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How’s that Web site working out for you?

March 8th, 2010 No comments

Don’t know how your Web site is doing?

$99 Custom SEO Analysis + 10% discount on site makeoverFind out with a custom Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis. Your site, like your business, is unique, so why not treat it to a thorough review to find out what could improve it?

Even better, if we re-vamp your site, you’ll get 10% off the total site makeover invoice when the work is completed! How’s that for value from a Web designer?

We browse every single area of your site and provide you a report formatted like a “to-do” list of what you can improve to achieve maximum traffic and boost Web-based sales.

We’d prefer to be your chosen service provider to further enhance your site, but if you choose someone else, NO PROBLEM. The report is, of course, 100% yours to do with as you wish.

Again, if you purchase a report and then choose Webidextrous as your site makeover specialist, we will give you 10% off the total invoice for your site do-over.

Just enter your site’s URL, give us your email address (only so we’ll know where to send the report), then click the “Buy Now” icon and sit back. We’ll take care of everything else!


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Small businesses learn to use social media to connect with customers

August 4th, 2010 No comments

The Chicago Tribune reports that social media is a real problem-solver for small businesses looking to create more awareness of their products.

By offering discounts and other special offers through social media, Berry Chill has boosted traffic to its flagship State Street location to more than 1,000 customers a day, while also promoting its location at Ogilvie Transportation Center and one opening later this month in Lincoln Park. Twitter followers get “Sweet Tweet” deals that they can redeem by showing the tweet on their phone at the register, Farah said.

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare are quickly becoming the new “town square” of word-of-mouth marketing. As people shop your Web site or visit your store, they can make recommendations to friends by “checking in” (Foursquare) or sharing their experience via status updates to hundreds, even thousands of friends in their social networking profile.

That’s huge.

Often, business owners are reluctant to get started using social media because they don’t understand it, Farah said at the SBA’s recent social media marketing seminar. “The only way you can learn it is by doing it,” he said, and after a month, “you’ll start to see results.”

Getting started is easy! Let’s explore the social media options for your business. Call 847-321-0289, or contact us online to get started.

Herding the social media cats

June 15th, 2010 No comments

These days it seems there are a thousand and one different ways to engage with customers via social media.

Actually, there really are 1,001 social media networks and resources at your service.

So, do you really need all 1,001…or 10,001? No, not really. Anyone who says you do is not getting a clear picture of what it means to engage with customers online.

You’ll want to research as many as fit your business model, sure. But trying to court so many sites with your content and brand would be like, well, herding cats. It annoys both you and the cat and gets you nowhere.

Start with a clear mission statement. “We help {customer} to achieve {customer need} by {actions performed on social network}.”

Next, what is it you want to achieve? Earn a million dollars in revenue by January 1st selling 100,000 units of Widget A? Sure thing. Relate that back to your mission statement. Then consider the following:

  • Is the social network you’re considering going to do that for you?
  • Does it provide analytics, or allow you to enable your own, to be able to measure the results of your efforts?
  • Will you be able to take your data with you if you decide to move to something else?
  • Is there a guarantee that a “free” resource or network won’t switch to a subscription pricing model?

If your answer to the above questions was mostly “no”, move on to other alternatives. If there aren’t any alternatives, consider WordPressWordPress MU, Joomla, or another open source platform that you can modify to your own requirements.

Finally, execute your mission statement, then measure the results to see how well your goal is being met. Goal met? Mission accomplished. Adjust, rinse, repeat. Goal not met? Find out why, adjust your strategy (which may include dumping the network or resource for another one altogether), and start over with a revised strategy and tactics.

Dumping networks is tricky once you’ve begun to engage with customers. Their perception is your reality, so be sure that your move to another network or resource is a clearly communicated, win-win situation for both your customers and yourself. This is where data portability becomes extremely important. If it’s locked in a walled garden, neither you or your customers will be happy.

If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to contact Webidextrous for a consultation. We’ll do all we can to answer your question and propose solutions for your needs.

Google Places helps your business grow

April 20th, 2010 No comments

Google Places offers you a dashboard that lets you take control of your business listing on the Internet.

You can specify your hours of operations, what services or products you offer, and refine your location details on Google Maps.

In addition, you can create coupons for customers to print out when the find your listing on Google’s search engine result pages and analyze where your customers are coming from, both on the Web and geographically.

Ever wondered if you should open a new store? Google Places will help you figure out where to open it and what to offer.

Start editing your listing today. Or, let Webidextrous help you manage it so you can focus on serving your customers.

Top 9 Web site modernization tips

April 6th, 2010 No comments

There are many ways to make your web site more contemporary. You can simply modernize the design, or upgrade your web site hosting, but if people don’t know about your site to begin with, what would be the point?

Likewise, you could skip the redesign and hosting upgrade and focus on adding community features (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to your site. But will you dazzle and delight customers who visit your site expecting a great user interface without also having that updated look and feel?

Here are 9 contemporary best practices to “modernize” your site for “modern eyes”…(Sorry…)

  1. Modernize. Move the site hosting to a social media-enabled content management system. Update the design to reflect a more modern approach to publishing. Highlight the Facebook/Twitter/YouTube aspects of content prominently on the site.
  2. Socialize. Build a community around your brand. Provide lots of opportunities for visitors to share content with others on popular social media platforms as well as comment directly on the content within your site.
  3. Productize. Make all content oriented toward the site’s visitors in a “how may we be of service” approach.
  4. Optimize. Think of high value keywords first. Then write copy on the home page and in individual articles that focus on or relate directly to those keywords. This boosts the site’s visibility in search engines.
  5. Tantalize. Keep some “Latest News” items rotating on the home page, and build a social media newsroom. Highlight content that makes visitors want to come back for more, or wonder later if there’s anything new and great like what they found before. Post content about trending topics early and often. Ebooks is a good example of a trending topic.
  6. Analyze. Use the site’s current web analytics stats to figure out what three core missions people are trying to accomplish presently.  Use that information to emphasize, as the home page’s first impression, the latest news and up to three core “missions” the majority of visitors will continue to want to accomplish by visiting the new site.  Then…
  7. Minimize. Reduce the amount of content available on the home page.  Draw more attention to your brand’s objectives by helping users to focus on their objectives.
  8. Visualize. Bring data to life. Make more use of shareable infographics to highlight key statistics related to your brand or industry. There are a lot of stunning ways to display data and cause visitors to want to send it along to colleagues and friends. See how it could work at http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/how-it-works and see a gallery of examples at http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/gallery. This is great stuff to put on the home page for drawing visitors into complex, but important topics. It also can result in longer amount of time spent per visitor on a page.
  9. Advertise. Tell your brand or industry story in online ads via Google Adwords. You can target them to extremely specific geographical areas (even to a list of individual addresses) and get reports on how people searching for your keywords found your ad, clicked on it, and then converted to “customers” (i.e. bought a product, filled out a form, read a press release, shared a whitepaper, etc.)

Follow these nine guidelines and you will be well on your way to serving your customers with a more sophisticated and impressive Web site and community presence.

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Interactive Marketing for Small Businesses

April 5th, 2010 No comments

Are you looking to get educated on interactive marketing for your small business? On Thursday May 13, 2010, you can attend a workshop session that will give you “a command of the trends affecting modern marketing and an understanding of how to promote their brands at different budget levels”.

When you’re done with the session and realize that, while all this stuff is fascinating you still don’t have the time to manage it effectively, give us a call at 847-321-0289. We’ll estimate the size of your interactive marketing initiative and put you on the path to self-sufficiency…or we’ll manage it all for you, soup to nuts. Whichever works best for you, your schedule, your abilities, and your budget.

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Google does some SEO soul searching

March 3rd, 2010 No comments

Google performed an SEO audit of 100 of its own sites and found that, as a company, they weren’t eating thier own dog food. Have a look at the results. What can your business or online endeavor learn from their audit?

Categories: Search Engine Optimization Tags:

How to keep tabs on your competition

January 13th, 2010 No comments

People sometimes ask me what is the best way to keep tabs on the competition. There’s a site for that:

www.competitious.com

You’ll want to run the Terms of Service by your Legal department or lawyer before committing yourself to using it though. There may be implications with storing your intellectual property on a third party service, even if they claim they won’t sell or share your information. Sometimes they “data mine” to find out more about you, which could include sensitive company secrets.

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Printable Web sites are sooooo 1998…

January 12th, 2010 No comments

From the “Did I read that right?” folder in my file cabinet, where I keep printouts of ALL the web sites I visit:

Hearst believes there is money to be made from Web site printouts

This has been tried, has died, has been resurrected, and has died again. People don’t print anymore. Bookmarking it and even searching for it again by keyword is becoming the norm. When newspapers and magazines tried to charge for printouts, even really good ones like the article mentions, the business model failed.

Provide your customers with an engaging, social Web site experience. That should be the core focus. Let them share your site and its contents freely across every medium possible. AddThis.com has a great way to do this. You can see how it works on Webidextrous.com by clicking the “Share This” link at the top of each post.

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AT&T steps in it with a poorly considered Facebook post

January 11th, 2010 No comments

AT&T had a good thing going with their Facebook campaign to clean up their 3G map PR problem…until this little gem of a status update.

To quote:

Yikes… thanks to a tip from a fan I just checked Verizon’s page and they seem to be having a major problem with texting…just sayin’…. :-)

That drew a bit of criticism and was a magnet for derision from their “fans” (many of which, including yours truly, are there to go around the dismal customer service you get from their main CS line).

“Careful. Krama is a strange thing………I seem to remember my iPhone being useless on New Years Ee for over 3 hours”
“Wow. AT&T is do desperate to make themselves look good that they’ll actually make the biggest PKB of all.  As opposed to actually *really* being better. Pathetic. Truly.”
“seriously, AT&T? Grow up, and improve your network.”

Click “Become a Fan” to see the debacle as it unfolded.

The lesson? Know your audience and understand why they “fan” your page.  It may not be because they love you.

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