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Posts Tagged ‘visibility’

Four Things You Need to Know to Compete Successfully Online

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

A core part of your business marketing strategy should be online marketing. The more time you spend researching and testing before developing your online marketing plans, the more effectively you can focus your time and efforts to gain a strategic advantage over your competitors. Before you move forward with an online marketing campaign, you need to know the following:

 

1. What your competitors are doing online

One of the fundamental processes in developing an online marketing strategy is learning all you can about your competition and who they are. Spend time reviewing their websites, social media pages, blogs and videos to learn what they’re doing to promote their businesses, to increase visibility, to position themselves as leaders, and to keep visitors on their sites longer – a key to increased conversions. Test a variety of keywords to learn where each of your competitors is ranking. This process will advance your SEO strategy development. Ask yourself: Where do people find your competitors?

 

2. How your target audience is looking for your offerings online

Testing keywords helps you determine what your potential clients are searching for. More importantly, the right keywords attract the right audience – people who want what you offer. Create a list of all the words and strings of words you can think of that people would use to describe your offering, and test them all. You may be surprised to learn that the keywords you assumed would bring in the best visitors don’t work. Ask yourself: What attracts your target audience?

 

3. How to write compelling content to attract visitors

Writing for an online audience is not the same as writing print material. Web readers are looking for information to address a problem or to fulfill a need. Strong, clear headlines and titles attract web readers who scan search results for text that sparks their curiosity and makes them want to click through to read the content. Once they reach your page, write concisely and focus on one or two main ideas. Remember that web readers don’t want to read a sales pitch – they want useable information. Enrich your writing with keywords to attract search engines and improve your search ranking. Ask yourself: Who is looking for your information?

 

4. How to analyze online marketing results

Online marketing programs should be analyzed frequently – at least weekly. Google Analytics gives you a wide variety of stats to determine the effectiveness of your online marketing strategy: if your hit numbers are up or down, which blog posts are getting the most hits and comments, how long visitors are staying on your site, what your bounce rate is, and what your conversion rates are for each of your sites. You can even determine the ROI of your social media sites. The point is to be on top of your online performance constantly and make tweaks and changes to your sites to continuously improve online marketing results. Ask yourself: How do you measure your online marketing success?

 

Doing your due diligence in advance can measurably updgrade your web presence. But if you’re like most of today’s small business owners, you have limited experience working with web marketing strategies and technologies. To achieve the level of success you desire in the most cost effective and timely manner, contact the online marketing experts at seenBEST Web Design, Tempe. The professionals at seenBEST will work closely with you to make sure your online marketing program is achieving the results you want, when you want them.

 

 


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Social Media Viral Contest: Show Me the Money! Case Study

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

A CASE STUDY IN VIRAL SOCIAL CONTESTS and GIVEAWAYS.

 

 

seenBEST Web Design is currently running a Show Me the Money! giveaway.

 

The Goal: Increase social metrics (+1, Page Likes), social connections, and backlinks for on-page SEO.

 

The Offering: Something appealing to just about everyone ($100 in cash) to encourage participation.

 

Best Case Scenario: The sharing goes viral and results in viral growth due to participation/sharing.

 

 
Starting Monday we will begin the process of driving targeted traffic to the page.

 

 
Making it Work for You:

 

When done correctly, contests that use social media for distribution are a great way to increase visibility for your business. In our example, we have put together a website page and have used modern tools to blend together sharing on both Google+ and Facebook.

 

When done from within Social Media itself, your reach is limited. Hosting your content on an external website page allows you to blend together multiple social networks for a single contest.

 

seenBEST Web Design can help you get a social media marketing contest off the ground in a number of ways:

  • Help you brand the contest with a memorable theme
  • Develop a landing page for your contest on an existing website (or create a new website page for you)
  • Tie together various social tools into a single package (Google+, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Drive affordable yet targeted and effective traffic at your contest page to get involvement
  • Track results

 

Specific Example:

 

How could a social contest like this work for your business?
  • Offer something of value to your existing clients through Social Media and an Email Newsletter
  • Link it directly to your lead generation website and tie it into your existing social channels
  • Provide them a way to share it with their own network of friends and family
  • You expand your connection base to people you didn’t already know
  • Use those new social connections! Post property updates and industry specific information to social media for increased brand awareness

 

 
Contest website example page: http://www.seenbest-web-design.com/show-me-the-money.php

 

Show Me the Money!

 


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Are Your Marketing Dollars Working for You or Against You?

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I recently spoke with a small business owner in Ahwatukee who called with some questions about Internet marketing. He was spending over $1,000 a month on magazine and yellow page ads, but heard that Internet marketing was more affordable and could be more effective than other types of advertising. Like many small businesses today, his operating budgets are tight and marketing expenses are often the first to be cut.

 

When a new client comes to me and is considering Internet marketing for the first time, I usually ask if the business has some kind of method in place to track the effectiveness of current marketing expenditures. How does your business track the source of inbound leads? Many companies don’t have even basic leads tracking systems in place, such as asking new callers how they heard about the company and recording their responses. Owners often don’t know:

 

  • How prospects find them.
  • How to track results to determine which marketing programs are working effectively.
  • How much money they’re spending on ineffective marketing programs.

 

The owner followed my suggestion and began asking all new customers “how did you hear about us” when they contacted his company. He trained his staff to ask the same question when answering any new inbound call and had everyone record the answers. He was shocked to learn that over a 30-day period, not a single new inbound lead came from those magazine or yellow page ads. The end result? We learned that he was wasting a lot of money on advertising that did not work.

 

If your traditional marketing programs aren’t producing a reasonable return on investment (ROI), consider redirecting those dollars to a more effective method, such as Internet marketing.

 

 

Be Where Your Audience Is Looking

 

Consider the stats: 78% of U.S. adults use the Internet and 78% of those search for information about a product or service they’re considering buying (Pew Internet and American Life Project Tracking surveys). Given the sheer numbers of potential buyers online, business owners can no longer ignore the power of the Internet for marketing.

 

People today access information any time they want it via Internet marketing (websites, social media sites, blogs). People increasingly control how, when and where they receive information. They are also finding more ways to ignore unsolicited information coming via traditional marketing (TV, radio, print ads, direct mail). Consider this:

 

  • Television ads are often avoided through the use of TV capture devices such as TiVo
  • Radio ads are often avoided through the use of Pandora and/or advertisement free satellite radio stations
  • Many magazine and newspaper companies have gone out of business – the same information that was once printed can now be obtained for less cost online

 

The internet has made it possible for people to obtain the information they need at the exact moment they want to find it. That driving force can lead to overwhelming success for your business. Web marketing allows your business to display advertisements only when an interested person is searching for your products or services, or is reading information that is relevant to your business. With Internet marketing, your marketing is delivered with laser-like focus to a highly targeted crowd of interested buyers.

 

In order to increase ROI through effective Internet marketing, you need to know:

 

  • Who your target audience is.
  • What they may be thinking about when they need your product or service.
  • Who your competition is and what is their message.
  • Which of the many Internet marketing technologies are best suited to produce results for your business.

 

The answers to these questions build the base upon which an Internet marketing campaign is created. An experienced internet marketing firm can help you achieve success by:

 

  • Developing effective branding for your products and services.
  • Creating clear and concise marketing messages.
  • Clearly communicating value to your potential clients.
  • Evaluating your marketing budget to employ the technologies that are most effective within that range to accomplish your goals.

 

Your campaign may be comprised of a mixture of various technologies, including websites, social media, SEO, online promotions, content, blogs, email marketing, and PR. They can all blend together seamlessly as part of a well-defined strategy. However, once you create your ideal online marketing platform, the work isn’t finished. These digital tools allow you to go further than ever before with your marketing, and give you the resources to constantly analyze online marketing effectiveness to make changes as needed that will help you maintain a competitive edge.

 

Measuring Internet Marketing Results


So, how will you know if your internet marketing campaign is providing you the results your business needs to succeed? How can you know what changes need to be made and when to make them? Have you seen an increase in:

 

  • Website traffic?
  • Conversions?
  • Click-throughs?
  • Visibility/brand image?
  • Sales revenue?
  • Number of subscribers?

 

The ability to track every aspect of your marketing campaign is one of the most powerful results of marketing on the internet. Virtually every statistic can be measured and, more importantly, adjusted in real time to increase results in specific areas. A well-planned Internet marketing campaign will start off with advanced configurations, and grow and shift over time as the needs of your business also change. Online marketing is flexible, allowing you to modify, in real-time, factors such as ad scheduling, ad copy, your budget, geographic targeting and more.

 

The ability to modify your campaign in real-time, monitor it, and improve it will allow your business to create awareness, build trust, and develop more leads than ever before, resulting in increased sales and repeat business.

 

If you could increase visibility, leads and sales while decreasing marketing costs, how long would you wait to start? Investing in a marketing campaign designed by Internet marketing experts like seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will cost no more than a few traditional ads, but can produce greater long-term results. Contact seenBest Web Design today at (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free consultation and find out just how successful an effective Internet marketing campaign can be.

 

 


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Web Design 2011, Build It and They Won’t Come

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Too many businesses make the mistake of thinking, “All I need to do is build a fabulous website that looks amazing and throngs of people will flock to it.” Not true. The question is: How are people going to find it? Investing in creating the best website on the Internet will not make it be seen if you don’t also invest the same or greater amount in creating visibility for the website.

 

Visibility and design work hand in hand. Great design without targeted visibility is wasted because qualified visitors won’t find it to see it, and high levels of traffic with poor site design is wasted because no one will stay on the site long enough to take the action you want. Before you can design an effective website, you must determine:

  1. How to drive targeted traffic to your website to get the most visibility, and
  2. How to design an attractive website that appeals to the target audience and does the job it is intended to do.

 

Who Is “They” and How Will “They” Find You?

 

“They” is your target audience, the people who are looking for what you offer. To design a website that attracts and appeals to your target audience, you need to develop a target audience profile with information such as:

  • Is your target audience consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B)?
  • What would a person visiting your website be looking for?
  • Are the people in your target audience computer savvy or are they computer novices?

 

Once you know who your target audience is, you can design a website and start marketing online and offline to drive people to your site. The fastest way to get people to your site is with pay-per-click advertising. You can also:

  • Improve your search ranking by using SEO to optimize your website and providing relevant content.
  • Build your social networking presence.
  • Submit your site to all the major search engines.
  • Put your web address on everything – business cards, letterhead, brochures, signs, fliers.
  • Tell everyone you know about your website and ask them to visit.
  • Issue press releases and announcements.

 

Build It So They Will Come and Take the Action You Desire

 

The average first-time visitor to a website spends just 40 seconds on the website. The longer a visitor stays on your site, the more likely they will take the action you desire. Usability is the key. To keep your visitors longer, consider the visual appeal (layout, graphics, colors, balance, fonts), functionality (navigation, call to action, email subscription, social media links), and relevant content (high quality writing, interesting, informative, no errors). In 2007, the Nielsen Norman Group found that designing a website for usability averaged an 83% ROI, a substantial return for online marketing efforts.

 

Without a design that incorporates these ideas, your website will confuse the visitors and fail to produce results. In the book, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, author Susan Weinschenk suggests that, “The shorter the distance to the goal, the more motivated people are to reach it. People are even more motivated when the end is in sight.” Make it easy for the visitor to find you and to know what you want them to do, and you’ll see your business grow.

 

A good internet marketing firm can do all this and more. The team of experts at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, AZ, knows the latest trends in the Internet industry and has a solid background in user-centered design, programming, SEO, search engine marketing, social media marketing, testing, web analytics, content writing, and all of the tools necessary to design a website that will generate sales leads. Give us a call today at (602) 456-0150 to schedule your strategic internet marketing review and let us demonstrate ways we can help your business succeed in the digital age.

 

 


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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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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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