and not what the customer wants.  Now this philosophy, doing what I want and not my customer, is applicable (maybe) if you are doing your own thing, creating your own products.  It surely doesn’t apply when you are in a service industry.

When you are in a service industry, one that is there to “serve your customer”, your responsibility is to your customer.  It doesn’t matter if you agree with their ideas, or their style.  You are there to create what they want.  Giving advice is definitely called for, but it is up to your customer if they want to take it.  If they don’t, it is up to you to “serve” them.  And, in the case of websites, it is important that you get their approval before launching it.  Too often websites are put up live before the customer has the option of approving it, which leaves them with something that they potentially didn’t want.  And to make it worse it is out there for the world to see.

So if you are in a service profession remember  the old saying, “The customer is always right.”   It is their time, their energy, their funds which are paying for your services, and that is what will keep your business going.    Listen to your customer, give them the benefit of your wisdom, and design something that works for them.  In the long run you will have happy customers, which means that you will have customers that are more than happy to refer you to their friends which will expand your business.  Word of mouth is one of the biggest reasons that businesses succeed.  And in this time of the world wide web their words go a long long way.

 

Five Ways to Make Your Website Tablet-Friendly

Posted in Websites on April 3, 2012 by wolfwomyn

You’re seeing tablets more and more: on subways, in planes and in waiting rooms. To ensure you don’t miss out during this cultural switch in reading habits, a number of publications have covered ways to ensure your site is tablet-friendly.

We’ve decided to highlight the tips provided by CIK Marketing, as they’re practical and immediately useful. Here are five:

Avoid Flash. Adobe’s Flash technology doesn’t work on Apple mobile devices— and Flash tends to weigh sites down in any case. Substitute flash with HTML5 or JavaScript, which provide the same cool effects.

Ditch the drop-down menus. Instead, consider a showcase page for different sections of the site, better enabling tablet users to find all available subpages. If you want to keep your drop-down menus, create visual cues (like arrows) that show users the menu can be opened and expanded.

Design for touch interaction. Tablet users aren’t clicking or scrolling with a mouse, so design buttons the size of a fingertip instead of a cursor. Links placed too closely together will also frustrate users; remember that touching and swiping are the gestures to design for these days.

Choose colors, textures and typography wisely. Bright background colors and patterns reduce the appearance of glare or smudges on an iPad or Blackberry Playbook. Avoid solid blacks that look like untextured voids. Ensure your font isn’t too large or too small for tablet navigation. When in doubt, test on a tablet or two.

Design forms to fit. Many company sites require users to fill out a form. Look yours over and ensure all fields are clear and easily accessible to tablet users. Avoid including too many fields, as longer forms on tablets are frustrating.

The Po!nt: Think flat and touchy. The reading-and-browsing world is moving further in the direction of tablets, making it crucial that your site experience be as seamless there as it is anywhere else. A few tweaks could be all you need to ensure compatibility.

Source: Get to the point:Social Media

Four Keys to Finding Better Keywords

Posted in Websites on March 13, 2012 by wolfwomyn

In a recent guest post at It’s All About Revenue, Brian Posnanski shares tips on finding just the right keywords to boost standings in search results. “Keywords are the ingredient that make content searchable and discoverable,” Posnanski notes.

That’s why TrafficPRM—Posnanski’s interactive agency—created the Seven Keys to Keyword Research guide to help inbound, social and content marketers find the right keywords to optimize their content and ultimately achieve higher organic search ranking, Posnanski explains.

Here are some of the tips the guide offers for deriving more specific keywords:

Benchmark current rankings. Use your content management system, Google Analytics and other tools to assess where you are and track where you’re going.

Brainstorm a beginning list. Through a combination of people and tools, identify the terms that map to your customers’ and prospects’ interests or needs.

Don’t rely solely on Google AdWords. Many organizations base their optimization on a raw list of keywords, pulled from Google’s AdWords keyword finder, Posnanski says. But often these keywords are too generic or competitive, he cautions, and may not be right for your organization.

Start with a keyword cluster or silo. Determine which group of keywords is most important to you right now, he suggests: “Don’t try to optimize everything at once.”

Once you’ve identified some truly stellar keywords, create a short SEO “cheat sheet” for your marketing team, with top keywords and their corresponding landing pages, Posnanski advises.

The Po!nt: A valuable keyword list is a key to online success. Use it to optimize all your digital assets, monitor progress and adjust your approach to buyers as necessary.

Source: Marketing Prof’s-Search Engine & It’s All About Revenue.

How a Typo Can Hurt Your Business

Posted in Business, Websites on January 17, 2012 by wolfwomyn

“Have you noticed spelling errors on the websites of major, legitimate retailers and/or service providers?” asks Julia Rubiner in the Editorial Emergency newsletter. “The answer is almost certainly ‘no.'” Large corporations set a high bar for the rest of us: A single error looks sloppy and unprofessional to visitors, who are used to polished online copy. But the ramifications can be worse than making a bad impression.

Typos on your homepage, landing pages and product pages aren’t just embarrassing; they might actually hurt your business. Rubiner points to a BBC News article that provides anecdotal—but startling—evidence of a misspelled word’s negative impact on income: After a spelling error was corrected at tightsplease.co.uk, the online retailer’s revenue per visitor doubled.

“I like to think this is attributable to widespread disdain for spelling errors,” she notes, “but it’s not; it’s attributable to shoppers wary of fraud.” According to Rubiner, many people associate typos with phishers and con artists. “[I]t positively screams ‘fly-by-night operation,'” she explains.

In an ironic twist, customers who notice misspelled words might suspect your website is merely pretending to be your website. Or—if they’re unfamiliar with your brand—they might worry that you’re not even a real company. That’s when they’ll decide to withhold their personal information and credit-card numbers. And a valuable click-through becomes a lost sale.

The Po!nt: Clean it up. Any copy destined for your website or your email campaigns should be spell-checked and then printed out for a hard-copy proofread. “Your bottom line will thank you,” Rubiner concludes.

Source:Get to the Source/Email marketing &
Editorial Emergency.

Profits, not Traffic

Posted in Business, Small Business, Websites on November 29, 2011 by wolfwomyn

One mistake that many new webmasters and online entrepreneurs make is to focus on generating website traffic.

This is the logic they follow: build a website, work until it is getting a huge amount of traffic, figure out how to monetize that
traffic.

While this might actually work if you get lucky, it is definitely not the best route to follow. There are plenty of cases of websites
and Web 2.0 companies that went bankrupt despite having millions of monthly unique visitors. How so? Simple: they couldn’t monetize the service efficiently, and sustaining the servers and the staff was consuming far too much money.

Traffic is certainly vital on the Internet, but it should be seen as a means to an end, and not the end itself. Just think about it:
would you rather have a website that receives 10 million unique visitors monthly and that makes $5,000 in profits, or a website
that receives only 20,000 unique visitors monthly but makes $50,000 in profits?

As soon as you start working on the idea for a new website or company, you need to figure out where the profits are going to come from. Here are some of the questions that you might wanna ask yourself: Who is going to gain value from my service or product? Who is going to pay for it? How is he going to pay? Will my costs be lower than my revenues?

This principle should also affect the type of website and business model you end up choosing. For instance, do you know why experienced online entrepreneurs prefer to sell their own products or to work with affiliate marketing instead of building advertising-based websites? Because the first two models need a lot less traffic to  make decent money.

The takeaway message is: you are ultimately aiming for profits, not traffic.

Source:
Daniel Scocco
Daily Bog Tips

Tool To Check Your Search Rankings

Posted in Blogs, Websites on October 25, 2011 by wolfwomyn

Searching on Google for your keywords is indeed the simplest way to check your rankings, but it is not an effective one, because the search results you get on Google might not be the same that other people are getting.

Let’s suppose that you have a blog about celebrities, and that the main keyword you are targeting is “photos of celebrities.”

You could go to Google and search for “photos of celebrities”, and then check the position where your blog will appear. The problem is that the rankings you’ll see there are influenced by factors like your IP address, the language of your computer, your past search history and so on. This is part of an innovation Google introduced a while ago called “Personalized Search.”

For example, your blog might appear in the 5th position when you search for “photos of celebrities”, but this is so because you often click on your own website, so Google is artificially increasing the rankings of your blog when you search for it.

For all other people, however, your blog might be appearing in the 20th or 30th position.

So how do you find your real search rankings? There is a tool called Scroogle that you can use for this purpose. Here is the link: http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

It is basically a Google scraper that will get the search results from Google with an anonymous IP address, without storing cookies, without storing search-term records and so on.

When you run a search query on Scroogle, therefore, Google won’t have any past data about it, so the results will be the ones seen by the average Internet user.

You can make Scroogle show 100 results at a time, and after that you’ll just need to find where your website is positioned.

Nice trick eh?

Source: Daniel Scocco

Do You Understand the Bounce Rate Concept?

Posted in Websites on October 20, 2011 by wolfwomyn

Bounce rate is a very important metric for website owners. It basically tells you what percentage of your visitors are “bouncing” away after landing on your site (e.g., they just visit one page and leave before clicking on to a second page inside your site). A bounce can occur for several reasons, including:

* The visitor hit the “Back” button on his browser.
* The visitor closed his browser.
* The visitor clicked on one of your ads.
* The visitor clicked on one of your external links.
* The visitor used the search box on his browser.
* The visitor typed a new URL on his browser.

All the actions above would cause the visitor to leave your site. Provided he did any of these actions right after arriving at your site (and before clicking on to a second page), it would be counted as a bounce. In fact the formula for finding the bounce rate on your website is:

Bounce rate = Visits that left after one page / Total number of visits

For example, if during a certain month your site received 120,000 visits, out of which 80,000 bounced after visiting just one page, your bounce rate for that month would be 80,000 divided by 120,000, which equals to 0.66 (or 66%). Notice that you can calculate the bounce rate of your whole website or of single pages inside it.

Obviously the lower the bounce rate on your website, the better, because it means that visitors are getting engaged by your content and design, and that they are clicking to visit a second (third and so on) page on your site.

How do you know the exact bounce rate on your site? A web analytics program like Google Analytics will automatically track the numbers for you.

WHAT IS A LOW BOUNCE RATE?

At this point you might be asking yourself what a low bounce rate is. Is it 60%? Is it 30%? Unfortunately there is no definite answer for this question. What is considered to be a low bounce rate will vary, depending on the type of website that you have, on the sources that are sending traffic to you and so on.

Content based websites like blogs and news portals, for example, will naturally have a lower bounce rate than online stores or product based websites, because on the former visitors will want to read more articles, while on the latter they will either purchase something or leave right away.

If you want some ballpark numbers, consider that a bounce rate of 80% or higher is considered high, regardless of the type of website you have. Bounce rates between 40% and 80% are considered normal
for most websites, and a bounce rate below 40% is very good. Some content sites and squeeze pages can have bounce rates below the 20% mark, but this is rare.

In a future edition of the newsletter I’ll share some tips and  tricks you can use to reduce your bounce rate, so stay tuned!

Source: Daniel Scocco