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The Year of the Tiger: Is Your Website Ready?

2/1/10 1:57 PM / by Market Hardware

Many of you are probably nervously wondering if your web marketing strategy is ready for the Year of The Tiger (no, I don't mean Tiger Woods). So while you are nursing your hangover from your Chinese New Year's celebration, let me ease your mind by giving you Griff's Web Marketing Guide for 4708 (okay, let's just call it 2010).

What follows are my seven tips and heads-ups for 2010 to help you build and maintain a successful lead-generating "web presence."

  1. Shorten Your Home Page Content – Website visitors are overwhelmed with long paragraphs of essay-style text on home pages and service description pages. If overloaded, your visitors will either leave or won't get a strong impression about why they should call you. Write with concise clarity and describe your services in short sentences, or with bullet points. Look at your home page. In a 15-second scan does it clearly say who you are, what makes you different, and what geographic areas you serve?
  2. Add Video and More Photos – Photos of you at work, of your completed jobs, or staff pictures all help personalize your web presence, distinguishing it from others. Video of you or customers talking about your quality work is an excellent way to engage with potential customers and keep their attention long enough for your message to get through. With video, just use any digital video camera, talk into the camera for 30 seconds to a minute, upload to youtube.com and link to it from your site. (Confused but interested? Email our Web Video Team and we will send you a previous column about Web Video.)
  3. "Convert. Don't Divert" – Focus your brain on converting site visitors into leads. Many business owners focus too much attention on design details instead of the basic task of generating business. Look at your home page. Do you see your phone number and service area at first glance? If not, you are missing the most critical website element when it comes to converting leads. If you need the phone to ring, an easy-to-spot phone number is your web page's best salesperson.
  4. Google Maps – Right now, go to Google Maps, find, claim, and then fully complete your profile listing. These profile listings are free and a key to getting noticed when people search for local businesses like yours. These profile pages when complete will give you an edge when it comes to getting in front of more people. The way these profiles are organized and displayed makes it really easy for searchers to hop from one to another. Make your business look better than your competitors' by having a full profile that lists all the neighborhoods or towns you serve, descriptions of services that match those on your website, and pictures of you or your staff. Want help? Email our Google Maps Team as we've got inexpensive service options to do it all for you.
  5. Web Analytics – It's been a while since I thought this was worthy of making the top 7 tips for web marketing. But I have been on over 20 consulting calls for new Market Hardware customers since January. And I have come away with the impression that everyone is better off staying in touch with how real human customers are using your site. Spoiler alert: most site visits will consist of a journey to your home page, your services page, and then maybe to your "contact us" or "about us" page. You will be able to create better content and convert more leads if you can gain even a basic understanding of your customers' onsite behavior. If you are a Market Hardware customer, email Client Servicesthis week and get a quick refresher.
  6. Online Reviews – Leading search engine and local directory sites have areas for customers to rank your business from 1 to 5 stars and include comments on their experience with you. When I get asked about "Social Media" for small businesses, my top recommendation is to focus on getting your best customers to post reviews on one of the top sites (Google, CitySearch, Yelp are the top three I would pick). If you have not checked out your rankings and reviews or you have no idea what I am even talking about, it's time to email us. We'll send you a previous article all about this important topic. In 2010, your web marketing strategy must at the very least include an understanding of online ratings sites.
  7. Bold Design Change – Change is good. If you are building or overhauling your website in 2010, consider using a bold element that appears on your home page. Maybe a textured background or consistent "wow factor" photo that appears on every page. What you are getting here is my sole opinion, backed by a gut feeling, not a Harvard study.And the smart choice when it came to web design for newbies was to be conservative. But if your business has evolved or grown, and your image has become more distinct, it's time to consider a design element that really pops off the page. Here are a few quick ideas: a large scale stunning photo of a landscaper's best work, a single bold color that ties into a remodeler's logo, a landing page with simply a company name and elegant tagline and phone number. Or, keep the "wow" more simple by adding a Video Spokesperson to your homepage. These are just a few ideas that can help attract the attention of a potential new client.

    I urge you to be bold but also careful. If you are a high-end provider or the leader in your market, work with your web designer to make one bold web design move. Customer's eyes will appreciate a single bold element, but be distracted if you go overboard.


Power Stat:

# of Views for amateur video HVAC Work Truck Tour

11,844.

Source: Youtube.com, February, 2010

 


Quote of the Month

Editor's note: In one last stab at calendar trivia... every animal year in the Chinese calendar also has an element associated with it. In 2010, this is the year of the Metal Tiger.

"Assertive, competitive and sharp, once Metal Tigers set their sights on their goals there's no stopping them. They'll always do what's necessary to remain at the center of attention."

Source: chinesezodiac.com


 

 

Griff's Last Stand (kinda' like Custer's, but different)...

If you have time to be thoughtful, let this sink in: In 2010 (or 4078, your choice) think "web presence" NOT "website rank." Those promised SEO magic tricks to get you to #1 organically are not going to be nearly as effective for most of you as creating quality content on your site and extending the reach of your site by taking advantage of local business listings and profiles.

Call us at 888-381-6925 or email me atgriffslaststand@markethardware.com. We want to help.

 

See you on the Web!

Griff

 

This article was written by Market Hardware's Griffin Davis. Reach Griffin at griffslaststand@markethardware.com or reach anyone on his web expert team at (888) 381-6925.

Topics: General Posts

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