Time to feel empowered! As an entrepreneur, you simply cannot ignore the marketing potential available online. Today you can create a dynamic online advertising space with resources that make it affordable and effective. Let us help prepare you for a successful campaign, with Socket’s Scrap This, Keep That Two-Part Series. In each post, we’ll round up some savvy web marketing solutions, and explain what to save for later.. Check it out:
SCRAP: Adobe Flash animation.
Often a lousy, expensive attempt to sell “cool”, Flash intros should not take priority when developing a website for your business. User-experience strategist Jakob Nielsen deems Flash intros “a usability disease,” delaying users from finding what they came to the site for. You will not impress users with Flash animation; you will just annoy them.
KEEP: An organized design layout with appealing colours and fresh graphics.
Your website is like a product on the shelf, which will attract customers with effective packaging. Investing your e-marketing dollars in developing a professional, modern web design will ensure you create a positive first impression for your users to judge your services by. You don’t need the most frivolously beautiful website in your industry; conveying quality of service should come first (Putnam).
SCRAP: Pay Per Click advertising.
Paying to appear in advertising slots on search engine pages and other websites on a cost-per-click basis can be an effective strategy for driving targeted traffic to your website. However, save it for when you have become a seasoned web marketer. Pay Per Click services such as Google AdWords can become costly when bidding on keywords and taking chances on what phrases will produce the best results for your ad space.
KEEP: Local search listings.
As your first step in improving search rankings, claim a physical space on Google Places and Maps. Accurate and consistent contact information on your business website is essential for Google to “find” and add you to local search results. As .Net Magazine author Mark Buckingham notes, over twenty per cent of current Google search queries have a localized intent. Tailoring your service site for local search is the affordable, forward-thinking approach to web marketing.
SCRAP: Marketing hype.
This includes long-winded “Company History” pages and boastful homepage drivel that is irrelevant to your users. Besides taking up valuable space and costing you time and money to produce, over-extended promotional text will deter users from exploring your site.
KEEP: Concise descriptions of your service and how users can access it.
As Jakob Nielsen suggests, concise content that is free of unnecessary words or “fluffy language,” will best suit users looking to accomplish goals online (find your service, inquire about the price, assess the benefits, use the service). Snappy calls to action entice users to learn more, and extend the marketing value of your web site.
SCRAP: Email “Request a Quote” pages.
Time consuming for users and business-owners alike, “Request a Quote” pages slow the conversion process and create pesky tasks for business employees. Users browse the web for the best solutions; “Request a Quote” forms disengage users from their goal-oriented search.
KEEP: Socket’s Quoting Software.
Affordable, easy-to-use, and tailored to your specific business needs, Socket provides users with instant quotes and online payment processing. Equipping your business’ website with Socket ensures users of your professional dependability and commitment to helping them accomplish their goals. Socket is the budget-savvy solution, with low monthly rates, no set up fees, and the ability to cancel at any time. Try a one-month free trial to see how Socket can work for your business.
5. Web Development
SCRAP: An unwillingness to learn during the web development process.
Diving into Internet marketing with “not enough time” to understand the basics, will cost you cash in the long run. Ask questions during meetings, particularly when technical jargon starts to saturate the conversation. With the confidence of basic web design knowledge, you will make decisions for the delivery of your new web site based on necessity first.
KEEP: A collaborative mindset in dealings with your designer and web marketing team.
As .Net Magazine contributor Carl Smith suggests, the current model of client service for web design is dying. Entrepreneurs looking to make a mark online need to become more involved in the process of their web site’s creation, instead of handing over the cash and waiting for the production team to reply with the finished product. Working closely with your chosen design firm can save you money; with an intimate understanding of the choices being made in the design process, you can gauge exactly what you need and provide content or graphic resources that otherwise would have become an additional expense.
No need to test the waters with online marketing. Jump right in and get started, utilizing the resources that make professional, quality business websites possible. Socket continues to be one such resource, helping entrepreneurs provide their users with highly effective service quoting technology.
And in Part 2 of Socket’s Scrap This, Keep That series, let us provide you with tips for budget-friendly logo design, web hosting, and much more.
Affordable web marketing is available to you today, with Socket software and a dose of Internet savvy!
Buckingham, Mark. “Boost traffic with local search.” 21 November 2011. Netmagazine.com: http://www.netmagazine.com/features/boost-traffic-local-search
Nielsen, Jakob. “Flash: 99% Bad.” 29 October 2000. Useit.com: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html
Putnam, Joseph. “Does Good Web Design Really Matter?” 19 December 2011. TheDailyEgg.com: http://blog.crazyegg.com/2011/12/19/does-web-design-matter/
Smith, Carl. “The evolution of client services.” 7 December 2011. Netmagazine.com: http://www.netmagazine.com/features/evolution-client-services