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Internet Marketing Blog

February 2012

Websites We Love: Engaging Content

Our latest edition of Websites We Love highlights a site with engaging content...something that is important when it comes to both your visitor's experience and overall interaction with your site.

This week, we were impressed with "world record breaking" DJ Jack Hill's video content in particular. His site features video throughout the pages, including on its Homepage and Contact Us section. Congrats, Jack!

How important is great content to you? Tell us in the comments section!

4 Ways to Accommodate Search Engines and Your Visitors

Optimizing your website to improve your search ranking can also help you create a better website that your visitors will enjoy. Here are our top four ways your optimization efforts can win over search engines AND your visitors.

1. Include search terms.

Search engines
will use the search terms throughout your site as a good indication of what your website is about and rank it accordingly.

Your visitors
will see your website closer to the top of search results so it will be easier to find.

2. Add your company name to your website header.

Search engines
look at your website header as an important description of your site’s subject matter and they’ll display your site when a search is calling for that topic.

Your visitors should know exactly what your website is about at first sight. Write your company name and add your tagline to further explain your business.

3. Make updates whenever you can.

Search engines
notice frequently updated websites first, which could improve your search rankings.

Your visitors
will appreciate seeing fresh content and will be more likely to check back often to see your updates.

4. Describe your images and videos.

Search engines
will use your text to determine your relevancy to searches. The more text you add to your website, the better.

Your visitors
will like that you’re providing details and telling your story.

Enjoy the process and do a little bit at a time to make sure you cover all of your bases. And remember, your primary audience is your site visitors, so cater to their needs first.

Three Quick Tips for Better Marketing

When it comes to marketing your website or online business, it can be easy to forget about marketing it offline, too. Although traditional online methods such as email marketing and having a local search profile are both vital, think about all the potential customers you might be missing! Here, we give you three quick tips on how to build your business and create a strong brand though offline AND online marketing.

1. Keep It Consistent
When it comes to your business, consistency is one of the most important things to keep in mind, and ultimately, it strengthens your brand identity while helping customers easily identify your business. So when you want to create something new to market your biz, whether it’s as small as a postcard or as large as an email marketing campaign, start off by ask yourself the following questions:

Will my logo be easy to recognize?
Is my design template memorable?
Does my content match the theme of my business?

The answer to all of those questions should be yes, but if it’s not, don’t worry! Vistaprint offers hundreds of matching design templates so you can create marketing materials to match your business card, website, brochure and more!

2. Avoid a Marketing Rut
If you find yourself using the same advertising methods over and over again, it might be time to get creative. Using a variety of mediums can help you acquire a larger customer base and can have great returns. For instance, if you run a local business, and have been using mostly online marketing to generate in-store traffic, you might want to see if mailing postcards in your area can encourage more people to stop in. Plus, you can track its success by asking people to bring in their postcard in order to receive a discount or a free gift. There are other offline marketing products that can give you great results. Some inventive examples include leaving flyers in local shops, posting lawn signs to attract passersby and using car magnets to increase your exposure as you commute.

3. Get It Together
The more your advertising and marketing tools work together, the more success they will bring your business. Your offline materials should support your online efforts and vice-versa. Hint: Make sure your print pieces – such as business cards, postcards and brochures – contain all of your contact information. Include your website address and your business email address, and encourage prospective customers to visit your website or sign up for your e-newsletters.

Although we’ve just scratched the surface of this subject, if all of your customer communication is working together online and offline as one cohesive unit, you will create a professional look, be viewed as a reputable and trustworthy business and drive more traffic to your store. Even if customers can’t remember where they put your flyer, they’ll still remember you – that’s the power of a strong brand identity.

Websites We Love: Site Evolution

In this installment of Websites We Love, we asked our Internet Marketing Facebook community how they encourage their customers and/or Website visitors to get in touch with them. As usual, we received a number of awesome responses, but had to choose just ONE winner.

This week's Website We Love comes from Erica Jayne Clavin, who thinks that when it comes to customers getting in contact with her, simple is sometimes best! "I encourage visitors to fill out a simple contact form connected to my website email," she says. She also points out that a successful website is constantly evolving, and your customers dictate what's added to the site. "I also encourage them to view my other online locations, as I am currently redeveloping my website to better suit my visitors needs," she says. "If [customers] are close enough to my area, they can visit me at the salon, or join on my many volunteer activities!" Congrats, Erica!

Do you agree? How important is your site's evolution? Tell us in the comments section!

Websites We Love: Great Design


It’s week two of Websites We Love, and we received a number of great responses from our Internet Marketing Facebook Community about what they’re most proud of when it comes to their site. It was very difficult for us to choose just ONE to feature here on our blog, but we had to crown a winner! This week’s Website We Love comes from Jennifer Gates, who is most proud of her site’s design. We agree, and think the design is awesome! We’re also big fans of her super-creative business name, "Cake Placid." (It's a cake business in — you guessed it — Lake Placid, New York.) Congrats, Jennifer!

Want your site to be featured here? Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love announcement! In the meantime, you can check out all the great sites that were posted here and here.

Welcome to Websites We Love

When thinking about how to showcase all the great sites our customers build, we came up with a neat idea: ask our Internet Marketing Facebook Community to share theirs! We received such a great response, we're turning it into a weekly feature. Every Wednesday, we'll highlight one awesome site here on the blog, and on our Facebook page.

As we mentioned, we received a ton of great responses, so it was very hard for us to choose just one to highlight. Our first Website We Love comes from Lisa Draisey of Parkland Bridal. Her favorite feature? The blog, where there is a ton of info for customers! We're also big fans of her clean design, great content and picture-packed testimonials section. Congrats, Lisa!

Want your site to be featured here? Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love announcement! In the meantime, you can check out all the great sites that were posted here and here.

Seven Simple Tips for Going Mobile

Whether it’s at work, a restaurant or the gym, it seems as though iPhonesAndroids  and iPads  are everywhere. According to Digital Buzz, that’s not very far from the truth; in fact, mobile devices are fast becoming the most popular way  to access the Web. But what is the difference between a standard website and a mobile site? The easy answer is accessibility. Imagine trying to fit everything on your home page onto your phone’s screen. Not pretty, right? It would be overcrowded, difficult to read, and even harder to navigate. Mobile sites can alleviate those usability issues, reduce load time and, perhaps most importantly, make it super-simple for users to contact you while they’re on the go. And now, you can set up a mobile site through Vistaprint!
 
 
Small Tips, Big Benefits
Setting up a mobile site isn’t as difficult as you might think, and following the tactics below can help you — and your customers — get the most out of your mobile site.
 
  • Make it useful. A customer is probably accessing your business’s site from a mobile device because he or she wants to get in touch with you…what he or she doesn’t want to do is navigate through a number of pages before finding out how to reach you. Keep the info your visitors are looking for on the home page, at their fingertips, and make sure it’s easy to read and click.
    Hint: Try adding a prominent “Contact Us”button.
  • Stick with easy navigation.Large font, big buttons and short sentences can help make your mobile site easier to navigate. Forcing visitors to work hard to view info will likely cause them to give up, and move on. A major advantage of mobile sites is that they’re formatted to mobile devices, so everything is larger, but contained within a specific width so users won’t have to scroll to find their way through your site.
    Hint: Check out your mobile site on an actual mobile device…if you find it difficult to navigate, imagine how visitors will feel!
  • Keep it simple. Remember, on a mobile device, viewers are likely interested in learning about your products, finding directions or getting in touch with you. And while you want your site to be informative, too much info will give your visitors more pages to sift through before they get to their desired destination.
    Hint: If you think you’ve added too much content, chances are you have. Think about consolidating it through the use of bullet points.
  • Speed it up. Tons of images, videos and unnecessary content can make your mobile site’s load time far too long.
    Hint: Save the flashy stuff for your main website! You don’t need to trash all the bells and whistles you love, just think mobile = minimal.
  • Proofread. Performing simple checks, such as confirming your phone number is accurate and verifying that your address is up-to-date, will pay off in the long run…and make for happier customers.
    Hint: Don’t forget to spell- and grammar-check. Knowing the difference between “you’re” and “your” can go a long way.
  • Publish your hours of operation. Although it might seem obvious, forgetting to publish and update your store hours is a common mistake. Remember, users will likely be looking at your site when they’re on the go, or when they’re looking to contact you; inaccurate hours can mean a missed business opportunity.
    Hint: Be sure to keep this info front and center, along with your phone number.
  • Get social! Adding social media buttons to your site so you can communicate with users in the social space is key.

    Hint: No need to add every social site on the Internet — Facebook and Twitter is a good place to start.
 
Don’t forget to check out our website, where in just a few steps, you can now set up your own mobile site!

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