Sunday, November 30, 2008

How To Make Sure Your Web Site Visitors Convert: Engage Them

Today's Good Marketing Tip: Web site conversion

Marketing people have been trained to always have 'a call to action,' on their web site - a request to act or lose the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm sure you've seen the infomercials, website presentations, and online direct marketing promotions.

You're familiar with the marketing language, "act now and we'll send you two pieces of junk you don't need, but wait there's more..." Does any intelligent person really respond to this kind of pitch, and what self-respecting business would actually behave in this manner?

The truth is, that if you sell something of value at a reasonable price, and you treat your customers with some respect, you will get your share of business. You may not get all the business, nobody does, but the business you do get, will result in more satisfied customers, more word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately more sales.

Statistically it may be true that if someone leaves your website without registering or buying something that the chances of them returning to order are low. However, I've come to discover that the problem isn't the customer. Rather, it's what you're saying, how you're saying it, and the expectations you set.

Achieving success is not a question of attracting more traffic, especially if your message is weak, unfocused, and lacking in emotional context. Success is a question of how many people you connect with both directly and indirectly, and how many people come back to your site because they are intrigued by what you have to say.

Orders are the result of building relationships and relationships are built on communication. You may not be able to speak to everyone who comes to your website but that only means that your website's primary job is to communicate what needs to be said so that it makes a memorable impression, and provides something more meaningful than a 'buy now' button.

Defining Success On Your Website

Orders are not the true measure of a website's success or is the volume of traffic a site attracts. You can have loads of traffic, but little of it ever gets turned into business, and you can even get some orders, but few long-term clients.

The primary objective of your website should be to initiate contact either by email, phone, or in the case of brick and mortar companies, store traffic. In order to achieve that objective, your website presentation must be engaging, enlightening, and above all memorable. Potential clients want a little foreplay, a little respect, and an understanding that you are asking them to put their faith in you.

Three Things You Need To Motivate Your Audience: Taking Action

Donna Flagg (Krysalis Group) is quoted in the article, "For the Love of Sales," as saying that, "Good selling comes down to three things: communication, education, and the ability to affect others."

I know of no better method to achieve these three goals than to implement video on your website, it is THE must have marketing vehicle for companies intent on maximizing website presentation impact.

The Center for Media Research reported in their recent 'Research Brief' that 41.2% of retailers surveyed were adding product videos to their websites. And the power of video marketing is not just about sales; it's about how you as a business communicate in the most efficient manner to all your concerned publics.

1. Communication - Engage
Your websites serves no purpose unless it engages your viewer and communicates a meaningful, memorable message. A video presentation uses sights, sounds, and performance to produce psychological persuasion.

2. Education - Enlighten
A message delivered using creative video presentation techniques is seen, heard, and embedded in the audience's mind. It informs, explains, clarifies, and focuses attention on the key decision making elements that produce leads, and ultimately sales.

3. Affect Your Audience - Create An Experience
A properly crafted Web video makes a human connection, it affects the viewer on a psychological as well as rational level, so that the message delivered resonates and impacts the decision making process.

It is time businesses employ a new Web-philosophy, one that is aimed at turning advertising into content, and content into an experience. And I know of no better way to create an online experience than to employ Web video.

This post provided by Jerry Bader who is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit

Friday, November 28, 2008

10 Secrets to Using Twitter to Attract More Followers and Get More Clients

Are you familiar with Twitter? It's actually gaining significant popularity. It is essentially a single element, found in Facebook functionality, taken to an extreme. Some people, like today's guest poster are using Twittering primarily to market their business. Donna's clients, who create Twitter accounts for marketing, as well, tell her, "I'm signed up. Now what in the world do I Twitter about? How do I market my business with this tool?"

Here are 10 strategies that I use regularly to marketing my business and my expertise via Twitter. Remember, you have only 140 characters for your tweet (Twitter post).

1. How you're helping clients. Talk about specific ways that your business helps clients and use their Twitter ID if you have their permission, i.e. "Just finished @clientname brainstorm great Internet marketing plan for 2009" or "Finally finished setting up Quickbooks for local hardware store -- now they can invoice their clients"

2. What you're doing in your own business. This is a perfect time to tell others when you're blogging, writing an article, creating your weekly ezine, recording your podcast, i.e. "Had great interview with Jane Smith today on speaking to grow your biz. Great ideas! Subscribe to podcast & listen here "

3. Useful tool or resource you've found. I run across these all the time in my daily activities, and Twitter is a perfect place to share,. i.e. "Found great new Firefox plug-in to monitor & check multiple Gmail accounts at same time at " or "Read great blog post on working at home with kids under 5 at (URL here)"

4. Ask a question. Need some ideas or some quick brainstorming? Twitter is an ideal place to gather opinions, i.e. "Help! Desperately seeking new laser printer. Recommendations?" or "How do I find training organizations online?"

5. Conduct a survey. What do your Tweeps think about a particular issue? Ask them via Twitter, i.e. "Quick poll: Do you get more clients from Facebook or Twitter? Respond at (URL here)"

6. Report on live events. The latest Twitter trend seems to be tweeting what's happening at conferences or workshops. In order for Twitter users to follow a particular event, it's usually referred to by a name preceded by a # sign, as in #JVAlert, for example, to make it simpler for people who want to follow those posts. So, if you were at an event, you might tweet "#JVAlert John Smith speaking on affiliate programs. Just got great idea on training affiliate managers!" Just don't get so wrapped up in tweeting that you ignore the content delivered in the conference!

7. Product or service launch. If you're about to launch a new product or introduce a new product, let your Twitter followers know, i.e. "Pre-launch pricing for new DVD set about how baby boomers can start an online biz. Get $100 early bird discount at (URL here)"

8. Responding to others with advice or answers. The way to build professional relationships on Twitter is to help your tweeps. So, if someone asks a question, comments about something to which you have a response or an idea, or you want to ask a followup question, this is the perfect place to do so.

9. Acknowledging new followers. I've noticed a recent trend of acknowledging people who've decided to follow a Twitter user in the past day or so. I initially thought that others were doing this as a measure of popularity, but what I've come to realize that it's actually helping out the new followers because it exposes their Twitter profiles to others who may have never heard of them and who might like to follow them. So, to thank your followers, you'd tweet, "Welcome new followers @twittername, @twittername, etc."

10. Automate your tweets. Many of my tweets have been automated and connected to other things I do. TwitterFeed turns all of my blog posts into tweets. aWeber turns each ezine issue into a tweet. tweets my followers every time I publish an article through their service. Typically all that's involved here is connecting the particular service to my Twitter account. Once all the services are connected, I get free and automated Twitter posts with no additional effort on my part.

Twitter can be a great time-waster or a wonderful way to market your business and leverage your expertise online. Follow these 10 strategies and you'll begin to attract more followers and get more clients through social networking.

Online Business Manager and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at . Follow Donna on Twitter:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

7 Steps For Building A Successful Web Presence

Doing business in the 21st century will eventually require every company to have a website in one form or another. Whether your site is interactive or simply informational, there are steps you can take to ensure you're on the right track to creating a successful web presence, seven to be exact (at least from our humble perspective).

While following these steps will not guarantee a successful website, it is certainly an intelligent place to start.

1. Perform a Business Analysis.
What is a business analysis? Simply put, review your business requirements and your objectives. What do you want to accomplish? How does your website fit into your overall business plan? What... no business plan? Develop a business plan first before you go any further into the process.

Your business plan will be your roadmap to success, so make sure the objective of your website fits into your overall business plan.

2. Perform some research, also known as, the Research phase.
Research your competition and industry sites. See what kind of competition is out there. What kind of marketing does your competition engage in? Don't look to "reinvent the wheel", take a look at how the current market works; develop a list of pros and cons about your competition and then make your web presence work better.

3. Develop a concept and a design.
Finally time for the creative and fun stuff! This involves the selection of specific content, the layout of the site structure and navigation and the overall "look and feel" of your website.

Remember to pay special attention to your navigational structure!!! If visitors can't navigate your website or feel lost when doing so, your "pretty" site will have been a waste of time; don't go there, keep the navigation simple and for SEO purposes, make sure your navigation is text based. Although Flash driven websites look cool, they are not SEO friendly and can create more problems than the "coolness" factor they express (we'll discuss Flash sites in another article ).

4. Develop your website.
When considering which technology to develop your website, think cutting edge technology, not bleeding edge. Make sure the technology you use, such as ASP, PHP, HTML, CSS, will be useful for the next three to five years.

Database driven website are ultimately the easiest to maintain through the use of a content management system, but make sure the CMS you use is SEO friendly. An SEO friendly CMS will utilize real URLs, not strange looking query strings with lots of strange characters and question marks. Search engines despise query strings and rank these site accordingly.

5. Choose a host provider and implement your website.
When deciding on a host provider, make sure the host is not only reputable, but has been in business long enough that you can be sure they will be in business next year. Also, ask about site uptime. If your site is down for any reason, this will not only affect your potential and current customers, but the search engines as well. If the search engines decide on a given day to spider your site and it is unavailable, it could cost you your rank.

6. Promote and market your website.
Register your site with the major search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Initiate other marketing activities such as an email blasts to prospective customers. Consider "Pay per Click" advertising with the major search engines and don't forget about a long term SEO campaign to drive targeted traffic to your site.

7. Finally, maintain your website.
Probably the most important long term step is continuing to provide current and relevant information on your website. Keep your site content current to encourage return visitors and give them something to return for! Related to SEO, search engines just LOVE sites which provide new content on a regular basis and rank such websites accordingly.

Overall, remember, your website is not just a marketing tool, it's a business tool, and it should be generating a revenue stream for your business.

This post provided by Matthew Mckernan - Website Design, Search Engine Optimization/SEO, Web Development.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Full-Proof Way To Generate Website Traffic

You no doubt recognize by now that having a website is essential for any small business in the 21st Century. A website allows your business to connect with customers, inform prospects, and gain your business’s visibility so you can earn more profits—even while you sleep.

The cornerstone of every successful local business website is traffic. Getting traffic and standing out in the crowd is hard to do. You are busy trying to run your business, you don’t have time for SEO and you don’t want to waste your money paying some “expert” who may or may not know what their actually doing. And unless you’re an expert at online marketing, you will waste thousands of dollars and hours of valuable time trying to figure out how to advertise on Google, Yahoo!, and MSN effectively.

The easy and simple way to generate traffic is to use video.

In this article, you’re going to learn an easy content creation strategy that takes less than a day to implement and will provide a steady stream of rankings, traffic, and leads to ANY website in ANY market.

I’m going to show you how to move viewers from ignorance, to becoming qualified prospects, and finally to becoming buyers. You’ll go from being a salesman to an authority, trusted advisor, and friend.

The result of this strategy is that your customers will be begging you to sell them something.

Why The System Works
Google, Yahoo and MSN love video content.

When you upload your videos to the top video sites, they get ranked and show up quickly in the search engines (usually within 1-2 hours). Having your webpage and video dominate a search engine result page (i.e., having more than 2 listings within the top 10) often occurs within 24-48 hours. And if you upload to dozens of sites, they all get ranked separately. It is not unusual for a single video to dominate up to 8 positions on a single page. When a user sees the obvious domination in organic listings, they click.

And if a user watches your video and visits your site, they’re 5 to 20 times more likely to take action than from an ordinary link or a paid advertisement. You just need to make sure you title your videos with the keyword phrases you want to target.

The Basic Steps
The only equipment you’ll need is a computer and an inexpensive camera (like a Flip webcam). If you don’t want to appear on screen, PC users can use PowerPoint, Camtasia, and a microphone; Mac users will need Keynote and Screenflow to create video presentations. You can also create video presentations with TrafficGeyser, which has a web application.

The Strategy Step-By-Step:
1. Write down the top ten frequently asked questions about your product or service

2. Write down the top ten questions a potential buyer should be asking about your products and services

3. Record 20 short videos responding to each question. These video responses should be 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length. At the end of these videos you should direct visitors to your website to take advantage of a special web offer or to see another video that compliments the information you just provided.

4. Upload your videos to as many video sharing, social bookmarking, podcast directories, social networks and blogs as possible. It will take several days to do this manually. However, there is an affordable service that will automate this process for you called TrafficGeyser.

Once submitted, the search engines will index your videos in a few hours and you’ll have incredible exposure all over the Internet. The goal of this is to send visitors to your website for an offer, and this is where you can capture names and email and build a client list.

2 Fast Ways To Implement This Strategy

1) You can spend about 3 or 4 hours creating these videos yourself and then submitting them to dozens upon dozens of social, video, bookmarking, podcast, and blog sites through a submission tool known as TrafficGeyser. I would not recommend submitting your videos manually, it literally takes up to 3 hours to register for every one of these sites independently and then you have to sit and wait as you upload each individual video. Unless you have a spare secretary who isn’t busy, you should seriously get this done through an automated system like TrafficGeyser.

2) Should you have an issue about creating a professional looking video, or you don’t like your voice or how you look on screen, then have the pros do it. will create professional video for your site and even submit it to all the video sharing sites. They are extremely affordable, and if you consider the time saved and the quality of work, it may actually be cheaper than doing it yourself.

Consider combining these two methods. For example, you can create the videos that drive traffic to your website and then have a nice professional advertisement on your website that can really sell customers on your service. Or perhaps you can use the professional video to advertise a special deal on your site and then have a self-made welcome video.

I’m looking forward to seeing you online soon! Don’t hesitate, make sure you get started today before your competition does.

Vernon Wharff is a small business writer and consultant based in Orlando, Florida. As a leading expert in online marketing and search engine optimization, he consults with small businesses to expand their sales and lead generation through the Internet. The methods he employs have earned small businesses millions in new business. You can find out more about his online marketing services at his website.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Video Marketing - Get the Most From Your Online Marketing

Video marketing is the big and if you don’t have a successful strategy in place, then you’re leaving money on the table.  Find out how to out do the competition and get more customers.

Video marketing is one of the easiest ways to get ahead of your competition and sell your services to customers.  The future of the Internet advertising is video and providing video on your website is an excellent way to convince visitors to buy your products.  When you have a professionally done video, you not get more visitors, but your chances of sales increases.  Moreover, getting professionally made Internet video ads is easier and more affordable than ever through a variety of services on the Internet.

When a potential customer searches the Internet for a service such as “Orlando plumber” Google and will first return a list of business that have been submitted to their local directory, followed by video search results, and then websites that have optimized for the search term “Orlando plumber”.  In order to stand out, you need to make sure you have a presence on all three of these types of search results.  The repetition of your business being listed at the top of a search 

engine result page will make you seem more relevant to your customer and get your site more visitors.

The other advantage that video provides is that it generates a lot of traffic.  As you already know, the key to having a successful business website is getting traffic.  Without traffic you have no leads and no sales.  Think of all the great websites, they have become great because they have lots of traffic.  They have done everything to become a familiar name on the Web and if you want your business to succeed, you must do the same.

When you create video and submit it to video sharing sites like YouTube, Yahoo! Video, Google Video, and MySpace you now expose your business and services to the millions of visitors who visit these sites.  The video submission of your Internet ads can also be done professionally to optimize the visitors they reach and to target a specific audience.

By now you have realized that video is an important component of your advertising.  Don’t procrastinate on implementing this strategy or believe that you cannot afford to produce your video.  There are lots of resources available on the Internet that can help you create video for the Web.  Get started today, so you can boost your bottom line.

Post provided by Aaron Rodgers who is a freelance writer who writes for a number of U.S. businesses.  For more information on video advertising for local businesses he recommends visiting

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Google Quality Score - What You Need to Know

Many people have been confused over the concept of the Google Quality Score. In case you aren't aware, or don't participate in pay per click advertising on Google via AdWords, there's a new concept in town and it's name is "Build a page." That's correct, build a page that is specific for every keyword that you're targeting with your AdWords campaigns.

Google is asking that you have a targeted page for every keyword that you would like to advertise against. They're saying that if the keywords aren't in the title tag, content, and if the page isn't specific to the keywords that you would like to advertise against, there's a good chance that the page won't show up in the top Google AdWords listings, even if you're willing to pay or bid the highest amount for a listing there. This is the way that organic search has worked for a long time.

If you think about it, this isn't such a bad move by Google. They're protecting the user experience. They also may be indirectly protecting advertisers from spending their money on clicks that wouldn't be relevant or convert for them. Sounds like a win/win to me.

The other interesting thing about the AdWords Quality Score is its heavy weighing toward click through rate. If this is such an important aspect of the system because Google deems this as proving that an ad is valuable to a searcher, what's to say that they don't use the same metrics in their organic listings? The AdWords blog has reported that they often apply a "disabling rule" that inhibits ads with very low CTRs for a given query from being shown.

Many webmasters probably neglect optimizing their SERPs to entice users to click. If your site ranks number five or six, and is driving more clicks than the four, what's to say that Google won't reward you with better rankings for providing a better user experience? This is

n't to say that this is definitely a way that Google's algorithm works, but just an idea to get you thinking about how optimizing for pay per click can help out greatly in what you do for your organic campaign because, as Google says, "better ad relevance leads to a better user experience."

As a little refresher for those SEO newbies out there, you must have a few things to do well in organic search:

  1. A Web site that's deep in quality content (specific content to your industry).
  2. A Web site that is linked to by other relevant, quality Web sites.
  3. An older domain certainly doesn't hurt.
  4. A strategy and plan for execution of that strategy.

Developing a page for each keyword that you want to rank for makes sense, doesn't it? Search engines read text, so if you don't have the keywords on your page, you probably won't rank for those keywords.

Once you've developed these pages, make sure that you're giving each a unique title tag, keyword inclusion in the URL (if you can swing it, do something like, keyword inclusion in the header (H1), and keyword inclusion in the first paragraph of copy and links pointing to this page (internal and external links).

By optimizing your Web site for organic search, and building out a bunch of pages for each keyword that you're honestly interested in targeting, your pages might do well with Google's Quality Score algorithm. After all, it's starting to look more like the organic algorithm.

Join us for Search Engine Strategies Chicago December 8-12 at the Chicago Hilton. The only major search marketing conference and expo in the Midwest will be packed with 60-plus sessions, multiple keynotes and Orion Strategy sessions, exhibitors, networking events, and more.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Power Of Postcards: Enter To Win 250 Free Post Cards!

If you’re struggling to make the most of your marketing budget, consider using professionally created postcards. Unlike standard mail postcards are much more affordable and have a greater impact. (Enter to win our drawing for 250 free postcards – see below).

Direct mail can be very costly – but it doesn’t have to be. When trying to reach your prospects with a powerful marketing message, postcards cut through clutter. Individuals can see your offer without having to open an envelope and search through pages of promotional material. Integrated campaigns that provide multiple benefits improve response rates.

When developing a postcard campaign, consider these helpful marketing tips:

  1. Place a compelling offer on your postcard. Offers drive response. Your offer should include something of value such as a free report or aggressive discount.

  2. Go professional. Your postcards should be created from good stock and display images clearly. This signals your potential buyer to the quality and value that in inherent in your company, products, and services.

  3. Print contact information on your postcard. Be sure to include your1-800 number, email address, and website URL on each postcard for each identification.

  4. Focus on timing. Send your post cards at a time that is not interrupted by a holiday or national event. If your postcard is the only one in the mailbox it will stand out from other mail and receive a higher conversion rate.

  5. Test various formats and offers. Promotions are most effective when they are seen, read, and responded to. The best way to improve effectiveness is testing your campaigns with different messages, post card sizes, and offers.

Post card marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways to generate sales. Start today by entering our sweepstakes for 250 free postcards! Simply follow these instructions:

How to Enter

1. Become a Fan of Postcards by logging into and going to the page:

2. Leave a comment at the end of this blog post, using your Facebook name/username and tell us what you would use the postcards for.


250 Postcards for 1 Lucky Reader

You can choose from any of our stocks, including the Extra Thick 14pt. Cover: Gloss (AQ), Matte or the 13 pt. Cover Uncoated (Recycled) stock at a size of 4x6.


Winners in the United States and Canada qualify for free shipping. Shipping fees will apply to winners outside these areas.

Postcards provide by offers a full spectrum of printing services for postcards. We offer custom sizing and templates as well as design help through our U-Design service. We also offer mailing services to help you get your finished postcards out to your customers in an efficient, affordable and hassle free way.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Make Money With The Marketing Funnel

Two of the main concerns I hear over and over is from people telling me they don't have time for marketing, and that they are frustrated because they aren't converting interest into paying business. The good news is, the 'Marketing Funnel' can help you solve both problems.

So what exactly is a 'Marketing Funnel'?

If you picture a funnel, you know it's wide and open at the top, and tiny and narrow at the bottom. As prospects go through the stages from 'I want to know more about you' to 'You're hired' they effectively move through the marketing funnel. Now lots of people make the mistake of offering something free at the top of their marketing funnel, and then having their key product or service such as bespoke training, one-on-one coaching, or consulting package at the bottom of their marketing funnel, but nothing in between. I should know, it's a mistake I made myself for some time.

The trouble with this is, it's asking your prospects to make too big a jump in just one go. When you are selling any form of 'change' that training, coaching, therapy or consulting provide, the risk prospects face in taking us on is not only a financial risk, but an emotional one too. So the marketing funnel is a great business model. It helps you make your core proposition available at different price points, thus lowering the emotional and financial risk for your clients as they move further down the funnel.
The funnel system of marketing says that you offer your prospects and customers ever more elaborate products and services - and ever more intensive access to you - at ever increasing prices. In other words always offering people ways to spend more money with you. And whether you are selling training programmes to corporations, or personalised coaching to individuals, the theory still applies. In a nutshell the funnel system says: attract new clients and prospects into your funnel, then find ways to add more and more value to them - and as the value increases, so does the price!
An example of the Marketing Funnel: ~Top of Funnel~ Free newsletter with valuable and usable content ~Middle of Funnel~ Teleseminar $25 Workbook $69 Home study programme $250-500 Live Workshop $295-$1997 ~Bottom of Funnel~ One-to-one coaching $3000-5000 Business Consulting Programme $10,000 and up.

The ideal marketing funnel should be a win for you and your clients. Many people who would not otherwise be able to afford your services get access to your expertise for a lower fee than hiring you one-on-one. The benefit to you is that the marketing funnel really helps you leverage your time earning much, much more money per hour.
First it radically cuts down your one-to-one selling time. Clients move through the funnel at their own pace. (As long as you have a system in place for encouraging through the funnel. And of course you can automate this. (My upcoming Launch Your Information Empire DVD package shows you how) This way, by the time someone is considering your higher priced programme they have already bought and used several of your products or services.

All that huffing and puffing, convincing and persuading, proving and demonstrating, pleading and begging that currently drains so much of your precious time and energy - gone! There is no selling or persuading to be done. They already recognise the value you have to offer. They are effectively 'pre-sold'. The other advantage of the marketing funnel is that it helps prospects become paying clients much earlier in the process. Your income increases, and this new income comes from largely passive sources such as books, audio programmes or home study courses.

The Marketing Funnel Can Work For You Too

Take a moment or two to draw YOUR marketing funnel. See where the gaps are, and start thinking about what products you can add to make it easier for your prospects to sample your expertise and take a lower risk step to being a paying client. Offering something for free - a newsletter like this, or a free report is the ideal way to get people into your funnel initially. Then you need to create some basic solutions that can help clients start benefiting from your expertise in a low cost/low risk way.

This post provided by Bernadette Doyle. Bernadette Doyle created Client Magnets Ltd to help the self-employed attract a steady stream of clients. She has attracted a loyal following who praise her down to earth yet inspiring approach. If you like this article, you'll love Bernadette's marketing and success training products and programmes at to help you develop a business that suits YOUR preferred lifestyle.

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