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Internet Marketing Blog

April 2011

Consider These Extras to Boost Your Website Activity

I wanted to look at Vistaprint’s website users’ favorite features to keep visitors engaged.  In addition to the text and general info that you share on your site, here are tools I’d suggest using based on what’s succeeded for other businesses like yours: 

Get the word out with Social Media
Make it easy for visitors to spread the word about your business to their friends by adding social media links to your website.  We have lots of options to get you connected. 
A “Like” button allows visitors to interact with your site, or a “Share” button enables users to share your website on their Facebook Wall and Newsfeed.
If you make updates through Facebook or Twitter for your business, I’d suggest adding the Facebook or Twitter Feed.  This option automatically adds your posts to your website, keeping your content fresh and updated which search engines like Google® tend to reward with higher rankings.  
Here you can find more information if you’re just starting out with Social Media: Social Media and Your Business.
Don’t Just Say It, Show It with an Image

We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and it’s something all website owners should consider. Businesses can showcase their entire product lines, special events and staff.  Add just one photo or entire photo galleries with captions.
Add a Little Action with Videos
Videos can really spice up your site and intrigue your site visitors to learn more about you or your business. You may consider a product demonstration or customer testimonials to personalize online visits.  If you have a personal website, post clips of your wedding, baby milestones, celebrations or just funny videos you want to share with friends and family.
Pin-Point Yourself with a Map
Visualizing where customers can find you reminds clientele that you are local and easy to reach.   The maps feature also offers a link for Driving Directions to your location so customers can get to you quickly.
Gather Visitor Information with a Form

Forms provide a convenient way for customers to contact you 24/7.  I’ve also seen many Vistaprint customers customize forms for things like quote requests and job postings with their own titles and dropdown or radio buttons.  See the Connect with Customers with Forms  article for more on how to maximize your forms.
Sell Your Products with PayPal®
Purchases are the lifeline to any business, so why not let your customers buy or donate through your website with PayPal®?  If you’re new to PayPal please check out our September post: Start Taking Payments Through PayPal in Less Than 30 Minutes.
Set the Tone with Music
Music can help to convey the tone of your website. You may want to play your company jingle to reinforce your marketing message, a non-profit organization or social awareness campaign may choose a poignant song to evoke emotion, or you may want to simply play all of your favorites on your different web pages. There’s only one rule when it comes to song selection – make sure it complements the content of your website.
These favorites can be added from the “Extras” button on your Site Builder’s toolbar.  Please let us know what your favorite Extras are, or other features you’re interested in.

Website Help Is Here!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed before sitting down to build your first website?  Do you stare at your computer for hours hoping that it will build itself?  Do you constantly ask yourself: “Where should I start?” 

I know how hard it can be to get your first website off the ground, especially if you’re new to internet marketing.  We’ve all wrestled with major decisions from “What’s the purpose of my site?” to “What type of design to use,” to “What kinds of pages should I include?”  Don’t we all wish that someone would sit next to us and help get that site published?

Everyone looking for guidance is in luck!  We recently introduced an integrated Website Setup Wizard and Checklist that will make it easier than ever for you to make an awesome site so you can announce your business to the world.

Website Wizard

So you just signed up for your free trial and you think “wow, what do I do now?”  As soon as you get to your dashboard, you will be able to get all the help you need by clicking “Help Me Get Started” on the left of the following screen:

This Setup Wizard will put you through a path that really helps address everything you need to get your site started.  We will get your name and message on your site and we will even recommend a website design that matches your other marketing materials or industry, which means everything can stay consistently branded.  If you’re having difficulty picking a website package, we have an interactive package selector to help.  We’ll ask you some questions that focus in on the website package that really suits your needs. You’ll also be able to set up all the pages you want, your website URL, and the email associated with your site. 

If something comes up while you’re going through the Setup Wizard, you can save at any point.  Next time you come back to your dashboard, you’ll be able get back in to where you left off from the dashboard message center.  Once you’re finished with the Setup Wizard, all you have to do is edit your content in the Website Builder and publish your site!      

Website Checklist

The Setup Wizard is great for those of you just starting up your site, but why stop there?  The Setup Wizard provides the essentials, but our new Website Checklist really helps grow your site.  Your personal checklist can be accessed from both your website dashboard and builder:



The checklist will really help you bring your site to the next level.  This interactive checklist will help you monitor your site and will give you guidance about what to add to your site - like maps, social media widgets and images.  The checklist will also help you easily edit your website keywords and add a guest book to connect with your customers.  It’ll even show the date you completed an item so you can reference it going forward!  This new feature will really help you get the most out of your site.

We really hope that the new Website Setup Wizard and Checklist help to get your site to the next level.  These tools are here to help you continue to grow your business online.  Looking forward to hearing your comments and thanks for your continued support. 

Search Engine Optimization and Google Webmaster Tools

A few weeks ago, I posted some information about a new tool we added to the website builder: a Meta Tag editor.  This may be new to many of you and you might be asking yourself some questions like, what are meta tags, what is Google Site Verification and how do I set it up?  Or, how does this work with the Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)? 
What are meta tags?

Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the header of a webpage.  These tags are never seen by visitors to your site.  Instead, their main purpose is to provide search engines with information about your website.  This helps search engines recognize and rank your website.  
What is Google Site Verification and how do I set it up?
Google Site Verification is basically a way for Google to know that you own your site.  They will provide you with a meta tag to put in the header of your site so they can pick it up through their search engine, helping improve your visibility.  Once enabled, Google Site Verification and Google Webmaster Tools allow you to understand how people are accessing your site and what they are searching for.  Follow these easy steps to setup Google Site Verification for your website:
1. First, you’ll have to set up an account with Google.  If you already have something like Gmail, you’re all set.
2. Go to Google Webmaster Tools and sign in using your Google account.
3. Once you’re signed in to the tools, click “Add a site.”
4. Enter your website URL and press continue.
5. On the next page, choose “Add a meta tag to your site’s home page.”  Google will provide you with a meta tag.  
6. Open up your Vistaprint Website Builder in a separate window and choose the “Add Meta Tags” extra. Paste the meta tag Google provided you here.
7. Publish your website.
8. Once published, go back to the Google Webmaster screen and click “Verify.”
9. Once verified, you’ll be directed to your Google Webmaster dashboard, where you can access information about your site.

How does this work with Search Engine Optimization?
Google Webmaster’s dashboard provides specific information about your site, including significant keywords and search queries.  Basically, they’re telling you what keywords you have on your site and how people are finding you.  These are great pieces of information but don’t give you full details about your website optimization.  Using SEO with what you’ve learned from Google Webmaster can really benefit your site. 
SEO provides you with a report card that has specific rankings for each area of your site, including website name, links, images, and each individual page.  In addition, SEO shows how optimized your website is for specific search terms and keywords on your site (for more information, refer to our Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) post).  With the keyword and search term information from Google, you can receive a real time score about how well your site is doing with SEO.  Google may be saying what keywords are significant, but it may not mean each individual portion of your site is fully optimized for these.  That’s where SEO comes into play; it tells you where to optimize and provides fixes/tips on how to do it.  Using both of these tools together will help grow your site and company’s visibility through search engines.
We hope you like this new addition, please feel free to share any experiences you have and any questions you have.

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