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Business Marketing Tip: Focus on the Positive

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Focus on the PositiveHave you struggled to achieve satisfactory results from past business marketing efforts? You’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs waste lots of valuable time struggling to find effective advertising solutions. Trying to grow a business and spending a small fortune in the process, only to get back very little in return, is a painful and unpleasant experience. The failure to bring on new clients via effective advertising will keep you from becoming successful. This inability to generate leads is common in new businesses, and forces most one-time business owners to abandon their dreams, back to the safety of a 9 to 5.

 

Don’t let past marketing efforts that failed to produce new clients lead to a fear of failure, or convince you to abandon advertising completely. It takes money to make money, all successful business owners and managers embrace this fact. New clients are a necessity for any business to grow and remain strong, without them your business will fail. So, the question is not whether you should market your business, the question is how can you best market your business? Yes it takes money to make money, but that money needs to work smart to make an impact. You need to find out how to allocate the money you do have into advertising methods that guarantee higher margins of profitability, and invest your advertising budget in new lead generation techniques that result in a measurable increase in new clients.

 

How could a profitable advertising campaign help your business grow? Visualize the success you want, and then focus your resources on the positive to make it happen. A positive outlook could provide the spark you need to evaluate and learn from negative advertising experiences, and create a successful marketing plan from past failures. Here’s how:

  • Go back and make note of every advertising method you have ever tried in the past
  • Now examine and make note of all of the current ways you are spending money to advertise your business
  • List each marketing type above in a spreadsheet
  • For each method in the list, write down the total amount of money spent on that advertising method to date
  • You should also calculate in the cost of time allocated by staff members to the total amount spent for each
  • Now add up how much projected revenue you’ve gained from each of those methods to date
  • Including recurring revenue from clients who found you via that one method but used your services multiple times

 

Your list may resemble the following, an example marketing analysis data provided by a Phoenix area IT firm:

 

Marketing Methods Analysis

 

How can you take a list like this one, built with data from your own business, and focus on the positive to turn around negative advertising adventures? To start, look at your list as a framework to learn from and build upon. The first step is to identify which advertising methods work and discard all others. It’s important to avoid wasting marketing budget if you want your business to grow. See the following graphic, we went through our sample list and crossed out all forms of marketing that resulted in wasted budget:

 

 

The above methods, crossed out in red, cost a total of $142,112 but only resulted in a total of $12,224 in revenues. That’s a total loss of $129,888. The first step towards success in marketing is eliminating those methods that fail to generate more revenue than they expend. If you are losing money, consider another medium. Your most important resource as a business owner is time, so don’t wait forever to take action. Reallocate your budget immediately by eliminating every advertising method you’re spending money on that isn’t working (those items in red above). Once you free up this money, you can either move those funds to advertising methods on your list that are proven to be profitable, or try new marketing avenues that you haven’t yet explored.

 

Focus on the Positive to Improve Your Advertising

To improve on advertising methods that are not as profitable as they could be, the solution is to focus on the positive. The return for methods on your list that are close to break-even can usually be improved by making a few adjustments. In our example above, the question was how can we improve our video ads to make them more profitable? For your list, evaluate your products and services from the your customer’s point of view. What service or product are you currently providing that existing clients really like? Think about all the positive qualities of your product, service, and offer, and hone in on what your customers are looking for. Next, change up the message in your lower performing advertising methods to better deliver on the needs and wants of your ideal client. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating articles for content marketing or producing videos for social media sites. Pour your enthusiasm and pack value into what you’re doing, the main idea here is to focus on the positive. In our case, for a recent video content marketing campaign, we re-thought the entire campaign to come up with ways we could produce higher quality videos that were more engaging, entertaining, and useful for our target clients.

 

Whatever you do, keep a positive mindset and don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Remember, it takes money to make money. While you should definitely try new things, you should also keep a watchful eye on your investments and tend to them on a regular basis to maximize results. Doing so will allow you to eliminate obstacles and negative investments, focus in on those things that are working well, and create powerful new marketing messages to attract new customers.

 

 



seenBEST Web Design

Email Marketing: Keeping Clients Informed

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

This article is part of a series of twenty articles. Click to read: The Top 20 Web Marketing Concepts Your Next Website Design Company Should Know

 
Email marketing is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to keep the name of your business in front of your clients on a frequent, consistent basis, and has become an exceptionally popular form of advertising. If you aren’t taking advantage of the benefits of email marketing, consider these statistics:

 

  • A study by the Direct Marketing Association estimated that email marketing would generate an ROI of $42.08 for every dollar spent on it in 2010, outperforming all the other direct marketing channels studied.
  • Nearly 90% of consumers use email (2010 Digital Marketing Fact Book).
  • In 2011, 88% of business-to-consumer firms and 71% of business-to-business firms are using email marketing (Forrester Research).
  • U.S. online retail sales (excluding auto, travel, and prescription drugs) are forecast to reach $248.7 billion by 2014 (Forrester Research).

 

So – what is email marketing?

 

Email marketing is sending electronic mail to a list of customers and prospects to deliver your marketing messages and help you stay in contact with people on your list. Companies send regularly scheduled emails to build customer loyalty and trust, increase sales, and strengthen brand recognition.

 

However, a successful email marketing campaign today is not just about selling your products or services. It is important to understand: consumers don’t want to be sold. According to the Custom Content Council, 73% of consumers prefer to get helpful articles rather than ads from companies. And 61% are more likely to buy from those companies. By sending relevant, informative email communications on a regular basis, you can build a strong relationship with your readers. This relationship will set you apart from the competition, companies that send messages that are often viewed as SPAM in the eyes of the recipients.

 

What are some of the benefits of email marketing?

 

  1. Save money and time – Email is an inexpensive and fast way to reach large numbers of people.
  2. Build your company’s reputation as an expert – If you are too busy to generate your own content, a professional online marketing firm can generate and publish industry specific content for your business.
  3. Grow your prospect list – There are multiple ways to expand your list of email contacts, from website embedded subscription forms, to social media, giveaways, events, and more.
  4. Keep your company visible – Put your name in front of people often so they’ll remember you when they or their friends need you.
  5. Track results easily – Numerous web analytics are available to learn how effective each email was and how to improve future email performance.
  6. All marketing campaigns increase in effectiveness – Combine email with social media, website, newspaper ads, bulk mail, and radio … and multiply the results.
  7. Communicate with people who want your email – Use opt-in lists and advanced email marketing tools to ensure the highest open rates and avoid being blacklisted.

 

There are several important ingredients that must be present in order for an email marketing campaign to achieve the desired results. Great content is only one of those ingredients, successful email marketers know that other processes must be followed closely. To create powerful results, email marketing campaigns must:

 

  • Provide fresh and relevant content.
  • Utilize regularly updated sources of email contacts.
  • Brand the email message properly at time of distribution.
  • Use a compelling subject line to cut through the clutter.
  • Maintain proper controls over the system of email distribution.
  • Empower email marketing with social media and sharing tools to help spread the message further.

 

Our team of online marketing experts at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, help your business maximize email marketing results. We help build email lists from client databases and other sources and then import those lists into the proper email marketing software, based on marketing objectives. We then help brand the email message to match your business cards, websites, and other marketing collateral. We provide content writing services that will create fresh, regular content to use in email marketing campaigns and help inform and energize your client base. From start to finish, we help your company create and manage a regular newsletter email campaign, including template design and content selection. We help embed newsletter/email sign-up forms on websites and utilize other sources, such as social networks, to expand your list and maximize the distribution of your message.

 

We have been helping businesses achieve their marketing goals throughout the Phoenix, Arizona, metro area since 1995. Contact us today for a free expert consultation and find out how we can help your business increase sales and maximize ROI through the use of email marketing. Call (602) 456-0150.

 


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seenBEST Web Design

SEO May Be the Best Investment for Your Small Business

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

For most businesses with a website, the foremost source of traffic to their website is user searches. Over 70% of users click only on the top 10 results from a search, and ignore the search results that fall further down on the page or beyond the first page. How do companies get the number one spot? Or one of the top 10? Or at least one in the top half of the first page? Answer: by recognizing the power of optimizing their websites for search engines. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., use complex algorithms to determine the order in which companies will appear in the search results. These algorithms include hundreds of ranking factors that determine the position a company website will appear when a user search is made.

 

SEO – search engine optimization – is one of the most important marketing tools a small business can invest in. SEO can produce an extraordinary return on investment (ROI) by increasing a website’s online visibility, thereby attracting visitors who convert into customers. Company listings displaying in the top half of page one search results capture 99% of consumers, which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue per year. Most business owners miss out on the vast majority of internet traffic, and sales, that would otherwise be theirs if their website was optimized for search. Small business owners must not underestimate the value of SEO and its impact on the bottom line.

 

Online marketing success requires setting goals and developing a strategic plan to achieve those goals. Some of the elements of search engine marketing – SEM – strategy include:

  • creating an attractive website with rich, constantly updated content
  • developing a carefully researched and employed keyword list to use in headlines and copy
  • properly designing video, photos, graphics and other website features
  • having all of website code reviewed and optimized by an SEO expert
  • developing a strategy to acquire high quality inbound links to the website
  • using metrics to track traffic and rankings

 

A well executed SEM campaign assures your advertisement and website link appear immediately at the top section of page one in the search engines. How sure can you be that SEM will work? How long will the process take? As with other forms of marketing – newspaper, yellow pages, TV, radio, direct mail – there are no guarantees. However, unlike other forms of marketing, SEM allows the small business owner to track rankings, traffic and sales to see quantifiable results.

 

Let’s go on a short journey into cyberspace and review an example of what this might look like.

  • Let’s pretend you are a hair stylist.
  • You cater to the Phoenix, Arizona market.
  • Your business name is “Swank Salon.”
  • A Google search for “Swank Salon” lists you at Page 1, Rank 1.
  • Fantastic!

 

As the owner, you might be overjoyed that you rank well for that search term, but does a high ranking on your name profit you? Probably not! Searches on your company’s name will rank your company high in search engines. But searching on your business name only works when the user already knows it. Usually, new customers will not know the name of your business. They may only be searching for a company that can help them fulfill a need and will instead search for a keyword or phrase that describes what they are looking for in their own words. If your goal is to increase traffic to your site and attract new clients, you need more than high ranking on your name – you need to rank well for the right keywords.

 

Are you using the right keywords in your content for your local market and target audience? Let’s Google “hair salon phoenix” to find Swank Salon. Are you attracting the largest number of local visitors possible to your site with these keywords? At this point, comprehensive research is needed to determine the search terms your business should be ranking well for based on the amount of search engine traffic tied to those terms. This research draws upon specific information collected from the business owner about the top competition, target client, and the industry.

 

As we conduct deep research for Swank Salon in SEO for the hair stylist industry, we learn:

  • 2.8 million people search for “haircut salons” every month
  • 2.3 million people search for “haircuts” every month
  • 1.8 million people search for “hair salon” every month
  • Fewer than 100 people search for “swank salon” every month

 

From this research, the company that can gain the most business from online shoppers is optimized to rank well for “haircut salons.” Only a proper SEO review can ensure that your website is using the correct terms to rank well. If Swank Salon relied on the keywords “beauty salon haircut” for SEO or the keywords “swank salon”, they would get fewer than 300 searches per month. The salon would lose out on the 2.8 million other consumers interested in their services who are searching on “haircut salons.”

 

So how does Swank Salon rank in “haircut salons phoenix”? Doing a Google search places them near the top of the list. But they are not the top. The sites at the very top are pulling in 70% more traffic from these 2.8 million consumers. Swank could use an SEM and SEO campaign to get the number one spot. Is search engine optimization all you need to bring in business? Not quite…

 

What happens when you click on the link to the Swank Salon website? Ugh! The poorly designed website will cause most of those 2.8 million visitors to back out of the page and find a salon with an attractive website that is easy to use. For a small business to achieve a high return on their SEO efforts, visitors must both (a) see the site listed near the top of search results and (b) like what they see so they stay on the site long enough to make a purchase. For example, take Cloud 9 Spa, a competitor to Swank Salon. While Cloud 9 Spa has a superior website design that appeals to their target client, their ranking is horrible. By appearing on page 2 for most relevant searches, they are getting very little of the total traffic available. Their website may be superior, but they suffer from low visibility. They could benefit from increased SEO and SEM that would place them above Swan Salon. Their superior website design would then capture thousands of dollars in increased revenue as a result.

 

SEO is one of the most successful marketing tools today. To take advantage of the tremendous online opportunity to grow your small business, you have to invest either money or time. As a small business owner, do you have time to become an SEO expert? SEO success takes a lot of work and time to achieve, even with the most sophisticated SEO techniques and skills. You may be able to learn the basics, but your business will grow much faster and you’ll see a greater ROI much sooner by using an online marketing firm experienced in web design, SEO, and content writing. You will also save a lot of money, by investing your marketing budget into the proper areas immediately via the expert strategy and guidance your SEO team provides.

 

In addition to expert search engine optimization, you should find a firm that will do more than promise to drive traffic to your website. As demonstrated in the example above, money spent to drive traffic to a poorly designed website will most likely result in lost sales. The professional team at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, provide you with comprehensive online marketing services at affordable rates. We provide you a complete team of experts in the fields of online marketing, content writing, web design, SEO, SEM, programming, and social media. We will design the best website for your business. Then we will drive traffic to your website, and get your website ranked above all of your competitors.

 

Can you afford to let your competitors capture the bulk of the sales from your target market? Give us a call and let us design the best website for your company, and then put expert online marketing strategies in place to get your website seen first, before the competition. We offer a free one hour consultation and will sit down with you to learn about your business and provide a custom plan tailored for your needs, call (602) 456-0150 to learn more.

 

 


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Web Design that Captures Visitors and Creates New Customers

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Why is professional web design so important for the success of your business? It has a lot to do with packaging, which is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Imagine that you’re interviewing a dozen candidates for a new assistant position to work for you directly. Who are you more likely to hire: A candidate who shows up late in torn jeans, doesn’t seem interested in the job, and doesn’t speak to what you’re looking for? Or the well-polished candidate who is dressed nicely, friendly, knowledgeable about your company, and hits it off with you right from the start?

 

Website the Sales Rep

Packaging is the process of glamorizing your products or services in order to attract the customer’s attention. When there are hundreds or thousands of other websites offering the same products or services as your business, would you rather be the poorly dressed applicant with a communication problem or the sharply dressed and crisply spoken candidate that appeals to your customer’s needs? Most people on first glance will choose the business that presents the most pride in their company by exuding a professional image through their website.

 

A website makes a statement about your company. It is often the first and only impression potential clients have of your company. Attractive web design lends credibility to your business and leaves a positive impression on visitors. Researchers have found that people form an opinion of a website and the company it represents in less than one second. If that opinion is not positive, they will immediately click off your site to go to another site. With so many options available to the digital consumer, how do you create and design a successful website that sets you apart from the competition?

 

Designing a website that stands above the competition requires a combination of several unique talents that are often difficult or impossible to obtain in one place. There are a lot of ‘web designers’, ‘web design companies’, and ‘do it yourself website’ packages out there. Unfortunately, very few of these available options master the complex art of successful web design that will result in increased sales and business leads. Doing this correctly in a way that doesn’t waste your time or your money requires:

 

  • A good understanding of web psychology
  • Extensive experience with marketing technique
  • Current knowledge of web usability issues
  • The unique ability to position one company apart from and above all others
  • A grasp of modern design standards and skills with the manipulation of digital imagery to tell a story

 

A professionally designed website will capture visitors in those crucial first seconds, stand out from the competition, build customer base and increase sales. Consider these elements when looking for help to design your next corporate website:

 

  • Adoption of user experience conventions. Users expect to find certain things on every website, such as a clear to understand company logo and message, ease of navigation, and the ability to quickly find the information they are looking for.
  • Principles of layout design and proximity. Design must consider the psychological effect of such elements and principles as graphics, white space, cleanliness, placement above and below “the fold,” and grouping like items.
  • Valuable, quality content. Users want information about your company’s products and services. Quality content will improve your search engine rankings.
  • Load time. Speed is key. Users will wait no more than 8-10 seconds for a page to load. And search engines will rank your site higher when pages load faster.
  • Browser compatibility. Your website must follow standard protocols to open properly in any browser.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Sites listed in the top half of the first page of search results capture 99% of all new business generated online. Keyword selection, localization, and constant updating of content are some of the elements necessary to get a high website ranking.

 

Today, over 86% of small businesses have a website. With so much competition, making your website stand out is challenging. A professionally-designed website will reach more people and give your company the image you want to portray. seenBest Web Design employ a team of online marketing experts with over a decade of experience designing successful websites that get results. Contact us today for more information (602) 456-0150.

 

 


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The right website design: Do your web pages reflect your business philosophy?

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

You are a business owner, you have a website, and you’ve worked hard to promote your website on the internet. Yet, for some reason, you fail to generate income or significant leads or calls online. Consider for a moment the possibility that you are using the wrong message, or marketing techniques. As a website service provider, I have seen this on more than once occasion. A company will come to us looking for help with their internet marketing. Everything seems to be right. They have strong traffic, they have a good product. Big warning signs go off, however, upon further examination of their website.

A good website that results in sales must include several elements that are critical to making a sale. Effective calls to action, easy to use navigation, a pleasing look, crisp and clean images, and clarity of message. These elements aren’t easy to wrap together, especially when a website has been pieced together over years – and that’s exactly what happens. Most companies have a website designed all at once, and then spend several years hacking in pictures, text, and little snippets of code here and there to add features. Usually it’s all done without aid of a professional website designer which makes matters worse.

The first thing we will evaluate when a client comes to us with this problem is whether or not it’s worth the time to ‘save’ the website. Some websites in disrepair can be salvaged, and it makes financial sense to do so. Other websites, on the other hand, are so badly managed that the best way to go is a complete re-design. A website should be a copy of your business, an extension of your companies values and benefits. The information must be presented in an easy to read format and must quickly make a positive impression on the visitor. In most cases, it’s easier to start from scratch and design a new, modern website that captures these necessary elements.

Think from a customer’s point of view. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in your website, after all, it’s yours! And if you’ve worked on it yourself, you could be proud of what you’ve done. But it’s often more beneficial to stand outside of the role of business owner and look at your website from the eyes of a complete stranger. Will they really care about what your website is saying to them? If they are in a rush, will they have the time to read through long pages of text? If they have never seen your website before, will it be obvious to them how to find the information they are looking for? And most importantly, will the website be attractive to all customers, not just a few people who are ‘in your industry’?

There really is no point in designing a website without first evaluating all of these ideas. A good website design firm will sit down and meet with you, then they will make a genuine effort to understand your industry. They will understand what your business provides, the values, the benefits. And they will try to understand the philosophy of your company. Quite simply, all of the words, pictures, videos, blog content, links, background colors, links, tabs, and everything else pertaining to your website should be fashioned in a way that matches YOUR business and appeals to YOUR customers.

Your website is the very best tool available to offer up an image of your company to the world. Get that image wrong, and you’ll find that you have a colorful website and no new business. Make sure that your web design company is ready, willing, and available to take the time to understand YOUR needs and your wants and will help design a website accordingly.

seenBEST Web Design is a Phoenix, Arizona web design and online marketing company.

We offer professional web design services. Our initial contact with you will be a free consultation, where we will talk to you about your exact needs and wants for a website or online marketing campaign. After this consultation we will be in a better position to provide you with exactly the right package for your needs. Please feel free to give us a call anytime for a free consultation: (602) 456-0150.



seenBEST Web Design

High time for high traffic

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

How important are high rankings for your business website? The higher you rank, the higher the traffic, and no surprise, the more you’ll generate in new business. SEO is an investment well worth it. You’re not spending, you are investing in your company. To me, spending money on marketing is when you print 5,000 fliers and pass them around town. That’s not really an investment, because 99% of those fliers are going to wind up in the trash and you’ll never see any result. On the other hand, online marketing when done correctly is building long term traffic to your website, which results in permanent links, which results in more traffic. It’s a cumulative effect that will increase your traffic, and new business, gradually over time.

If you’re not already invested in internet marketing, you’re really missing out. Businesses in your industry that have already started marketing online have since gained a considerable advantage over you, and the longer you wait, the harder it will be to take traffic away from them. The time is now to start thinking about the future of your business. This isn’t a get quick rich scheme, but it’s a proven mechanism to building wealth over time. Even a small investment now will pay off big for you later.



seenBEST Web Design

SEO – The Fast Track to Business Profits

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Of all forms of marketing available to your business, effective SEO is the MOST effective and least costly method to keep you moving towards further growth, success, and profits. So many companies have struggled with growth in this economy. Yet, I have personally watched businesses reach record profits, even through a recession. The secret has been the same for all, strong online presence. It’s true that if you supply effective SEO your business website you will grow. The reason is simple. Most businesses, your competitors, do not yet grasp the importance of the internet on the mind and purchasing habits of their target clients. That makes it easy for the few that ‘get it’ to rake in record profits.

Linking your business sites to relevant areas where customers will be searching for your services is a difficult task. There are many factors involved, and an entire industry of specialists has been formed to make sure that your website beats out the competition. If growth is your goal, you should immediately seek out these experts and ask them to start marketing your business to your clients today. But the secret to selling online goes beyond just knowing where the customers are searching. Your website must become a digital handshake between you and your client. You need a compact, easy to use website that has been optimized for your target client and marketed to the right people.

So many website providers today focus on only one element of the process. They either design a website, or they market your website. Rarely do you find a company that does both, and does them both well. However, that’s exactly what you’ll need to be a success. It does little good if people find your website only to turn away because they aren’t getting the information they need from your pages. It also does little good if your website is perfect, but can’t be found by your customers.

It’s time to upgrade the techniques of your outsourced web team. Look for companies that utilize cutting-edge online marketing strategies, combined with effective page design, and are willing to sit down with you to understand your business and goals. These elements are crucial to making your efforts count. Year by year I have observed new trends in the website industry. Your website solutions provider must stay on top of the latest and greatest methods and incorporate new ideas when promoting your business.

Website Marketing and Design

Web Marketing Elements

After all, this is the future of your business on the line! If your website company cannot explain to you the benefits of SEO, blogging, tweets, social media, landing pages, click tracking, page speed, custom search, Google caffeine, article distribution, video linking, or PPC, it’s time to find another company. Further, if they can’t demonstrate to you effective past performance, you also need to move on. In today’s economy, time is too short and the risks are too large to play games with your ROI.

Once you find that company that is willing to sit down with you, work with your business, and knows all elements of the industry – both online marketing and page design, keep them. They will keep your business on the fast track to profits.



seenBEST Web Design

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