Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Create a Branding Website not a Resume for Your Business

It is accepted that every business must have at least a one page website to compete in today's market but the critical question is - what is your one website or many page website saying?  In seconds, a prospective customer can see everything they need to know about whether or not to do business with you.

What is written and how it is written on your website sends a subtle message about you and how knowledgeable and serious you are about your business and your services and products. Too many websites are written like a resume for the business rather than a problem solving option for the customer.  The website is all about the business and not about the customer and his needs.  Meeting the clients' needs should be the most important point.  Customers really don't care how long you have been in business as long as you can perform. Keep the resume and list of services for the 'About Us' page.
A brand is the entire experience a prospect or customer has with your company.  From websites to how the receptionist answers the phone,  For our purpose here we will discuss the website. So how do I create a brand, you ask? Step one, identify the problems or issues that your products or services solve - then focus on the top three. What is your message? To simplify the process - pose a descriptive question that creates emotion or allows the customer to relate?  An example would be "Are you tired of high heating bills?" Who isn't tired of this but the client is prompted to read further for information which may help him with a solution. Offer the solution and position yourself and your business site as the "go to" place for answers.  This is the start to building your brand and who you are.
The next blog will discuss the importance of the images conveyed and how colors and design play a role in your brand. 
Visit us at for hints and help in creating your brand.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

8 Tips to More Business Blog Traffic & Visitors

So you’ve created a fantastic business blog that engages visitors with unique and valuable content — only your hit counters is moving at a snails no one knows how great your business blog is yet.

No Problem!

Getting visitors to your great content is not rocket science and will not require you to move mountains. Here’s how to get increased visitor traffic to your business blog.

Take Advantage of Your Network
If you’ve been actively getting out, mingling with neighbors, clients and other fellow business owners - you’ve built up a pretty good network of potential blog readers and website-owning associates. Drop them an email to let them know about your new blog and ask them if they’ll read it and recommend your articles.

Promote Your Blog’s URL
You're in business which means you understand that everything you do is related to marketing. This concept applies to your business blog as well! Keep an eye out for different ways to make people aware of your blog’s URL. The most obvious way is to include it on any branding material like business cards, letterhead, in your email signature, and of course on your website! Make sure your blog is easy to get to - don't just tell people you have a blog, be sure to include the address or link your blog icon directly to your business blog. If you have a storefront - create a poster or signage that compels people to check out your blog for compelling information. Be creative - there are no limits to the ways you can promote your blog.

Don’t Ignore Search Engine Optimization
Just like your website, making sure your business blog is optimized for search engines to find it is a very smart thing to do. It may not make much difference right away but search engines are constantly looking for current and valuable content. As you continue to establish this consistently, it will pay huge dividends the larger and older your blog gets. Be sure to include relevant keywords in your blog title especially so the search engines know what your post is mainly about.

Create a Consistent Theme
The majority of bloggers don’t design the themes for their blog. As a business blogger you'll want to make sure that your visitors can identify right away what your blog is about and the kind of information they can expect. The look and feel of your blog should match that of your business. Please don't confuse this with blatent advertising. If your blog only sells you and your products - then you are less likely to get repeat visitors or blog subscribers. Your blog content should relate to your business and brand you as the expert (clearly this should be part of your theme).

Comment on Other BlogsCommenting on other blogs is a great way to get noticed, both by the blogger and by people reading the comments. Make sure your comments add value to the discussion, though. Saying comments like “That’s right!” or “I agree” doesn't give me any kind of connection to your own knowledge. Plus the strategy could backfire in a huge way if you only make comments that tryto get visitors to your blog by spamming other blogs.

Create Valuable Links Within Your Blog
In every post you write, be sure to link to sources, your website, other associate's websites and other pertinent locations. If you link to another blog, most avid bloggers watch their sites and notice right away if someone has linked to them, quite often leading to a beautiful friendship. Create posts specifically to review, expound, critique or disagree with things other bloggers have written (always respectfully so), and be aware of other opportunities to link out in every post you write. Some people worry that this kind of link sharing will lead people away from your blog but to be honest, just like most social media - sharing is caring. Make your business blog visitor believe that you have their interests in mind and again, they will remember you as the expert!

Join a Blog Network
A blog network is simply a collection of blogs that help drive traffic to one another. Large, established networks might not accept new blogs, but many do hold open application periods every so often. You can also approach networks that look like a good fit for your blog or even start your own — getting visitors to your blog and helping others to do the same!

Most Importantly…
All of these ideas are based on the assumption that you are posting relevant content on your business blog — which is easily the number one way to get visitors to your blog. If you don’t have valuable content, you’re not going to stand out and get repeat visitors. If you do have great content, you may not have to do anything else. People will talk and link and promote you themselves without you having to lift a finger. It’s not quite “If you build it, they will come,” but it’s very close. The main thing you may have to remember is to be patient.

So spend you initial energy on posting stuff worth reading before you start trying to actively get people to read it. You will not be disappointed!

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