Ok - the extremely helpful infographic below was created with the title "120 Marketing Tactics for New Blogs." As I checked out the tips, though, I realized that a lot of our advice to clients is in this graphic.
Any local business owner happening by these tips might be thrown off by "Tactics for New Blogs" and not read it. Not only are many of these tips good for new sites of any kind, they are good for old sites. And they are good tactics for local business owners looking to make the web a good customer and lead generation producer for them.
If you are a local business owner or staff member in charge of getting more customers from the web to view your site, tap to call you, or otherwise engage with your web presence, you should get an awful lot out of this one!
If you need any help with anything below, be sure to let us know. We can help you!
Infographic by Digital Philippines
At Brick Road Media 35% of our business comes from Website Design/Re-Design. When we first start discussing a website project the end goal is the top priority . If driving traffic and leads is the number one priority then functionality is the first design element that we will work on . Too many times designers go for high -end graphics and photography but forget the marketing elements that will make the page produce results . I mention this because over 90% of the clients that we consult with have marketing and page conversion at the bottom of their list of priorities . Here are the top 5 design blunders for you as a budding designer or D.I.Y to avoid. 1. Font is too small- 14pt Font is the new 12pt Font . I often see websites that use font that I have to use the control + key for, and a lot of times they are using this small font in key areas such as contact us page and in areas where the call to action is located . If I can't read it, then how would you expect the older generation who haven't upgraded to a 32 inch LCD panel screen to read your important parts? Go BIG or Go HOME! 2. Home Page is Jammed- You know these pages on talking about. The website that looks like they took the company flyer , brochure , sales presentation folder , and every other piece of literature that is ever been printed for the company and threw it in three unorganized columns with two irrelevant stock images and called this their home page . Please Please Please avoid this style at all costs . We use WordPress for all of our websites and there are several great theme companies such as Woo Themes, and Elegant Themes that will help with the layout of a good home page . To start you want to make sure that there's plenty of white space , and I recommend that you choose the three most important elements of your business or organization that you want highlighted and start with either a slider or three shadow boxes that link to the information pages about those items . Do not put the information about these items on the homepage ! Use images or icons in a short catchy phrase that will induce the user to click to learn more information . This will keep your home page clutter free , easy to navigate , and most importantly it will keep your user engaged with your website until they find what they're looking for . 3. Forms- This blunder can easily be fixed . Keep your forms to 4 Input boxes or less . There is a time down the road to get your users date of birth , social security numbers , firstborns shoe size, and Rusty the family Dog's DNA profile, but it is not in the first interaction with the user . It is better to start with name, and email and go from there. Statistics will show that your click through rates on forms increases when your fields of input decrease. 4. Contact Page- This may be more of a personal pet peeve , but it drives me crazy when I landed on a site and find the information exciting enough to want to know more and talk to someone and the only option is to fill out a basic contact form where you know the message is landing somewhere in cyberspace . What tends to happen with me, is I get the reply 2-3 days later and by then I forget what I was interested in or have already went to a competitor and purchased. That is what happens to companies that don't think of being super accessible on the web. The Best way of handling in my opinion is to give as many options to the user to contact you as possible , if such as live chat , e-mail address , phone number , hours of operation , and an expected time frame that their query will be returned . 5. Creativity before Functionality- As discussed above in the introduction you want to decide early in the project what's the main focus is going to be . If the main focus is to drive traffic and leads which is typical for most businesses, then you need to focus on the marketing functionality in the overall user experience. There will be a time and a place to input those sexy icons and that awesome photograph that you are just dying to put in the website somewhere, but trust me on this one, designing a funnel that will drive and capture leads is much more rewarding than having a cool site.
Word Cloud for This Article
There are mountains of statistics that should give any small business owner pause with regard to the importance of the internet. Here's just one piece of evidence:
"Consumers are using a combination of search engines and social media before making a purchasing decision, a new study by GroupM Search and comScore finds.
In fact, 58% of respondents first turned to search engines such as Google and Bing, while 24% visited company sites, and a mere 18% went to social media, according to a study called "The Virtuous Circle: the Role of Search and Social Media in the Purchase Pathway". During the purchase process, 48% of shoppers used a combination of search and social media, the study found." Information Week, Consumers Combine Search, Social Media For Buying Decisions
The old days of search engine optimization are over. SEO used to be easier for small business because you could afford to be more passive in your marketing efforts.
Today, you have to be moving - constantly - to get good search engine rankings and direct traffic from other sites and social networks. This isn't such good news for local business owners, because it means internet marketing cannot be phoned in any longer.
We encourage our clients to take active roles in their social media and content marketing campaigns as much as possible. Even when we're hired to do the heavy lifting. It is simply no longer possible for any site on the web to rank by putting up "brochure sites" and including a few keywords on their pages, getting a few links, and letting the rankings fall where they may.
The upside - and it is huge - is that there is far more opportunity for targeted traffic, lead generation, and increased profits today than ever before.
Social media offers a plethora of opportunities to connect with new customers and keep the old ones coming back.
Search simply relies on the activity generated by social and various link-building techniques to rank sites. All Google wants to see is an active presence on the web. They watch whether or not people are "voting" for your site with links, Likes, Tweets, and +1's. Also reviews on local places listings.
None of that happens without an active campaign of content marketing (blogging new content regularly) and social engagement signals that prove to Google that what you're doing is relevant and well-liked by your target market.
It's simple, really. There are a lot of moving parts and technical stuff to know about, which makes having a firm who knows what they're doing no longer an optional thing. Not for a business that wants to grow.
We'll keep teaching methods for getting attention from local search and social here on the Brick Road blog. If you have the time to follow our lead, it would be well worth the effort.
Everyone is online and the tiny fraction of old school newspaper readers is fading fast. Online marketing simply has to be made a permanent and serious focus for every small business.
There's almost all the potential for local business growth and customer retention lies on the internet today.
Ask us how to get involved in your business' future. The competition is already making its moves.
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