Have you ever Googled a product or service you were seeking information on only to arrive on a home page for a site that was just overloaded for SEO and yet almost unreadable to users? Did you go on and purchase something on that site or pass it by? I often wonder what these website owners were thinking when they built these sites. If they were building a brick and mortar business would they have loud red signs overwhelming the appearance of their store? I doubt it. Then what business 101 class makes them think it will work on the Internet? A website owner does not need to create a cluttered environment to create a site that is both user friendly and well structured for SEO.
A few key elements that must be considered include:
- Well written page copy…be direct and sell your message, this is YOUR business!
- Copy that is well positioned for SEO vs the competition. Here is the science….you need to analyze the competition and the marketplace, determine what users are searching and how you are positioned vs. the competition for those keywords and phrases. Seed them into your “well written” copy, but don’t overwhelm. Use all best SEO tactics, boldface, underline, titles, etc., but DON’T OVERWHELM the user.
- Page and website Navigation….be sure that the navigation is well thought out for the user. Recently we analyzed a new clients’ website and discovered that while content was well built and the overall look was solid, one of the least clicked links was “buy now.” What this meant is that despite a large click volume and already successful sales many potential users are leaving from the home page.
- Don’t just go by your “gut feel.” On the Internet the reports rarely lie. USE the research available and trust it. If you are selling European hair wigs, yet users are only searching”wigs,” then unless your site appears when “wigs” is searched you will not be found. So you say you are number one on Google when “European hair wigs” is sold? Big deal, no one is searching it…..trust the research!
So remember, write well, don’t oversell or over-SEO and continue to monitor and update your content for your category. My comments in this post represent only a portion of what is needed to achieve overall success, but provide a good foundation of where you need to begin.
The goal of any company is to grow and become profitable. At CJR Media our goals are no different, except for one. A main goal of CJR is to bring truly quality services to small businesses at prices that are both reasonable and fair. Should a simple e-commerce website cost $5000 or $500? Does the client need a brochure site of 4-5 pages or a full blown shopping cart? Do they need a brochure site that can be easily expanded as their business grows? Every developer wants to make money, but it is equally important that we deliver solutions to meet the clients needs and not just manufacture projects to make money. If a client realized success with their Internet business your relationship with them will grow and there will be ever increasing opportunity to make money together.
At CJR we deploy a variety of shopping cart solutions which enables us to tailor sites to meet customer needs. For U. S. Flag Service, CJR was tasked with a project where there were numerous products and variables, yet creativity of design was not a major factor. To build this site, and sites such as Creedmoor Sports, the X-Cart platform was utilized. For the high fashion related business Dicker Walker, a custom front end/back end solution is in the final stage of development that both provides design that fits well with the fashion environment and also marries up all elements of inventory management and sales.
Flexibility is key for us and our lead developers will work closely with clients to help insure that the solutions we deploy is the best and most efficient solutions for that client.
Ethnic marketing has always had its benefits for advertisers. Typically, ethnic marketing translated to purchasing ads within ethnic programming or publications, but there is much more to it than that. A few years back when I was working in spot cable sales for National Cable Communications we were often called upon to develop spot cable campaigns targeted to specific ethnic dominated areas of a television market, perhaps the first time that was widely possible. This type of targeting was not limited to the usual Hispanic or African American targets, but extended to such groups as concentrations of Irish or specific Asian groups.
So what is the best way to create ethnic efforts online? As I see it there are several approaches advertisers can take. The first is the most obvious, which would be to place ads or integrated sponsorship programs into ethnic content or websites. To expand upon this a second option would be to purchase or develop targeted email marketing lists and deliver your message directly to the target group you seek to reach.
A third option, which involves a greater commitment, would be to develop an ethnic marketing program utilizing your existing company website combined with creative search engine marketing. In today’s marketplace many businesses have strong secondary ethnic target groups, but they hesitate to reach out to them. Say your secondary target was recent Chinese immigrants. While potentially heavy users of the Internet, if you do not provide any content to interact with them in their language then your business may not be noticed. You can simply add specific information pages in the language of the targeted group, or even translate your entire website, if it is not too large, to provide these potential customers the opportunity to browse and understand your business.
To market to these targeted ethnic groups, search provides one of the easiest tools. Say your business is “tent rentals.” To market to a Spanish speaking user you would need to target the search term “alquiler de la tienda.” Of course, the pages targeted by either paid or organic search would be the new ethnic pages added.
One VERY important consideration that companies must consider and that is often overlooked when developing these programs is that you definitely need to have staff in place ready to interact with the group you are targeting. If you are reaching out to users researching your products or services via the ethnic search phrases, who then come to your translated pages, you MUST be able to speak with them in their language!
Many companies today still will not hesitate to spend thousands on traditional direct mail marketing pieces, but yet will have reservations about spending relative pennies for targeted html email efforts. While great value remains in traditional direct mail, the cost efficiency and time to market of email campaigns should not be overlooked.
Not only are email campaigns cost efficient, and let me please emphasize “opt-in” email campaigns, but results are known within hours or a few days. Creatively designed, significant information about users or prospects can also be captured and used to further tailor your overall marketing efforts. The secret to a successful email marketing campaign is to keep the message simple, be sure the list you are targeting represents the best opportunity, and provide a proper landing page for prospects to land on.
For most of the past century television has been the dominant advertising vehicle for most advertisers. While the types of television programming available for advertising have evolved over time form purely network, to network and local, from VHF and UHF, to broadcast and cable, to spot cable, to satellite and now high definition television (my apologies if I missed something but you get the point), advertising on television itself has remain largely unchanged.
In the past, many companies when planning ad campaigns worked hard to insure a synergy between the various elements of their advertising, be it television, radio, print or outdoor. I remember one client years back requesting a research evaluation regarding how specific ad elements actually were received physically by prospects. We called this the right-side/left-side brain evaluation, and there was much information available to write about how the brain processes audio and video messages.
With the growth of the Internet to where it is now represents a major element in the daily life for most people we need to look for new ways to reach out to potential customers. Online, the three most utilized elements are email, chat and search. Any company marketing in todays world should not only have a website, but should look for the best ways to integrate these online elements into their advertising programs.
To create a synergy with offline television advertising, email provides perhaps the best potential. Up till now, sending video via email has been difficult due to both the file size for sending and how email products most often strip out attachments. Many advertisers have sent “links” to video messages IN their emails with modest success. Today, the best way to use videos in emails would be by embedding a video window link, using videos posted on sites such as YouTube or Vimeo. If video is to be used in an email in this manner it is most important that the video itself be succinct and direct.
What does CJR stand for? CJR Media was created with the understanding that all the work we do will be with only the highest level of honesty and integrity. Our staff and strategic partners all share this vision and we will not deviate from this mission statement. In selecting a name for our company we chose the initials of my late father who lived his life in a simple honest fashion and expected nothing less from those around him.