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Websites We Love: Inspiration
Websites We Love: Painting a Picture
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Internet Marketing Blog

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Websites We Love: Picture This

Since each week we pick the sites we love, this week’s Websites We Love question focused on what, exactly, our Vistaprint Internet Marketing Facebook community loves about their website. As it turns out, a lot of you love your sites — and with good reason, since the submissions we received were all great, and the decision to pick just one to feature was difficult.

This week’s winner comes from Jamie Benedict, who wrote that there are quite a few reasons she loves her site. “I love the business that my site brings in,” she says. “The style and design of the Vistaprint design center, and how beautiful all my pictures look…I love that I can change it around and it’s so easy.” We’re big fans of the pictures, too, especially the My Brides and More section, where there are short blurbs about each of the women featured. The images are a creative way to showcase her services, portfolio, and her clients. We’re also impressed by her non-traditional Contact Us page, which features a number of engaging questions. Congrats, Jamie!

What about you? Tell us why you love your site in the comments section!

Websites We Love: Home Page Importance

Take a look at your site. What do you think is the most important page, to you and to your users? That is the question we asked this week on our Internet Marketing Facebook page, and we received (as always!) a number of great responses--and great websites, too! This week's Website We Love winner, Celine Jacobs, of Rockhampton Happy Hounds Dog Training, thinks her home page is the most important spot on her site. We think it's a great place to welcome visitors--human and canine alike! We also think the About Us page does a great job explaining not only the company's services, but also the history behind the business; it also provides helpful information such as location, hours and more. (Plus there is even a Dog Blog!) Congrats, Celine!

Now it's your turn--tell us what page YOU think is most valuable when it comes to your site, and why.

Quick Tips: Above The Fold

You might have read our blog about how, when it comes to your website, 80% of eye traffic is “above the fold.” Here, we’ll provide you with quick tips on the three aspects of your site to focus on for optimal ocular attention:

Star of the Show

Your page’s headline is crucial — and is likely the first thing someone will see when they land on your page. It might sound obvious, but it’s incredibly important to include your business name and logo in this space, so it’s always top of mind for your site’s visitors. And remember: Design choice also factors into your headline space! For one, check that this space isn’t cluttered. Too much information can detract from your name. Also make sure the colors you pick for your logo and website complement each other, are easy to read, and make your headline visible.  

Call to Action
Take a few moments to think about WHY you have a Website. Is there something that you want to make sure people do once they’re on your site? Maybe it’s to order a product. Or read your blog. Or even to get directions to your storefront. Whatever the action is, ensuring that it’s in a prominent location, with easy-to-read text can do wonders for follow-through. You’ll also need to think of what this call to action says. Our hint? Keep it simple! If your goal is for people to contact you for more information, a quick “Contact Us!” is perfect.

Get Social
If you’re hoping to connect with your visitors (and you should be!) one of the best ways to do so is through Social Media. Make sure your buttons to Like, Follow and more are placed prominently enough for anyone who visits your site to see.

These are just a few tips we think will help! Do you have any to add? Tell us in the comments section!

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.

Adding Social Media Widgets

One question we get a lot is,“How can
I add social media buttons to my
Vistaprint website or email marketing campaign?” And the answer is: It’s easy! (Not to mention a great way for customers to share your content with their contacts, and grow your business.)

The Basics
So what are social media
widgets, anyway? If you’ve ever browsed the Web (which we are assuming you have) chances are, you’ve come across these handy applications on a number of occasions, and you might have even used them. Widgets are buttons that can be added to your website, email marketing campaign, blog or social media page; you can use widgets from social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to engage your site’s visitors, to increase brand awareness and attract more customers. You can checkout examples on sites such as Boston.com, and even right here on our blog to see how these versatile buttons are typically used.
 
How do I add them to my site?
Incorporating widgets is a simple process, with just a few steps once you’re logged in:
 

1. Go to your “Extras” menu in the Site Builder.
2. Click the “Add Social Media” icon.
3. Select the type of social media you’d like to add to your website. You can choose among “Like” and “Share” buttons from Facebook, Twitter extras like “Follow” and “Tweet” or a host of other social media widgets.
4. Once you choose the widget you want, set up the options for the given widget, and add it to your Website or Email Marketing Campaign!
 

Hopefully this quick how-to inspires you to get social with your site or campaign! Do you think you’ll be socializing your site or campaign anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section!

Social Media Engagement Survey-25% Discount with Free Shipping

 
 
In September 2010, we launched a Social Media Initiative with the goal/intent of engaging with you, our valued customers, to provide insight and learning materials to help you get started with growing your business online. Over that time we have interacted and had great conversations with many of you on our Blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Now, six months into the initiative, we would love to hear your thoughts on our use of social media. We would really appreciate your support if you could spend the next three to five minutes to answer a few questions in this survey. There is also a little prize at the end of a 25% Vistaprint site wide discount with 7 day free shipping! Start Survey by clicking here now! 
 
We really appreciate any feedback you have, feel free to also make any comments in the comments section below.

What’s new with your Vistaprint Internet Marketing Tools?

 
 
Hello folks,

Thanks for your continued support and following.  We really appreciate the engagement from all of you.  Your comments have been extremely important in keeping our products updated and fresh.  With some feedback we’ve received, we’d like to announce a few changes that you’ll see as you enter the builder to continue to work on your website.
 
One change you’ll see is an updated feature for PayPal.  For those of you that sell online, you can now offer discounted prices.
 
Use the following steps to start discounting your products:
     1. Access PayPal from the Extras dialogue
     2. Choose “Add a PayPal Shopping Cart”
     3. Enter the price of your product and a discounted amount
 
     4. Click next and check out the discounted price
 
If you’re selling something on your site, like a book, and normally charge $10.00 but want to discount it by $2.00, the product would appear like this:
You can update both new and existing products with this new feature.  If you don’t have a PayPal account, here’s some more information on how to set it up.  No matter how you update, this is a great way to show your customers that they can receive great products or services at a discounted price from your business!
 
Another feature we’ve added to our website extras is a Meta Tag editor.  You can access this through the Extras dialogue as well.
 
 
Meta Tags are HTML snippets that go inside the head element of your website.  To get your Google Site Verification meta tag, you must add your site to your Google account through Webmaster Tools.  By adding the code to your website, you are essentially verifying that you are the owner of your website
   
Lastly, we’ve created an Email Marketing survey to gather more feedback.  If you want to take the survey, you can access it from your Email Marketing dashboard.  There are some great questions in there and we’re really interested to hear what you think.  If you have a few minutes to take the survey, that would be awesome!

We hope that these new features make your website even better than it already is.  Also, we are continuously updating our products, so stay tuned for more articles in the coming weeks. Please feel free to share any feedback you have or thoughts for new features that you would like to see. 

Looking forward to your comments and thank you, for helping us make the tools better for you!

How to Craft an Effective Title for Your Blog Post

 
 
 
Thinking about how to craft the most effective title for your blog post?  Last week, we discussed how to Make Your Blog Posts “Must Reads”, and a strong title is important to reel readers into your posts. 
 
 
When your title is strong, your reader may want to share the post link with friends spreading your readership.  Also, the words you choose in your post title will display in search result pages and on social media sites where your post was shared.  The title is built into your post’s individual URL (called the permalink URL), too, in your browser bar. 
 
Whether for the initial open rate, search results, social media sites, index value, or the permalink URL, here are five ideas to consider to create strong titles for increased success with your blog posts:
 
1. Include keywords relevant to your post

When ranking your website, search engines look for similarities in the subject matter of your blog post, title, and other site content.  Consider using the keywords you’re optimizing your article for as increased usage in the title will help to accelerate the ranking process for search engines.  This also helps your readers know the basic points your post will discuss.

2. Convey the post’s purpose or benefit

Get your message across clearly in your title, especially if there’s a benefit to the reader.  
If you’re conveying a sale, let your customers know: All Hair Products Must Go by Sunday. 
If you’re showing how to do something, say it up front: How to Decide When to Sell Your Home or 10 Steps for Your Dog’s Best Bath. If you’re making an announcement, make it specific: We’ve met our $5,000 Funding Goal
 
3. Ask a question

Ask a question to develop relationships with your readers by breeding conversation.  Consider which of your readers you want to target with your question.  Questions may also give you an opportunity to gather information from customers that could be helpful to your next sale or event. 

4. Use power words to attract interest

Examples include Free, Now, Vote, Quick, Secrets.  Strong words within your title help draw attention to your post.  While the post is important for your visitors to continue reading after they move beyond the title, power words can spark healthy click through rates.  

5. Bring controversial ideas to the table 
 
Strong ides often prompt readership and debate.  Consider if you have a strong viewpoint, and how to phrase that within a few words for your title. 
 
Enjoy these strategies to engage interest in your post content by writing strong titles.  Even better, as you continue to launch new posts, clear and intriguing titles make your archived, older posts easier and more fun for readers to view. 
 
What have your favorite post titles been?

Make Your Blog Posts "Must Reads"

 
 
 
Your blog posts’ effectiveness increases your blog and website’s performance, boosting return visits.  Results can be seen through post visits, commenting on that post and shares of your post on social media sites. 
 
 
 
Be Yourself and Take Time to Write
 
Blog posts can be most desirable for readers when you give them a unique point of view and tell them something they didn’t know.  Spend some time to consider what you want to write- whether it’s announcing an event or sale, sharing updates, or discussing topics of interest to you or your business.
 
Introduce your topic with a short opening paragraph, provide the meat of your discussion in the middle and then summarize your points in a closing statement.  Consider the key elements of what you’re trying to portray, but don't overburden the reader with too much content.  Typically when writing, less is more. But most importantly, lend your own expertise to the topic and your unique point of view, that’s why people are going to read it.
 
Take a read through to make sure your message is clear and clean (feel free to use our spell checking tool!).  Keep in mind you can always create a draft and then save it for review later in your Blog Dashboard before publishing.
 
Solicit Comments and Feedback
 
Comments and interaction on your blog will keep people coming back and ultimately boost traffic.  So make your posts thought provoking and ask for questions, comments or feedback at the end of each one.  And when people take the time to comment or ask a question, respond thoughtfully.  Once you get the ball rolling, ideas for posts and interactions with customers will make your blog a must-visit property.
 
Make it memorable with extras
 
Spice up your posts with extras like images, videos, audio, maps, and more.  Integrating visuals within your text can help excite the message for your readers, and there are lots of options included in the Blog Builder. 
 
Hope this helps you on your way to great blogs.  Let us know what works best for you when crafting your posts!
 
Stay tuned for upcoming tips on writing impactful post titles to reel your readers in, advice on frequency and scheduling of posts, and how to use your readers’ comments to best continue the discussion.

Welcome to our new blog, we’re here to help!

 
 
Are you unsure of how to market your business online?
 
Have you heard the buzz about using social media?
 
Are you looking for tips on how to get your website found in search engines?
 
Welcome to the Vistaprint Internet Marketing Blog! We’re here to provide education and insight about internet marketing for micro businesses and answer any questions that you might have along the way. We’d love to hear from you, so speak up with comments or questions on our blog, our Twitter page or our Facebook page.
 
We’ve spent years working with micro businesses that market themselves online
 
Helping micro businesses get online is what our Internet Marketing team specializes in. We’re really excited to share what we’ve learned with you on this blog. We’ll be posting all sorts of interesting and relevant content about internet marketing for micro businesses and would love to personally engage with you. In the coming weeks we’ll be posting some great articles about getting your website found in search engines (SEO), how to make your website stand out from the crowd, how to use email marketing to reach out to your customers, how to create your own blog, and how to use social media for your business. We’d also love to hear about topics that you’re interested in reading more about, so post a comment and let us know!
 
Aside from our blog, we’ll also be interacting with our micro business community about internet marketing topics on Facebook and Twitter. Come check out our pages and follow us to stay in the loop with our latest articles and posts. We’ll also use these accounts to post information about new features and tools that we’re working on as well as to respond directly to your questions.
 
Thanks for visiting, and we look forward to interacting with you online!
 

New! Start communicating with your website visitors using a blog

 
 
You asked for them, and we delivered!
 
Just this past month, Vistaprint has launched a blog feature which can be added to your Vistaprint website. This new feature allows you to establish an interactive forum to build long-lasting relationships with your visitors.  Share news, thoughts and opinions with your customers or friends through posts; receive feedback, and write replies! When you add a blog to your site, it will use the same style as the rest of your site so that you can maintain a consistent, professional appearance and so that your entire site matches any printed materials you've created.  The blog will appear as a new page on your site, but you'll be able to post to it without republishing your entire site.
 
Vistaprint blogs even let you include many of the extras that you've already been using on your website in your posts. You can easily add images, videos, music, maps, and Share buttons to you blog posts to really make your content stand out.  Just visit the "My Blog" section of your website dashboard to add and manage posts, manage your comments or get help. An added benefit to having a blog is that frequent posting can greatly increase your website’s ranking in search results as sites like Google® rank sites with freshly updated content higher than sites with older content. In turn, the higher search rankings will help drive new customers to your site! Best of all, as you can see, we’ve started our own blog, www.blog.vpweb.com using the Vistaprint blogging tool to create relevent and interesting content for you.
We would love to here what you think of the new blogging tool. 
 
Sign up for a blog today, and let us know what you think!

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