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Archive for 2010

20% Off Coupons for Web Design, SEO, and Online Marketing

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

The my PC Techs September newsletter has coupons for 20% off web design, SEO, and online marketing solutions from seenBEST Web Design. Click here for the coupons!


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Your Website Can Be The Perfect Sales Pitch

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Imagine yourself in a crowded room packed full of hundreds of interested customers who are there to learn about your products and services. You’ve prepared, have ample materials, and a projector with a screen and a video presentation ready to go. If you deliver the perfect sales pitch you’re going to convert almost everyone in that room and your business will skyrocket. Does this sound too good to be true? It shouldn’t. The internet is that crowded room packed full of interested customers and your website can be the perfect sales pitch.

Everything you can do at a sales meeting can be done through your website. Product information, pictures, video samples, testimonials, and sales materials can be made available to interested parties at the click of a button. If your business is not generating significant new leads from your website my question to you is ‘why not’? This is a proven marketing method for thousands of local business owners who have found the secret. Your problem could be anywhere and your existing processes must be thoroughly inspected:

  • Not enough traffic
  • Inaccurate marketing messages for your current visitors
  • Competitor websites with a more appealing message
  • Lack of a clear call to action

At seenBEST Web Design we take care of your complete marketing platform. From web design, to development, promotion, marketing, and lead generation. We are your complete solution to digital success. We will design the best website for your business and then make sure that your website is seen by customers at the moment they are ready to buy. If your sales are down or you are not generating significant profit from online marketing activities first ask why, then give us a call. We will meet with you face to face, learn about your business, then offer you the most effective web and online marketing solutions available. Make your website the perfect sales pitch today, call (602) 456-0150.



seenBEST Web Design

Strategy, More than Just an Eight Letter Word

Monday, September 20th, 2010

What a mess we’re in.

The online marketing industry right now is saturated with poorly trained freelancers, scam artists, and under-skilled web design companies that know little, promise much, and eventually wind up under-performing. When a business owner responds to a piece of spam that promises him SEO that will deliver 3,000 new leads per day for $20 a month, buys it, and gets nothing in return it really hurts the perception he has towards this industry. In his mind, SEO doesn’t work, and it’s very difficult from that moment forward to change his opinion. So many people have been burned this way and they are hesitant to participate again, even after they come in contact with a firm that really can deliver proven online marketing results.

Adding to the problem is the fact that online marketing methods have become confusing and difficult to follow for many business owners. SEM, SEO, PPC, Keywords, Blog, Social Media, PR, Linking, Meta Tags. Most people just scratch their heads and turn away. They don’t have time to figure this out, and most people don’t purchase services they can’t fully understand. Why should they? It’s hard to see real value in any service if you don’t first understand how it works.

Marketing StrategyAdding even FURTHER to the problem is the basic fact that strategy is more than just an eight letter word. Sure, you could go out and hire a self-proclaimed “Social Media Guru”, but what good is that going to do you when those efforts are not intelligently linked to your overall marketing efforts? Very little unfortunately and therein lays the dilemma. Business owners who have been burned in the past, do not understand the industry, but are willing to give it another try often end up trying some type of piecemeal approach where they hire several different people or companies. They may have a web design person, a social media person, an SEO person, some company in another state handling search engine marketing. Usually most of these organizations never sit down or meet with the business owner. This is a recipe for failure. These strangers, each handling some different aspect of your business presence, do not care whether or not your business generates new leads. They will be more than happy to take your money, however, and as a result you will end up with poor results and the attitude once again that online marketing does not work for you. Wash, rinse, repeat. The cycle continues.

If you own a business and want to become wildly successful you absolutely must establish a successful online marketing strategy. That strategy cannot consist of a piecemeal approach. The game has become very complex and, much like football, it is going to take a trained, well-coordinated team effort to win. Imagine if the owner of the Arizona Cardinals walked outside, pulled 11 complete strangers together that have never met before into the stadium, and had them play a quick pickup game against his team without any prior practice. What would happen? Those poor guys would get crushed. In similar fashion, your business will get crushed by your competition if you don’t hire a complete team that knows the game and has a solid game plan.

seenBEST Web Design knows the detailed methods of online marketing, how to make them work for you, and more importantly how critical it is for all of them to work together in order to bring success to your business. Our team will sit down with you, determine exactly what your business goals are, and then explain to you point by point the online marketing methods that are most cost effective for you to achieve results. We will not suggest driving traffic to your website, for example, without first making sure that your website is adequately designed to convert those visitors into leads. We will not suggest that you build a killer new website without first giving you pointers on ways to design it that will make it easier to market it once it’s complete.

We do these things at no additional cost, first because we understand the industry and we can, and second because the success of our clients is very important to us. SEO, SEM, Social Media, Email Marketing, Blogging, and Web Design are all interlinked with each other. You need to think outside of the box to target, plan for, and achieve business success. The way to do this is through an expert team that will communicate with you, educate you, and work together with your company to bring in real profits! Break the cycle, pull your online marketing team together, and let’s start generating new sales.



seenBEST Web Design

Does Your Best Sales Representative Dress Poorly?

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Merriam-Webster defines company as: “An association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise.”

The key phrase in all of this being ‘persons’. We all know that companies are comprised of real people, people that are doing all of the talking, all of the selling, all of the business. If a company has a story to tell, the people of that company are always ready to deliver the message. But what if your company was its own person, with its own voice? If your business could speak for itself what would it say? Wouldn’t it be great if your company, as an entity, could walk around on its own accord, talk to interested parties, and bring in new business all on its own? Interestingly enough if you have a website for your business that’s exactly what it’s doing. Most people don’t think of a website in this way, but that IS the reality of what is happening. In this digital age no one makes a purchase without first looking over the website of the business where they intend to buy.

Long after the lights go out at night and when all of the employees are sleeping, on major holidays, even while your best human sales representative is at home in bed sick with the flu, the company website is still there. And it’s talking. It’s constantly networking, shaking hands, telling stories about your business and singing sales jingles into the ears of its visitors. Your website is your very best sales representative, working longer, harder, and more effectively than any other person on your team. So if your website is dressed poorly, is shy around strangers, or knows very little about the products and services your company has to offer things are going to start going downhill really fast.

A well designed website has unlimited potential to sell products and make money for your business. It can talk to 20, 50, 100 people all at the same time. It can talk to anyone, anywhere, without boundaries. So if your website is your best sales representative why wouldn’t you want it to look as sharp as possible? The internet is like a large banquet hall stuffed full packed with competitors. For every one interested buyer there are 100 other representatives from 100 other companies ready to compete. You better hope that your sales rep is pretty darn impressive if you’re going to walk out of that room with a sale! That’s where seenBEST Web Design comes in. We are the personal stylists, image consultants, and speechwriters for your website. We go into that banquet hall, look at everyone standing in the room, and take detailed notes about how they look and what they say. We then put together a look and script for YOUR sales representative that beats them all.

Your Best Sales RepresentativeWe design websites for your business using all of the latest web technologies and the very best graphic designs. Remember, when your website walks into that room we want it to be sharp. Not too flashy, however. We don’t want your website to walk in with a goofy looking fluorescent green suit because that’s not going to be effective either. We want it to look professional, clean and crisp. Looks, however, are only part of the equation. Remember when your mother told you that beauty is only skin deep? If your website is beautiful but cannot speak clearly and effectively in front of others it will never amount to anything. That is why we sit down with you and your team, learn everything we can about your business, who your clients are, who your target audience is, and the story behind your company and why it exists and is successful. We then wrap all of that into a clear and concise message. When all is said and done, your website is not just beautiful; it is speaking words of gold to everyone close enough to hear.

And after your website is looks and sounds amazing we can do a whole lot more. We can deliver truckloads of new leads to come visit and listen to its sales pitch (online marketing), we can get it first in line at the ticket counter to every hot business mixer in the city (SEO), and we can give it a bullhorn to shout your company message out to a crowded room (Social Media). But first and long before ANY of that happens, let’s again double check and make sure that it looks and sounds perfect. Otherwise, you’re just paying a lot of money to send out a poorly dressed sales representative that knows nothing about your business. Now how effective do you think that will be?



seenBEST Web Design

Importing a CSV of products to Magento

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

We have recently designed a highly functional new online store for a client of ours using the advanced Magento shopping cart, taking eCommerce for this business to an entirely new level! We ran into a small snag during the initial stages of development as the client has a proprietary database system that stores detailed information for several hundred products. Their database software held everything from product name, pricing information, description. The client did not have the time to recreate all of the product information in the back-end of Magento using the built in tools. So, the challenge: How do we extract this information from their locally installed database information in a way that could be easily imported and put to work in Magento?

Fortunately, the database storing the client product details provides a mechanism to export product information to a CSV file. While it wasn’t pretty, the data was all there on the export. Sorting through 30 fields of data we didn’t need, we found fields for product name, model, color, asking price, category, and photo name. The trick now was figuring out how to map and then import this data into Magento.

The trick that helps you with a Magento import is knowing what’s absolutely necessary to import, and supplying that data in your own custom xls file. To do that, we added a product manually through the Magento interface. Here’s how:

  • Click on catalog/manage products
  • Click on Add Product
  • Click through to enter a name, description, short description, sku, weight, status (enabled), and set visibility.
  • Go to prices, enter a price, and tax class
  • Click to the inventory area and set an initial quantity, then change stock availability to in stock
  • Click to the category area and assign the new product to a category

Now save your product. If everything went according to plan, you will see your new product listed in your store under the selected category you selected previously. Great! Now that we have a functional product to work with, one that appears in the store, it’s time to export that data to a CSV file.

Exporting Magento items:

  • Go to system, import/export, profiles from the admin panel
  • Click on export all products
  • The default values are fine, CSV/Tab Separated, attribute names, all fields
  • Click on run profile to generate your CSV file

Now look in your Magento directory on your server, and find the var/export folder. The file export_all_products.csv will be on your server, download this to your local computer and open it in your favorite spreadsheet program (Excel works well!).

Now comes the tricky part. View export_all_products.csv side by side with a CSV of the data from your other database product. You are going to need to make the data from your previous database match the Magento data. I don’t want to tell you exactly how to do it, there are many different paths you can take to get to the same result. Find the fastest way that works for you. For me, it was as easy as deleting all of the columns from the old database CSV that weren’t used in Magento, renaming the column names to match similar columns in Magento, then creating columns that Magento needed that did NOT exist in the old data and pre-populating it with standard info. The fill function in Excel is extremely useful for this.

At the very least, you will want to make sure you have these columns:

  • store
  • websites
  • attribute
  • type
  • category
  • sku
  • name
  • url_key
  • url_path
  • price
  • weight
  • description
  • short description
  • status
  • tax_class_id
  • visibility
  • enable
  • qty
  • product_name
  • product_type_id

Try to be as complete as possible, and include as many (if not all) of the fields from the original Magento export as you can in your new set of data to import. Leaving out something important could result in a botched import!

When you’re all finished and, depending on the size of data you’re dealing with, several minutes/hours/days/weeks later, you will have a new XLS file that you can save, ready for import to Magento. Go to System, Import, Profiles. Import all products. Be sure to increase the “number of records” to a higher value, like 3, if you’ve already modified and improved your Magento memory settings. I also like to import using the MS Excel XML (save to this format first) as it’s less prone to data errors caused by improper characters in the data stream. Save the file as XML Spreadsheet 2003, change the data type, then use the upload file tool to upload your XML file.

The process CAN take a long time, so be sure you leave the import window up during the process. With a little luck, all of your products have been imported! There is a way to do this while including images, but it gets a little complicated. With the method I’ve discussed, you will need to go in and manually upload images to each item. While that can be somewhat labor intensive, I like having Magento create proper names and file sizes for me for each product.

Enjoy!


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Email Marketing – The Third Most Effective Online Marketing Method

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Online marketing today offers an incredible number of methods, a select few being more effective than the others. Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization rank number one and number two in terms of marketing effectiveness and possible ROI. So, what ranks number three? When done properly, the third most effective online marketing method is email marketing. If your business is working on a limited budget, employing SEO, SEM, and email marketing would alone guarantee significant business growth. While blogging, social media, videos, and several other techniques are still recommended as part of an overall online marketing strategy, they don’t come close in effectiveness to email marketing.

Spam in MailboxSEO and SEM are pretty straightforward and easy to understand, but email marketing confuses a lot of people. When using the term email marketing, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is SPAM. Everyone hates SPAM, right? Mass bombing your message to thousands of strangers is NOT an effective email marketing method. However, there ARE many ways to use email as a marketing tool without getting your domain blacklisted and blocked by the internet. Some examples of non spammy ways to make email marketing work for you:

  • Monthly newsletters
  • Event reminders
  • Sale confirmations
  • Quotes
  • Invoices

Just about anything your business currently does via mail can be turned into an email marketing opportunity. Emails that are already being generated for routine functions can be turned into email marketing by adding a simple line to each email pitching a new product or service, or announcing a special sale. In this fast paced world no one has time to think about the millions of messages that we are all bombarded with every single day. That’s why effective email marketing works so well. You are using a message that your intended recipient is expecting, and sometimes excited about. Since they are checking email, chances are good that they’re working, so your message will reach them in a decision making mode.

With 93% of all consumers today receiving business data and product information through email every day, any business that ignores email marketing is making a serious mistake. Once you have decided to take on email marketing for your business, the only thing left to do is find an experienced online marketing firm that is willing to sit down with you and help you put everything in place. Competent internet marketing firms will have plans setup that can help you get an effective email marketing campaign off the ground. They will work with you to integrate email marketing into your existing processes and can design a campaign for you that matches existing branding.



seenBEST Web Design

Search Engine Optimization is a Connection to New Business

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Search engine optimization services are booming, and for good reason. With Search engine optimization experts guiding your website, your business can extend marketing reach to a maximum¬† number of customers and increase sales at a staggering rate. With practically everyone using the internet now to search for products and services, it’s important to put your website in front of them as often as possible. In most cases, if you wish to grow and increase business, search engine optimization services are one of the very few ways for you to be successful.

seenBEST Web Design, SEO, and Online MarketingSEO is a complex field that is changing every single day. Search engines are constantly updating their ranking techniques while competitors are constantly trying to beat your website and are employing new methods regularly. To pull in maximum traffic for your website, it is essential to hire a specialist that stays on top of these new developments and implements the effective ones for your site. Search engine optimization is about understanding everything about your website, from page content, to blogs, natural traffic, back links, keywords, meta tags, pay per click links and more. Hiring an expert that is familiar with these terms will win you new projects if applied and put to practice properly.

Irrespective of any site promotion techniques you apply, one thing is sure. Content is king. That is the most important concept to keep in mind if your goal is to leave your competition in the dust. Adding business related content that applies pre-determined keywords in articles, page content, and blogs is very important. Customers naturally search by using keywords and key phrases, so it’s imperative to correctly identify what those are and how to best target them.

For information about expert SEO services for your business, visit seenBEST Web Design. Our Phoenix, Arizona company will get your business seen online and increase sales for your company.  We offer professional web design, SEO, and online marketing services.



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