We’ve been writing about referral marketing a lot lately, and in a recent post about marketing action plans, we talked about why you should include referral marketing and/or networking as a marketing strategy in your marketing plan.
That may seem silly to some people, since networking doesn’t always translate to sales straight away, but we’ve discovered another reason why you should include it in your marketing plan: Google!Continue reading Is Google Your Sugar Daddy?
What makes WordPress so popular, especially among small businesses, is that you can edit and update content whenever you like. You can select from a number of pre-existing themes, or install a custom-made theme to use for your website. There are also a number of plugins available to WordPress, like Google Analytics, which allows you to track and analyse the traffic visiting your site.
Until far too recently, creating a website for your business was often a costly and daunting exercise. While large organisations typically had in-house web developers and SEO experts, many small businesses retained the services of external web developers.
If you didn’t need to make any changes to your website, this was usually fine. Your web designer would create your website and it was all systems go. But as Google has changed the algorithms that are used to index websites, preferring web pages that are constantly updated, it’s become more necessary to update your website — and often — in order to appear relevant to Google.
The Need to be Googled
Google, the verb, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006, and is defined as “using the Google search engine to obtain information about something or someone on the World Wide Web.” Thus, it’s necessary to ensure your website appears in Google, so people can google you.
To do this you need to update your content, and frequently. This could involve creating new web pages, or regularly maintaining a blog. However, paying a web designer to upload and publish new content on website on a daily basis is not cost-effective, which is why WordPress has become so popular.
But there are other practical reasons to create and manage your own WordPress website. If you change your business address, or telephone number, you can quickly and easily update those details immediately — rather than waiting until your web designer has the time.
You’d be surprised how many businesses show their incorrect building address or telephone numbers on their websites, because they don’t have an easily updated website. And for each customer who calls, or can’t find that business at their address, that’s a customer they’ve lost to their competitor.
If your business’ website is not currently easy-to-update, consider using one of the world’s most popular content management systems, and take our WordPress training course today.
Because web analytics is something we cover in our Digital Business Course, we’re not going to spend much more time on that here, but we do want to talk about a great new tool that you can use in-conjunction with web analytics: the web optimization software, Optimizely.
Testing Out Different People’s Responses
Web optimization, or A/B split testing, acts almost like a focus group where, without being told, a small number of customers will be diverted to a slightly different version of a web page and their behaviour compared with that of the users on the standard site. If the updated version of the web page results in more clicks, longer visits or more purchases, the updated version will displace the original; if the new version is inferior it will be phased out with very few people ever seeing it.
Web optimization has long been the open secret of high-stakes web development companies, like Google, but Optimizely’s foray into the marketplace makes it possible for small businesses to have the same data and insights available to them as a big businesses — and cheaply.
While Optimizely — which was founded in 2010 by Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen, who were both product managers at Google — may be used by a number of big players like MTV, Disney and Sales Force, it’s most useful for time-strapped small business owners, where making changes to web content has always been a time-consuming process.
If you have been using web analytics and made adjustments to your web content in response to data you’ve received from your analytics software, then you know how tedious the process can be — but importantly you know how much guesswork is involved in making changes to some elements of your web pages, like copy, for instance.
Are Folks Subscribing to Your Newsletter?
If you’re not using web analytics (and you should be!) it goes something like this: you notice users are landing on a particular web page in response to searching at particular keyword, but they don’t choose to sign-up to your newsletter. Why?
You guess that maybe there’s too much copy and it’s overwhelming the user so you decide to reduce it. You check your analytics — still no joy. Now what? Do you undo those changes and try something else? Or keep those changes and try something else? What if that still doesn’t work? Then what? Also, how long is a piece of string?
Eliminating the Guesswork
Optimizely eliminates all of that guesswork and for as little as $17 a month, it’s a lot cheaper than retaining the services of a web developer to provide this information just once, never mind for an entire year.
Optimizely is another tool small businesses can use to increase their productivity and increase their sales. If creating web content that’s efficient and highly targeted to your customers is a priority for your business, we recommend you give Optimizely a try.
If your business is about to make the transition online, you can find more information on our digital business course here, or by subscribing to our blog.
It seems that Google has brought back the magic of words. Why? Because they can be indexed and used in search results.
Can you index an image or a video? You can, but you need to index them using words.
You can find almost anything on Google but you need to use words to do it. When you click on a paid Google Adwords advertisement its usually due to the words the advertiser used to catch your attention. If you want to improve your Google organic search ranking you need to use the right “key”words on your website, they call that Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO).
Can someone in the Phillipines, India or Eastern Europe Write Like You?
You might be aware of the value of words these days because you need this skill to be effective in marketing your business online. The role of the copywriter is often undervalued because you can now hire someone in the Phillipines, India or Eastern Europe to write the content of your website or blog for a couple dollars per hour, but would you? After testing out individuals, copy-writing services and other international contracting companies we realise that the quality of the words we use and the ability to relate to other Australians is something only another Australian can truly do effectively. With all the talk about workers in developing countries taking jobs away from Australian workers, we realise that it’s their knowledge of Australian lingo, Australian tastes and Australian attitudes that makes their writing style truly Australian – and that makes it valuable to other Australians.
Work at Home
There is a way of getting good quality words for your website or blog for a reasonable price and that is by using a Virtual Assistant (sometimes called a remote worker, home worker or a remote contractor). There are some great writers out there who choose to work from home and if you use the services of an organisation like Virtually Yours you’ll find top quality writers and remote contractors with many other skills that are part of an organisation designed to find good virtual assistants and promote them as well as provide them with tools to be effective small business owners.
While we are on the topic I want to share the success of Terry from Ramancorp. He operates a small wholesale business supplying a range of framing, hanging, display and packaging materials and he lists them all on his website. Because he has gone to the trouble of providing as much information as possible he uses some very niche words that attract customer looking for the exact product they need. As a result Terry is getting a good amount of NEW customers EVERY month without having to pay a cent in Google Adwords advertising.
Words are Valuable in Resumes, Website and LinkedIn
Words are just as valuable in your resume so the next time you think about what kind of job you are looking for, think about the words that the advertiser might use to attract the right candidate and make sure your resume has these words in it.
The right heading on a flyer or a document will let you know immediately if that information on that page is “relevant” to you. It’s no different with a website. When you do a search in Google you decide in second which of the search results to go to depending on what they write in their title and description. Click the link in this blog post title to watch our video on Search Engine Optimisation.
EzyLearn offers the 123ezy website builder as part of a website hosting package and it makes it so simple to add (and change) words to the heading and description of each page within your website. Visit the 123ezy website for more information or take a look at a website that he been created using the SiteBuilder to see how it works.