You know your business
needs a website. Perhaps you already have one. If you don’t, rest
assured that creating an online presence is as simple as registering a
domain name, finding a reliable partner to host your site, and deciding
whether to have a custom website or build your own.
Of course, there are a number of ways business owners can create a website – code it on your own from the bottom up, build your own based on a template, or hire a web design partner. To help you choose the best one for your business, we will break down the options in order of highest to lowest level of technical know-how required.
- Let’s start with the option of building your own site. Developing your own custom site from the ground up requires some knowledge of a number of different technologies – HTML5, CSS, SQL, PHP, etc. Alternately, if you aren’t a web developer but you do have limited skills with HTML and CSS, you can still build your own site using an application like Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression, or with a content management system like WordPress or Joomla!. The advantage of building your own site is that it is a relatively affordable option, and your options are limited only by the amount of time and expertise you have to develop your site.
- For those with some technical confidence but no interest in programming, you can still choose to build your own site by purchasing a web-based application that allows you to select a template. After selecting the template, you can add your own text and images, often in a WYSIWYG manner similar to a word processing program. These types of programs are usually quite affordable and easy to administer, although they allow only a certain amount of design flexibility, and can look cookie-cutter.
- The final option is to develop a vision for your custom site with an experienced web designer, and leave the site creation, and sometimes even the maintenance, to a professional. This option can have more up-front cost than the other two, but it also can quickly deliver exactly the site you want to represent your business, with very few limitations. An experienced site designer can offer suggestions to intrigue users and provide the return on investment that you seek.
you’re still weighing what option is best for your business, search the
web, note the differences in the quality of websites, and decide which
types of websites you prefer and how you want to represent your
business. Any of the approaches we outlined can create a successful site
for you. Once you do have a website, you can use a tool like the free
Marketing Grader that enables you to measure your site’s SEO, website
traffic, the blogosphere, and social media and ensure you are getting a
return on your investment. However you choose to invest, you want to
make sure you are receiving a return on that investment.
The decision about how to create your site often boils down to the technical skills you possess, the amount of time you want to devote, and your budget. If you are considering a custom site, contact the professionals at World Source Tech for a consultation about the website and custom marketing plans we offer. We can get you quickly started with a results-driven site that you will be proud to call your own.
Photo: HomeSpot HQ
Once you have a business website, you want to make sure that your site can be found, and found first, when someone needs your product or service. There are several different ways that users navigate the web and even more ways to increase your traffic. A simple way to get more visitors to your site is to focus on the most common way that users navigate – search engines like Google and Bing – and use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to make sure your site appears on the first page of organic search results.
Each search engine works a little differently, but in general, they use the same elements to determine where your page should rank in search results, so with a few tips you should be able to improve your ranking.
Keyword Phrases (in your content)
First, think of about 7 phrases that someone might type in to a search engine to find your business. Got them? Good, those are your keywords. You’ll need to use those important keyword phrases in the places where search engines look for them.
Make sure your website contains no broken links, either within your own site or to outside sites. You will probably need to run a link checker from time to time and fix any broken links. Sites with broken links are ranked lower in search engine results.
Your website should include a site map to enable a search engine’s “crawlers” to index every page. It’s not really important how a search engine crawler uses a site map – it’s enough to know that it helps the search engines find and analyze all your pages when they analyze your site, so sites with a site map rank higher in search engine results.
Create links within your content, either to other pages on your website (called interlinks) or from other websites to your website (called backlinks). Both types of links improve your ranking in search engines, and backlinks in particular will improve your score. A few ways to get backlinks are to send out press releases, to get listed in online directories, or to trade backlinks with another business.
These general tips should give you a good start in optimizing your website for search engines, and improving your traffic. At World Source Tech, we know it’s a huge endeavor to physically move your office or business location. But to move your website up in the page rankings? That’s our specialty. If your website traffic could use a boost, call the experts at World Source Tech today and put your website on the corner of Need It and Found It.
You have probably noticed that everyone seems to be blogging these days, from school kids to grandmothers. It’s amazingly easy to create a blog. It’s a little trickier to create a successful blog – especially a successful business blog.
When you go to the effort of maintaining a business blog, you want to make sure it adds something to your marketing portfolio. Goals for your business blog might include:
- Generating visitors to your blog or business
- Improving your page rank through SEO (search engine optimization)
- Establishing your business as an authority, or establishing your product/service as a unique offering
- Driving sales or retention of your services
- Communicating with your target audience
- Developing a relationship with your visitors so they become readers
Once you know what you want your blog to do for you, you can better focus your efforts to increase your blog’s success. These general tips should help make any business blog successful:
1. Understand who you are blogging to.
Picture what type of person would read your blog and become engaged in your business, and what type of person would subscribe to your blog. Try to imagine a person who represents an ideal client for your business. Once you have that persona in mind, you can more easily choose engaging blog topics, select the tone and level of your writing, and build a readership that includes your target customers.
2. Post regularly.
You can post once a week or several times a week, but the important thing is to decide how frequently you will blog, and stick to that general schedule. Try to post on the same day(s) of the week/month, same time of day. Set your site visitors’ expectations so they know how often they should check your site for new content. Set your subscribers’ expectations for how often you will be visiting their email in-box.
3. Optimize your posts for search engines.
Ideally, the key words you are trying to optimize for should be in a few places – your title, within the first paragraph, and then within the content of the article. Make sure that these keywords don’t affect the readability of your post! And select keywords that are non-branded, meaning keywords other than your company name or product names. Non-branded keywords draw people to your site who are searching for general terms, and help optimize your site for organic search.
4. Include a CTA (call to action) in your posts. ( Request a call from us now if your site does not have CTAs)
You can include these in various places, but the important thing is to ask the reader to engage with you – subscribe to your blog, visit a page describing your products, request a call, sign up for a webinar, etc. Use each post as an opportunity to generate leads. The goal is to retain readers and engage them in your website and content, start qualifying prospects, moving them along the path to become customers.
5. Interact with your readers.
Check for comments on your posts, and if someone comments on a post, always try to respond quickly.
6. Use images.
The web is a visual medium, and images engage readers. Try to use images that represent the subject of the blog post, and include an ALT tag on images to boost your SEO.
7. Measure your success.
Check your website’s metrics to see which posts are most popular and which generate the most leads. You can use this information to see what type of posts your readers and ideal customers find relevant.
In order to define success, it pays to assess what you want your blog to do for your business. At World Source Tech, we help our clients use the web to achieve marketing goals with blogs, websites, and other web marketing strategies. Contact us today to make the web work for you.
If your business is not yet showing up in the top organic search results despite your efforts to optimize your website for search engines, then Google paid advertising can be effective for driving traffic to your website. A paid advertisement on Google can get your business name and message displayed above and to the side of the organic search results when users type in their keywords. Google AdWords is the Google search advertising product that allows you to pay to have your business’s message listed in the paid results.
To get started advertising on Google:
Paid search engine advertising can help you increase your visibility in search results, and several good books have been written about the easiest ways to use AdWords. At World Source Tech, we stay up to date on changing technologies to make sure your clients find your business on the web. Whenever you need expert assistance advertising on Google, contact us at 616-717-5802 or http://www.worldsourcetech.com/getinfo .
Weather your website is new or you
have had it for a while with little luck generating any real leads, it
is important to look at how (and if) you are doing anything to drive
traffic to your website.
After having a beautiful website, ready to convert leads with well designed landing pages, forms, check out pages, etc your next step is to get people to that website. This is called generating traffic. This post focuses on how and why you should use paid online advertising like Google Adwords to drive traffic to your website. Of course there are many methods of driving traffic that produce varying results with varying levels of measurability. However, none that in our opinion really compare to cost per click based online advertising on search engines and social media sites.
So without further ado, if you're committed to being a DIYer for your online marketing, these steps will help. If you would rather hire us to win for you online, request a call or check out our flexible, no contract online marketing service plans .
Step 1: Learn how AdWords works
Watch these videos on Google Adwords express. I also recommend checking out the full featured version of AdWords but this is a great start to learning how it works.
With more than 1.4 billion people having a Facebook profile and more than 900 million site visits, Facebook is the 21st century marketing hub. Facebook creates an easy way to market and reach out to your potential audiences- launching Facebook Ads. So, what are Facebook Ads? Facebook Ads from a users perspective, show advertisements that are relevant to you and your friend’s interests.
As a business owner, these ads are shown to your potential customers. The ads will appear on the news feed (desktop or mobile) and in the right column of Facebook desktop. Facebook decides which ads users end up seeing by: the information users share on Facebook (likes), other info from the account (demographics), & activity on websites or apps off of Facebook. So how as a small business owner use Facebook Ads?
Step 1- Create
With an advertising method in mind, log onto your personal account, click the drop down button on the upper right corner, and click create an ad. Your small business does not actually need a Facebook page to advertise (although we recommend it for marketing campaigns) the owner/manager of the advertisement needs a personal Facebook account to be able to manage and pay for the ads (note-the ads will not link to your profile). Pick your advertising objective, if promoting a website, you will need to provide a URL which will link to your website and let the ad be underway!
Step 2- Target
Facebook ads created a brilliant feature- you pick who you market to. You can select who views your ad using multiple variables. When the ad is created you can pick the type of people who can see the ad by choosing certain traits and keywords. Facebook lets you target by region/location, age, gender, education, workplace, hobbies, relationships, and keywords. Through the provided information shared on your Facebook profile, Facebook generates keywords that are relatable to your website, event, etc. that you are trying to advertise. That is what makes it different from traditional advertising; Facebook can get your ads to the right people at the right time- via ones newsfeed.
Step 3- Design
Facebook ads will have a 25-character headline, a 90-character body description, and thumbnail photograph. Who knew so little content could expand business? Less is more these days, am I right? However, don’t get nervous because these can be updated in real-time. So really feel free to experiment with what looks best. Facebook does have a lengthy set of standards and rules to abide by while using their advertisements. You can refer to the advertising guidelines here.
Step 4- Budget
Facebook ads, like most things in the world, are not free. Select a Cost Per Click (CPC) pricing and you will be charged every time someone clicks on the ad or sponsored story. An alternative route is per thousand impression (CPM); you pay every time 1,000 people see the ad. Then tell Facebook how much money you are willing to spend (daily budget or lump sum of total spending while the ad is featured). You can pay with credit, debit, PayPal, or Facebook Ads coupon and the billing is monthly. For more information and clarification on how budgeting for your ad works, please watch this informational tutorial.
Step 5- Analyze
You should monitor your ads regularly, as Facebook does allow trial and error. If the ad is not getting as much attention as expected you can pause the ad to edit the text, increase/decrease bid, or adjust the target audience as you go. Another great feature from Facebook is the Ad Manager. This will show you all the details about your campaign- budget, spending, and scheduling. Then click on the campaign to show how many people have view, clicked, and how often it shows on peoples feeds!
The great thing about Facebook Ads is how it connects the consumer to the business- raising brand awareness. The relevant and engaging photos, videos, and links make Facebook Ads a powerful way to find new customers and build brand loyalty (Facebook, 2015). If you feel like this is over your head or really want to win with your online advertising just fill out the quick call request form on the right hand side of this page!
Questions and Answers to help you get some action with your website and web marketing
Are you doing anything that is getting you anywhere?
1. Use Google Adwords to drive keyword targeted traffic to specific landing pages
2. Use Facebook Ads to drive demographic and psychographic targeted traffic to specific landing pages
3. Have landing pages without menu items and with custom forms that send lead info to your CRM system
4. Use a CRM system that supports funnel marketing (sending automated emails based on the lead's score / actions)
5. Score your leads! For example, if a lead opens an email, 1 point; if they click a link 5 points, etc.
6. Use professionally created social media accounts that match your brand on every network you have a potential audience
7. Post daily, relevant content on each social network, categorize content and post when the highest number of potential viewers are online
8. Measure everything. Know your
stats! Use Google Anatlyics and a CRM / Funnel marketing system that has
awesome stats. You don't know how you're doing if you can't measure!
Do you have real leads coming in from your website?
1. Make sure your ads match your landing pages
2. Offer great content on your landing pages, in exchange for name and email
3. Make sure every page of your website has a request a call, request more info, or requst a quote form
4. Create different followup paths for leads in your CRM system based on the action they take. For example, if lead A opens email B, then put them in list C so they receive next months special offer, etc.
5. Offer relevant, engaging downloads like white papers,free reports, video access, and tips in exchange for an email address
6. Be transparent and advertise the action you want users to take. For example if you're a dentist, advertise that users can request an appointment online and be sure that the ad drives users to a landing page where users can do just that!
7. Give people a good reason to request your service or provie their info.
8. Make sure leads feel secure on your
site by using premium SSL certificates that show a green browser bar,
lock and https in the url. This increases the comfort for providing
information and actually secures the transmission of such information, a
Do you even show up on the first page of Google when someone types in what you do?
1. Advertise on Google using AdWords. Don't waste your time or money doing it yourself. Most people who manage their own Adowrds end up unhappy because they got nothing.
This is because it takes some time and
expertise to research keywords, setup landing pages, measure results,
and make adjustments. Working with an agency like us means you have
professional team working daily on your account to generate results.
Usually advertising on Google Adwords, we can have you on page one
within 72 hours.
2. Blog at least twice a week, creating content that is interesting, relevant, and easy to read. Your audience needs to love your blog, they need to look forward to reading what you write. If you can't write, hire an agency (egh em) to ghost write for you. Crosspost this content to social media netowrks and try to get it linked on other websites that cater to your audience. The more readable, engaging, and usefull content on your site, the better you will eventually do with organic listings on major search engines.
What about email marketing?
Can you track any revenue from those efforts?
Every time I send a campaign to my personal contact list, the return is about $15,000 in revenue within two weeks of the campaign being sent. This didn't happen overnight but now that we know our audience and understand how to provide real value in both the information we deliver at no charge and in the services and products we provide, our emails generate true revenue. I must say $15,000 on a campagin that costs maybe $5 to send is a pretty good return.
1. Know who your audience is and what would actually help them out.If you have the experience and knowledge to provide some value to your audience then by all means put together an intro email and send it to those people. Don't just blast the email to every person in your list, segment the people in your list who can and want to benefit from what you're writing.
2. Use a subject that piques curiosity.I try not to be too descriptive yet not too vague in my email subjects. I want people to be curious enough to open the email yet not spammy. Usually I ask a question or use a word that is likely to get people thinking about their business. This is because my emails are generally focused on having business owners take a higher level look at their web and marketing presence, so my emails attempt to get people in "strategy mode".
3. Offer something but don't sell sell sell.I have tested various ways of email marketing and by far the best results come from providing truly usefull information that someone can take on their own and do something with. At the end of the email, offering some help or providng a call to action for your services if they "don't want to go it alone", for example is appropriate. Afterall, you're in business to generate some revenue not just provide free advice.
4. Check to see who is opening your emails and how many timesthey are opening them. Are they clicking the links? Are they forwarding? Does your CRM/Email marketing system allow you to track this? Can you score leads based on their activities? Using these tools lets you know who to followup with and when.
5. Any lead that takes more than three actionsis (three opens, an open and two clicks, an open, forward, and click, etc) is a good prospect for a phone call to followup. This is where the money making happens, you must followup with your interested leads, indicated usually by the number of times they interact with the communication you have sent them.
6. If your list is not huge, invite people to respond directly to you.I almost always do this for two reasons. First, I like interacting with my clients, it's fun to have a personal connection even if I am not always the one handling their account. Second, it is easier for people to reply to an email than it is for them to follow a link to a landing page, fill out a form, yadda yadda yadda. If however your product or service just can't scale with that type of personal, one on one communication, then you will have to use the landing page and form method for your emails which is fine, just less personal and a little less convenient.
7. Track the revenue back to the campaign.If you're using a CRM system like we do (we love Vtiger), you'll be able to track any opportunities and closed business back to the initial email campaign. This is how you can determine the cost and return from your email campaigns (as well as other marketing campaigns).
8. Utilize the autoresponder / funnelfeatures of your CRM. If a user opens the email, have another action setup in your system to followup with them. If she clicks a link, or gets to a score of 5, have your system generate a followup alert for you so you know to call. Automate your lead nurturing process so you can focus on converting the leads that are ready into new or repeat customers!
9. And of course, call your leads to action. If you want help with this, or anyof the steps above just email [email protected] or [email protected] (my personal email) and we can talk about one of our hugely effective internet marketing programs to get you the internet presence you deserve.
Managing your social media networks can be daunting. What do you say, where do you post, how often, and when? In a nutshell, you need to be everywhere your ideal audience is and you need to post when most of them are online and likelyto see your content. Before they see this content however, you'll need to get them to like your page, follow your Instagram, connect with you on LinkedIn, and follow your Twitter handle. Going this alone can be a full time job but you can do it! You can also just hire us and we'll do it for you. Either way, I hope these tips give you a good start and dabbling with online marketing for your own edification. If/when you're ready to professionalize your interent presence and get some real results, you know how to find us ( [email protected] / 616-419-5514).
When I first started in this business (12 years ago), having a blog and some social media accounts was really cutting edge. Now, this alone won't get you anywhere on the Internet. Today, ranking on Google, driving traffic, and getting leads from your website and social media require fresh, engaging content, a stunning blog layout, presence on multiple social media networks (Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more). Your messaging has to be carefully planned, authentic, and relevant. Your publishing needs to be consistent in a way that makes people look forward to your next blog, post or upload.
For most businesses I have found that this process can be cumbersome, overwhelming and lacking in results (because they're doing it wrong).
So, I invite you to email [email protected] or [email protected] with your questions or interest in getting real exposure on the first page of Google, real engagement on major social networks, real traffic to your website, and real leads from all of this activity. We're offering a 20% bonus for clients who sign onto marketing service plans through the month of October.
Effective, ROI generating marketing service plans start at $299 per month and go up to $999 per month plus Google Advertising budgets. This amount is less than a tenth of what it would cost to hire a person on at your company to tackle online marketing.
You can learn more about our plans using the links below or by requesting a quick quote using the form on this page. You can also email [email protected] or me directly [email protected]
Funnel & CRM Marketing Plans
Full Service Web Marketing Plans
Let me know how I can help!
The traditional marketing strategy relies on chasing "cold leads" - directing advertising materials to an audience who has not necessarily expressed interest in your business's offerings, using methods like cold calling and door to door marketing campaigns. This technique is also known as outbound marketing. Although outbound marketing can produce some sales, the conversion rate is generally low while the costs are relatively high.
In contrast, using a B2B inbound marketing strategy can help you build relationships with qualified leads before they come to you for your products. This strategy can help businesses operating on a wide range of advertising budgets, and it's increasingly expected by both business clients and consumer customers.
The Problem with Outbound Marketing
Although still appropriate in some cases, there are numerous problems with traditional marketing, both in financial terms and in the way it shapes your interaction with leads and clients. In a sense, outbound marketing requires you to basically harass clients to make a sale by knocking on doors and making calls until you convince someone to purchase.
Perhaps the biggest problem with outbound marketing is the amount of resources it uses in relation to the number of qualified leads reached. Because outbound marketing does not discriminate between people who have expressed interest and meet qualifications, versus people who are not interested or qualified, that responsibility is left up to the sales team.
At the same time, both businesses and consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of and uninterested in traditional marketing techniques. In an age where every high-profile businesses has a website, social media, and a multiplatform marketing strategy, clients have come to expect that companies make an effort to connect with them online by providing content that interests them.
Inbound Marketing Basics
Inbound marketing is any technique which reaches potential clients with your message so that clients come ask you for your service or product. Examples include:
The goal of all of these techniques is to entice customers to contact you about your product or service. These leads are much more likely to be qualified, and can be passed on to your sale team once they are vetted, thus saving resources in that arena.
So, how does B2B inbound marketing encourage leads to reach out to you about your products and services? B2B inbound marketing takes a different angle than traditional marketing strategies. While it's appropriate to focus mainly on products when making a cold call or running a print advertisement, B2B inbound marketing outlets like social media and blogging allow your business to build a relationship with your audience.
Your goal is to provide information that your company is in a unique place to provide, thus building trust and thought leadership in your industry. In contrast, if your potential clients don't get information they need from you, they'll get it from a company who is using B2B inbound marketing to its fullest potential.
What a B2B Inbound Marketing Agency Does
A B2B inbound marketing agency's job is to shape and run your B2B inbound marketing campaign. This may include running social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; Facebook advertising; blogging; email marketing; and Google Adwords.
Hiring an Agency
World Source Tech provides comprehensive web design and inbound marketing services. Our experts would be happy to speak with you about developing a B2B inbound marketing strategy for your business. To learn more, please give us a call at 616-419-5515 or Request a Call .
A domain name is the unique name that identifies a website, like the “worldsourcetech” part of www.worldsourcetech.com . Choosing the right domain name for your business can take almost as much thought as choosing your business’s name in the first place. Since we regularly help clients choose domain names, we have picked up several tips over the years to simplify domain name selection.
When it comes to choosing a domain name, it’s important to keep in mind how it will be used to identify and promote your business. People will need to be able to spell it, remember it, and type it, and they should also be able to guess how it’s spelled when they hear it. You will probably use the domain name in all your other marketing efforts, and you may use it for your email addresses, so it will become closely tied to your business for years to come.
Short domain names work best, and it’s a good idea to incorporate keywords related to your business or services. Many simple domain names are already registered, so if your business is local, you could also try including your city in the name. Including the city or state will make it less likely that the name is already in use, and will also help local customers find and remember it easily. When you choose your name, also keep in mind that you have other options besides a .com address. You may also be able to use .biz, .info, or .net, for example.
Once you have thought of your domain name, test it out on a friend to make sure it’s catchy and memorable, and that there aren’t any possible misinterpretations. Then research to make sure that the name isn’t already in use, and isn’t trademarked or copyrighted. If the name is available, the next step is to register the name to protect it, and within quick order you should be able to create a website for your new domain.
You may want to consider registering other versions of your domain name, several related domains, or different top-level domains (e.g., .biz, .net). There are generally two reasons for registering multiple domains: to make sure that clients find your site even if they make a mistake, and also to prevent competitors or “squatters” from registering domains where your customers may look for you. If you register multiple domains, you can use one domain name as your primary domain, and then redirect each of your other domain names to your primary domain.
World Source Tech can help you both register and use your domain names. Request a call, or call us at 616-717-5802, to get started with a new domain name that’s right for your business.
Image: Alan O'Rourke