According to the traditional Chinese calendar, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. In this calendar, the months are based on lunar cycles rather than being fixed like our Gregorian calendar. So specific dates, like the first day of the new year, can often vary.
The good news here is that for all of you who have already ignored one or more of your New Years resolutions, I am here to give you a second chance. New Years Day in this particular year of the rabbit falls on February 3. So if you have let yourself down resolution-wise, you have a mulligan this year. If you had any web marketing resolutions that you haven't started or you just did not think about this corner of your business life, allow me to help you consider some 2011 Chinese New Year Resolutions.
This year, resolve to:
- Create a smartphone-ready version of your website.
Smartphone usage will explode in 2011. But when your website was built, hardly anyone accessed the Web on their phone. The problem is regular websites may look broken on an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone. You see, Web browsers like Internet Explorer work their magic by reading your sites HTML code and database information and then assembling all that data in an orderly fashion for easy viewing on computer monitors. Smartphones have different browsers and obviously much smaller monitors. In 2011, more of your customers than ever before are conducting online searches for local businesses using their phones. I encourage you to make sure your site and contact info can be viewed easily on these devices. The cost to go mobile? Under $300 and ready in a week. Learn more here:
- Review your Website's content. Any marketer will tell you, content is king. So make sure your website's content is seasonally accurate and where appropriate, mentions 2011 rather than 2010 or an even earlier year. I did a quick Google search for HVAC Boston 2008 and quickly found Grinnell Mechanical
where the copyright is still set to 2008. These folks have an OK site (disclaimer: they are not our client, just referencing them as an example), but seeing 2008 makes it look outdated to potential customers and makes their business seem less professional than it probably is. Cost of updating your content? About 20 minutes of your time and maybe a call to Market Hardware at 888-381-6925 (assuming we built your website).
- Consider a full Website upgrade. You've heard us explain that a website has a 3- to 5-year lifespan. Everything changes over time, including web design standards. What was sleek in 2007 may seem stale today. Has your website outlived its life expectancy? Were your content updates (per #2 above) enough to keep you up to date? Is your competitor's newer site more appealing than yours? If you aren't sure, contact us. Were happy to give you an honest and fair assessment of how your website stacks up against your biggest competitors. Cost? Free! Mention this newsletter and receive a no-charge website consultation today.
- Be strategic with your Paid Search Advertising campaign.
Be sure your paid search campaign (aka pay-per-click or PPC) is oriented to your industry's busy season or designed to create business during a typically slow time of year. By strategic, I mean call your web marketing company this month and start the discussion (or stick a note on your calendar to call tomorrow). There is more competition at the local level for paid search advertising, especially in large metropolitan markets. Give your business and your web marketing provider enough time to optimize your campaign and lower your cost per lead. If you need general schooling on PPC, call us for a down-to-earth, person-to-person Search Engine Marketing tutorial. Tell any team member you want the PPC 101. It's free for anybody who gets this email newsletter. Cost? About 20 - 30 minutes for the call. Or 1 minute to write a note on your calendar.
- Get better Google Maps ranking. If you want to show up higher in Google's local business listings (and why wouldn't you?) then call at least five of your best and most recently serviced clients and ask them to post a review of your business. Businesses with reviews tend to rank higher in search results than businesses without them. Cost of ranking higher than your competitors? A few hours of your time and whatever suffering you may go through by asking customers for favors. Not sure if you have a Google Maps account? Already have one and you're not showing up high enough on Google Maps? Ready to create a listing? Call us at 888-381-6925.
Apple sold 16.24 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2010. That's an increase of 86% from Q4 2009.
Source: New York Times, 1/19/2011
A new oath holds pretty well; but... when it is become old, and frayed out, and damaged by a dozen annual retryings of its remains, it ceases to be serviceable; any little strain will snap it.