Would You Read That Page? The Common Mistake

Why do some websites do well and others fail miserably? We spend a lot of time figuring out where improvements can be made for websites, based on available analytical tools.Wordle: Untitled

Most websites we visit were done by talented web people, who can make all of the cool toys, and use good Search Optimization methods.  Those are important, but without the proper content to cause an action, and sharable tabs, the website misses out on the “relevance” factor now used by Google and Bing in searches.

We look at website content in much the same way as a newspaper evaluates the readability of their newspaper.  Is there too much text on the page without graphics to assist the reader to get through the page?

The problem for most websites is that they are heavy laden with features that make people’s eyes gloss over, and leave the page. The age old sales pitch, “Sell benefits, not features,” is greatly ignored on web building. http://social-impact.com

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It’s A Showdown In The Social Media Corral

The dust swirls up in a mini twister and rides across the street hitting the storefront downtown. Two Social Media Marketers creeping up to the next guy to see which one has the fastest draw to bring the business online to explore the opportunities of the online wild, wild west.

Alot of young-uns get gunned down along the way. You know, those over joyous, trigger happy ones that didn’t quite think it all of the way through before trying to make a big name for themselves. They wreaked havoc and carnage along their trail.

The wise old gunslinger isn’t too worried about the young-uns, as he carefully, but quickly draws out his social media tools, takes aim and shoots once. You see, he’d evaluated the situation long before stalking the street and made note of the side alleys of trouble.

He had a clear sense of direction as to where he was headed. He instilled the principles and guidelines in the community he dwelled. He conveyed that direction within the stores and places he stolled. Demonstrated results were his real trade. He made the community an active participant with him before he venutured into the dangerous world. He avoided the pitfalls of so many before him. When the merchants really needed help, they knew who to call. http://social-impact.com

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Brrrr, it’s cold! Let’s do kewl marketing

The freshness of the cool air in Rhode Island felt great after flying in from our home town of Naples Florida. It was over 90 degrees when I left. The blast of cool air felt invigorating, two minutes later, whew, it was down right chilly.
The trip was going to be great. We were headed into RI, and Massachusett to deal with businesses and help them with their Internet marketing. We knew it would be a more sophisticated market as there are a couple of advanced Internet companies in the area which we follow to keep up with the latest trends in marketing.
We were anticipating some fun, high level marketing campaigns to advance business to a whole new level. Excitement was running through the veins.
It ended up, the same problems exist in big city areas, it was identical to slow upscale Naples.
Business people had websites that could barely be found in the search engines. They didn’t know how their Facebook pages were working. They didn’t keep track of their web traffic to know if it was bringing them business.
We backed up, offered suggestion that are universal solutions for organic search, explained why the social media platforms aren’t working for them, and showed them how to get solid results from their efforts. It all boils down to a defined content management system, knowing where you want to go, and utilizing web integration of social meda marketing tools to acheive success following a promotional calendar.

Direction, purpose, freedom from wonder, goals, and mostly acheivement are what each of us strive for. For more information http://social-impact.com

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How’s My Website Doing? – Really.

   Prove it to me! The answer, let me show you.

   “Do you know how many people come walking in my door telling me how much business they can get me from Facebook and other social media?” or, “I have tons of local people, and even reps from India calling to tell me they can do SEO through Google optimization. ”

Dollars Are Golden

   It’s easy to sympathise with the businesses, who can’t take the time to keep track of the daily changes. Great efforts of a month ago can become so much less relevant today. The only bright spot, everything gets better, faster, cheaper and more measurable.

While sharing client information is prohibited, we can definately can share the results and tools we use to measure success. When we do, most people’s eyes get big. That is the fun part. Click throughs, bounce rates, leading a person through the site to make the sale. It’s good stuff.

It only takes about ten minutes to share actual data and information. That would be a question that can be resolved for most people really quickly.

It’s pretty easy to measure social media results as well, and show what is and isn’t working.

If the company can’t demonstrate results, watch the presentation with one eye, so the other is free to observe what else is being presented. http://social-impact.com

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1+1 = Social Media?

You never say bad things about your competiton, although I am not really certain that the author of the linked article is my competition. Yes, I am going to say things that could be construed as bad.

Everyone wishes that there was a silver bullet that would make their business successful. The silver bullet would make our businesses very easy to run, because everyone would want it, no, they would be begging for it. But it just ain’t so.

The world is changin quickly and we spend a lot of time reading about technology, the internet, social media, email marketing, e-newsletters, websites, Google, the list goes on and on… trying to stay current and to address the issues that we can help solve for our clients.

Further, I have a degree in business from, what I think is, a prestigious University. Go Patriots! Some of you now know where I studied. I also spent a lot of time while at university studying logic, which has given me the ability to quickly read through articles and tell if the author, I was going to say has a clue, but I will be nice and say come to a logical conclusion based on the argument.

I ran across an article the other day from Media Post whom I usually find very insightful. This article, however made no sense to me at all. The article, “Creating A Winning Strategy For Building Customer Loyalty,” states that, in general, customer loyalty and satisfaction are very low and declining. This, according to, or strongly implied in this article, is due to a couple of factors:

The first reason stated is due to insufficient communication prior to the first sale. Just that statement in its self makes no sense. If there were insufficient communication, how did you make the sale? It might be that you have over promised and under delivered, but that is not insufficient, it is just plain bad communication.

The second reason given, and here I will quote the article, “A poor customer experience — caused by an employee’s low level of skills, bad attitude, or disrespect for the customer’s time.” That is, in fact, a very relevant issue when speaking about why a customer may not come back.

Now comes the part where I saw red, or I should say, the conclusion did not logically follow from the argument. (My professors would be proud.) The first proposal to solve these problems is “Recognizing the Importance of Word-of-Mouth.” The author proposes that you launch a social media campaign to increase your “word-of-mouth” marketing.

A social media campaign will not solve the problems that he has stated as the causes of your declining customer satisfaction. It will in fact make the problem worse. If you launch a social media campaign in this instance, without solving what appears to be a poorly trained employee problem, all you will do spread the word that you are not the company that anyone would want to do business with.

First, retrain your employees. In both instances you need to retrain anyone who has contact with your clients as to what you do and what you don’t do. In the first instance your employees need to under promise and over deliver. They need to know what you can do and what you can not, or just do not do. Introduce the words, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” I have never lost a sale by saying this. In fact, I have gotten a few sales that I don’t think I would have unless I had said those “magic” words.

Then comes the second and maybe more difficult problem to solve. You need to teach your employees manners.  Impress on them that they always need to be prompt and courteous with customers. Explain to them that it is not you, but the customer who pays them. It really is the customer, but the reality is a vast majority of employees really don’t understand this.

Tell your employees that if you are not able to answer all of their questions, tell the customer that. Tell the customer that you will get the answer and set a time to follow up with them, even if they are standing in your store. Say, “Let me ask the manager, can you give me about 2 minutes and I will be right back with the answer.” Then make sure that you are no more, and preferably less than the 2 minutes that you stated.

OK, now you have the best, brightest, most courteous and well informed employees in your industry. Now lets talk about a social media campaign and how projecting your new image will bring in more potential clients! Social media can help find them, but it is always up to you and your employees to close the deal.

For more information go to Social-Impact.com.

SR

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Social Media Has Gone Mainstream, Are You In?

According to an article in Media Post Publications, advertising using social media is not the exception, but becoming the norm. Nowadays, businesses should be engaging their customers not waiting for customers to walk through the door. Companies are quickly understanding this concept and are embracing the new social media opportunities. While it may be difficult for businesses who have only used traditional media to promote their companies to add this new concept to their marketing campaigns, they know it should be done.

While talking with several companies, they have brought up the fact that they are seeing the mention of social media more and more.   “Follow us on Twitter” or “Check us out on Facebook” are almost a must on marketing materials.

Don’t be the last one to join this wave. It’s time to take the plunge!

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What comes next?

In this ever-changing industry we look out for what comes next. We hear a lot of ideas that we immediately think, “why would you want to do that?” This idea, however, has merit. The only reason that this may not work is a privacy issue.

Om Malik speaks about Interests graphs in this article and how they could effect online advertising and purchasing behavior. It’s intriguing, however, there is one critical flaw in the concept.

In order for Google, or FaceBook or anyone else to develop an interest graph of the complexity necessary to make this idea viable they would have to gather an incredible amount of information about the individual, and have it tagged specifically to the individual.

It is possible, I remember the uproar that came out of Washington about the privacy issue when they were trying to develop that technology in order to classify people into general groups. What Om is speaking about here goes way beyond that level of data gathering storage and analysis.

This type of specialization makes the offers more relevant and product research easier. The reality is that Gillette will want to send me promotions about their new razor and Purdue will still try to get me to eat more of their chicken. What I won’t see are the feminine hygiene promotions, that is unless my wife sneaks on my computer when I am not looking, but that is a problem for the techies to figure out. SR http://social-impact.com

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